A STORY WRITTEN BY SERAH IYARE
Daniel Oluwadamilare stood outside the party hall, gazing at the darkened sky.
“The moon looks beautiful, doesn’t it?”
He turned around and when he saw Sheila, he smiled and his returned his attention to the sky.
“That smile speaks volumes. What have they told you about me?” She stood beside him. He remained quiet. “I know your type; you don’t like dabbling into family matters… good choice.”
Daniel slipped his hands into his pockets.
“What are you doing out here anyway… don’t tell me you are already bored of Martha?”
“They were right about you.” She turned to meet his expressionless gaze. “You have a very sharp tongue.”
She burst out laughing.
“Have a good night Sheila,” He turned to leave. She reached out for his hand. His questioning stare met her mischievous ones.
“Why don’t you stay out here with me… for a little while…”
He pulled his hand away, wondering what she was up to.
” I want to know the man my aunt wants to marry.”
Martha, Dorcas and Eureka sat away from the crowd. Most people had gone home, but a few family and friends were still around. Many of them were on the dancing floor, enjoying the diverse music played by the DJ.
“Where is your hunk?” Eureka winked at her sister-in-law.
Dorcas started to laugh. She was so happy for her elder sister.
“My darling is receiving a phone call outside, come to think of it, he has been gone a while.”
Dorcas and Eureka exchanged glances and started laughing.
“What is so funny?”
“You are worried about him already, welcome to the club,” Dorcas winked at her elder sister.
Eureka and Dorcas giggled and tried to hold back the laughter threatening to rip their lips apart.
Martha sighted Daniel the moment he made his way back into the hall. Her face brightened and her lips widened in a big smile.
“Are you ready to leave?” He pulled her up.
“I… ” She looked at her sister.
“Get outta here sis, we can party without you,” Dorcas winked at her. Eureka nodded in agreement.
Martha met her fiancé’s gaze, “Okay, let’s go.”
“Good night ladies,” he smiled at them.
“Good night,” Dorcas and Eureka chorused.
He led her out of the hall and they made their way to the car park. They met Sheila seated on the bonnet of Daniel’s car and
Martha had to restrain herself from yanking her off.
“Get down!” Her sharp tone wasn’t lost to Sheila who grinned and made no attempt to step down.
“I have a birthday gift for you,” She addressed her aunt and winked at Daniel who drilled her with an angry look.
“Get down from the car this moment!” Her voice rose a notch.
Her niece pointed at Daniel’s breast pocket. He placed a hand on it and noticed that something was inside his pocket. His fiancée dipped her hand in and pulled out a silky pant. She gasped in shock and dropped it as if it had burned her fingers.
Sheila let out a throaty laugh. Martha looked at her, then at Daniel whose gaze was fixed on the underwear.
“Revenge is sweet,” She winked at her aunt and stepped down from the car. Daniel met his fiancée’s troubled gaze.
“I don’t know how it got there… Honestly, I don’t…” He looked at the underwear, then at Sheila.
Martha looked at her niece. She was trying not to think. She was trying very hard to block all the thoughts that had ravaged her mind since she pulled out the pant from Daniel’s pocket. Oh dear God please…
“I told you, you were going to regret hitting me… ” Sheila eyed her and started to walk away.
Did her niece put her underwear in her fiancé’s pocket? Why did she do that? What is going on? What has Sheila done?
She halted and turned to face her aunt. The woman looked as if she had seen a ghost. Well, she brought it on herself.
“What is the meaning of this?”
She smiled, “Your so called husband-to-be has been a very, very naughty boy,” She started to laugh, turned and walked away.
Martha faced Daniel. “Did you… What happened?”
“Nothing!” He tried to draw her close but she stepped away.
She slipped off her engagement ring.
“No, no, no Martha…” He refused to take it from her. She dropped it on the bonnet of his car. He reached out for her, but she slapped his hands off.
“Don’t you dare touch me!”
“Baby… ” He closed the gap between them.
“How did her pant get into your pocket?” Her pained voice tore at his heart. He began to shake his head.
“Baby… She… We didn’t… Nothing happened.”
Tears flowed down her face, her heart seemed to have stopped beating. Sheila has just messed up her happiness in the name of revenge. She felt like killing that niece of hers.
“Did… Did you touch her?”
He began to shake his head again, “No… Yes, not like I touch you…”
She turned around and started walking.
She ignored him and returned to the party hall.
He placed both hands on his head. He loved this woman more than the air he breathes. That niece of hers was trouble with a capital ‘T’. How was he going to get out of this? Oh God! Oh God help me!
Martha walked into the party hall. She looked around through her blurred vision. Tears had gathered in her eyes again. She saw her parents seated with John, Dorcas and their spouses and children. The Dj had stopped the music and the remaining guests were taking their leave. She avoided them and approached her family.
“Is that Martha?” Charles noticed his eldest daughter. Everyone at the table followed his gaze.
“I thought she left… ” Dorcas got to her feet. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw her sister’s tears stained face and red eyes. Martha got to the table, drew out a chair and sat down.
“Sweet heart, are you okay?” Her mother reached out for her hand.
She remained mum and faced John, “This is the last time I am going to accommodate being in the same room with your daughter… ”
Nnese and Charles sighed, what has their granddaughter done again? Is there no end to her menace?
Dorcas sat back on the chair, she looked around, all the guests had left. Good, they were alone.
John held his sister’s gaze. Her countenance was heart breaking. If Sheila’s actions had affected her to this extent, he was scared of knowing what his daughter had done. Eureka mumbled a prayer. Her heart was racing so fast; she could hardly hear herself.
“Your daughter slipped her pant into my fiancé’s pocket… ”
Eureka stopped praying. John glanced at his daughter, she was grinning from ear to ear. Nnese tightened her grip on Martha’s hand. Charles and Imabong exchanged glances. Boma and Edidiong glared at their cousin.
“Daniel admitted that he touched her… ”
“No!” Eureka’s shrill echoed through the walls. John was torn between consoling his sister and strangling his own daughter. He remained motionless on his seat. Dorcas closed her eyes, her husband pulled her close.
“They… I don’t know what… I… ” Martha swallowed hard. “I can’t go through with the wedding.” She pointed a shaky finger at her brother, “I want your daughter to stay away from me… ” She rose, Nnese released her hands, she could feel her daughter’s pains.
Charles turned to look at his granddaughter. She was smiling! Anger began to brew inside him. What sort of a child is this?
Sheila met her father’s gaze. His looks seemed to say, ‘I am ashamed of you’. Was he? He has never looked at her like that before. She tore her eyes away and glanced at her mother who was crying as if she had lost someone. For a moment, she regretted what she had done.
Martha kicked her seat out of her way and headed out.
“Martha…” Nnese called out, but her eldest daughter disappeared into the night. She turned to her husband. “She cannot drive in that state…”
Imabong leapt to his feet, “I will take her home.”
“I will come with you… the kids can stay with their grandparents,” She hurried after her husband.
All eyes fell on Sheila; a mischievous grin was pasted on her face.
“Until further notice, I don’t want to see Sheila at any family event.” Charles pulled his wife up.
He raised a hand and she kept quiet. He turned to John.
“She has caused this family enough pain… ”
“No… No… This is the height.”
“Let us go,” he beckoned to Boma and Edidiong.
Charles ignored his son and left the party hall with his wife and grand-children.
John glanced at his weeping wife, then at his unrepentant daughter.
Oh lord God almighty… Please show up. Show up now!
To be con
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