…Continued from episode 21.
“Are you okay Doctor?” the nurse asked looking concerned, “sorry for the alarm ” I replied, “I actually know him. He’s good friends with a friend of mine” “Ah! What a pity!” the nurse exclaimed shaking her head, “please take heart” she said giving me a pat on the back. I still couldn’t believe I was staring down at a lifeless Chuks covered in blood,the same person I had spoken to at the wedding yesterday. He must’ve been involved in the accident while on his way to the airport. Poor guy! I’m sure he never imagined he had only 24 hours more to live. I was really worried about Oby, hearing about this would totally break her heart. Chuks was the one who brought sunshine and happiness back to her life after her fiancé ended their 7-year relationship to be with another man. They had known each other for about 6 months but according to Oby, they have been the best 6 months of her life.
The elderly taxi driver eventually didn’t make it too, he died while my colleagues tried to resuscitate him, it was a really sad day for me. The hospital was already making arrangements to reach out to any of the recently called contacts on the victims’ phones to inform them of their deaths but I offered to take up the responsibility of doing that, I knew Oby would be one of the people listed in Chuks’s recent calls and I wanted to break the news to her the right way and at the right time. I was able to reach Chuks’s father on the phone, it wasn’t right to break bad news over the phone so I asked him to come over to the hospital as a matter of urgency. I would’ve loved to wait till the next day after work to go over to Oby’s to tell her but I knew she would be worried and start panicking if she didn’t hear from Chuks before the day was over. I couldn’t leave the hospital because I was on duty till the next morning, so I called her and told her to stop by at the hospital to pick up my ATM card and help withdraw some cash I needed urgently, I know I suck at lying, I already told you that earlier, I just couldn’t come up with a better lie in such a short time. Luckily she obliged and said she’d be on her way once she left the hotel.
By the time she reached the hospital, she had already tried calling Chuks a couple of times and was starting to get worried. “I don’t know what’s up with Chuks’s phone, it’s been switched off for a while now and he’s supposed to have landed over 3 hours ago” she said to me when we were finally in my consulting room, “that’s strange” I said trying my best to sound surprised, “maybe it’s a network problem” I added. “But by now he should have at least tried to reach me” she argued, “you’re right” I nodded, almost immediately, my phone rang, it was Charly letting me know she had just arrived at the hospital, I had told her about the unfortunate incident earlier over the phone and invited her to help break the news to Oby. She joined us in the room few minutes later, Oby had tried calling Chuks 5 times more before Charly joined us, I was seriously beginning to wonder if this was a task Charly and I alone could handle. After exchanging pleasantries she sat beside Oby and watched her dial on her phone like she was stuck in the middle of Third mainland bridge at 12 midnight looking for a lift home, I don’t think she realised there were two other human beings in the room with her, Who knows? Maybe we had suddenly become invisible. “We need to talk” Charly said snatching her phone from her with a serious look on her face, trust her to cut the chase, “about what?” Oby asked, “can’t it wait, I’m trying to reach Chuks” she said trying to snatch her phone back from Charly. “It’s about Chuks” Charly replied, “Chuks? What about him?” Oby asked looking confused, “Did he call you?”
“Calm down” Charly said holding her hands, I got up and walked over to the other side of the table and started rubbing her shoulders, I wanted to calm her down as much as possible but it seemed to make her more anxious, “what is it?” She said pulling away from Charly and I, “Chuks is gone” Charly replied, “Gone?” She asked looking at Charly like she was crazy, “of course I know he’s gone that’s why I’ve been trying to reach him” she explained, “No sweety” Charly interrupted, “Chuks is gone forever, he’s not coming back” she said softly, “what do you mean he’s not coming back?” Oby said getting up from her chair looking like she was ready to punch Charly, “please calm down” I said guiding her to sit, “what Charly said is actually true, you need to be strong” I said squeezing her shoulders, “are you both crazy?” She said getting up again, “have you lost your minds?”
“He died this morning on his way to the airport,he was involved in an accident” I explained, “You’re lying” Oby said shaking her head “there was no accident announced on the news” Obviously, denial was beginning to set in, was she seriously expecting every accident that happened in town to be on the news? Besides it’s not like she even followed the news, all she did was watch movies and listen to music. It took a while for Charly and I to convince her that Chuks was dead, it was like trying to convince a little child that Santa Claus wasn’t real, it wasn’t until she was taken to the mortuary to see his corpse that she finally accepted he was truly dead. She cried her eyes out, she kept slapping the face of the poor corpse like that would resurrect it, we had to pull her back and take her out. It was such an emotional scene that I never want to remember, no sane person would have witnessed it without shedding a tear. I tried my best to hold my tears back but they kept coming down. I quickly wiped them off my face because we had to be strong for Oby, I had to constantly remind myself that it wasn’t a crying competition.
Charly offered to stay over at Oby’s place till she was okay enough to stay on her own which judging from what I had witnessed was going to be a while. The rest of my day went by slowly as usual, it was a crying fest at the hospital that day, different family members of the deceased men kept trooping into the hospital in small groups wailing and causing scenes. I was so happy when it was closing time on Monday and I could finally leave the hospital, I needed a breath of fresh air, I didn’t want to go straight home because there was no Yemi to go home to and I hadn’t really gotten used to the fact that she was no longer my flatmate, so I decided to go to the cinema to see a movie by myself, I know some people think that’s just sad but I really don’t see the big deal, if I want to see a movie and there’s no one to go with, I simply just go by myself. The ticket attendant looked at me funny when I requested for one movie ticket, “are you watching it alone?” She asked, “no, I’m watching with my invisible twin” I felt like replying, like Duh! Did she see me standing with anyone else? Maybe the person who circulated the memo that watching movies alone in the cinema was an abomination forgot to send my own copy because I definitely didn’t get it.
I had a good laugh watching the movie, and stuffing myself with shawarma, popcorn and soda, Oh yes! I ate all that alone, don’t you know what it means to be pregnant? For the records, it’s normal to have increased appetite during pregnancy because of the hormonal changes going on in the body, however, that is not an excuse to eat like an elephant like I was doing. Pregnant women should eat more of healthy foods and less of junk food. I really hope I can practice what I just preached. I was already making my way out of the cinema when Jumai’s call came through, “what’s up?” I said when I picked up the phone, “you won’t believe the showdown that’s going down in Yemi’s place right now” she began, “What’s happening? Please gist me” I begged, “hmm! There’s a woman in the house refusing to let Yemi in, she claims she gave the house to Bayo and has come to claim her property back” She explained. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I exclaimed, “where’s Bayo?” I asked, “he’s not back from work and his phones are currently switched off, I suspect the strange woman must’ve called him when she got here and he’s switched it off on purpose” she added, “please come we need back up” she pleaded.
“I’ll be right there” I said hanging up and rushing to the car park. I honestly don’t know what they expected me to do when I got there, I guess I had just been upgraded from being Tess the nosy friend to Super Tess the defender of the helpless. As I drove down to Yemi’s place, I could not help but think the nightmare had only just begun for her…
Find out what happens next in episode 23