Part 3
Opeyemi Akintunde

” Hello Mrs Mayowa Nwosu,
We are sorry about the Loss of your husband, We want to inform you that your husband was assassinated as a result of a business deal gone sour. The Car burning was not an accident. He was murdered.

We thought it fair to let you know the truth about the death of your husband as we know you were not aware of Chike’s last business dealing. Chike said he was keeping the business deal a secret from you as a surprise.

We are his unknown business partners who are aware of the true picture of things. We got into a risky business deal and our partners were about to outsmart us, but Chike being a smart man confronted them. Things went from bad to worse and ultimately his untimely brutal death.

We would like to advise you to please relocate to another state for your own safety and that of the kids. Chike was pursuing this business majorly to give you a very good life. He was always ringing it in our ears that he owed you a good life. Chike was a very good man and his death is a very painful one for us. Knowing how much Chike loved you and his Children we decided to reach out to you.

We ( his business partners) are relocating to different African countries. We advise you to do the same. Kindly use attached package to start up a new life.”

My heart almost fell out of my body. What I had just read felt like something out of my Crime Fiction novels, it didn’t fit my reality.

I sat into my chair. It all began to make sense. The last five months before his death made perfect sense.

He was always up all night on his Laptop working. There were different documents I never bothered to check littering our dining table.

There was always a Sudden change of plans.

His usual line was…

” Babe, something just came up!” He would dash out after receiving a call…

Receiving the Letter just few minutes after hearing about his death was looking very unreal.
Chike had been MIA for two days, and getting a call about his death was what I had been praying not to hear.

I started shaking. I checked the parcel that came with the letter. It was a box. I opened it and it was loaded with money.

Tears began to flow without an end. I couldn’t believe my Chike had been assassinated. I received a call from the police some minutes earlier about his death and just as I was about to step out to ascertain the truth of the death, I had received the fearful letter.

I got into my car and raced to the venue of the accident. It was two hours drive from my home..

There was my reality staring me in the face. Chike’s car had been burnt beyond recognition. I saw what looked like Chike’s Palm slippers I bought for him. I saw the remains of his laptop as well…

” Madam, the accident happened around 2am and there was no fire service around to help. Only God knows what happened here.” A policeman said to me. I saw Chike’s bones…

I broke down in tears, I wanted to turn back the hands of time. I wished I could go back in time to plead with Chike not to take up the business that would kill him.

Suddenly, It felt like someone replayed one of the scenes of one of the crime novels I had read. The scene about a woman getting smart after her husband’s demise.

My smart survival instinct kicked in…
I immediately gathered my thoughts, returned to the house to pick up the money and dashed off to the bank. I made the deposit of the money.

The bankers wondered how I got the money. The bank Manager had to ask them to invite me into the office. I explained that my husband just died and a group of his friends gave me the money. With that, I was left to go.

I rushed to my children’s school to pick them up. I needed to run off to a h0tel close by. From there I would make all necessary calls.

I had to inform my parents and Chike’s parent that he had been found but dead. Chike’s parent had relocated to their hometown two years earlier, so they would have to travel down.

I remember driving back home as I constantly checked my mirror
in fear, only to find my brother in-laws in front of my house. They said they came to join me in the search of their brother. I broke the sad news to them and from that moment, everything became a rollercoaster.

The Next three Months was like Three Years.

Chike’s remains was buried by his family. The Burial was a scene that made me more fearful.

Three strange men came to the burial. They kept staring at me and my Children. I felt very uneasy. I told myself they had to be the bad guys. The crime novels I fed my mind with years back made it easy to identify them in the crowd. The way they looked and acted was highly suspicious. There was no doubt; My kids and I had to run away from that town.

After the burial, I thought I would be able to disappear, but a harsh reality surfaced…

Part 4
Opeyemi Akintunde

My harsh reality surfaced!

I never knew that my very nice in-laws could suddenly turn against me. To be fair, my mother in-law was calm, but my Father-in-law, Sisters -in-law and Brothers -in-law, became strangers to me. They vehemently stood their ground that I had to perform all the usual widow’s rites…

” Mayowa, Omo Yoruba Bia kanyi koria ( Mayowa, Yoruba girl, Come let’s talk). I know how nice you were to Chike, but tradition is tradition” My Father in law had said.

” Luckily for you, Chike’s body was burnt so you won’t have to drink the water from his corpse, but I am afraid my people want you to do the other things. Don’t worry it’s only a matter of months.”

I was able to escape drinking the water of Chike’s dead body. The purpose of that was to prove that the widow is innocent of murder.

My torture called widow’s ritual started with Shaving of the head. My pubic and armpit hair was removed with a razor blade in an untidy manner by older widows called the “umuada”.

My hair was scraped three times in that three months I stayed in Chike’s hometown. As soon as it regrows, it was scraped off. Without looking into a mirror, I could tell I was looking very ugly and “untidy”.

I was untouchable and defiled and so must not receive gifts, pick items up from the floor, or receive a handshake;

I could not speak out or make a noise unless I was required to cry; there were days I was forced to wail even when I didn’t have the strength to do so.

I was not well fed. I Slept on the bare floor; I was not allowed to have my bath even when I was menstruating; they would only pass me a bucket of water with towel to clean up my self..

The most humiliating rite of them all was when I was told to the “n@ked walk” as part of the ritual cleansing. I walked around the neighborhood n@ked for a day, using my hands to cover my br€ast. I had only one cloth I wore , it was washed at night and I had to stay n@ked until it dried.

My life was restricted for the three months. My phone was taken from me, I only spoke to my family once a week. I could not meet people, could not fetch water, cook, go to market or farm like others, Worse of all, I could not stay too long with my children. My children were with my mother in law. I would sometimes hear them crying for me but I couldn’t go to them. I was told by my Mother in law to bear it, so that there won’t be negative consequences on me and the children. At times, my mother in law would sneak in and give me malt and milk to drink .

Other times, she would bring me tissue to clean up myself and the unwashed dishes and plates I was using for the duration of mourning.

My mother in law would cry whenever she sneaked to see me…

” Mayowa, death is wicked, you do not deserve this in any way, you are a good daughter in law. You take care of me, whenever I come to your house, you treat me like your mother…I am sorry Mayowa…this will be over soon… Chike! Why! Why did you do this to Mayowa?”

Sitting for long hours on the floor for many days to demonstrate my “dethronement” was painful.

Finally, the worst of all came….

” Mayowa, you have been a good widow, I now see why Chike choose you. Unlike other city girls, you cooperated with us in performing all the rites. It is now time for the King of rites… This rite is to “cleanse” a widow of evil spirits. The purpose is to cut the link between the living and the dead. Once you do this, Chike will know you are no longer his wife.” One of Chike’s Uncle said to me, the night before my three months widow’s rite was to be over…

I actually thought it had to do with me carrying a sacrifice to the T- junction, but my ears went into temporary deafness when Chike’s Uncle finished his words…

” You will be having S€xual relations with family members tonight, Your brothers-in-law, Your father-in-law and me Your Father -in- law’s elder brother will crown it up..”

I stood there transfixed and dead. I died!


1. The Story was Inspired by the Living Word

■ Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
■ Subscribe to our YouTube and Telegram Channel