"Kill her," he said. Those were the words that Noela Rukundo heard come through the speakerphone. The voice on the other end of the line was her de facto husband, the BBC reported.
Rukundo's partner, Balenga Kalala, had allegedly paid a group of professionals to kill Rukundo after she attended the funeral of her stepmother in her native Burundi, according to the Australian Broadcasting Company. Kalala was back at their home in Melbourne, Australia.
But the would be killers, some of whom knew Rukundo's brother, didn't do their job. She was released 7,500 miles from her home.
"We give you 80 hours to leave this country," Rukundo recalled the gang told her, according to the BBC.
She did. Getting assistance from both the Belgian and Kenyan embassies as well as a local pastor in Melbourne, Rukundo was able to get back just in time to surprise Kalala — at her own funeral.
“Is it my eyes?” she recalled him saying after he had just finished speaking. “Is it a ghost?”
“Surprise! I’m still alive!” she replied, the BBC reported.
During the interview with the BBC, Rukundo said that Kalala actually reached out to touch her shoulder for confirmation.
"I'm sorry for everything," he cried. That wasn't quite enough for Rukundo. She called the police, and Kalala will now serve nine years in prison for incitement to murder, according to the Australian Broadcasting Company.
The saga started almost a year ago, when Rukundo had flown from Melbourne to Burundi to attend her stepmother's funeral. Shortly after, she was blindfolded, shoved into a car, and eventually tied to a chair in a building near Bujumbura, according to the BBC. After her release, she made her way back to Melbourne, and her husband.
Kalala told the community in Melbourne that Rukundo was killed in a tragic accident, the BBC reported. Her funeral was well attended, including, of course, one very special guest.
For more details on Rukundo's journey, click here.