The Regents Hospital
7:00am, Monday morning.
Yemi walked down the hall. She didn’t know what was going on any more. She thought she was going to marry Gbenga because of her pregnancy. Everything was going according to plan until this doctor showed up. She came out of nowhere and has won mama’s heart. A nurse came down the hall rolling a wheelchair. She got out of the way for her. She never knew that this female doctor existed before today. What was she going to do about the baby In her womb? After what happened in the room a few minutes ago, she knew mama would not allow her to keep the baby. She would want to get rid of her and the baby. Yemi hurried down the hall. She saw Kalu sitting in the waiting area with his back turned to her. She stopped and leaned on a wall out of sight.
Why did she agree to Kalu’s proposal? Kalu couldn’t take care of her, neither could he take care of the baby growing in her womb. “Stupid, stupid!” she hit the wall with a clenched fist. She liked the idea of settling down but was Kalu man enough to handle the responsibility she was about to thrust on him? Three nurses walked down the hall chatting.
She knew Sadique would never give up on her. He believed they were meant to be together, that was why he didn’t hurt her like Shade Philips instructed her to do. Sadique would return and find her wherever she was.
She slipped slowly to the floor and sat down with her hands on her head.
“Yemi. I have been looking all over for you. What are you doing on the floor?”
She lifted her head slowly to see who spoke. If she hadn’t been so tired she would have laughed for joy. This could be the solution to her problems.
Chief Babalore held her hand and helped her up. “What are you doing in this hospital?”
Her hand went to her dishevelled hair. “Chief, I don’t know where to begin. But your daughter is responsible for my being here this morning.”
Chief Babalore let her hand drop. “What do you mean by that?”
Yemi paused. “Your daughter tried to murder her husband last night…”
“You mean she accidentally shot him?” chief cut in.
“No chief. It wasn’t an accident. She tried to shoot him but when that failed she sent an assassin after him.”
Dotun looked around to make sure there was no one listening to their conversation. “Shade sent an assassin after her own husband? Why would she do such a thing?” Chief asked.
“She has an Italian lover named Roberto. Her plan was to get rid of Gbenga and get married to Roberto.”
Chief thought for a moment. He wasn’t going to allow Shade’s issues stop him from solving his own problem. If he didn’t deliver Yemi to Osaghae his life could become totally disrupted. Suddenly he grabbed her left hand. “You must come with me right now,” he pulled her away from the wall.
Sweat broke out on Yemi’s forehead. “You are hurting me!” she struggled to break his hold, but it was futile. His hand was like a vice. “I am staying here to help Gbenga Philips recover,” she continued to struggle with him.
Chief Babalore regarded the maid with disdain. “You said I was responsible for your pregnancy. We must settle this matter today. You cannot continue to torment my life with an unwanted pregnancy. I didn’t ask for this. You tricked me into sleeping with you.”
Yemi suddenly broke free from his grip. “Chief, I lied to you,” she said breathless.
“You did what?” Chief asked in disbelief.
Yemi leaned against the wall, wiped the sweat off her face with the back of her hand and tried to catch her breath. “Chief, you are not responsible for this pregnancy. I lied to you. I was desperate and wanted to blackmail you with the pregnancy. I am sorry for what I did.”
Chief paused for a few seconds. “And you want me to believe this? Why do you have this sudden change of heart? What is it that you are not telling me?” he asked.
“Chief, I am telling you the truth. This pregnancy doesn’t belong to you,” Yemi swore.
Without regard for what the people nearby would think, Chief grabbed her hand again. “I don’t believe any of your fabrications.”
Yemi struggled to break free from his grip. “Let go off me!” she cried out but people walked by quickly minding their own business.
“You are coming with me,” chief insisted.
“Let her go,” an authoritative voice commanded. “She’s not going anywhere with you.”
“Who the hell do you think you are…” Chief started saying then turned around. The words froze in his throat and he stepped away from Yemi.
Standing with arms folded across her chest was the matriarch of the Philip’s clan looking like a Rhino disturbed from its mid-morning nap.
The Philip’s Residence
Sadique crawled through his blood, held the bed and pulled himself up slowly. The pain of the wound shot through his back and he slumped back to the floor. The blood spilled down the front of his shirt, to his trousers. He grabbed the bed with both hands and pulled himself up. He gritted his teeth in pain. The blood from his shoulder was spilling faster. He had to staunch the flow before he lost too much blood. He stood up, stumbled to the bathroom and moved towards the first aid kit hanging on the wall. He opened the box, threw out a few things on the floor, found what he was looking for and took the items to the front of the mirror. He cut open the plastic off a white roll of bandage. The bandage slipped from his hands, rolled down the bathroom floor and stopped at the foot of the toilet. He went after the errant bandage and sat down heavily on the toilet seat.
He looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror, his shoulder wrapped in a white bandage. He held on to the wash hand basin with one hand and leaned on the mirror with the other. He walked to the wardrobe and found a blue shirt. Thoughts of Yemi flooded his head. He had to return to the hospital and get the maid. As he walked out of the room his legs buckled under him and he slumped to the floor. “Shade, you will pay for this!” he swore.
He heard footsteps coming towards him and tried to get up from the floor but couldn’t manage.
“Who will pay for what?” A female voice said and stood at his head with black heels. He caught a whiff of her scent and shook his head like a drunkard clearing his head from an alcohol induced hallucination.
“Aisha!” The ex-military man gasped.
“Did I catch you at a bad time?” the light skinned woman took off her sun glasses and perused the mess made in the room by his blood. He lifted up his head and looked at her. She wore a white kaftan that flowed down to her loubotin heels.
She spoke like a wise mother to a stubborn child. “Sadique, isn’t this ironic? You ran away from us but here you are back on the floor, still in need of our help. Aren’t you tired of being picked off the floor like garbage?” she made no move to help him.
Sadique lunged at her kaftan but she took a quick step backward and his hand clutched at thin air. “I will strongly advise that when next you want to leave an organisation like ours make sure you take your talkative wife along with you. I barely touched her before she squealed and told me where to find you.”
Sadique got up on his knees. “What have done to my wife? I swear if you touched her you will …” he never completed the sentence.
Aisha’s kick caught him on the chin and threw him across the room. Blood spilled from his mouth and stained his shirt as he collapsed on the floor. She stood over him and brought out a phone from her bag. “I found him,” she looked down at him sprawled out on the floor. “Send in the men to clean up this mess. We’ve got a lot to do today.”
Shade entered the room and Mukaila closed the door behind her.
Roberto stood up. “What is the meaning of all…”
“Whack!” before he finished the sentence Shade slapped him hard on the face and he was thrown back on the bed. She stood before him. “Were you about to leave?” she pointed at the packed suitcases. “Without me?” she asked.
“I wasn’t going any…” she slapped him again and he was thrown back on the bed. Mukaila picked him up. His face was marked red with the prints of her fingers.
She sat beside him on the bed. Roberto shifted away from her, his eyes clouded with fear. She smoothed his hair, removing the fallen strands of hair from his face. “My love, I don’t know how it is done by your people but in my country when a man says he loves a woman he proves it by standing with her and supporting her. Running away from the woman you love in the time when she needs you most is an act of cowardice. And my people dislike cowards.” She waved over the big man standing by the door. He stood before Roberto. “My love, do you know what we do to men who become cowards in the face of adversity?”
Roberto’s lower lip quivered but he was silent looking at the man who stood before him.
Shade stood up from the bed. “Show him what we do to cowards,” she told the big man.
Shade was looking out of the window when Roberto screamed in pain. She turned around and looked at him cowering on the floor. “Listen carefully. We are in this together. You are not going anywhere without me. Do you understand me?”
Roberto managed to nod his head.
“Clean him up,” Shade ordered the big man. He pulled Roberto up and hauled him into the bathroom. The shower came on in the bathroom. Shade turned to Mukaila. “We need to pick up my daughter and then head for the airport.”
“What about him?” he asked pointing in the direction of the bathroom.
Shade walked back to the window and looked at the growing traffic in the street. “If he doesn’t do as he is told we may leave him behind.”
“I thought you wanted to marry him,” Mukaila asked.
“What I want to do with him is none of your business. Just do as you are told,” she snapped.
Mukaila wanted to say something but bit his inner lip hard. He clasped his hands tightly but said nothing.
“I need you to check something out for me. Go to the Regents hospital in Victoria island and find out if Gbenga Philips survived the attack on his life.”
Mukaila was silent.
Shade continued. “And if by any chance he is still alive I want you to finish the job.”
Mukaila stood up. “Why would you want to kill your husband?” he asked.
She turned away from the window, her eyes flashed in anger. “You ask too many questions.” She stood before him. “When I asked Gbadebo to find me a man I could trust, he recommended you. He said you could keep your mouth shut. I hope he wasn’t wrong about you. Why are you asking me all these questions?”
Mukaila was silent.
Shade moved closer to him. “He is my husband and I can do whatever I want with him. Do you have a problem with that?”
Mukaila looked at his shoes for a few seconds then lifted up his head, his eyes defiant.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked Shade Philips.
“You have to get me out of here,” Gbenga Philips tried to lift himself up in bed. He winced in pain and fell back. “It is not safe for me to be here. They are going to come back for me. Shade is relentless. She will send somebody to make sure I am dead,” he said with fear in his voice.
Omolara sat on a chair next to his bed. “Don’t be so melodramatic. Shade may not be interested in being your wife but you don’t have to demonise her,” she said.
Gbenga reached for a cup of water. Omolara handed it over to him and watched as he drank from the plastic cup. He handed over the cup to her. “You have no idea who Shade has become. For reasons best known to her she wants me dead. She’s not satisfied with giving up the marriage. She sent Sadique but he failed. She has probably sent another assassin to murder me as we speak.”
“How can you be sure?” Omolara asked.
Gbenga looked in the direction of the door. “I don’t know why but I feel trapped within the walls of this hospital.” He turned to his soon-to-be-wife. “Please get me out of here to somewhere safe,” he said and turned away from her.
Omolara left the room and walked down the hall to her office. As she walked along the corridor she thought about Gbenga’s situation. She was sure that the traumatic events of the past two days had affected his mind. Gbenga was getting paranoid. Apparently he couldn’t tell the difference between a woman who no longer wanted to be in his life and a cold blooded murderer. She didn’t like Shade either. She never did. From the day she laid eyes on her at Gbenga’s office she felt uncomfortable being around her. She couldn’t say exactly what she didn’t like about the woman but she knew that something was off about her. Shade acted like she owned Gbenga when she wasn’t even engaged to him. She fought off some of Gbenga’s female friends who looked intimidating. But Omolara didn’t give her room for that. The day she discovered that Shade had slept with Gbenga she stopped coming to his office. If Gbenga wanted some woman because of sex, then there was nothing she could do to stop him. She decided to pray for him. Even when he chose to marry Shade she wished him the best although she was dying in her heart. For the first six months after their marriage she cried in her room every night she got back from work. In the midst of all that heartache she found some comfort in prayer. It was prayer that kept her strong through the emotional trials she faced in the last five years. Now God had vindicated her by exposing Shade’s treachery. She would make Gbenga a very happy man by being a good partner and wife to him.
She returned to Gbenga’s room and found a woman standing by the bed. “Excuse me, you shouldn’t be here. Visiting starts at 11:00am,” she told the woman standing by the bed. The woman turned around and faced Omolara. She is very pretty, Omolara thought.
“It’s okay. I am a close member of the family. I am here to take care of Gbenga Philips,” the woman said.
Omolara didn’t like the way this woman spoke and the way she carried herself. She sounded confident like someone who knew Gbenga intimately, a close friend, a confidante or even a lover. Omolara didn’t like this at all. This woman’s presence portends trouble. There was something predatory about her. Who is this woman and what does she want, Omolara asked herself. She had to get rid of her and ask Gbenga what was really going on. “You have to leave and return when it is visiting hours,” Omolara insisted.
Just then Gbenga moaned, turned around on the bed, opened his eyes and focused on the woman standing by his bed. “Ngozi! What are you doing here?” he asked.
“Thank God you are well! I wouldn’t have known what to do if Shade had been successful in her attempt to murder you last night,” Ngozi said and placed a hand on Gbenga’s shoulder.
Omolara regarded Ngozi with suspicion. “Gbenga, what is going on here?” she asked the man she planned to marry.
Ngozi turned to the doctor. “How thoughtless of me. I should introduce myself.” She stretched out her jewelled hand towards Omolara. “I am Ngozi Uzor, Gbenga’s fiancée,” she said with a smile.
Omolara Bello looked at Gbenga Philips lying on the bed and Ngozi Uzor standing by his bedside and knew there was going to be trouble. Big trouble.
End of Part 2.
To be continued.
©Praise George 2016.