Read Chapter 49 here.
“Huh, like father like goddaughter, huh?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, the late honorable called me up one day asking me to investigate and confirm if his wife was having an affair.”
“He did?” Ayesha asked, raising a brow, sounding impressed.
“And she was, wasn’t she?”
“Well, that is confidential.”
“Well, I know she was and is still now…with same guy.”
“Then what do you need my services for?”
“For foolproof evidence. That’s the only way I can get her to hear me.”
“Really? What happened to good old face-to-face conversation?”
“You think I haven’t tried that? So what, are you going to help me out?”
“At a good price, of course I can. And since it’s about someone I’ve already investigated, I could throw that in as added value.”
Ayesha beamed. “You would? That’d be fantastic. So this is what I want you to do…”
“Hmm…another scandal brewing.”
“A teaser from the Fourth Estate; captioned Cheating Wife Revealed: Victim or Suspect?”
“Sounds lame. What’s Fourth Estate, a gossip blog?”
“More of an investigative website. Most of their reveals turn out to be big news. I wonder who the wife could be. All their targets I believe, have been men; so for a woman to get their attention, then it must be a big story.”
“Why do they always make a big deal out of women cheating? Men do it all the time! And guess who they do it with? Women. Why shame women for claiming sexual liberty?”
“Well, let’s see. The story breaks tomorrow at noon. Fingers crossed.”
“Whatever it is, it will blow over. These bloggers need to get a life and stop digging into others’ private lives.”
Ida giggled as she stared at her phone. She took a sip from the wine glass in her hand.
“Who’s tickling you like that?” Nadia asked.
“Yaw, the fitness trainer.”
“The one you…you mean the Yaw of sometime ago?”
“Yeah, same one.”
“You have resumed communication?”
“Yeah. I’ve actually resumed training with him.”
“Since when? When did that happen?”
“After I became MP.”
“He just happened to show up after dad died?”
“That’s an unfair point of reference, sweetie. He showed up at my party celebrating my MP win and we sort of hit it off.”
“You mean rekindled the flame.”
Ida shrugged and sipped her wine.
“So what, are you his cougar or what? He should have a girlfriend, right?”
“Some guys are into older women, you know.”
“So where does he see whatever you have going? In holy matrimony?”
Ida chuckled. “Come on, one marriage in a lifetime is good enough for me. I’m all married out.”
“So what is he lingering around for, money?”
“I am good company, dear. In fact, I am great company. He just can’t get enough of me.”
“Hope the boys haven’t forgotten about me.”
“No, they haven’t. They keep asking when they will see you. I’m pushing my dad to do all he can to get you out of here, Jamal.”
“And do you think he’ll come through? I must say, I’m running out of hope.”
“I know it’s not easy holding on to hope in such a place but I’m asking you to please not give up. I strongly believe this will all be over soon,” Ayesha said, holding her husband’s hand as tightly as she could.
“If you say so. I really want to come home.”
“I need you home. The kids need you more.”
“I miss them so much,” Jamal said, his voice heavy with emotion.
“They miss you too, honey. Hang in there. This will all be over soon.”
Ida was in a meeting when her phone rang. She took a quick look at the screen and read Nadia’s name. She silenced it. A few seconds later, it rang again. She ignored it. Then her phone began beeping frantically. She asked her assistant to put in her drawer and close it.
Ninety minutes later, she returned to her office. She sighed when she sat down. She called her PA.
“Please get me some plantain and groundnuts. And smoothie. Thanks.”
She began looking around for her phone but she couldn’t find it. When the PA returned, she looked uncomfortable as she served Ida.
“Are you okay? Why are you acting all awkwardly?”
“You haven’t seen it, have you?”
“Seen what? Did I give you my phone? Can’t seem to find it.”
“It’s in your drawer as you instructed.”
Ida opened it and took out the phone.
“Ei…thirteen calls? Five hundred messages from thirty chats? What’s going on?” Ida asked and looked up at her PA who swallowed.
Her phone rang. It was Tariq.
“Where are you?”
“In my office. Just closed from a meeting. What’s up?”
“Stay there. I’m coming to you. Don’t go anywhere.”
“Why, what’s going on?”
“Nothing that hasn’t happened before. I’ll be there in the next half hour.”
“Okay; I’ll be here. Bye.” She ended the call. She was about to say something when she realized her PA had disappeared from the room.
“What’s up with her?”
She put the phone down and started eating.
When Tariq arrived in her office, Ida was listening to CNN news.
“Hi T, what is going on that made you sound all worked up on the phone?”
“Did you know that Omar hired a private investigator to follow you and that trainer?”
“What are you talking about?”
“There’s a video running wild on the internet of you sneaking around with that dude…a mashup actually.”
“You are kidding me, right?”
“You think I’ll leave my work behind and rush here to prank you?”
Tariq took his phone and played the video for her. Ida gasped.
“How…how did this go out?”
“Did you know, Ida?”
“Know that he had you two followed?”
“I suspected at a point but he always denied so I left it. Why does it matter?”
“Then it makes you a suspect in Omar’s case.”
“What? This video is from years ago. We broke it off at a point.”
“At a point? Is that to suggest you two are back together? Come on, Ida. Seriously, he can’t be that great in bed that you can’t let him go.”
“Actually, he kind of is.” When Tariq raised a brow, she shrugged. “He is, T.”
“Well, he’s going to get you into trouble especially it comes to light that you two assumed your amorous relationship soon after Omar’s death.”
“But I’m still a fairly young woman with all my faculties functioning properly. How long should I mourn and so deprive myself of bodily pleasures? Don’t you men start spying for a replacement at the funeral grounds of the dead wife?”
“Now we have to find out who leaked it and why now? Could it be political?”
“Could be personal. And I can think of only one person.”
“Who stands to benefit if I become a suspect in my husband’s death?”
“Oh yes. And you better tell her that I’m coming for her. This war she has started, she won’t win. I’ll teach her that I raised her and not the other way round.”
“Calm down and let’s think this through.”
“There’s nothing to think through. I’m going to hit her when it hurts the most and she’ll never forget.”
“Issuing threats isn’t going to get us anywhere. We need to kill this story as soon as possible.”
“You worry your head over that. I’ll defend myself accordingly,” Ida said and called Ayesha’s number. It went unanswered.
She sent her a voice message: “Pray it’s another enemy pulling this stunt or else if I find out it’s you, I so won’t take it lightly, dear. If you know what’s good for you, you better call back and let’s talk.”
“Don’t you womenfolk know to calm down, think and talk things through instead of going into a room with guns blazing? Whatever each one of us does has ripple effects on the rest of us. How could you forget that?”
“I’m not the one you should be directing that question to, T. Tell your possibly sex-starved daughter to think with her head. Seriously, if she’s merely missing her husband, she should go out there and get laid! After all, she was screwing my husband for years and leave the rest of us to manage ourselves.”
Tariq called Ayesha. No answer.
“I’ll find her. Please don’t give any comment to any media person till we come up with a plan to deal with this. Together,” Tariq advised, stressing the last word.
“I’m only a reactor, Riq. If she behaves herself, you won’t have a problem with me.”
“For me, please. You promise?”
“Sorry, can’t promise anything now.”
“Just hold your horses. I’ll be in touch,” Tariq said and left her office.
Nadia and Ayesha were having ice-cream together when Nadia’s phone rang.
“Hello mum. Ayesha? Yeah, she’s here with me. What’s up?” Nadia put the phone on loud speaker.
“Yes, Auntie. How are you doing, Honorable?”
“Cut the pretense, woman. What stunt do you think you’re pulling?”
Nadia and Ayesha shared a confused look.
“Are you telling me you don’t know of the video of me going around?”
“What video, mum?” Nadia asked.
“I’m sending you a link. Watch it and call me back in five,” Ida said and ended the call.
“What trouble could be brewing now?” Nadia asked as she opened her WhatsApp chat with her mother. The link dropped and she opened it. Nadia gasped while Ayesha gaped in shock. Nadia looked at Ayesha.
“I had nothing to do with this, I swear.”
Nadia started reading the article that broke the story.
“Dad had mum followed?”
“Are you surprised? You remember when he was arrested at the airport with drugs? It surely had your father all over it,” Ayesha said.
“So you knew?”
“No, but I wouldn’t if he actually did. But why would she think I’d be behind this?”
“Because according to the story, it sort of implies my mum has a motive for ending dad.”
“But she has broken up with him, right? Why would she end him over a dead relationship?” Ayesha asked.
“They are back together? Seriously? Since when?”
“When she won the MP seat.”
Nadia’s phone rang. She answered.
“Didn’t I say you should call me back?”
“Calm down, mum. It’s not doomsday.”
“Well, it’s mine. I’ve an image to protect.”
“Which one, as a faithful wife or a loving mother?”
“Watch your tone, woman. Ayesha, if you have something to say, say it now or forever hold your peace.”
“I’m humbled to have you think that I’m capable of coming across this material and publishing it. I know I’m desperate to get my husband out but why would I go this far?” Ayesha said.
“I’m listening to you and all I’m hearing is crap of lies. Take it down or things will get ugly,” Ida threatened and ended the call.
“Wow, she sounds very pissed.”
“Tell me the truth Aye, did you leak this?”
“Just tell me the truth. I will understand if you did.”
“I didn’t.” They stared at each other.
“I’m going to deal with Ayesha in a way that she’ll regret.”
“She didn’t do it, mum,” Nadia told her when she arrived home in the evening.
“And you’re sure how? You swore it by her mum’s grave?”
“I know because I did.”
“Yeah, it was me.”
“I thought if we can cause reasonable doubt that Jamal didn’t do it, he could be set free. But this reveal wouldn’t be compelling enough to get you convicted. It is a win-win.”
“So you risked my political career because of Ayesha’s husband? Why, are you two sharing him?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, mum,” Nadia said, walking away. “I hope you’re not covering for Ayesha because I’m not going to let this go.”
“Do your worst, mum.”
“Or trust me, I will.”
(c) Josephine Amoako 2021
Read Chapter 51 here.