The next few days passed in a blur; I kept drifting in and out of consciousness. In my few moments of consciousness, all I could think of was Flores. No one gave me the answers I needed, though. Maybe because, half the time I was delirious. Every time, I regained consciousness, all I saw were doctors hovering over me, talking in hushed tones. Sometimes, I wanted to talk; to ask what was going on…but the words didn’t come. I felt like my throat had been sewn together. Then, before I could gather my wits, I would be injected with something that put me under in a couple of minutes.
After what felt like years in the other world, I finally regained consciousness fully. I woke up to find myself hooked to different machines. I looked around, taking stock of my environment; someone was resting on my bed. Someone I later recognised as my Mum.
She screamed as soon as she saw I was conscious and after hugging me, ran out to call the doctor. Soon, my room was flooding with people. Doctors, family and friends. I couldn’t say much because my mouth still seemed like a foreign entity to me. So, after eating…I drifted off to sleep.
Over the next few weeks, I was on my way to recovery. The doctors refused to discharge me until they felt I was stable enough. People trooped in and out of my hospital room, that’s when I knew I was loved by many including colleagues from work. The only problem was that the one person I was dying to see was nowhere to be found. Flores. The woman who had taken a bullet because of me. Flores, my best friend.
When I inquired about her, the doctors told me vaguely that she was still in ICU. She had lost a lot of blood compared to me. I wasn’t satisfied with the answers I got. The worst part was Oscar and Femi had no useful info for me about Flores condition.
Femi kept updating me on Sonia’s situation. She was locked in the police cell, to the dismay of her father. According to Femi, Chief Odeniran had tried severally to use his name and connection to get her out…but Femi had countered by using his father’s name and connection. It was now a battle of the elite. I couldn’t help being pleased. Somehow, the thought of Sonia rotting in jail, gave me some satisfaction; at least I wasn’t going to be seeing her any time soon.
My stay in the hospital was unnecessarily prolonged. The doctors said I needed some bed rest so that the wounds from the surgery would heal. According to them, the bullet had narrowly missed a major artery, if not; I would have been a goner. My mum insisted I give a testimony of the incident as soon as I was out of the hospital…I had narrowly missed death, she emphasised. It was high time I traced my roots back to my Creator. Needless to say, I conveniently forgot my vow to become a priest or monk if Flores and I made it out alive.
“I knew that Sonia girl was bad news from day one.” Mum kept saying. She had taken advantage of my recuperating period to spend every waking minute with me. She made me eat like a horse and soon I was afraid that by the time I was discharged, I won’t be able to walk because I had been overfed.
“And I don’t care who she is; she has to suffer for trying to kill my son.” She continued.
I groaned inwardly. My elder brother had travelled down to come visit me two days ago and my mum was still feeling the joy of having her two sons with her at the same time.
“Don’t make that face for me. If you were dead, nko? She has to pay ooh.” She said.
“Mum…have you heard any news about Flores?” I asked in a bid to change the subject.
“Last I heard she’s in a coma. Hasn’t woken up since the surgery. The doctors say her whether she lives or dies depends on how much she fights. Poor girl…and I like her” My mum shook her head.
“Do you think the doctors would let me see her?” I asked. “Just once, Mum. Please talk to them, if you can.”
My mum raised an eyebrow at me. “And you say you’re just friends? Son, I see something else in your eyes. It’s more than ‘just friends’”
“Mum, please. Don’t put ideas into my head. Flores and I have been best friends since forever. She’s part of our clique…if anything happens to her; it affects us. All of us.” Even as I spoke I wondered if there was some truth to what my mum was saying.
She shrugged. “Whatever you say, son. Just know that life is short. And that woman is one in a million.”
“Mum, please. No sermon. I know you want me to settle down; but Flores isn’t the one. She has a boyfriend, okay? Besides, we have a beautiful friendship and I wouldn’t want to spoil it by making unnecessary advances. I love her as a friend. End of story.”
“Okay, sir.” She held up her hands in surrender. “I’ll try to talk to doctor to let you see her.”
“Better. Thank you. You are a lovely mother, very beautiful and I wouldn’t mind marrying you.” I teased.
“Shut up.” She slapped me playfully before leaving.
I sighed as soon as I was alone. I wasn’t going to dwell on the thoughts my mother had planted in my head. Flores was a friend and that was that.
A few minutes later, the door opened and someone walked in. It wasn’t my mum. But I had seen the intruder somewhere before. Precisely on my front porch.
“What do you want now? And how did you get in here?” I asked.
He was dressed in a suit; like he had been the day he came to my house.
“Chief wants to reach an agreement with you.” He said in a low voice.
“Agreement about what?” I asked.