“Okay enough of this already” my father halted, without looking back. “I won’t look for him, but if you find him, tell him he is welcome back to my house”
The first step had been taken, Jojo was allowed to return home by my father, but the bigger step remained – finding Jojo.
Mum told me Jojo is in Delta State, but she didn’t know where and how to locate him. Delta state rang a bell in my head – that’s where Valerie lives. The thought of going to Delta state excited me. I could find my brother, and also find the love of my life. It didn’t matter if I have to search the whole of Delta State. I believe I would eventually find them.
My brother’s facebook account had been dormant for a long time. All efforts to get a clue of his whereabout proved abortive, and I had also lost every contact with Valerie. The Delta trip didn’t make sense but I wouldn’t embark on such a trip without the knowledge of my mother.
“I will go to Delta to look for Jojo” I announced to my mum as I was leaving Ikorodu after a long and unusually quiet weekend with my parents.
“Have you found out where he lives?” she asked, her face brightening up immediately.
“No. But I will figure out a way to find him”
“That’s insane. You have never been to Delta, you know no one there, how are you supposed to find your brother that way? What if he isn’t even there any longer?”
“At least we have to try. We can’t all sit back and do nothing, yet expect him to come home” I retorted.
“Will you turn your back on your work to go in search of your brother?” Mum asked, and at that point I began to feel the fear in her. She was scared of losing me too. “Your father made him leave, he should be the one to bring him back. We will try what we can, but I think it won’t matter if your father’s input is left out”
At that point, I had to agree. There might be a possibility that Dad knows where Jojo his. It explains why he said he won’t look for him. But could it be possible that he didn’t care if his son was dead after all these years? There was only one way to find out.
“If Dad knows where Jojo is, I think there is only one way to find out” I said to my Mum.
I let out a wide grin, the idea forming in my head was as tricky and evil as it could be.
“I was told you helped bring me here. Thank you very much for saving my life” he said to me for the first time in about ten minutes I had been sitting next to his bed.
He was awake and stable, and I was once again glad that my senseless has not led to a man’s death, and a lifetime of regret for me.
“I should be the one thanking you…for not dying” I replied.
He gave a short smile and closed his eyes. He did that for the umpteenth time and I wondered why. I wished his friends were around so I don’t feel alone and clueless like I felt with him at that moment, but they had both gone home to get him something to eat. I was asked to stay with him, having refused to go home.
Whether I liked it or not, I would have to go home the next day, at least to change my clothes. I hoped his friends will accompany me home to beg Papa and Mama on my behalf.
“What’s your name?” his voice broke into my thoughts.
“I am Ese. Ese Irikefe” I answered.
“I am Joachim. Joachim Idonije”
I nodded in response, not sure what next to say.
“I want to apologise for running into your way and causing this” I continued. “I had issues with my father at home and he chased me with a cutlass. I had to run for my life without paying due attention”
“It’s okay. I have my own share of the blame too. Let’s thank God there is no tragedy”
A nurse barged into the ward, looking disturbed.
“Hello sister, are you Miss Ese?”
“Yes I am”
“Two people are here for you. They say they are your parents and are causing a scene at the reception. Please come and meet them”
I was shocked. “How did they know I’m here?” I asked the nurse.
“I don’t know. Just come with me please. They are disturbing the peace of the hospital, we don’t want sleeping patients to be disturbed. It’s late night already”
This was not looking good for me. I wondered what kind of scene Papa was causing at the reception. I wanted to ask the nurse if he had a cutlass with him, but I was too scared to even think of going to the reception to see him.
As weak and helpless as Joachim laid on the bed, I felt safer staying with him than going to face my parents.
“Tell them I’m not here please. Tell them I left here hours ago”
The nurse was surprised. “Why are you avoiding your parents” she questioned.
“I don’t want to see them. Not now at least. My boyfriend must be out of here first!” I spoke every word with a stern look, hoping that would send a message to the nurse. I didn’t care that Joachim’s heart might have skipped one beat by my unguarded words.
To be continued….