Lawyer visited as promised. He came with news of all he has been doing since we last saw. Did he tell you that he sent people to my neighbourhood? He said they met a few people who told them I was incapable of the crime, but they found no one willing to testify on my behalf. He said they are afraid of police trouble. He said my Landlord said he didn’t belief the accusation against me but he cannot risk court trouble just to help me.
For the first time, I saw a chink in your friend’s armour; there was a crease in his brows and that stood out on his usually composed demeanour. I could feel his frustration, so I quickly showed him the notes I have been writing explaining where I was at different times in the two weeks leading to my arrest.
I asked him if he has gotten the information on Blessing’s time of death. He told me the autopsy report showed that Blessing may have died around 9 pm two days before I was arrested. He also said there was a mark on Blessing’s neck, that she was perhaps strangled with a belt, the autopsy didn’t say for sure. As he spoke, he traced my notes with his fingers, and stopped at the date Blessing died.
I knew before he looked up what he wanted to know. Father, I got home at 11 pm that day but I am ashamed to say where I was before then, I know that information would almost kill you, and perhaps make you question how you raised me. So, I told him I was at a place I shouldn’t have been, and that the person may not help.
He is a straight shooter; that friend of yours. He looked at me with his usual blank expression as he spoke “I am not here to judge you, but if you don’t have an alibi who can place you at a different place at the time of the murder, you will be convicted”. He said it was almost too late to plead alibi, and that if I didn’t tell him, he wouldn’t be able to help me.
So, I told him. My need for survival overshadowed my shame. I have pleaded with him not to tell you. I know how much you will be disappointed when you read this, but I’m hoping that hearing from me first will lessen the pain I would cause you.
I was at Aunty Ayo’s house, Father. Her husband had travelled again, and as usual she invited me to help her forget. I have no excuse for what I have done Father, I know what I did was wrong, I guess I have always known too, but now, knowing my life hangs in the balance, I felt the wrongness more deeply.
I know that only her could safe me now but by saving me, she risks her husband finding out about us. I fear she may deny me, Father, her marriage is her security and I know she will choose it over saving my life.
I have given the lawyer her address, and I have told him of my fears. He said he would do all he can, and if she agrees, he would have to inform the police so they can also verify.
There may be light Father; it’s dim, but light all the same and its presence gives me more hope than I’ve allowed myself to feel in a long while.
If it all goes well, the next court hearing may be the day I regain my freedom.
Forgive me for failing you, Father