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Bade was discharged from the hospital the next evening. Kike and I were dressing up to go and bring him home when he arrived; a colleague dropped him outside the compound. I sighed with relief knowing I didn’t succumb to Kike’s seduction the previous night. Perhaps Bade would have caught us in the act this time. Fighting off the temptation wasn’t easy. I had closed the bedroom door and retired to the couch but Kike still came to me in the midnight. I thought I was dreaming when I felt her hands inside my trousers but I became wide awake when I felt her kissing me. I shoved her away and warned that I’d be forced to report her to Bade if she keeps making sexual advances at me. Of course, I didn’t mean it; I just didn’t know any other way to make her stay away from me. It wasn’t easy getting her to stop; she shed tears and threatened to make me regret refusing her. I pleaded,
“Deal with me all you can, but please don’t break up with Bade on the account of whatever happened between us.”
“Then love me, make love to me and give me your undivided attention” she rebutted.
Whatever Kike wanted wasn’t possible. I couldn’t possibly start an affair with my best friend’s fiancée. I find it upsetting to know that she doesn’t care to understand. Living with the mess of having slept with her is something I am trying to live with, continuing in the atrocity will make me a wicked friend. There was no way I was going to give in to her enticement.
Bade hugged me and then went ahead to kiss Kike. It was very obvious he had missed being with her. He made her sit on his laps and told her about how much he thought of her while he was at the hospital and his readiness to be a better guy and make up for all his misdeeds. Guilt welled up in me when he said to her,
“They say you never know the worth of what you have until you lose it. I didn’t understand how priceless you are until I found myself in the hospital. While I battled to stay alive, millions of faces flashed through my memory but it was only yours that stuck. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t just fighting for my life, I was fighting for you. Kike, you are my life. I don’t think I survived by chance. I survived because of you. I will make this work and I will never lay my hands on you again.”
They started kissing and I walked out of the sitting room. I was outside reading Complete Sports when my phone rang; it was my uncle,
“Ekaale Uncle” I greeted over the phone,
“Hello” he answered with a hoarse voice which was quite unusual, is voice is always bold and clear.
“Is everything alright sir?” I asked.
“How are you dear?”
“Can you make it down to Akure tomorrow morning?”
Surprised at his request, I asked, “I hope all is well sir.”
“All is well my dear, it’s just that Tayo has been sick, he is on admission and he has been asking to see you. I think your presence here will make a lot of difference, he hasn’t been responding to treatment.”
I gave my uncle an affirmative answer and ended the call. The time had just clocked Six. I went into the house, packed a bag and told Bade I was leaving for Akure. He required an explanation for the impromptu visit and I gave it to him.
“It is already late Kunle, why not wait till tomorrow morning?” he persuaded me,
“Bade, I wasn’t there for Mama when she needed me most. I can’t afford to make a similar mistake with Tayo. Akure is just a two and half hours’ drive. I will be home before 9 O’clock. I have to get to my brother tonight” I insisted.
Kike just kept mute, and somehow, I really didn’t mind. I will be miles away from all forms of awkwardness and controversy. Yet, I knew I had to be back by Sunday evening so as to resume my new job. I set out for Akure and she didn’t even wish me a safe trip; I cared less anyway, rather I was bothered by the state of my brother’s health. Several thoughts of what he could have been diagnosed of crossed my mind.
My uncle was shocked to see me when I arrived but he didn’t waste any time before driving me down to the hospital. I was filled with gratitude when he told me his wife had spent three nights with Tayo. The poor woman was still mourning her son’s demise, yet that didn’t hinder her from tending to my brother. The sacrifices mothers make are priceless. On our way to the hospital my uncle told me that Tayo was diagnosed of Chronic Typhoid,
“Jesus Christ!” I exclaimed,
“Apparently he had it all the while we were busy treating him for Malaria. He has been given antibiotic injections, he has also been receiving fluids and nutrients into his vein through an intravenous drip, yet he doesn’t seem to be responding to treatment. The doctor has proposed surgery as the best solution after detecting that there has been a split in his intestine.”
We walked into the Children’s ward and found Tayo wailing with his stomach swollen. I whispered his name and moved closer to him. I saw how much he was suffering, he was in absolute discomfort. I felt sorry for him. I managed to crack some jokes and hoped that will help ease the distress he was in. After few minutes of being with him he fell asleep. I later learnt from my uncle’s wife that it was the first time he had slept without inducement since he was admitted. I was glad I was there for him. I stayed with him all night, that way she was able to go home and get some rest.
Tayo felt better the next day but he still needed the surgery. The doctor commented that his liveliness was a good thing, explaining that every child going into surgery needed certain amount of mental and physical strength,
“Children’s body reacts to anesthesia in funny ways” he concluded.
He had the surgery the following day which was a Saturday, it was a success. He started responding to treatment so I returned to Ibadan on Sunday so I can resume work the following day.
My first day at work started well. I was given a formal orientation of my job description before getting introduced to everyone in the chamber, except for Kike who I already knew and was also absent. She didn’t have any court appearances to make so she opted to stay home with Bade, and that made me nervous. What if she tells him something? I kept asking in my mind. When I arrived at Ibadan the previous day, Bade was relieved to know that Tayo had a successful surgery. Kike also wished him a quick recovery. As I walked within the house preparing for my first day at work, I was careful enough to avoid an eye contact with her. However, Bade noticed the withdrawal and brought it up at night while we ate dinner,
“If you guys are trying to stay away from each other’s path because of my incident then you are not helping matters. I made the mess and I have learnt my lesson, you guys shouldn’t avoid each other because of me. Neither of you has said a word to the other since Kunle returned. Come on, you guys are better than this.”
“It’s definitely not what you think Bade” I explained,” I and Kike are fine; it’s just that my thoughts are still with Tayo. I am sorry if I made you think otherwise.” Kike also made up an excuse for her defense and we all went to bed.
While at work one of the lawyers informed me of the imminent arrival of his client. He wanted me to keep records of his arrival and have him fill a form that will be used in keeping his record in the chamber’s database. The client arrived as scheduled and I attended to him in accordance with the lawyer’s order. While he was busy filling the form I noticed that his face looked familiar but I couldn’t remember where I knew him from. When he was done he handed me the form and said to me,
“Fine boy! You wan dey do like say you no sabi my face again abi?”
At the pronunciation of ‘fine boy’ my heart quivered, he was the presido that raped me. He was looking different, he was cleanly shaved. Confusingly, I picked up my phone to call Bade. I was still dialing his number when a text message from him entered my phone. It read,
“Despite all I have done for you, the best you could use to repay me was to make sexual advances at my fiancée while I was on admission. Thank you. I am off to church now; I want you out of my house before I get back at night.”
Immediately I finished reading, Kike called and said “I have told Bade everything. Let’s see how much your loyalty to him is worth.” She hung up afterwards.
Written by Femi Fragile (Twitter – @fragiletimbzz)
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