Episode Twenty-Two

I couldn’t believe what was going on. When the police came and read out to me my rights, I just stood motionless. Everything seemed surreal. I could hear Kunle trying to get Juliet to stop it all but Juliet had walked off, saying something about her party being ruined.

There had been times when I thought my mother was some kind of prophetess. She would say something passively and it would come to pass, maybe not exactly as she put it but very similar. That was what I was thinking about as I was dragged like a criminal to the police station. I knew I would receive a lecture when she saw me.

I knew I did nothing but slap Mark, and that was not enough for him to have a broken neck inside the toilet, especially when I left him standing holding his cheek outside the toilet. I knew I was innocent so I did not beg or plead. I did not cry. I just remained mute all the way to the station. I wrote my statement and only spoke when asked to call a kin.

I gave them my mother’s number. I told her where I was and she screamed in panic, raining me with questions I couldn’t answer. I was being accused not of manslaughter but murder and Juliet’s family was hammering that I be persecuted. I was not granted bail. My mother wept her eyes sore but I still remained expressionless. She said many things but avoided telling me “I told you so.”

Why did Juliet accuse me directly? Why did she seem angry? It couldn’t have been because she saw I and Kunle together. She had been smiling and was her bubbling self then, not until Mark’s body was found. How drastically she changed from almost worshiping our friendship to having hate in her eyes.

I told my mom not to mention anything about the rape. It would only complicate issues as I would have a motive to kill Mark. I was the only one with a motive it seemed.

Kunle came to see me at the police station the next day but he couldn’t do anything about a bail since Juliet’s aunt insisted that I was the killer. He had tried to talk to me but I didn’t want to see him. Somehow, I blamed him. In my gut, I felt he was the cause of all my problems. Why did he have to be friends with a rapist? Why did he have to make my heart flutter at the sniff of his perfume and the sight of him? Why did he have to be Juliet’s husband-to-be?

The second day, he came again. My mother had just left with swollen, red eyes on my request for her to go and rest. I couldn’t bear to see her tears. I decide to see Kunle. Maybe he could tell me why Juliet was acting weird, why she was not doing anything to rescue me from here.

“I’m really sorry about all these,” he said after I had sat down in the visitors corner, a police man standing a few paces away, seemingly out of earshot. I said nothing in reply.

“Juliet is not talking to me about all these,” he continued. “She wants to continue like nothing happened. Something happened! I lost a friend!”

The police officer looked our way with a raised eyebrow. I still said nothing.

“We were friends for more than nine years,” Kunle sighed. My eyes widened. “We did so much together. Went to the same school, lived together for three years, celebrated everything together.”

“Did you also rape girls together?” I asked coldly.

To be continued…

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