Joseph sat behind his desk and hurriedly glanced through the bundle of documents in his hands. He got to the Office about 30 minutes back and he was simply looking through some office documents while waiting for feedback from Moses. He had since made up his mind not to respond to the police invitation without backup.
He was going through the last of the documents when a soft knock at the door made his head shoot up.
The door opened a little and his secretary’s peeped in. “Sorry boss. My intercom just refused to work this morning. But you have a visitor by name, Brenda Osunji. She says she needs to see you urgently. And since you have an open schedule today, I thought I’d inform you.”
“Brenda!” Joseph whispered, “Please show her in.”
In the next ten minutes, the door opened. The once stylish Brenda stepped in looking really haggard. As stylish as the crop top and fitted jeans she wore were, they didn’t do much to hide her sorry state.
Her bulging eyes looked hardened and her expression told Joseph this visit would be an interesting one. As much as he would have loved to stay away from whatever she had going with Tony; as she got into that relationship with her eyes open, he didn’t forget she was the one who helped to patch things up with Amanda by exposing Simi. He owned her for that.
“Brenda,” he got to his feet and then sighed. “You don’t look good at all. I read your letter. What exactly is happening?”
“That’s why I’m here. Can I sit?” She dropped on the leather couch without waiting for his response.
Joseph put away his papers and moved away from the opposite couch to sit directly opposite her.
“Can I get you something to drink?”
“No,” She shook her head, “Tony left the house this morning. He left me chained up so I wouldn’t be able to escape. Simi was alone at the house,” she scoffed and then swallowed.
“I’m sorry you had to be treated that way!” Joseph said. Truly, he felt like taking her by the shoulders and shaking her vigorously, so she could wake up from whatever slumber she was in. The Brenda he knew in court, while defending Simi, was ruthless. No one would mess with her; not even Tony. What could have happened to her?
“I don’t know how I let myself be treated so badly. Ever since Simi left the hospital, my house has been her second home. She and Tony? They fuck themselves like mad every day. Sometimes, they try to force me to watch.” she sighed, When they’re done, they go through my documents, personal diaries, emails, businesses. They send insults to the contacts in my phone book. The few clients I’ve had recently, have paid. Tony has taken the money out of my account and refused to allow me to deliver. Now I’m being called a thief.
“So why haven’t you left him?”
“When I first realised that he actually started a friendship with me just to get close enough to you and Amanda, I tried to fight back and leave him. But that was when the blackmailing started. And since I didn’t want to lose my business or my reputation, I didn’t fight. Instead, I acted the script.
But right now, before my very eyes, the two things I’ve tried to protect have been ruined. Everyone in my phone contact list who received one message or the other from Tony, have thrown insults at me and distanced themselves from me. Some of my regular clients have written that they would be taking their legal jobs and cases from my hand.
I cried. Tony laughed and mocked me. Ever since I lost my marriage, my business had been my partner and major relationship. The minute I tried out a relationship, here I am. I have lost major clients. and like that wasn’t enough, Simi took to her blog yesterday to post about the other backyard deals I did. Tony gave her all the information. and you know how large her followership is.
Some of these dirty deals involved striking a deal with the opposition’s lawyers and taking a bribe. The bribe is so that I can talk my clients to settle out of court for a meagre settlement fee.”
She raised her head up to see the surprised and dumb-founded looking Joseph staring at her. But she didn’t look fazed.
“I’ve received calls from old and current clients. While some of them are taking their legal cases away from me, some others are suing me. Bottom line is, I took shit from these two, chased my friend away, gave him access to my accounts and even agreed to marry to the idiot, and still, here I am. Totally ruined.
When Joseph left me chained up today in the bedroom. Stupid Simi came in to try her lesbianism with me. She unchained me and promised that If I cooperate, she would withdraw the information about my dirty deals from the media. Well, I don’t know if she would survive the attack. I beat her without mercy. She bled and I left.
I don’t care what happens to me at this point. I just want to end Tony, once and for all.”
“If you kill him, you’ll go to jail. You know that” Joseph said.
“If I don’t, I might still go to jail. There are like 20 lawsuits against me right now from past clients. What else will I be living for?’ Tears stung her eyes.
“We can find a way around this. We can involve the police; of course, the loyal ones that we know personally,”
“The police would still end up knowing what I’ve done. And it doesn’t take the lawsuits away.”
“Ok. So what would so you have me do. There must be a reason why you came to me, instead of going straight to Amanda’s?”
“She wasn’t picking up my phone. Ella is busy at work, I can’t take my problems to her workplace. You’re the only other person I know.”
“Fair enough,” Joseph said, and then sat up. I’m preparing to go to the station. Simi filed a complaint and the police have invited me.”
“Yes. She said something about that early this morning,” Brenda started to search her pocket. Soon an iPhone emerged. Brenda slid the phone across the table to Joseph. “That’s Simi’s phone. She had been recording the assault I’ve been receiving; including the times Tony raped me. Tony tried to stop her, but she insisted that watching it later turns her on. Some of these videos capture their discussions. Give it to the police, and they’re done for.”
Curious, Joseph picked the phone. He was surprised the phone wasn’t passworded or had any form of screen lock on it. “How did you get hold of This?”
“I beat up the owner, forced her to open it, and then left,” She managed a weird smile. “Where is Amanda?”
“At home. I dropped her off about an hour ago,” Joseph said; still looking through the content of the phone’s gallery. He winced at some of the photos and videos. Was Simi so sick in her head or what? And to think his parents wanted him to marry her?. Most of all, he felt for Brenda. The videos revealed she had experienced almost all forms of abuse and the videos would definitely make a strong case for her in court.
“And she hasn’t called you yet?”
Joseph frowned, “What? No. Why?” he looked up.
“It is possible Tony has gotten to her,” Brenda looked worried. She didn’t want Amanda going through what she had gone through.
Joseph drew in a sharp breath. “What do you mean?”
“When he left the house, I heard him say he was going to Amanda’s,” she swallowed. He said today is the day she pays for everything she had done to him. I called her after I escaped from my home. She didn’t pick. I don’t want to think what could have happened.”
Not waiting for further talks, Joseph rushed to the table, grabbed his phone and dialled Amanda’s number. It rang endlessly, but she didn’t pick up.
Joseph grabbed his car keys and turned to Brenda, ”Are you coming? You can stay in the car, Tony wouldn’t see you,” he said when he saw the fear in her eyes.
Amanda sat behind the counter slapping mosquitoes. It wasn’t even night and she already felt like she was in hell. The police station had a bad body smell coming from the location of the cells. Mosquitos were biting her and the heat was unbearable. There was not even a fan to cool down the temperature.
Tony was yelling at the top of his voice and ordering the policemen to let him and his boys go, as he insisted they had no right to detain them. He used the fact that an iPhone was found on Amanda to state his claims were real.
However, Amanda had countered him by opening the phone and showing her gallery and WhatsApp chats, as well as text messages and phone call history that dated back to as far as 5 months ago.
If she had really stolen the phone that morning, how did she have such old history?
With that evidence, she had pleaded with the officers to allow her to make a call. But they refused; saying they’d get to the root of the matter, before allowing calls to be made.
But all the while, her phone rang. She couldn’t help but feel it might be Joseph calling.
To be continued th is afternoon
A Pelleura Story – Chapter 20 Written by Karo Oforofuo
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