Tunji left Fine Touch Hostel feeling proud of himself. He believed he had what it takes to be Amaka’s hero. Sunky and J-boy had explained all he would do to make money and they were willing to give him every necessary support.
Tunji was in unfamiliar territories as far as cyber crimes are concerned, but he was ready to explore and make money. Throughout his long trek back to school, all he fantasized about was the scenario of him handing over the N500,000 to Amaka, and looking at her face filled with joy. He was obsessed with making her happy and he knew it.
The last person he wished to see at that moment, and the last person who would love to see him was Jumoke, but they bumped into each other at the school central bus stop within campus.
For the first time, it felt awkward to speak first but Jumoke broke the ice.
“You didn’t write the test, did you?” She interrogated.
Tunji immediately shot back to reality that he had just missed a test, but he did very well to hide his embarrassment from Jumoke.
“Yes I did. I had something very important to do in town” he replied.
“Its alright, all the best. I have to leave now, we’ll talk later.” Jumoke walked away briskly without looking back.
Tunji knew it was very much unlike Jumoke not to feel concerned about him missing a test, and he knew it wasn’t unconnected to what happened between them earlier in the day.
Having gotten what he needed to make Amaka happy, It had become necessary for him to pick back the pieces of his life, and he was ready to do that, beginning with Professor Awofisibe.
He planned to visit the HOD’s office the next morning to plead for a note which he would give to Prof Awofisibe. He hoped he would retrieve his phone and be allowed to return to class. He had missed more than six lectures, he had lots of notes to write, assignments to submit, and a make up test to prepare for, hopefully. He smiled to himself as he continued walking, everything seemed to be achievable within the space of two days. His life would return to normal, but he would have become a money maker at the end of it all, blessed with Amaka by his side.
His next port of call was Amaka’s room. He didn’t have money to give her, but he had goodnews to share. According to J-boy and Sunky, if he was smart enough, it would take less than a month to raise N500k. He was eager to tell Amaka that the money would be ready within a month.
He was the first male to enter Moremi Hall, it was hardly a minute past four when he ascended the stairs leading to the blocks in the hall. Within three minutes, he was standing in front of her room door.
“Hello, Amaka is not in. She left for Osogbo this afternoon” Telema, a roommate answered the door.
“Oh really?” Tunji was shocked. He spoke to her just a few hours before, and there was no indication that she would travel. “Its okay. Do you know when she’ll return?”
“She left with a lot of her stuff. I think she would spend some days there. Maybe you should call her” she replied, seemingly in a hurry to get back in the room.
Tunji couldn’t fathom what could have happened that would warrant an emergency journey to Osogbo. He wished he had his phone, so he could ask her questions. “Thanks. I’ll reach her.” He said as he began to walk away slowly. Disappointment was written all over him.
“Wait! Wait! I think she left a note for you.” Telema came after him with a neatly folded and stapled piece of paper.
Tunji received it with much gusto, eager to know what was inside. But he kept calm, said a smiling ‘Thank You’ and walked away, this time, his feet moved faster.
Ada was in total confusion. She pinched herself severally to know if she hadn’t been dreaming. First, her father would finally get a chance to live. Secondly, her sister wouldn’t need to sell her body for money. And lastly, Mama’s unending tantrums would come to a halt. But the mystery remained in how a common Taxi driver would raise N500,000 in days and would be willing to give it to save the life of a total stranger. Something was definitely not right.
“Mama, you must be joking, it’s not true.”
Mama stopped dancing, and looked at Ada scornfully. “Look at you! That your poor boyfriend cannot raise common N500,000 doesn’t mean no one else can”
“Mama! That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m saying, how can you believe that such a man, who drives Taxi for a living will have that much on him and would give it to us, when we hardly know each other….”
“…because he has a good heart! That which you and your Ben do not have!” Mama interrupted.
“And you are not exactly concerned about the source of that money?” Ada questioned her mother’s ridiculous way of thinking.
“Why should I be?”
Ada walked out of the ward, disappointed more than ever. She went for her phone which she had dropped in fear when Mama screamed her name. She raised her head from the ground to see the Taxi driver standing before her.
“Err… Good afternoon sir.” She stuttered, not sure of what to say.
“Good afternoon Adamma.” He replied. “Has Mama told you? Papa will be fine in no time.” He spoke further, grinning widely.
Ada wasn’t comfortable with this man, she wanted to question the gift, and his motive, but she wanted to be careful with the way she handled it, in order not to sound ungrateful.
“Thank you very much. I appreciate your kind gesture. May God bless you, raise your head high among your equals. Your pocket will never run dry….” Ada went totally religious.
“Amen! But those prayers should go to my boss.” The Taxi driver cut in.
Ada stopped. She wasn’t sure she heard him right.
“Yes. My boss. He was the one who gave me the money.” The Taxi Driver answered, he sat and asked Ada to sit with him. “When I went to deliver the day’s proceeds on that fateful saturday I brought you here, I discussed your problem with my boss. He was willing to help because he is a philanthropist. He asked me to come back yesterday with a doctor’s report and Mama’s signature. I did and he gave me the money, plus additional N100,000 for Papa’s upkeep.”
Ada was dumbfounded. She wasn’t sure which shocked her more; the unexpected philanthropist or the sight of her younger sister standing a few feets away from her.
“What are you doing here?” She asked as she stared blankly at Amaka.
“Where is Papa?”
“He is fine.” Ada answered as she stood up to meet her sister who was wearing a forlorn look. “You don’t seem alright.” She pressed further.
“I am fine, I just want to see Papa.”
In a few minutes, they were in Papa’s ward. He was asleep and Ada wasn’t keen to wake him, but Mama was delighted that her special daughter had finally arrived. She was all over Amaka, but the latter continually seemed disturbed. Ada only looked on in wonder, she used the taxi driver who seemed a mere spectator as a support.
“Mama, there is a problem o.” Amaka spoke when Mama had calmed a bit.
“What is the problem Nne?”
“I couldn’t raise all the money. I have just N100,000 with me.”
Mama smiled and hugged Amaka immediately. “Nne, don’t you worry. Papa will be alright. Fortunately for us, the N100,000 you have brought will serve as a supplement because a good samaritan has helped us with all the money we need for Papa’s operation”
Amaka looked aghast. “A good what?… You mean you have raised the money? Why didn’t you inform me earlier?” She was in tears.
Amaka’s reaction got everyone confused. Mama was shocked beyond words as she only stuttered when she attempted to make a speech. But Ada stepped in.
“We only just received the news today too, there was no time to call you.” Ada explained as she moved towards Amaka. “That is the man who helped us get the money” she said, pointing towards the Taxi Driver who only managed a weak smile.
“All the money?” Amaka asked, wondering how such a simple looking man could have raised such an amount of money, and to make it worse, he was a mere taxi driver.
“Yes… ” Ada responded. She wanted to say more but Amaka was out of the room in a speed of light.
The trio left in the room looked at each other in astonishment, and after a brief silence, Mama stood up and went after her daughter.
Gbade tried all his best, but he couldn’t take Juliet’s action out of his head. He kept on wondering why his wife would be so brave as to offer him a condom. Did she know about his mission? If she knew, who told her? And why would she approve of it by offering a condom…and without putting up a fight? His mind was heavily burdened by those questions.
He asked Deji if he somehow revealed their mission to his own wife. He felt Deji’s wife might have discussed with Juliet, but Deji didn’t tell his wife about the trip. Gbade however didn’t tell Deji that Juliet had assaulted him with a condom, he didn’t want Deji to call him a weak man.
Deji was surprised after the third day of their luxury trip when Gbade said he was going back to Lagos.
“Haha! Kiloshe e? What’s wrong with you?…don’t tell me you miss your wife and kids. It’s just the third day!” He questioned.
“My decision has nothing to do with any of that” Gbade responded. “I have not felt right since the night we got here. My spirit feels empty, I fear for no reason, and I have started seeing strange things and hearing strange voices since yesterday. I just want to leave here.”
Deji got into a derisive laughter which infuriated Gbade. “You never cease to amaze me. You are such a weakling, I wonder how I didn’t realize this until now.”
“Stop calling me that name! You don’t feel what I feel.” Gbade shot back.
“I know what is wrong with you”
“And what might that be?”
“You need a change of location.” Deji answered, but Gbade was having none of it. “Relax your mind. We’ll leave here tomorrow morning and look for a better place. I’m sure you won’t feel strange afterwards.”
Gbade was not happy that his friend failed to understand him, he wasn’t willing to be cajoled. “Look here Deji, I wanted to have fun, I have come and I have had the fun I wanted…it’s time to go back home!”
“Calm down… You told your wife you’d be gone for a week. Take your time. You’ll be back in Lagos in no time.” Deji placated. “Tell the lady with you to prepare, we’ll leave here tomorrow.”
“Which lady? I have asked her to leave this morning. I paid her off!”
“You did what?…why would you do that?” Deji was astonished.
Gbade stood up and looked very serious. “I wasn’t joking when I said I wanted to go back to Lagos!” Gbade turned away from Deji and the latter could only watch as his friend disappeared into the hotel lobby.
Suddenly, Gbade ran out from the same point he disappeared from like a man running for his life. He was screaming “Leave me alone! Leave me alone!” And straight, he plunged into the pool, drowning and fighting for help.
Deji screamed for help, and Gbade was rescued. He had passed out and was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, leaving Deji to regret embarking on the journey.
To Be Continued Next Week…………………..
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Originally posted 2013-12-08 13:59:23.