The calligraphy of secrets by Chijioke Goodness - The Isaac Somto Foundation

  • The calligraphy of secrets by Chijioke Goodness


                    Chapter two
            She hated it when ifeanyi nodded while playing the piano merely because he did it to get ifechukwu's  attention.
     
          "So where exactly were you when the incident occurred. According to the autopsy, grandma was stabbed... Be honest please" One of the people said.
        "For the tenth time, I'm innocent. I was at the church!!". She said, throwing her left palm on her forehead, her face reading innocence.
       She left the room quietly as they discussed over something.
         "How did it go?" A man asked, it was their father, the man who remained dogged about getting Justice for his dear mother.
        " I wonder why they keep querying her ehhh!!. If and only if urunne kept calm, but no, she's always having problems with her younger sister for that matter". Their mother Chika complained, her features wearing frustrations and anger
        "There is nothing to be scared of, it's just part of the due process, if our daughter is innocent, then there is no need to panic. He condoled Chika.
        The investigators had a word with their father after they made an agreement in the secluded room telling him that the autopsy wasn't clear and didn't match with any of the members of the family, not even their opposite neighbours whom chika complained that they had a small fight concerning grandma spitting on their door porch . Yes, the autopsy didn't match with theirs as well.
       Ifechukwu sat on the bed, her eyes wet with numerous streams of tears. Chika entered the well furnished room where her. daughter stayed.
        "You don't have to shed tears, I believe in you." Her mother uttered just the right words that she needed to hear, those words that reassured her that she was innocent and it made her feel just like a child who had let her friends empty the container of chilled water on her head. The kind of chill she felt when she squeezed the white substance in her palms that heaped in a corner......snow , last year during their holiday at Florida.
        "Your sister is merely insensitive" her mother said.
        "I can't believe she's suspecting me....I cannot do such thing mum...can I?" She raised a brow, her mother shook her head.
       " No you can't. Come close."she gestured towards her daughter whose head now rested on her slender shoulder......
      
                    Chapter three
            It has been a week now since then when the investigators had visited.
            Dennis came around to visit , she wanted to learn calligraphy from ifechukwu because she was the best at it . Her fine art teacher always preferred her work each time they were asked to calligraph and more amazingly she was better than the teacher and could dribble the calligraphy pen to form any word she wanted.
        "Denny....i...this actually isn't the right time" she paused as she read the look on her friend's face.
       "I'm going nowhere" she frowned.
        "I actually lost my grandma, it's been a critical time for us" she told her plainly..
        "Yeah I heard, the murderer is way useless" she said looking into her eyes.
          "I'm so shocked" ....
          "Are you?,"she paused for some seconds, bending her lips downwards " I'm so sorry for you, I know how painful it is to be also suspected by your blood sister....she's mean"
       "Please you have to go now". She stopped Dennis from talking further, she was a talkertive person by nature.
    Her friend left, and so she walked towards her reading table and picked her calligraphic pen. On the empty sheet of paper that she tore out from her maths note book, she scribbled.   ~whoever killed you dear grandma deserves a punishment, I've been weeping, I see you in my dreams constantly, I need to get you justice because you deserve it . Perhaps, what if the killer had a good reason for taking your life,...i love you still grandma~
    She stared at the calligraphic work intently as if she could see through it, or more like, she knew the person who had murdered grandma, but was afraid to talk or tell anyone.
      "God please help me, answer my prayers" she mumbled a short prayer.
          ___________________________
       Urunne found ifeanyi walking with Dennis his immediate younger sister down the street. They were rattling over something.
       "Heyyyyy" she waved ,walking  towards their direction.
         " Hi, I haven't seen Ifechukwu for a while now...and I heard the sad news, my condolence" ifeanyi said as he took urunne's hands in a warm shake. His features having much to say
         
        "Yeah, thanks, whatever, grandma was already getting old you know" she said plainly as if she wasn't concerned, " By the way, it was a murder, so.......the inspectors come almost every week.... they will be here today as well", she paused and rolled her eyes, I'm sick and tired
        "Yes. Would you mind if we come?" Dennis said her pulse rising.
        "Why?" She shot at her
         "Nothing. Never mind, she's just joking". Ifeanyi said too quickly.
          "Something fishy is going on!" Urunne gave them a questioning stare.
           "We have to go bye." Dennis dragged her brother along as they hastened their steps towards the left junction of the street......
                       Chapter  four 
      
          She stood close to her window in the room, a thick paper containing  inks that formed words but in calligraphy .
       She suddenly thought her life a complication....as complicated as those calligraphs....the manner in which it curled...#italics to be precise. Her friend's had complained that the italics were hard to read because it was more of  excess curls.... This was how complicated her life was. She was this nice person, someone nobody could resist, yet all that glitters.....
        After few minutes of hazzy thoughts, she went to the sitting room. She found ifeanyi and Dennis. More appalling , the inspectors had already been around for a while now , ifeanyi was explaining something to them.
          "Ife. !" He looked at her , "tell me. After the first Bible reading during the evening service, you left for home that evening.... Dennis came along with you. Yes urunne was at home, but tell them it was urunne not you as you told me" ifeanyi bombed her with his words even though she had barely reached the middle of the large sitting room.
     
        She stared at the curious eyes of everyone. She was speechless. Mother still shocked about what she heard. Fathers brow squeezed, but his eyes fixed intently on her lips to form the words he wanted to hear. Kosi  stared blatantly.
    Urunne acted confused and shocked.
       Ifechukwu's eyes released moistures that were true to be salty. Tears. She was crying. Today was her birthday. No one mentioned good wishes to her. Yes she totally understood. They were all mourning grandma.
     
        " Say something!!" her father pressed. He had always known that urunne was the faulty child he was so unfortunate to have.
       "Umm..." She sniffs. " There is this saying......when you can't get rid of the skeletons in your cupboard, you make it dance to your tunes..... It's just better than doing nothing at all. My life is a like a calligraphy....italics, you can't predict it. " She paused to look at ifeanyi, he was confused, everyone was confused.
        "Gosh!" Kosi mumured
         " Ifeanyi, that evening. I went back to the church, but I still
    returned again.
    Yes I know I lied to you that I went to the tithe stand outside the church, but I went back home.
    That faint blood stains you saw on my ankle was the grandma's blood. I killed grandma.
         grandma never liked me.
    She's been threatening me since I was six.
    She says horrible words to me. This has been a long buried secret I never told anyone.
    She had been the bugging skeleton that I just wished to make  dance to my tunes...." She stopped and when no one mentioned a word, she continued ,  "She said I was a bad child, that I was supposed to be baby boy. She long wanted a son."  She paused and looked towards her mother chika..."mum!...this was the reason I've been disturbing you to get me a little brother. The day before her death, she came into my room with a knife. She almost got me stabbed. I ran to the library and slept there. She had always said she would sacrifice me to her gods so that they would give mum a child, not just a child. A baby boy" , she  stopped and broke down into tears......
      Urunne was shocked. Yes, she had been accusing her little sister, mainly because they had brawls to settle off..... nothing more. She never thought her capable of such.
        Not staring at anyone, in-between sobs, she said....." You can have me arrested. I'm eighteen today"......
       The end.

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