Chapter 1

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'It is done,' he said, wielding a dagger and looking at me with bloodshot eyes that have seen the evil of the world and then some. I used to be scared of him, terrified even!

He stands a solid foot and a half over me, with blood shot eyes and a scarred, rugged face that always seems to be sweating.

Then he speaks, and that voice will make any sane human being piss their pants in fear. I was damn sure he could snap me like a dry twig if I made him angry.

But I'm no longer scared. In fact, now that I have his mumu button, I like to rile him up to see how long before he loses it.

'I don't believe you.'

'I said, it is Done!'

'Prove it to me,' I said. 'Prove it to me that Yasmina Ghaleb no longer exists.'

'Yasmina Ghaleb is DEAD!' He shouted and it echoed against the walls of the dirty alleyway.

'I'll take your word for it. But if I should see or-'

'You'll see nothing! Unless you're dead too,' he inched closer and closer, aiming his sharp, glistening dagger menacingly towards my neck. The smell of his breath made my stomach churn.

'Ha! Go ahead Muda,' I sniggered to his face. 'You've had many chances to slit my throat, but here you stand yet again. Threatening. Why is that?'

He inched his dagger closer and let out an angry grunt.

'I guess it's because we both know you need me.'

I reached into my tote and took out a bundle of mint condition 500 Naira notes and flung it metres away. It landed between some green moss and a dirty puddle.

On seeing what it was Muda pounced at it. Grabbing the flyaway notes and cleaning the debris against his sweaty polo shirt.

I hovered over him as he was on his knees clutching the notes hungrily between his pudgy fingers. His eyes, hungry and desperate. A far cry from the man threatening me seconds ago.

'Make no mistake Muda, you need me more than I need you. And the next time you threaten me, I'll be the one doing the slitting to that thing you love the most.'

Even as I walked away I could feel his eyes follow me, from the dingy alley to the road and finally into my Honda, hating my guts but loving my money.

The feeling was mutual, I hate his lack of personal hygiene but love that he does my dirty jobs for me.

Most of all, I love that thanks to him, Yasmina Ghaleb is out of the picture.

Forever.

⭕️ Saturday, 2nd May

I walked into the foyer and the first thing I could think of was "God! This place is noisy!"

But what was I expecting? A quiet laid back gathering? Not a chance! They've been looking forward to this day since the day the doctor cut the umbilical cord and pronounced "it's a girl!"

Probably even earlier. So expecting them to throw a low key gathering (like it's supposed to be!) was totally out of the question.

Judging by the sheer volume of Vinnci shoes at the entrance hall, there were easily at least 100 women cramped into this four bedroom bungalow. Many secretly hoping that when their daughters' turn comes, it'll be bigger and better than this one.

The smoky smell of woody incense was flittering out the door which was un characteristically wide open before I got there.

Ordinarily I would have been greeted at the door by sugar-fueled little children but thanks to all these women laughing and gossiping, the only thing that came my way was the blinding, sparkling brightness of all the bling hanging from their wrists, ears, necks and fingers. In contrast, I may as well be invisible.

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