They both stood anxiously waiting for Lara to come down but that didn’t happen, After waiting for a few minutes with no sign of Lara, Jeff finally developed the courage to peep from the kitchen to see if she was standing outside waiting for them but didn’t see anyone, “she’s not here” he whispered to Lola who was still standing in the kitchen afraid to come out, “could she have gone back in?” Lola asked, “I don’t know” Jeff replied, maybe she never even came down in the first place, it could probably have been the door to your room being slammed shut by wind or something” Jeff suggested, “but I didn’t leave my room door open” Lola argued getting confused, “these things happen” Jeff replied, “nobody’s above making mistakes” he hissed, he was already finding comfort in the possibility that Lara was still asleep and they had only been frightened by the door slamming shut as a result of wind, and he didn’t need Lola spoiling the thought for him.
He left her behind in the kitchen and went to the room to check on Lara, he was relieved to find her sleeping peacefully or at least that was what it looked like; he carefully crept into bed and lay beside her on the bed, being careful not to wake her up.
The next morning, Lara announced that she would be traveling for the final time in the next 3 weeks before the company finally retained her new position, she was to go to Kenya to seal a multimillion naira business deal this time without her boss.
“You’re traveling again?” Jeff asked, “yes, but it’s only for a month” Lara replied, “only for a month?” Jeff asked, “that’s even longer than your usual trips” he whined, “I know” Lara replied “but this is the last one, after this there’ll be no more, I promise” she said, “I can’t wait for all these to end” Jeff replied with a huge sigh, “don’t worry, it will be over soon” Lara replied, “much sooner than you expect” she muttered under her breath.
Three weeks later, Jeff found himself dropping Lara off at the airport again as usual and afterwards went to drop Jojo off at Aunty Fanny’s like he always did when Lara traveled, “how are you coping with this your absentee wife?” Aunty Fanny asked when he dropped Jojo, “it is well Aunty” was all he replied, he didn’t want anyone reminding him of Lara’s constant absence from the house, “how is the physiotherapy for your spondylosis going?” He asked quickly changing the topic, “it’s helping” she replied nodding, “at least I’m starting to feel some relief in my back” she said, “your back?” Jeff asked looking confused, “I thought it was just your neck” he replied, “it’s both my dear, your aunty’s getting old” she replied with a chuckle, “you know I never really understood this spondylosis thing, what’s it all about?” he asked curiously, “the doctor said it is a wear and tear that occurs in the joints and bones of the spine as people get older, it can affect the neck and the upper and lower back causing pain and stiffness. It is usually caused by degenerative changes in the spine that occur in old age and can be treated with pain killers, exercise, physiotherapy and surgery” Aunty Fanny explained, “hmm! Interesting, everything makes more sense now” he said nodding his head, “so did your doctor mention anything about young people like me being at risk?” He probed further, “well not really, he mentioned that people that have had previous trauma to the spine, overweight individuals and people with bad posture are also at higher risk” she said, “wow! Aunty you’re a genius, you could pass for a doctor yourself” he joked, “I’m one by association” she replied with a giggle, ” after so much visits to the doctor, you become one yourself”
After dropping Jojo off at Aunty Fanny’s place, Jeff decided to get some groceries for the house and stop by at Franklin’s place afterwards but he noticed he was being followed by a stranger in a black car everywhere he went, at first, he had thought it was his imagination but he kept seeing the same car every time he looked into his rearview mirror; at one point, he even took a wrong turn on purpose but the car still followed and then after a while the car seemed to disappear.
“I feel like I’m being followed” he confessed to Franklin once he was safely in his office, “followed? Who will follow a broke ass like you? You be celeb?” Franklin asked bursting into a fit of laughter, “I’m serious,someone in a black car has been following me for over 30 minutes” Jeff insisted, “the person only stopped following me when I reached your office”
“Guy abeg talk better, I have a lot of work on my table. You know it’s when people are jobless they start to hallucinate” Franklin joked, “it’s alright if you don’t believe me” Jeff replied feeling very worried.
About an hour later, he left Franklin’s office and decided to head back home, he was crossing the road to where his car was parked when the lady selling fruits by the roadside suddenly screamed, he turned back within milliseconds only to notice the same black car that had been following him earlier rushing towards him at full speed, everything was happening so fast, he barely had enough time to lift his feet from the ground and run to save his life; in that split second, his whole life flashed before him. “So this is it?” He thought, “this is how I’m going to die”…