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Written by AKOGWU JOSEPH CHINONSO…

Anabel stood beside the rack, her make-up was superb, “Ma, you’ve cried enough for her. You’ll breakdown if you continue like this.” She was looking at her pitifully.

Thelda’s gaze met hers but she didn’t respond. She raised the glass to her lips, took a slug and relaxed the glass on the stool. Tears still streaked her cheeks.

Anabel moved to the bed and sat on the edge, “Ma, it’s time you called the senator. He won’t appreciate hearing it from other source.”

Thelda knew Anabel was right. She had been figuring how she would break the news to the senator. The thought of the senator’s possible reactions when he heard the news made her stiffen with fear. She wasn’t sure of many things at the moment but was sure of one thing: the senator must be told, and as Anabel had said, it would be from her, “How’ll I tell the senator what had happened?” She said, staring at the glass on the floor.

Anabel shifted nearer, “Just tell him. He’ll feel bad but he deserves to know.”

Tears clogged Thelda’s throat and she could scarcely breathe. She remained silent for some time and said, “Give me a moment, I need to think.”

Anabel nodded, “Yes ma,” and walked past the door and closed it behind her.

Thelda thought for some minutes and realized she had no option and time was running out. The senator must be told this minute. She decided. Reaching for her mobile phone in-between a pillow and the headboard, she looked up the menu of names stored in it, located Senator and punched a button. As she waited for the Senate President to pick up, she raised the glass to her mouth and drained the wine glass with a slurp. Fear was etched on her fine forehead as she lowered the glass to the floor with trembling fingers. Her heart was beating violently. She glanced up, caught her reflection in the bright mirror and observed her eyes had become puffy but quickly looked elsewhere. She poured a tot in the glass and drank it. After a while, the senator came on the other end.

“Action lady,” the senator said, “how’re you doing?” He sounded happy.

“Pretty bad.” She returned, her face namby-pamby, “There’s problem.”

“What’s the problem dear? You’re crying. Feel free to confide to me.”

“I’m afraid I’ve bad news for you.” She counted.

The senator grew tensed, “What’s that?”

“S ss..,” Her mind and tongue went frozen.

The senator was now impatient, he rapped out, “What’s the problem woman?”

Thelda kept mute for a second, sniffed and gasped, “Stella is dead.”

“What?” It was a scream, “What’re you saying?”

“I killed Stella.” She sobbed, her eyes fixed on her beautifully manicured fingernails.

“What! How?” The senator’s muscles weakened.

“She intruded.”

“How do you mean?” His voice was throaty.

“She knows everything.”

“Knows what? How did you let that happen?”

“She eavesdropped to my phone call. She heard everything. She had almost exposed us before I took her out.”

“Jesus Christ! How dare you! Do you know the implication of what you have done? Are you aware you’ve complicated matters?” He moaned, “Oh my God, oh my God.”

“Senator, I had no other option. She almost exposed us. I had to_”

The senator interrupted, “Without informing me?”

Thelda could hear his quick breathing from the other end and she felt her own heart tearing apart but she managed on, “Senator, I had no time for that. It was urgent and I had to act.” She stammered, “I’m sorry.”

“To hell with you. I’m coming over right away. I need to get things straight.”

Thelda listened as his echo vibrated in her eardrum, “I’m not presently in the country,” she recited and wiped her tears, “I travelled to Accra.”

“Wherever the hell you’re,” he was speaking fast, “you must see me before today expires. Get on the plane immediately.”

To Be Continued…

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