Episode 10

Sunday passed without any unusual event only that I did not attend my church and I had to attend Prisca’s church. The church was a very big church and the service was so enjoyable but I was not used to being a bench warmer. Prisca is a part of the dancers in the church so she did not seat with us. I forgot totally about Tunji and my past intentionally pushing it behind it knowing fully well that when you dwells on his past and problems you remain stagnant.

Monday came and before I knew it, I was dressing up for work. I had anticipated this day and I found myself waking up many times in the night to check the time. As I dressed up, I stared at Prisca as she dressed up for work. She had studied Accountancy and was now working as a cashier in GTB, one of the newest banks in Nigeria. I had complained about the strain of the job but she barely felt it because she loved the job so much, one would think counting money is her hobby. She looked smashing in the navy blue trouser suit and white camisole she was putting on. Her light skin complemented the cloth perfectly and I felt that the cloth could only have been made with her in mind. I commented on her appearance and she laughed heartily.

I took out the white skirt suit that mum had purchased notwithstanding the cost and placed it on the bed. She had said that white is mainly used in the hospital and had purchased it and another white which was a trouser suit. I took out a purple camisole and after putting it on, I put on the suit.

Prisca stood open mouthed as she gazed at me. I knew I looked good even without looking at the mirror but I didn’t think it warranted such drama. “Belina”, she gasped. “What?” I asked alarmed. She dragged me to the front of the standing mirror and it was my turn to open my mouth. I stared at my reflection in the mirror unbelievably. I looked so woow. As I looked at myself, tears formed in my eyes and I forced it back immediately; tears just seem to come frequently these days, I thought. The suit fitted my body like a second skin, the skirt was just on my knees and the purple camisole just seemed to bring everything down to perfection. I moved away from the mirror and I saw Prisca holding out a pair of purple and white shoe.

She looked at me and said emphatically, “this is my shoe and you must wear it today. I have not worn it once and I might as well give it to you”. I looked at the shoe and noted that it would be perfect on the dress so I took it without thinking twice and when I wore it, I had to agree that I looked excellent.

“Oh baby, please be careful with Tony there o, because I am sure that all the guys there would be falling on each other just to have a glimpse of you”, she had said looking very serious. I laughed and told her she was exaggerating but she said she wasn’t. we both knew that Tony is madly in love with her so she didn’t mind my appearance at all. Her branch was just a bike away from the house so we both left our room around 6:35am and went to the kitchen in order to have a little breakfast before setting out. When we entered the kitchen, we met mummy preparing breakfast and when she turned to look at us, her eyes widened. Prisca laughed at her reaction as we both greeted her.

She inspected both of us with her eyes and she looked at me in awe. “You are so beautiful in this suit, thank God I bought it”, I went to hug her affectionately uttering words of appreciation. After that, we ate in a hurry and set out.

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Richard went to the kitchen to heat some water for his tea and after that, he went to dress up. He remembered that the Psychologist would be there today and he wanted to be there early enough so that she would start with Deji. He looked at the time and noticed that it was just some minutes past 7. He went back to the kitchen and prepared the tea. He took out sliced bread and ate in a hurry. He had been living in this mini flat apartment for the past six years. Immediately he finished his university education at the age of 21, he had moved out of his father’s mansion and moved into this apartment wanting to achieve something on his own. He had been planning for this since his secondary school days and instead of spending all he was given then, he had been able to save a whole lot of money. He had worked for one year in a very big hospital, saving everything that came his way. His father hadn’t objected to his yearn then and had been very supportive.

His phone rang just as he was about leaving the house. He looked at the caller and noticed that it was his father. “Hello dad”, he said into the mouthpiece of his phone. “how are you son?”, his father asked. “I am fine dad, I was just thinking about you”, he said with a smile. “Really, you would tell me all about it when you get here” he said. “What do you mean dad?” “I need to see you now, it is very urgent”, he said on a serious note. “Hope no problem sir?” Richard asked looking worried. “No problem, but I must see you now”, he emphasized. Richard sighed looking worried, “I am on my way”.

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The hospital was bubbling with life and this Monday was definitely a good one. Tony sat up in his office chair as he arranged all the files on his table. His secretary had done a good job though but he always took it as a point of duty to crosscheck and rearranged them again. His phone went alive and he picked immediately. “Rich, wat’s up?” he asked as a way of greeting. “Hey tony, pale just call me now o, he wants me to come over”, he said in a mixture of pidgin and normal English” Tony laughed, “I don tell you say make you dey speak normal English, pidgin no sweet for your mouth”, he said. Richard laughed also, “Shey it is your mouth it sweet inside?” Tony laughed again and instead of answering, he asked, “hope there is no problem with p man o”. “I hope not, anyways, I just wanted you to make sure that the new psychologist, eeehm, Miss Belina, attends to Deji today”, he said. “oh, ok, no prob, say hello to dad for me”, Tony said and after some minutes he hung up and almost immediately, his intercom rang and when he picked it, his secretary informed him that Belina was waiting to see him. ‘Just in time’, Tony thought and told his secretary to let her in.

He checked out some files and when he heard a knock, he said, ‘come in’ as he pasted a friendly smile on his face. Immediately she stepped in, his smile froze and disappeared altogether as his eyes devoured her not able to believe she was the same person he had rescued three or rather two days ago.

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I sighed inwardly obviously tired of receiving the numerous stares but instead of the problem to reduce, it seemed to be getting worse. I had sailed into the hospital premises and had been extremely amazed when I saw the massive building. I had heard of that hospital and how efficient they are but I never imagined something this big and I silently praised the owner of such a big investment. The security men had welcomed me so well that I felt they shouldn’t do better when they are welcoming the GM. The stares I received from people almost made me trip so many times and I had to gather enough courage to walk past them without jittering. I raised my head up and walked glamorously into the hospital. After introducing myself at the reception, I had been directed to Tony’s office and I was glad that I would finally be seeing a familiar face. After waiting for close to ten minutes with his personal secretary, I was let in and when I received the same ‘check her out’ stare from him again, I shuddered. I remembered the words of Prisca and laughed outwardly. Tony was brought back from his reverie and he was ashamed of himself because I saw the flush in his face. “I… I am sorry, it is just that you… you look very different from what I saw on ehm Friday, no Saturday. You were very beautiful despite the condition but you look mind blowing and my mind was blown away when you entered”, he explained then pointed at a seat opposite him. I smiled and switched on my professional look as my face seemed to do no other thing other than smile. “You don’t have to worry, Tony, I trust you and know you won’t dare forsake my pretty friend”, I said but it was more of a question because he laughed out and did the ‘I cross my heart’ thing. I didn’t have to ask because I had known Tony and knew beyond doubt that he loves Prisca deeply; he just seemed to be born a flirt. “you would be safe with me but I cannot say the same for others”, he said winking at me and I blushed slightly. The discussion was already moving to the area I did not fancy so I just said, “I think I can handle them”.

He smiled and became professional within the twinkle of an eye. He handed over the employment letter since I hadn’t taken it yet, “My secretary would show you to your office in the next floor. This floor is strictly for physical treatments and the next floor is for physical therapies, counseling and psychological aids. You would be in-charge of the psychological aids department and you would be visiting the therapy department every Wednesday to have sessions with the depressed patients. You are to attend to one patient at a time and you are also to maintain a strictly professional affair with your patients. You would only work Mondays to Friday and you are to resume work by 8 am and close 5pm. You have a personal secretary to yourself and also have a large working area to aid your work. Your salary is already written in your employment letter, I can’t tell you ‘cos I don’t know what is there. All these things and others I have not mentioned are in your staff brochure which is already in your office.” He said finally pausing. I smiled and voiced my appreciation but as I was about to stand up, he stopped me. “wait, I know you have just arrived but you already have one patient. My secretary would give you his file which explains his case and the time for his sessions daily”. He pressed a number in the intercom and his secretary came in in a flash. He explained everything she needed to do to her and when he was through, I stood up and he shook my hands, “Welcome to Best Results Hospital” “Thank you sir”, I said and followed the secretary out of the office.

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Tunji’s parents sat in a room that was definitely too large to be a sitting room but that was what it was. They both had facial expressions which shouldn’t naturally be seen on the faces of important state personalities that they were. The entire room was almost filled with body guards who seemed to be created with stony faces. Mr James picked up his phone to call the commissioner of police for the umpteenth time since Saturday. He picked immediately. “Your excellency sir”, the commissioner said. “how far?” he asked “sir, the investigation is still ongoing sir”, he replied with his heart in his mouth. “Listen to me carefully, I would be coming there tomorrow and if I don’t see the bastard that murdered my son, you would be in serious trouble, do you understand me?” he asked emphatically. “ye… yes sir” “good”, Mr James said and hung up. He stood up and started pacing angrily. His wife could still not get a hold of herself as she sobbed uncontrollably. They had informed their girls who were abroad, Tola and Tinuke, and they were on their way home. “If someone thinks he can kill my only son and go scot free with it then he must be out of his mind”. Mr. James said as he paced the length of the ridiculously long but tastely furnished room. He remembered the phone conversation he had with his son the very day he was killed and recollected him talking about traveling out. He called the commissioner immediately and told him to find out all he can from the workers in Tunji’s house. He had a strong feeling that the trip has something to do with the murder of his only son.

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Richard entered his father’s house in a hurry. His father was one of the few people he cared about the most in the world and he did not want anything to happen to him. His father had re-married after their relocation to Nigeria and despite all he heard about step mothers, she was the best person he knew. She had given birth to two girls and a boy. The last girl, the last born, was still five years old.

He entered the house and responded to the greetings of some of the workers as he went in. upon entering, he saw his dad seating in the reception and he greeted him. “gud morning dad”, he said as he went to meet him. They exchanged a warm hug because it had been a long time they saw each other and they were not just father and son, they were friends.

After a few minutes of catching up between father and son, Richard’s father said, “there is someone here that wants to see you, that’s why I called you”. Curious, he asked, “who?” Instead of answering, his dad led him to the main sitting room and he stood rooted to the ground as he stared at the woman who had abandoned him many years ago, his mother.

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I entered my office and was impressed the more. Everything about the hospital was just excellent but I kept a straight exterior not expressing my amazement. Tony’s secretary had done a good job of showing me around but left my secretary with the job of showing my into my office, showing me my working environment and other things.

My office was tastefully furnished and decorated with mind blowing images that would help my job immensely. I inspected everywhere with my eyes appreciatively as my secretary ranted on about things I already knew. After some minutes, I was alone and I looked everywhere not believing that I was actually seated in my own office. I closed my eyes several times and opened it to be sure I was not dreaming. When I was sure that everything was real, I knelt down and for close to twenty minutes, I just appreciated God for my life. I knew it could only be God because everything had happened so fast that I still could not believe it was real. I stood up and opened the patient’s file with me. I scanned through it reading the case file and noted a lot of things. The patient’s name is Deji and he had just lost his memory due to a fatal car crash. It also showed that he is from a well to do family and they had demanded for two hours everyday in order to speed up his recovery.

I closed the file and started organizing my things. I brought out my diary and started writing some things. My diary is always in my bag because I use it very frequently. Most of my things were still in my house so I didn’t bring anything much.

Around 10 o’clock, I headed towards Deji’s room and I was glad to start work immediately. From the file, I had been told that he was in Ward C and from there I was directed to Deji’s room by a nurse. I knocked and entered the room. I saw the patient on the bed sleeping with his parents by his side. I greeted and introduced myself as his psychologist and they had been extremely happy. Just then, the patient turned in his sleep and opened his eyes. He looked exceedingly attractive in his sleep and I could not but pity his present state internally but that was not what I ought to do as a professional so I smiled lovingly at him. I gave him a few minutes to get familiar with his environment and just as I was about to open my mouth, his mother spoke. “it is good you are awake dear, your psychologist is here”, he smiled at me like he had known me all his life. “I went to him still smiling and said, “Hello Mr. Deji, I am Miss Belina Badmus and your new psychologist, don’t worry, in a few days, we would have fixed this little thing up there”, I said casually and he laughed slightly. He had a positive manner; I noted delightedly and knew that it would help me tremendously.

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The look on Richard’s face was unreadable, maybe surprise, anger, uncertainty, or even all of them; his expressions were always unreadable just as he was unpredictable. He stared at the woman before him and knew without a doubt that she is his biological mother. He was barely above five the last time he saw her but he still remembered how she made no move to bid him goodbye. She never really loved him; she always hit him even though that sort of treatment was not allowed there. She loved her daughters a lot and his father had told him of how she fought for their custody in the court. People say that you can’t remember what happened to you as a child but he remembered everything because no matter how small you are, bad things have a way of printing its footprints on your mind that you find it hard to forget.

She still had the blue eyes he knew her with and even though everyone admired it, he wished she hadn’t passed that same colour of eyes to him. She had aged but she still had the fascinating beauty that seemed to draw everyone to her; something that pissed him off beyond words as he stood opposite her.

The room was as silent as a tomb for more than 20mins and Richard later broke the silence. “What are you doing here?” he asked in an icy tone. “Son, I…” she was saying. “Cut it out ma, you are not my mum OK? That is my mum’s photo over there”, he said pointing to a picture of his step mother on the wall. She looked distraught at that and she started sobbing. “Pls, forgive me my son, I should not have treated you badly then, I am sorry”, she said as she advanced towards him. He stopped her before she got to him and said straight to her face, “you have never been my mother and you can never, EVER, be my mother”. He stormed out of the house and for the first time ever, he did not stop even when his dad called him back.

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Inspector Sule marched into the house of the deceased with a renewed vigor. He had been like a mad man trying to find the murderer who had the guts to come against the Deputy Governor’s son and hadn’t gotten anywhere even though they had made useless arrests knowing fully well that the people in the cell knows next to nothing about the case. He had appointed three police men to stay permanently at Tunji’s apartment monitoring the workers and ensuring that they did not go out at all.

When he got into the sitting room he gathered all the workers in the sittingroom and asked them collectively, “What do you people know about your late boss’ traveling plans?” One of them who looked like the cook looked up and said, “oga olopa, e don tey since my oga don dey talk say him go travel go oyinbo land with hin wife?” “Wife? What wife?” the inspector asked, already liking the news. “Aah, oga bin wan marry one girl o, but e be like say the girl no dey gree for am because na the papa just dey come hia everytime, I never take my eye see the girl before”. The cook completed. Inspector Sule nodded thoughtfully and said, “so he was traveling out with his fiancee that Saturday right? Maybe the girl killed him”. The driver with more fluent English then said, “Yes sir, I wanted to drive him to the airport but he said I shouldn’t worry, so he drove himself and just about two hours later, he came back very angry”. “Yes, he angry well well o”, the cook interjected, others just kept quiet. “He just dey shout on top of everybody head and he bin break plenty cup o. I even hear am as him just dey shout for phone say make person bring money come give am for night”. “What? Who was he talking to?” the inspector asked. “I no no ooo” she replied. One of the most silent of the other two staffs felt uncomfortable and the eyes of the inspector tormented him until he opened his mouth and said, “sir, I am not an amebo but I also heard his phone conversation and didn’t hear any name mentioned but after the call, he started saying some things out loud and from what he said, I feel the person he was talking to was Belina’s father”. Elated, the inspector was visibly relieved and he asked the driver if he had knows the address and he replied in affirmative saying he had driven his boss there times without number. He took the address and walked out smiling victoriously.

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