“Our chances are getting slim.” Miss Florence – my mother’s friend who was the lawyer defending me in court, said and clenched her fist.
“Who’s this Catherine that you talk about, she definitely has an hand in this.” She sat down, facing me.
I gave her all the details I knew about Catherine. “I believe she killed him.”
She stared at me. “That’s an heavy conclusion.”
“There’s no tangible proof that she did it.” She continued, “if only we can get witnesses, who saw you both enter the room, also saw you leave the room.”
I thought hard and remembered that there were two students outside on the passageway when I was going in, and one of them saw me left too, but I wasn’t so sure. “Try to get them, probably they will be of help.”
“Okay, I’ll get to them. You said there are no CCTV cameras in the rooms or anywhere in your hostel.”
“Yes” I paused, “but…”
“But what? If there is anything I need to know. Tell me.”
I stuttered, “Fredo and I do something really stupid every time we have fun with ladies. He has a camera in the room that records our acts.” I paused.
“I’m certain to an extent that Fredo slept with the lady. If he did, then he must have recorded everything.”
“But why? Why would you guys record?” She looked at me.
“It’s Fred… I can’t really say what he used them for.”
“Wow, okay. It’s alright.”
“Please, this should not get to my mum. She’s already heard enough.” I looked at her with my face screaming to her to keep the content of the video to herself.
She sighed, “okay. No problem.”
Placing her hands on the table in front of her, she said. “If this camera you talk about really exist, I think it should bring out the whole truth.” I nodded.
Gold was such a friend. He stood by me, kept checking on me every day. We’d talk about a range of things, he’d explain portions of the Bible to me. I wanted to also talk to him about my addiction problem, but I didn’t. I didn’t think of even giving it a try while I was detained.
The time I spent in the cell secluded, doing nothing, helped me a lot. I spent most of those time meditating on what Gold taught me and what I read from the Bible every day. The more I thought about the Bible Verses, the more I understood them.
It came to a point that it was if there was someone explaining within me, and whenever I had questions in my heart, he’d just explain. I told Gold this, he laughed. “That’s the Holyspirit!”
“He’s the one that has been teaching you. When you asked me few days that you wanted to hear God. What did I tell you?” He smiled.
“You told me to continue to study the Bible, keep praying and be sensitive.”
“Yeah, exactly. I just felt that’s a great way to start. The more time you spend with God, the more you know His voice.”
“But the whole thing is still not clear, this whole hearing God concept.”
“Don’t get too worked up on it.” He laughed. I initially thought he was making jest of my ignorance.
“You know what? Just keep studying your Bible and keep praying.”
I sighed. “Okay, no problem.”
Within a week, I had finished two books of the Bible. That was all I was doing, studying and thinking on the words I read.
“So what’s the latest development? The lawyer is trying to get the camera we have in our room sha. Kaykay and this bald guy, King. She is trying to get them too. So tomorrow is another day. The lawyer says if everything goes as planned, the judge should make a decision tomorrow.” I said, the smiles Gold gave me beamed a ray of hope on me.
It was the D-day, Kaykay and King agreed to come witness. Their witness helped in making it known that Catherine was actually with me that day. Even though, they did not see Catherine leave the room, they saw her enter.
The argument got so fierce at a point that I wondered why the lawyer in my defense tarried to disclose that she had an exhibit that could clear the whole thing. At a juncture, the lawyer admitted the evidence as an exhibit in the court, which was accepted.
The video file started with Fredo having sex with Catherine, it was skipped. The video continued where Fredo was unconscious. He just lay on the bed. Catherine was seen dressing up, and before she left, he had Fredo’s hair shaved, with blades. Then, she did some other things which was not really clear to everyone in the court. Few minutes after Catherine had left the room, someone entered, the camera did not pick his face. He wept, we could hear his wails. At a point, the individual was talking to Fredo, but the words were not audible and no response came from Fredo. Who was the guy? I wondered why he didn’t come out to disclose he saw Fredo before he gave up the ghost.
I cried watching the video, it dawned on me that truly Catherine killed Fredo but she was nowhere to be found.
“I could have been the one dead if I did not listen and obey just one instruction.” I held my head with my hands.
This video broke every claims against me. It was clean and clear, it could not have been made up. There were raised eyebrows from the prosecutor but the lawyer in my defense, stood the ground. She explained how the video record came up.
All the students in the court were already jubilating before I was declared free. The judge had to return silence to the court so he could pass his judgement, which he did. It was almost like I had chains and fetters broken off me. The policeman removed the handcuffs, a lot of people hugged me. My parents were really happy, my mother especially. There was so much jubilating, singing and dancing among the students.
Gold looked at me and said. “You’re free indeed.” I smiled back at him and hugged him for a while before my mother came. She said I had been allowed to go, that we should leave immediately. I felt indebted to the students who came out of love to the court. I appreciate them in words, thanking them.
That phase in my life was over, a new chapter opened. The road was full of bandits, thorns and detours. These experiences will stay inked for men to read and learn from. My name is Michael, this is the tale of my life all the way till eighteen.
I know you’re wondering, is that all? What happened to Michael afterwards? Was that the end to his addiction? What about Aunty Gloria that died? What about the letter that Aunt Gloria sent to my mother before she gave up the ghost? What was in the letter? What about the guy that was seen in the video when Fredo was about to give up the ghost?
I know there are a lot of unanswered questions. You’ll find it all out in the sequel of this series, “Life After Eight-Teen”
Click here to read the sequel, Life After Eighteen