The Ordeal 4

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As tears stopped flowing from her eyes, she made her way to the bedroom heading straight to the bathroom to splash water on her face to clear the tear marks. Afterwards, she dabbed it all off with a towel and headed out to sit on the bed. She finally decided that she will do what her brother in law bluntly refused to do to save Bankole’s life.

 

 

She makes her way to the hospital once more, heading straight to knock on the door to Dr. Ajibade’s office.

“Good morning ma, Dr. Ajibade is currently attending to a patient in the ICU. He should be out in about thirty minutes or so.” Says a lady assumed to be in her late twenties.

She’s seated behind a desktop computer and is approached by people who wish to keep an appointment with any of the doctors. She is what one will refer to as some sort of records keeper.

“You can wait over there till he returns.”

She gestures towards a set of chairs arranged in what one will call a general waiting area.

“Okay, thank you. I will just wait for him then.” She takes a seat.

 

She sees him walking towards his door. He glances in her direction but doesn’t notice her. He takes another look as a way of him trying to take note of something. And just then, he sees her as she gets up to approach him.

“Mrs Adewumi you’re welcome. Please after you ma.”

He holds the door open as she makes her way into his office. Having gently shut the door, he goes to take his seat.

“Please, have your seat ma. Have you come up with anything from what we discussed yesterday?”

“I’ve made up my mind to donate one of my kidneys for my husband.”

On hearing this he takes off his glasses holding it towards his mouth while is silent for about a minute.

“Hmmmm, okay.”

He nods his head.

“How soon can the operation take place?” she asks.

“Let’s say about forty five minutes to an hour from now. We will need to get things in place for the surgery.”

“Okay then, let’s do this.”

She has a spec of determination in her tone.

 

Mr. Bankole is brought on a wheelchair to the operation theatre. She is lying on another bed in wait for what is to be the time of her life. A time when she gave a significant part of herself to spare his life. Seeing him, she gives herself a reassuring smile. He is helped to a bed that is about a few meters away from where she is. In no time, the surgery begins. All through it, she felt nothing as she was given tranquilizers to douse the pain that the process will have induced. It lasts for a few hours that seem pretty much like days. She was in another dream world where they were both together by the beach. She stopped when she noticed something small and shiny. She picked it to discover that it was a sea shell.

“It’s lovely” she said to him.

‘’Oh yes it is. But not as lovely as you”

They continued to walk along the shore while holding hands. Their adventure is cut short when she hears a voice in her head that says: “Mr. and Mrs. Adewumi”

She’s back on the bed in the theatre to see Dr. Ajibade in their midst. Bankole seems to have gathered a little bit of strength as he sits up on the bed.

“It is my pleasure to disclose to both of you that the surgery was successful. Sir, you may experience pains of some sort from time to time towards the left side of your abdomen, but it’s nothing major as it will last only for a few days. We will give you something that will help to douse it. I must say that you have a woman who possesses a strong will. I’m sure she’s in a better position to explain all of that. Anyway, I will see you two later today. Let me quickly go out to attend to some urgent calls.”

He makes his way out of the theatre.

Bankole is all smiles as he looks at Jumoke. She gets up to join him on the other bed smiling as well.

“I’ve missed you babe,”

“I’ve also missed you dear. For some reason I thought I was going to lose you.”

“Thank you for staying by me. I promise to make it up to you sometime soon.”

“Not to mention dear, I’m glad you’re here with me and that’s what really matters right now.”

They embrace each other like lost lovers that were forcefully separated by a supreme law,  but found a way to reunite after a decade.

The Ordeal 3

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“I’m afraid I don’t have good news for you Ma.”

“Why? What’s the problem?’’ She’s almost hysterical.

“I will need you to be here at the hospital in the early hours of the day tomorrow as it’s not something I wish to disclose over the phone”

The line went dead.

 

 

Her thoughts continued to travel from coast to coast. She could not understand what the problem could be. She lay in bed using the duvet to envelope her entire body. Soon, she fell into a hazy sleep that had a strange dream she couldn’t relate to. She and Bankole were holding hands as they explored Freedom Park situated in Marina. He stopped somewhere to get what they will eat while she went to sit by a swimming pool that was nearby. She waited for him to come join her but that didn’t happen. She got worried and went looking for him. She saw him watching a play that was taking place somewhere in the park. She walked as fast as she could to meet him. Just as she tried to get his attention, she was on the mattress once again with the duvet tossed to one side as she had rolled in her sleep pushing it aside.

 

The drive to the hospital takes about 15 minutes. She tries to imagine what will happen the worst that could be. Would he pass away without a child to call theirs? Will he survive? Or will the news be that the countdown to his last days on earth have commenced? These were questions that ran through her mind as she coasted along the highway of eko bridge.

“Mrs. Adewumi, please come with me”

Dr. Ajibade summons her into a small office that has his name tagged on the door.

“Please what’s wrong with my husband?’’

He looks away for a minute, then looks at her and starts to say:

“We ran some tests and the results revealed to us that he has end stage renal disease commonly known as kidney failure. The only remedy right now for him is to have a kidney transplant. What I will suggest you do is that you reach out to any of his siblings, disclosing this to them. One of them should be willing to donate their kidney.”

 

After being silent for five minutes she speaks up saying:

“He has just one of his older brothers here in the country. Other siblings are overseas.”

There’s a knock on the door

“Yes, come in”

The door gradually opens until it reveals a nurse.

“Dr. Ajibade, the patient in ward 114 seems to be much better today”

“Okay, let’s still observe him till midday. If he improves, then he will be discharged.”

“Okay doctor”

“Any other thing?”

“No doctor, Thank you”

She leaves his office shutting the door behind her. He glances at his wrist watch. The time is exactly 10 o’clock.

“It’s about time to go for ward round. I will be in touch with you Mrs. Adewumi.”

He gets up in readiness to head out. She also gets up making her way out of his office.

“Thank you doctor.” She mutters just before waking out through the door.

She scrolls though her phone searching for Oyedele’s number to disclose what she had learnt. She finds it and places a call through. It rings continuously on the other end then stops when it’s unanswered. She dials it a second time and the same thing happens. After about fifteen minutes, her phone rings. It is Oyedele returning her call.

“Hello, good afternoon sir.”

“Jumoke good afternoon. How can I help you?” He sounds stern.

“Mr. Oyedele I’m calling to tell you about your brother Bankole. He was rushed to the hospital yesterday as he suddenly became unconscious”

“And?”

“The doctors carried out a test and discovered that he has End State Renal Disease.”

“What,s that supposed to mean? I’m not in the medical line you know?”

“It’s commonly referred to as kidney failure.”

“So, what I’m I supposed to do?’’

“I called to let you know that he will need to undergo kidney transplant and hence will need a donor.”

“So you want me to donate my kidney to that boy? That boy that defied my advice by marrying you. In as much as papa and mama didn’t object his choice, I didn’t want him to because I saw you as up to no good. Now he’s in the hospital lying sick all because of you. I am not going to donate my kidney for him. If he likes, he should die there in hospital. I don’t give a damn. So you have the guts to call me to tell me this nonsense?”

The line goes dead.

 

Jumoke seems more confused than before as she starts to shed tears. She starts to wish she had not dialed his number. It will have been better if he had just ignored her call rather than humiliating her. Tears rolled down her cheeks uncontrollably as she folded her arms while seated on the settee in the living room. A million and one thoughts ran through her mind. ‘If his other siblings were within, she’s sure they’ll have come to assist without thinking twice. As tears stopped flowing from her eyes, she made her way to the bedroom heading straight to the bathroom to splash water on her face to clear the tear marks. Afterwards, she dabbed it all off with a towel and headed out to sit on the bed. She finally decided that she will do what her brother in law bluntly refused to do to save Bankole’s life.

 

To be continued…

The Ordeal 2

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He falls from the chair making a thud as he lands on the floor with his side. She rushes over to him and tries to wriggle him back to life.

“Banky!!!!! Banky!!!!!! Somebody help!!!” She screams as she dashes out of the apartment.

 

 

Mr. kolawole who lives in the apartment opposite has just returned and is about to enter when he hears the loud chants calling for help. Jumoke storms out looking hysterical.

“Jumoke what’s the problem?” He enquires.

“It’s Bankole, he suddenly went unconscious while we were together having supper”

“Oh my God! How? Where’s he?”

She walks back into the apartment. He follows behind her to where Bankole is lying unconscious. Without further ado, he lifts him putting him on his shoulders as he carries him out. She follows him locking the doors. He lays him in the backseat of his Cherokee while she enters the front passenger seat and they head for the hospital.

Lagoon hospital is an ambience of medical experts moving around. A man with a bruise on the forehead is hurled on a stretcher by a nurse who calls for the immediate attention of a doctor. From the way it looks, he may have been involved in an accident of some sort.

‘’Madam, what really happened to him?” An elderly man with geek looking glasses asks Jumoke. He has a tag on his lab coat that says Dr. Ajibade.

“We were sitting by the dining table having dinner and even talking about how the day went. All of a sudden, his countenance changes. It seemed like he was lost in thought as my instinct could perceive. I try to break that chain, but to no avail, it isin’t what I thought. He suddenly falls to the floor unconscious. I try to wake him but he’s unresponsive.”

‘’Hmmmmm, okay. Sir, do you live together with them?”

He turns to Mr. Kolawole

“we are next door neighbours. I live in the apartment opposite theirs. I had just returned home when she ran out seeking help. So I had to go see what the problem was.”

“Oh I see.”

“Madam, prior to this time, has Mr Bankole shown any sort of ailment or whatsoever?”

“No doctor, never”

“Does he drink?”

“He rarely does”

“Does he smoke?”

“Not at all doctor”

“Okay, for now he will be in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) we will however run a few tests to know what the problem is. Once we are able to come up with something concrete, we will definitely be in touch. But just keep your fingers crossed and believe that he will be alright. Okay?”

“Okay doctor.”

“Do take care ma”

“Thank you doctor”

He leaves their midst as a nurse calls his attention.

 

Back in the apartment, Jumoke sits up in bed as sleep is nowhere near. Her thoughts are saddled with different things.

“Why will Banky collapse suddenly? What could really be the problem? He seemed hale and hearty just as they sat to have dinner. Next minute, everything changed and he was on the floor.”

She couldn’t understand all that was happening. It all seemed like a dream that she was unable to wake from.

She managed to head to the kitchen to get a glass of water as her throat was starting to feel like the sahara. While gulping, she hears her phone ring.

“Who could be calling at this time of the night?”

Her thoughts were clouded once more. As she dashed to the room to get her phone. She sees an unsaved number. She’s skeptical about picking the call, as most unknown numbers that call are people that may have mixed up the number of whom they wish to call, or it could also be someone somewhere that has mustered the courage somehow to play a fast one. Never the less, she picks.

“Hello, good evening”

“Good evening madam. Please I’m I onto Mrs. Jumoke Adewumi?”

“Yes please, how may I help you?”

“I’m Dr. Ajibade calling from Lagoon hospital.”

“Oh okay, Doctor. Good evening.”

“Good evening once again madam”

“Please how’s my husband is he still in the ICU?”

“I’m afraid I don’t have good news for you Ma.”

“Why? What’s the problem?’’ She’s almost hysterical.

“I will need you to be here at the hospital in the early hours of the day tomorrow as it’s not something I wish to disclose over the phone”

The line went dead.

 

To be continued…

The Ordeal

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“Good evening babe”

Bankole greets his wife Jumoke as he made his was to settle on the single settee in the living room.

“Good evening my dear, how was work today?”

“Work was quite hectic boo, I was saddled with so much to do, which comprised of reports to draft for Mr. Akintola. And I’m not even through as there’s still more work to be done. Work just never seems to end.”

“My dear, I can relate to how it can be. Let me quickly prepare what you’ll eat dear, what will you love to have by the way?”

“Noodles will be fine babe”

“Don’t you ever get tired of noodles? Why not try pasta for a change you know?”

“Whatever you say babe”

“Just give me about twenty minutes.”

She dashes into the kitchen while he heads to the bedroom to freshen up.

Bankole works as a pension analyst for a reputable company known as PAL pensions located in the suburb of Victoria Island. Jumoke on the other hand, works as a secretary for a microfinance bank known as Minicredit Microfinance Bank Limited. It is a business that one will refer to as a small scale enterprise. It’s been two years since they got married still awaiting the cry of a baby to grace their home. They believed a miracle will come through at a time unknown.

Bankole is out in a blue jalabiya. Jumoke on the other hand, rounds up from the kitchen as she turns off the cooker while the pasta continues to simmer. She feels a grip that envelopes and rests on her from behind rocking her slowly from side to side like there was slow music playing in the background.

‘’Let me quickly dish your food dear”

She breaks free from his grip to grab a dish from the rack along with a kitchen spoon. She dishes some of the steaming pasta and hands it to him. He collects it from her with a wink.

“Jummy you’re one of a kind. You’re the best of all the women out there.”

“Banky, you’re such an amazing man. I can’t imagine what my life will have been like if we didn’t cross paths. You just have a way of putting a smile on my face even when my mood is down.”

He grins from ear to ear as they both make their way to the dining room. He takes a sit while she comes out with a bottle of water with two tumblers and a dish for herself as well.

“How did your day go babe?” He begins to munch on his meal.

“My day went pretty well dear, I didn’t do much today at the office as Mr. Adebola was out for a meeting. He even called to say that I could leave about thirty minutes before the closing time as he really can’t tell when he will return to the office, since the meeting was yet to end as they were not even half way through and the day was far spent.”

Bankole starts to sense a funny kind of feeling. It feels like he is in a world where it’s pitch black and all exists are voices which seem to be far off.

“Banky are you okay?”

Jumoke waves in front of his face as a way of trying to knock him out of his misery, but it’s far from it.

“Banky, Banky say something.”

He falls from the chair making a thud as he lands on the floor with his side. She rushes over to him and tries to wriggle him back to life.

“Banky!!!!! Banky!!!!!! Somebody help!!!” She screams as she dashes out of the apartment.

To be continued…

Sweet Africa

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O! sweet Africa

Called Dark Continent

By white merchants

Who came searching

For its pastures

To harness well being

In their homeland

 

O! sweet Africa

A black race

With several boundaries

On all sides

And people diverse

In ethnic and religion

 

O! sweet Africa

Where little children

Move all about

For daily bread

With tiny legs

As well as arms

And flats stomachs

That expose their ribs

 

O! sweet Africa

From where people

We’re taken captive

To work on plantations

They fed not from

 

O! sweet Africa

Where the leaders

Remain on seat

Even when they know

Their time is near

 

O! sweet Africa

Where lack is felt

Of resources fundamental

To general well being

Of body and soul

 

O! sweet Africa

My love for you

Is ever unending

My hope for you

Won’t sniff death

O! my beautiful Africa.

A Fateful Day 4

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Her mom arrives with her younger sister known as Ginika. When ugonwa opens the gate, she receives a warm embrace from her mom which lasts for several minutes.

Then she says:

“I’m so sorry to hear about this. This is a very big shock.”

Ginika also embraces her and says

“It’s going to be fine”

They make their way into the living room. With each person taking a seat. While Ginika sits on a single seater settee, Ugonwa sits on a two seater and her mom sits beside her.

“I still don’t understand this news, like what really happened? This whole thing looks like a maze. ”

Her mom expresses confusion.

“He was killed by armed men on his way to work this morning”

“haaaaaaaaaa!!!!!”

Both women put their hands on their heads.

“The wickedness of this world ehn!!!!!!!!”

Ginika’s voice has a high pitch attached to it.

“I wonder what some people gain from doing evil. They took the life of a good man just like that? Haaaaaaa!!!!!!!! This life is indeed cruel. God I know you see everything that goes on in this world. Please receive the soul of your son Chimezie, let the men that perpetrated this evil that claimed his life be brought to book.”

Mrs. Molokwu goes lamenting while Ugonwa sheds uncontrollable tears. Ginika gets up to perch on the handle of the settee beside Ugonwa to console her.

She embraces her saying;

“Take heart dear, it’s going to be fine by God’s grace.”

“It is well”

Her mother says as she stares in disbelief.

“I need to drink water, my throat feels rather dry.”

“Okay mom, let me get some from the dispenser.”

Ginika makes her way to the dining area, getting a tumbler from the chest drawer then opening the tap of the water dispenser. She alternates between two taps of hot and cold water in order to make it lukewarm as Mrs. Molokwu doesn’t drink cold water as advised by the doctor since she complained about a lump in her throat at one time.

“Thank you my dear.”

She receives it and takes a gulp.

Emeka and Adanna drifted into some kind of sleep that one would call siesta. Adanna wakes up all stretchy. She gets up slowly and makes her way to the convenience to ease herself. She returns to the room to find her brother in a booting process as he’s also just waking from sleep.

‘’I wonder how long we were asleep though.” He says.

“Emeka, I feel like I was hearing voices in my sleep. It sounded like that of grandma and Aunty Ginika.”

“Hmmm, I was hearing something similar in my sleep as well. Even moms voice was also heard”

“I couldn’t really make out what they were saying, but I guess it’s something that has to do with dad. Grandma’s voice was quite loud, while mom’s voice seemed pretty low.”

Adanna explained.

“Could something have happened to dad that we are not aware of? He promised to teach me how to ride a bicycle next month.”

Emeka’s eyes beat about the room as he spoke.

‘’I wonder what the time is even”

Adanna goes to take a look out the window to see the sky which is pitch black.

“It’s already night, which is when dad usually returns home. Let’s go check on mom and see if he’s back.”

She makes her way to the door. Emeka jumps from the bed to follow his sister, not even caring to glide his feet into flip flops.

 

Their eyes are graced with the presence of their Grandma, Aunty Ginika and their mom. To both of them, it’s like their dream being a reality.

“Look at you both, my grandchildren are growing fast. Come to grandma.”

She expresses her excitement while they run to embrace her.

“Good evening grandma, good evening grandma.”

They both greet.

“Emeka you’ve grown so big.”

She strokes his nose still in her moment of excitement.

“Even my first granddaughter Adanna is starting to look like a queen.”

She gives a mild pinch to the girls left cheek.

“What class are you?”

She asks looking at Emeka.

“Primary four Ma”

“Wow!!!!!!! You’re now a big boy. I’m proud of you.

“What class are you in dear?”

She turns to Adanna.

“Primary two ma”

“Wow!!!!!! That’s amazing. You’re catching up fast with your big brother, I like that.”

She holds them close with her hands enveloping them to her bosom.

“Mom, is dad back yet?” Emeka asks.

Before Ugonwa opens her mouth to utter a word, Mrs. Molokwu responds saying

“Your dad took a trip to heaven. He received an urgent call from God for a task at hand. As a result he had to leave.”

“When is he coming back?” Adanna asks.

“We really can’t say when and if he will be back, because what God wants him to do is something very special. While he’s there, he will be watching over you while you’re here on earth. He will talk to you in your hearts telling you what to do and what not to do.”

She continues.

Emeka and Adanna wonder what their grandma meant by all she said about heaven and their dad being called by God for a special task. Does it mean they will never get to go cycling with him anymore? Does it mean Emeka will no longer hear his dad call him ‘my little soldier anymore? Does it mean Adanna won’t be able to create a garden with a house that has two people seated in front for him to see? Does it mean he will no longer by the dining table while they ate hot meals? These were the questions that ran through their minds.

 

In a couple of weeks the funeral for Chimezie okafor takes place. It is graced with the presence of relatives such as his two brothers, his sister, his mother, distant cousins, uncles, aunties, as well as people from Ugonwa’s family. Her mother is present as well as Ginika who is seen holding the hands of Emeka and Adanna. Close colleagues from work are also present at the occasion. A clergy man starts with the rights of internment as his casket is displayed but remains shut. Laborers dig the soil in preparation for what is about to follow. The rights of internment continue for some time until it’s time to lower his casket into the soil. Ugonwa takes a heap of soil with a shovel and throws it to the lowered casket. His mom does the same, as well as his brothers and sister. Soon the laborers take over by taking gigantic heaps to cover up the soil till it becomes level. Emeka and Adanna seeing everything that just took place have a clearer picture of what their grandma told them that night. Their dad has indeed been called to heaven for a special assignment.

 

As the weeks go by, Ugonwa is assisted by her mom and Ginika with looking after Emeka and Adanna including the home. While Ginika walks them to school, her mom helps out with the cooking. She thinks of going back to work for an income. To this effect, she goes about filling for vacancies in various insurance companies surrounding the city. After going for several interviews with negative feedback, a breakthrough finally comes her way when she’s asked to start working as an insurance broker with Leadway assurance, even with the little experience she had as a sales personnel with Wapic insurance. With the new job, she’s able to put food on the table, see her kids through school, and give something to her mother every month. Ginika is not left out as she’s an undergraduate in the University of Lagos. One thing she came to realize is that despite the fact that Chimezie was no longer with her physically, he was right in her heart. And she knew he was smiling down on her as he watched over from the heavens. This feeling always brought a smile to her face as it lifted her spirit, motivating her to do better on a daily because, because he will always remain the love of her life.

A Fateful Day 3

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“Hello is everything alright in there?”

A next door neighbor who heard the wails comes knocking.

The neighbor opposite who also heard, peeps from his room window to see Mr. Onochie who lives adjacent knocking on the gate of the Okafors. He puts on a shirt and slips his leg into flip flops dashing out to join the elderly man.

“Sir, I wonder what could be wrong. The screams were rather loud. We hope it’s not the unthinkable that has occured.”

Onwuka shows concern in his tone.

“I hope so too. I really do not understand the reason for the screams. I wish someone will come out from this house.”

“Hello, can anyone hear me?”

Onwuka’s voice is rather loud, as he still has youthful energy.

He knocks a little hard on the gate such that even if someone were reluctant to come outside, the person will be forced to.

Another round of knocks is about to hit the gate when suddenly the bolts are unfastened and the gate opens slowly. Their eyes are graced with the site of a woman with disheveled hair and swollen eyes. Her cheeks are slightly swollen with tear marks. You wouldn’t need a soothsayer to tell you that she’s been weeping uncontrollably.

“Mrs. Okafor, what’s wrong? We heard the screams and had to come. Is everything is okay?” Pa Onochie says. “I can tell you’ve been crying what’s the matter?” Onwuka asks.

She starts to cry again.

“My husband is dead.”

She says with tear chocked voice

“Oh my God!!!!!!!! Chimezie?”

Mr. Onochie holds his chest in shock. Onwuka has a rather stupefied look on his face.

“But I saw him only a few days ago, how come?”

He managed to say still stupefied.

“This is strange indeed”

Mr. Onochie has bewilderment in his tone. Ugonwa’s cries start to intensify once more.

“Come my dear, let’s go inside”

Mr. Onochie takes her by the hand while Onwuka follows beside. They enter the living room. She helps herself to a settee in the living room. Mr. Onochie and Onwuka occupy a two seater settee.

“This is very sad indeed.”

Mr Onwuka continues to lament.

“Take heart my dear, but how come? What really happened?”

“He was ambushed and killed by gunmen on his way to work this morning.”

Ugonwa says through the tears.

“I’m very sorry to hear about this.”

Onwuka shows concern in his tone.

“It is indeed a wicked world we live in.”

Mr. Onochie shakes his head.

“How about the kids? They’re not home yet I guess. Who picks them from school?”

Onwuka still inquires.

“I do”

Her tear chocked voice abates a bit.

“I will go with you when you’re ready to pick them from school.”

Onwuka says with a spec of reassurance.

“My deepest condolences dear, it’s indeed a horrible world we live in.” Mr. Onochie said once again.

“It’s really sad that the only thing some can think of is how to take another life whereas they can’t even create one. He continued.

“What could the time possibly be?”

Onwuka turns his head around to see if there’s a wall clock. He finally focuses his gaze on one that is behind him and Mr. Onochie. 3:30pm

“It’s past time to pick the kids”

Ugonwa’s arms are folded like she’s about to shiver.

“Okay, I’ll go with you.” Onwuka says. “We’ll both go with you.”

Mr. Onochie says getting up. They all head out.

Emeka and Adanna are suprised to see two men come with their mom to pick them. They have seen Onwuka a couple of times when they rode with their mom or dad. They know he lived opposite. For Mr. Onochie, he had come once or so to the house to talk to their dad about one thing or the other. Their conversations never lasted longer than five minutes. So one won’t consider him as being that close .

“Mummy, today I learnt how to play on the C major chord using the left hand. Emeka says excitedly.

“That’s lovely dear.” She replied without shifting her gaze.

“Mom, I was thought how to play London bridge is falling down on the violin”

“That’s really nice.” Her gaze remains fixed.

Soon they’re home. Onwuka and Mr. Onochie help with opening and shutting the gate while she drives in to park.

They all make their way inside after Ugonwa unlocks the door. Emeka and Adanna head to the room to change after off-loading their bags and baggage to where they ought to be. Mr. Onochie and Onwuka are with Ugonwa in the living room.

“Did you notice that mom had a straight face through our journey home from school?”

Adanna asks her brother.

“Yes I did. Something seems to be off about her mood. I wonder why these men even came with her to pick us though.” He replied.

“Yes, the only time I think I’ve seen the other guy that leaves opposite is when we return from school with mom, or when we all go out with dad.”

She makes her proclamation.

‘’That’s true. Anyway, I can’t wait to tell dad what I learnt from the music class today.”

He boasts.

“Me too, Mr. Julius said he was impressed with the way I played London bridge is Falling Down.”

“He also told me that I’m beginning to hit the keys like one Cobalms Asu something like that. I can’t remember the name”

“Asuquo”

“Yes, Cobalms Asuquo. Who could that be?”

“You’ve never heard of him? He sings and also plays the piano. I’ve seen him on TV a couple of times too. He seems to be blind though.”

“Awwwww.”

He showed pity.

“Next time I see him on TV, I will show you.”

“Okay, cool.” Emeka replies.

He dashes into the bathroom to let out a wee while she drifts into sleep.

“Mrs. Okafor, we will have to take our leave now. The early hours of the evening is starting to set in.”

Mr. Onochie says looking at the clock which said 4:15pm.

“However if you need anything, we will be at your doorstep to offer our assistance the best way we can. I see you have amazing kids.”

Onwuka affirms.

“Take heart dear, I can’t imagine how those youngsters will take the news of the sudden demise of their dad. It’s such a sad one. Just try to be strong for them. Overtime, things will definitely get better.” Mr. Onochie says further.

“Don’t worry, everything will be alright. We are always around.”

“Thank you very much sirs, I really appreciate the kind gesture.”

“Oh, it’s nothing dear, don’t mention it” Mr. Onochie replies.

She goes to lock the gate behind them while they make their way back to their abode, then straight to the room where she lays on the bed with her face to the ceiling. Her phone starts to ring. She gets up to see who the person calling could be. It’s her mother whom she hasn’t heard from in weeks.

“Hello, mummy”

“My daughter, it’s been quite some time. I miss my amazing grandkids too. Anyway, how are you?”

“Mummy”

the tears start to roll down her cheeks once more.

“Ehn my dear, how’s my son Chimezie?”

She starts to sob.

“Is everything okay? It seems you’re crying. Talk to me what’s wrong?”

Mrs. Molokwu has a pitch of concern in her voice.

“Chimezie is dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

She starts weeping all over.

“Oh my God! How? When? Are you home? I’m coming over with your younger sister right away.”

Then the line goes dead.

To be continued…

A Fateful Day 2

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Two of the men make their way into his car. They shut the door and begin to drive off. The last one who had not spoken during the ordeal raises his AK 47 aiming it at him. On seeing this Chimezie is about to go down on his knees to beg for his life. But this doesn’t happen as several bullets rip into his chest. He falls to the ground while the other two bandits drive off in the Honda leaving him with blood seeping from his body.

Emeka and Adanna come out all set for school, with the time being 7:05am. Ugonwa comes out from the room no longer in nighties, but clad in a jeans trouser and a tank top. Walking into the dining area, she picks a back pack from the floor near the water dispenser and puts stationaries that comprise pencil, eraser, sharpener and ruler in two different back packs then she hands it to both of them. She also gives them their food which is already in a lunch bag and placed on the dining table.

“Okay, it’s time to go.” She says out loud then paces into the sitting room and grabs two sets of keys comprising of a key attached to a key holder and the other with several keys making a bunch around a metal loop from the center table.

Emeka and Adanna head for the front door with their backpacks hanging on their back while carrying their lunch bag with both hands. She opens the door allowing them step out of the living room while she does some sort of rummage through the bunch of keys after which she begins locking the door and secures it further by shutting the burglar proof guarded with a padlock . They all approach the primera while she unlocks it’s doors. She enters through the driver’s door and stretches her hand to open the door behind that of the front passenger. They let themselves in with Adanna climbing in first, and Emeka following suit.

‘’You two can have the sandwich before we get to school. You’ll find it just beside the food flask packed in a Ziploc.”

“Okay mom,” Emeka replies as he thrusts his hand into his lunch bag and brings it out to reveal what had already been described. Except for the part that it was rather sumptuous and tantalizing to the eyes.

Adanna digs into her lunch bag to reveal the same thing. They both munch on it while their mom navigates through the roads to get to school.

The journey to school lasts for about seven minutes as the school is not far off since it is situated within the confines of the estate. She pulls over to the side of the road a few metres away from the school gate. After turning off the engine, she alights and heads to open the door behind the front passenger since it’s not on the side that has oncoming vehicles. He takes the lead in getting out of the car.

She walks them to the gate where there is a lady perceived to be in her late twenties standing as though she were there to welcome pupils as they came to school.

“Good morning Ma, you’re welcome.” The lady greets Ugonwa.

“Good morning dear, how are you today?” She returns the greeting exchanging pleasantries as well.

“Very well thank you.”

“Good morning Ma,” “good morning ma”

Emeka and Adanna chant their greetings respectively.

“Emy and Ada, how are you both doing today?”

“Fine, thank you ma.”

They chorus together.

“Bye mom,”

they chorus once again and turn to wave at their mom.

“Bye, see you both afterschool.”

She still has the smile plastered on her face.

“Mrs. Okafor, I trust your family is doing well.”

The same lady tries to inquire.

“Yes my dear, we are by God’s grace. What’s your name by the way?”

“Oh it’s Chisom ma.”

She says with a sheepish smile that almost looks like laughter in that same gesture.

“Okay dear, well-done. Have a lovely day”

She starts strolling back to the car.

“Thank you ma, and you too”

She still wears the sheepish smile.

The name of the school is Crownville nursery and primary school which is situated at number 15, Igwe Odinaka Avenue. It creates room for several activities ranging from academics, to sporting activities like football and basketball, as there is a big field that serves as the football pitch. There is also a concrete ground that serves as a basketball court. It was 68 feet long and 32 feet wide.

While Emeka played football, Adanna played basketball. There also created room for a section in which pupils were taught how to play various musical instruments. Their music teacher is known as Mr. Jimoh. He however preferred to be called by his first name which was Julius, because he was one that you will call a jolly good fellow. He played with every one ranging from colleagues to the pupils as well. He was considered a demon with musical instruments because of the dexterity with which he played them. As a way of respect, pupils addressed him as Mr. Julius. Emeka and Adanna also partook in the musical section which usually took place after school hours three times a week, which were Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. While he played the piano, his sister played the violin. Crownville was indeed a buzz of activities. This was the reason why children longed to be there as it was like a paradise for kids.

The drive back home seems to take a little less time. She parks by the gate in order to minimize the back and forth movement of having to throw the gate open at several intervals, since she will still have to go pick them from school in a few hours. She heads straight to the room and throws herself on the bed in a bid to catch some sleep. Somehow someway, sleep comes through like a mysterious trance in which she has a dream where she’s together with Chimezie and the kids. They are in some sort of amusement park all having fun as they swing on a pirate’s ship that goes like a pendulum starting off slow then intensifying. They all scream in amusement as the rate at which the swing occurs is mind blowing. It lasts for about ten minutes till the tempo calms and they all leave the ship. All of a sudden, Chimezie is nowhere to be found. While Emeka and Adanna seem carried away with the activities of the park, she begins to wonder where he may have gone.

“Honey! Where are you?”

She’s tempted to ask a passerby if they’ve seen anyone that looks like him, but instead, she brings out her phone in an attempt to dial his number. Suddenly, it’s like magic. He appears. She’s about to scream and grab him in some sort of excitement. Just as she reaches to grab, he turns and smiles at her. All of a sudden, he disappears. She’s puzzled as to why he will just disappear like that. Next thing, she’s lying on the mattress in the four walls of their bedroom.

She sits up looking puzzled as though she were trying to decipher what the dream she had could mean. She goes to the bathroom to dab some water on her face. She’s still trying to process her thoughts and it crosses her mind to put a call through to him to know how he’s doing. She dashes out of the bathroom and goes to get her phone from the stool near the bed. Just as she’s about to dial his number, there’s an incoming call from an unknown number. She’s tempted to ignore it by letting it ring without answering, after which she will call Chimezie. But she ends up picking.

“Hello, good morning,”

comes the voice on the other end.

“Good morning, how may I help you?”

She inquires.

“Please I’m I onto Mrs. Ugonwa Okafor?”

“Yes, please”

“This is Dr. Onu calling from Gold Cross Hospital Ikoyi.”

“Okay doctor, Please is there a problem.”

“Yes madam, I’m calling to inform you that your husband Mr. Chimezie Okafor was brought here in an ambulance today.”

“Oh my God what happened?”

She starts to sound almost hysterical.

“Well from what we can deduce he was fatally shot several times by armed men who must have trailed him while he drove to work. We were able to get this information from a few eyewitnesses around the scene where he was found in a pool of his blood.”

Ugonwa is panicky as she begins to tremble.

“How is he?”

Her voice shakes as tears start welling in her eyes.

“I’m very sorry to disclose this to you Madam, but he didn’t make it. He was pronounced dead thirty minutes after he was brought here. We checked and found that a bullet punctured his lung while another penetrated his heart. The bullet to the heart resulted in uncontrolled bleeding that led to his death. He also had several fractures in his rib cage as well. His body will be deposited at the mortuary which is just beside the hospital. Whenever you’re ready, we’ll need you to come so we can see and make plans on how long we will harbor it while plans are put in place for a funeral.”

She falls on the floor and begins to wail with her cheeks bathed in tears.

To be continued…

A Fateful Day

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‘’How was your day sweetie?”

Chimezie asked his wife Ugonwa as he shut the door behind him.

‘’My day was lovely dear, you’re home earlier than usual today though, hope work went well?’’

She flipped her wrist to check the time on her wristwatch which said 6:15 pm. She then headed to the dining area to get water from the dispenser. He usually returned from work at about 9:15pm. Although, in cases where there’s city traffic, he would return at about a few minutes past the hour of 10pm. Work however demanded him to leave home before the break of dawn so as to resume before 8am and leave quite late in order to cover up loose ends.

“Work went pretty well babe, I just needed time off to clear my head a bit.’’

‘’Yea, I can relate to how it can be at times. Sometimes you need to take time off so you don’t get all worked up and cranky.’’

‘’You’re right Ugo. Sometimes it feels like everything is happening so fast, and the next thing you need to do is get away from all of it just to have your sanity. To be honest, it can be cra…”

“Daddy Daddy’’

Came the chants from Emeka and Adanna. Emeka was nine, while Adanna was seven. He was in primary four,  while she was in primary two. They were both tops in their respective classes. Chimezie worked as an accountant for an accounting firm known as Akintola Williams & co, which happens to be one of the top notch accounting firms existing in the country located in the urban area of Ikoyi. Ugonwa on the other hand, had worked as a sales personnel for an insurance company known as Wapic insurance. Along the line, when she had Emeka, she had to quit work in order to look after him as the company didn’t offer much as regards maternity leave, because they just commenced business. Hence, they needed to grow their client base, which will require extra work that with minimal benefits as regards annual leave. She catered for him as much as she could, especially for a fact that hiring a nanny that proved trustworthy was more like a herculean task.

Even the ones that were hired, either ditched her by stealing from her jewelry box, or came up with some sort of excuse as to why they have to quit. She resorted to becoming a full time house wife which persisted even when Adanna was born, as she was saddled with the responsibility of looking after two children and ensuring that Chimezie is served breakfast, has lunch packed for the day, and is served dinner while it’s sizzling. The same treatment was given to Emeka and Adanna every day they had to be at school. Apart from fixing them with delicacies from her recipe, she dropped them at school in a beat up Nissan Primera that was once the cruise for her husband, until he got a Toyota Highlander. He however had something folded up his sleeves, which was to surprise her with the keys to a Toyota Matrix, while the Primera will be sold at some sort of giveaway price.

‘’Daddy you came home early today,”

Emeka said with so much exhilaration.

‘’Yes my boy, I had to come spend the time with you two musketeers.”

‘’Daddy I can now make a house with a garden that has two people sitting together.”

Adanna ran to the room to get one out of the several picture puzzles she fiddled with from time to time while at home trying to keep busy.

“Daddy I finally rescued the princess in Rayman Legends. I killed all the bad guys in order to save her.”

Emeka in his thrilled state goes to turn on the television and connect the playstation 4 game console. Adanna returns from the room with the picture puzzle to entertain her dad who now takes a seat on one of the settees in the living room. Ugonwa on the other hand, goes into the kitchen to fix dinner for everyone. She begins to put pieces of the puzzle together while her father watched with so much keen and fascination. In no time she’s done with what comprises a beautiful garden with two people sitting in front of a house that looks like a story building.

‘’Wow, this is so amazing, you created a house surrounded by a beautiful garden with two people sitting in front of it?’’

Chimezie is all smiles.

“Wow!!!!!! That’s my little angel, you never cease to amaze me.” “Come over to daddy.”

He stretches out his arms in an embrace while still seated on the settee. She walks into his arms as though they will shield her from harm.

“Daddy the game is about to start, I’m about to whoop their asses once more.’’

Emeka is all excited as he fiddles with the pad while selecting the menu to commence game play.

‘’I trust you won’t spare those fellas son, that’s why you’re my super hero.’’

Chimezie has some sort of affirmation in his voice. He and Adanna watch Emeka take on the villains in order to rescue the princess.

‘’Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I saved the princess, I saved the princess, I saved the princess, I saved the princess” Emeka went jubilating as he danced around the living room. ‘’That’s my soldier, give me a high five” Chimezie taps the little boys palm with his making the sound of a clap. ‘’Dinner is ready” Ugonwa’s voice reverberates through the walls of the living room all the way from the kitchen. ‘’Alright mom’’ Emeka reechoed. “We’ll be right there” Adanna added. They both made their way to the kitchen with their dad following behind like a guardian angel of some sort.

 

‘’Wow, what have we got here?”

Chimezie opens a pot of simmering sauce with pieces of chicken. The aroma was so tantalizing that once perceived by anyone, the walls of the stomach will start to ache such that the throat will suddenly go dry.

‘’Spaghetti and chicken sauce dear, just the way you’ll love it. “Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Chimezie and Adanna say it in unison after they both inhaled the aroma as though they expected to get their stomachs filled with it.

‘’You two should help yourselves with a dish from the rack”

She said, gesturing towards a rack stacked with several dishes of different colours. Emeka and Adanna came holding their dishes to their chest which made them almost look like roadside beggars that waste no time in approaching cars when they are being halted in traffic. She dished some spoons  of steaming spaghetti in Adanna’s dish, then bathed it with the sizzling sauce and a piece of chicken. The same ritual took place for Emeka. They both helped themselves with a fork and knife then headed out to the dining area.

She goes to the rack to get a dish so as to start dishing that of her husband. Suddenly, she feels something grab and rest on her from behind. It grips and rocks her slowly from side to side. She quickly dropped the dish on the slab placing the serving spoon on it to avoid it from breaking. She makes a sharp turn and gives him a light kiss on the lips. He kisses her on the forehead and says

“I love you sweetie.”

“I love you too my dear.”

She breaks free from his grip and goes on to dish his food. After dishing several spoons of spaghetti, she asks:

“Will this be enough for you?”

The dish is filled with spaghetti to the extent that it will be hard to see its edge when looked at from the top.

‘’Yes sweetie, that will do.”

She bathes the spaghetti on the dish with the still sizzling sauce and several pieces of chicken. She sets the dish aside then is about to get another dish for herself from the rack but before she can, he quickly grabs a dish and hands it to her like he was flash in justice league. She looks at him with a slight spec of seduction and says:

“Thank you darling.” “You’re welcome love”

He says returning her show of gratitude. She takes the dish from him and dishes her food. Hers is not as much as his as you will even see way beyond the edge of the dish without looking from the top. They both head for the dining area with their food.

 

“Mommy, please can we have some more spaghetti?”

Emeka and Adanna ask in unison. Their plates are sparkling clean like they had just been washed with the best dish-washing liquid one can think of.

“Okay, I’ll dish a little more for you both. Just give me a minute.”

She drops her dish with food in front of a free chair on the dining table then grabs the dishes of Emeka and Adanna to get them more food. In less than a minute, she returns with their dishes with a little extra of the sumptuous meal they requested for. Emeka wastes no time in devouring his meal, while Adanna takes her time to nibble on hers.

Chimezie on the other hand devours the meal like it was his first in days. Ugonwa however nibbles on her meal while they have chit chats together as to how the day was for each of them.  Soon, everyone is done eating. They all look like they ate to their fill, just like the five thousand men that were fed by Jesus. Emeka an Adanna start to clear the dining table of the dishes, cutleries and cups used. Ugonwa stretches her legs while she and Chimezie converse about different things.

‘’How’s the audit of NNPC’s account coming along?” She asks.

Emeka and Adanna are in the kitchen busying themselves with washing the dishes when a loud noise comes from the kitchen.

“What is that?”

Ugonwa springs up from the chair to make her way to see the impending damage.

“It’s noting mom, the dish just fell out the rack and hit the sink” Emeka retorted.

‘’Let me go see what they are up to dear,” she leaves Chimezie in the dining room and storms into the kitchen to find a dish in the sink that is chipped off at the edge.

“Oh my! I hope none of you got hurt?”

She examines their hands to see if there are cuts.

“We are fine mom, Emeka stopped the dish from reaching the floor.” Adanna had a reassuring tone in her voice.

“Thank God, how far did you guys go with the dishes?” “There are two dishes remaining” Emeka replied. “You two have tried, I will take up whatever is left. Thank you so much. Both of you can go to bed. You know you have to be up early for school tomorrow.”

“Good night mom”

They somehow manage to say together.

“Good night my angels.”

She replies them and takes on the dishes.

‘’Good night dad,” he tells his dad.

“Good night dad,” she follows suit.

Chimezie had already drifted into some kind of sleep as he can be heard snoring a little loud. They both head to their room which they share with bunk beds. While Emeka sleeps on the top bunk, Adanna sleeps on the one below. She has always had a phobia for heights and hence, reclined to be on the lower bunk. They take turns in having their bath and changing into their sleeping garment, then hit their beds and sleep comes knocking in no time with the time being 9:15pm.

 

Ugonwa rounds up with tidying the kitchen and is ready to retire to the room.

“Sweetheart” she taps Chimezie who is starting to advance in sleeping gears. “Sweetheart, let’s go to the room.”

He turns his head from side to side trying hard to keep his reddened eyes to focus.

‘’What time is it dear?” He manages to say with a croaky voice “its half past nine.” “Oh dear, I didn’t even know when sleep came calling.” “You must have been rather exhausted. Come let’s go the room.”

She pulls him up by the arm from the dining chair. He manages to stand and begins to follow her lead. She holds his hand while he follows like he were visually impaired and was being aided by a Good Samaritan.

When they get to the room, he’s more awake than he was a few minutes ago in the living room. He realizes that he still has his work clothes on as he was in the living room all through the time he came home from work. He takes off his clothes and heads to the bathroom in an attempt to have a shower. The baptism from the shower lasts about two minutes after which he gets his mouth cleaned with a tooth brush. He’s done and makes his way back to the room. He goes to the wardrobe and picks up a piece of clothing that is like a jalabiya which serves as a sleeping overall. He puts his hands through the sleeves, then his head and makes the final adjustment as it rests on his frame. Ugonwa makes her way to the bathroom to also have the same share of baptism while he gets himself ready to be tucked under the bed covers. She comes out to find him laying still. She assumes he’s fast asleep once again and begins to get into her nighties. As soon as she gets under the covers, he advances towards her and envelopes his arms around her waist.

“I thought you were already asleep dear.”

“Not yet babe, was waiting for you to come join me so we’ll finish our conversation from where we left off.’’

“Oh okay, about the audit on the account of NNPC yea? How’s it coming along?”

She turns around such that they are now facing each other on the mattress.

“It’s going pretty well, we’ve had to refer to so many of our books when we saw their statement of account. It was mind blowing. What’s even more overwhelming is their balance sheet. We still have so much work to do as regards how they treat the depreciation of their fixed assets and all of that.”

He explained.

“Sweetie you know I’m in another world entirely when it comes to all these accounting terms that have to do with depreciation, fixed assets and whatsoever. But anyways, I know you’re doing great at work and I’m proud of you. Keep up with the good work my dear, the sky is never the limit, but the beginning.”

“I wonder what will have become of me if I didn’t marry you, you’re such a wonderful gift to me. I promise to not fall back on the vows we made to each other ten years ago. I will be right by your side through all of it by the grace of the Almighty.”

He declared with some level of affirmation in his tone.

“I trust you dear, I’m glad I married you. You’re my heartbeat. My handsome bobo with class, the one that makes me feel like a model doing the cat walk. I will always love you.”

“I’m always going to love you sweetheart, you have a heart that’s more beautiful than roses, your smile shines bright like the radiant sun, and your virtues are way more precious than diamonds.”

“Sweetie don’t let me blush like how I used to back when we just started off dating” She chuckles.

“That’s exactly how you are my love, words fail me most times. I love you so much dear.”

He kisses her on the forehead and embraces her in a cuddle.

“I love you more darling,” she replies.

They fall asleep in each other’s arms.

 

The next morning, as early as 5 o’ clock, Ugonwa is in the kitchen fixing breakfast for everyone. She also prepares lunch that the kids will take to school and for Chimezie to take to work as well. While sandwich is to serve as breakfast, jollof rice with garnished chicken will serve as lunch. Chimezie on the other hand makes his way to the bathroom where he starts to prep up by clearing the three day old stubble from his cheeks with a clipper leaving his chin and upper lip to form a beard that looks like that of Van Dyke. He trims it a little so that it looks well groomed. Afterwards, he gets rid of the strands of shaven hair by splashing water all around his face. He concludes that and grabs a toothbrush with a tube of toothpaste from which he squeezes onto the brush, then he starts to rub against his tongue and teeth. After a feeling of satisfaction from the massage, he spits out the paste and washes it down the drain. He puts some water in his mouth and gaggles several times till there’s nothing left from the paste. Then he goes to have his bath.

He’s done in no time and heads back to the bedroom to start dressing for work. Emeka and Adanna are woken by the sound of the alarm clock that’s on the stool beside the bedside lamp. Once again, they take turns to have their bath and brush their teeth. Soon they’re done and begin to get dressed in their school uniform. Ugonwa starts packaging their breakfast and lunch as she rounds up from all of the preparation. She works assiduously while moving all around the kitchen. Chimezie comes out from the room all cladded in a suit with a tie to augment it.

“Good morning babe,”

He kisses her on the cheek.

“Good morning dear, I hope you were able to catch some good sleep last night?”

She puts sandwich in a ziploc and gets a food flask with already dished food.

“Yes babe, I was able to somehow someway.”

He goes to the fridge to get an already opened cranberry juice.

“I know the night seemed quite short but that notwithstanding,  Saturday is just two days away. And I’m sure you’ll be able to get a restful time that day.”

She puts the food flask and ziploc in a carrier bag.

“I really can’t wait for that. Most importantly, I look forward to the end of the month when I will be on leave for a month. By then, we will be able to spend ample time together as I will be due to resume the following month.”

He made his proclamation to her.

“I know dear, we have one more week to go this July, then August will be for just the two of us as well as the kids, since they’ll also be on summer holiday. We could even travel briefly to Obudu cattle ranch in Cross River state. You know the kids will also love that?”

“I know babe, I will put it at the top of my bucket list. Trust me to do just that.”

“I trust you dear, here’s your meal for the day. I’m sure this will sustain you till you return later today.”

She hands him the carrier bag.

“Thank you so much boo, it definitely will. I’ve got to run along now dear, do have a lovely day.”

He kisses her on the forehead and makes his way out through the front door.

“And you too love, bye.”

Her voice reverberates through the walls of the kitchen to the entrance.

“Bye dear,” he retorts.

The time is 6:15am. He dashes into his sparkling highlander, starts the engine, then goes to help himself with the gate. After making a few sharp turns, the car is on the street. Joel Ogunnaike estate has a rather quiet ambience. Even in broad day light where there’s usually a buzz of activities, it maintains its tranquility. He shuts the gate then gets into his car once again to begin the journey to Ikoyi. He drives all the way up to the gate that borders the estate to join the highway of Chief Awolowo road. Barely fifteen seconds after he makes the turn, a Honda accord commonly referred to as baby boy comes alive. It trails after him while he drives on the Eko Bridge. Just before he approaches the gate that will lead him into the parking lot of his office, the driver in the Honda veers in front of him. The fright that engulfs Chimezie makes him step on the brakes forcing him to stop about a hairs breadth from it. He contemplates on whether to confront the reckless driver or let it go when four men armed with guns storm out. His eyes widen with fear he has never known. He blinks intermittently in less than two seconds. It all looks like a nightmare he can’t wake from.

“Oga come down!!!!!” one of the armed men yells as advances towards his side of the car and tries to open the door.

Chimezie opens the door in a frenzy state.

‘’Please, if its money you want, I will give you, anything you want, I will give…”

“Shut up your mouth my friend”

Another bandit yells slapping him across the face.

“Yeye man, you think say na only you sabi chop abi? You dey there dey flex, while we neva see wetin to chop for three days. Where’s your car key”?

Another of the four men demanded.

Chimezie who was too terrified to speak, pointed to the car while he held his face. Tears began to roll down his cheeks.

“Oga you no sabi talk? If you no take time, we go just waste you.”

The first bandit that tried to force his in said. Two of the men make their way into his car. They shut the door and begin to drive off. The last one who had not spoken during the ordeal raises his AK 47 aiming it at him. On seeing this Chimezie is about to go down on his knees to beg for his life. But this doesn’t happen as several bullets rip into his chest. He falls to the ground while the other two bandits drive off in the Honda leaving him with blood seeping from his body.

To be continued…

The Reclusive Life of Deji 4

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He snatches Tosin’s answer booklet and scribbles on it with a pen.

‘’Ah excuse me sir,’’

he protests as he looks up in dismay.

‘’Didn’t you hear me say stop writing? Some of you students are just very funny. I don’t understand.’’

Soon everyone’s answer booklet is collected and Dr. Akinbinu and his cohorts leave the hall.

 

Students were all over the faculty having chit chats as to how they answered the test questions as they were in several swarms comprising of those that shared one thing or the other in common such as their beliefs, ideas and the likes. While some didn’t necessarily have anything in common with those they mingled with, but rather found a niche that made it easy for them to blend together.

‘’Deji how did you find the test?’’

Segun asked with a wide grin that extended as far his ears.

‘’It went pretty well bro,’’

he replied with some sort of enthusiasm which was quite unusual for his kind of person.

‘’I solved the questions given to a reasonable degree.’’

‘’Hi Deji, how was the test?’’

An excited female voice cuts into their conversation.

”Oh, hi it went pretty well.’’

Deji was less awkward than the other night.

“That’s lovely to hear. By the way, I’m Lade in case you’re wondering.’’

‘’Okay, it’s a pleasure.’’

Deji had a smile plastered on his face. Lade was equally all smiles, then she turned to Segun saying:

‘’Oh, please pardon my manners Segun. How did you also find the test?’’

‘’No worries Lade, it went quite well for me.’’

‘’Oh yeah! From the affirmation you guys have given, you’re definitely gonna kill it once the result is announced. I want to be like you guys when I grow up. You’re bosses of a kind.’’ She goes on.

‘’I want to thank you guys for showing up the other night and staying by me while I was trying to relate to how that guy almost ran over me with his car. Really, you guys are amazing.’’

‘’You’re most welcome Lade, we thank God for preventing the worst from happening to you.’’ Segun replies.

“Thank you guys once again, alright catch you guys later.’’

She winks at Deji before dashing off.

‘’Bro I have a feeling she likes you’’

Segun says to Deji still maintaining the wide grin. Deji who is blushing uncontrollably replies saying:

”You think so?’’

”Dude are you blushing?’’

Segun chuckled as they began to walk towards the faculty cafeteria.

‘’Guy how your test take go na? you smash am abi?’’

Tosin  who is with a group of guys approaches them. He stretches out his hand to shake Deji and Segun. They both return his hand shake.

‘’By the way, I see the time wey dat babe dey give you eye.’’ He says referring to Deji.

‘’Bad guy, I too like your style. Your fine boy dey make am trip. Just give am few punch lines and she go die for you like the prophets of Baal take die when Elijah fired their black nyash.’’

Tobi and Tunde who are just within, burst into laughter at what Tosin said.

‘’Anyways, make I go find wetin I go chop.’’ Tosin said.

‘’Dr Akinbinu chop my eye for that test con still add jara join sef, but anyway, God pass am. Make una enjoy una selves.”

Tosin goes to join Tobi and Tunde.

“Yeah, safe bro,” Segun says.

“Take care bro,” Deji retorts.

Tosin gives them a thumbs up then disappears with Tobi and his other accomplice.

‘’Mehn, you’re gradually starting to gain some degree of reputation from people.’’ Segun says to Deji as they walk into the cafeteria.

‘’Well, I really don’t know how it’s happening, I mean it’s a little overwhelming I must say.’’ Deji shrugs as they converse.

‘’Don’t worry bro, it happens. The world is filled with different kinds of  people that come into our lives at different points in time for different reasons. While come to stay, some also go like the season. And while some add value to our lives by uplifting us, some add nothing, but rather leave us the way they met us, and some try to take advantage of us by taking our self-worth. We should however be careful of those that won’t add anything to us and be more cautious of those that are capable of making us forget who we are and lose our selves. May we never come across such people as we journey through life.’’

Segun pauses as they settle waiting for their order to be taken by one of the attendants of the cafeteria.

‘’Bro, you’re filled with so much wisdom, and I’m indeed glad to have you to as my right hand man. You’re one in a million as far as I’m concerned.’’

Deji makes his declaration of Segun.

“It’s one of the things my parents made me understand while growing up as a child, and somehow it has become my guiding principle in life. God bless them and keep them safe always’’

Segun replies with a smile as usual.

Soon their orders are taken and they both get served. They eat and head out the faculty still conversing with each other like two lost brothers that just found each other.

The test result is announced to the class in the days that follow with Deji scoring the highest mark and Segun being the second highest. The friendship between them continues to wax stronger such that it is what one will refer to as a formidable bond. However, they are joined occasionally by Lade who seems to enjoy their company. Deji however seemed to like her and on a few occasions, they would both hang out and have conversations that would last several hours. Soon, they started dating and members of the class held them in some sort of esteem.

Days continue to run into weeks, and likewise, weeks run into months with the first semester exams fast approaching. Deji and Segun are like the kings of the class as many people approach them to seek explanation in certain courses where they lack good grasp. Exams come and go and the semester comes to an end. With a short break of about two weeks.

At the beginning of the second semester, the result for the previous semester is pasted for all to see. Deji and Segun top the class both having G.P.A’s of 4.92 and 4.85 respectively. They gain the respect of everyone in class. Even other departments in the faculty have a perception of this aura from the department of statistics.

For deji, it’s a life he never imagined given the circumstances that he faced as a child that made him secluded from others, such that he rarely made friends and however became reclusive. It was like seeing the world through an eye that just gained its vision. He knew his dad must be proud of him as he watched from high heavens.