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A single tap and the door knob was already turned. She abruptly walked into my office accompanied by her uncle. Amazingly, it was exactly 10am as we had scheduled. Her uncle looked quite relaxed while she seemed a bit scared. She looked older than what I had expected of late Dr. Sam Dickson’s little daughter. I could barely recognize her.
“Good morning ma’am” Her uncle was the first to speak and she followed suit.
“Good morning Mrs Becky”
“Good morning. Please have a seat”
“Thank you” her uncle replied as they both took their seats in the spinning office chairs I offered.
“Well” he continued “my little neice here has something to tell us”
“Yes, we spoke on the phone. Miss Inemesit, what do you want to talk about?”
“My father’s killer”
“What!?” both her uncle and I found ourselves shocked by her outburst.
“First” she continued
“I am not little, I am 18 years old. I am an adult”
There was a tinge of anger in her words to her uncle.

“Why do you want to wake a closed case?”

“I understand you are the detective incharge of my father’s murder case. So, I have decided to help you with the truth”
I noticed the unease her uncle was experiencing. I looked at him in shock expecting he would say something. But he just kept looking at the girl. The silence was getting too awkward. I had to break it.
“Your father died two years ago…”
“If I had told you this two years ago, you would have thought me too young to believe my testimony. Now, I’m 18, an adult, licensed to fair hearing.”
Her uncle still said nothing.
“So, who killed your father?”
“I believe I am supposed to fill a form with my identity before my statement is taken”
Wow. This one is here for business. If she wants to be hard then, the news had better been worth it.
“Yeah sure”
I replied as I handed her a form. I was about to hand her a pen as well when she pulled out her’s from her bag. She really came prepared. I smiled, turned on the recording tape and stared her straight to her eyes.
“Who killed your father?”
I noticed the change in her uncle’s expression. He looked confused at first and then a bit relaxed. He excused himself and walked out of the office. Inem watched him leave. It seemed a bit of relief had gotten to her.
“Mum killed my father” she emphasized.

My mum had just returned home from work. I welcomed her and collected her jacket and hand My mum had just returned home from work. I welcomed her and collected her jacket and hand bag.
“Mum, how was work today?” I asked
“Fine. It was scary though. Your friend came around too”
“To your office? Which of my friends?”
“My bestie?”
“If that’s what you guys call it”
“What for?”
“About her father’s killer. Don’t ask futher. The rest is strictly confidential”
With that, she headed upstairs.
I was shocked. She went without even telling me? Does that mean I am a suspect? Confidential my mum said. Well, that’s only if she doesn’t play that record tape after dinner as usual.
My mum’s call brought me out of my thoughts.
“Didn’t you hear me? Bring my bag upstairs”
“Okay mum”


We had just finished eating our dinner and I knew it was time for my mum to listen to the record tapes from work. I hurried to my room and pretended to be asleep. This would warrant my mum to take the tape out of her room. As I had expected, she checked on me and I was asleep or so she thought. The house finally went silent. I felt she had locked herself in her room. So, I rose to sneak to her room to listen to the tape. As I got to my door, I heard voices, footsteps. My mom! She isn’t alone.
“Mum killed my father” That’s Inem’s voice. My bestie was with her. No! That’s the tape. I listened again.
“…I had returned from school that day and silently hurried to my dad’s room. I opened the door only to find mum standing over him, hugging a pillow…”
As my mum moved futher, the record got faint. I had to follow her. I silently stepped out of my room and saw her descending the stairs. I followed her till she was comfortably sitted in one of the sofas in the living room. The tape kept rolling
“…I didn’t see the face but I could recognize mum from behind. I silently shut the door and left the house immediately”
“You didn’t see her suffocate him. Did you?” my mom asked.
“Her? Mum was the only person in that house. My dad was suffocated right? Mum held the pillow. I returned from school at exactly 2:32 pm. Your records state that my dad died at about 2:15 hours. Mum was the only person home at that time”
“Wow. I still find it hard to buy this. How did your hospitalized mum do this? Considering she had been at the hospital was at the time due to the same accident that got your father bedridden”
“Did I mention my mom?” my bestfriend shot back
“I said mum don’t you get it? It’s an acronym for My Uncle’s Mask. I did it to get my uncle off my neck. You saw him leave right? Exactly what I expected. My uncle masked himself with love and care. He killed my dad. And if something is not done about it tonight, I’ld take laws into my hands”
I heard a bang and the player went off
No way!!! I thought to myself. I hurried back to my room. This time, I locked the door from within. I was scared.

“Inem, what was that stunt you pulled at Mrs Becky’s office?”
“Uncle, I need to sleep” I said whilst walking out of the kitchen.
We had our dinner a while ago and I had just finished doing the dishes when my uncle walked into the kitchen and started questioning me. I’m supposed to be scared but I’m not. Whatever he wants to do, I know I’ld kill him tonight.
“Inem, I’m talking to you”
“Uncle please…”
I turned to face him. Just then I saw it coming but before I could react, the knife was already in my chest. I felt myself drop to my knees, then to my face, causing the knife to borrow deeper. The last thing I heard was my uncle scream my name.




It’s a Saturday morning and I still have a lot to do at the office. I was fully dressed for work and hurried down the stairs. I tapped on my daughter’s door so she could join me for breakfast. It had rained a bit last night so I decided to have a cup of tea and a few slices of bread. I had barely had my first bite of the slice I held in my hand when my phone rang. It was Inspector Precious.
“Good morning inspector… Late Doctor Dickson’s?.. Fire? How?.. Yes sir. On my way.”
Immediately the call ended, I abandoned the meal and hurried out. Before I left, I called out to Juliet to let her know I was stepping out.
I had just arrived late Doctor Dickson’s apartment. I didn’t have to ask about what had happened. The place was still ablaze. I was furious. I turned to the closest officer.
“It’s still burning since last night? Where is the child and her uncle?” I asked.
“We haven’t been able to put out the fire yet”
“Is that your job? Where are the fire guards? What is wrong with these Nigerians?”
I was loosing my calm.
“I’ve been trying to reach them, but the call isn’t going through. Guess its a network issue” he said dialing the number again.
“Network issue? For an emergency number? Give me that phone” I snatched it from him before he could even blink an eye.

The fire guards had finally put out the fire. They also found two bodies, burnt beyond recognition within the building. Mrs Becky took a walk around the premises and stopped in her tracks at the sight of a third body. It appeared to be the lifeless body of a girl, lying face down, dressed in a pink sweater and a pair of boyfriend jean. No shoes. Mrs Becky is even more suprised when she sees the inscription JULIE at the back of the sweater. It was the exact sweater she had bought for Juliet on her 18th birthday.
“If Juliet is at home, what is her sweater doing here” Mrs Becky thought to herself.
She turned to the officer beside her and instructed him to turn the body over and search it for any means of identification while she calls the ambulance. She takes a few steps away from the body then turns her back against it. She brings out her phone to ring the ambulance guys but instead decides to ring Juliet first. A phone rang behind her. It was from the girl’s pocket.
The officer immediately retrieved the phone from the girl’s pocket. Without turning, Mrs Becky got the phone for examination. Behold Momma was glaring at her from the screen. That was when it struck her. She was holding her daughter’s phone. She immediately turned around and met the face of her lifeless daughter Juliet staring at her.

The three bodies are rushed into the ambulance. Mrs Becky holds back her tears by biting her lower lips. She has to be strong, it is her job. Juliet’s gasp for breath immediately threw all hands on deck. Mrs Becky hid her fear and hope in her squezzed fists over her lips and shut her eyes. She lets the experts do their job. The ambulance leaves quickly heading directly for the hospital. The officers and the news men linger around.

Mrs Becky is in her office pacing about, trying to fix this jigsaw puzzle. What was Juliet ~doing there, when had she left the house, why didn’t the fire touch her, is my only child dead, are those bodies that of Inem~ and her uncle Gabriel? These were the questions ~going through her mind when her phone rang. It was a call from Mrs Dickson (late dr Dickson’s wife)’s doctor. Informing her that Mr~ s Dickson was to be discharged the next day. She asked the doctor to keep her within sight till she arrived. As soon as the call ended, another came in. This time, it was from Juliet’s doctor, asking her to arrive the hospital as soon as possible. The detective was confused over which call to attend to first. She finally decided that family was more important. The last thing she did before stepping out was slipping Juliet’s phone into the pocket of her jean
“Mrs Becky” Dr Fustina started, handing me a file immediately I walked into her office.
“First, you need to sign this”
“What’s this?”
“A police statement. We can’t touch her if you don’t sign that”
“What! Police report for a fire burn? Why wasn’t I told of this earlier?”
“You didn’t come with the ambulance and from examinations, the fire didn’t touch her”
“And if it didn’t?”
I was already loosing calm.
“I’m not signing this. So, the earlier you commence treatment on her, the better for you. If anything happens to my daughter, I’m so sueing this hospital”
“Nothing would happen to her. She is on sedatives”
“Sedate what? Can I see my child?”
Just then, a nurse rushed in, informing the doctor that a patient has no pulse. I don’t know how, but I just knew it was my child. I followed them. I was right. All the doctor did was check her nerves and cover her from head to toe. I found myself laughing. My child can’t be dead. I pulled the doctor away from her bedside.
The doctor left the ward. I knelt beside my daughter, took her hands and started pleading with her to return to me. Then, I heard someone order me
I looked around the ward, it wasn’t the nurse, she was busy with something. I heard the voice again, this time with more urgency
“Pray! You don’t have time”
I don’t know much about prayer, but I managed to say “Darling Jesus, please save Juliet”
Something started ticking. The nurse was alarmed. She ran out and soon returned with the doctor. That was when I realised what had happened. Her pulse was back. My child is alive. I stepped away from her bed and watched the doctor and the nurse run



~THE TRUTH (My fath~ er’s killer)


“Mom! Can we bake a cake please” Juliet asked her mom one morning as she walked into the living room. Mrs Becky who was watching tv turned to face her daughter
“Why is that?” she asked.
“Tomorrow would make my bestfriend nineteen if she were still alive”
“Oh. So you want to bake a cake for the dead”
“Mom please. I want to send it to Mrs Dickson. So she’ld know she isn’t alone. Please mom
please. Let’s…”
“Fine! When?”
“Now mom. Now!”

The same morning, Mrs Dickson steps out of her hotel suite to purchase a flower to suit her burning daughter’s soul. She abandones the wheel chair and takes a walk with the aid of her cruches. As she took one slow and unsteady step after the other, she prayed to God that her child be granted peace in the bossom of the Almighty. She made it to the store and got what she needed with her credit card. The only thing that escaped the fire because it had been with her at the hospital.
As she stepped out of the store, she saw a girl she knew or rather had once known. She looked so much like her late daughter. If that alone hadn’t drawn her attention, then, the fact that she was holding a bible and sharing the good news of Jesus did. The girl was a person away from Mrs Dickson when the woman lost her grip on the cruches. Her knees started wobling and she was already on the ground before anybody could say “JACK”
The girl hurried to Mrs Dickson and pulled her up. She directed her to her hotel suite. Good thing, it wasn’t far from where she had fallen which made the journey back easier. They got to Mrs Dickson hotel room and made her sit on the bed. After a lot of ‘thank you’s, the girl said
“The flowers are beautiful”
“Thank you my child. They are for my late daughter”
“I’m sorry for your loss ma”
“It’s okay. You know, she looks just like you and tomorrow would make her nineteen”
“Wow! Tomorrow is also my birthday”
“That’s great. Would you celebrate it?”
This question made the girl bow her head with sorrow
“No ma, I have no family to celebrate with”
“I’m sorry my child. You don’t have to cry. Come sit here” Mrs Dickson hurriedly wrapped her in an embrace. The girl lit up a bit so Mrs Dickson continued
“I see you really love Christ”
“Yes ma. My mum thought me well”
“I’ld like you to meet someone tomorrow”
“Really! Who?” she seemed pretty excited
“Youl’d know by tomorrow. Get my bag for me please. Would you?”
The girl hands her the bag from which she retrieves a business card from it and hands it to the girl.
“Come to that address by this time tomorrow”
“I will ma. Thank you. I need to run along”
“Oh sure. See you tomorrow then. Here” she said handing the girl some money “use this for your transport”
“No ma. I’ld find my way”
“Come on” she pleaded.
“If you insist”
“I insist” the girl had to take the money
“Bye ma and please do not forget to see a doctor”
“I most certainly won’t”
The girl turned to leave when Mrs Dickson called out
“What’s your name?”
“Inemesit ma” she said before shutting the door behind her.
Later that night, Juliet went through her photo gallery, watching videos and pictures of moments she spent with Inemesit. Tears rolled down her eyes uncontrollably
“Picasso I’m so sorry. I really miss you. Tomorrow, we were to go to the mall remember? We had plans for your special day. I know your mom did too. We never planned for things to go this way. So, I really would never hear you call me Pics Art again. Like ever. Best, I’m sorry. I wish you would come back”
Thoughts like this kept going through her mind till she slept off. She had barely shut her eyes when she felt a tap on her hand.
“Pics Art, wake up” She was startled to see Inemesit sitting beside her. Had Inem not ‘hushed’ her, she would have screamed.
“It’s I” she continued. Juliet just stared at her best friend.
“You know, my chest still aches” Juliet tried to touch her but her hands just won’t move.
“Picasso, I’m so sorry”
“Why? For the stab or what?”
Juliet bent her face to watch her toes so as to avoid Inem’s gaze.
“About the stab,” she finally spoke “I never meant to kill you. It was for your uncle”
“I know. I just came to wipe your tears. You don’t have to cry” Like she just remembered something, she added “Yeah, tomorrow is my birthday. Please spend it with my mom. Meet her at your mom’s office tomorrow before noon”
“I miss you Picasso”
Inem just stared at her and after what felt like hours, she finally replied taking her eyes off Juliet to watch her room door
“You’ld see me tomorrow” With that, Inem turned to leave.
“What does that even mean?” Juliet again tried to raise herself from the bed but failed. Her body felt like it was no longer hers. It felt too heavy to be lifted.
“Are you leaving so soon”Juliet asked
“I have to” Inem replied. After a while, she added “By the way, your mom is calling you. Inem finally opened the door and stepped out. Immediately, Juliet opened her eyes. She had been sleeping. It was a dream.
“Juliet!” Indeed, her mom was calling her.

The next morning, Mrs Becky and Mrs Dickson went to see Mrs Dickson’s doctor. After Inemesit had left her room the previous day, the pains in her legs became worse. Doctor Emmanuel felt her legs and ran some scans. Judging from the results, he informed her that the bones in her legs had gotten weaker and won’t be able to carry her.
“I’m sorry Mrs Dickson, but I’m afraid, youl’d have to be in this wheel chair for a while longer, probably the rest of your life. Or, if you agree, we could totally cut off your legs in exchange for artificials”
Mrs Becky opened her mouth in shock and fear but said nothing. She just stared at the people beside her. Mrs Dickson on her part just watched the both of them and smiled
“If this is what God has for me, then so be it. I can’t question him. I was brought up to believe in him and so had I trained my late child. Becky, please, let’s go to your office” she said. With that, Mrs Becky wheeled her out of the doctor’s office.
“Thank you doc” they both said before leaving.

“God? You want to wait on God? What if he wants you to have the swap?” Mrs Becky asked as soon as she and Mrs Dickson arrived her office.
“I won’t have any swap. If he wants me to walk again, he would strenghten my bones. But a
swap? No and that’s final. Let’s not talk futher about this”
At that point, there was a tap on the door
“Come in” Mrs Becky called.
“Good morning ma’ams”
“Oh. Inem, come on in” Mrs Dickson was quite excited to see her. Mrs Becky just stared at them. She was too shocked to say a word.
“Is Inem still alive? Impossible!” she thought to herself. Noticing the other lady’s reaction, Mrs Dickson continued, offering a sit beside her to Inem. Then turning to face Mrs Becky, she said
“She looks just like my late daughter right? Amazingly, her name is also Inemesit-Abasi”
“Wow. Inemesit, you are welcome. Forgive my manners, the resemblance is just too strong”
“Thank you detective” she replied with a smile. A smile that could be identified anywhere as that of the late Inem.
“I want to talk to the both of you”
“Okay Inem” Mrs Becky said “What”s it?”
Wearing the smile again, causing Mrs Becky to close her eyes, Inem said
“Late Mister Dickson”
“Who?” Mrs Becky asked with a tinge of doubt in her voice.
“Late Doctor Sam Dickson” Inem emphazised. On hearing this, Mrs Dickson merely sighed and bent her head.
“Is it important? How do you even know him?” Mrs Becky asked with a hint of anger in her voice.Without answering the question, Inem replied
“He wasn’t murdered”
On second thoughts, she added “He was suffocated, yes.

Gabriel, Doctor Dickson’s younger brother had come around. He had come in to visit his bedridden brother. The wall clock in the doctor’s room showed that the time was 2:10pm. Mr Dickson was talking to him about issues far from health complications. It seemed the doctor knew he was about to die. The two men were engrossed in their discussion when suddenly, the doctor started gasping for breath. Gabriel just stood over the doctor’s bed like he had done 25 years ago when he watched his mother die. In a bid to get Gabriel to call for help, Doctor Dickson threw a pillow at him. It didn’t help. Gabriel just stood there, this time, hugging the pillow. That was when Inemesit walked in and walked out unnoticed.

“Since you know so much about this, what killed him then?” Mrs Becky asked.
“Something all the doctors never saw coming. A growth in his lungs” Inem replied.
“Jesus” Mrs Dickson whispered.
“Who are you again?” Mrs Becky asked trying to swallow the recent discovery.
“It’s on the form”
Mrs Becky pulled the form to herself and scanned to the name column.
“What?” the detective exclaimed. Mrs Dickson snatched the form from her and read the name aloud
“Inemesit-Abasi Sam Dickson. My daughter? I don’t understand. You are supposed to be
“Can I use your toilet please? I’m pressed” Inem requested. The women just stared at her.
“I’ld take that as a yes. And don’t worry, I know my way around here”
With that, she walked out of the office. The women just kept staring at themselves with diffent thoughts going through their minds until there was another tap on the door. It was Juliet
“Hey mom. Good day Mrs Dickson” she greeted. The women just stared at her. Mrs Dickson was the first to break the silence.
“Juliet, how are you?”
“I’m fine mom. I got you a cake” Juliet said present a beautiful cake to her. It was coated in pink icing sugar and on it was inscribed “GLORIOUS 19”
“Wow. It’s beautiful. But, what’s it for?”
“It’s Inem’s birthday today, remember? I just wish she was here to celebrate it”
Again, the women looked at each other, then at Juliet again.

“Who is he? Where did he take you to?” her mom asked with tears in her eyes.
“He took me to the beach where he drew something in the sand and asked me to lie in it. Then, he breathed into my nostrils and I came back alive with a new body. But, he let the pains from the stab remain. His name is Jesus”

(final chapter)

In the detective’s office where everyone is in a state of confusion, Inem finally steps out of the rest room and walks into the office.
“Pics Art!” Inem screamed.
Watching her closely, Juliet asked
“Who are you? How do you know that name?”
“Pics Art, it’s I. If you don’t believe, I could tell you the origin of the name” Juliet just stared.
“Remember that day in school, when we first met, you…”
realising that this was really Inem, she cut her short
“No no no no” signalling to Inem the presence of the adults in the room. A sign that the story was a secret.
“Is this what you meant by I’ld see you today?”
“Hey! Juliet what are you talking about?”
“Mom, she came to me in my dream last night. She asked me to stop crying because I would see her today. Best, so this is really you”
They hugged each other. All this while, Mrs Dickson just watched.
“Inem, can you tell us what is going on? Your body is in the mortuary or, is it not yours?” Mrs Becky asked with fear and anger in her tone.
“He gave me a new body”
“He, who? Better start talking”
Juliet had to a take a sit. This was going to be long ride.
Turning to face her mother, Inem started:
“Mom, the day I turned 13, a man started visiting me. He kept visiting me every night at exactly eight pm. He taught me to always keep to time. This man was always dressed in white and he’s really handsome.”
It seemed nobody wanted to ask about this man, so Inem continued.
“He had come to visit me that fateful night. The same night I died twice”

Inem just stepped out of the kitchen that evening with her uncle at her heels screaming at her. The wall clock in the living room showed that the time was eight o’clock pm. Just then, a man dressed in a white apparel walked into the house. At the same minute, Inem turned to face her uncle but received a knife in her chest instead. She dropped dead on her face. Her uncle ran to her calling her name and shaking every bone left in her. The man in white walked to her body and tapped her on the shoulder and she got up. As they turned to walk out of the house, she heard her uncle crying. She turned to see why her uncle was crying considering she was alive and fine. It was then she realized that in her uncle’s arms, she laid dead. Her uncle pulled the knife out of her chest and wrapped his shirt around her body. Every move her uncle made intensified the pains of the stab from where she stood.
“Am I dead?” she asked the man.
“Follow me” was all he said. With that, he took her hand and led her out of the house. Immediately they got outside, the house started burning. Inem tried running into the house to help her uncle out, but the man stopped her.
“You are dead” he reminded her. He turned to watch another corner of the house and Inem followed his gaze. She saw Rose, their neighbour throw a jerrican into the fire and run out of the compound. Then she saw Juliet run for the exit too. But she hit her leg and fell. She couldn’t get up. She kept gasping for breath till she passed out.
“What is she doing here?”
“She gave you the gift in your chest”
“The knife? My bestfriend stabbed me?”
“No, she was only trying to protect you. That stab was for your uncle”
Inem turned to watch the burning house again. She felt herself burning within the four walls of that house. She watched everything her father had ever worked for burn to ashes in one night. Red flames rose higher past the windows of that bungalow to it’s roof. She didn’t see her uncle come out. She watched herself die a second time. Then the man led her out of the compound.

“Who is he? Where did he take you to?” her mom asked with tears in her eyes.
“He took me to the beach where he drew something in the sand and asked me to lie in it. Then, he breathed into my nostrils and I came back alive with a new body. But, he let the pains from the stab remain. His name is Jesus”
“Jesus? Are you talking of miracles?” Mrs Becky asked with a note of sarcasn.
“Yes, a miracle. The same miracle that brought Juliet back to life”
“How do you know that?” Mrs Becky asked. Inem smiled.


At the hospital:
Inemesit and a man in white apparel stand holding hands beside Juliet’s sick bed. Inem seems to be in tears but none is rushing down her eyes. They are both watching Juliet and her mum. Mrs Becky takes her daughter’s hand in her’s crying. It is at this point Inem asks the man beside her:
“Is she going to die?” Inem asked the man.
“Unless someone prays for her. But not you”
Quickly, Inem went to where Mrs Becky knelt and whispered to her

“But you were busy searching for who spoke to you. I had to shout the next time I said it
because Juliet was loosing time. You prayed and he cleared her lungs and he breathed a
fresh breath into her lungs. That was his sign, preparing you for today. As for Rose, she
needs a psychiatrist rather than a prison. She has a psychasthenia best explained by a
“Yes mom. He sent me with a sign to you too”
Inem walked to her mother and raised her from her chair then left her to stand on her own. Mrs Dickson wobbled for a while and then stood still. Her legs no longer ached. Her bones were firm. She was healed.
“Do you need another sign?” Inem asked Mrs Becky. The young woman in response rose, hugged her once lost daughter with tears of submission then dropped to her knees proclaiming
“Indeed, there is a God. Jesus is Lord”


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