Investigations are generally not easy. I never knew this until I had to do a little digging in myself. I have found out quite a lot so far.
Firstly, I now know that there’s something going on between Funmi and Maxwell, I don’t know what exactly but I smell a rat. I know this because I found something fishy about her being in the hospital with us when she didn’t have any clear reason to be here. I am Mary-Anne’s neighbour and good friend, Maxwell is her boyfriend and Henry is a friend too so we are all expected to be here, Funmi on the other hand, shouldn’t be here. Knowing this, I approached her and after asking if she was dating any of the guys, she walked out on me and left the hospital same way Maxwell had left. If she was here for Henry, she wouldn’t have left.
Secondly, I now know that Maxwell really cares about Mary-Anne as he seems to be doing everything to make sure she gets well and hasn’t even noticed my presence for once. Not like I’m against him taking care of her or complaining, I just think a little how-are-you would be enough to show he cares a little about me too. I should probably talk to him and maybe review our ‘dating pattern’ after all of this is settled.
Thirdly, I now have an idea on why Mary-Anne is hiding her pregnancy from Maxwell, I’m not totally sure as it’s just a wild guess but it seems to all fit in. I think Henry is shagging Mary-Anne because why else would he request for the general body test and offer to settle the exorbitant bills when he isn’t obligated to do it in anyway and besides, Maxwell could have paid. He probably just wanted to confirm if she was still pregnant or had lost the baby. I think I should confront Henry to this effect.
The time was 7:00am and the hospital was already getting a little lively. I figured I was going to have to leave the hospital pretty soon but I was the only one left in the reception and didn’t know if it was a good idea to leave just like that. I had a 9:00am lecture and I knew I had to attend it as the lecturer was one of those lecturers who the devil sent to schools to make student lives miserable. He had threatened to make sure that anyone who missed three of his lectures in the whole semester won’t write his examination.
Two female nurses clad in short white gowns hastily walked past me and disappeared down the corridor. A female doctor soon walked passed me literally running and disappeared down the same corridor. I guessed there was an emergency.
I was already getting impatient when Henry materialised from the corridor the nurses and doctor had ran through. He walked down to where I was sitting and slumped into the seat beside me.
I knew I should have used his presence as an excuse to leave the hospital and go home to prepare for my lecture but I let the excess Sherlock Holmes I have watched get the better part of me as I decided to sit and investigate a little more.
“We need to talk,” I said as I turned to face him.
“Oh God! Not The We Need to Talk line again,” he murmured so audible I heard him clearly but I ignored it.
“We need to talk about Mary-Anne,” I continued and noticed he twitched.
“Talk about Mary-Anne?” He asked as he turned to face me too. “What about her?”
“Are the test results out yet?” I asked, trying to build up to the major question I had in mind.
“Yes.” He said vaguely.
“She’s fine and would recover well but she has selective amnesia.” He replied. That explained his look of relief, he probably assumed she won’t be able to remember what he had done to her. Smart guy.
“Selective amnesia?” I asked, trying my best to fake a tone of shock.
“Yes, don’t worry, it’s not as serious as it sounds, just that she won’t be able to remember some personal details for a while, the doctor recommends she sees a psychologist,” He explained and that confused my analysis a bit, if he knew she was going to eventually regain her full memory why was he relieved?
“Alright, so nothing else was discovered in the tests? Just the amnesia?”
“Yea… Just the amnesia.” He said with a tone of finality but I had no plans of ending the conversation just yet. I needed a new game plan.
“Nothing about a baby?” I asked and paid full attention to his reaction. He twitched his eyelids, and then closed them a bit before raising his eyebrow.
“Baby? I don’t understand you,” he replied glaring at me as if daring to explain.
“What don’t you understand in that simple statement? Is she pregnant?” I asked confidently, if anyone was in control here, it was me.
“Pregnant? No! Not at all,” he replied hastily.
“No wonder you looked relieved when you walked in here,” I said with a grin as I saw the look of terror on his face.
“What do you mean by that?”
“You are sleeping with Mary-Anne and I know you thought you had impregnated her, that’s why she couldn’t talk to Maxwell earlier tonight,” I replied.
“Mary-Anne told you?” He asked calmly, accepting defeat and confirming my theory.
“She told me nothing. It’s just an obvious fact,” I replied, expecting him to ask for an explanation. I was dying to tell him how smart I had been. Too much Sherlock Holmes finally paid off.
“So what’s going to happen now?” He asked. He obviously wasn’t interested on knowing how I found out. “You are going to tell Maxwell?”
“Why would I do that?”
“Well, what do you want then?” He asked. His calmness was starting to creep me out and something about his reactions felt wrong, one minute he had terror written all over his face and the next minute he was as calm as a dove.
“I don’t want anything,” I replied then after I quickly thought about it I added, “Yet.”
My grin grew wider as I stood up and made to leave the hospital feeling like I had just solved the most complicated mystery of all time.
God. That’s who every Christian who is in trouble that’s beyond his strength run to. Don’t want to start preaching but whenever you are down and there’s no one to pull you up, God will, or at least that’s what I believe.
So there I was, on my knees in the presence of the Most High talking to him with my eyes getting heavier with each word for I wanted to cry. My mind was heavy for reasons I don’t think anyone would understand. I was confused and it took Mary-Anne’s present predicament for me to realise that I needed to make a decision. I couldn’t really continue with this life style, I couldn’t keep on dating three girls at once. It was driving me crazy to think that the girl I love was probably going to forget all the times we shared all because of amnesia while the other girls I love were with me in the hospital obviously craving for my attention. You don’t know how confusing that could be until you’ve been in such a situation.
I needed to cool off. I needed to talk to the one person who might actually understand and give me a lasting solution and that’s what led me to church. Frankly, I had no idea what exactly I was going to pray for.
“Dear God! What’s wrong with me?” I started to say in a very low tone as I bowed my head. I didn’t really know how to ask God for relationship advice so I was very vague and brief.
“How did I even get here? I need your help. I need balance in my life. Show me the answer,” I murmured and tried waiting for a few minutes, expecting God to tap me on the shoulder and hand over an envelope containing the solution to my problem. I knew there was no way he was going to do that but I just had to try.
Something strange happened at that very moment. I felt a tap on my shoulder and I immediately raised my head hoping to actually see God only end up staring at the beautiful face of Funmi.
God had answered my prayer.
“Max, what is wrong?” Funmi asked as I stared at her, “you look so pale.”
“I’m… I’m…” I swallowed saliva, “I’m fine, nothing is wrong,” I finally replied, there was no way I was going to tell her what was really on my mind.
“What are you praying for?” She asked and slid into the seat beside me before I could reply.
“How did you know I was praying?”
“Well, you are in a church this early and on your knees, that kind of narrows down the options,” she replied and I swiftly sat back on the chair. I had forgotten I was still on my knees.
“Oh! What are you doing here anyway?” I asked trying to change the topic.
She was quiet for a short while. “I saw when you left the hospital looking kind of strange, I just wanted to check if you were okay.”
“Oh! That’s so nice of you,” I replied. I had a feeling Funmi was the one God wanted me to be with as he sent only her to meet me at the church.
“I hope I’m not disturbing anything, you don’t look like you want to talk.” She said obviously noticing my short replies in contrast to my usual epistles.
“No o, it’s not that, it just that I’m quite surprised.”
“Surprised about what?”
“Your beauty, I mean no offence but I’ve never really looked at you and seen how beautiful you are before. You’re like the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen before,” I replied. I might just start the wooing from now, I thought.
“Err… Don’t know what to say to that,” she replied and I could see her cheeks were tomato red already.
“Don’t expect you to say anything, I’m just telling you what I just noticed.”
“Well… If you say so, thank you.”
“Can I ask you an off point question?” I asked, building up to the punch line.
“Sure, anything,” she replied hastily just as I had expected. I know females are complicated and hard to understand but one thing that works on all of them and makes the drop all their defences is flattery.
“This is going to sound weird and I know I shouldn’t even be asking you this considering the fact that we are in a church right now or how nice our date went or even the Mary-Anne situation who I’m sure you already know is my girlfriend but I just have to ask,” I said and waited for her reaction, I wanted to create the illusion of a little suspense.
“Ask me the question already!” She said with a grin. That was the green light I was looking for.
“Alright, well the question is simple and I want a yes or no answer.”
“Okay, ask na, you are making me get really curious!”
“Okay… Is there any chance that I might have you?” I asked vaguely.
“Have me? what does that mean?” She asked but I had a feeling she knew exactly what I meant as she twitched her eyes when I asked the question.
“Have you na… Like err…. D.A.T.E you,” I said spelling out the words of date.
“Date me?” She asked looking surprised. “Maxwell, are you asking me out?” She wasn’t smiling.
“Well, not exactly yet, I just want to know if you’ll say yes or no if I did,” I replied. I wasn’t used to rejections so I had to make sure.
“I can’t answer that question right now. I barely know you! I just met you few days ago. I don’t even know your surname and besides, you have a girlfriend.” She complained.
Now, when a lady you ask such question complains and gives you reasons why she can’t date you just know that she wants to date you but she wants to know if she can trust you, if you a boyfriend material. They have really delicate hearts so they try their best to protect it.
“Oh! Okay, firstly, I know I have a girlfriend but just between me and you, we haven’t been really cool in recent times. It’s like everything I do nowadays is wrong, we aren’t working anymore, the flame has refused to reignite no matter how much efforts we put in and I’m sure a break up is inevitable,” I started to explain. The funny thing is half of what I said was true, Mary-Anne had recently started to nag a lot and I was getting tired but we hadn’t really tried to work it out and frankly, I didn’t want to. “Secondly,” I continued, “my surname is Briggs, Maxwell Briggs, I’m from Rivers state and I’m even based there with my family, school brought me to Lagos, so what else do you want to know?”
“You are getting it wrong. I’ll be lying if I say I’m not attracted to you in some ways but what I meant was we don’t know ourselves well enough to date, we need time. You for one need time to settle yourself, I don’t even trust you and I’ll have to trust you if I’m to date you,” she said.
“So in other words, you’ll say yes if get rid of Mary-Anne and take you on a proper first date where we’ll get to know more about ourselves?” I asked, intentionally putting words in her mouth.
“I didn’t say that oh! I didn’t say you should get rid of anyone and I certainly didn’t say I’ll date you, I’m just trying to answer your questions the best way I can,” she replied, her smile had returned. I knew exactly what she meant and what I had to do.
“Okay, we’ll talk more on this later but as for now, I think we should head back to the hospital.” I said trying to change the topic, I had gotten all the answers I needed.
“Yea, we should,” she replied and stood up to leave.
I followed her out of the church and we walked back to the hospital where we saw only Henry.
He informed us that Amaka had left, I looked at the Quartz wall clock on the wall and saw it was almost 9am and I immediately understood why Amaka had left, she always had this “un-miss-able” lecture every Tuesday morning by 9am.
We went to see the doctor to ask if we could leave and he granted us permission after we settled the pending bills.
We left the hospital afterwards. Mary-Anne was to be discharged the next day and I knew we had to talk seriously, amnesia or no amnesia.
TO BE CONTINUED
PS: I apologies for my sudden disappearance, life basically happened. Let’s look on the brighter side, this book is complete now so it’s just to post it here so expect steady updates from now on and trust me when I say the twist would shock you.