The Last Smile – Episode 6
By Adeola Nissi
Nurse Rola stared openly at Tinuke with her mouth agape. She couldn’t begin to fathom the weight of what had almost happened in her absence. She had noted something spooky in the way Tinuke made an appearance, especially with the scenario she created the previous day but she had thrashed her thoughts with the fact that lovers fight and reconcile.
Tinuke also stared wide-eyed at the nurse. Why was she staring at her like she was an abomination? If she didn’t take enough time to see to her dressing, she would have assumed that she was robed in rags with the way the nurse’s eyes bulged out to glare at her.
“I said: what are you doing madam?”
“Excuse me? I am visiting a patient. Is there anything remotely wrong with that? You let me in, remember?” Tinuke was beside herself with rage as she glared at the rude nurse.
The nurse came into the room fully and closed the door. “What are you doing with a pillow? You want to commit murder? I need to call security” she took out her phone.
For the first time, Tinuke saw the pillow she clutched in her hands and dropped it like it was on fire. She blanched. “Security? Wait, no. I don’t even know how the pillow got to my hand”.
“Explain that to the police when they arrive” the nurse hissed. She already had her phone against her ear.
“What? No…” Tinuke tried to pass but the nurse blocked the exit. She had no choice but to push the nurse out of the way, causing nurse Rola’s phone to slip out of her grasp, shattering on the floor.
Tinuke fled, with her heels making crazy noise on the tiled floor. The nurse took her time, gathering her precious Samsung S4 phone, giving Tinuke enough time to make an escape. The nurse didn’t even seem keen on pursuing her. When she got to the end of the hall, she paused for some seconds to regain her composure, then she walked fast but calmly in order not to rouse any suspicion. She hoped to God that the nurse would not emerge from behind. She hurried to the reception to sign out in the hospital’s register with a strained smile. She almost raced out of the building, looking behind her constantly to be sure she was not being followed. She stopped the first bike she sighted and jumped on it.
Nurse Rola went to the doctor’s office feeling very agitated and frightened and angry. The demented lady had succeeded in shattering the screen of her phone. She could only imagine what she would do if she sighted her now. She would make sure Tinuke pays for what she did.
When she was given permission, she entered Doctor Tunde’s office with rage written all over her. At the same time, she didn’t know what would happen when the doctor finds out that she let a murderer get away unscathed.
“What may I do for you nurse Rola?” She had been standing there for some minutes without speaking and Doctor Tunde became forced to interrupt her thoughts.
“Sir, something just happened some minutes ago.” Doctor Tunde gave her his attention. “Someone came to visit the patient in ward 7; the one brought in by Mr Raymond. Her name is Miss Tinuke. She said she brought some provisions for the patient and I let her in”.
The doctor was sort of surprised because he remembered the reception Tinuke gave him days ago when he went there at the middle of the night. Knowing that more info was still coming, he waited.
“After dropping the provisions, she said she needed some privacy with the patient, so I excused her. When I got back, I saw her with a pillow clutched in her hands in a fierce manner, suggesting that she wanted to suffocate the patient”.
“What?” He exclaimed, jumping out of his seat immediately.
“But sir…” She was not allowed to finish her statement when the doctor shoved her out of the way, causing her phone to slip from her hand again but luckily, it fell on the leather chair. She took it and ran in pursuit of the doctor.
Doctor Tunde got to ward 7 and checked everything he needed to check to be sure that Tinuke hadn’t done anything stupid. Relieved, he faced the nurse who was already behind him. “Where is she?” He growled.
“Sir, I am sorry, as I was calling the security, she pushed me away and ran. I have evidence sir, when she pushed me, my phone fell and the screen cracked. See sir” she raised the phone for doctor Tunde to see.
“I see” he said glaring. Instead of saying anything, he left the room. The nurse pursued him.
“I am sorry sir”
“I am not angry at you Rola, you would get your phone replaced, don’t worry.” She sighed. Doctor Tunde opened the door of his office and called the security with his intercom.
Fred sat in his apartment in Abuja, still feeling that unhindered fear. When his father had died and left him with this apartment, being the only property he owned, he had doubted if he would ever step into the house, not to mention, reside there. He had arrived in Abuja, instead of the Ogun state he had told his friend Chika. He knew that it was easy to be tracked down if he had told Chika the truth. That the police would be searching the wrong place should have at least put his mind at rest, but no. he felt even more agitated, shaking and jerking at every sound. If he was ever told that he would murder a human being in his life, he would not have believed it, but here he was, running away like a common criminal.
He stood up and paced the sitting room in slow strides. As much as he tried to block out the day everything crumbled, he was not able to shut it out. He held his head as everything came playing back, making him feel crazy. He had murdered the love of his life with his own hands; how unthinkable. He heard something and froze. It sounded like a knock, or was he imagining things? He stood on that spot until he heard the knock again, louder this time. He heart raced. Nobody knew he was in Abuja. He had told no one. Who could be at the door?
The sweet smell emanating from the kitchen was enough to renew Raymond’s hunger. Bose’s cookings were always divine, both in aroma and in taste. Even though he was in his room, the aroma dragged him to his feet. He opened the door and went down stairs. Bose was apparently very occupied with whatever she was doing not to have noticed his approach. He dropped his suit jacket on the couch and made for the kitchen, unable to resist the aroma.
What he saw took him by surprise: Bose was standing by the cooker, with her ear-piece jammed in her ears, dancing. She wore an army-green nicker that was halfway down her thigh and a red tank top which clung to her body firmly. He had never seen her dress so… boldly, ever since she came into the house. He swallowed hard, the food forgotten as he stared at the person he had come to take as a friend and a sister.
Bose became aware that she was not alone and she turned slowly. She was a not surprised to find Raymond there, since they were the only two people in the house. For some seconds, they just stared at each other until Bose looked away in a shy demonstration. Ray just kept on staring at her, trying to think about something that was nagging at his head.
She removed the ear-piece slowly. “I… erm…” she coughed slightly. “The food is almost done” she said, barely above a whisper. Instantly, Ray remembered the reason he came down.
“Oh… OK” he turned back and retreated.
Bose exhaled deeply. She must be out of her mind to assume anything. She rushed back to the cooker to monitor the soup on fire.
Wheat and egusi soup landed on the table some minutes later. The soup was adorned with all sorts of fishes and meats. Since eating with ray on the same table has become a regular phenomenon, she also served her food and went up to call him.
She stood at the entrance of the room for some time, trying to calm her nerves but, unable to gather much courage to enter, she just knocked and talked to him through the door.
“Sir, your food is served”. After receiving a calm reply, she hurried downstairs. Instead of sitting close to Ray’s seat, she sat down far away from his seat on the table for her own sake. She watched his approach to the dinning in calm steady strides. Her pulse quickened as he sat down without even glancing her way.
Ray did not waste any second before he dug into his meal. The aroma had kept him salivating and imagining all along, what it would taste like.
After the first mussel, he nodded his head appreciatively. “Hmmmm…. This is good. Very good” he murmured and Bose smiled her thanks. She was happy that he had finally broken the silence by saying something. After ray had eaten sufficient amount of food, he looked up, noticing for the first time that Bose was seating at the far end of the table.
“Why are you seated there? He looked surprised. “come here” he patted the space beside him.
She moved her food to the chair beside him and sat, still with her head low to her food. “I have the distinct feeling that you are not telling me something”. Ray said, putting a cup of water against his lips.
Bose swallowed hard. She finally managed to raise her head to look Ray in the eye. “Madam… Your fiancée was here yesterday” she blurted. She had deliberately decided not to tell ray anything about her encounter with Tinuke, and when he had arrived and asked if anyone came in his absence, she had answered in the negative.
Ray nodded knowingly. “And?”
“she wasn’t happy at all when I blocked her out, in fact, she was so angry that she almost went crazy with rage” Bose said, remembering that episode with a smile.
Ray blinked. “Well, as long as she did not carry out any of her displays on you, there is no problem” he swallowed another mussel of wheat but when he got no response, he looked up from the food to gaze at Bose. “Did she hit you?”
Bose blanched and rejoiced internally that he was concerned about her. “No… No. I mean, she tried to but I didn’t let her. Then she started saying all sort of things like getting me fired and so on”.
Raymond relaxed. “Well she didn’t employ you, did she?” he washed his hands and stood up, gathering the plates. Bose tried to help him but he succeeded in packing them, telling her to pack hers. After dropping the plates, he invited her outside. Sitting at the veranda, he had a clear picture of what was on his mind. He had suspected it for some time now but looking at Bose, he knew it was way beyond a vague thought.
“I want to ask you a question Bose, please answer me truthfully” he looked deeply into her eyes, trying to make her feel at ease when all he was doing was the exact opposite.
“Are you in love with me?”
…To be continued
⬅️ PREVIOUS episode