SAINTS, SINNERS & SPIRITS – Episode 19
… the story continues.
Saints, Sinners & Spirits, Episode 18 here
All at once, as though a switch had been flipped on, the activity in the Robert Household intensified as everyone hurriedly ran around to see how they could help revive Oyinda who laid inert in Derin’s arms.
Derin had moved fast and had caught her to his chest the moment he’d noticed that she had gone pale, as though she’d seen a ghost and shortly thereafter, crumbled to the ground like ice cream that had been kissed by the scorching hot sun.
He held on to her, confused as to what might have brought this on. She had been okay just now!.He looked around the faces of everyone in the room and saw concern etched on their features too. He heard her mother’s voice, calling for Segilola’s head.
‘Segi has killed me. This is high blood pressure o! it is the high blood pressure of the stress that she has brought upon this girl that has caused this! Mo r’ogo! Derin, Derin! Can you see now?’ Yelled the old lady who was flitting around like a bird trapped by a net.
‘Calm down ma’ said Akin. He knew he had to take charge because even Derin looked confused as he held Oyinda, it seemed as though he was being dragged down by her weight too.
‘Derin, bring her here’ he said as he guided them very slowly to the sofa upon which Oyindamola was laid.
‘Akin, what is this one now? What can we do?’ Derin asked his friend under his breath. He had not signed up for nay of this drama. How was it possible that things like this always happened to him? He was genuinely tired of all this mess. All he wanted was a thriving ministry and now all this!
‘Don’t worry. I’m here, we will sort it out’ said Akin, who had clearly taken charge of the situation.
‘Madam, is there a doctor we can call?’ asked Akin irritatedly. He’d just had to send the house help back, the girl had rushed out of the kitchen and was coming at Oyinda with a spoon!
‘Ah oga, na so dem dey do for our village!’ said Nneka who was also desperate to help. ‘The spoon dey work all the time’ she said as she attempted to move closer to Oyinda again.
‘No! I said you should move back!’ said Akin, a lot sharper than he’d intended to but the truth is the girl was frustrating him and making it very difficult for him to think. He sat beside Oyinda and had begun to fan her with a magazine he had seen on the side stool.
‘Mrs Robert, please call your doctor’ said Akin authoritatively ‘we obviously require medical assistance’ he said
‘Okay. Nneka, bring my phone’ said the old lady tiredly.
Casper sat on a single living room sofa, quiet as he took in his environment, impressed at the quality of living that was evidenced here. It was all too easy to believe the reports shown on the television but the reality and the opulent living that his eyes beheld was a far cry from all the television reports he had seen.
Never in his life had he been in a mansion that was this huge, except for that one time when he’d had to take a cleaning job in Florida and even at that, the mansion had belonged to a very popular rockstar who never descended low enough to speak with the cleaning people.
He was amazed that Oyinda was the real thing. His sister had seriously miscalculated when she had allowed Oyinda to walk away. Perhaps at a later date, he would take pictures and send to her. As for now, it was a lot of fun watching the scene set before his very eyes. Thanks to him, there was a real panic party going on and it was so much fun to watch. He wondered if anyone had pieced it together that he was the real cause of the ongoing panic.
‘Ha, she should have opened her eyes now oh’ said Mrs Roberts who had gotten off the phone with Dr. Harold.
‘Let’s go to the clinic round the corner, the doctor said we should meet him there’ she said
As soon as she said the words, there was a bustle of activity as everyone rushed to get Oyinda to the hospital. The only glitch was that Adamu, the maiguard, who was to watch over the house and open the gates had wandered away from his duty post and was nowhere to be found.
In silent agreement, Derin’s vehicle became the next best option and it was only natural that Akin did the driving while Derin held Oyinda in his arms in the back seat while Mrs Robert slipped into the front seat, wringing her hands in worry.
The drive was not a long one, but it was filled with tension especially as the overly cautious Akin drove slowly because of road bumps, for he didn’t want anything to possibly complicate Oyinda’s yet unknown condition. He didn’t want her to be in a worse off condition than when they’d decided to move her from the house.
In the back seat, Derin wondered what could have happened, one moment she had been fine and now, she was just here in his arms lying limp and lifeless. He wondered if she had a medical condition that she had not yet disclosed to him.
‘Has this ever happened to her ma?” Derin asked Mrs Robert
‘Never’ said the woman in a voice, heavy with unshed tears ‘This is what your wife has done to me Derin. And for what? Just because I was trying to be nice to you. Is it bad to show kindness to people who….?” asked the older lady
‘Mrs Robert, let’s focus on getting Oyinda up and running, we can discuss the rest later’ Akin interjected
‘You will be fine, Oyinda’ said Derin as he found himself gently massaging her hair and temples in what he hoped would be a soothing motion. ‘you will be fine’ he repeated over and over again, turning it into a mantra.
‘She has been out for a long time now, don’t you think?” asked Akin who wondered why she had not come round
‘We are almost at the hospital, let’s leave the worrying to the experts while we tell God what we want’ responded Derin with more confidence than he really had.
Oyindamola Roberts cold hear the voices and suddenly, the last few moments came to her in a rush. Shit. That bastard was actually here in Nigeria!
She tried to identify the voices speaking around her and peeked under her lashes to confirm that Casper was not in the vehicle, after all, she could not sense his irritatingly, heavy presence, and neither had she heard his annoying drawl. She wondered if it was the right time to rouse but realised that she was better off pretending to be out than being awake.
‘How in fuck’s name had he found her? Who would have thought that the bastard would make good his threat to come to Nigeria? Oyinda wondered for she now realised that she had a real issue on her hands.
‘How in hell’s name was she to get out of this mess?’ she asked herself, trying to think fast. That weasel was actually here! In Nigeria!
Should she leave the country? she wondered to herself and quickly knocked the idea out. She was safest here at home, where her dad and his connections could get her round the clock protection. She only had to tell a good enough lie.
Oyinda hurriedly weighed her options and admitted that at some point and very soon, she would have to confront Casper but quite frankly, she was not ready for any of that drama right now. She needed the time to strategise and think, she also knew that this time in the hospital would guarantee her the greatest short term safety of all.
She smelt Derin’s perfume, felt the hardness of his chest against her skin and she knew that she had to milk this for as long as possible. It felt really nice to be babied. She wondered why she had ever thought she was cut out to be a lesbian in the first place. How can anyone think it is okay to miss this? The hardness of a man’s chest against your soft body, She could feel Derin’s warmth and it felt really good. It was like molten heat and for a second she drifted off, imagining what it feel like to be truly in his arms, just the two of them.
Her mind was made up. ’I will enjoy the ride to the hospital and come clean once I’m there. For now, let me savour all the attention’. With that decision made, she returned once more into her ‘limp’ position.
Casper rushed out of the house along with the others, but headed straight to the vehicle that had brought him.
‘Bassey, follow that vehicle!’ he ordered, pointing to the car that had just driven off.
‘Okay sir’ responded the talkative Bassey, who started the engine, but was stopped by a knock on the passenger’s side.
‘Please brother, are you going with them?’ asked the two girls in identical blue and white check uniforms. They also had the same worried expression etched on their faces. They wondered if Aunty Oyin would be fine.
‘Going where?’ asked Bassey impatiently as he teased the gear stick into reverse.
‘To the hospital’ replied the fair one
‘Uh, Bassey, is there a problem?’ interjected the impatient Casper from the back seat where he sat.
‘They say they want to go to the hospital’ said Bassey who was thoroughly confused ‘what hospital? wetin dey happen sef?’ he asked himself
‘Ah, okay bring them along, we’re headed there anyway’ said Casper
‘Thank you sir’, said the two ladies in unison as the dark one hopped into the passenger’s seat in front while the other sat at the back beside Casper at the back.
It was a silent ride until Nneka, the fair maid at the back of suddenly remembered something.
‘Ah Ekaette! did you remember to lock the door?” she asked worriedly
‘Yes, I did. The key is in my pocket’ responded Ekaette quietly
‘Thank God, thank you. Madam would have been very upset if we had forgotten’ said Nneka as she lapsed into quietness again
‘Your name is Ekaette’ said Bassey.
‘Yes’ replied Ekaette who wondered what his concern was and where this conversation was headed.
‘You fit be my sister o, I am Bassey. Which side are you from?’ he asked excitedly
‘Akwa Ibom’ she responded, smiling
‘Which local government?’ he asked further
‘Itu’ she said
‘Ahhhh, I talk am nah! Blood dey smell. You are my sister!’ he exclaimed
‘Is that where you’re from too?’ asked Ekatte with large eyes, obviously excited. It was the first time she would meet anyone from her local government here in Lagos
‘What is your family name?’ Continued Bassey in the local tongue, smiling at her
‘Hey hey hey, I’m sorry to break up the little party’ said Casper gruffly, ‘but what exactly is going on here?’ he was a bit worried because they had first picked up these ladies that he did not know and now, they were speaking in some strange language that he could not follow.
He had to assess the situation and know if he had a security issue on his hands or not. He knew he was obviously outnumbered but he was no easy cookie himself.
‘Ah sir, she is my sister!’ said Bassey enthusiastically
‘Like your long lost sister? Really? Ain’t that shit! Fancy that!’ said Casper with a huge smile on his face. He too, was getting very excited.
‘No oh, not sister like that, she’s from my hometown, my village. Here, if you’re from the same village, you’re brother and sister’ said Bassey enthusiastically
‘How are you brother and sister if you’re not linked by family or blood?’ asked a confused Casper
‘That’s how we do here’ said Bassey who was by this time, tired of Casper’s questions.
‘Ah, I see.’ said Casper as they pulled into the hospital.
As soon as they were parked, he got out of the car and tried to trace Oyinda’s whereabouts.
The nurses at the station were not very helpful and kept asking if he was a family member. Upon responding that he was a close family friend, they pointed him towards the waiting room and advised him wait until a family member came around. Alternatively, he could place a phone call to one of the other family members who could come and pick him.
Neither of the options were favourable to Casper and as he walked to the waiting room with the two girls, he knew his chances of meeting with Oyinda was reducing drastically. He decided to send her a quick email from his smartphone.
Subject: I’m still watching you
I assume that you must’ve have been surprised to see me right? I have my connections all over the world, but, you already know that don’t you? I do not know if you really passed out or if it was an elaborate ruse to run away from me, but be rest assured, that you have won the first strike.
However, I will wait till you’re out of the clinic and I will get you to have that meeting with me. I promise you this.
Get well soon.
As soon as the email was sent off, he made his exit by telling the maids that he was leaving as he was not allowed to see Oyinda. They bid him goodbye for they elected to stay behind.
Soon enough, they were revving off away from the hospital car park as a grand idea came into Casper’s mind.
Casper smiled for he knew he was not called Casper-the-Brain for nothing!
‘Yo, Bassey my man, please turn the car back to the hospital’ said Casper
‘Eh, oga, did you forget something?’ asked the curious driver
‘No, Bassey, YOU forgot something’ said Casper with a smile on his face
‘I no forget anything sir’ said Bassey who hurriedly felt his pocket for the Techno Smart Phone that he had only recently purchased from his friend. He was happy to feel the phone in his pocket because he was yet to complete the instalmental payments on his very brand new phone.
Bassey turned back as he wondered what the man in the back seat was up to.
As they returned to the front area of the now familiar building, Capser requested that his driver should go to the waiting room and chat the two ladies up.
‘Give them this money’ he said as he extended a wad of fifteen one thousand naira notes towards his driver.
‘….and ensure that you get their mobile numbers. We need those numbers for something. Make sure they do not know I’m the one that needs the numbers okay?’ said Casper.
Bassey counted the notes and smiled to himself. Mugu don pay, he thought to himself.
‘Alright sir. Right away’ said Bassey to Casper as he alighted vehicle and quickly walked toward the hospital building.
Once he was certain that he was out of sight, he counted ten thousand naira and put it in a separate pocket. ‘Why should he give those girls so much money when he could have gotten the numbers for free?’ wondered Bassey. Didn’t Casper know that the ladies here were always desperate to give out their numbers? E
Bassey found the girls huddled in a corner of the waiting room, looking very worried.
‘Hey Eka, how na?’ he asked
‘Bassey, I been think say you don go’ she responded
‘I beg my oga say I wan quickly see my sister, give you something. You know say no be every time person dey see his village sister for this our Lagos’ said Bassey.
‘Anyway, give me your phone number, so I go fit dey call you’ he said
‘Okay give me you handset’ she said as he inputed the number. after admiring the handset. Bassey rang the number to ensure that it was hers and nodded happily when it went through to the phone she kept in the pocket of her uniform,
‘Make I find something give you so you go know say you don get brother for this Lagos’ he said as he magnanimously gave her three thousand naira from his pocket.
‘Ehhh? Me?’ asked Ekaette who was pleasantly surprised at Bassey’s niceness. A whole three thousand naira, for doing nothing? Today was really a good day.
‘Thank you very much, God bless you’ she said with a huge smile on her face. ‘I really appreciate it’ she said as thoughts of buying recharge card, a new tube of body cream and ice lolly filled her head.
‘Okay sister, bye bye’ said Bassey to the other lady who had remained seated all through the conversation. He noticed that her smile at him was suddenly warmer too. She had hitherto ignored him.
‘Wetin be your own name?’ he asked her in a superior voice
‘I’m Nneka’ she said with a smile
‘Ah, you be Igbo gal’ he said
‘Yes, but we are all one Nigeria nah’ she said, with a glint of greed in her eyes. It was obvious that she too hoped that Bassey would be magnanimous enough to give her some money.
‘Well, thats true’ said Bassey. ‘Take care of this my sister for me oh’ he said
‘I already do, you can ask her’ she said with a smile as she got up
‘Na me dey take care of her o’ piped Ekaette
‘Okay, okay, take care of each other’ said Bassey as he dipped his hand into his pocket again.
‘You too, manage this one’ he said as he presented two thousand naira with a flourish
‘Ah uncle!’ said Nneka who struggled to look surprised. ‘God bless you sir!’ she said as she quickly pocketed the notes.
‘Anyway, let me be going now’ he said as turned away
‘Okay, bye’ both girls said with huge smiles on their first
‘Wait, Nneka give me your own number too, in case I cant reach Ekaette’ he said as he stretched his phone to the fair skinned lady.
When the numbers had been stored and exchanged, Bassey took his leave.
What a profitable afternoon he’d had. thought Bassey who now had a spring to his step.
‘Master, I have gotten the numbers’ he said as soon as he settled in the driver’s seat.
‘Great Job, Bassey. I owe you one’ said Casper with a huge smile on his face.
Now, he thought to himself, he had direct access to Oyinda and if played it well, would be informed the very moment she got home from the clinic.
‘Well played, Casper-the-brain, well played’ he said to himself as he leant his head back against the head rest.