A story written by INEGBENOISE OSEODION OSAGIE. (07068221839, 08093828575, [email protected])
The courtroom was getting empty. Erneto Aives staffs stopped by Jide before they headed for the door. Some asked if anything could be done to get their CEO out of the mess. Jide told them Richard was not guilty but refused to explain how. He told them to go home and pray the truth unfolded itself. Most left without smiles and few left with smiles. Lauren wondered how those few managed to smile.
She glanced at the few remaining in the courtroom and found she wasn’t the only one without smiles. The woman sitting by her was without, the one Jide said called Richard to the crime scene. Lauren wished she could hate her.
The woman rose and properly wrapped her camisole with its jacket. “I’m leaving, Jide.”
Jide offered a ride. She declined and stalked to the door. Lauren watched her and felt a speck of her pain.
“She must be very close to Richard,” Lauren said to Jide.
“Yes. I suppose she needs some time alone. I can imagine what she would be feeling.”
“How about you try talking to Rick’s wife. If she confesses and—”
“She wouldn’t. Rick’s lawyer said she shouldn’t be contacted.”
She gazed at the position where the wife had sat during the hearing and tried to carve out the look on her face, the look when the charges against her husband were read. “She might confess. She might.”
Jide looped a hand round her neck, faced her and muttered. “Nobody likes prison. Getting her to confess would be impossible. Proving it is better and more possible than a confession.”
His dimple marks had completely disappeared. A meandered vein followed the edge of his head, and the blood caged in them struggled for freedom.
“I would love to visit Richard,” she said.
“You are not on his visiting list.”
“Can’t you make it happen?”
“You could come with me on my next visit.”
“That will be when?”
“Thursday. I’ll pick you.”
Thursday was free, or she could make it free.
“I want to go home. Dad must have begun worrying.”
He removed his hands from her neck. “If you touch the steering now, the police might ask for license.”
She unzipped her purse and brought out a license card.
“They would know the difference between a fake and a real,” he said.
“This is real.”
His eyes sharpened as he took it from her.
“I clocked eighteen last month.”
“You didn’t tell me. I would have tried a birthday present.”
“With all of this going on, I wouldn’t want a present.”
She stood up and his eyes followed her up.
“You’ve grown tall,” he said. “Tall and beautiful.”
Every man said those to a woman, daddies told their daughters. It could mean nothing. It meant nothing.
A tiny dimple formed on his cheek. There was no dimple, only an imagination. Sometimes, imaginations were good.
To Be Continued….