Azuka’s roommates had held her back one evening from returning to the psycho, who had on several occations given her a black eye without any remorse. But she had screamed like a naughty child and said they should leave her alone.
She couldn’t keep Jeff waiting in the cold harmattan weather for long. It’s her life, she had said. Whatever she did with it wasn’t any of their business. They let her go – back to him.
That night at 1:30 am, she returned sobbing, holding the left side of her face. She got hit again – by the psycho.
She got hit again because she talked to her best friend Ola. Ola hated Jeff and his ancestors for the way he treated her soft-hearted friend, Azuka. She had confronted him one day and had sworn to deal with him if ever he laid his hands on his friend again. From that day, Jeff forbade Azuka from moving with her friend Ola.
Ola didn’t know that Jeff hit Azuka again. She hid it from her because she didn’t want to make Jeff angry; Ola would fight him.
That same midnight he came back to the window calling and begging. He needed her to come to him. Azuka’s roommates told him to leave immediately but Azuka dressed up before their glaring eyes and left.
She went down to meet him. She couldn’t bring herself to refusing his plea. She loved him with every drop of her blood!
Azuka’s parents got to know about the toxic relationship through an unidentified person, who said she was concerned their daughter could die in the hands of a brute of a boyfriend if they didn’t do anything about it. But when they went to school, Azuka told them there was no such thing. They shouldn’t listen to anyone trying to make them hate her. They believed her and left.
Things got out of hand when at the beginning of the first semester Jeff took her ATM card from her after a little plea for ten thousand naira. That same day, he withdrew all the money in her account including her school fees and living allowance. When she asked him to return the money, he threatened to leave her. The worst that could happen to her was breaking up with Jeff. She couldn’t afford to lose him. She lied to her parents to have them send her more money, they did. She was their only child and they were well to do.
When Azuka went to ask Jeff to give back her ATM card, he got annoyed.
“I can see that something is wrong with your head, ” he said and walked away from her. She didn’t know what to do.
The next day, Azuka went to the bank and blocked the ATM card and got a new one. She was afraid Jeff was going to react, so she asked Ola to be with her always. Ola was a tiger – two strong men were probably trapped in her feminine frame. Asuka needed not to fear once she was by her side. It’s just that most of the time, she had kept Ola in the dark concerning the toxic relationship.
It was weekend and Ola needed desperately to visit home. Her oldest sister was opening a supermarket and wanted her to be there on Saturday for the event. She pleaded with Azuka to come with her but she said she had to stay to prepare for her test coming up on Monday.
Three days had passed since Jeff had refused to talk to Azuka because she blocked her ATM card with him. He had given her the condition to unblock her card with him if ever she wanted him to have anything to do with her ever again.
“You know it’s not possible Jeff. That particular card can’t be unblocked but I can give you the new one.” She rummaged in her bag for her purse and brought out her new ATM card and offered it to him like an idiot. He had refused it and had walked away.
She was going crazy without him. She had told Ola and Ola had felt like whipping her.
“Stay in your room all weekend. I’ll be back on Sunday evening.” Ola pleaded with her and she promised never to see Jeff without Ola.
But on Saturday evening, around 10 pm, Azuka heard his voice in the dark night calling at the window. Her heart swelled with pleasure. She took off to meet him downstairs, despising her roommate’s plea.
Her roommate heard them giggling as they went away in the dark night. She shook her head and retired to bed.
All through the night, Azuka did not come back to her room. In the morning, she didn’t return. Her roommate had to involve the school security service after searching and waiting into the Sunday afternoon.
When Ola returned on Sunday evening, she went to Azuka’s hostel and was told she had been missing since Saturday night.
Ola knew at the instant that Jeff was behind her missing. She called home but she was not there.
Ola went to Jeff and he coldly said he didn’t see her.
Azuka’s roommates were interrogated. One of them revealed that Azuka went out with Jeff that night and didn’t come back.
Jeff was detained and interrogated by the police. He denied having seen her that night and because nothing could trace her missing to him and the roommate couldn’t prove anything, he was released.
The next day, Jeff disappeared from his room with his valuable possessions – got himself accommodation in the town. Students suspected he had a hand in Azuka’s sudden disappearance.
Azuka’s parents made sure Jeff was tracked down within a month. He was seriously at large and was found at the remote area of Abuja in a one-room apartment. He looked like someone who had sorrowed too much and had not slept in months. He looked unkempt, hungry and worn out.
Jeff was taken back to Borno State Police Headquarters and that same day, he led them to the spot in the school garden known as ‘love garden’
“This is where we last met,” he said and begged the policeman to pick up the withered hibiscus from the ground. He moved closer and sniffed it. “She had put this in my hair. She knew how much I hated hibiscus. I had yanked it off my head jokingly and thrown it at her. She got amused and I can still hear her laughter echoing in the night.” He moved closer and sniffed the hibiscus again. “Now that she is gone, I feel I’ve begun to love hibiscus.”
“Where is her body?”
He led them to the nearby bush. They found Azuka’s body in a big sack. A careful look devolved bruises on the back of her neck if the rotting corpse.
“You have the right to remain silent, anything you say from now onward could be used against you in the court of law.” an officer said with his palm over his nose.
‘I dont care anymore. I don’t care if I lived or died. What could life be without my only babe? All I wanted was to kiss her that night. She refused and my anger mounted.”
You have the right…..
“I hit her only once. She wasn’t supposed to die. I’ve hit her more than that in the past and she didn’t even slump to the ground. Oh, my God”
“You son of a ***. All I wanted was my daughter, alive. You have given me a rotten body. What am I going to do with— what am I going to tell her mother?” Azuka’s father struggled with the men holding her from hitting Jeff.
Jeff was put in jail after confessing that he hit his girlfriend, Azuka just once on the back of her neck and she went lifeless. According to him, he didn’t mean to kill her.
“If my babe Azuka were here in this court in death, she would forgive me and let me go. I implore you to please do what she would do for me and let me go. Not for me, I do not want to live anymore but just for her to be happy wherever she is.” This was his last statement when he was given a rare chance in court to say something before the final verdict.
That statement aggravated Azuka’s parents resentment. All they wanted was for the judge to grant their daughter justice.
Jeff got life imprisonment.