“Mr. Arthur, I just received a call from our search team. We have discovered Akua’s body in a bush around her neighbourhood.
“You what? Jake springs to his feet with his eyes and mouth wide open but speechless.”
The two police officers swap cunning little looks at each other before turning a gaze at Jake almost in unison as if to say what kind of charade is this man playing?
“We appreciate your cooperation so far but I’m sorry, with the turn of events we may have to hold you here for further interrogation. We have murder on our hands and you are a prime suspect.”
The news knocks every wisp of air from his lungs as he lifts his shaky hands to cover his face.
“I have to speak to my lawyer,” Jake requests, almost mumbling, trembling.
“Sure, Mr. Arthur, you may go ahead. And just so you know, we have in our possession, Akua’s phone and we are aware of your affair with her, and oo, the pregnancy too,” Inspector Agyare cautions.
Jake looks greatly perplexed.
Akua’s heavily bruised body with stab wounds and a broken neck is enough testimony that she was beaten, battered and murdered. But by whom and for what reason? Everything points to one prime suspect- Jake.
His whatsapp conversation with Akua about how the pregnancy would ruin his marriage had a tinge of threat all over it; Akua’s conversation with her best friend about who was responsible for the pregnancy and how Jake has been reluctant in accepting the pregnancy and the fear of what Jake might do to her are for now the biggest circumstantial evidence in the possession of the police. At least they have established a motive for the murder, a good point to begin investigations and prosecutions
Jake’s friend, Albert, the lawyer of great repute, walks into the counter well suited with an aura of impudence and arrogance. “Can you release my client immediately? I have satisfied the bail requirement.” On the counter he slaps the bail document he secured in the office of the commander in charge and without waiting for a response, he proceeds to Jake’s corner assuring him of his inviolable freedom in no time.
Within minutes after gawking through the bail document, and receiving a call of confirmation from the commander, the officer in charge allows a safe passage to Jake and his lawyer out of the police station.
From the entrance of the police station to where their car is parked is a little walking distance. The lawyer leads the way as Jake follows still speechless.
“What in the world were you thinking when you lied about your affair with her” Albert scolds Jake before opening the side of the vehicle for him to sit.
“What was I supposed to do? I was scared. Damn it” he responds with rage.
There is an awkward silence the first few minutes after driving out of the police station.
“I will be serving jail term, right?” He asks almost in defeat. “It depends on you.” Albert responds
“I didn’t do it. I couldn’t have. Yes, I wasn’t expecting the pregnancy and we both know it was going to ruin my marriage, but I didn’t do it. I lied about my affair with her because I was scared,” Jake reaffirms.
“Look buddy, I know it is the last thing you want to hear, but if I do not tell you, who will? You messed up big time. Someone that close is a no-no! But I believe you, man. I’ll do anything within my power to get you out of this. The good thing is that all they have now are circumstantial. They have to prove beyond every reasonable doubt that you killed her and that will be like searching for a needle in a haystack.” Alfred assures.
“Thanks man, but we have to make sure my wife does not get a wind of my involvement with Akua, please. A baby I never saw cannot ruin my marriage,” Jake pleads.
The following morning, the detectives come to the office. Jake is reluctant to go to the office, but he knows he must be there. Albert has told him not to act as if he was guilty even before he will be charged with anything. Incidentally, Mina too is present when the police arrive at the office. The detectives speak to the workers and Jake albeit separately. One of the detectives wants a minute of interrogation with Mina. Jake protests. He is afraid the detective might spill the beans to Mina. But he remembers, the more anxious he looks and sounds the more suspicious he looks. So, he gives in. The interrogations are over, faster than they expected. Mina leaves the office immediately she is done with the police. Jake has no idea what had transpired even though he suspected the police may have told Mina far more than he ought to.
Jake goes home almost mortified. He doesn’t know how he is going to break the news to her eventually, while dealing with the loss (or so he makes it seem) of his unborn baby and his mistress. He refuses to eat or take a shower. He proceeds straight to the bedroom, still planning on how to break the news. Mina walks in and out of the bedroom without a word, her face stripped of that warm, welcoming smile she always wears.
“Has she been told about it already? Does she know?” Did the police tell her? What else does she know?” Many are the thoughts, the questions that keep running through his mind at the same time but there are no immediate answers. He is unable to sleep. He is on the bed and stares absentmindedly at the ceiling then he remembers.
“Jake, meet Akua she is going to be your secretary from now on. Her desk is right in front of your office.” Mina introduces Akua to Jake in the office.
“How are you doing Akua? Could you please give us a minute?” Jake puts in a request.
Akua responded and left the office.
Jake quickly closed the door behind her and he pleaded with his wife, “Mimi, I’m grateful for the thought but I do not need a secretary.”
She insisted and convinced him that she “was an outstanding worker during her national service period and would be a good secretary and an asset to the company. Unless you have something more convincing to say, I think you need a secretary and should make good use of the hardworking young woman.”
“I knew it! I told Mina I didn’t need a secretary, but she wouldn’t listen!”
“I told her!” He says it loud to himself with a feeling of remorse and anger all bursting through. He doesn’t know Mina had come to sleep without altering a word. She turns her back towards Jake and faces the wall whilst Jake has his tie and trousers still on.
“Mimi (as he fondly calls his wife), I don’t even know where to start from.”
“I…I…am deeply sorry about everything,” he stammers an apology as he got closer to his wife.
“Believe me, it was a mistake, she did not mean anything to me. You are still my everything. I believe the detective mentioned it to you and that’s why you’re upset with me. I’m sorry,” Jake pleads.
“What! What are you going to tell me?” Mina shouts. “That you cheated on me! That you slept with my employee, your secretary or that you impregnated her!”
The feeling of anger that rushed through his veins moments ago had been subdued. His face now burdens with guilt.
“The detective did not mention anything. I already knew about it,” Mina states.
Jake is mortified, frozen to the spot, “what? You knew about everything all this while, Mina?”
“I’m not stupid Jake. Did you think the mysterious late-night phone calls in the bathroom, the unfamiliar fragrance in your shirts, the mysterious weekend errands and all the other signs would go unnoticed? I know about you and Andrea, my assistant too. You took me for a fool. I do everything a wife would do to make a husband happy, Jake.”
Jake closes his mouth, he wishes he would sink through the floor at this point. He looks at his toes before glancing back up to catch Mina’s eyes which were now full of tears. The broken sobs had turned into a flood of tears. “I shouldn’t have done it!” she said. “You shouldn’t have done what?” Jake asks.
“I should be apologizing to you Jake, I’m sorry. I did not mean to do it. I just needed answers from her. I did not go there to harm her, Jake. You know I cannot even hurt a fly.”
With a puzzled expression and a brain desperately scrambling to make sense of everything that was being said Jake quizzed “What are you saying Mimi…what…what are you trying to say?”
“I did it, Jake…I killed Akua, but it was a mistake. It all happened so fast…I…I…I’m so sorry. I had to defend myself. I didn’t mean to…” the rest fades as her husband interrupts.
Jake screams “You did what? What are you talking about?”
Sobbing Mina begins, “I only went there to make her an offer, so she would abort the pregnancy and get out of our lives. I invited her to your usual meeting place that day via text a message with your phone. As expected, she was half naked and lying on the bed in wait when I entered the room. She obviously panicked when I entered the room. I promised her I wasn’t there to harm her but to seek answers.”
Jake’s bowels churn as he listens to his wife’s confession. It was as if his brain was on an emergency shutdown. Then he managed to spill out “And what happened next?”
“We were having a somewhat nice conversation until she lied to me about the pregnancy. She denied being pregnant and I slapped her on the face after she gave me the same answer thrice. She slapped me back that was how the fight began. We fought until I realized she was motionless. After checking her pulse and heartbeat, I knew she was dead.”
Jake is so disgusted by the revelation he cannot even look at his wife while she confesses. “the police said she died of multiple stab wounds. Tell me everything now before I do something we both will not live to regret woman!”
“You have no right to yell at me, Jake! You caused it all. It is all your damn fault! If you had kept your little pen drive in check, we wouldn’t be in this mess right now. You want to hear me say it? Yes, I stabbed her multiple times, but it was in self-defense!” the beads of water continue to roll down her cheeks as she yells in fury.
“Holy mackerel! You stabbed a pregnant woman, Mina! How cruel! I don’t even know who you are anymore. Yes, I cheated, and I feel terrible about it but it’s incomparable to murder. You committed murder, Mina! You took lives Mina! I can’t even look at you right now.”
“So, how on earth did you get the body out of that room to where it was discovered?” Jake asks as tears flood his eyes.
“I…I paid someone to do it,” Mina replies as she sheds more tears.
Jake could not stop himself from crying at this point, “Jeez! You have ruined us, Mina. You have finished me. Apart from whoever you paid to get rid of the body, who else is in on this?”
“Just us. Huni, I’m so sorry for everything but please don’t tell anyone about it. I beg you, Jake, I don’t want to go to jail, pleeea…se” a remorseful Mina pleads with Jake who now paces about with his hands over his head.
Jake is obviously thinking about a possible way out. They say it is FOR BETTER or FOR WORSE and what kind of husband would he be if he turns his wife in? On the other hand, what kind of a human being will he be if he keeps quiet and remains the prime suspect and possibly goes to jail for the murder? Of course, he was the one who stole the fish from the boiling pot but someone else ate it. So why must he suffer the pain of a boiling tongue alone?
It’s fiction, written by Akosua Asiedua Akuffo.
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