I dialed the number I was now very familiar with and held my cell phone close to my ear, I could tell the line was ringing at the other end and a smile was starting to creep unto my face.
Hearing Moji’s voice always made me feel like a child eating a bowl of ice cream, I got excited every time I called her.
The ringing came to an abrupt end and an automated voice replaced it immediately.
“The number you have dialed is currently busy, please try again later.”
Moji was intentionally rejecting my call.
I tried a couple more times before giving up and after ten minutes of contemplating whether or not to handle the matter with maturity, I quickly swallowed the humble pie and picked up my jacket to shield myself from the cold harmattan night before setting out to Moji’s apartment even though it was almost midnight.
It took only ten minutes to get to my destination since I had a car and the traffic was quite light. As I walked up to the door, Westlife’s “My Love” welcomed me.
I smiled away my doubts and anger. She was already wearing my engagement ring but it still felt good to be assured of her feelings for me. I could swear she was dancing to the music; Moji loved to dance.
I knocked and waited for a few minutes before the door finally opened and Moji quickly occupied the small entrance.
“What’s wrong Moji? Why weren’t you picking my calls?”
Moji opened her mouth as if to talk but just smiled weakly instead. I noticed she was shivering, but the weather was cold and she was only in a short night wear; a white night gown I had bought for her on her last birthday.
“Come on, let’s go in. It’s cold out here.” I said as I tried to open the door wider so I could go in.
At that moment, another figure suddenly appeared behind Moji. I didn’t need anyone to confirm my fears as he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her neck.
“Come on babe, we still have some dancing to do.” The man said and looked at me with a smirk on his face. The corridor was poorly lit so I couldn’t really picture how he looked but my eyes were sharp enough to see the smirk…or maybe I had only imagined it.
“Just a moment please. Fola, Halima’s estranged lover is pissed at me” Moji said to the man and looked at me for a while before closing the door at a snail’s pace. There was a pleading look in her eyes and there was something else, something I couldn’t place. I stared at the closed door for some time;shocked, confused and at a loss for words before turning to leave.As I walked back to my car, I could hear the man ask who Halima was.
A wave of different emotions ranging from sadness to anger washed over me as a rush of cold wind stung my face, mocking my foolishness. I could hear it speak to me.
“”She was rejecting your call dude, are you a learner?”
Mojisola Williams, the only woman I had ever loved, my own fiancee, just called me her best friend’s estranged lover in the presence of another man; a man with whom she was obviously cheating on me.
I was lying on my bed, unable to sleep at 3 am, thinking of Moji’s statement before she shut the door when my phone rang. I checked the caller id and sighed. It was her.
“Yes? Did you forget to tell me something?” I asked curtly but the voice that answered me wasn’t Moji’s voice, it didn’t even belong to a woman.
Ten minutes after, I was staring down at Moji’s lifeless body, she had multiple stab wounds on her stomach and it was easy to tell she had bled to death. She was still in her night wear but it wasn’t white anymore, it was now crimson red. I had never seen so much blood in my life.
“We think she wrote this before she died.” One of the police officers present, the one that had called me said and pointed at the floor a few distances away from Moji’s body. The words were written in blood. It wasn’t well written but could easily be read.
“I’m sorry, I tried.”
That was what Moji had written before crawling to where she finally breathed her last. It was then the statement came back to me.
“Fola, Halima’s Estranged Lover is Pissed at ME”
Moji had communicated to me using a speech code I had taught her during the first few months of our relationship. It hadn’t occurred to me she was trying to tell me something because I had already concluded she was cheating on me.
After spending two years wallowing in guilt,I left my well paying job and became a counselor counselling young couples on the importance of trust in a love relationship with the hope that it would serve as a penance for the part I played in Moji’s death. I couldn’t say if it was working though because I still saw Moji in my dreams every night, standing in front of me in her crimson red night gown with tears in her eyes and saying the same words she had written with her blood.