He was shocked at first but he later asked, “What do u mean, I
am not a half-cast”.
I smiled victoriously & said, “I know but u still have foreign blood in u. It is either ur mum is a half-cast or ur dad is.
I don’t see u having this colour of eyes without a foreign blood”,
I said knowing from his reaction that my judgement was right.
He looked amazed as he said,
“Well, my biological mother is a half-cast”. I wanted to follow that
statement but I knew that it is best to know little of him for my
“Don’t think I did not observe ur subject swap, & u are good at it”, he said & laughed
“Christ,u are d–n
I gave myself a pat on d back & smiled back feeling at ease with him, then I remembered that I was at work.
“Ok, I guess u came to see me d other time for something important but u were
unfortunate enough to come at d wrong time”, I said
“Oh, it is nothing serious, I just
wanted to pay u a surprise visit”, he said smiling.
I wondered how he knew my office but did not ask him & I made a mental note to ask my
“Alright, I would be back & be sure I won’t accept d excuse u gave me earlier”, he said &
I breathed a free air immediately he left but I also missed him
The police men arrived at Tolu’s house in a casual car but with
uniformed police men in it.
Inspector Sule & d guy with d evidence finally got out of d car. The guy took out his phone
& dialed a number.
“Ore, bawo ni nowww?”….“I dey your house house, I just wan follow some people
groove go one joint but I tell them say make them stop for ur house. We dey ur house
now, u go follow?” silence followed, then he smiled, “I trust
u my guy, u now dey dull my spirit, I swear, we dey wait o”, he
said and hung up. The inspector had got d hint so he told his men to stay hidden around d
gate of the building & d car they brought.
The tattered looking guy sat down on bonnet of d car
with inspector sule who was busy taking note of every move.
He had learned to trust no one so he was monitoring d guy
beside him also
Within minutes, Tolu was out of d gate & upon sighting his
friend on d car’s bonnet, he walked towards him. One over-
eager police man forgot their initial plan & walked behind Tolu, gun in hand. The ever alert
Tolu noticed d silent steps of someone & within d twinkle
of an eye, removed d pocket knife that was always with him,
stopped immediately & threw his hand backwards, & sliced d stomach of his assailant like someone who was ready to do
operation. The police man fell immediately clutching his stomach & wailing. Tolu did not see d other police men so
b4 he knew what was
happening, he had been
rounded up with close to five guns aimed at his skull. His hands
were forced behind him & they were roughly handcuffed & he
was pushed into d car like a cow ready to be slaughtered. The
terribly injured police officer was also put in d car & they zoomed off without delay.
I attended to only one patient & next thing I knew, it was time to go home. As I was about leaving, I remembered that I had
planned to ask my secretary something about Richærd & I
wanted to call her via d
intercom but decided otherwise.
I cleared my table & I checked to be sure that everything was
in,side my bag & I found
Richærd’s hankie. It had a lingering smell of him which made it look as if he was there
personally. I dropped d hankie in my bag, cleared my things,
said a little prayer of thanks to God & left my
I noticed Joke also preparing to leave
“Hey Joke”, I said
“Miss Belina,u are already leaving abi”, she asked
“uhn,I have told u that after working hours, I am Belina, for
God’s sake, we are almost d same age”, I said already hating
all d ‘miss’ bullshit.
She smiled & said, “sorry for letting that guy into ur office, I
did not know he would upset u”
“oh, 4get that. I want to ask u something. How did Mr Richærd know my office? Is he a regular face?” I asked
Her eyes w¡dened for some seconds, she quickly covered it & my professional instinct told me that a lie would follow. “I… I don’t know but he is a regular
I wanted to just just smile but I laughed my heart out & Joke knew that I caught her lie for
what it is. “C’mon now Joke,u can’t fool me. Tell me d truth & I won’t tell him or get
angry”, I said truthfully.
She sighed & lowered her voice in conspiracy, “I am not surprised that u don’t know
him for who he really is cos I also did not know for like a month since I came here but listen, that man is Mr Richærd
Branson, d owner of Best Results Hospital”
I blanched & almost passed out at d revelation.
Mr.Badmus looked like he had been starved for d past one month. He still could not believe
that he had been set free to go.
He was brought out of prison & was given a good meal of fried rice & chicken which he
ate like a mad man. He had been beside himself with fright thinking of the trial which was
Wednesday & how he had no hope of escaping undeserved punishments which was certain to be either death by hanging or
firing squad. He looked at d inspector who had so badly disgraced him a week ago & wanted to put a gun to his heart & pull d trigger. He devoured his food & when he was through, he looked at d
inspector & said,
“Now, my name is shattered, what are u going to do about it? I could sue u, u know?
The inspector laughed at d threat,
“u want to sue me? Do u think I don’t know about
how you sent people to kidnap ur daughter for ur selfish interests? You could spend years
in prison for doing that, d murderer told us everything in confession”, he said.
The blood drained from Mr Badmus’ eyes & he looked older than his actual age. He
started pleading with inspector sule who said that he would
behave as if he did not hear anything if he left that place in peace.
Mr. Badmus left d police
station with just one purpose, to finish Belina. He had been given
one thousand Naira by d
inspector in order for him to get around, after taking d keys of
his apartment he set out. He got to his street in no time &
everyone’s eyes were on him. He quickened his steps but even
children were whispering then
all of a sudden, he heard a road prophet call him, “young man”.
He quickened his steps but d voice came h-rder & frightening,
“Don’t u dare walk out on a prophet young man, it is dangerous”. He had heard of d power behind prophets & was
scared of them actually. He stopped for his dear life & faced d prophet. He was an old man & was having problem
“Yes, baba”, he said
“Hmmm, listen to d voice of God my son so that u would not regret ur actions. u have it in mind to do something evil & God has asked me to warn u against it. Things would still
go well for u & ur former glory would be restored, if u obey my words. That child u
blame 4 ur misfortunes is not to blame but u are to blame.
U maltreated that child when she was young not knowing that
little children have guardian angels who are just there to fight
on their behalf. It is what u sow that u reap my son. If u try to carry out what is in ur
heart,u would not succeed & might not live to tell d tale.
Obey God &u would be
honored”,d old man said in a shaky voice & was gone immediately leaving Mr Badmus
Mr Badmus stood poised and too
stunned to move a muscle. He
could not fathom how that old
man had been able to read his
mind. He would have thought
that the old man was hired if he
had told a single soul about his
escapade but no, he hadn’t even
said it aloud with his mouth and
here was a prophet telling him
everything to his face.
He was finally able to leave that
s₱0t five minutes after the
prophet’s departure and before
he knew it, he was face to face
with his entrance door. He
battled with the door for some
seconds and when he finally
opened the door, a very big rat
ran out of the door. He jumped
out of the way, his heart
palpitating wildly. He stayed there
for some seconds to recover
himself and after that, he went
in, and just as he was about to
sit down tiredly on his couch, he
sited a dead c*ckroach right on
the chair and he flew away
He left the c*ckroach on the chair
cos he was too tired and went to
seat on another couch. Every little
thing just seemed to frighten
him and he felt that the words of
the prophet were taking toll. He
looked back at his life again, how
he had been a ladies man, and
how he had lost his dad and his
ability to reproduce to a car
crash. He thought about how he
met his late wife Linda and how
she had given birth to Belina and
became more beautiful
afterwards. He thought about
how Belina had been exceedingly
beautiful that even the nurses
could not take their eyes off her
then they had praised him for
being the father. He remembered
his maltreatments then which
grew worse immediately the
finances dropped. He had to
admit that the downturn in his
finances started immediately he
started maltreating Belina.
He negotiated his options; if he decides to forgo the words of
the prophet by going after Belina’s life, he might be caught by the police and be hanged but if he would not be caught, he would have to go out of Lagos or
even out of Nigeria. Following the prophet’s warnings to him would be the best thing, he
thought finally because there was still a guarantee of having
cash again and no matter what had happened, he was not tired of life yet.
He sighed repentantly and went to his bedroom mirror and saw a sight that looked so unlike him and he decided to go to the chemist nearby for medical care before he set out to look for Belina.
I walked home looking so stunned. I had been admiring my employer 4 d past one week
even though it was done secretly.
No matter how hærd I tried to last week, his profile kept appearing in my subconscious & now I had seen him today & had found it terribly
disturbing. Now, even though I had been trying hærd to dislike
him, I found him more likeable & fascinating & just when I was hoping I would keep his
friendsh¡p but leave things as friends, I discover that he is my
boss. My boss! How possible is that? Thinking about it, I had
been secretly searching 4 d owner of d hospital & I had imagined him to be an elderly man of lets say fourty or fifty but I never imagined someone as young as Richærd.
Everyone in d hospital was young & I
liked that but having that young handsome guy as my boss is
something I never imagined.
I finally got home & did not meet anyone at home. Mum was
obviously having a filled day cos she always arrived b4 me.
Thank God I had a spare key which prisca had given me in case of something like this. After changing my clothes & having
a little shower, I went into d kitchen to cook some noodles cos I was famished & could
not wait for anyother thing.
Unlike me, I
had a great urge to listen to d news; I don’t know if it is cos of my dad’s trial which was in 2days time but I
switched on d TV nonetheless.
Immediately I turned on d TV, I took it to d normal Tv stations & d first thing I heard was,
“Mr uche Badmus has just been released from police custody. The
real murderer of Olatunji James have been found & identified
as Tolu Adeniji”
“What?” I said shocked. The picture of d real murderer was
displayed on tv but I was not interested. I could not imagine
how that could happen. Nigerian police always makes silly mistakes. How could they convict
a man who was not proven guilty, I thought. I wondered about what my dad was going
through & even though I had convinced myself that I did not care if he hanged, I still could not
erase d fact that he is my father.
My phone rang out just then & I noticed that it was an unknown
“Hello Belina”,came d voice I knew very well
“Dad? Is that u” I asked already standing
“yes, it is me, belina”, he replied faintly.
What do you want from me? I heard u were set free, good
4u but what do u want
from me ehn? Oh… u have another guy u would like to sale me to since d former buyer
is dead uhn?”
“No, it is not that. I… I am sorry for all I did to u, pls, I only want ur forgiveness”, he said.
I laughed, “oh, what a nice ploy.
So u think u would say sorry,I would come home & u would carry out ur plans abi?”
I asked amazed
“no, it is not that. I realized that I have been unfair to u & I am
so sorry”, he said & sounded like he had been crying.
“sorry? Sorry for what? For everything u have been doing to me ever since I was a little
girl? Sorry 4d way u
maltreated my mother? Sorry 4 d s–t u brought home just days after her death? Sorry for
“Pls, I can explain everything,I have reasons but it is not a
good one. Pls, I need to see u”, he said.
“well, I don’t want to see u & I never want to see u 4 d rest of my life” I said & hung
up. I felt like smashing d phone on d floor but I did not, but it slipped out of my grasp anyway.
I fell to a heap on d floor &cried my eyes out. Richærd had
been right; I could present a bold & strong front in d presence
of people in order to keep them
encouraged but deep down, I wanted someone to love me &
love me deeply. I wanted d love of a father& a mother. Prisca’s parents had given me that & my days with them had been d best part of my life. After crying
for some time, I felt better & started thinking straight again
but I knew that I needed something to lift my spirit so I
picked up my phone, scrolled through my music album looking
for that one song I knew always did d trick & found that song. I started relaxing as I
‘Everywhere u go’ by Kim Burrell
Everyone seemed to have had a very long day cos everyone
got home late. I had prepared white rice & beans b4 they arrived. They were all happy
that I had made dinner & they told me that. Everyone felt tired
one way or another & I did not have d heart to bring my own
problems to bug them again,besides,they had already done enough for me & I did not want to overstep my bounds.
“Belina”, Mr Jegas called
I turned round
“sir?” I answered.
“u have been quiet for quite a while now,is anything d problem?” he asked looking
worried. Mum was busy in d room & Prisca had gone to take her bath,so there had been nobody to keep
my mouth running.
“No sir, I… I am fyn” I answered.
He stared at me for some seconds & finally said, “I don’t buy that, come”
I stood reluctantly, went to meet him & sat beside him on d
“Now tell me, did anything happen at work? Talk to me”, he
said giving me audience.
I sighed remembering my day at work but said, “nothing bad
happened at work sir”
“so what is d problem?”
it is my… my dad. He has been
Released?” he said & stared at d tv probably wondering why he had not listened to today’s
news, I had wondered d same earlier.
“He was actually innocent sir,d
real murderer was caught”
His eye brows raised in surprise.
“but that is not d problem. He called me just as I got home
seeking forgiveness & wanting to know where I am
“he what? Haaa, people have no shame. So what did u tell him?
That u would be going back there?” he asked not even giving me d chance to answer it one
at a time
“No sir, how could i? I told him never to call me again”
“I wish I could strangle him for what he did to u” he said as he jumped up angrily
“strangle who?” this came from prisca’s mother & she had a
worried look on her face. B4 I knew it, prisca was already in d sitting room looking puzzled & I knew I was d topic once again & sighed internally.
“Can u imagine? Belina’s father is already out of prison cos they found out that he really did
not commit d murder & he had d guts to call belina asking for 4giveness”, Mr. Jegas said looking like he was about to search my father out & beat d living daylight out of him.
They were both quiet but their facial expressions were not
palatable. I quickly lightened up d situation. “It is not really a big deal, I told him that I don’t want to see him again & I meant it”, I said.
Prisca looked white suddenly,
“hey, someone called me today & asked of Belina & I said u were at work, b4 I could ask who it was, he had hung up.
What if that was ur father. He could trace u here”she said & while we were still processing that, we heard a knock at d door. We were all puzzled cos no one should have
been able to get to d door without us opening d gate. We
were so scared & so we all went to d door even though dad told us to stay behind. We
opened d door & speaking of d devil, we all stared at d plastered face of my dad.
Richærd turned around on d bed thinking about d one person that had stuck to his head like a virus. Try as he may,
he hadn’t been able to purge her out of his brain. He thought
about what she had been through & found it hærd to believe that someone could go
through all that & still be able to carry herself with dignity like
nothing had happened. He admired her courage & determination to bring d best out of her life & still found it
amusing that she could look exceptionally pretty even when
she was going through hell. He had felt at ease with her so much
that he felt a part of her instantly.
He started comparing her with Tonia,& mentally kicked
himself out of it. Just then, he heard a
knock & he was still
wondering who could be visiting at 10pm when he opened d door.
A scre-m from him followed, “No u are dead”, he yelled trying to close d door.
Tonia opened d door back, “I am not dead, Richærd”
“No…u,u are. You are dead.
Oh my God, I am going crazy” he yelled holding his head
“No Richærd, touch my hand &see that I am real”, Tonia said
stretching forth her hand
“no,u died 3yrs ago, pls go,go, go…” he said & forcefully closed d door & locked it instantly. He immediately ran into
d bedroom shaking all over
“What the hell do u think u are doing in my house?” mr jegas yelled at my father
immediately he set his eyes on him.
“Sorry for bothering u sir, I just must see Belina today”, my
dad said without jittering.
“Well u would be sorry if u don’t leave now. How did u get past my gate by d way? Did u
“Of course not, I met it open so I just entered”, he replied stiffly.
Prisca’s dad laughed slightly, “mr man, u better get d hell out
of my house b4 I call d
cops to arrest u for
trespassing”, he said glaring at him.
“Darling, wait”, prisca’s mum was saying putting her hands on her husband’s shoulders.
“Stay out of this Lizzy”, he shot
back at her.
Prisca and I who had been
standing silently were both taken
aback when we heard him call
his wife by her first name and by
that we knew that his temper
had risen to a dangerous degree.
Mrs jegas was not put back, she
went to stand between the two
men at war facing her husband.
He stared at her angrily for some
seconds and just like magic, he
started relaxing then she said,
“come on, he is her father. Allow
He glared at my father then
allowed him in. I kept my face
carefully blank showing neither
happiness nor anger at the sight
of him and said, “what do you
“I need you to listen to me and
when I am done, you can decide
whether you would forgive me
or not”, he said pleading with his
Prisca held my hand tenderly and
nodded. I led him to the couch
and even though he did not like
the public discussion, that was
what I offered him.
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