I am the founder of JGA Writing techniques and an author on sweek
Part two. Chapter 15.
David I need you to meet me at Georgina street close to Amadon hospital at Lekki.
What’s happening over there. His voice sounding very casual.
Its very urgent, and my life is at risk now, so please just hurry up and come there straight.
Your life is at risk? Ufoma what have you done this time?
Please no questions! When you get there call me and I will explain everything okay?
Alright I have heard you, I am on my way.
And one more thing, please don’t call my dad and if he calls you, do not pick.
With that, I ended the call like a tough criminal. Life was getting harder for me everyday. I am always faced with decisions even the ones I didn’t ask for. Why does life keep on throwing bad stuffs at me? I asked myself as hot tears dropped from my eyes.
I highlighted from the cab exactly some minutes past 11am and the weather felt hotter than usual on my dark skin. I searched around for David wishing he was already here but there was no sight of him. I walked over to the nearest eatery to wait for him, hoping he would arrive soon. I was really nervous as if I had murdered someone, and was looking for a cover up. The hospital dad was in, with Isoken’s dead body was close by and it was so terrifying. I had to pinch myself to stay calm. Why had Isoken not just called a cab? That stupid woman torments me even in her death! I was so annoyed thinking of the whole issue on ground when someone tapped my shoulder from behind.
David why are you so late? I asked turning around.
David? Father asked. Aren’t you with David?
Dad! What are you doing here? I asked shivering.
Ufoma, I am supposed to be asking you that question. I have been waiting for you at the hospital but here you are at an eatery close to the hospital I am in, and you haven’t bothered coming to see me? Or even calling me?
Dad how can you say something like that? I asked defensively, buying time for my next lie. I actually came to get you food first. I know you must be hungry that’s why I came for food first.
I must be hungry? Ufoma are you okay? How can you even imagine I will be thinking of food now? Am I sick that I need to eat before taking medications? My wife just died and you are talking about food?
Dad please calm down. What’s going on? I don’t know what to do now or what to even say to you. I am confused just as you are, and I feel so guilty because I had not become friends with Isoken and now she is gone. I feel so terrible and I didn’t know how to face you, so I came here first to comprehend my words and think of how I can console you better. How did you even see me here?
I was around when I saw you walk in. At first I told myself that it couldn’t be you but then I had to be sure so I came in. Am just shocked you came in here instead of coming to see me. Ufoma, Isoken is dead! I just lost my wife of just a year and some months. Ufoma I am just so devastated, what have I done so wrong to deserve all these. He asked breaking down in tears.
I stood up and took him into my arms. He was really broken down and in so much pain that he shock while he cried.
Fortunately, customers present and were so busy with their meal that no one cared to stare or ask questions.
After some minutes, I and dad went to the hospital where Junior and his late mother were. Father had earlier called Adesuwa to inform her of her sister’s death. And when we got to the hospital, Adesuwa was already there and still no sight of David my alibi.
You this small witch! You don succeed kill my sister abi? You don succeed! Haa Benin must hear this! Them go hear o! It has happened! I talk am! I talk am say if this pikin still dey for that house, Isoken no go get rest but nobody listened to me.
Adesuwa calm down. Isoken died from a car accident and Ufoma has nothing to do with it. Father defended me.
Wetin you go talk before! Abegi make I hear word. Na she remote my sister go drive car when she know say she no sabi drive. She make Junior gat high fever first, come make Isoken behave drastic. You think say I no know you Ufoma? Your small witch no fit work for me. I go expose you.
Adesuwa went on and on wailing, cursing, accusing and rolling on the floor like a loosed monkey who was drugged for a performance.
Father just sat in the reception hall looking so dejected and thrown away. His head was bent and I knew he was crying again. I could have saved this situation if I had helped Isoken drive her and her child to the hospital. But why didn’t she live and the child die? At least father would have bore it better.
I still wondered why David hadn’t come? Anyways I had handled the situation already but I still needed his speech to correspond with mine. I dialed his number and it said switched off. What kind of human being was this? I asked myself. I had even said my life was at risk to hurry him here, still he decided to disappoint me and switch off his phone. I was still angry over him when my phone rang and it was aunty Ejiro.
Hello dear, have you heard?
Yes aunty. I am in the hospital with dad at the moment.
You are at the hospital?
Yes. Infact I need you here like seriously. Adesuwa is here blaming me for killing her sister! How is that even possible? She died of a car accident and how has that become my fault?
Wait a minute. Who is dead?
I don’t understand. Isn’t that why you called, and what did you mean by haven’t you heard?
Ufoma who is dead?
Its Isoken. Isoken is dead.
Jesus Christ! When? Where? How?
She died just this morning. Infact we are still at the hospital where she gave up and Junior is in intensive care. She died in a car accident this morning.
God have mercy! And you didn’t bother to tell me? Infact no one bothered to?
I thought dad had informed you. I actually forgot to call you, anyways I was planning on doing so later because I myself just got to the hospital.
This is serious oh! How is your dad taking it?
I feel for the man. He is still in complete shock. I knew this marriage was a bad move from beginning but no one listens to me.
Please what’s the name of the hospital, I am coming over now.
Its Amadon hospital in lekki.
Okay I know there, will be with you soonest.
But aunt what was it you wanted to tell me? I asked still concerned with the gossip but she had ended the call, and I had to wait till she arrived to find out the shocking news.
Father had already started making arrangements to take the body to the mortuary in Lagos and Isoken's other family members had arrived causing a nuisance in the hospital. Infact the whole hospital was in chaos as other accident victims kept pouring in. It was like today had been declared Lagos accident day and Isoken was among the unfortunate ones.
Adesuwa volunteered to stay with baby Junior in the children ward, since he had been taken out of intensive care. He really fought for his life, like he knew his mother had died and he had to live to serve as a remembrance. We didn’t leave the hospital until past 3pm, and still there was no sigh of David nor Ejiro and I was too worried to call.
I excused myself to go lock up my shop since Jamiu wasn’t around and I couldn’t dare tell dad I had to go sit there. Traffic was hell, and it took a while before I managed to get there. I checked my time, it was already some minutes to 7pm and the day was gone. I locked and headed for home, when I remembered I hadn’t heard from aunty Ejiro and David either. So I got my phone out from my bad, and saw Ejiro's message telling me something came up and she will see me at home. Still there was nothing from David. I decided not to call him as I was still very angry with him. But then, I gave it a second thought, and decided to call since I needed him more at this time.
At the first ring, he picked and was in such a hurry I could not hear him properly.
What did you say? I asked him over the phone.
I said I am so sorry for today, I had an emergency at the hospital, and then my battery went off. I am at your house to apologize for my absence all day.
Where are you? I asked getting very scared.
I said I am at your house. Where are you?
Why did you not call me before going to my house? I asked angrily. Is my father there?
Yes he is. I am with him now. Why did you not tell me Isoken died today? He asked terrified.
I cut the call with a sinking heart. What was going on? Everything I had planned out crashed before my eyes and there was nothing I could do. David was at my house already having a discussion with father, and I am sure aunty Ejiro was already there too because she sent this message a while ago, so there was no way I could use her for an alibi.
My mind was blurred and my chest was heavy as I walked home from the estate gate. What was waiting for me at home, was certainly bigger than me.
I knock at the entrance door and aunty Ejiro was there to open. Dear where have you been? She asked kindly.
I went to lock my shop aunt. How long have you been here?
Almost an hour, and I tried your line many times but wasn’t connecting.
Oh really? It must be poor network then. Where is dad?
He is having a chat with David your future husband. She smiled.
Aunt, so you can still talk about marriage at this difficult times? I asked her looking very shocked.
What’s wrong in what I said? Is David not talking to your dad? Isn’t he your future husband? Because Isoken died doesn’t mean your life has ended. And you better start getting ready for your final exams young lady, hope you have heard it has been brought forward to two months time due to the upcoming elections.
Where did you hear all that?
Haven’t you heard? She asked surprised. That’s what I was calling you for earlier today before you told me about Isoken’s death. Check your email! I got the news from a very reliable source. I hope you are prepared?
Where is that small witch! I told you she killed my sister! Adesuwa shouted from behind us, as she walked over to meet us.
How come this nonsense human being is here? I asked aunty Ejiro.
I met her here o, with her people. You just don’t say a word and allow me deal with her.
Small witch, I am talking into you! Your game is up.
Who is this remodelled prostitute? Ejiro intervened.
I am not talking to you oh madam lawyer! She shouted back.
And who told you I was talking to you? I am talking to that thing talking inside of you! Can you listen to yourself? You better take those your spiritist talk to your village! We don’t talk like that on the island. Just look at the way you are dressed, and you say you are moaning your sister’s death. One might think you killed her!
That is enough! Father shouted from behind Adesuwa, with David by his side.
When I turned around and saw the fire in father’s eyes, I knew that at last, I had awoken the beast inside this urhobo man. He looked fearlessly dangerous and I knew it just would be thoughtless of me to face him.
Ufoma! He shouted. I have just one question for you and I want you to answer me honestly this minute. Did Isoken ask you to drive her to the hospital?
Yes she did. My reply came so simply, like I was ready to go to war with father.
She did? So she did? Oh my God my wife did! My Isoken did beg my daughter for a ride. He bent down crying and then immediately stopped and got up. Ufoma! Go upstairs and pack everything that belongs to you and get out of my house. He ordered.
Efe, are you mad? Ejiro asked. If you have started running mad, you better let us know so we can take you to a mental home.
Ejiro do not interfere when I am talking with my daughter.
Will you shut up! Ejiro fired back. How dare you speak to me in such a manner! Ufoma is my daughter too! She is the daughter of my only sister whom you murdered with your stinking immoral life!
I think you all need to calm down. David finally spoke up. What’s really going in here? He asked blindly.
David. Father called him and then continued. This thing standing in front of me here, told me she was with you having breakfast! And she left home very early without even speaking to Isoken. She made it so clear to me that Isoken never asked her for a ride to the hospital when she realized Junior was not breathing properly. Isoken must have begged and begged but this wicked daughter of mine refused her!
But why didn’t she just call a cab since she can’t drive? David asked.
Good question! Ejiro supported him. Since she could not drive, why didn’t she get a cab? Supposing Ufoma wasn’t in the house at that time?
She was in panic that’s why! Adesuwa intervened. It was so early in the morning and her baby was dying. Where would she go start looking for a cab in this estate? Even if she needed to get a cab, she still needed to go out of the estate to get one and that will mean her still driving to get there.
I love the way you started this tale of yours. Ejiro went on. You said she was in panic! So it was her panic that killed her and not my Ufoma.
Ejiro, if you don’t shut up this minute, I swear I will beat up every chances of you having a child again in this world. Father warned.
Look at who is talking? Ejiro fired. You that has lost all hopes of getting a wife! Efe, na your sins dey worry you! For what you did to my sister, you will never enjoy happy married life. If you doubt me, try marry again. Only you, two dead women! Small boy like you. And you are here blaming Ufoma. Why didn’t your late wife call you? Why was she disturbing Ufoma?
She called me but I didn’t hear my phone ring because I was in a meeting, and when I could respond to calls, it was someone using her phone to alert me of her car accident. He replied ignoring her accusations.
Dad I am so sorry, I wished I had acted differently. I broke down in tears. I really wished Isoken was alive now because the burden I bear now is too heavy for me. I keep on hearing her voice begging me to drive her to the hospital.
So if not that I had spoken to David before you, you would have covered up right? You would have lied to I your father. Ufoma please pack your things and leave.
Mr Efe please you need to calm down, don’t do something you will regret. David pleaded.
Ufoma, go upstairs and pack your things now! Its high time you come live with me. Ejiro ordered. This is what I have always wanted, and that’s why I tried fighting for your custody years back, but that’s foolish old judge made me lose the case. Your father has not raised you properly, now he wants to throw you away. Go pack your things, you are coming with me.
I quietly walked upstairs to my room, packed a few things and headed downstairs. It was better I left, even if it was for a while. I couldn’t even sleep in this house for now because I kept on hearing Isoken’s pleads even while standing. When I got downstairs, everyone was quiet like they were all waiting for my next move.
Aunty Ejiro I am set, please let’s leave. I told her.
Alright dear, let’s go.
Ufoma are you really leaving me? Father asked.
Efe you are mad! You are very mad! Ejiro shouted. It was obvious aunty Ejiro loved trouble, but at this point I was glad she did. Efe you are very mad! Look nothing you say will stop me from taking Ufoma with me today.
Ufoma, this is your house, our house. I bought this house just as I promised you and you want to leave me alone in it? He asked completely ignoring Ejiro.
You are not alone Efe. Ejiro answered for me. You still have your Junior Efe remember?
The thought of Junior still angered me, so hearing Ejiro call his name, gave me the boost I needed to walk away.
The three of us I, David and aunty Ejiro left the house that night, leaving father to moan his dead alone. I was welcomed to a new way of living in aunty Ejiro’s place. She was so glad to have me, like she had won a lottery and was now famous. Kelvin had gone on a business trip, but was made aware of my presence over the phone.
I couldn’t sleep that night, as all I could think of was Isoken’s voice pleading with me to take her sick child to the hospital. I even saw her in my dreams holding her baby in her arms weeping. It was horrifying! I had lost my sleep and replaced it with a troubled conscience. Truly I had come to learn that a clean conscious was like a soft pillow to rest one.
I had this horrifying dreams for two straight months! Father had called to say they would be travelling to Benin for Isoken’s burial and he was wishing me flying colors in my exams. He ended the call by telling me how much he loves me and misses me and how he regrets all he said that day. He also blamed himself for Isoken’s death. He said her love for him finally killed her.
I felt so sorry for father but there was nothing I could do. Isoken was gone and there was nothing I or anyone could do about it.
My exams finally came and I sat for it. I was not having hopes of coming out with the best of grades, but I was sure of passing out fine. Stanley had dropped me off at my exam center, and promised to pick me up when I was done. He had been so helpful during this period, never missing a weekend to stop over at aunty Ejiro’s house to see me. Ejiro was beginning to love him and prefer him over David.
One weekend when he came over, he took I, Ejiro, Chika and Kelvin out for a nice treat. It was a very lovely afternoon and I was beginning to forget all about Isoken and move on with life. Stanley was Smiling so much at me and just making me love him more; when I received a call that spoilt that lovely outing.
The call was from Kevwe my course mate. We had become close right before the exams, as I sat with them most times in a study group we had formed to help us read.
Babe this is bad news o! Came her voice at the other end.
What’s it Kevwe? I asked
Babe results don come out, and yours is very bad! Infact carry over many and you failed o. You will have to repeat those courses again next year.
But how can that be? I asked crying already.
Babes am so sorry but that’s what I am seeing now. As I speak, I dey with HOD.
I ended the call, with my phone to my chest. My eyes were as red as blood and the shame that swept over me was uncontrollable.
Ufoma what’s wrong? Stanley was the first to notice as Ejiro was to busy with Chika.
Don’t call that name again! I shouted and got up. As far as you all are concerned, Ufoma is dead! She is dead and will never return! No one should look for me.
I ran out before them, leaving them to scream my name after me with no clue as to what was going on.
© 2020 Jade George Anibor