Elizabeth hadn’t been able to sleep that night, after listening to Chisom’s story. She had lain on the bed, deep in thought.
‘If these people are as powerful as Chisom claims, it’ll only be a matter of time before they catch up with us and kill us. I need to leave Chisom, if I want to save my life. Although I love him, I won’t suffer for his sins. He has to bear his punishment alone. After all, I’m not yet his wife. I’ll go back to my much safer life, find a younger, honest, rich man that loves me and live happily ever after with him ‘, she thought. She looked at Chisom’s sleeping form and made up her mind. She packed the few belongings she had managed to bring along to the hotel, into her bag and just as she was about to leave the room, her eyes fell on a black bag that Chisom always kept on him. He had kept the bag on the table beside the bed. ‘There’s probably some cash in that bag. I may as well collect my severance payment’, she thought.
She crept to Chisom’s side of the bed. Chisom was snoring loudly. It seemed like he was in a deep sleep, but Elizabeth decided to tread with caution and move as quietly as possible.
When she opened the bag, she was pleasantly surprised to discover that the bag contained wads of hundred-dollar bills. She took a wad of the cash and put it in her bag. She was about to leave, when she had a second thought. She returned to the table at their bedside and carried the black bag and the car keys. ‘Might as well take the whole money. I’ll be guilty of stealing, whether I take all or part of the money anyway. It’s best, I think big’, Elizabeth thought as she left the room and quietly closed the door behind her.
She found it difficult to move as swiftly as possible because of the additional weight of the bag containing the money. She headed outside to where Chisom’s car was parked. She put her luggage in the boot and put the bag of money on the back seat. She entered the driver’s seat, took a deep breath and said: ‘freedom and riches at last’, before starting the car.
Immediately she turned the key in the ignition, the car exploded, scattering bits of metal, body parts and dollar notes in all directions.
The sound of the explosion had awoken Chisom from his slumber. The hotel’s fire alarm had been sounded indicating an emergency. He looked around the room and discovered that Elizabeth was gone. His bag of money was also missing. Chisom refused to believe that Elizabeth had left him. ‘She probably rushed to the emergency muster point with our bags. She’s waiting for me there’, he thought, giving himself some false hope. He needed to leave the hotel before the police got there. His whereabouts needed to be kept secret from even the police, if he was to remain safe. He immediately grabbed a few of his belongings and moved outside the hotel building. He moved to where he had parked his car and saw what was remaining of it, on fire. He saw the burnt dollar notes scattered around and perceived the smell of burnt flesh.
The truth he had been afraid to believe, was confirmed. Elizabeth had tried to leave him. The bomb also meant that his assailants were onto him. There was no time for him to process his emotions. He decided to immediately move away from the scene. He needed to put a safe distance between him and his assailants.
The Author knew that the police would have mounted roadblocks at the major roads because of the bomb, so he decided to proceed on foot. He had walked a long distance before he stopped at a small bar called the Chinos bar. He badly needed the alcohol to numb his anxiety.
Chisom had also proceeded on foot. He peered over his shoulder, every few minutes to ensure that he was not being followed. As he walked, he thought about Elizabeth’s betrayal. ‘She was my everything. I was willing to become a better person because of her, yet she betrayed me. She’s left me heartbroken and broke. What’s the need of fighting to survive when the only reason why I was fighting is dead’, he thought. He was going to end it all. He still had the cyanide poison in his pocket. He had bought the poison to serve as a quick way out because he knew that the Author would want to give him a slow and painful death if he caught up with him.
As he passed by Chinos bar, he decided to stop by and take his last drink before he ended his life.
The Author couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw Chisom enter the bar and order a drink. He immediately walked to Chisom’s table and sat opposite him.
‘I don’t care if you’re a ghost, but you’ll tell me what I need to know and I’ll grant you a painless death’, the Author said. Chisom looked up at the Author and smiled. ‘The Author finally shows up. Trust me, I’m way ahead of you. I already planned to commit suicide. Besides, if you wanted an information from me, you shouldn’t have tried to kill me. Now you’ve succeeded in killing the love of my life’, Chisom said. ‘It wasn’t my doing. I was hoping that you’d know why someone went through all the trouble to stop me from getting to Johnbosco, Kingsley and now, you’, the Author said. ‘I guessed as much. I knew that they had a hand in this’, Chisom said. ‘Who are they?’ the Author asked. ‘It’s a long story’, Chisom replied. ‘I’m in no hurry. I want to hear all of it. Start from the beginning’, the Author said.