ach time she opened her eyes, she saw the eyes staring at her. She wondered where she was. Her mind couldn’t focus on anything. Suddenly, everything seemed to be turning round. She felt herself being lifted, face turned upward. As she was about to hit the white ceiling, she started dropping. She opened her mouth and let out a blood-cuddling scream. No one heard her. Not even the pair of eyes that was boring into hers. She fell and fell…she screamed as she hurtled down. She had already lost hope of surviving but as she hit the base, she was enveloped in a feathery white, warm space. She burrowed into it thankfully.
When she woke up again, the eyes were still looking at her. But as she stared at the eyes, they seemed to develop facial features…until they morphed into the face of a young man. She frowned but the young man smiled at her. He was a complete stranger. She looked around her. She remembered she was in a hospital and she remembered that the doctor told her she was exhausted and needed to rest. She knew she was put to sleep. She felt better and stronger now. The only thing she couldn’t understand was why the young man was sitting beside her bed in the ward. She looked around, there were three other patients in the ward.
She yawned. She was feeling sleepy. The young man looked intently at her but said nothing. She needed to get in touch with Bolan. Her eyes closed and she eased into slumberland…
Jay drove fast and furious for a while before easing his foot on the throttle. He wondered where he was racing to and realised he was on his way home -home where he no longer had access to. He stepped on his car brakes and drove slowly to the portion of the road where he could turn his car effortlessly. He did just that and was about driving off when a car honk drew his attention.
He knew it would be one of his neighbours for he was almost at the estate’s gate. He ignored whoever it was for he was not ready to explain why he hadn’t been seen around his home in months. As he drove off, his phone beeped. It was Charles.
“Hello Charles,” he said as he answered.
“Jay, I’m sure you drove past me a few minutes ago. You seem to be in a hurry,” Charles told him.
“Yes bro. I need to see someone urgently,” he said.
They talked some more until Charles told him he was home.
It was then he checked the time. It was almost 10pm and he was driving towards Debola’s house. He slowed down. It wasn’t as if he planned to go there, though he knew she was expecting him.
Well, since she had threatened him earlier, it would be good for him to look in and see her.
His mind went back to his wife and he pulled off the road. How would he go about apologising for his shameful act? What would their children feel if they hear that he beat up their mother in a public place? They already felt scandalized that he raised his hand on her. He was in for a fresh round of quarrels with them. He wondered where Adele was at that moment. But, who was the man that dropped her off at the restaurant and kissed her? Her man friend? For how long had they been together? Could she have been cheating on him all this while? Adele cheat on him? She didn’t look the type that could do that; but then, you never know with women. The more docile they look, the more dangerous they are! But Adele loved him, that he knew. Where could that love have gone? She still loved him, he was convinced. He just needed to hit the right chord with her. His only problem was that each time he tried to be good, something would push him to do a despicable thing, like he did a few hours ago. He would have to start all over again. He prayed she would agree to another meeting with him. He had the urge to talk to her. Would she answer his call? He took his phone and dialed her number. It didn’t go through. He sighed. He would get back to her issue later. For now, he would sort out Debola’s trouble. Pregnancy! He knew he caused it. Why did he take advantage of her at her most vulnerable state? What bestial lust pushed him to a traumatised woman who was temporarily out of her senses? Now, he had played into her hands!
Well, he would find a way out. For if Adele or their children ever hear of it, then, he could kiss his marriage and family bye. He drove the few paces to Debola’s house.
As he parked his car and alighted, something told him not to enter but it was too late, two of her neighbours had already seen him. It wouldn’t be proper to go back to his car and drive off.
“Maami, my husband is here,” Debola said as she held back the door for him.
Jay momentarily missed his step. Ma’ami? Who was that?My husband? Whose husband? He looked around.
“Good evening ma,” he said to an elderly woman sitting on the couch.
He could barely recognise his voice.
“Good evening my son,” the woman responded warmly.
“It’s a surprise my husband. I didn’t want to tell you my mother was visiting,” she said.
“Oh great, I mean yeah, you should have told me. I don’t like such a surprise…em but…em…mama you’re welcome. How are you?” He stuttered as he sat on a stool close to the dressing mirror.
He gave the bed a wide berth. What did he walk into this night? Debola! She obviously hadn’t stopped scheming. He noticed that both Debola and her mother were staring at him. The old woman was apparently talking to him. He looked from mother to daughter, confusion on his face.
“I was asking how your day was,” the old woman said.
“Oh my day was fine,” he said.
He was uncomfortable. He hadn’t bargained for this.
“Debola told me you’re preparing to come and see us. I’m so happy that you’re about to do the right thing. What are you doing for a living?” She asked.
Jay shifted uncomfortably. He was suddenly hot despite the cool weather.
“Em…em…em…I’m not doing anything for now. I’m waiting for things to improve,” he said, surprised at himself.
Debola darted him a poisonous look. He ignored her. Even he didn’t believe himself. Debola’s mother stared at him.
“If you don’t have a job, how do you intend to take care of a wife? You have to think about it very well,” the old woman said.
“Maami, it’s not as if he doesn’t have a job,” Debola said.
“Debola, a man says he doesn’t have a job, you’re telling me he has a job. Are you the person he’s working for?” Her mother asked her.
“Maami…” Debola began but the old woman would give her no chance to talk.
“Where do you live? Are you living with someone or you’re living alone?” She asked Jay.
“He has a house, a big house,” Debola replied her mother.
“Are you his mouthpiece? Did I ask you? Why not allow him talk? Or, are you the one that built the house for him? I’ve told you that your mouth will put you in trouble. Every time talk talk talk, whether you’re asked or not, you’ll be running your mouth like person suffering from diarrhoea,” her mother shouted at her.
Jay shifted on the stool. Suddenly, he was enjoying the whole thing.
Debola could kill him right now if she had a gun. Her eyes were dripping anger. Jay looked her straight in the eyes. Time to leave…
Bolan’s head throbbed. It was almost midnight and he hadn’t heard from the only woman that made life meaningful for him. Where could she be? He blamed himself for dropping her at the restaurant and zooming off. He should have waited for her there! He had a gut feeling that something was wrong. Could she have been kidnapped? His blood ran cold. He was sure the man that drove into the restaurant premises and drove out in a hurry was the same person she had a dinner date with. What he didn’t know was whether they met or not.
Bolan had checked inside the restaurant and the premises three times. There was no trace of Adele.
He had gone to his house twice to check if she took a cab home. She hadn’t. He left word with the security man to call him if they see her. He had gone to her house twice and she hadn’t been home. He took the security man’s number and had been in contact with him several times. He toyed with the idea of reporting a case of a missing person at the police station, but he knew the police would tell him to go wait for 24 hours.
When he drove to the restaurant the fourth time that night, the security men at the main gate stopped him for questioning. That vehicle had driven in and out of that premises a number of times that evening, one of them observed.
“I’m looking for my woman. I dropped her here about six hours ago for a dinner with somebody. I was to pick her up later but I haven’t heard from her since then. I’ve checked inside the restaurant three times and gone home to look for her. I haven’t seen her,” he told them.
“Call her phone. Or is she not answering you?” One of them asked.
“She forgot her phones in my car,” Bolan told them.
“The restaurant has closed for the day,” one of the security men said.
Bolan looked around him. There were few vehicles parked in the premises.
“Can I still look around. Please,” he asked them.
The three security men stared at him.
“Please, she’s the only woman I Iove. Please. Let me look into those vehicles parked there. Please,” he pleaded with them.
“People are in some of those vehicles. It’s not proper for you to be looking into them,” one of them said, looking over his shoulder.
It took a while before it dawned on Bolan why the vehicles were still there.
“Okay. Can I stay here with you until the last vehicle leaves? I just want to be sure she’s not in one of them,” he told them.
“You can’t be looking into the vehicles while they are driving out,” one of them said.
When they saw the wad of naira notes he held out to them, they were all smiles.
“Okay sir. You can park near the gate. We need to check your car booth though,” one of them said.
A security guard strode to the gate as Bolan alighted from his car. He stood and watched as they conversed in low tones. He couldn’t hear what they were saying but suddenly, one of them ran to him.
“My colleague said a woman was rushed to the hospital. He said some people said she fainted while others said she was beaten up by her husband,” the security man said.
“She’s definitely the one. Which hospital was she taken?” Bolan shouted.
“He doesn’t know. The manager should know but he has gone home,” he said.
“Please get the manager’s number. I’ll pay. I’ll pay you,” Bolan pleaded.
They dialed the manager’s number and it wasn’t going through. Bolan punched the number on his phone and dialed, it didn’t go through. He dialed and dialed…
Let’s continue this journey on Sunday!
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