• Short Stories

    Payback – 3

    “Is something wrong with your food?”

    Sunny raised his head to look at his wife. She was watching him with concerned eyes. “No, nothing is wrong with it. Why do you ask?”

    “You’ve been turning it from one end of the plate to another and barely eating. Are you not in the mood for spaghetti, is that the problem?”

    “No, that is not the problem.” He made himself smile. “There is no problem.”

    “Are you sure? Because you’ve been absent-minded since you came back. Are you worrying about that envelope that was left for you at the office?”

    The smile on his face wiped off. “Why would you think that whatever was in the envelope would worry me?”

    “You do get a little suspicious when I mention that envelope, don’t you?” She asked, her mouth curling with amusement.

    “No, I don’t. You might say I’m curious.” Although he let himself appear nonchalant, he was watching her keenly, looking for any sign of guilt… Or anything else. “The anonymous delivery of the envelopes itself…”

    “Envelopes? You mean, you received another one after our lunch date?”

    She looked surprised. Just that, surprised and nothing more. He didn’t know if he should trust that expression or suspect it.

    “Not after our lunch date, but yesterday. I received an envelope like that yesterday.”

    “Yesterday? But you didn’t mention it. What was inside the envelopes?”

    “Inside the envelopes were…” he stopped himself. He didn’t want to tell her, not before he heard back from the private investigator, he realised. “Basically nothing important. Someone playing pranks, I believe.”

    “Pranks? As how?” Her facial expression was now baffled. “What exactly were inside the envelopes, Sunny?”

    “Silly notes and all-what-nots. Anyway, I think you were right, I’m not in the mood for spaghetti this evening.” He dropped his fork and stood up. “I’ll have an early night.”

    “Again, you’re going to bed early and without eating your dinner?”

    “I’m sorry, but I’m rather tired.”

    “You’re making me worried, Sunny. You know you can talk to me about anything, don’t you?”

    He’d always believed and done that. But he couldn’t this time, at least not yet. “I know and we will talk when I better understand what is going on.”

    “Is someone threatening you or Sunlight Press?”

    “Threatening?” Did she know something or didn’t she? “No, no threats. Stop worrying about this, Onyi.” He touched her arm to reassure her. “I’m taking care of it.”

    “But whatever it is that’s happening is troubling you. I can see that.”

    “No, I’m not troubled, just tired.” He yawned to make that claim believable. “I think I need a couple of days good rest. I’ll take tomorrow and the next off and simply relax at home. I’m sure I’ll feel a lot better after that.”

    “Okay, if you’re sure that’s what you need.” She rose and picked up her plate. “You go ahead, I’ll join you as soon as I wash up the dishes.”

    “No need to do that. I know you have your NCIS series to watch and won’t deprive you of it. Come to bed when you are done.”

    “I can miss an episode or two when my husband needs me, Sunny.”

    “You don’t have to miss anything, your husband is fine and only needs a good night’s rest.” He brushed his hand across her cheek, recoiled from the temptation to kiss her as the image of a man’s face buried in her neck flashed over his eyes. “Goodnight.”

    “All right, sleep tight.”

    He wasn’t going to sleep tight. He was not going to get much sleep just like he hadn’t been able to last night. He would lie awake, tortured by images of her with her another man, confused about what was going on and terrified of losing her.

    If this had to do with Craig and Onyi was back with him… He didn’t know what he would do if Onyi was having an affair with Craig.


    “What have you got for me?” He asked the private investigator.

    “Nothing as yet. When I arrived at the hotel yesterday, she was not on seat, and returned at two-fifty p.m. She didn’t leave the hotel again until she closed at five, and had no private meetings with anyone who wasn’t a staff of the hotel. So far today, she’s been at the hotel and busy inside her office.”

    “All right. We’ll talk again.”

    He ended the call and tossed the phone on the bed. But as he reached over to lift his glass of drink from the side table, he heard the loud bang of the gate getting slammed and then Ade’s voice talking loudly.

    Concerned about the indistinct but obviously hostile words coming from the security guard, Sunny pushed off the bed and exited the room.

    Ade was cursing someone, or something as there was no one else but him there. Sunny regarded the wiry-looking, angry-faced man for a minute, wondering if he knew how crazy he looked talking loudly and furiously to himself.

    “Ade, what is all this noise about?”

    Before he responded, Ade spat out two more curses at the absent offender. “Oga, can you imagine some stupid boy come here, drop letter and when I ask am who the letter from, he jump on top his okada and just zoom off.”

    “A letter?” His whole attention came on alert. He scanned but saw nothing on Ade or anywhere around the gate. “And where’s the letter?”

    “Oga, when the bagger drive off like that without telling me anything, I throw the letter for outside for am. When he drove around finish, he go come back, come pick am.”

    “You threw the letter outside?”

    “Yes, sir. The idiot no tell me where the letter come from and I no fit deliver letter wey I no know the source to you, Oga.”

    In the days before he started receiving messages that threatened his marriage and his home, he would have commended Ade for his decisive if somewhat crazy act. But today, he only barked. “Go get the letter.”

    The sharp-toned order startled Ade because he stumbled backward, stared at him in a moment of bewilderment before he unlocked the pedestrian gate, strode through it and bent to pick up a brown envelope.

    Another one, was all Sunny could think. This was the third day and he was getting his third envelope.

    “Na the letter be dis, Oga.” Ade held the envelope out to him.

    He hesitated before taking it. And then with the hasty movements of someone doing something they dreaded, he tore open the envelope and pulled out the A4 sheet inside.

    *You thought you won, but you didn’t. I am back and she is mine again.*

    He read the words twice before he turned and without a word to Ade, strode back to the house. This was delivered to the house, but no one knew he was staying home today except Onyi and Blessing.

    He snatched up his phone from the bed and dialled his personal assistant’s number.

    “Who did you tell that I am home today, Blessing?” He demanded once she picked the call.

    “Who? Nobody, sir. Only Mr Onyekwe asked for you, sir, and I told him you were not on seat. That’s all I told him.”

    It wasn’t Blessing. It was Onyi. Onyi knew about the messages. Onyi was involved again with Craig.

    Sunny pressed the end button on the call and dropped down heavily on the bed. Onyi and Craig. Was it even possible or was this some sort of sick joke? Would she let him come close again after everything?

    She would. It was Craig and for him, Onyi had this inexplicable soft spot. His head called it love, but Sunny rejected the thought. Instead he wondered how Onyi could believe Craig without hearing from him. How could she let herself trust him again?

    How could she go back to him?


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  • Reply Datoks April 2, 2019 at 8:05 am

    I know Onyi is innocent, wonder what game the person sending the messages is playing.

  • Reply David Iyke April 2, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Sunny, maa pa arae ooo!
    Don go and kii yasef, just ask and you might receive the answers from Onyi.
    Me I no envy you at all at all.

  • Reply mobolaji April 10, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Sunny is busy torturing himself and feeding the game as well. He should just ask her straight out and get it done.

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