Adejoke heaved a sigh as she noticed the black van had moved out of her street. It had arrived sometime after noon, the driver hadn’t come out of the car. He just parked the black van in the parking lot of her neighbor Vince on the tarred road of St. Anthony’s street, lekki phase2. She had noticed the van immediately she drove back from her Supermarket in Ajah, and it had immediately caught her attention that it didn’t carry any plate number. Now that it was out of her area, she could go up to the kitchen and fix her husband a meal before he returns. She hadn’t even eaten lunch, the fear of the driver stealthily slipping into their house had kept her glued to her sofa from where she had a good vantage point to monitor the van, and its driver’s movement.
As she stood up to climb the fight of stairs that led to the kitchen, she remembered she hadn’t heard from Tade since he left home, quite unusual of him. She decided to go place a call to him first before going to fix dinner. Just as she was descending the stair case to go pick her phone from her bag where she dropped it beside the sofa, it started ringing, notifying her of an incoming call.
The call had been abrupt, and short. It lasted for only 76 seconds, but it managed to crush her entire life in that short time. Tade had been killed. He had been a drug lord whose drug empire had spanned the UAE and almost the whole of Europe. He had been the masked don of a multi billion Euro drug circle. According to the caller, a rival drug lord had had him on surveillance for some months and had finally had him killed on his way to the telecoms company he had been using as a sham to cover his dealings. As far as the caller could tell, she had also being on surveillance and there was sizable evidence to believe a move could be ongoing to kill her too. He was calling to inform her to prepare to go into protective custody, a team was already on their way to take her in, “…you’ll be with us until the force is able to completely uncover the identity of the other members of your husband’s drug circle, and the rival circle”. She remembered him saying. She sunk on the stairs and for some minutes, all she could muster was “eh! Mogbe”.
4 years ago.
Joke had been fresh out of university, and had had plans to enjoy every bit of her service year, so when young, brilliant, industrious, witty and obviously stinkingly rich Tade had showed up on the doorstep of the 3bedroom flat she shared with 2 of her friends, driving a Pontiac convertible on a Monday evening to pay a visit to Simbi, one of her flat mates, and had told Simbi to tell her he liked her…she had thanked her stars for sending her such a “lucky catch”, and had immediately discarded her broke ass boyfriend Jude. Over the next few months, she and Tade had become good friends and when he popped the question 5months into their friendship, she had been the happiest girl in the world, and 6 months later, they had gotten married, even though he never really told her anything concrete about the source of his riches, only that his dad had left him a legacy worth 20million dollars which he had used to start up his telecoms company.
Over the next 2weeks, she learnt that everything she had held true in the last 4 years had in fact being lies. Tade Johnson Â was actually born Dexter klint, son of American ex convict Jim Klint and a Nigerian whore his father had had relations with during one of his drug hurling visits to Abuja. He had inherited his father’s drug empire and had relocated to Nigeria after his death. All the family members he had introduced to her and her parents had in fact been rented and paid, none of them were his relatives. He had won her parent’s heart on his first visit to her house, he had appeared very humble, reserved and cultured. “Omo daada ni”, she remembered her father saying. He had also managed to make both her and her parents believe he was the only son of a late American business tycoon who had lived all his life in Nigeria with his mother, and had made a fortune from the telecoms business using the robust legacy he got from his father as capital, when he was in fact a drug lord and a criminal mastermind who had married her just to disguise as an unharmful family man. Joke was in pain, not from his death, or betrayal, but more from the reality that she had actually been so easily fooled. She thought she knew had to identify good men, she had obviously been wrong. She had learnt in the hardest way possible that all that glitters is really not Gold. Now she would have to pull through life with the shame of her gullibility, and the 4 month old pregnancy that was beginning to be pronounced in her belly. Those were the only legacies she got from her 2year old marriage to a man she thought was the centre of her life, the government of both counties his drug empire spanned through had seized all his property in their nations, and the Nigerian government had taken custody of his properties in Nigeria.
If there was something she would teach her unborn baby, it was that no one knows anybody more than God. She had been a Christian girl raised in a godly home, until her desire for “the good life” and her wanting to be “a happening girl” had killed all her spiritual fire, which was a mistake she vowed her unborn daughter was never going to make.
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