The atmosphere was tensed, as if robbers armed with big guns were present in the ward.
Jummy wasn’t her usual “always-kidding” self. John had a blank stare on his face, it was difficult to know what exactly was going on in his mind, but whatever he was thinking couldn’t be a positive thought towards Richard. Samuel had this “Rambo-Kiling-mode-activated” look, from the way he starred at Richard, one can easily know what was going in his mind and it was definitely something that had to do with beating Richard to pulp.
But in comparism to the rest of them, Zainab anger was on a totally different league. She had just listened to the recording and after a long pause, a very long pause, she turned to Richard and asked, “did you really say this?”
Richard was yet to listen to the tape so he had a blank look of confusion on his face, “say what?” He asked.
“Richard did you really say all this?!!!” Zainab yelled at Richard, the floor the hospital vibrated.
Richard was shocked, “say what? I have no idea what you talking about”.
“Take this” she said, while the Ipod was already in mid-air because she threw it at him, “an listen to the content” she added.
Richard caught the Ipod just in time, he plugged the earpiece into his ear and before he pressed the “play” button, he glanced at all the occupants of the room, he had no idea what to expect but he knew it was nothing that could favour him.
He pressed the play button.
The tape was short and straight to the point, it contained just four statements made between him and Dr. Daniel, “What’s funny Dr. Dan?” He heard himself ask over the tape.
“This wife of yours which you despise so much isn’t dead, and am so sure when I resuscitate and stabilise her, she would still divorce you” was the reply he got.
“No! She can’t wake up, kill her now!” He heard himself scream in terror.
“I’m done killing for you! You need to be taught a lesson”. Was the reply he got.
As soon as he had listened to the content of the tape, he slowly unplugged the earpiece from his ears, his hands were shaking like that of an old man who is over 190 years old.
“Zainab am sor…”
“Oh! Shut the fcck up arsehole!!!l” Zainab cut in, she attempted jumping out of the bed probably with the intention of killing Richard but she couldn’t find the strength. “You know what? Just get out! Seeing you makes me want to throw up! The sight of you is simply irritating”
“Babe you’ve got things all mixed up here, that tape is a…” Richard tried to say.
“Is a fake? Hun? Is that the best excuse you can come up with” Jummy cut in, “I’ve always thought you were a good liar but I guess I was wrong, even Pinochio would be a better liar” she concluded, and waved her hand at Richard in a mocking way.
“Are you still there? I said get out!” Zainab yelled.
Richard tried walking towards Zainab but was stopped by John, “I think you should just do as she said please leave”, he said.
“And who are you to tell me what to do?” Richard fired.
Samuel cleared his throat in a very audible tone, Richard had a look at him and figured he might be needing some surgeries if he didn’t leave now.
“I’ll go Zainab, but just know that I’m not the person you think I am, everything is a frame up” Richard replied.
Samuel cleared his throat again.
“Am going na, you don’t have to act this way” Richard said to Samuel and left the room.
* * * * *
VENUE: SOMEWHERE AT IJEGUN, LAGOS.(Dr. Daniel house)
Since he always dress corporately, wearing a blue pencil shaped Jeans and a red and white striped Polo top was a rare sight, Dr. Daniel bent down to pick up his shoe which was by the door side, he was packing his thing but was uncertain of where exactly he was going to.
He knew telling Zainab about the tape would somehow come back to him, but that wouldn’t really have been a problem since he hadn’t done anything wrong in particular to Zainab. What scared him was the fact that, the police were obviously going to dig into his past and that wouldn’t be favourable to him, the only option he had was to disappear, like he always did.
After he had packed his bags and clear every trace of him in the house, he finally figured where he was going to, he picked up his phone and dialled a number adding “+27” to the number.
“Hello, seems someone is back from the dead!”, the recipient said excitedly as he picked the call.
“Why do you sound like this bro? Can’t your brother call again?” Dr. Daniel replied.
“Not like am complaining, you just vanished into air like that. I understand you a man now and a man got to do what a man got to do, but dad and mum didn’t view it that way”
“Yea, speaking of mum and dad, how are they?”
“They are fine, I guess. Although mum keeps on getting sicker by the day”
“Okay, I know. Well, tell them their son is coming back home, I think its high time I settle down” Dr. Daniel replied and let out a huge sigh of relief.
“Wow! Can I get the name of the drink you drank before calling me?” His brother replied, not sure either to be excited yet.
“Shut up bro, you are silly. Am not drunk, am serious, I’ll be on the next flight to South Africa tonight” Dr. Daniel replied excitedly.
“Hmmm.. Seeing is believing, am not mentioning anything to them till you call me to come and pick you from the airport” He replied.
“Okay then, I guess surprising them would be better, how is Nancy by the way?”
“Oh! So you still remember your wife name?” He replied sarcastically and disappointed.
“Why are you being so hard on me? Is she fine or not?” Dr. Daniel replied, trying not to loose his temper, he didn’t get why his junior brother was being so difficult.
“She is fine, she keeps on crying and praying you would come back to her one day, you know after you left for Nigeria, things haven’t been easy for her?”
“I know, I’m coming back now. Anyway, got to go now, I need to book a flight now before its to late, talk to you later”
“Okay, bye then, see you soon, I hope” He replied and waited for his brother to hang up, he knew his brother would be offended if he did. Typical Dr. Daniel, everyone who knew him well, knew that.
Dr. Daniel pulled up his hand bag up to his shoulder and dragged his trolley out of his building, he looked back at it for the last time and murmured the words, “Good bye”.
* * * * *
After a quite short drive which felt like forever to Zainab, Samuel finally pulled up at the front of her house.
She had just been discharge roughly two hours ago and she just couldn’t wait to get home, she was already getting irritated by the hospital.
Jummy seemed to act like she had healed completely even though her injury was still fresh and still had stitches. She sat at the front sit, and as soon as the car was fully put to halt, she opened the door and ran to open the door for Zainab who sat behind the driver’s seat.
Zainab couldn’t help but laugh at her friend, “stop being so nice Jummy, its quiet scary”, she teased.
“What do you mean? That I’ve never been nice to you?” Jummy asked jokingly.
“Do you really want me to reply that?” Zainab asked, and the both knew the answer, the then laughed out loud.
Just then, John phone began ringing, he took an excuse and went to a corner to pick his call while Jummy helped Zainab up to the gate. Zainab placed her hands over Jummy shoulder and limped while Samuel tried to make sure the car was proper locked.
“Don’t bother locking it, we are leaving now, there is an emergency at the factory, a worker apparently wants to burn down my company” John said as he walked back after making his call.
“What!” Samuel exclaimed.
Jummy over heard what John had just said but acted like she didn’t, she want John to tell her himself.
John got the message, and walked up to Jummy who was still assisting Zainab to walk, the were already struggling to open the gate when John got there, he offered to help and opened the gate for them.
“Errr.. Can I talk to you for a while?” John asked.
“Who? Me?” Zainab asked in a mocking tone.
John chuckled, “na not you miss, Jumoke I mean” he replied.
“Okay, I wonder why cute guys don’t talk to me nowadays” She murmured loud enough for John to hear, he just laughed.
“Can you walk on your own” Jummy asked Zainab.
“Not really but does it really matter, you gonna leave me now wither I like it or not” Zainab replied and removed her hands from Jummy shoulder, then limped into the compound after winking at Jummy. Jummy smiled.
“So what did you want to talk to me about?” Jummy asked John once they were alone.
“I’ve got to go now, I have issues to attend to at the office…”
“Oh! Hope no problem” Jummy asked, forcing a fake surprised tone.
“Nothing I can’t handle..” He paused for a minute, “er.. Jumoke..” He called out her name.
“Firstly, you need to stop calling me Jumoke and start calling me Jummy, Jumoke sounds like a bush name… And secondly, Yea.. What is it?”
“But I like bush names” John replied teasing her.
“Whatever… What is it anyway?”
“Err.. Would you like to go out with me sometimes?” He asked shyly, the looked away.
“What?” Jummy exclaimed.
“Oh! Please don’t make me beg” John replied.
“Even though your timing sucks, yes, sure I’ll like to go out wit you sometimes” Jummy replied excitedly.
“This is usually the part you give me your number…” John requested, grinning.
“Err.. 0806XXXXXXX” Jummy replied immediately.
“What? How do you want me to remember that?”
“You remembered Zainab’s number right? Well if you don’t recall mine, then maybe we aren’t meant to go out” Jummy replied with a grin and before he could reply, she walked out on him and headed into the house. John and Samuel drove off.
Jummy got into the house and met Zainab sitting at the mini bar already drinking and obviously deep in thoughts.
“Babe, what’s on your mind” Jummy asked concern.
Zainab picked up the bottle of brandy, and took a gulp then she threw the bottle on the wall to Jummy’s amazement.
“Do your lawyer handles only divorce cases?” Zainab asked in an awkward calm tone which most definitely had a sinister effect.
TO BE CONTINUED.