The story I am about to tell is rather a pathetic one but I know anyone that hear it would learn a lot. Its a story of greed, lust and murder. Its a story about my aunt and her family including me as well.

I could still remember how it all began that afternoon. My cousin Tola and I returned from school looking very famished and tired. My uncle had only a day before asked us to stay till 4:pm in school .he had insisted that we must partake in the extra two and half hour lessons that still defied my reasoning. Tola and I had aunty Maria who usually helped us with our assignments and also taught us at home. Did we still need any extra lessons in school? The answer to me was No.

That afternoon, Tola and I returned in the school bus and hurried and hurried at once into the house. Aunty Maria had gone out with the driver to God- knew- where. That was what Adamu , the security man had told us.They must have gone to the market, Tola reasoned. I could see his face crumpled into a frown.
What about mummy ? I echoed , turning to Adamu . Hasnt she returned? . Adamu shook his head in negation but quickly said , she came house and go now now again.
I knew what he meant by that, because all my life I d always known Adamu as the security man. I have been living with them as a very small girl and Tola was just seven while I was sixteen . you mean Mummy came home and left almost immediately ? I reechoed, staring woodenly at the security man , I was surprised because it was unlike Mummy to return home at that time. Why did she come home? Did she forget something? I shrugged and led Tola into the house. We hurried upstairs and kicked off our shoes and uniforms on our beds .

I am hungry, Tola cried incessantly. Hed said that more than a hundred times that day. Mummy said he was like his father who liked food so much. I opened my lunch box, his face turned again into disappointing grin. He grunted and turned away. What is it? I asked him.
I said I am hungry, he cried again. I didnt say I was thirsty. What do you mean? My eyes were searching. He pointed at the food and quickly exit the room. I sensed at once that he thought what Id offer him wasnt large enough to satisfy him. Why dont you manage this first and wait for Aunty Maria? My voice trailed him as he went down the stairs. He didnt reply me. Obviously, he was angry I angry because he was hungry. My cousin was always like that .I ignored him and began to wear my clothes .When I got back downstairs, I was shocked to see him busy eating daddys meal at the dinning table.

Thats daddys food ; I screamed you cant . Youmustnt eat daddys food he said nothing .he simply went on eating away the food. I also said nothing and just reclined in the sofa to watch T.V. about six minutes later mummys car roared to a halt in the compound . I drew the curtain and grimmed mummys back ! I screamed . Tola said nothing as he simply went on eating the food.
The main door swung open quickly, and mummy came into the room. Esther! she screamed. Are you back? Her voice was full of fear and I could see that she was worried about something. Where is your brother? she asked quickly, I pointed towards the dinning table. Oh my God! she cried. Hey, this boy has killed me, Tole! she cried, Tola who was still licking his fingers was shocked at his mothers strange attitude. I was shocked too, she ran into the toilet in the guest room and pour the remaining food into the toilet after coming back into the sitting room she took Tolas hand and dragged him into her room upstairs asking why he had to eat his fathers food. The food was meant for your father not you, son, she said still crying. While facing her fore-inger down Tolas throat. He yelled painfully and began to vomit. Why didnt you wait for Maria or me? She crieds. I must take you at once to the hospital. suddenly mummys phone ranged. Fred, please call me back later, Im in a middle of something now, She said hurriedly and put down the phone. More she put her finger in his throat and again more than before Tola Vomit and spat into the sink. I couldnt help just looking anymore so I asked Mummy Mummy is it bad to eat what was meant for Daddy? Shut up! she snapped angrily and sent me a hot blazing look. Just then daddys car screeched to a halt in the compound.

Palm Oil! She screamed and ran down stairs to get it, on her way she met with daddy, who asked her of his food, she said shed set the table now. Daddy went to his room and came down some minute later freshened up and went straight to the dining table, she set the food and he started eating. To say I was shocked at her behavior could be an understatement because she sat beside him at the table and covered her face with an old fashion magazine, she seems to have forget everything about Tola.

Just then, Aunty Maria came in with some bags they must be food items I thought, last why did mummy send Aunty Maria this time? Was the question in my head. Here is the change ma aunty Maria said. Go to my room and bring my bag. Its on the bed. Mummy told her, just then my uncle asked about Tola, he is upstairs I said and turned back to the tv. It was that instant that it happened, aunty Marias cry rang out and took the whole building.
My uncle and his wife ran upstairs only to find aunty Maria weeping like a baby. what happened? they asked, she said nothing but only pointed at the door, we all went inside only to find Tolas body lying lifelessly on the floor. He was dead. My uncle said and wept bitterly as we all do.

Mourners suddenly began to come in their hundreds. Tolas body was taken immediately to the mortuary. The next day, all in black we headed to the cemetery for the burial.A week after Tolas death I resumed school again alone. The mystery surrounding Tolass death disturbed me even the more. He died after eating the food my aunt had kept for my uncle. Was the food poisoned? Who poisoned it? My aunt? Was she trying to kill my uncle? The more I thought about it, the more difficult it was for me to imagine that my aunt could kill my uncle. Why would she want to do that? I shook off the idea. My uncle wasnt a poor man. He is rich and lacked nothing. Why then would my aunt think of harming him? But why did she behave the way she did the day Tola had died? Why did she try to force him to vomit the food? Was it because she knew it was poisoned? Was that what really killed Tola? These are all the unanswerable questions that came to my head.
It was painful and hurting me inside and seems to be killing me, the more I tried to stop thinking about it, the more it remained in my head. you cant turn yourself into a hermit, aunty Tosin my uncles younger sister tried to console me. She cheered me up and made sure I had anything I asked of. Aunty Tosin had just finished her youth service and was billed to travel soon to Germany to join her husband. She was a very nice person who made sure I was happy all the time.
I was already used to aunty Tosin and always wanted to be with her when the message came that month ,that her visa was ready and was going to travel by the end of the month. I wish I could go with her.I said tearfully. I tried all I could to stop her from going but all to no avail. Now it was only a week remaining for her to travel and while I was still wishing that there was anything I can do to stop her.
But something strange happened that week; something that was going to keep aunty Tosin longer than I expected. Although it was what I prayed for that she should stay longer, but it left bitter pills for us to swallow in its trails. Tragedy struck like a brutal demon.

Aunty Tosin had gone to the salon to braid her hair in preparation for her trip which was only two days away. She had thought she would finish on time and come over to my school as usual to take me home. She couldnt make it so, when it was closing, I went to the waiting room to wait for her .The school bus had left and parents were coming in ones and twos to pick their wards patiently, I waited staring at my wrist watch.
Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned and was disappointed to see my aunt staring at me. Aunty Tosin couldnt make it, she said , she called me a while ago. I hissed and followed her to the car. you look tired, she winked. Hop into the back sit and catch some sleep. I thought it was not a bad idea as I was not in the mood for any form of discussion with her. Sitting in front could create that opportunity. I opened the back door and flung myself in. she drove the car out of the school premises and ran into the terrible traffic. I shot my eyes and tried to force myself to catch some sleep.

Then I heard a voice saying Fred, it was my aunts voice. please give me some more time. I dont want to make another mistake again the last one claimed the life of my only son. My aunt was talking on the phone. Because she was driving and thought I was sleeping, she had the phone on speaker. I cant wait any longer Mary, it was the voice of the man from the other end. I heard it clearly from my aunts phone. I think you should let me handle it. Fred my aunts voice was shrill and piercing. she just lost her only child . i suggest we hold on for a while. thats silly replied Fred from the other end. I cant believe this is coming from you. You are the one that had always wanted him dead. Sometimes you talk as if you dont love me anymore. Dont go there Fred she snagged you know thats not true . you knew deep inside that I love you more than anyone.


Then lets do this thing and get out of the country as we planned earlier. ButI can handle it . just trust me the conversation ended soon . my head was pounding now .it was obvious now that my aunt had killed Tola with the initial intention of poisoning my uncle . a nagging headache was talking if toil on me by the time we reached home . I went upstairs to my room and threw myself on the bed I couldnt take my mind off what my aunt and the faceless man called Fred had discussed on the phone that day .my body was now on fire . I was shivering and cold , with trembling hands ,I covered myself up with blanket .I was still in my school uniform . I didnt know how long it took before my uncle arrival.
I felt his hand touch my fore head . Esther , he said softly , you are ill and I must take you at once to see the doctor .soon I was driving with him to the hospital . my heart was burning. I wanted to tell him about the conversation I heard that afternoon but the more I thought about it, the more difficult it was to tell him .i seemed I was standing before the devil and the deep blue sea .after seeing the doctor ,my uncle took me back home . Id totally forgotten when I meet aunty Tosin at home . later that day my uncle drove his car out of the compound never to return again to us .

He was shot in the head and chest by unknown gunmen that night he was taken to the home town for burial , it was like a dream six month later we were all back in the city after aunt was through mourning my uncle . later that year my aunt want to celebrate her birthday and use the opportunity to bring the so called man Fred but now introducing him to me as an uncle ,I greeted him and the lady with him whom he claimed to be his wife to him , they all went inside , while I withdrew to the room to make some call s, I called the inspector who came together with the police later in the afternoon for his usual investigation . we have later invited him also to the party that night .so that I can use the opportunity to open up to him.
He had arrived and I took him to my room and explained everything to him with the evidence of audio record which I took from the conversation of Uncle Fred and my aunt later that evening before the party began. The inspector was very happy about the information.

Two days later, three policemen came to the house to arrest my aunt in connection with my uncles death. Somehow, they tracked down her boyfriend and when they were interrogated, the police were amazed at the revelations. From the two love birds. They were subsequently charged to court. The police needed me to testify. I was willing to tell what I knew, that she killed Tola my cousin and my uncle who knows? I might be the next victim.

I appeared in court and said what I knew. My aunt was sentenced for life while Fred who pleaded guilty for my uncles murder got a death sentence.

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