“Death Not Today”
They say even when we are asleep or unconscious, the mind is always active until we are dead. That was the case of Jummy.
As she laid on the floor, at the verge of loosing her life, Jummy mind was as active as possible, there was every probability she was even cracking some jokes to her self because her lips seemed to have slowly curved into a smile, but that’s another story.
She wasn’t so conscious about what was going on around her, but she knew when a car parked at her side and the occupants- two men she thinks, came over to her side and lifted her up, then put her at the back seat of their car, she could but only pray they were samaritans who were taking her to a hospital and not anywhere else.
Her prayer was answered to the fullest when the two men stopped their car at the front of “Owolabi Private Clinic”, about ten miles from where she had the accident, and as one rushed inside to call for help, the other one opened the back seat door and tried to put Jummy in a state where it would be easy for the nurses to carry her in to the hospital.
Almost immediately, Jummy found herself being placed on a stretcher and carried into the hospital by the nurses and the two men following them, she made up her mind to at least see who the good samratians were before she totally passes out, and with one sudden outburst of adrenaline, she popped open her eyes and saw one of them, she scanned the environment for the second one but he was nowhere to be found. A nurse was already pushing her back to the stretcher and saying she needs to relax but Jummy wasn’t one to be told what to do so she kept on turning and searching as the nurses carried her to the emergency ward and at long last, she saw him, in Jummy eyes, he looked like an angel wearing an armor, but maybe that was just her mind playing tricks on her. He looked like he had been hurrying up to catch up with them.
“I’ve locked the car” he said to his friend, “what did the nurses say? Is the lady gonna survive?” He added in a foreign accent and had a sincere look of worry on his face.
The friend nodded in response, Jummy saw this and before she fully passed out, she smiled and mentally remembered one statement she heard when watching “Games Of Thrones” – when at the face of death, say,
“DEATH, NOT TODAY!” , so she
“Nigerianalized” it in her own funny way and murmured;
“Ogbeni death, no be today you go carry me go yonder”
She fully passed out.
Richard looked at his wrist watch for the umpteenth time and wanted to let out a loud scream of frustration, but he somehow controlled the urge to scream by tapping the floor with his left hand, so hard he probably had injured himself.
“I called this son of a b—h over an hour ago and even after promising to be here in thirty minutes he hasn’t arrived” he lamented out loud.
The truth is, Dr. Daniel would have been there thirty minutes ago, or lesser, but he was being delayed by the horrible traffic jam on the Cele – Mile 2 road, the traffic wasn’t really a new thing for the regulars but today’s traffic jam gave a whole new definition to the word “Traffic jam” as even the regulars hadn’t seen any one worst than it.
After driving like a snail for about forty five minutes in the traffic jam, Dr. Daniel got to the spot that had caused the traffic and saw it was just a yellow
“Molue bus” that had been parked at the center of the road probably because the bus refused to start. He sighed and laid about a million curses on the driver, even though he was nowhere to be found. On a broader note, the driver would probably die before the next day because the amount of swear and curses people rained on him as they passed by the bus can’t possibly be contained by one person.
After conquering the bottle neck traffic jam at the Cele – Mile 2 road, it took Dr. Daniel about another thirty minutes before he could locate Richard’s house in Festac. He arrogantly drove pass the house twice before he decided to humble himself and ask for directions, he nearly bit off his head when he discorvered the house had been the one he could have tapped his chest and say that wasn’t the it, he grumbled some words of appreciation to the Hausa, or is it Fulani aboki who had directed him.
He picked up his phone and called Richard.
“Am at the site, where are you?”
“Good, give me a minute, am coming to pick you” and
Richard hung up. Dr. Daniel was disappointed at him self for not being the one who ended the call this time.
Without even sparing a second, Richard literally ran out of the house, down to the gate and he spotted the a red Toyota Corolla just somewhere around the block. His guts told him the car belonged to Dr. Daniel, and he was right.
He decided to be sure and he called Dr. Daniel once again, as Dr. Daniel pressed the green button to pick the call, he placed his thumb on the red button so as to be able to end the call quickly.
“Hello” he spoke.
“Yea! What type of car are you in?” Richard asked.
“A red Toyota Corolla”
“Good, am at your back right now, come out!”
Dr. Daniel didn’t reply before he ended the call, he smiled with the funny thought of being the one who ended the call this time. He then walked out off the car and spotted Richard, he walked up to him and said;
“Do you know a lot has changed in this part of the city? I couldn’t even spot your house with out a little help from a friend”
“You came with a friend?” Richard asked in shock, he knew Dr. Daniel had no friends and he worked alone.
“Not really a friend, just some bloke I met when…”
“Spare me the details!” Richard cut in, “the point is you are here and we have no time to waste, let’s go”
“Okay, if you say so”
Dr. Daniel then pressed the
“Lock” button on the car remote and just like magic, all the doors of the car automatically got locked.
“Lead the way” he added.
Mr Owolabi, the owner of
“Owolabi Private Clinic” was furious at his nurses for taking in such a patient, his words were;
“Are you all insane? Didn’t you see she was already at the verge of loosing her life before you took her in?
Aren’t you aware of the series of legal actions that comes with each death that happens in any hospital, let alone, a private clinic like mine!!!” He turned his gaze at one nurse Susan and added, “weren’t you here when the new nurses carried the lady to the emergency wards? Or have you forgotten what we went through the last time this clinic lost a patient, am disappointed in you!” He concluded.
All nurse Susan and other nurses could say was;
“We are sorry sir!”
“Sorry for yourself!” He replied immediately, “which of the emergency ward is she in?” He asked.
“Ward C, sir” Susan replied.
“Have you given her anything yet?”
“Yes sir, her some drugs that would stop the bleeding”
“Good, is everything ready for surgery? because am sure she would be needing one”
“No sir but I can…” Susan was about to say when a certain Nurse Titi who was a new nurse in the hospital interrupted her, “yes sir, I’ve set everything”
Mr Owolabi looked at nurse Titi and smiled but the smile disappeared when he looked at Nurse Susan,
“I’m really disappointed at you, nurse Susan. All you know how to do is ask for a salary increase, incompetent nurse.”
Susan bowed her head in shame, she was the eldest and probably the oldest nurse on duty in terms of years spent in the clinic, in all her service in the clinic, she had never been insulted so much by Mr Owolabi, she felt really bad.
“What are you all waiting for? Nurse Titi, nurse Jessica and nurse Susan, let’s go and save a life!”
Mr Owobai said and led the way as the three nurse he had called followed him at his back.
Dr. Daniel got to Richard’s flat few minutes later and he was surprised as he didn’t see the body of Zainab as he had been told by Richard, so he asked and Richard replied;
“You don’t expect me to keep her body out in open, do you? I’ve dragged it to the basement, let’s go down there and see her”
Richard led the way, and Dr. Daniel followed. As soon as the got to the basement,
Richard switched on the light and at the floor in the middle of the room laid Zainab’s body.
Dr. Daniel after his years of experience knew the first rule of his kind of business was to always get your facts straight before jumping to conclusion, so he decided to check if Zainab was really dead, even though she looked lifeless.
He walked close to her body and squatted beside it. He dropped the scary looking box he had been carrying all along and for the first time, he opened it. The smell that came out of it was too bad for Richard to comprehend, he let out a loud “Yuck!!!” And ran out of the basement, hoping the smell would subside so he could go back inside. Dr. Daniel expected the smell so had held his breath, contained in the box were things he planed on using to desolve the body and some particles of the last body he dissolved had rotten inside the box, thus the smell.
He took Zainab hand by the right hand and placed two fingers on her wrist to feel her pulse, surprisingly, he felt something but wasn’t sure.
He wanted to place his ears on her chest to check if he could here any heart beat when Richard came back into the room.
“What do you think you are doing?” He asked.
“What did you say happened to her exactly?”
“How is that your business? Just do what you are meant to…”
“Oh please! Would you shut the fcck up for once! Must you always be so arrogant? Answer the question before I teach you a lesson”
Being threatened by a man like Dr. Daniel wasn’t the position any one would love to be in, and Richard knew that. He told Dr. Daniel everything, starting from where he was punching Clement on the face to the part he pushed Zainab and the part she hit her head on the bed.
Dr. Daniel “hmmmed” and nodded at Richard explanation, and he brought out a stethoscope from his box which he placed on Zainabs’s left chest.
Richard had never seen Dr. Daniel smile and knew something was fishy.
“What’s funny Dr. Dan?”
“This wife of yours which you despise so much isn’t dead, and am so sure when I resuscitate and stabilize her, she would still divorce you”
Richard was shocked at how even Dr. Daniel had heard about the divorce scandals that had been the headlines of all blogs, newspapers and other press media.
“No! She can’t wake up, kill her now!” Richard screamed in terror.
“I’m done killing for you! You need to be taught a lesson” Dr. Daniel replied grinning.
Ringing like an hysterical fire-alarm, Zainab’s Blackberry Z10 ring tone snapped her out of a deep sleep and for the first time ever, she was grateful that someone had disturbed her beauty sleep. She was having a terrible nightmare where Richard – her husband or perhaps soon to be “EX-husband” , had pushed her so vigorously that she slipped, hit her head on something hard and passed out, at least, that’s what she thought it was, a nightmare.
She squinted her eyes in an attempt to have a clearer view of her current environment, right above her head was a white ceiling plate, if she didn’t recall anything, she at least recalled her room ceiling was made up of brown Ivorian wood and not mere white normal ceiling plates, she turned to her right and saw a needle had been inserted into the back of her right palm, and tracing the straw-like pipe that was connected to the needle, she saw a yellowish liquid in transparent bag that was suspended in the air by a metal gauge.
Suddenly, her immense confused observation of her surroundings was interrupted by Olamide – the musician, who from the speakers of her phone yelled “Take it outside! Basket! Take it inside! koroba… Them they feeling us, now them they famz just to be with us!…”
It was her ring tone, so obviously, the person who called the first time was calling again.
She spotted her phone on the bedside table and she grabbed it, the ray of light from the phone took her unawares and she was forced to squint her eyes.
At first, she could barely see the writings on the screen of her phone, but her eyes later regulated the ray of light and she saw the writing on the screen of her phone clearly, written in bold “Ariel” font, the word “Unknown Number” glared at her.
The first thought that popped into her head was, who in their right senses named their child
“Unknown Number”? But she immediately snapped out the thought and smiled at how silly she was to think “Unknown Number” was someone’s name.
“She picked the call.
“Hello!” She said.
“Good! You are awake?” The caller asked rhetorically, but somehow expected a response.
“Awake? Yea, obviously, who am I speaking with?”
“That doesn’t matter for now, just pay attention to what I have to say to you.”
“Am all ears…” Zainab grunted.
“Firstly, I expect you to be in the hospital by now, I made the anonymous call to the Lagos State Teaching Hospital after I injected you with something that would make you stay alive for a while longer.
Secondly, Richard, your husband tried to kill you. I dropped a recorded audio of our little conversation which we made when you passed out inside your brown Ralph Lauren bag which is in your cupboard. Do whatever you like with it, I recommend you hand it over to the police so he can be convicted, and before I forget, you have a nice collection of hand bags by the way. Good bye”
Before Zainab could voice out the thousands of questions that she had in mind, the caller hung up, he made sure he was the last to speak.
“Zainab dropped the phone and lay on her bed as confused as hell.
“Richard tried to kill me? Why would he want to do that? Who just called me? Where is Jummy?” She asked herself multiple questions which only ended up in confusing her more.
Jummy must have been unconscious for over twelve hours before she finally regained her consciousness.
She was obviously still at the
“Owolabi Private Clinic”, and had just gone through a minor surgery. The truth of the matter was, she hadn’t really sustained any serious injury during the accident but she was just one of those people who bled a lot, and the excess blood loss made her case look more delicate than it really was.
All Doctor Owolabi had to do was remove the huge piece of glass that had pierced her shoulder and stitch it up, he was glad that he didn’t have to go through much trouble.
Jummy had barely opened her eyes when her angel in an armor walked into the room with a smile on his face, it was indeed the cutest smile she had ever seen in her twenty seven years on planet earth.
“Hey! You awake!” He exclaimed.
Jummy was sure about what exactly she was meant to reply so she just kept mute and smiled at him.
“Err.. I really don’t know what to say or do, maybe I should just go and call the doctor first, okay by you?” He asked, still retaining his charming smile. Jummy wanted to say something he should just stay and talk to her but instead, she involuntarily nodded and watched him leave the room to go get the doctor. She sighed.
Dr. Owolabi appeared at the front of Jummy minutes later and he carried out some examinations on her the said;
“Everything seems to be in order, you really need to thank this gentlemen for bringing you here immediately” he said, pointing at the two good samaritans, “if you had lost more blood, you probably wouldn’t have made it. If you like, you can be discharged tomorrow?” He concluded, as if asked a question.
Jummy murmured; “that would be great” in response. And watch the doctor leave the room.
“She then looked at the two guys and said;
“Thanks a lot, I really didn’t know people like you guys still existed in Nigeria…” She was obviously trying to crack a joke.
“Don’t mention, we weren’t really heading anywhere important in particular” one of them replied, “what’s your name by the way?”
“Am Jumoke, but you can call me Jummilistic but most people just call me Jummy” she joked.
They all laughed at her joke and the angel in an armor, at least that’s how Jummy saw him before she passed out then replied;
“Okay, I think I’ll just call you Jummy, Jumilistic don’t sound so nice coming from my mouth. Anyway, am John and my friend’s name is Samuel, do you have anyone we can call to come pick you up? We might not be able to stay till tomorrow.”
“Oh! Sure, I have a best friend, we can call her and am sure she would come even though she is in the belle of a whale” she replied, attempting to crack another joke which wasn’t so funny this time.
“Okay, good. Hope you know her number by heart because we are not sure of the where about of your phone, maybe its still at the crash scene” John replied.
“Yea, sure. Her number is
08139998888 ” Jummy mischievously replied, she knew the weren’t ready to dial the number yet, but decided to go ahead and say it anyway.
Surprisingly, John got the number and repeated after her, “ 08139998888 , right?”. Jummy was speechless.
“Okay, good, we would call her right away!” John added, he had a naughty smile on his face, he knew he had surprised her, but Samuel wasn’t surprised, he knew his friend had a photographic memory.
All Jummy could say was “okay”, she still couldn’t figure out how John had memorized the number so fast, it had taken her over a month before she learnt it.
John picked up his phone and dialed the supposed Zainab’s number, after it must have rang for a minute, the recipient picked the call and replied;
“Hello? I was hoping you would call again…”
All John could reply in his confused state was;
After driving for almost an hour, Richard finally got to his destination, the WheatBaker hotel.
He had been driving at a neck breaking speed as he always did whenever he was emotional unstable, he couldn’t believe how much had changed in his life just within the time span of two days or there about.
The last event that still rang like a church bell in his head was still that of
Dr. Daniel threatening to call the police and as Dr. Daniel had picked up his phone to dialed a number, Richard had sneaked out of the basement and out of the house, straight to his car. And without know where else to go to, he drove back to the hotel he just lodged out from few hours ago.
He walked straight to the receptionist who wasn’t excited to see him this time unlike the first time she did.
“I need a room” he said calmly with a tone of authority.
“I need some money” she replied sarcastically and calmly.
If Richard eyes had a gun, the kind of stare he gave her would definitely had shot her dead on that spot.
He wanted to yell at her to give her a room once more but he figured it wasn’t worth the stress, he dipped his hands into his back pocket and brought out his Credit card, then he handed it over to the receptionist.
“Can I have a room now?” He asked sarcastically.
“I’ll have to check if you have sufficient funds in your account first, then you can have as many rooms as you want” she replied coldly, she seemed to be determined and Richard saw the look in her eyes, he kept quiet and glared at her as she punched some buttons on her computer.
“Now, you can have a room, which type of room do you want?” She asked with some level of respect after she had checked the funds in his account and saw he could buy the hotel if he wanted.
“Just give me something comfortable, I might be staying here for quite a long while… A very long while” he replied a sinister tone, like he had an evil thoughts in her mind.
“Okay then, then you can have one of our executive suites. Suite 4. Its just right along…”
“I know where the suite is just give me my card and the keys” he cut.
She said nothing again, just gave him what he asked for and watched him walk away, she noticed something was fishy or just different about him, but just couldn’t spot it.
John or better known as Johnny Adebayo, a dude of average height – not basket ballers tall and not Maltina bottle short, just somewhere in between. By his foreign accent, one would think he isn’t from this part of the world and he isn’t, or perhaps not fully, he is an half cast – Canadian mum and Nigerian dad, till date, he still finds it surprising how his dad who had never left Nigeria before meeting his mum, actually met his mum and married her, so much for internet dating. Not so well built like a wrestler, but he sure has his own fair share of muscles and abs, also, he has this confusing complexion, whereby you can’t exactly say if he is fair or dark, and to top it all, his eyes are a rare shade of blue.
Being a genius, John, at the record breaking age of nineteen was already a graduate of theater arts, from the University of Michigan, located in the U.S.A and by twenty one he relocated back to Nigeria where he started working as a branch manager for one of his dad’s textile company, “ADE WAX” , therefore dumping his degree in theater arts, although he planned on leaving the company one day and pursuing a career in theater art he has been working in his dad’s company for ten years and still hasn’t shown any signs of leaving yet. If you do the math well, you’ll figure John is thirty-one years old now, and is still as smart as before, or maybe smarter, judging from how fast he memorized Zainab’s number and that brings us back to the story…
John picked up his phone and dialed the supposed Zainab’s number, after it must have rang for a minute, the recipient picked the call and replied;
“Hello? I was hoping you would call again…”
All John could reply in his confused state was;
“Yes! Or aren’t you the one who called me some minutes ago?”
“Err.. What are you talking about?” John asked, getting more confused.
He then looked at Jummy and whispered to her if she was sure about the number, Jummy nodded in response.
“You called me some minutes ago and was telling some trash about my husband, didn’t you?” Zainab asked, already getting quite confused too.
“Please is this Zainab? Zainab …” John gave Jummy an inquiring look and she got the message, she whispered the name “Anderson” to John who completed his statement,
“Yes, this is she… Who am I speaking to?” She finally asked.
“This is John, John Adebayo, am with a friend of yours in the hospital and she needs you help.”
Zainab became alarmed, “friend of mine? Which friend are you talking about?”
“Err.. Her name is Jumoke, do you know her?”
“What?!! My Jumlistic Jummy is in the hospital? For what, why? What has she done this time?” Zainab asked a million questions at once.
After John heard Zainab call Jummy, Jumilistic, he was convinced he was talking to the right person.
“Calm down, she had a little accident but she is fine now, all she needs is for you to come and pick her up from the hospital tomorrow”
Zainab was everything but calm, even though she was in a hospital too and should probably be resting, she became restless;
“Err.. Can I speak to Jummy now?” She asked in a hoarse tone.
John replied in the affirmative and handed the phone over to Jummy, who was eager to speak to Zainab.
“ Ah! Babe Ki lon shele na?! ” Jummy asked in an excited tone.
“Am cool oh..” Zainab replied, but after rethinking her reply, she added, “Err.. Not exactly cool, what’s all that B.S that John guy was saying now about you being in the hospital?”
“Oh! Its nothing jhur, I had a small accident, and I want you to come and pick me up tomorrow morning, I don’t know the hospital name but it can’t be far from your place, I’ll text you the address when I find out” Jummy replied, she was strangely excited.
“Err.. I don’t know how possible that would be oh, am kinda stuck in a hospital now and I really don’t have any idea what am doing here” Zainab replied.
Jummy who thought Zainab was just kidding, bursted out in an uncontrollable laughter leaving both John and Samuel to wonder if they were still safe.
“Babe, I’ve been away just for a day and you have suddenly grown a great sense of humor, I need to be disappearing more often oh, maybe you might actually get really funny” Jummy teased.
“Jummy, am not joking, am really at a hospital, that Lagos State Teaching Hospital, to be precise” the tone Zainab used was more than enough to let Jummy know Zainab wasn’t kidding.
“What are you doing there?” Jummy asked.
“You they wear wrapper for ear?” Zainab asked, already loosing her patients, “you no hear when I talk say I no know?”
“Err.. Okay, how bad is your situation?”
“I feel great and normal but am on drip and yet to see any doctor, I was about to call a nurse when I received a strange call and that made me forget and now you called, babe, am just confused” Zainab replied.
“You know what? You said you are at teaching hospital of Lagos right?”
“Lagos State Teaching Hospital actually” Zainab corrected.
“Whatever, I’m coming over there now, try and get some answers before I get there oh” Jummy replied and hung up leaving Zainab quite baffled at her friend, she was wondering if Jummy wasn’t still in a hospital.
Jummy looked at John and said, “I need to get to the teaching hospital of Lagos now…”
“Do you mean Lagos State Teaching Hospital?” Samuel asked.
“All join!!! Sha take me there now!!” Jummy replied, almost jumping out of the bed.
“But the doctor said that…” John was about to say when Jummy cut in;
“If you are not going to take me there just say so, I’ll find my way there, and don’t worry about the bills, I’ll refund you down to the last penny” Jummy replied.
“Hmmm… Okay, let me just call the doctor first”
“Shey I resemble person wey need doctor? In fact I no even want una two help again!!” Jummy yelled and stood up from her bed, and started walking towards the door, John and Samuel just starred at her in amazement, they somehow knew she was going to come back.
Jummy walked out of the ward and after a few minutes of wandering around the small private clinic, she spotted a door which had the word “EXIT” right above it, she smiled and headed for it.
She had barely gotten outside when she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window of a parked car, she immediately came back to her senses and walked back into the hospital and straight to her ward.
John and Samuel were both sitting on the bed with there legs crossed and they had a comical look on their face.
Jummy walked into the room, and without looking at them she said;
“On second thoughts, maybe I still need you guys help, I need some new clothes…” She was wearing the hospital patients clothe.
John and Samuel bursted out in laughter, they hadn’t seen anyone who was more complicated, confused and funny than Jummy.
For some strange reasons, Richard sensed his end was near. He knew he would be sued by Zainab once she wakes up, that is if Dr. Daniel had resuscitated her as he threatened.
He paced round the suite 4 of the WheatBaker hotel deep in thoughts, he was weighing his options, not like he had much options though. From the way things stood, he had just two options, stay and face the consequences which would be severe or leave the country and keep on running till he dies or caught.
From Richard’s point of view, running sounded more suitable, but the question is, how long can he run and come to think of it, what exactly was he even going to run for, he hadn’t committed any serious crime that he couldn’t manipulate his way out of with the help of a good lawyer, so he thought.
With a tone of confidence, he finally voiced out;
“I’m not going anywhere! Let me see what Zainab and that Dr. Daniel would do?”
Zainab was faced with a minor problem, she didn’t have enough energy to stand up and go look for someone to question and screaming for help seemed to be a hopeless venture as her voice somehow failed her each time she tried to voice out the word “Nurse!!!”.
After ten minutes of struggling, luck shone on her as a nurse came to her ward to check on her, Zainab smiled.
The nurse walked into the room and without really looking at Zainab, she walked to where the drip hung and checked the regulator, she was writing down something on the file in her hand when Zainab said, “hello nurse”, the nurse was startled.
“You are awake?” She asked after getting her composure back.
“Why do everyone seem to ask me that question?” Zainab asked rhetorically, “anyway, yes, am awake and I want to know what the hell am doing here, I don’t remember being sick or even coming here!” She added.
“We received an anonymous call and the emergency ambulance was sent to pick you up”
“Hmmm, so there is even an emergency ambulance in this country?” Zainab asked in surprised.
“Yes na, its just that people don’t…” The nurse was about to explain when Zainab cut in.
“Don’t bother explaining, what’s important now is, what’s wrong with me? Why am I taking a drip and what the hell is happening here?”
“Well, you case isn’t serious, the report in your file states, you passed out probably after you hit you head on something hard and whoever made that call probably injected you with something to stabilize you until we arrived. The drip you are receiving now is just some Multi – Vitamins.”
“You say my case isn’t serious but why I can’t feel my limbs? and why can’t I really remember what really happened to me?”
“Don’t worry, all you have to do is rest for a day or two and your memory and strength would come back after you take a few drugs?”
For some strange reasons, Z
Zainab remembered that nothing goes for free in Nigeria, so she had to ask how much she would have to pay and was. Even more surprised when the nurse told her its a state hospital and all the services were free, then she went on to talk about something related to tax but Zainab had already stopped listening.
“So I’ll be good to go by tomorrow?” She asked.
“Yes! But that would be after you file a police report, there seems to be something fishy about your case so we called the police, its just hospital policy”
“Hmmm, No problem self, I was already planning on paying a visit to their station, I have been receiving some weird calls” Zainab replied.
“Well, that would be between you and the police, if that would be all, then my work here is done. I need to check on other patients” the nurse replied and once Zainab nodded, she left the hospital with her file under her armpit.
Zainab was quite glad she had some answers her millions of questions, but there were more question left to be answered, she could only but pray her memory comes back quickly.
As soon as she saw a huge sign board at the front of a building which stated, “LAGOS STATE TEACHING HOSPITAL” , Jummy literally jumped out of the car window before it was even parked.
John and Samuel had expected this or perhaps something worse so if they were surprise at all, then it would be because they expected a more entertaining show and all they got was a fat lady jumping out of the window of a a salon car, not just enough fun!, John thought.
eaving them to worry about parking the car properly, Jummy walked hastily into the hospital and went straight to the receptionist desk ignoring the long queue of people waiting for their turn to be attended to, that was how the hospital always was – very busy.
“Madam, please you have to wait for your turn, or do you think we are here to sell groundnut?” A lady asked Jummy from the back, Jummy just ignored her, she had better things to do than to reply sick old people, or so she thought.
She looked at the receptionist and asked for the room Zainab was as if she expected the receptionist to know every person in the hospital by their first names, the receptionist was in the mood of being nice and asked for more detail about the patient Jummy was asking for, Jummy went ahead to tell her Zainab’s full name and that alone did the trick. The nurse was a fan of Zainab and most definitely saw when Zainab was rushed into the hospital, she asked if Jummy was a friend or relative and after making Jummy promise to get Zainab’s autograph, she gave Jummy the ward number and even directed her, so much for being famous.
Zainab was still lost in her thoughts when Jummy pushed the door of the ward and bursted into the room with her large figure, Zainab was startled at first but when she saw it was Jummy, she became relieved and a huge smile formed on her face.
“What took you so long?” Zainab asked in a rather teasing tone.
“Long ke? Do you know how many red lights we crashed or how many right turns we took even where there were ‘No Right Turns’ sign boards? Just to get here?” Jummy asked, and for some strange reasons, she hadn’t been speaking too much pigin english of recent, Zainab noticed this but didn’t think it was worth talking about.
“Who is the ‘we’ you are talking about?” Zainab asked and speaking about the devil, both John and Samuel walked into the room almost immediately.
Jummy faced John and said, “we!”, and Zainab got the message, she was about to ask who John and his friend were when she saw the bandage on Jummy’s shoulder and that brought about thirty full minutes of explanation and questions, when they were done with analyzing Jummy’s case, Jummy then started with her own questioning.
“So what are you doing here anyway?” Jummy asked.
“All I know for now is an anonymous call was made to this hospital and I was brought here, the who, when and why still baffles me”
Jummy, who has never liked Richard for once then said,
“I know Richard has a hand in this, after all, you were planning on divorcing him, so maybe he doesn’t take loosing lightly so he attempted to kill you”
How it happened is perhaps a miracle or maybe that’s how the brain works, but as soon as Zainab heard both the word ‘divorce’ and ‘attempt to kill’ in one sentence, the whole incident came back to her, she recalled Richard beating Clement and then pushing her away, due to the fact that, that was the last thing she recalled, Zainab assumed she had passed out.
She went ahead to tell Jummy all she knew, and even chirped in the Dr. Daniel anonymous call part.
“He told you he has a record as proof?” Jummy asked.
“Yes, he said its in one of my bags at home…”
“Then what are you doubting him for, people don’t lie about obvious proves na, can you walk now?”
“Not yet, the nurse says, I’ll be good to go by tomorrow”
“Okay then, I’ll go to your place now and check for the tape, I’ll be back before you can say ‘African China’”
Jummy replied and without even waiting for Zainab to approve or disapprove, she walked out of the ward. John and Samuel followed her once again, they seemed to be loosing their patients already, who wouldn’t?.
Richard had been sitting on a spot for hours just thinking, although he had concluded on what to do, sitting down and waiting for the worst to happen didn’t sound nice to him, he felt he needed to at least do something to improve his situation and that was when an idea popped into his head.
“Why don’t I go home and check out for any thing that might implicate me, for all I know, Zainab might still be on the floor in the basement, Dr. Daniel isn’t really someone I can vouch for” Richard thought.
He sprung up and went to the bathroom, he rinsed his face and toweled it dry, then he left the hotel, straight to his car and drove home.
He got close to home soon enough, he was smart enough to park his car a few distance away from his house, thinking it would give him an advantage.
He walked the distance to his house and stood at the “Mai shai” joint which was almost directly opposite his house. To avoid any suspicion, he bought
“Mai shai” worth five hundred naira and a bottle of coke. He didn’t eat it, but just stood at point, studying his house just to make sure it was a safe entry.
After standing and studying for five minutes and all that had starred back at him were three shiny glass windows, Richard was convinced the house was empty or maybe just Zainab’s body would be inside.
NB; Mai shai can mean a couple of things but it all comes down to the fact that, it’s usually sold by the northerners (aboki or mallam), although in this context, it refers to a bread and egg meal.
Richard walked in to the house trying to act as casually as he can.
Samuel had had a little experience with the Nigerian Army and thus his senses had been a little more sharpened during his service which was cut short by reasons he never told anyone, John had asked several times and the response he always got was, “don’t worry Johnny, you won’t understand”.
From his little experience, he knew that entering the house after so much had happened won’t be advisable, so he suggested that John parked the car about a mile away from the house and made them walk the remaining distance.
By the time the got within arms length of the house, Jummy was already sweating and had already burnt some useless calories, John noticed this and made a joke out of it, “Jumoke, you seem to have lost about two people my size just within this short walk, only God knows what would happen if you walked five miles”
The joke wasn’t really funny but there was something funny about his accent that made Jummy laugh out loud, only to be controlled when Samuel shunned her.
After Samuel studied the house for a while, and all he saw was shiny glass windows starring back at him, he looked at both John and Jummy and in a military invasion tone, he said;
“Seems the coast is clear, let’s move in”
They had no idea that Richard was already inside.
At times, things happen for a reason, and other times, they just happen for no just reason at all. On another note, is there any such thing as coincidence? Or is everything pre-planned by the man upstairs? Just ponder over that.
While Zainab laid on her bed with kept her fingers crossed and patiently waited for Jummy and co to come back from her house, she kept on pondering about the anonymous call. Everything seems to start to make sense to her but she still had no idea who the anonymous person was, she really need to know the person, if not to do anything, just to say thank you at least.
As for Richard, she still had it in mind to divorce him, and if she had enough reasons to sue him, she convinced herself she was going to do it.
Richard was just about to enter the bedroom when he heard some footsteps, but he convinced himself that he was just halucinating since he hadn’t slept for a long while.
He stood at the door of the bedroom and quickly glanced round the whole room before eventually walking to it, even though he had slept in the room for five straight years, he still felt like an alien in the room and wasn’t comfortable one bit, he had this sick feeling in his stomach.
On the other part, Samuel seemed to be the one that was in charge of this operation as he led the way, and Jummy couldn’t quite understand why he made them tip toe into the empty house of her friend, she felt they were just deceiving their old age but decided to just play along so that no one would tell her “I told you so”, she hated that statement with passion.
John just silently did as he was told and followed the two of them from the back and looking over his shoulder at very short intervals.
“Where does she keep her handbags?” Samuel asked Jummy as they paused for a bit in the sitting room.
“In the bedroom of course…” Jummy replied curtly, she was getting impatient with all this games.
“Okay, where exactly is the bedroom?”
“You turn right, you turn left, you turn right again and you turn left” Jummy replied mischievously.
Samuel looked at her in confusion while John at the back made to laugh but held his mouth with his hand and suppressed the laughter.
“Can you be serious for once?!” Samuel literally yelled at Jummy.
“I don’t get why we are doing all this C.I.A… F.B.I thing oh, isn’t it obvious no one is at home, in fact just follow me, I’ll take you to the room!” And with that, Jummy stormed out the sitting room and headed for the staircase which led to the upstairs where the bedroom was.
Samuel was furious and wished he had a rope which he could use to tie Jummy up. He followed her upstairs anyways.
Richard was already going through Zainab’s wardrobe when he heard the footsteps on the staircase, and this time, he was sure of what he heard, he instantly became both scared and alert.
He looked round the room, not sure either he should be looking for a weapon or where to hide, after a quick thought, he decided hiding was a better option since he was sure more than one person was coming, judging from the foot steps he heard, and that alone was enough reason to hide since he was out numbered.
He thought about running into the bathroom to hide, but the seemed to predictable, he looked at the wardrobe and without a second thought, he found himself squeezing his body into the wardrobe and locking up himself.
Jummy was just about to walk into the bedroom when Samuel caught up with her and held her hand, just to slow her down.
“How can you just go in like that without surveying the environment first?” He asked.
“It seems like you’ve worked in the military or is probably working in the military presently, so I understand why you are over protective. Just in case you military men peep before entering your friend’s room, we civilians don’t peep, not when we know there is no reason to peep, Kapish?” Jummy replied and shrugged off his grip then walked into the room.
She didn’t think twice before heading to the wardrobe, she already knew Zainab kept her hand bags there.
As soon as she opened the wardrobe…
As soon as Jummy opened the door, what she saw nearly made her jumped out of her skin. She wiped her eyes with the tip of her top just to be sure she was seeing right, and yes! She was seeing right.
She let out a loud scream which made both Samuel and John run closer to her.
Richard was taken unawares so he stood transfixed on the spot, for some seconds, he couldn’t move nor scream, it was as if his brain was still trying to process what he just saw, and that was when it happened.
He came back to his senses.
Without a second thought, he jumped out of the wardrobe and headed for the door after pushing Jummy out of the way. Samuel saw this and ran after him.
Richard could hear the hefty foot steps chasing him and that even made him run faster. Samuel didn’t need to be told that, the person he was chasing was the Richard guy he had heard so much about from both Zainab and Jummy, the guy who was a wife beater and perhaps a killer too.
If there was anything he hated more than the devil, then it would be guys who disrespect ladies, that made him run faster too.
So the scene was something like, Tom, chasing Jerry.
Richard ran out of the the main building into the compound and wanted to head for the gate but he figured he might be caught before that, so he turned and started running round the compound, Samuel still followed him and was already gaining more speed and catching up with Richard.
Meanwhile, inside the house, Jummy ransacked all of Zainab’s bag in search of the tape, she felt that finding the tape was more important that running after Richard, after the mile she had walked to the house, she concluded she had had enough exercise for the day.
She had already emptied the contents of about three of Zainab’s bag when a pack of cond0m fell from it and John who was at her back saw it, instead of him to keep his big mouth shut and go after Richard just like Samuel, he had to ask, “I thought Zai is married, what does she need cond0ms for?”
Jummy looked at him and the kind of stare was enough to let John know his question wasn’t welcomed, so he added, “I’ll go and join Sam outside, that is if he hasn’t caught Richard by now” and left the room.
Jummy just shook her head and murmured some words to herself, then she smiled.
She had almost searched all the bags in the wardrobe when she eventually got to the Ralph Lauren bag that the tape was, she opened it and did the normal routine, but the tape wasn’t there neither so she kept on searching and by the time she was done searching all the bags and didn’t see the tape, she knew catching Richard was now of top priority. She walked out of the house reluctantly, silently praying Richard must have been caught before she got out.
Unfortunately for her, Richard seemed to be un-catchable. At the speed he ran, even Usian Bolt would be scared of securing the gold medal at the next olympics. He knew the right time to turn left and the right time to turn right so as to avoid both John and Samuel.
Jummy watched was happening for a while and couldn’t help but laugh out loud, they really looked like kids playing.
She finally controlled her laughter and went down to business, she studied how Richard ran for a while and stood at a spot she knew he was going to turn, before Richard could hold his brake, he had already run into the leg Jummy had set for him and with a loud thud he went down flat- its funny how lazy people always find an easy way.
Samuel was the first to come around, still pacing, he grabbed Richard on the floor and launched three punches at him. The punches made Richard to start seeing things, the first made him see two tiny angels playing table tennis on his head and the second made him see the same angels playing basket ball only that there were four angels now, as the third punched landed on his stomach, all the angels seemed to have disappeared.
Richard passed out – moral lesson? Don’t joke with a soldier’s punch, ex soldier or not.
After pouring almost a bucket of water on his face, Richard finally came back to life.
Jummy who was already impatient went straight to the point.
She held Richard on the belt as if she was ready to beat him up and said;
“Am going to ask you this only once, so think before you reply.” She paused for a split second and then continued, “where is the tape?”
Richard had made a lot of mistakes in his life, but the worst mistake he made is when he looked up at Jummy in the face and asked;
At times in life, we make mistakes that aren’t called for or simply mistakes we could have easily avoided all because of we didn’t close our big mouths.
“which bag are you talking about?” Richard asked Jummy.
The response he got was unbelievable to both Richard, John and Samuel.
Jummy relocated her hand from the waist line of Richard to his chest region, and with the sort of energy you can expect any normal female to have, Jummy pulled Richard up and smashed him down, that action could be likened to “Undertaker’s signature choke slam”.
John and even Samuel shifted a little backwards just in case she decided to pull another unbelievable stunt.
Jummy squatted close to Richard who was still stunned and said, “I want to believe you didn’t hear me correctly the first time, so this is probably the last time I’ll ask you this, better pay attention this time” she paused and gave Richard and inquiring look, as if to make sure he was listening, “WHERE IS THE TAPE?” she asked, emphasising on each word.
Richard had already gotten back his composure and was quite scared by Jummy, he was at the verge of peeing in his pants.
“I swear to God, I don’t know what tape you are asking about.”
“Are you sure” Jummy asked.
“Dead sure, if you doubt me, why don’t you search me?” he suggested but Jummy wasn’t interested in that.
She stood up, looked at John and said, “he is telling the truth, the tape isn’t with him”
“Why don’t you search him to be sure?” Samuel asked.
“Jummy didn’t like being challenged, and the fact that Samuel was always not on her side made he more pissed;
“I’m telling it isn’t there, you can go ahead and search if you like” she said.
“But you haven’t…” Samuel was about to reply when John cut in, “lets go back into the house and check. Considering all this commotion, the tape might have slipped off the wardrobe and you might not have seen it”, John eyes suddenly shone like someone who just had a bright idea, “wait a minute; Zainab said its a recording right?” he asked.
“Yes” Jummy replied irritably, she didn’t get why John had to ask the question again even though he was there when Zainab was saying her story.
“If its a recording, what makes you think its a tape? A phone, MP3 or other electronic devices can record, I don’t think the anonymous guy would be carrying a tape recorder in his pocket and start it without Richard noticing”
Just like how John’s eye had shone when he had that idea, Jummy’s eye suddenly shone too, “I recall seeing an Ipod in Zainab’s Ralph Lauren bag” she said.
Samuel gave Jummy and inquiring look which asked,
“who one is Ralph Lauren now?”
Jummy got the look and even though Samuel hadn’t ask the question out loud, she replied, “it’s just the name of a designer”
“Alright then, what are you waiting for? Go and bring the Ipod na” John said and watched Jummy run inside the house.
“See her big yansh self” Samuel murmured as he too watched Jummy go, John lips curved into a slight smile, slight enough for Samuel not to notice.
Richard had already stood up when Jummy came out, instead of him to be planning an escape, he let curiosity take the better part of his judgement, he wanted to know what was in this tape this people have been talking about since.
“Is that the Ipod?” John asked as he saw a small white device in Jummy’s hand.
“yea, but it has no speakers, we need an earpiece to listen to the contents” She replied.
“I’ll be right back, I think my earpiece is in the car”
“ahh! That’s double stress for you oh, see why I disagreed with you when you decided to park a ,mile away?”
She was ignored and John said, “you searched the other bags and saw no electronic device right?”
“okay, there is not need for Sam to walk to the car and come back, this is probably the thing we are looking for, lets all go back to the car together”
“Good idea” Samuel replied, he was delighted that Jummy wasn’t entirely right.
John turned and headed for the gate, Jummy followed and just when Samuel was about to follow he saw Richard still standing there and asked no one in particular,
“so what’s going to happen to this guy now?”
“Oh! Him? Bring him along, we might be needing him” John replied and walked out of the compound.
Samuel grinned at Richard and Richard got the message, he wasn’t in the mood to see angels playing table tennis on his head again so he just voluntarily followed them.
Zainab must have been thinking too much because from the way she looked, she would probably get sick from too much thinking.
The pieces just didn’t seem to fit in her head, the anonymous call, Richard trying to kill her, and why did the anonymous caller even want to help her? After all, nothing goes for free in this part of the world, or so she thought.
Her thoughts was once again interrupted by a phone call from the person she least expected, Eric Amaechi or E.A as he is fondly called.
There are two important things you need to know about E.A, one is he is the host of the talk show “Single or Married” where he and his co-host who happens to be Zainab, talk about relationships and stuffs like that, and two, he has been crushing on Zainab for over two years, or lets just say since the first time he laid his eyes on her which happens to be two years ago when she applied for the job.
Although he and Zainab tries to maintain a strictly professional relationship, he had made several moves at Zainab in which she turned down not because she is married to Richard, or E.A wasn’t an ideal partner but because she didn’t like E.A that way, you know what am mean right?
Anyway, Zainab looked at the screen of her phone and sighed, “ohh! not this guy again”
She reluctantly pressed the green button and murmured a “hello”, barely hearing herself.
“Hey! Zain where are you na?” E.A asked immediately, he so often called Zainab, Zain, it can be argued he has forgotten Zainab’s full name
Zainab wanted to mention the hospital but something told her E.A would leave whatever he was doing and run to the hospital with flowers, cereals and many other things she might not be needing since she was to be discharged the next day, she didn’t want to bother him.
“Am at Abuja now, we are shooting a new episode of Broken Dreams” she lied.
“And you didn’t think it would be nice to inform us before hand so that we could had worked something out?” E.A asked, he really sounded offended.
“Work something out? Like how?” She asked, she sounded genuinely confused.
“Does the phrase “single and married” ring a bell?” he asked irritated.
“Oh my goodness, E.A am so sorry, I forgot we are meant record the special weekend episode today, I’m really sorry!” she apologised, she had forgotten all about the plans she, E.A and other crew members had made about a week ago. The talk show was doing really well, and they already had a large fan base, so the fans wanted more, so they planned to record a special weekend edition to show their appreciation.
“What would your sorry change? The whole crew are ready to go, what on earth do I tell them?”
“Err… Okay you know what, I’ll be back in lagos by tomorrow afternoon, we can record it in the evening, tell them I’ll bring a celebrity guest along”
E.A seemed to like the idea of hosting a celeb, he knew it would hype the show profile so he calmed down, “special guest? Who do you have in mind?” he asked.
“I don’t know yet, maybe 3face or even P-cube, I heard they are both engaged and planning to get married soon, it would be nice to have them on the show, don’t you agree?”
“Good idea, if you can get P-cube to come to the show then you would be forgiven but if not….”
“Don’t worry, Zain is in control” she cut in.
E.A laughed and thought it would be nice to flirt a little, “you see why I like you?”
Zainab wasn’t ready for that so she just ignored him,
“E.A, bye” and she hung up before he could think of a reply.
She had barely dropped her phone when Jummy, Richard, John and Samuel trooped in to the room, the look on Jummy’s face told her the result wasn’t good.
“What’s wrong Jummy?” She asked a little jumpy.
Jummy just threw the Ipod and earpiece to Zainab,
“Listen to the content”, she said.
TO BE CONTINUED.
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