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The Guilt

Deborah is a novel lover and a Writer. She has written many short stories. She knows how to make her readers keep scrolling down.

the-guilt

THE GUILT

Her mother had always told her that ‘good name is better than riches’ but did she listen? She was the kind of woman that had always wanted to live a good and stress-free life and she wouldn’t let the opportunity pass her by, now that it has come- and come to her.

She lived in the little two room apartment with her husband in MacVilla and they did plan on moving out as soon as they had the means. Her husband, Jerry worked as a teacher in Higher Learners High School, MacVilla. He was a calm man with a welcoming smile and a dimple which makes his profession suite him. She, Sharon was a receptionist at BJ Global Resources in Maitama, a town outside MacVilla but not so far. Meeting people was her job and she had just meet Kingsley Morgan.

It was 4pm and the evening was beginning to set up. Men and women looking stressed out from the days job waving down cabs, families and single mothers going into the shopping mall, students returning from extramural lessons and people walking aimlessly on the pedestrian. Sharon was dressed in a pink short gown, black heels and a pink bag. She wore a dark-colored human hair and a dangling earring with a red sensual lipstick. She was seated in the Lovers Garden with one of her boss’s client.

Kingsley was a well-built man and handsome as well but mostly carried a serious face. He was a man of little words. He had met Sharon at her desk and found her of good use. All he needed to do was to offer her money. Something he knew that people can hardly say no to.

‘I have a preposition for you.’ Said Kingsley sitting opposite her.

Sharon nodded.

‘I want you to give me the address of your boss. His house address.’ He emphasized. Now he was watching her closely to see her expression. She was already saying no: ‘And his one weakness,’ he concluded.

Sharon was getting her handbag ready to leave, ‘I am not interested.’

‘It’s not for free.’ Said Kingsley relaxed.

Sharon paused. That hard-to-get character girls did to boys before getting a boyfriend did not work here. She calmed down but said nothing.

‘Ten thousand dollars in cash for just his address and his weakness. I don’t think anyone in their right senses could say no to that.’

Sharon was silent for a while. She needed money. They needed to get a new apartment outside of MacVilla and she had always wanted to live that comfortable life that money was denying her. it wouldn’t do no harm to give someone just a little piece of information, or would it? ‘When do you need the information?’ she asked

‘Now is best.’ He said looking into her eyes. It was no more the eyes of Mr. Kingsley, her boss’s client. It was the eyes of evil, but Sharon cared less. His boss should settle any score he has with his clients; for her the money is all she needed. She asked, ‘the money?’

Kingsley brought out an envelope and gave her which she quickly put in her bag. She brought out a note book, wrote down the address and one more thing: his boss’s weakness. Women.

XXXX

It was 8 am in the morning. It was a Saturday morning; she had waited for this day since the beginning of the week. She needed rest but her night wasn’t much better as it had always been. She remembered waking up twice last night and turning on her bed. Not that she was dreaming or had a bad dream but her mind wasn’t as rest. And sitting on the couch in the sitting room, her conscience nudged at her. ‘what if’ questions kept crawling into her head. She might have made a mistake collecting that money.

Jerry walked in and kissed Sharon on the head. He loved Sharon from the day he had met her at the shopping mall in Bridgeton Junction. She was smiling at an attendant and her courtesy towards an elderly woman in the mall drew his heart. He walked up to her that evening, sure he has seen the woman he will marry- and introduced himself as a teacher. Sharon had smiled at him and jerry kept smiling throughout that week. A year later, they were married and he couldn’t have wished for a better woman. Sharon was intelligent, gentle and a beauty having that great figure eight shape that every female that saw her wished they had. She was of average height and carried herself well. Two years into their marriage, jerry was still thanking God for Sharon.

He sat down beside her and smiled. Sharon smiled back and wondered whether she was doing the right thing. She thought about Jerry and could not imagine breaking the gentle man’s heart over her greed and stupidity. She had to tell her husband about the money but how does she start.

Kingsley alighted from his Toyota Avensis at the parking lot; he walked inside the ‘friends bar’. He looked at his watch. It was eight o’clock. Good timing. The lady was already seated. He drew his seat and waved away the waiter that was approaching them. If there was anywhere that was good for a business talk, it was a bar. He never shows anyone his house. He preferred to live anonymous and it was important. Kingsley had picked Rose among the four girls that Paul had presented to him at his request. Paul, the owner of the bar downtown was the dealer in wanted girls for services and people actually called his for that. Rose was a beauty but with brains. That was the most important combination. She was quiet and observant and sitting across him at the table, Kinsley knew that she will deliver well.

Kingsley brought out a note that had the address of Sharon’s boss. Stanley Wood. She looked at it. House 8, Prince way avenue, Games Villa. Having soaked it in, she raised her head for instructions.

‘He is of average height, has a wavy black hair and a bulging stomach. He drives a Land Cruiser Prado. Name is Stanley wood. I want him dead.’ He said

Rose was shaken inside but did not let him see it. She had done other jobs before. Steal documents, set up someone’s husband, made someone lose his job, making a man drunk and robbing him – but this one: to kill, she didn’t think she was interested any more.

‘Twenty thousand dollars.’ He said without taking his eyes off hers. ‘I want results before Wednesday.’ He concluded without waiting for a response and gave her another note with a message. ‘Give it to him when he is dying.’

She made to say something but he swiftly dropped an envelope in front of her. ‘That’s ten thousand dollars. You get the rest when you are done with the job.’ He pushed a paper to her. ‘Your account number.’

She wrote down the account details slowly. Her will didn’t seem to agree to her body but she did not have the boldness to turn back. She gave him the paper and he was up.

XXXX

Sharon was seated behind her desk but her expression was sad and she was far from the present. Her make-up could not conceal the worry in her face. Not so good for a Monday. It was five minutes past nine in the morning. She had to prepare tea for her boss, his usual recipe. She set the kettle on, brought out the cup from the cupboard and a sachet of coffee and two cubes of sugar. She was professional in it and prepared it just the way he liked it. She reached for the intercom and dialed his office; getting an approval to come in, she carried the tray and walked towards his office, gave a small knock on the mahogany door and went inside.

Right inside, Stanley was at his window dressed in a white shirt tucked in a plain grey ironed trouser and a striped grey tie to match. The tie was loosed and his face was troubled. He was peering at his phone, his hands shaking and some beads of sweat on his face which he wiped with his handkerchief.

‘Sir?’ Sharon called.

it’s payback time, pal. the message read. Anonymous

He looked at Sharon and waved her away. She dropped the tray but he asked her to take it with her. He had lost his taste for it. He sank on his seat thinking who could have sent him such a message but he couldn’t think of anyone. He felt he had wronged no one. He had no enmity with no one. But here the message was telling him that he was wrong.

The girl was standing in the next house, looking stranded. She had her knee red and she seemed to be crying. Stanley looked at his watch it was quarter past six in the evening. She thought what a blonde beauty was doing some meters away from his house. He parked, came down and walked up to her. she was dressed in a white short gown and an ankle boot. Her hand bag was hung over her shoulders.

‘Hey.’ Stanley said. ‘what’s wrong?’

The girl gave him no attention. But he went on anyways. ‘My name is Stanley.’ At this she gave a little smile and told him her name was Rose. He asked her to come in and together they went into his house. he did the normal ritual of asking what she did like to eat or drink but she declined. She sat down on one of the couch and intentionally let her gown go up her laps. She knew he would not ignore her. he came to sit beside her and was about speaking when she said, ‘Do you have some wine?’

‘Of course,’ Stanley replied. He rushed to the kitchen and returned with two glasses of grape wine which he handed one to her. She lifted it to her lips, sipped a little and allowed some to spill on her dress.

‘Oh, I am very sorry,’ she said.

‘no, no, not to worry.’ Stanley was up to get a handkerchief for her.

Rose swung to action. She unzipped her bad and brought out a bottle. She poured the whole content into Stanley’s glass, and returned the bottle. Her heart beat fast, her conscience judging her. She wanted to run away as fast as she could and not look back. If there was anything she knew- she wouldn’t forgive herself.

She made to be arranging her dress as Stanley walked in. He gave her the handkerchief and she wiped her dress. She took her glass again and drank all the content. Stanley followed suit. It wasn’t a while he was feeling a terrible sensation in his pit. Rose brought out a paper containing Kingsley’s message and gave it Stanley. His eyes were growing blur already. He couldn’t speak. He collected the paper with shaking hands: I told you eight years ago that I would have my revenge. You implicated me with hard drugs and left me to suffer in jail. I hope you have a painful death.

Wilson Jack

Also known as:

Kingsley Morgan

In his drawing breath, Stanley could recall his guilt some eight years ago. He was working with his boss then at the Cowell Pharmaceuticals and he was the Assistant Head of Department. There was going to be a promotion taking Wilson, his colleague as the Head of Department after the retirement of the former. He was bitter. He planted the drugs in his cupboard and his car the day Willson had dropped him off, him claiming that his car was faulty. Two days after the promotion when Stanley accused him of taking a file of his, his office was searched and the drugs was found and to double the claim, the drug found in his car gave them enough proof they needed.

He was arrested and trialed and remained in prison for 7 years. Stanley was promoted in his stead to Head of Department of the Organization and Wilson needed no soothsayer to tell him that Stanley was behind it. Stanley remembered saying to Wilson the day he visited him at the cell ‘nobody takes my place’ and Wilson had sworn bitterly that he would pay for it no matter how long it took him.

In his dying state, Stanley looked at Rose, pains in his eyes and dropped dead on the rugged floor.

The evening was lovely and Sharon was pleased to be home at that time. She had had a stressful day and most especially as her boss had not come in today. She wondered why. She had not had any call from him telling her that he’d absence today or the previous day; well tomorrow is another day. She was sure he would come to work. she sat on the couch and grabbed the television remote, turned on the evening news and ……….

The news stream was already half way in the middle but not far enough for Sharon to understand what was being said ‘……….. was found in his apartment by his neighbour, lifeless today morning who reported it to the Authorities today Wednesday at the early hours of 8 am. He was suspected to have died from poiso……’

Sharon did not wait to hear the rest. She quickly changed the channel and met the same news with heading CEO of BJ Global Resources found dead in his apartment. She screamed which brought her husband running in to find Sharon in tears. He didn’t ask her what had happened. The news had said it all. Sharon sat motionless on the floor. She had betrayed her boss, betrayed herself to greed and what’s more, she could feel the weight of his death on her hands. Her conscience throbbed. What will her husband think of her? How will she live with herself? She didn’t know Kingsley Morgan well or his house only that he was a client of his boss. She hadn’t touched the money. Couldn’t touch it. It had betrayed her to her peace.

Sharon knew her heart would never know rest. She would carry the guilt for the rest of her life. She looked at her husband and remembered the words of her mother, good name is better than riches.

© 2022 Deborah Osadjere

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