December 8, 2013
Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
David sat close to the television set. With keen interest, his eyes followed the fast-moving visual feedback. And his thumbs swiftly alternating the buttons of the gamepad in his hand. David knew he could now freely engage himself in repeated battles against the villains, only because his exams for the term had been concluded—and, definitely, he had convinced his mum that he had done well. Ordinarily, he had to wait till his mother had confirmed his result for the term.
The mobile phone by his side began to ring.
“My phone, please.” Kathryn said, same time sitting up on the couch where she had been laying. “David!”
“Oh! I’m sorry.” David begged, his right thumb quickly moving to the pause button on the gamepad. David had heard Kathryn the first time, and he thought he had responded. He quickly disconnected the phone from its charger, and promptly pressed the green button. “Chinonye Ibeh” he said softly as he handed the phone to Kathryn. David was sure he would loose his recently gained privilege if the call ended before it got to his mum.
“Hello,” Kathryn greeted, and started towards her room.
David found it hard to continue with the game, even after he had resumed his position. One could easily tell that he was troubled, merely by looking at his face. David’s thought wandered, trying to picture a time, if ever, in the recent past when his mum had excused herself to take a call. These days most of her calls were taken in private. If he had not seen the name of the caller, he would have easily concluded she had a lover. Do men bear Chinonye, David wondered. He could not think of any he knew. A fresh wave of awareness hit him. No, he said trying to put the idea off. Mum can’t be a lesbian. His thought soon conjured up another idea: could same-sex attraction be hereditary?
David was not allowed any more musing as Kathryn had emerged from her room. David quickly resumed his game, wondering if his mum would think he had been eavesdropping while her call lasted.
“I just got a call from the hospital,” Kathryn announced after she had taken a seat. “and Dr. Wallace complained that its been a while you came to the hospital.” Kathryn paused briefly. “We’ll go there tomorrow morning—just another routine check-up.”
David wondered why it seemed so urgent. Still he replied, “Ok.” It surprised him when he asked, “Does Chinonye Ibeh work at the hospital?”
“Who told you about Miss Ibeh?” Kathryn asked. Her reaction showed she had not expected the question. David was sure her tone sounded different—fearful. And it made him even more worried.
“I mean, the one whose name was displayed on your phone screen.” said David gently.
“Oh! Yeah she does—she does.”
David didn’t believe her.
December 13, 2013
Broad Street, Marina, Lagos.
Simeon again turned his gaze from the file—and the CV’s, cover papers and aptitude test results in it—to his mobile phone that lay inches away on his office desk. He had earlier assured himself that this shift in attention—file to paper—which he had recorded countless times in the last one hour would not be repeated. Though this time, unlike other times, he kept his gaze fixed on the phone, wondering when the call would come through. Not more than seventy-two hours, Dr. Zakari had assured. Simeon heaved knowing the last hour had completed seventy-two hours after the samples had been received at Zachary Hospital. And Miss Ibeh whom it had been agreed would receive the test result was yet to place a call.
Simeon stumped his table with the rear end of his pen as his gaze remained on his mobile phone.
The intercom on his table rang instead. He sighed as he reached for it.
“Sir, its Pamela.” His secretary started. “I just got a call from the head office, Cajetan Amira precisely. He was loud, as usual, wanting to know the reason why he was yet to receive the shortlist of interviewed applicants from our branch.” She chuckled. Simeon knew she was about to reveal the lie she had come up with to save his neck. “I told him it was ready and I was about sending the email before you noticed I had mixed the names up.”
Simeon sighed again. Pamela was among the best, yet she had falsely described herself as incompetent—for him. Worse still to the least person she ought to—head human resource, Cajetan Amira.
“Sir, can I come for the list now?”
“I’m sorry.” Simeon said, pulling the file in front of him even closer. “I’ll call you in few minutes, please.”
“Have you seen Seun today?”
“Good. Tell him my printer is faulty. I need him immediately.”
“Ok, sir.” Pamela responded. She waited, expecting further instructions. Pamela cut the call when it became obvious there was none.
Simeon sighed, for the third time. Polycystic ovary syndrome, he said in a low voice. Simeon had never heard or read about that particular syndrome, until he read his wife’s emails. Simeon knew the need to have a hardcopy of those emails topped his reasons for wanting his printer fixed.
Zachary Hospital, Ajah, Lagos.
There was a light knock on the door and a nurse walked into Dr. Abdul Zakari’s office.
“The results, sir.” The nurse whispered.
Dr. Zakari pointed to the table with his fingers as he was busy with his phone.
He picked the result when he was done with the call and checked the analysis at the bottom. He opened his drawer and brought out a file. Dr. Zakari selected one among the results in the file. He carefully compared both results.
Dr. Zakari had thought it wise to have a second opinion as regards the result of the samples from Simeon and David. The analyses on both sheets were the same.
Dr. Zakari exhaled deeply as he reached for his phone and dialed Simeon’s number. He knew he had told Simeon that he would only follow the due process as regards the test result, still he felt pressured to inform him first. Considering the outcome of the test, and more especially the call from Miss Chinonye Ibeh hours after the samples were received, he was certain there was more to this than what Simeon imagined.
Simeon answered the call before Dr. Zakari heard the connecting tone.
“What’s new, I thought you said you were not going to call me?” Simeon said rather sarcastically. The last meeting they had did not end on a pleasant note.
“Eventually I did; and I think it would be proper you shut up and listen.”
The line was silent.
Dr. Zakari sighed. “The result is out.” There was another silence as Dr. Zakari expected a comment from Simeon. ”Hello”
Simeon sighed. “I’m sure I heard you say something about someone being quiet.”
“Beat it man. I’m sorry for my choice of words lately.” Dr. Zakari said. “Dude there’s something you need to know; something about the test result.” He seemed to weigh his words before he continued. “David is not your son. But—”
“Whoever got Kathryn pregnant is closely related to you.”
“I don’t understand.”
“David’s DNA profile is significantly similar with yours, making you a possible biological father. But the statistical analysis was surprisingly very weak.”
“I’m sure you know I don’t understand what that means.”
“David’s father is likely a relative of yours; possibly, your own sibling.”
“Dude, I would advice you tread carefully. I can almost assure you, those ladies likely were expecting this turn when they suggested the DNA test. Man, this story just got a new twist.”
To read the previous episode, click on this link: www.naijastories.com/2015/04/illusion-episode-7/