Dad and I sprinted to kitchen immediately we heard the troubling noise. We met mom passed out on the floor like Lindsay Lohan after having one too many shots. Dad ran quickly to her and bent over head. He took her arm to check if she still had a pulse, not the cliché Yoruba way of carrying the hand and waiting for it to fall to confirm death. When dad gave a deep sigh, I knew she wasn’t dead. My mind had wandered to many unfriendly places.
“Jorge, help me carry your mum to the chair, she must have fainted due to the fact that she hasn’t drank even water since this whole incident” dad said as he took a bowl to take water from the tap. My guess is he wants to sprinkle it on her face.
So, dad and I carried mum to the sofa. By the way, she was frigging heavy; it was like carrying an elephant.
Something weird happened after we had moved her. We saw a picture. That was what must have made her faint.
“JESUS CHRIST” what in God’s name is this?” my dad screamed as he picked up the picture. It was a picture with the head of my sister photo-shopped on a plate with an inscription that read ‘if you fail, we feed your daughters head to the wild pigs’. I must say, he is not your everyday Nigerian kidnapper. This one has watched one too many Die Hard.
First, he didn’t call with a handkerchief wrapped around the speaker of his phone and fake deep voice, the dude sent an attachment on email. That is one sophisticated gangster. After coming back to my senses, “OH MY GOD, we have to involve the police” I shouted
“I know you have gone there before without any leads but you have now. Please save Joke” I said with little tears coming out of my eyes. I think the whole thing just started getting to me
“Don’t you get? The only way to keep her alive and bring her back home is to do what they want. Hell, they declined 5 million naira” he replied
“So, what are you saying? You will kill your brother?”
“I really don’t know. I’m in a crossroad between the devil and the deep blue sea. Let’s go get some sleep; we have a long day tomorrow.
Penny will be awake soon, alright?”
We all dispersed. I couldn’t sleep though; was just thinking about how scared she was where she is. I just felt like stabbing somebody, anybody to get my sister back.
It was 8am the next day and the house was far from chipper. Aderemi almost killed all of us with calls yesterday to this morning. I think it’s safe to say that no one had a sound sleep. The calls, the paranoia, the fear, the uncertainty was just too much. My mum was having a hangover-like headache from hitting her head when she fell.
All everyone could think of was how is Joke? How did she sleep last night? Hope she wasn’t harassed by any pervert? It’s like all the worry just came rushing back.
“Dad, I think I should follow you to the hospital, don’t you think?”
“Do you think that’s a good idea son? I think your mum would rather you stayed at home”
“No oh! I can’t just sit home not doing anything or seeing anything. The uncertainty will just kill me”
“Honey, let him follow you. I will be fine at home. I want to prepare dinner because I know that we would eat dinner together as a family today. That is except Remi” she said with so much optimism. She had really become stronger since yesterday.
I took my bath and we began our journey to the hospital. Everything was somehow. The environment was bland, the grass were yellower, the journey to the hospital looked like journey to Benue state, even when they played my favourite song; Adaobi on radio, I didn’t move a muscle. All I was hearing was a slow pathetic song with violins and cello.
We eventually completed the never ending journey. I couldn’t step into the hospital ; I don’t know maybe it’s because my sister’s life is tied to what happens in the hospital or maybe it’s my irrational fear of hospitals.
The second one was caused by my dad. When he was still a baby doctor, everything was injection. Headache, wrist pain, tooth ache, anything you can think of. He made me hate hospitals. So girls, beware; if you are a medical student and I chaik you, know that I’m lying oh. I’m telling you as an act of kindness to impress the Big Guy and increase my sister’s odds.
We went straight to dad’s office immediately we entered the hospital. All those over sabi nurses were now greeting me. “Dapo, otidagba oh.Big boy ti de oh”, “Dapo, long time! You don’t even want to greet us again?” the worst of all the question is; “haha, Jorge, u don come back?” *no, I’m in japan* I thought to myself
That’s how one of them saw me recently and asked “ Dapo, you are a big boy now oh; what class are you in now” and for the sake of pulling her legs I said “SS3”, the woman said “wow, so fast?”. I mean, which kind of enemy of progress is that. So if I had told her the truth that I was a 500 level law student, she would have said ‘you use rocket?’
Anyways, let’s leave them over sabi women. Dad and I were in his office when Uncle Richard walked in.
“Jorge, how are you? Wow, you are the last person I expected to see here” he said very happily. I just stood up and hugged him, which by the way, I never do.
“Richard, let’s get down to business” dad said with a very stern face. Well, I don’t blame him, he’s about to almost kill his brother.
“Don’t worry; you don’t have to do the pre-surgery interview with me. I trust you with my life and I know that you would do everything to make it successful. You are my big brother”
Why did he have to give that speech ehn? Dad is finding it very hard to smile. He can’t even pretend for once that he is okay.
“Anything wrong big brother?” Uncle Richard asked
“Hmmm, Richard, did you offend anybody or get in a fight with anybody?” dad asked. I was scared where this was leading to
“No brother. Why are u asking?” he asked, clearly surprised.
“Nothing just had a really bad dream. Hmmm, Richard, can you die for a family member?” dad asked
Now, dad is really going off the rails. I feared he would just tell him blatantly that he was going to kill him.
“I don’t understand why you are asking me all this questions. Hope all is well?” Uncle Richard asked slightly disturbed.
“Nothing, I’m sorry if I upset you, that dream just got to me. You can go to the next room so the nurses will prep you for surgery. It starts in one hour’s time” dad said whilst avoiding eye contact with him.
Well, it was time for the surgery and I was watching from the glass waiting room. Uncle Richard’s stomach’s already open. Dad gave me a long stare as he thrusted a sharp looking thing in his stomach.
The question on my mind, will he kill him? Will he not?