The men that surrounded her seemed like impenetrable walls with faces strong as stone. Once out of the court building the members of the press prevented them, asking all manner of questions and taking so many pictures. The light blinded her and she struggled to keep her balance. She felt a strong hand around her arm and then she was shoved into a mini-van.
She grappled with her hand until she was able to find balance. Beside her sat an un-uniformed officer with a smiling face, well at least there was someone smiling beside her for a change.
“Good morning Sir” she called to him, making conscious effort to raise her voice above the commotion around the van when her eyes had adjusted to the light.
He just gave her a sideway glance and returned his face to the camera. She rolled her eyes, he wasn’t smiling at her, only for the camera. Obviously glad to be shown on TV. Immediately she understood the reason why she was being shown the preferential treatment. It was just for the camera. Only God knew what would become of her when she got to the prison, she had been told at the cell that if the court denied her bail that she would be transferred to the prisons. For the first time in her life she hoped that the media focus wouldn’t stop. Maybe she should have made a statement into the camera, at least restate her innocence, at least there would be someone watching who would believe her, even if it was only one person.
Akunna believed her, so did Mrs. Titi at least that would make it three people. She rubbed her temple, conscious of the impending ache. Her stomach was growling and she was sure it was her own stomach that had made those rumbling sounds she heard.
To quell the thoughts of food she forced her mind to return to the conversation she had had with Akunna a few days back when the other woman had come to see her in the cell. Akunna had broken into uncontrollable tears when she saw her. And the woman kept apologizing and blaming herself for what Ezinne was going through. Akunna had cried so much that even with her assurance that she didn’t pull the trigger the wailing refused to subside. She knew that Akunna blamed herself for igniting the fire of murder but the reality of it was so much of a burden to bear. Well acting a movie was different from living in it.
Ezinne shook her head at the irony, the woman who had sold her the idea didn’t even have the guts to carry it out.
“Ezinne, how are you?”
Her eyes trimmed until it focused on the owner of the voice, Mrs. Titi.
“Good morning ma” she responded, the officers had managed to disperse the crowd of reporters, though she could still see some of them hanging around, obviously waiting for an opportunity to have her comment on her trial. Not today.
“Sorry I couldn’t make it on time”
One of the officers helped her up until she got into the van and sat facing Ezinne.
“I understand” she replied curtly, then bite back the anger, she was still reeling from the anger that the woman and her husband had called the police; no, it wasn’t the woman’s fault that she was in this mess, she reminded herself. After all they hadn’t been in her house when they called the police and for all they knew it could have been her husband threatening her with a gun, how else would they have helped her if that had been the case. She put aside the selfish childishness and tried to put on a smile to take off the edge.
Titi swallowed, sympathy flooded her features, “I know it can’t be easy for you but you have to be strong and hang in there. God will save you”
Why was He wasting time in doing so, it had been five months since her husband died and things were going down faster than it looked up. She wouldn’t have felt this horrible had she pulled that trigger. Instead she was suffering for another man’s sins. That is if it was a man, well it had to be a man otherwise Chukwuma would have beat the hell out of the woman had it been a woman. If Chukwuma had been worth the troubles maybe she would have gladly borne the blame for his death, but he wasn’t the kind of man she would throw her life away for, maybe the her before she started being independent would have but the her now would never do something so stupid.