Posted in The Tragic Dilemma

THE TRAGIC DILEMMA – 11

Okay guys there is no confusion, I didn’t miss a beat and of course I had to keep you all in suspense. What better way to do so than a Valentine special just like I did last year in With The Gang. Just relax and enjoy!!!

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EPISODE 11 

Tola rubbed her forehead as she pushed the front door opened, she didn’t even bother to shut it knowing Dayo would come in after her. She needed a bath, she was sweating, and the Abuja heat had really turned it up a notch. It was almost unbearable. She climbed the stairs exhausted both physically and emotionally. It was a lot to take in, to process, worst to accept. Neither she nor her brother had said a word as he drove them from the hospital to the house. She assumed just like her, Dayo was still wrapping his head around everything.

She walked into her room and straight to the bathroom. Blocked the bath sink-hole, turned on the tap and started to undress. Once it was half full she poured some bath gel and stepped in, the sting of the cool water and fragrance of the gel was a welcomed relief. She turned off the tap and submerged her body into the foamy water, her head resting on the edge of the bath tub. Life indeed had a way of dealing with you she thought. She remembered it was what her father said when he started his story.

“This was long ago, before we had you Dayo. Tola was maybe two years old. The company had kicked off well but it was demanding too much of my time and your mother was not happy. Your aunt who was staying with us was your mother’s rock. She convinced her it was just work, nothing more. With time your mother became more supportive and finally despite my pleads to her not to bother she joined in running the company. She was a force to be reckoned with” admiration filled his eyes.

“But with more effort came more success which in turn brought more work. We started expanding, branching out, getting deals and looking for bigger deals. Soon we where traveling out of the country. When I couldn’t make it your mother took my place leaving you Tola with Peju” her father said sadly.

“What has this got to do with anything though?” Dayo had asked.

“I need you to know your aunt was and IS a good person” her father had said.

“So what happened?” she heard herself ask quietly.

“We had just got a deal with the presidency, finally broken into the national power house. It was a big deal. I was excited. Your mother had been in South Africa for a month working on a partnership and was excited when I called that morning that she decided to surprise me by flying in to celebrate” Otunba explained, “on reaching home, half drunk from celebrating in the office; I picked up your aunt in excitement and hugged her out of joy. She was surprised but didn’t pull away. That was when I kissed her”.

“No daddy, no!!! Stop” Tola didn’t know she was screaming till a nurse walked in.

“Is everything alright?” the nurse had asked.

“Yes, please excuse us” Otunba had said. The nurse looked at him being her primary concern and once satisfied he was in no harm he left.

“Tola I am sorry” her father had said, he was close to tears. it was the first time she had seen him cry.

“I didn’t know she had a crush on me and in my drunken state my judgment was poor. Before anything could happen we heard noises outside and found your mother had returned. Embarrassed and ashamed I asked your mother that we get a place for your aunt and start up a business of her choice for her. I thought that was my penance for what I had done or almost done”.

“So what was all that about ‘what about us’ that she was saying in the study. I overheard you two” Dayo accused.

“You both have to understand your aunt is a good person” Otunba started.

“Daddy spare us the speech” Tola said coldly. Deep down she was praying anything else was her father’s fault. She was looking for a reason to forgive her aunt.

Her father had nodded. He understood his children’s rage. Since Christmas when they had bonded and formed a new relationship he had vowed not to be the bossy, unapproachable father he used to be.

“After your mother’s death I went into serious depression and your aunt was the one who pulled me out. She help run your mother’s chambers until it was taken over by the lawyers who ran your mother’s charity organization. But she still had feelings for me and one thing lead to another and we had a fling” Otunba forced the last words out painfully.

Tola squeezed her eyes as she tried to hold back the pain and betrayal she felt.

“You need to understand we didn’t plan it to happen and I did end it. But your aunt is only human and for some reason she still feels we have something” Otunba said. He looked at his children and the expressions on their faces he would not forget.

“Please leave” he said.

“What?” Dayo had exclaimed. “We should …..” Otunba held up his hand.

“You are angry and you should be. But I feel like I am dying inside looking at your faces. What I know is I regret all I have done and ask for your forgiveness. But I know you need time. Go and think about it. Come back when you are ready. Whatever your answer is, I will understand”.

He turned picked up the phone and called the nurse’s station. A nurse came almost immediately.

“Yes sir?”

“Please show my children out”.

Tola opened her eyes as she heard her phone beep. She checked it, a BBM message from Tega. he was checking up on her again. She dropped her phone and submerged herself again, playing the whole scenario once more in her head. What was she going to do?

 

… … …

 

Finally he was going to get an opportunity to speak to the Chief Warden. Were his prayers finally answered? Finally some clarifications about why he had not been allowed to see his lawyer, what he was to do with JP who had been blackmailing him and what was going to happen to Titus and when. He stood at the Chief Warden’s door and knocked, he didn’t hear the usual ‘come in’ and he looked at the guard that escorted him but the guard’s face was blank. He was about to knock again when the door opened and he saw a man in a clean pressed suit ushering him in.

“Jacob right? O do you prefer Cop-J?” the man smiled as he unbuttoned his suit and sat in the warden’s chair.

“Yes sir, my name is Jacob” Jacob was not going to be deceived by this man. Who was he? Where did he come from?

“Okay, we are keeping it formal. Good. My name is Mr. Bako, I am standing in for the chief warden”.

“Sorry sir but what happened to the Chief Warden and when is he coming back?”

“Questions, questions, question” the Mr. Bako smiled forcefully. “That is for me to know and for you to mind your business about”. Jacob did not like this at all.

“I called you in for two reasons” Mr. Bako said. “First, your lawyer has been bugging us to see you and since she had some strings to pull we will give in this time but mind you, there will be a guard and if we deem it fit, we will end the visit”.

“But that is not fair, I have right” Jacob protested.

“A ha, the activist in you has come out. I heard you might want to be stubborn” Mr. Bako smiled again playing with a pen. “this bring me to my second reason. All those privileges you thought you had before are gone. Whatever deal you had with the Chief Warden is gone. I catch you helping any riff-raff move drugs you are done for” the ruthlessness in his face actually scared Jacob.

“Sir please, I am having troubles as it is right now. A cell mate who overheard when one of the deals was going down wants to black mail me and . . .”

“Oh please spare me. I don’t have time for this rubbish. Anything happening in those walls are YOUR problems, not mine. Know your place, you have been warned”.

Before Jacob could process everything and think of a reply he was ushered out of the office. He walked to the visiting room where Tola sat waiting. She stood up as he approached, she looked beat, like she hadn’t slept for days.

“Hello Jacob” she said stretching out her hand.

“No contact” the guard said and she quickly pulled back. This place gave her the creeps.

“I apologies for my long absence. My father has been ill and I have had a lot on my hand, plus because of the riot in the prison. . .”

“Riot ke?” Jacob looked confused.

“Yes, the riot orchestrated by three inmates” Tola explained what she had heard on news. Jacob laughed, it was a sarcastic laugh.

“So that is what they told the public. Look three guys tried to escape, severely injuring a Warden”

“WATCH IT INMATE” the guard barked.

“Tuale baba, no vex abeg” Jacob tried to pacify the guard.

“I can’t talk about it” Jacob raised his hands in a sign of surrender.

“Okay” Tola looked confused but wasn’t going to push “anyway because of that they refused me seeing you till today when I threatened to call the Attorney General”.

“Damn you have mind oh” Jacob praised her. Tola smiled, it was her first smile in days.

“I need your help” Jacob said and explained all that had happened as coded as he could, enough for Tola to understand but not enough to get his meeting ended by the guards.

“Did you get any thing down in writing? Like an agreement?”

“Nope”.

“Damn, that is difficult. But I will find out about the Chief warden and see what I can do”

“You no dey hear abi? OYA, meeting done end” the guard came and aggressively picked Jacob up.

“Please get me out, PLEASE!!!” Jacob shouted as they dragged him out.

 

… … …

 

“You need to calm down Tinuke, I do not understand a single thing you are saying” Otunba sat up on his bed. He was getting tired of this lying down all day and had asked when he would be able to at least seat on the chair in his room. Now this drama, Tinuke had called and was so frantic.

“Someone is threatening me” she finally spoke audibly.

“What? How? When?” Otunba sat up.

“The other day, I have been trying to call you but I just got though today. Where have you been?”

“I don’t want you to worry dear but I am in the hospital”

“YEEE!!!” Tinuke exclaimed.

“Tinuke calm down. I am out of the woods, it was a very very minor thing. What is more important now is you. You said someone is threatening you? Do you mean your life?”

“Yes, someone called after I left your house. That I am threading in bad waters. Otunba I told you I didn’t want to tussle for that contract, mi o fe wahala oh (I don’t want trouble) but you would not listen. Now see”.

Otunba’s mind was going somewhere else till she brought up the contract talk. It was a deal that he wanted to help her with. Not just because he liked her but she needed the money and he knew she would not accept it from him.

“Calm down, see just relax. I promise we will get to the bottom of this” Otunba promised.

“What sort of wahala is this” Tinuke complained, “First threats, now you are in the hospital”.

“Calm down!!!” see I want to see you on Valentine’s day. Why not come over and we will make a date out of it. At the same time …” he added quickly, “… at the same time we deal with this situation”.

“But Otunba . . .”

“NO buts, do this for me. It will help in my recovery” Otunba smiled on the phone. Tinuke agreed and they planed the day then Otunba ended the call.

He sat and pondered. His mind wandered over all the issues on ground. It was the second day and the kids had not still come over, Tola who normally brought food for him had sent the house help twice to bring his meals. He had never been religions but he had prayed a lot for forgiveness and that somehow his children will forgive him. Now Tinuke was getting threats. Could it be Peju? No, she wasn’t that crazy he thought. Was it really a contender for the contract? He would have to make some calls. A knock on the door brought him from his thoughts.

“Come in” he said.

“Hello Otunba?” Aunty Peju greeted as she stood at the door.

“Peju” Otunba took a deep breath, he wasn’t ready for her drama, he didn’t just have it in him. “Please I don’t have strength for this” he sighed.

“I know, I didn’t come here to fight. I just want to check on you”.

“I am getting better thank you” Otunba said.

“May I sit down?” Aunty Peju asked politely. He couldn’t object. He nodded, she pulled the chair he so longed for and sat down.

“I was at the house yesterday” Otunba’s heart beat started to rise. It showed on his face too.

“You could have warned me you know. I didn’t even have a chance to defend myself Otunba. I may have been wrong, we may have both been wrong, but to throw me under the bus was not fair”.

“Peju I didn’t. I wouldn’t” he started.

“To see the child that I loved like my own, the child who’s diapers I cleaned, who’s first heart break I cried over with, who’s series of success I have been present to share tell me I not only betrayed her but her mother as well was too much. Aaaah Otunba you are wicked” Aunty Peju started to cry.

Otunba was confused. What did those kids go and say now he thought. He really just wanted to tell the kids the truth and let them know this mistake was both his fault as it was their aunty’s. he had to make this right.

“Peju they must have misunderstood. I will fix this. Please give me that chance, I will fix it. I never ….”

“….. never meant to hurt me? Something you have been doing all these years?” Aunty Peju got up. “This life is simple, I wish you quick recovery”. With that she walked out.

 

… … …

 

“Jacob my man”

Jacob looked up. It was yard time and he sat with some of the inmates in his cell. He didn’t join in the conversation but wanted to look ‘among’. Titus’s presence made everything uncomfortable.

“Titus how far?”

“Na me suppose dey ask you how far na?” just then JP walked from where some guys where playing football, he caught the eyes of Titus who waved him and he returned the gesture. Jacob’s heart began to beat fast.

“For your mind now you na sharp guy abi?”

“Wetin you dey talk about bros?”

“I don turn your bros now abi? People dey call me OGA TITUS you dey call me bros. Even my guys no try am. I don dey watch you, I know say your cup go soon full” Titus had that smirk that always had trouble written all over.

“Titus calm down make we talk. Why you dey yarn like this” Jacob tried to calm him.

Make I calm down? Why I go calm down when you bin tell Chief Warden say you dey move drugs for me? Oooooh you think say I no go find out?” Titus laughed at Jacob’s surprise.

“Titus me ke?” Jacob tried to recover but a blow landed to shut him up.

“Your REAL FADA” Ogbeni, Titus’s second shouted irritated. “Boss” he looked at Titus for the order. Titus nodded and they attacked.

He tried to fight them off till someone grabbed his neck from behind. Ogbeni started the punches, the more he tried to fight of the grip, the more he lost air and slowly he lost consciousness.

… … …

Hey guys hope you enjoyed catching up. I know some are going to be asking me about what happened after valentine. Here is the deal, share this with a friend and get them to read and we might just have 2 episodes in a week. I will be watching the stats. 

One love my people, have a geat week.

 

 

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Posted in The Tragic Dilemma

THE TRAGIC DILEMMA – VAL SPECIAL

No I didn’t abandon you guys, no I wasn’t lazy. i just took a val break. it is not every time a young man has a date on Valentine’s Day so I had to take my shot. Was it worth it? Hell YEAH!!! lol. Thank you to those who checked on me. As always, much appreciated. Here is a valentine special from TTD. Enjoy!!!

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Valentine Special

 

It was one of those days she just felt off. Why did she have to have these mood swings on Valentine’s day? She used to love Valentine’s day. All the chocolate, presents, extravagant show of affection. She knew it was a bit vain and yes everyday was a day to show love but it always felt good to know that there was a special day set aside for it. So it baffled her why everything seem so gloomy? Her father was recovering nicely although she had never heard a man nag so much in her life, he needed to get back to work. Her family had reconciled . . . okay her immediate family at least she thought. Her love life was filled with so much drama, she smiled as she remembered the encounter between Muktar and Tega, what a help that was. D1 was back in school and she was ready for court, so what was the problem?

Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the main door. She looked at the TV; someone would get it she thought. She had no intention of standing up. The maid walked out from the kitchen and went to the door.

“Aunty good afternoon oh” she heard her say.

“It is already afternoon?”

“Yes just some minutes after twelve”

“Don’t mind me Agnes, how are you?” Tola heard Chidinma greet the maid. “Where is To . . . see the yeye girl” she said as she walked to the living room, “So you can’t come and open the door abi?” she hit her head.

“Leeme joh, how far?”

“Wait you haven’t taken your bath?” Chidinma scowled.

“I have now, what do you mean by that?” retorted Tola.

“Then why do you look like someone who hasn’t? Still wearing PJs.  I told you I was coming to pick you up now, Frank will be waiting”.

“Sweetheart see ba I don’t feel like playing third wheel to your valentine groove. I will just spoil it for two of you”.

“you have come again abi with this your mood thingy, it shall not work. Either you change your mood or I force you to” Chidinma said and started pulling Tola off the seat.

“Oh you this girl, behave your age now” Tola complained as she reluctantly got up. Dragging herself they went upstairs o her room.

“Oh my gosh see you room? It is that poor girl now that will come and be cleaning it abi? Why are you wicked?” Chidinma teased.

“Come oh, them send you? Stop harassing me please. I wash my clothes myself, or at least I take them to the dry cleaners and I will arrange my room when I want” Tola said falling on her bed, “besides I still have to go and see popsi today” she spoke into her pillow.

“No, no, no. No more ‘lazy day’ for you. Let’s get you dressed and out of this house” Chidinma said cheerfully pulling her friend up, “As for your dad I spoke to him”.

Tola lifted her head quickly. “You spoke to . . . how do you even have . . . come why are you even calling my dad?” confusion filled Tola’s face. Chidinma chuckled.

“Chill I am not toasting your dad. And I am going to just answer one of your so many questions. I called to free you off visiting today and he was happy. He said he would be occupied all day AND winked after that. That really felt odd” Chidinma said mischievously.

“What!!! What is occupying him?”

“WHO should be more like it” Chidinma laughed some more. “See chill, he is recovering well, he wants you to have fun and the doctors wouldn’t let him do any . . . errm strenuous activities” Chidinma giggled as she dodged a pillow thrown by Tola.

“Why are you so happy?” Tola asked, almost irritated.

“More importantly why aren’t you?” Chidinma fired back. “Enough chit-chat, no one keeps my boo waiting. Get your ass up.

Despite her sluggishness Tola got dressed. Chidinma insisted she drive them to meet Frank. Tola didn’t understand her friend. They chatted and after a while Tola decided to be open minded and try to enjoy the day. If her father had plans, she might as well be opened to the plans created by her friends. Chidinma took the turn off Mabushi express way towards Jabi and started driving towards Jabi shopping mall.

“Girl, are we meeting Frank at shoprite?”

“Sorta kinda” was all Chidinma said with a smile. They drove into Shoprite parking lot and parked. Chidinma picked up her phone and dialed.

“Hey hun, where are you guys? We are parked very close to the entrance . . . okay will wait”

“You guys?” Tola exclaimed as Chidinma dropped the phone. “What is that about?”

Just then two guys walked toward them from the mall’s entrance. Frank and Tola could not believe it was Tega.

..  ..  ..  ..  ..

 

Jacob opened his eyes best he could, he was facing the ceiling. He tried to breath, it was painful but air filled his lungs. It was like a painful relief. Once the smell hit him he knew where he was. Clinic . . . no wait the prison’s clinic was not this sophisticated he thought as he turned his head to his left, this was bigger, cleaner, had more patients and more nurses. It was definitely a hospital . . . wait was it THAT bad? He tried to sit up and analyze the situation.

PAIN!!! He clinched his teeth as he fought the pain, his body hurt all over. It was then he saw the cast arm suspended. He had broken his arm. Shit just got real. A nurse passing saw him and quickly rushed to him.

“You are awake. Thank God oh, it was a real battle” she said as she checked him. “You need to be still, seems your stitches have opened. The doctor I going to be angry oh” she said and rushed away, most probably to get a doctor.

Jacob tried again this time more carefully but he could hardly move his neck, he fet something restraining him. A neck patch? Neck strap? He couldn’t place it.

“You no dey hear stay one place?” he turned to see a prison guard on his right side. Damn the nightmare wasn’t over. Even in the hospital he was guarded. He was still in captivity, he wasn’t free.

“brrr….” He tried to call out to the guard but his throat was sore.

A flash of hands gripping tightly and violently around his throat hit, angry eyes filled with pleasure at his pain.they refused to let go, they refused to give up.

He blinked. Was that a memory? “Guy calm down, doctor go soon come” the guard said noticing his struggle.

“ . . . and Dr. Kolo couldn’t finish doing a simple stitch before running off to his lunch?” Jacob was slowly getting tired of this slow motion turning of his head but he wanted to know who was speaking.

“Doctor, he wasn’t so keen on the operation in the first place being he is a . . . errrm . . . convict” the nurse said.

Another flash . . . a sharp object cutting his skin, a crack . . . he didn’t know for where, a blow to the head . . . series of blows . . . he was back to the hospital. The image of Titus smirking at him was the last thing he remembered.

“Both you and Dr. Kolo should be ashamed of yourself” the doctor reprimanded as he looked over Jacob, “I don’t know where it says in the oath that giving care to the sick was restricted to a certain section of people”. Jacob tried to speak again but only a groan came out. The doctor noticed as he examined him and turned to the nurse even more irritated.

“And it skipped your mind to mention that he was awake?” he whispered harshly. He turned back to Jacob and in his most pleasant face said “hi Mr. Jacob. I apologize for the poor treatment you have been given. Like the nurse informed you, a couple of your stitches have opened but I will quickly and properly redo them”.

“Okay” Jacob managed, he tried to add thanks but it didn’t sound right. Fortunately it seemed the doctor understood.

“You had a nasty beat down. A total of three broken ribs, a broken arm, a dislocated shoulder and twenty-four cuts and bruises. To put it simply, you are lucky to still be whole” the doctor said. “your neck will be in that strap for a week due to the bruises and strain caused by the attempted strangulation and for the body pain which I am sure you have started feeling since the anesthetic has worn off unfortunately will be treated with just panadol because of your situation” the doctor smiled sadly. He noticed the confused expression on Jacob’s face.

“We cannot give hard painkiller to inmates. To avoid addiction and because it cannot be maintained in the prison. I am sorry my hands are tied on that one. We will try and make you as comfortable as possible though” he smiled.

The doctor took a little bow like he had finished his performance and signaling to he nurse to follow him he walked away giving instructions.

“Watch him closely, try and make him comfortable, if the guards are a probl . . . .” Jacob couldn’t hear the rest. He sighed. So this was how he ended up here. A second beat down. Things started to come to him even when the doctor was speaking. Titus would pay for this, and that man, that one that called himself the Chief Warden, it was his entire fault. He caused this. They will all pay he thought in pain.

 

..  ..  ..  ..

 

He had been planning this since he was allowed to move about. Although his left leg was still a bit stiff and he needed the walking stick, his walking had improved a great deal. If this was all he would have to bear with from the stroke it was worth it. He had bathed, had his barber come in, got all smart and fine for today. Vivian had been a blessing as always, she brought all he had requested for. All he needed now was Tinuke.

“Otunba good afternoon. Happy Valentine to you and thank you so much for the gifts. The other nurses send their gratitude” a nurse had popped in and was greeting him. He turned from the window and smiled.

“It was my pleasure my dear. You all have spoilt me silly and I know I was a pain” he replied. She nodded and was about to close the door.

“Sorry, excuse me nurse” Otunba called. The nurse came back in. “I am expecting a visitor” he said.

“I would assume so” the nurse encouraged kindly indicating that she noticed the gifts in his room.

“Yes, so please I would be very grateful if you help me put an eye out and if possible, if it would not be too much trouble, bring her here” Otunba said with his best charm.

“Anything for you sir” the nurse said smiling and left the room smiling. She walked down the corridor and reached the front desk where two other nurses sat.

“Otunba is expecting a visitor oh, make una keep an eye out oh” she said excited.

“That man sha, I won’t be surprised if it is another senator. See when the chief whip of the house of representative came to visit him, he gave all of us ten thousand Naira each fa” the nurse in the front desk said.

“See you. Small change be that one. When that oil businessman and the majority leader to the senate came, it was twenty five thousand Naira me and the three other nurses were given. God forgive me but I no mind if him stay for another month oh” the second nurse said smiling.

“HABA!!!!” the two nurses with her exclaimed in laughter. They all went back to their work each eager to notice the visitor.

She walked in with tears. She wasn’t her usual self. It would seem she had lost weight but she didn’t care. If not because of Otunba she wouldn’t even come. But she loved him. It hit her when she lft his house. But all these happenings, she couldn’t ignore them.

“Good afternoon please” Tinkue Adejo said to the nurse.

“Good afternoon ma, how can I help you” the nurse replied with a smile.

“My name is Tinuke . . .”

“. . . Adejo right? We have been expecting you ma. You are here to see Otunba right?” the nurse said pleased with herself. The other nurses eyed her enviously but still smiled.

“Errr, well yes” Mrs. Adejo was taken aback as she wiped her eyes.

“Please follow me ma” the nurse said and walked her to Otunba’s door. She knocked and one she heard his usual ‘Come in’ she opened the door.

“Sir, Mrs. Adejo to see you sir” the nurse said. Otunba smiled at her and nodded. She smiled and closed the door, leaving the two alone.

“Kunle” Tinuke called out.

“My dear what is wrong?” Otunba quickly noticed the sad look.

“I didn’t want to come, because of this state I am in, but I knew it would only make you worry. I didn’t want you to know but I didn’t know what else to do” Tinuke said.

“What are you talking about?” Otunba looked confused. He sat on his bed. His friend and doctor had advised that when it seemed like bad news was coming he should sit, it would be easier to receive.

Tinuke opened her bag and brought out a black rose.

“Saw this on my front door this morning” she said and started crying again.

 

What happened you might ask? how did Tola, Dayo and their father settle? how did Jacob get hospitalized? . . . . . Don’t be in a hurry I have a surprise. *winks*

Posted in The Tragic Dilemma

THE TRAGIC DILEMMA – 10

Sorry sorry, the English Premier League is to blame for today’s late post. But here it is. Enjoy!!!

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TEN . . . . .

“WHERE IS THE DOCTOR!!!”

The loud scream seemed like a whisper to him. He could barely keep his eyes open but the expression on her face old him she was screaming. His whole body felt numb ashe laid there, waiting. He tried to sit up but to no avail. His eyes closed again.

… Brightness, the sun shines, he looks around and the sea engulfs his view. He hears the laughter … Sees her run towards the shore laughing … She turns and throws water at him. As he laughs the salty water touches his lips. He feels the urge to join and excitedly he leaps, but he falls where he stands …. Darkness …

“Are you seriously kidding right now? Do we look like we can’t pay the bills?”

He had regained consciousness again. They were all hovering around him. He assumed the one in white lab coat must be the doctor.

“You need to do something. Where is your superior” she shouted, “why do I bother I am calling Dr. Chidi.

He watched her. She always looked so sexy when enraged. He smiled faintly. He felt some sort of pressure and heat around his right arm. He turned his neck to that direction, somehow that was the only part of his body asides his eyes that decided to obey his commands. Oh his Tola, he wanted to tell her he loved her, he wanted to tell her he would be fine, he tried to squeeze his hand as hard as he could. For a moment he wasn’t sure if it moved. Then she felt it and looked at him.

” Daddy, oh daddy thank God” Tola exclaimed and began to weep again. He tried to smile, hoping it would reassure her.

“Daddy I am so so sorry”. His eyes began to close again, he fought hard with his body to stay awake.

“No, no, no daddy stay with me, daddy noooo”.It was a loosing battle and at the end he gave in.

He is running, he surveys his surroundings and he is in the hospital …. Wow that was fast he thought. Was he not just lying on a hospital bed just now … He looks around trying to find a familiar face. He turned as she runs into him. Peju, thank God …. She doesn’t stop, so he follows … He ends up in a hospital room. There she is again, holding a baby…. ” you promised you would look after them Kunle, you promised” she cried. He tries to reach out but something pulls him … He turns and all he sees is … Darkness.

“We have to take him in now Peju” he knew that voice.

“Chidi please, please” was all Aunty Peju could say.

“I know, we will do our best” Dr. Chidi promised.

He felt himself being pushed away from the people he loved and cherished. He prayed and hoped all went well. He prayed for strength for those he may leave behind. He prayed.

“Kunle can you hear me?” Dr. Chidi asked looking him in the face as they moved. He tried to focus his sight but the ceiling lights kept flashing into them as they passed. He blinked.

“Good, we are going in for an operation, you will be fine. Be strong, we are not going down without a fight”.

He smiled, his old friend knew how to make light of any situation. He knew now he was in good hands. Despite the strong irritating antiseptic hospital smell he felt relief. For once as the darkness approached he was ready to embrace it and looked forward to the ray of light at the end of this surgical tunnel.

….. …..

It had been a week and one would think tensions would have died down. Especially as the warden that was assaulted was finally out of the intensive care unit and was responding perfectly to treatment. But the wardens still had some venom to spit, last night’s episode was an example.

An inmate had passed a group of wardens in a hurry to the toilet and when called back refused to stop due to the urgency of the call of nature. The wardens had rushed into the toilet and made the inmate scoop his excretion out of the toilet and smear on his clothes. Then made him sleep out in the cold for mosquitoes so feast on.

Jacob was hitting rock bottom. He had found out that in an angry rage, the wardens had destroyed alot of works in the arts and crafts room, his latest painting included. Warden Okafor was apologetic but couldn’t do anything. Titus was furious and irrational but the worst part was he had not heard from his lawyer and the Chief warden.

“Guy” JP tapped him as he laid on his bunk. Jacob was in no mood for his bickering.

“Guy I just dey reason. We need propose a truce with these wardens. I don dey talk to a number of guys both for our block and for block B. This thing don dey get out of hand oh”. Jacob turned with a bored expression.

“Really? And what is the response?”

“No dey kill my vibe na. I just don tire for all this maltreatment. No be anybody touch that warden, the idiots dey isolated for solitary meanwhile na us dey suffer” JP said angrily. It always amused Jacob when JP spoke some big words especially as he hardly spoke proper English.

“You no be don, you no get following… That is, asides me” Jacob laughed as he jumped down and sat beside JP on his bed.

“Where you wan gather people wey go do wetin you suggest?”

“Oboy na simple idea. E no need following w just need practice, when others notice the effect them ma go follow”.

“Oga JP abeg no vex but wetin be this your idea?” the notoriously annoying inmate called Chief who had once had issues with JP and Jacob asked. JP looked him over and noticed two other cell mates had been keen on it.

“Una sef wan hear?”

“JP anything to stop this toture abeg” they said.

“Some of una go feel say e dey humiliating but if you do am I believe say e go work”.

“Guy talk now, see as you keep everybody for high jump” Jacob teased and some of the guys laughed. JP smiled, he was obviously enjoying the attention.

“E dey simple, I got the idea from mama Nana” he said looking at Jacob, “first we start with hailing. No be yeye hailings wey them go vex oh, something related to what they do, things wey normally people no dey appreciate them for” JP said.

“Like oga Luka wey always dey fight chief warden when gardening tools don spoil” someone suggested.

“Better person, you sabi” JP encouraged.

“Or warden wey dey call for yard. Una don see him boots? Always shining” another suggestion came.

“That one go work too” JP nodded.

“What of Oga Samanja? Him belle dey on point” someone said in the crowd.

“Na bad belle like you we no want for here. You want make them start dey shoot us abi” Chief shouted harshly at the person. Other suggestions came in and people got the idea.

“If e no work we go try my plan B. But for now guys, we be 1, 2, 3, 4 ….. 12 of us here, if we fit start this people go follow” JP said. Everyone nodded in agreement. The alarm went off indicating yard time which meant labour time. Jacob and JP got up and started walking to the prison kitchen.

“Oboy nice idea, I just hope it spreads fast and I works” Jacob said hopefully.

“INMATES!!!” they had just taken a bend and there stood Warden Okafor.

“Oga Okafor we dey loyal ooooooh!!!” JP and Jacob hailed. The warden was taken aback.

“Who give una ibo to smoke?” He asked them.

“Haba oga, nothing like that” JP said meekly.

“When, my oga, I know I never thank you before for all your kindness especially towards my painting but I just want make you know say you save me from depression. God bless you sir” Jacob said truely grateful.

“Abeg Oga Okafor no vex but if we no run go wash plate, mama Nana no go happy”.

And before the Warden could analyse what had just happened the two fellows jogged away.

 

…… ……

 

It was the second time the office had called her today. Tola dropped her phone, ignoring the call. She turned and looked at her father. He looked so peaceful. She stood up and looked out of the office window. A lot had happened these two weeks.

After rushing her father to one of the best hospitals in the country’s capital, a hospital which was ran by her father’s childhood friend Dr. Chidi Amechi, a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon; she had a terrible fight of words with her aunty. It was more like a beating with words because her aunty didn’t reply or defend herself which only made her more angry. How dare she? Tola had thought. After the fight her aunty had left the. Hospital in tears. She had never been as alone as she was that night. Worried sick about her father she didn’t even think to call Chidinma.

It had taken a nine hour surgery to stabilize her father. Her father’s doctor had come out smiling which was always a good sign. He had explained that it was a mild stroke which wouldn’t have taken so long if not for the lump found near his spine. They needed him to wake before they could be sure he was out of the woods.
She had stayed up all night and most of the next day, waiting, praying. It always baffled her when people found God so important in time of desperation. It was late afternoon on the fourth day when her father had woken up.

“Daddy!!!” She had exclaimed and hugged him tears filled in her eyes. He had smiled weakly.

“Where is your brother?” Was his first question. She realised she hadn’t even told her brother.

“He is still in school. I haven’t even called him” Tola said. “I am sorry” she added quickly.

“It is no problem, call him, tell him to come home”

“Is everything alright”

“Omo lawyer do as your father says. Call your brother”.

“Okay daddy, how do you feel though, how I your body, I am so sorry for causing this” Tola had started crying again.

Before her father should speak, a nurse came in, noticed he was awake and after shooing her out politely, called the doctor for a check up. By the time she had come back he was asleep.

Chidinma had visited three times since it all happened. The day after the rush to the hospital, the next day and the day her father woke up. She had been the one to inform the office of the situation. Mr. Coker wasn’t happy but he understood.

“Get things together and we will hold your cases for you. But I am sure you know the press is starting to eat up the whole thing” Mr. Coker had said when he called her on the third day. She had noticed, people on her BBM had been asking questions and twitter and other social media had been trending the the connection between her and her father.

It was bad when she wanted to leave the hospital for home to get a change of clothes and a mob of reporters had blocked the entrance. It was nothing like she had expected.

“Nigerian reporters have no chill” she had gisted Chidinma when she visited.

“Wait you think you are Kim Kardashian that they will pave red carpet for you?” Chidinma joked.

She had called Dayo and he promised to come in after his test week. She hadn’t seen her aunt since that night. Tega and Muktar had visited when they called and found out what had happened. With her mood she had told them to give her space which they had done. She wonder if that had chased them off completely

This was the eight day. Dayo was suppose to have landed two hours ago. She didn’t understand why he had not arrived. She picked the files Chidinma had brought and looked over them again. Mr. Coker was able to shift the first hearing of her client’s appeal till the coming week. Unfortunately the deadline was coming close. She had to prepare. The office had been so understanding but the pressure to get back and get serious was mounting on her.

“Sis mi” the familiar voice of her little brother filled the room. Tola turned and ran into the opened arms of her brother. She started crying.

“Babe this is a new shirt, don’t you dare stain it” Dayo joked.

“Shut up” she laughed as she cried. Dayo pulled away and looked at their father.

“Shebi you said he is getting better, so why are you crying?”

“I am just so happy to see you” she said.

“It is okay. Take it easy. I see you have started hitting headlines. Oshey!!!” Dayo winked at her. “I guess your case is gonna be a big deal”.

“It is because they now know I am related to daddy” Tola explained.

“But he will be alright, right?” Dayo said quietly.

“They are still monitoring him, Dr. Chidi doesn’t think he is strong enough to check his movement but he is monitoring him closely. He has canceled some important trips because of daddy” Tola explained. Dayo nodded quietly.

“Dayo we haven’t still spoken about your text. We need to discuss this” she said as Dayo stood up to back her.

“I don’t know. I have been thinking the whole thing over and I may have misunderstood” Dayo said rubbing his head. This seemed to be a family habit.

“What do you mean?” Tola said. Chills were all over her body as finally she was going to get some understanding over the whole issue.

“I heard daddy and aunty Peju arguing. It seemed so weird. They were talking about stuff and just seemed fishy like … Like … ”

“Like they had an affair?” Tola was scared as the words came out. Dayo nodded.

A grunt got their attention. Their father was coming to. The two children of Otunba Adekunle stood beside their father’s bed waiting.

“Omo lawyer” he said weakly.

“Daddy good afternoon, how are you feeling?”

“Good, good” he said looking around. “ah Dayo, you are here”.

“Good afternoon daddy” Dayo said quietly “I am so sorry I couldn’t come earlier. I couldn’t miss my tests”.

“It is nothing” Otinba waved his son’s apologies off. The children sat down and had small talk for five minutes. After some time Otunba asked for extra pillows.

“Children, I think it is time I tell you about me and your aunty” Otunba looked at his children with sadness.

 

 

Posted in Quotes & Poems, The Tragic Dilemma

THE TRAGIC DILEMMA – 9

Hey people, so I am working on my timing, I know it is still late but this is better than previous weeks. I hope you enjoy this episode. The story goes steep from here. Cheers!!!

IMG_20151101_092026_081

 

NINE . . . .

Tola was so confused. What did her brother mean? His text sounded so scary. She dialed his number immediately, it rang out. She dialed it again, it rang out again. She waited for thirty minutes, guessing he was in a lecture but this time it didn’t go through at all. She began to panic. Her brother was not the irrational type, never showed signs of being suicidal but still he had already shocked her by storming out of the house with nothing but a goodbye and now this, Tola didn’t know what to expect, she didn’t know what to think.

“Mmmmmh, my food is here” Chidinma’s voice was heard across the office as a delivery guy stepped out of the elevator.

“Tola, our order is . . . . Babe what is wrong?” Chidinma stopped in her tracks. She diverted from walking towards the elevator to walking towards Tola’s desk.

Tola waved her off trying to pull a fake smile, it was then she felt the wetness on her hand, a tear had dropped. She didn’t even know she had been crying. Her friend was not going to be put off that easily now.

“Don’t you dare brush it off, what is wrong?”

“Errrm excuse me ma” the delivery guy who had recognized Chidinma as his destined client from her excitement had walked up to them.

“Ehen, thanks” Chidinma took the bags with the packed food inside, she had the money with her and paid him immediately. As the guy turned to leave she turned back to Tola.

“Girl I left you not more than an hour ago and you were fine. What happened between then and now?” She asked as she pulled a chair and sat down. Tola cleaned of the tears on her face so as not to attract any more attention.

“I am just worried about D1” Tola said. She didn’t know the whole truth so didn’t even know what to tell Chidinma, she wasn’t even sure she wanted to tell Chidinma. Besides, whatever was going on between her father and aunt was family business she thought.

“Is he missing?” Chidinma asked lost.

“I told you he and our dad had a fall out and he left for school so quickly. I am just worried. I thought with the way the holidays went, things were better. I am just tired, just tired” Tola said and started crying quietly.

“Sweetheart this is serious oh. I didn’t know it was this bad” Chidinma said as she held her friend. “Hush dear it is well. Lets wait a bit then try again. If push turn to shove we go down to his school”.

Tola nodded quietly. For the umpteenth time she found herself wondering what she would have done without a friend like Chidinma.

“Oya let us poor all our emotions on this meal” Chidinma said trying to cheer her up.

“Let me just go freshen up my make up” Tola said standing up.

Chidinma watched her go. She shook her head as she noticed the phone beside the makeup purse in Tola’s hand. Five minutes and she would go after her Chidinma said to herself.

Tola shut the bathroom door and leaned on it. She needed a breather. With work and pressure from her boss she didn’t need all this. She had to face things head-on. If she couldn’t get D1 to talk she would go to who he spoke about. She picked up her phone and dialed, it was answered on the second ring.

“Hello dear how are you?”

“Aunty, we need to talk” Tola said partly angry partly upset, “what is going on between you and daddy?”

 

………. ……….

 

He knew he couldn’t hold it off any longer. The way things were going it was either he act fast or end up dead and Jacob didn’t want to die. His first mistake was telling JP that there was a deal on the first place, that was what caused all this he thought as he washed the dishes.

“Cop-J na here you dey? See enjoyment” An inmate called out as he passed. Three hoes hung from his shoulders and a couple of cutlasses where in each hand.

“Tijani na so oh. Una dey cut grass?”

“Guy and the sun no be here. Those fools no try for us sha. Just put us inside gbege” the inmate called Tijani replied shaking his head. He dropped the tools and started looking for something on the ground.

Jacob’s confusion didn’t last long as he looked around and saw the reason. A guard was passing. He quickly returned to his washing.
The day before a group of inmates had attacked a warden and tried to escape. The plan failed and they where caught and sent to solitary. Unfortunately for the other inmates the wardens vented their anger on them. Even inmates that were close to some wardens lost their privileges. Yard time turned to labour time, arts and crafts time turned to labour time. To put it simply, any free time was labour time. Jacob didn’t realise the population of the prison till they put him on kitchen duty.

The guard cursed under his breath after watching them and walked away. Tijani quickly got up and picked his tools.

“Oboy make I dey go before them add frog jump for inside my matter. Wash those plates well oh” he joked as he jogged off.

The current situation only made matters worse. He was unable to paint, his last work wasn’t sent out which got Titus edgy, due to all the protocol he couldn’t go and see the Chief Warden and JP was breathing on his neck.

“Is this what spies go through” he said to himself trying to make jest of the situation. Just then JP came from the kitchen back door to meet him.

“Cop-J Mama Nana dey ask why you never finish with that batch” he said.

“A ah make she chill na, no be she tell Jeff make him leave me go do something else? Na only me waka come?” They both laughed.

“I just the pity those idiots. For their own good make them pray say them transfer them comot. Rumor na say all the dons dey time them” JP filled Jacob in on all he had heard from around the prison.

“Na lie” Jacob exclaimed.

“Guy I see Mazi Timon dey clean toilet, Oga Titus dey cut grass. No be say them tell me. Then one guy say him too see some other dons dey work too. The wardens dey vex no be small” JP said.

“Na wa oh, this is really bad. Oga Okafor no dey look my face again”.

“Yes now. I hear say the warden them attack dey intensive care for hospital, wardens say if him die we are finished” JP said then hissed in anger.

“Aaah, wetin be this one now?” Jacob said in anger. Then his brain hit a light bulb. “JP I know say we don settle finish ontop that matter but as things dey u go gats chill” Jacob said looking hopeful.

“As how?” JP looked at him cautiously.

“I no get access to Chief Warden, I no get access to moving the paintings, as e be now nothing dey happen”.

“Cop-J, Cop-J… No be so oh, no be so oh” he repeated.

“I know, I know, guy rest” Jacob tried to pacify him, “no be me say ai go cut share for you? We don dey together no be to day, I no go fall your hand again”.

“Okay now, nothing do you. But after all this cool down, I wan see my mulla oh” JP said.

“Ma guy!!! I dey beliEVE YOU” Jacob hailed his bunk mate.

“Eeeeeeh, na here Una dey abi? Una dey play? Oloshi” Mama Nana, the head of the prison kitchen had come out and saw them gisting.

“THE GREATEST MAMA NANA!!!” Jacob hailed

“No other!!!” JP chorused. Mama Nana rolled her eyes but started smiling.

“THE ONLY WOMAN THAT COOKS YAM WITHOUT SALT AND IT TASTE SWEET!!!” Jacob hailed again.

“No forget her stew oh” JP added. By now the smile on Mama Nana’s face was turning into a grin.

MAMA ALAYE (mother of the area)” Jacob hailed for the third time.

“TUALE!!!” JP saluted. That did it, the woman busted out laughing displaying a front row of teeth, two missing, one gold plated.

Ewo Ni Baba Alaye (you are the one that is father of the area” she said still laughing.

“Oya sheyi kia kia (do it quickly) and let me start cooking. Una no wan make I call Warder for you oh” She spoke in thick Yoruba accent.

“Yes mama, see na rinse we dey rinse so” Jacob show the plates.

“Very good. I go keep one big kpomo for Una”.

“MAMA ALAYE!!!” the two guys hailed again.

………. ……….

These people and their issues. He closed his daily planner and placed his leg on the stool before him as he watched the news. The situation was getting worse. His very close friend Alhaji Sani, who was the majority leader in the senate had spent over thirty minutes on the phone to warn him and explain, the senators were at it again. This struggle with the petroleum products was going to disturb the industry making it hard to do business. The economy of the country was very bad and it seemed diverting from petroleum was imminent. He picked his phone.

“Vivian, are you up?”

“Good evening sir, yes I am” Madam Vivian answered.

“I apologise for calling so late. But we need to call a board meeting tomorrow morning” Otunba’s voice was filled with anxiety.

“Sir is everything alright?”
“It will be. Have you seen the news?”

“Oh yes sir. The numbers are bad sir but ai already called the chief analyst to see how it affects the company stocks. He said we may be able to pull through. I was going to report to you first thing tomorrow”. Otunba smiled at her efficiency. She was more than just his secretary.

“Okay good, we will put everything on the table. I am still stewing on it but will explain everything tomorrow before the meeting. Set it for 11am to give everyone time”.

“Okay sir. Good night sir”

“Good night Vivian” Otunba hung up.

He sighed. His head hurt, he stop up and walked to his desk. Opening the drawer and took out his medication. The doctor had said if he didn’t rest it would get worse. Where was he to have the time? Between issues at the office and Dayo throwing childish tantrums?

The horn from outside indicated Tola was back. Finally someone that would help him relax. The voice he heard as the main door opened did the opposite.

“Otunba!!! Where is this man now? OTUNBA!!!”

Otunba Adekunle fumed. Peju was here again? For what damn reason? He left his office without taking his medication and stormed to meet her.

“Woman don’t you give up? Are you not tired of this rubbish?” His deep voice filled the house.

“Otunba she knows, she knows!!” Peju was frantic. Otunba was confused.

“Woman calm down, I have a headache already don’t make it worse” he rubbed his for head.

“Tola called me asking questions, she knows. Said Dayo told her. Ah mo gbe (I am finished)” Aunty Peju exclaimed and fell on the living room couch dramatically.

The pain got worse but he forced it down. He had to sort this out first.

“Peju talk to me, what does Tola know?”.

The front door slammed shut. Otinba turned to see who it was. Tola stood, eyes blood-shot, she had been crying.

“Daddy how could you? How could you do this to mummy? How could you?” She kept say.

He wanted to walk towards her, he tried to reach her but the pain hit again, this time hard. His medication . . . his daughter . . . He squeezed his eyes shut trying to overcome the pain. All he felt was his body falling to the ground. His chest felt so tight.

The last thing Otunba saw was his daughter in fright rushing towards him. . . . .

Next thing . . . . . Darkness.

 

Have a great week people. Keep Smiling.

Posted in The Tragic Dilemma

THE TRAGIC DILEMMA – 8

IMG_20151101_092026_081

 

EIGHT . . . . .

“Guy what do you mean?” Jacob pulled JP back as he tried to walk away. JP pushed his hands of aggressively.

“Shebi you wan chop alone, toh you go die alone now” JP said.

Jacob didn’t understand where all this was coming from. JP had to know this was dangerous, he may not have been detailed but from all he had told JP he assumed he would be wiser. Then it hit him, maybe he shouldn’t have assumed, maybe he should have explained . . . but that would mean roping JP into this mess, besides the guy might think he was being favoured when he hears about the help the Chief Warden was offering. How was he going to play this? All the so called benefit money he was getting was going in as evidence, the only money given to him was for the painting itself. His brain couldn’t find a solution.

“You still dey think abi? You never serious” JP said threateningly. “Oga Titus never go far make I hail am”.

” JP wait”

“Leeme joh. If no be because of wetin we don go through together I no for even tell you. You fall my hand guy” JP looked hurt. Jacob scratched his head. How could he make JP see reason? He thought.

“Okay I am sorry, guy see chill. I never in any way meant to leave you hanging. Oya calm down make we talk” Jacob tried to play it down.

“No pat my back, I no dey play” JP said, he was not going to yield that easily.

“JP, JP, MA GUYEST GUY!!!” Jacob tried hailing him, “na true you talk I fall your hand. Oya abeg no vex for me, come make we reason” Jacob said. JP smiled, a rush of relief coursed through Jacob.

“So wetin be this deal and how we go share the cost?” JP asked.

“Guy it is big,” Jacob said then looked at the time and whistled, “oboy if we no leave now we go enter one-man-lane. Oya give me time, I go explain everything but not for cell. Titus get ears there” Jacob said trying to buy time.

“Oya now, but no double cross me oh e no go funny” JP said, Jacob laughed and they both left the hall.

 

….. …..

 

Tola closed her laptop rubbing her forehead, she loved her brother to bits but she was seconds from walking into his room and strangling him. He was at it again with the loud music. She got up, and headed to his room.

“……… E mi no fe wa Range oh, Dangote o le ri meji, na beg i de beg oh ……”

The popular beats of AdekunleGOLD’s song ‘Pick Up’ hit her eardrums as she opened his door. As expected her brother was oblivious to the world and was dancing to the beats. Despite herself she smiled and watched him. She was so proud of him. Unlike most kids from rich homes her brother was industrious and humble. Of course he liked flashy things but he wasn’t boastful … At least to her knowledge. She admired the way he had grown despite everything and was so proud of who he was becoming. Her thoughts where shattered when he turned and noticed her. He started shouting tge lyrics.

” ………….saturday e don pass, but ai never marry, Oluwa provide a boo oh …..”

Tola started laughing and threw the ‘waka’ sign at her brother who laughed back as he turned down the volume.

“What is that suppose to mean now? Pointing at me. Did I tell you I am looking for a boo?” Tola punched him.

“Ouch!!! We both know you do” Dayo ducked a second punch and jumped on his bed. “I was too loud?”

“Yes mr. Boo-finder. Face your books so you don’t spill and so I can stop sending you money joh” Tola joked.

“You know you can’t even if you want to” Dayo teased, “you love me too much”.

“Oh yeah? It will shock you D1” Tola snapped her fingers. “So when is school resuming?”

“Next week. But I will head back next weekend” Dayo said.

“Damn dude finish school quick. I miss you, you know this house can be boring”.

“Then stop playing and get serious with a guy. You keep faulting guys for one thing or the other sis, you won’t find a perfect Nigerian guy, not in this century” Dayo sat up as he spoke.

“See who is giving relationship advice”.

“Sis leave joke, you think that daddy isn’t worried? The man just doesn’t know how to tell you”. Tola sighed.

“Okay, you already know Muktar and now there is this Tega guy …”.

“Tega? Tega?? That guy at the restaurant?” Dayo asked.

“The very one. You know that saying ‘stay with the devil you know than the angel you do not know’ or aomething like that?”

“I don’t think it goes like that” Dayo held a giggle. Tola threw a pillow at him.

“You sha know what I mean, anyway I don’t think I can do that. I don’t trust this new front Muktar is giving me”.

“I have never liked that guy just so you know” Dayo said standing up and picking a shirt from the floor.

“Aaaaah and you never said anything D1? You and Chidinma are impossible” Tola exclaimed.

“Sis it wasn’t my place to say and honestly I didn’t think you took him seriously” Dayo explained picking more clothes and placing them in what Tola guessed to be his laundry bag.

“Okay lets see how it goes” Tola said “meanwhile what’s up with Oiza?”

“Who?”

“Young man you know better than to treat a lady like she doesn’t exist” Tola scolded.

“Sorry, we broke up . . . like last week or so” Dayo said quietly then before Tola could say anything he added “and yes I am okay and no I didn’t cheat on her or anything”.

“Then what happened? Oh no did SHE cheat?” Tola covered her mouth.

“You are just impossible” Dayo laughed “not all relationships end bad you know. We both want different things and found ourselves arguing a lot instead of finding common ground”.

“That just sounds off” Tola said confused.

“Sis because I am young doesn’t mean I don’t think about my future. Best part about Oiza was she is ambitious and driven. Remember I told you she encouraged me to invest?” Dayo reminded her.

“Yeah I actually thought that was some matured talk for an undergraduate”.

“Exactly, and I loved that about her but the more we talked the farther apart our dreams went so we reversed back to friendship but that isn’t working out so well” Dayo said pushing the laundry basket to a corner.

“Any way, back to what I important, I have been in relationships too long, going to use this last few months in school to evaluate myself, face finals and move from there”.

“I’m proud of you” the words flew out before she knew it. Dayo turned and smiled at her. She smiled back.

“Thanks” Dayo said. He stood backing Tola for a few seconds then turning to face her he spoke up seriously. “Tola there is something I have to tell you about Daddy”.

Tola looked confused. She sat up, it was obvious he was serious. “Is he okay? Is he sick? What’s wrong? What did he tell you?”

There was a knock on the door. Tola grumbled under her breath.

“Come in” Dayo said. The maid walked in.

“Aunty well done oh, Oga D1, oga dey call you for outside” she said quietly. Dayo shook his head. And started heading out of the door.

“D1 wait now” Tola got up, stumbled while wearing her slippers and chased after him. By the time she reached him he was already downstairs and opening the front door.

“DAYO!!!”

“Chill” Dayo hushed her as they both walked out.

“SURPRISE!!!” Otunba shouted from the parking area. He smiled at his children’s shocked expressions. “Something to end your school year”.

He pointed to a brand new Mercedes Benz C350, Dayo who knew cars knew it was the 2014 model. He had never been lost for words like he was. But what he did next was even more surprising.

Before anyone could say anything he ran off back into the house and slammed the front door.

 

…… ……

 

“Young lady can I see you in my office?” Mr. Coker said as he passed Tola’s desk. She knew it wasn’t a request buy an instruction and followed him. As soon as they got in he asked.

“How far are you with the probono case? That Jacob guy?” He walked behind his desk and sat down.

“Errrm sir there has been some progress” Tola started.

“Tangible?”

“Yes”

“So?” He was obviously waiting for more.

“Okay, errm his old lawyer showed me some loop holes in the judicial system and how they jailed him and I was able to get another appeal up for him, I have started working on his files and I am noticing some overlooked evidence”.

” Will the evidence vindicate him?”

“Sir I think so . . . I hope so”

“What works in the court of law Ms. Adekule?”

“Facts and conviction”.

“Do you think you hold that right now?”

“Well … Sir….”

“I hear alot of eyes have started watching this case. I know you have never wanted to shine via your father’s light but people are linking this together. Start getting ready for press, excess attention and unexplainable niceness” Mr. coker said.

“Oh, wow, I see” Tola was surprised and didn’t expect this. She didn’t thing the link between her and her father will be so quickly linked especially as niether of tyhem made a big deal about it. “Thank you sir, I appreciate”.

“Oh before you go” Mr. Coker raised a finger, “win this case” he smiled at her.

Tola closed his door and leaned on it to catch her breath. Her boss, the managing partner of one of the biggest law firm in the country had just given her a task. Never had she been asked to win a probono. The pressure was on. She walked back to her desk trying to catch her breath.

“Babe, lunch?” Chidinma walked up to her.

“Don’t think I can, most probably will pull an all nighter” Tola said.

“Yeah? Was thinking the same. Have a deadline to meet and I am not near completion, what is your excuse?”

“Coker wants me to win my proboni case” Tola looked tired.

“Seriously? Since when was probono cases taken seriously?”

“Since word got out I am Otunba Adekunle’s daughter” Tola said looking frustrated. Chidinma understood.

“Eya, sorry. But you should have know it was bound to happen”.

“I know, it is one thing to face that, but with this case? The pressure just seems … a LOT!!!”

“Okay chill, lets call your dad’s driver, he can help us get take away from that our spot. We work late here, heaf to my place and continue and inbetween plan how we handle this” Chidinma suggested.

“Sounds better than anything in my mind right now” Tola said.

“Just make sure I show in any picture” Chidinma winked as she ran off to her desk. Tola smiled. First smile that day.

It had been gloomy since Dayo left for school this morning without taking the new car her dad bought him. It was so awkward and she never got the chance to settle things with him. She picked her phone to try his number for the fifth time that day. There was a text there. She opened it and found it was from him.

Hey sis, so sorry for leaving the way I did. Its just crazy. I heard stuff, you need to talk to daddy. Him and aunty Peju. Go to go, will call later. ASK DAD.

….. …..

 

“Hello” Tinuke Adejo answered her phone.

“Is this Tinuke Adejo?” The voice spoke into the mouth piece of her phone.

“This is she, who am I speaking to?” She replied, she couldnt recognise the voice.

“You a threading in bad waters. Be warned” the voice said and the line went dead.

Tinuke was totally shocked and scared. What did she do to warrant this? Who was this person and what did they want? What waters was the person referring to?

On the other end she looked at her phone. If this didn’t work, she was going to take matters into her hands. She had held back too long.

 

I just want to use this opportunity to than Onyidu for her honesty about my attitude towards the posts especially The Tragic Dilemma. I grow everyday from advice and criticism. I hope everyone has a blessed week. Keep smiling people!!!

 

Posted in The Tragic Dilemma

THE TRAGIC DILEMMA – 7

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SEVEN . . . . . .

She took a sip of the chilled Chapman and smiled as the coolness flooded through her body making her sigh with relief. With the new year had come an unexplainable heat in Abuja and Tola found herself always thirsty.

“You could not even wait for me”.

“My dear between the car and my seat the thirst eh” Tola exclaimed fanning herself with her hand. Chidinma sat down on the other chair as she wiped her forehead with a handkerchief.

“Besides you drive like a snail. It doesn’t take so long to get to Wuse 2 from Mabushi”.

“Madam race driver well done” Chidinma rolled her eyes, “happy new year again love”.

“Happy new year to you too” Tola said. They stood up and hugged.

It was the first time they where seeing each other in the new year. Chidinma had travelled to spend the Christmas break with her mom in the U.S while Tola and her brother had been surprised by their dad for Christmas. Even though they had been in communication most of the time, nothing could compare to seeing each other.

“This year is going to be a great one, I just know it” Tola said as she took her seat again. She had been having the feeling since Christmas. Her dad who everyone knew chose festive periods and holidays to be busy had cleared his schedule and had spent alot of time with them. She had learnt or was learning how to golf thanks to him, she had learnt her father indulged in a popular amala joint in Wuse which was a shocjer and she had vowed to force Chidinma to go try some. It was like getting to know her father again. The joy she felt when she saw her brother and dad together was priceless.

“Yes oh, one of us at least will get a ring” Chidinma said excitedly. Tola shook her head and laughed. A waiter walked to the hut they sat at bringing a tall glass of Chapman which Tola had ordered before hand for Chidinma. They placed their orders for food; Tola requesting for fried rice and Chidinma asking for her favourite jollof rice. After the waiter left they resumed.

“Do you know that ever since Frank called and asked to speak to my mom, she has been asking after him oh. You won’t believe how excited she is” Chidinma smiled happily.

“Serious?”

“I am telling you. And that one is just feeling himself”.

“Well I hope you get along with his mom as well as he does with yours. You know mother-in-laws” Tola warned.

“No oh, it isn’t my portion. I claim a happy, funky, fun filled mother-in-law that will always take my side” Chidinma squeezed her eyes pretending to be deep in prayer.

“Hahahahaha okay now. I pray so for you too. The stress isn’t easy oh”.

“My dear I know I love Frank and I am ready if he is. Since I realised that I have been praying for God’s hand in everything oh” Chidinma said dramatically as usual. Tola smiled.

“And you madam composed, Muktar … Tega … Which way Nigeria now?”

“My dear I can’t believe I am in this situation oh” Tola rubbed her for head, “after the Lagos trip Muktar seems different. He calls like just to check up and he is so polite, no longer bossy, pompous, self absorbed but Tega is so much fun, he is spontaneous, has all these crazy ideas and you know I liked him from the start”.

” Yeah right if I slap you. If I didn’t suggest that he replace your shirt now will we be having this conversation?” Tola winked at her. “Oya say thank you”

“For what now? What are friends for joh? Move” Tola joked. They both laughed. “But seriously I don’t know what to do?”.

“Then let it flow. You are not official with any of them yet are you?” Chidinma asked, Tola shook her head. “Ehen, gather more information on them, test them. To be honest I am not so comfortable with Muktar. Nobody changes all of a sudden”.

“A ah, then why encourage me and push me to go for the party in Lagos now?” Tola looked confused.

“See me see trouble. Who turns down a groove? Ain’t nobody got time for that” Chidinma waved her friend’s worries off. Their meal had arrived and as always the aroma was breath taking. Tola just realised she was really hungry. And started to dig in.

“Work resumes on Monday” Tola said and immediately Chidinma looked up almost annoyed. “What?”

“Why will you bring up work when someone is eating this heavenly dish? You want me to choke?”

“No now, I was just saying. I am not looking forward to it oh” Tola said.

“It’s a lie. Has my laziness finally rubbed off on you?” Chidinma giggled.

“Go away joh. Just that the holiday was fun” Tola said. “Only thing I am excited about is my probono case. Heard they are willing to reopen it and hear our appeal”.

“Nice one”.

“I know right. Oya hurry let’s finish this food and go home. I want to show you Christmas gifts from Muktar and Tega” Tola said excitedly.

“Go away joh. Show yourself. It is my merchandise from Dubai I am interested in. Did Aunty Peju deliver?”

“She sure did” Tola said smiling.

….. ….. ……

“Once again it was a pleasure having you over. I wish you where around for Christmas, the kids would have enjoyed your company” Otunba smiled as he got up and wore his slippers. Mrs. Adejo stood by the door smiling.

“It was a pleasure being here” she said sweetly. They walked towards the front door of the house.

“I still don’t understand why you act so shy” he teased

“Otunba don’t start” she said with a straight face but it was obvious she was enjoying the attention. Like a perfect gentleman he opened the door and let her step out first. The afternoon sun was welcoming. The air-conditioning in the house had caused a great chill. He walked her to the Toyota Venza parked in the drive way.

“So when next will I get the pleasure of your company Tinuke?” Otunba asked as he held the door.

Just then there was the sound of a horn and seconds later the guard opened the main gate and a black Porsche Panamera drove in. Otunba cursed under his breath. He had timed this visit knowing neither of his children will be around. He had not expected visitors especially this particular one, he tried to keep a straight face all the same.

“I don’t know. I really am not used to this. Sometimes I feel it is all a mistake” Tinuke Adejo said, oblivious of the guest.

“Don’t be like that Tinuke. Okay there is no rush. We will talk on the phone and come up with a plan. How is that?” Otunba smiled at her. She nodded. He heard the Porsche’s door open and thought it best to let her go. He stepped back and closed the door. She waved at him then starting her car, she put it in gear and drove towards the gate.

“Otunba! Otunba!! Was that Tinuke Adejo I just saw leaving?” Aunty Peju asked walking towards Otunba as he headed to the house, “Otunba I am talking to you”.

“So in front of the house, where the guard, the gardner and God knows who else can see you embarrass yourself is where you feel is best to talk?” Otunba turned to faced her. She stopped, his height, his build, it had always amazed her and at the same time terrified her.
He entered into the house and held the door for her, she walked in quietly. He closed the door and walked to his study, she followed.

“Otunba are we going to talk about this?”

“Nope” he said as he sat on his comfy chair and reached for the television remote. Aunty Peju walked in front of him.

“What was she doing here?”

“None of your business”

“Why are you doing this?”

“What am I doing? You are the one with a wild imagination” Otunba said.

“Otunba, you know how I am. You can’t be having dinners and inviting certain people into your home and not expect me to be suspicious”.

” And it isn’t your concern who I move around with”.

“Otunba when will you stop treating me like your play thing and start giving me some respect?” Aunty Peju was almost screaming.

“When you stop throwing childish tantrums and act like a woman. Even your sister knew better” Otunba shouted back. He was getting tired of this petty drama Peju seeked every time.

“You complain, you nag, you are exhausting!!! Worst part is you are not even my wife” He exclaimed. She began to cry, “and then you use tears to get sympathy”. They had been so into the arguments they didn’t hear when the front door open.

“Otunba I have given you everything, what more . . . what more do you want from me?” Aunty Peju pleaded in tears.

“Peju we have spoken about this over and over again, one mistake and I have to live with this drama all my life? Do you know how hurt the children will be?” Otunba questioned. This issue had plagued him for too long.

“What are you saying? We never had a chance?” Aunty Peju fell on the couch and continued to cry. Despite knowing better he went to her side.

“I never meant to hurt you, or give you false hope but you are my late wife’s younger sister. Think about this, think about your nephew and niece” Otunba encouraged. Aunty Peju just continued to weep quietly.

While this went on no one noticed the study door that was ajar, no one noticed the pair of eyes looking in nor the ears that heard everything. Busy consoling, Otunba didn’t notice his son hear the conversation.

….. ….. ……

Another picture done. Jacob stood back and smiled. It was a sailing boat heading towards the sun set. Once again he had dived into his childhood memories of his days with his father on the shores of Port Harcourt fishing. He shook his head reminiscing of how peaceful it was despite the lack in his family.

For once he and the other prisoners could testify to a truly memorable Christmas. In all his years in prison he hadn’t seen people who came into the prison to see prisoners and didn’t judge them. But this time it was different. These people took control of the kitchen, for once he ate good food, they had sat and talked with the prisoners, they had encouraged, they had given counseling. He felt better, his hope was renewed especially with Barr. Adekunle working on it. She had been kind enough to visit on new year’s eve and updated him on the case.

He rubbed off some black paint and started to frame the canvas.

“Day by day I slowly become a fan of your work oh. Be like e dey tell story, each and every one you paint”. Jacob didn’t bother turning. Titus sneaking up on him wasn’t new anymore.

” Titus how far?” He hailed casually.

“Good my guy, very good. Even better now I see you have finished the painting” he smiled at Jacob’s work. “A big merchandise is coming in this time. Pay will be massive. Three more and I am done”.
Jacob looked at him and he had that proud smirk he usually had when he was sure he was going to have his way. Jacob still played it cool.

“See, I am enjoying the money but Oga Okafor said Chief Warden don dey suspect him”

“As how?” Titus brows came together in a frown.

“As in he has been monitoring him more than usual. And you know the man has not been too subtle about his spending” Jacob said trying to look worried, “rumour is he has been buying drinks for other wardens too often these past weeks”.

“Hmmm that might be a problem oh. I will deal with it. Will keep you posted about the new deal” he said and walked away.
Jacob shook his head and started cleaning up. He needed to let the chief warden know Titus was about to close shop. But something about the whole thing was off. He was about to switch off the lights when he heard a noise.

“Who is there?” He called. No one answered, “who dey there? If I lock this place na till Wednesday before anybody go open am for you oh”. That seemed to work because the person walked out.

” JP!!! A ah it’s you? Why you dey hide?” Jacob called when he recognised his cell mate. “How far?”

“So na so e be now Cop-j? So you get deal with Oga Titus you no tell me. And you get deal with chief warden. Hmmmm” JP had an unusual smile. Jacob was not liking this.

“JP it is more than that. See ….”

“Guy hold your side. Let me make it simple. Either you cut me in on the deal or oga Titus finds out you are a snitch”.

 

Have a beautiful week. If you are enjoying this story a nice word in the comment section will be much appreciated, to share the link with your friends will even be better. Keep smiling – @mfadaray

Posted in The Tragic Dilemma

THE TRAGIC DILEMMA – 6

Complements of the season. Gifts set? Shopping done? I think I am getting into the Christmas feel as well. Here is episode 6. Enjoy!!!

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SIX . . . . .

“Sir ….. Errm….. I don’t understand sir” Jacob stammered.
The chief warden smiled calmly as he watched Jacob. He had over thirty two years of prison management experience and knew how to read the prisoners. He understood what Jacob was doing, biding time, wondering if he knew anything, how much and most importantly he knew Jacob was debating if to lie or not. Usually he let prisoners rope themselves into the inevitable confusion that was bound to happen and use it against them, but here was a young man with the possibility of getting out of prison. More importantly he liked Jacob. He turned to the guard at the door.

“Go and see if the lovely Barrister has left and help me confirm from Warden James if the supplies have been stocked”.

The guard nodded and left the office. The Chief warden pointed to the chair opposite him for Jacob to sit. With a bit of hesitation, Jacob sat down.

“I am going to make it simple and lay the cards down for you so whatever questions which are rolling in your head will be clarified. Then I will ask you once and your answer will determine if that fine lawyer that just left will be coming back or if I will . . . . . sit on your case indefinitely” the Chief warden had the calmest of expressions. Jacob swallowed.

“Okay sir” he nodded.

“One of my staff came to me and told me that a certain inmate had met with him and had told him of some unpleasant information which he thought was secret and had used that information to blackmail him into smuggling hard drugs into the prison for him” the chief Warden started.

“Now my staff know my policy, I protect you if you obey my rules and my rules are don’t deal with prisoners if it Is shady”. Jacob looked up then. “Oh yes, I know about your painting deal with Warden Okafor. He told me about it and I approved” the Chief Warden smiled.

“Thank you sir” Jacob smiled back uncomfortably.

“Back to my story. I told my staff to accept and submit the bribe money and drugs every time he got it so we could build a case, then give it to the inmate. Now I have ears in the prison and word was that the inmate was getting suspicious. So I framed a story against my staff to suspend him but in truth he is being protected”.
Jacob had a shocked look on his face.

” I assume you are getting the picture” the Chief warden said.

“So imagine my surprise when I hear that Titus is getting ready to start dealing again. Then your ‘incident’ happens, it doesn’t require magic to put things together” he held his fingers in a comma sign as he said ‘incident’.

Jacob put his head in his hand. There was no way out of it. A part of him was happy he didn’t have to lie but telling the truth meant he would risk Titus finding out and everyone knew no one liked a snitch. Every movie he watched, the snitch always ended up dead. It seemed like the Chief Warden read his mind.

“Look at your options, the Nigerian legal system might be slow but it works, you can get out of here and I can send a hardened drug dealer to Kirikiri where he should be. Win, win” the Chief Warden said.

“Sir, you are correct, it is obvious I can’t waste time lying. But sir, Titus is very dangerous, if he finds out I snitched on him I will not live to see the day I leave this place” Jacob looked worried.

“Hmmm, funny you should say that” the Chief Warden smiled as he watched Jacob. “I have a plan”.

Just then there was a knock on the door and the guard walked in. It looked like he had been running.

“Sir…. Errm Barrister madam don go….. Them escort…… Her. Then Oga James been dey ………. been dey supervise boys wey dey carry the last of the crates into the storage room sir” he said in a rush. The Chief Warden looked at him then smiled at Jacob.

 

……….           ……….

“So how is school son? I heard you had a school trip, how did that go?” Otunba rocked his chair as he held the office phone. He was doing his fatherly duties, or so he told himself.

“Boring dad, it was mainly about the functions of a refinery and its general operations. Longest tour ever. The only cool part was being in a different place other than schol” Dayo replied.

“You do know our family is into Oil and Gas, you need to know these things” Otunba said sternly.

“I know”

“So what else?”

“That was it, they didn’t even let us see Port Harcourt well. We had an hour’s ride round town and back to our hotel, next day we where heading back to school”.

“Would you want to take your friends there for Christmas? I can arrange something. You guys would get to see the city better” Otunba offered.

“Why?” Dayo’s tone changed. “Where are you going to for Christmas this time?” Dayo said almost rudely.

“Errm I just have a business trip, it shouldn’t be long but you know how these things go. I don’t know how long it will last”.

“Oh daddy spare me. As always splash surprise trips, gifts and such to distract your children from the fact that you are never around”.

“Young man watch your tone with me” Otunba said sternly.

“Sorry for being so honest SIR” Dayo faked an apology.

“OLADAYO DAVID ADEKUNLE” Otunba Adekule shouted.

“Sorry dad, I have to go. The lecturer just walked in” Dayo pretended to be in a hurry, “as usual nice chatting with you”. With that he hung up.

Otunba was furious more with himself than his son. Deep down he couldn’t blame the boy. He let things get out of hand and pushed away doing right by his children in terms of being there. He rubbed his forehead as he heard the knock.

“Come in Vivian” he knew her knock. His secretary walked in with some files. The look on her face said she heard his out bust.

“Sir, here are the files you requested. And some of the purchase you ordered need your signature” she arranged the files in front of him and pointed where his signature was needed all the while acting oblivious.

“I don’t know what to do with him anymore” he said as he signed. Madam Vivian kept quiet. “I don’t know how to act around them, everything feels so formal, so awkward. I hardly know what they are thinking especially Dayo”. Madam Vivian picked the signed files and straightened up.

” Start from there” she said kindly.

“Sorry?”

“You don’t know what he is thinking, ask him. Talk to him, talk to them. Don’t hide behind work, be with your children. It is never too late sir” she smiled at him like she did her little son and left the office.

She had worked for Otunba Adekunle for over twenty years and had been with him when his wife died. She had liked his wife while she was alive and it killed her to see how he had handled her death and his kids. As respectful and trusting he was of her, she still had her limits and it was only on rare occasions like this that she could air her opinions which he almost always took. She sat down as her desk phone rang.

“Otunba Adekunle’s office” Vivian said into the phone, “oh senator good day sir . . ., yes he is expecting your call sir. I will put you through” she put the call on hold then she called her boss’s office phone.

“Sir, Senator Kris is on line two”. She hung up and sighed. She had a splitting headache and it was not yet 2.00pm. She couldn’t wait for the end of the day and start of the weekend. It had been a long week. With her boss coming back from South Africa there had been so much activity in the office. It was coming to the end of the year and as usual loads of reports, meetings and retreats to plan, attend and minute. She still had to plan her family’s holiday trip. She opened her drawer and picked up the pack of cataflam tablets. This should help she thought. She took the drugs and was returning the pack into her drawer when the glass doors of the office opened.

“Good day Miss. Peju” Vivian smiled. Aunty Peju looked like she was in a foul mood.

“Good afternoon dear. Is he in?” She asked and without waiting for an answer stormed into Otunba’s office.

“Miss….. Miss Peju….. He …. Is on a ……. ” Madam Vivian was furious. No one dared try that with her. She turned to Otunba who was just dropping the phone, “I am sorry sir”.

“It is okay Vivian” Otunba smiled at her, “I will need you to call Senator Kris’s secretary and merge our schedules for next week Thursday. Thank you”. Madam Vivian nodded and with a nasty look at Aunty Peju she left.

“You just lost massive points with Vivian. Points you know you will need” Otunba smiled as he watched Peju pace.

“So to what do I owe this visit? You haven’t been in these walls since the last board meeting in August. Business or perhaps you want to take me to lunch?”

“Otunba don’t joke with me oh. What were you doing with Tinuke at Transcorp the other night?”

“Oh, that” Otunba rocked his chair again ” No wonder Tola was stressing on your dinner date at breakfast the other day” he smiled.

“It is not funny. That was their mother’s best friend, how do you want your children to react? To see you?”

“Is that the role you want to now play? The caring aunt?” Otunba raised an eye brow. Aunty Peju folded her arms. Otunba Adekunle stood up and came to her. “Or is there more to this?”

“Don’t give me that tone, you know better. So what happens to us?”

 

………..            ………..

“I can’t believe you are making us late” Tola scolded as they ran to the terminal. It was Friday afternoon, 5.15pm to be precise and their flight was for 6.00pm.

“I had to iron things out with my boo now and you know Frank likes to talk” Chidinma said “we still have forty five minutes to check in and all, just chill”.

“Very funny. First you rope me into this trip and now you want us to miss it. Your brain eh” Tola shook her head. They had been lucky to have Tola’s dad’s driver take them down to the airport. Tola hated leaving her car at the airport. The two times she did, she always came back to find something off.

“Instead of all this your complaining you should be praying we don’t meet madam Celestina at the pat-down. That woman is too touchy-feely” Chidinma said and the girls started laughing. “Her husband is not trying for her at all”.

“See her size babe, dealing with that is a full time job. He works in the day, he will now come home and work at night? I won’t be surprised if he suggested the touchy thing to her” they laughed even harder.

It took them the whole forty five minutes to get cleared and settled in the plane. They were lucky to get two seats beside each other. Tola made a metal note to get a bottle of wine for Madam Vivian, she had her ways that woman.

“After all this rushing they will now announce twenty minutes delay” Tola exclaimed.

“Eh ehn hold it. Ain’t nobody got time for that” Chidinma retorted quickly, “don’t bring bad luck”. She quickly pulled out her phone and putting her face beside Tola’s she took a selfie.

“What is wrong with you? You didn’t even give me time to arrange my hair” Tola complained.

“But you still posed oh”

“Before? I can’t carry last”.

They heard the announcer do the normal protocol before take off and put their seat belts on. Chidinma who hated take offs held on to Tola’s arm as the plane ran across the tarmac and took off. After the turbulence she let go.

“You need to grow up” Tola teased.

“Leeme” was all Chidinma said. They both went quiet. Tola was closest to the window and looked over the city as they flew away from it.

“Ehen, so who is it gong to be?” Chidinma busted into her thoughts.

“Sorry?”

“Muktar? Tega? Your mai-guard? Or are you buying a cat?”

“You are a dunce shey you know” Tola scolded as she laughed.

“I’m just asking” Chidinma laughed, “you have not stopped talking about Tega all day”.

“Babe he is so much fun and isn’t arrogant like Muktar. He knows how.to treat a lady”

“Okay you know I’m all about you getting in a relationship but isn’t he too perfect? You haven’t given me a defect” Chidinma said with a raised eye brow. “Tola I know always has a defect to tell”.

“I know right, maybe I have just been enjoying the moment and not being critical” Tola said and looked outside the window. Expecting Chidinma to say something, she turned back when she heard nothing.

“Was I born yesterday?” Chidinma said looking at her friend. She knew her friend was hiding something.

“Errrm well, he kind of smokes…. Like a lot” Tola said avoiding her friend’s face. “But he is working on it, saw him with that electrical thingy that has the nicotine in it but brings out like fake smoke” she added quickly. Chidinma looked doubtful.

“See this is why I didn’t want to tell you” Tola said.
Chidinma disliked anyone that smoked. She had lost her uncle to lung cancer. He had died quite young and she preached against smoking to anyone that cared to listen and anyone that didn’t she grew distant with. Her excuse was she was not ready to loose someone close to her again to something that could have been avoided.

“Tola”

“I know. Remember nothing is calved in stone. He is just a potential….. I don’t even know sef” Tola said.

“Be there not knowing yeye” Chidinma teased. Tola smiled, that was one thing she loved about her friend, she always brightened up.

It wasn’t long before the started their decent, they had arrived Lagos according to schedule. Chidinma was happy when the plane finally touched down. They got off and went to pick their luggage. As they did a young man dressed as one of the luggage carriers in the airport walked up to Tola.

“Excuse me madam, are you Barr. Adekule?” He asked politely?
“Errrm yes, any problem?” Tola asked. As polite or composed as anyone was in Lagos you always had to be weary, like her aunty Peju will say “shine your eye”.
“No problem ma, I was instructed to wait for you and help you take your luggage to your car” he said.

“I don’t have a car in Lagos, I haven’t even called the driver” Tola looked at Chidinma who had the same confused look on her face.

“Madam sorry oh, but I don’t want to loose my job. Oya let me help you with your load, we will go to the car and if it isn’t yours you can take a cab. Please madam” he pleaded. He sounded reasonable and it would be difficult for him to try anything stupid with the crowd. They followed him closely as he walked out of the terminal and towards the car park. Parked not so far was a black Mercedes Benz G-Wagon. Tola stopped. The door opened and someone came out, it was a bit dark and she strained to look.

“Sweetheart hello, I have been waiting for you” Muktar said walking towards them arms outstetched.

 

………. ………..

If he was going to do this he had to do it well. Play it cool let them come to him. He stood by his painting and observed it. It was a painting of a mother holding her child’s hand as they walked home from the market. It was beautiful and at the same time it was sad. It was a memory of his mom. It was off and he needed something to complete it.

The bell rang for end of the craft’s session. Yard time. He still stood watching.

“Beautiful Jacob, very beautiful” he didn’t notice Warden Okafor had come beside him.

“Thank you sir. I really hope the buyer likes this one too” he said “something is still missing sha”.

Nna (friend), I don’t know these things, my own is exchange of ego (money)” he laughed. “I trust you will figure it out” he patted Jacob’s back. Jacob smiled. He liked the man.

“See I will give you extra thirty minutes, but that is into your own yard time oh. You can lock up when you are done” said the warden.

“Thank you sir” Jacob said excited. He knew if he didn’t finish, it would be all he thought about. He went back to staring at the painting. Something was missing. It was an emotion but how was he to add it into the painting he thought. He looked at the clock in the room, fifteen minutes had already passed. He scratched his cheeks with his paint hands ignoring the smear he made. Then he saw it. It was the lighting and the expressions show in their eyes. He smiled and began to work.

Clap! Clap!! Clap!!! Jacob turned. What was it with people creeping up on him. It was the short stout Titus.

“Bros I see you are recovering well. Caro must be touching the right places” Titus winked at him. Jacob just stared at him. It seemed he was alone but Jacob didn’t dare do anything stupid.

“That was foul what you did, we could have talked things out”

“I had to make a point young blood”. Jacob nearly laughed. ‘Young blood’ where did this guy think he was? Acting like gangster. He just shook his head.i

” No be only your parol with Caro I hear, I heard CW been dey ask questions” Oga Titus said.

“That was what I was trying to avoid. He know about your business oh” Jacob said. Titus didn’t look bothered.

“But he can’t place anything on me na so make him dey know. My question is what did you tell him” this time he wasn’t smiling.

“Chill, I didn’t tell him anything” Jacob said “seriously, all I said was you came with a proposal to sell my paintings and when I told you to get lost you took offence and wanted to teach me a lesson. That is why your guys dey one-man lane”.

“You are sharp. I like” Oga Titus started grinning again.

“Question now na, are you down?”. He looked at Jacob quietly. Jacob could feel the thickness of the silence and swallowed.

“How sweet will the deal be? Don’t look at me like that, I need enough to entice Oga Okafor and some to send to my mother” Jacob said. Titus looked at him, then nodded.

“Trust me, it will be worth your while”

“Then we have a deal” Jacob said with worry all over his face. Oga Titus began to laugh in his usual manner.

……….          ………..

 

Wishing everyone, a merry Christmas, happy holidays and see you in the new year.

Posted in The Tragic Dilemma

THE TRAGIC DILEMMA – 5

I know, I know this is super late but its here. Episode 5 fresh and ready. Enjoy my friends!!!

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FIVE . . . . .

She yawned and turned on her side. The wall clock said 6.30am. She was not surprised. She woke up about that time everyday. Tola started her morning ritual of getting ready for the day. First she did a fifteen minute workout of sit ups, ups-and-downs, skipping and treadmill jogging, then she bathed and went downstairs. Coffee and two slices of peanut butter sandwich.

“Omo lawyer” Otunba Adekunle walked into the dinning. Tola looked up, it was then she noticed his usual area had been set up for breakfast. She mentally groaned. If she had paid more attention she would have noticed and taken her breakfast upstairs.

“Daddy good morning” Tola got off her seat and knelt on one knee as it was customary for Yorubas.

“Good morning how was your night?”

“My night? Oh it was fine” Tola said a bit too quickly.

“Uhum” her dad hummed. He was already seated reading the day’s newspaper.

“How was yours?” She asked avoiding his eyes. He didn’t put down the paper.

“Boring. Just business”.

Tola did not understand. She sat and pondered. Why would her father be snooping around and why would he lie about it? What was he up to? Her phone started to ring.

“Aunty good morning” Tola said to her aunty.

“Babe how far?”

“I am fine, just having breakfast with daddy” Tola intentionally added the second part.

“Did you ask him about last night?”

“No, I need to start heading to work sef. I will call you when I get there so we can finalise on the shopping list”.

“Oh you can’t talk, I understand. Okay will buzz later” Aunty Peju said.

“Okay aunty. Have nice day” Tola dropped her phone.

“How is your aunty?” Her dad asked. Tola got up and started clearing her plate.

“She is fine. Has been busy preparing for her Dubai trip. Had a business dinner at Transcop yesterday evening” Tola said stylishly sneaking a look at her father. He seemed oblivious.

“Uhmmm, have you heard from you brother?”

“I was going to call him later today” Tola said disappointed.

“Okay I will do so too. Have a great day” Otunba closed his newspaper, folded it and taking his cup, walked towards his study. Tola shook her head as she walked to the kitchen. Her day was full enough without her dad’s drama.

“Ma, I need some money for food stuff” Angela the maid said. Tola turned.

“Oh Angela. That’s true we need to restock. Okay I will do a transfer to your account so you can go to the market, Amos can drive you”.

” Ma, remember that thing I been ask you?” Angela said shyly. She always started speaking in pidgin English when she needed a favour.

“Angela you no dey collect salary, you dey find my trouble oh” Tola said in her terrible pidgin but smiled, “fine I will add extra for your new phone. Have a good day”.

” Thank you ma, oh God bless you, you will not lack, your pocket go always full, no enemy go see your break light, infact anybody wey ……”

“Angela allow me to go to work before your curse somebody this morning oh” Tola laughed and left the kitchen.

 

……….          ……….

“Ouch” Jacob screamed in pain as he came to. Where was he? Why so much pain? What was going on? He slowly opened his eyes and looked around. It was a very small room with half a dozen beds and there was a very strong smell of Jik, a toilet disinfectant that was found in cheap clinics. It was the prison’s sick bay.

“Oh inmate you are awake. Those were some nasty blows”.
Jacob squeezed his eyes into focus. The nurse was so pretty. It had been a while he had seen a lady. He looked around. Two guards stood at the entrance of the room. Guess no touching the nurse then.

“What happened?”

“You can’t remember? You got beat up but some of tha thug Titus’s boys. You have been out for over twelve hours”.

Everything slowly began to come into focus. Titus and his proposal, the boys trying to teach him a lesson, blackout.

” Damn”.

“You need to do better than that, the warden wants answers” the nurse said checking his bruises.

Jacob flinched as she pressed his wounds. He didn’t need this attention. He couldn’t tell the Chief Warden, that was signing his death warrant. Why was he in this mess now? He thought he could just keep low and mind his business but he had to get into this. Why was his life so messed up? He thought.

“Well you are as good as can be, two cracked ribs, bruses on your face. Nothing much I can do so I will be discharging you” said the nurse.

“Discharge? No now, can’t I rest for the day or two? Shouldn’t the doctor have a final say?” Jacob asked. The more time he had off the prison floors the better for him.

“Does this look like General Hospital to you? Guy your case is not even serious compared to the ones I have. As for looking for doctor, we only call the doctor when it is really sever so I am your doctor and nurse and I say you are good to go.”

“Please, buy me more time”.

“If you are in trouble I advice you talk to Chief Warden”.

“And end up in the worst section of your clinic? I’ll pass”.

“Then I am sorry but there is nothing I can do” the nurse said, “we need all the bed space we can get”.

“Thank you for patching me up” Jacob tried to smile. Even that hurt. The nurse nodded as he stood up. His body screamed with pain. He squeezed his face. For the umpteenth time he regretted that Nigerian prisons were nothing compared to what he saw in the movies. The nurse noticed.

“Okay, I am not the devil. I will order a thirty minute check up everyday for the next month to monitor you. Here is some panadol extra to help with the pain. The prison will not permit anything stronger”.

” Thanks” he took the drugs and drank some water.

“What is your name inmate?” She brought out a form.

“Jacob”

“Okay Jacob. The guards will escort you back”.

” I will love the company” Jacob smiled sarcastically. The nurse smiled back. He walked away quietly. Thirty minutes everyday was something he thought as he headed back to his cell. He got a couple of stares and there were whispers as he passed cells.

“Cop-J how far? Man you had me worried” JP rushed as the guard shoved him into his cell. “Caro tell me say you got hit bad. Wetin happen now?”

“Who be Caro?” Jacob asked confused.

“Caroline na, madam nurse” JP said.

“Oh so that’s her name. Come how many times you don go sick bay wey you sabi her name?”

“Leave that one bros, na Titus boys do this abi? Guys wey bin dey wash toilet with you give summary” JP started pacing along their bunk. Four inmates kept staring at Jacob.

“Be like you need slap to adjust your neck abi?” JP barked at them. The quickly turned amidst apologies.

“Leave them bros” Jacob said quietly “Titus bin come say make I move drugs for am, I been try explain to am say I no fit, before I know wetin happen I wake up for sick bay with two broken ribs”.

“Damn why this guy dey behave like his? How him expect you to get the stuff?” jP wondered.

“Through Oga Okafor”

“You art guy wey dey help you push your paintings? Him fit do that kin thing?” JP inquired

“Guy I no know and I no fit ask am. How him go look me? If Chief Warden hear how him go see me? Imagine the gbege I go dey inside? And him been dey try help me appeal my case” Jacob lamented.

“As how?” JP asked.

Jacob then quietly told JP about meeting the lawyer and the idea Titus had behind moving the drugs. He explained the disappointment faced because of the lawyer’s situation and his frustration of not being able to get a lawyer.

“Guy there are two things involved. Either you tell warden and expose Oga Titus or you follow Oga Titus plan, somehow convince Oga Okafor and get money to get a lawyer. Both ways are very dangerous” JP said.

“Guy you dey talk like say na straight-forward something”.

“I no e no easy but ….”

“Cop- J, Cop-J, MA MAN!!!!!!” Ogbeni shouted as he stood outside their cell. He looked comfortable and confidence.

“My guy allow me to drop you message. You know now, privilaged prisoner” Ogbeni winked at Jacob. “Oboy see as you don pretty finish. Your yellow face don pink for cheeks”.

“Guy wetin you want na?” Jacob was in no mood for Ogbeni’s nonsense.

“Oga Titus say him go give you one more week. Him no go disturb you this Wednesday as per una be friends. But by next week your answer better favour him or…” Ogbeni did a gesture of silting his throat. Then he walked away laughing in his usual annoying way.

Jacob sat down and held his head. He had just a week to sort this out.

 

……….         …………

“Don’t call me back if you are going to be like this” Chidinma hit the ‘end call’ button and shoved her phone into her bag.

She had been working on a drawing when the call came through. Tola had just arrived holding a cup of coffee standing in front of her table with some building plans. She had never seen her jovial friend angry at anyone.

“Who was that? Girl are you okay?” Tola asked.

“Ain’t nobody got time for that please” Chidinma waved off the matter.

“Hmmm okay. Never seen you pissed like this though” Tola looked concerned.

“Will you mind Frank. We had a fight yesterday”.

“Though you were the perfect host?”

“Seems if you don’t spend the night, that destroys every other effort made”.

“What? He wanted you to sleep over? Its a weekday now” Tola said.

“Exactly, he knows how I am about weekdays sleepovers at his place” Chidinma said picking a pencil.

“Then why not just chill till weekend. You guys can hangout and stuff”.

“Errrm maybe it has to do with the fact I told him I would be traveling to Lagos”.

“You’re traveling to Lagos? For what?” Tola looked lost. Then it dawned on her. “Haba Chidinma”.

“What now? You know we are going and I can’t creep up such information last minute to Frank. Girl you know I don’t roll like that” Chidinma stood straight and inspected her drawing.

“So in essences you are now forcing my hand so you can have the upper hand with your boyfriend”.

“Awww such a smart girl. You just made my day” Chidinma grinned and hugged Tola. “So what can I do for you bestie?”

Tola shook her head. “Here are the plans for Lekki Boulevard. Tokunbo said the clients wanted a new concept” Tola dropped the plans, “don’t give me that look, I am just the delivery girl. Besides you should be think of how to pay me because now you owe me”.

Tola turned and started walking to her desk imitating a model.

“See her small bum-bum” Chidinma laughed. Tola turned and stuck her tongue out but laughed as well.

Her phone beeped, she pick it. It was a BBM message.

Tega: That moment when you want to kill your colleague for being stupid.(beneath was a picture of a guy rushing towards the camera with a keyboard).
Tega: Hope your day is better than mine.

She quickly replied.

Tola: Don’t do anything crazy oh. Before you are out of a job.
His reply came almost immediately.
Tega: Oh being without a job cancels any chance of a second date.
Tola giggled.
Tola: Definitely. I can’t be seen hanging out with unemployed keyboard beaters.
Tega: Ouch not nice. Okay if I promise to keep my job do you promise to go on another date with me?
Tola: I don’t remember going on a first.

“Tola”.

“One moment”.

Tega: Fair enough, so would you do this self controlled gentleman the honor of going out for dinner on Friday?

“TOLA!!!”

“Chill now Chidinma I will beat you oh”.

“It is me you are using to chat abi?” Chidinma snatched the phone from Tola’s hands and started reading. Tola rushed to get it back but there was no point.

“Ehen, so this is the boring drinks you said you had ba? Oya we are going to lunch, full gist”.

“Arrrgh, Tola groaned frustrated “at least let me reply him”.

“Already did. We traveling to Lagos after work on Friday, I told him tomorrow evening”.

“You are something you know that” Tola picked her bag up, partly annoyed, partly happy.

“Yeah, yeah you can’t do without me I know” Chidinma said and rushed to the elevator before Tola could get hold of her.

………..         …………

Most of her probono cases had been focused on lands, unjust evictions, family dispute over land, she was always supporting the side of the oppressed. But this was different, this was a murder case and at first she didn’t want to take it but the lawyers at the ministry of Justice had been so convincing, almost desperate. After reading the files she might have a case. They had treated him like an adult when he was just seventeen at the time, a lot of details were sketchy and the persecution had intimidated their way into winning. It did fit her M.O.

“Thank you again for seeing me sir” Tola smiled at the man. She sat down on the chair offered her and looked around. Memories of her principal’s office hit her like déjà vu.

“My pleasure. Give me a moment” the elderly officer said turned to the guard at the door who nodded and left. The guard walked down the corridor and entered the prison area. Passed a block of cells and turned down another corridor, then he stopped in front of the door. He walked up to the head Warden in the room and whispered to him.

“Jacob!!!” He shouted “Chief Warden wan see you. Your lawyer is here”.Jacob sat up, looked at Oga Okafor then looked at the guard.

“Sir I have not finished my work oh. Thought we had a deadline?”.

“Don’t worry, go to the Chief Warden” Warden Okafor said gently.

Jacob dropped his paint brush, got up and followed the guard. What did Barr. Ajekube want now? Maybe he had good news. Who was he deceiving he was not ready to get his hopes high again. The guard knocked on the door and Jacob heard the familiar “Come in” from within. The guard opened the door and he walked in.

“Good day Chief Warden I was ….” Jacob stopped mid-sentence. And he thought the nurse was pretty. This lady was stunning. He stood confused.

“Hello Jacob” Tola smiled warmly. “I have heard so much about you”.

“Errm hello” was all he could muster.

“Jacob this fine lady, Barr. Adekule, is a lawyer. From a reputable law firm I must add. Her firm does probono cases and Barr. Ajekube was able to convince her to take your case when they met in his office at the ministry”.

“You must know I am more into real estate cases not criminal cases but I think you have a shot and so will do my best” Tola said.

Why did her name sound so familiar? Jacob thought. He quickly focused on the matter at hand.

“Thank you for this kind gesture. I don’t know how I can ever repay you.” He said humbly.

“I will come by next week and we will get started” Tola said as she picked up her brief case.

“Thank you again barrister. It was nice meeting you” the Chief Warden said shaking her hand. Tola smiled and nodded. She turned and extended her hand to Jacob who looked at the chief Warden.

“I don’t bite, not my client at least” Tola chuckled. The Chief Warden nodded and Jacob took her hand. Tola shook him and left the office.

“Sir I don’t know how to thank you” Jacob turned to the Chief warden.

“Well you can start by telling me about this drug thing with this character called Titus” the Chief Warden said folding his hand as he looked at Jacob.

……….. ………..

In all your getting, get understanding. Understand always improves your judgement. Have a great week ahead. – @mfadaray

Posted in The Tragic Dilemma

THE TRAGIC DILEMMA – 4

Hello beautiful people, how is your weekend? I hope great. I apologise for not posting last Sunday. Here is episode 4. Enjoy!!!

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FOUR . . . . .

 

Jacob was very uncomfortable. Since his encounter with Oga Titus and he cohorts, he had been extra vigilant. It was taking a toll on him. Something kept telling him they were up to no good and the glances he had been getting from the tyrant’s crew only pressed the message home.

“Hailings bros” a couple of inmates greeted him as he passed them working out. During Yard time his best past time was to take walks. He walked around passing every area of the large yard.

“Cop-J, Cop-J!!!” Jacob turned to see a young inmate running towards him.

“Yes”

“Chief Warden dey find you, you get visitor” and immediately the young guy ran off to join his friends playing football. Jacob turned and walked back to the building. He wondered who cared enough to check on him. As he entered, a guard was waiting for him and escorted him to the warden’s office. When they reached, the guard knocked.

“Come in” was the response. They both walked in.

“Mr. Jacob good day” the Chief warden greeted. He sat on a leather cushioned chair behind a large table, a desktop computer on his left and a pile of files on his right. There was a file cabinet behind his desk, most probably filled with more files and there was the blueprint of the prison pasted on the wall behind him. His office was like the office of a headmaster having two windows, one overseeing the prison yard, the other facing the prison entrance. Sitting opposite the Chief Warden was Jacob’s lawyer.

“Good day sir” Jacob replied politely. He turned to his lawyer, “hello Barrister Ajekube”.

“Jacob good to see you are healthy” the lawyer smiled, a hint of pity was on his face.

“Jacob I have watched you for some time now” the chief warden started “among others you have shown high level of remorse for your crime and a desire to better yourself. Now I am a tough man but I believe in second chances. So I called your lawyer to see if anything could be done for your situation”.

Jacob was astonished “thank you sir, thank you so much”.

“Don’t think it is special treatment, I pick a number of people every year and review their cases” he said pointing at the files. “So oga lawyer what are you saying now?” Barr. Ajekube sat up.

“Sir like I was saying, if this was three month’s ago I would have said I could help directly but right now I can’t” he looked at Jacob apologetically.

“Which one is direct help? You lawyers and your English” the Chief warden said irritated.

“No sir, now I work for the Federal government and you know how that is. If he can get another lawyer I can help brief the lawyer and get him up to speed” the lawyer said. He turned to Jacob “I am very sorry”.

Jacob didn’t know what to say. Where was he to get money for another lawyer? To have his hopes raised and crushed within five minutes was just too much. He didn’t even know why he bothered. He turned to the chief warden.

“Sir I am grateful for your effort, I really appreciate” The warden could only shake his head. Jacob turned and left the office. He was escorted to his cell.

“Cop-J, my man!!!”

Jacob looked up. Yard time was just over and prisoners were filing back into their cells. He held the iron bars as Ogbeni stood smiling.

“Oga Titus say make I hail you. How far na?”

“Guy free me abeg” Jacob said trying to avoid any trouble. He was in no mood.

“Him go come see you, him get ….. How oyinbo dey talk am again ….. Ehen, an offer you can’t resist” Ogbeni’s laughter continued as he walked away.

 

……….. ………….

“So they are really being stubborn, they will not go less than twenty five million Naira” Tokunbo said rocking his seat as he looked at the client across his desk. Muktar smiled.

“Guy I told you I just want the land. I was ready to go as high as thirty million”

“A ah, what is on that land? And then the location, that side of Abuja has not yet been developed sef” Tokunbo said wondering.

“Guy it is called business strategy. Word on the street is that foreign investors have been thinking of working with some big developers and they are looking into moving in on that area next year. That size of land will take at least three big buildings. It is all about bidding my time” Muktar finished, pleased with himself. There was a knock on the door.

“Hey Tokunbo, Mr. Coker wants . . . oh Muktar hi” Tola forced a smile.

“Hello gorgeous” Muktar greeted extra warmly. “Toks what does a gentleman have to do to get a second date in this your office?” His smile had little effect on Tola.

“Not screw up the first?” Tokunbo laughed “Abeg just free me oh, I am looking for money to get a new car for Teju”.

“Serious? Spoiling the wife I see” Muktar said joyfully.

“Errrm Tokunbo” Tola sarcastically raised her hand like she was in a class room waiting eagerly to answer the teacher, “sorry to disturb your bro-mance but Mr. Coker wants the files on Lekki boulevard and says you need to start drawing up proposals for the clients to see”.

“Thanks, will get on it” Tokunbo said. “Hey want to join? There is a sizable commission in it. We could split it”.

“For that kind of paper work? No thanks, besides the boss has allowed me do one last probono case before it is scrapped out totally”.

“Yeah, I heard about that. Mehn that sucks”.

“Tell me about it” Tola smiled as she turned to leave.

“Hey Tola?” Tola rolled her eyes but came back into the office.

“Yes?”

“I haven’t got a reply as regards my invitation” Muktar inquired.

“I think I would have to pass on this one. So sorry but work is just too much right now” she pretended to be sad about it.

“Please be nice, I am saying please” Muktar said. Tola was surprised. This pompous guy could actually have some sort of humility in him.

“I don’t know. Lets see how the week goes”.

“Well I’ll be hoping for the best” he winked at her.

Tola left and walked downstairs to her desk. Tokunbo was one of the senior lawyers in the firm. He had been working there for over ten years now and from what she knew about him she couldn’t understand how someone with his character could stand someone like Muktar. Occupational hazard she guessed. She had some documents to go through before going to the Ministry of Justice to look into cases from which she could pick as probono.

“What’s up?” Chidinma asked as she passed Tola’s desk.

“Muktar said please to me” Tola laughed. Chidinma gasped.

“So are we going?” Chidinma asked.

“I don’t know dear, let me get my case first”.

“And what of Tega?”

“Who? Oh, shirt guy. Suppose to meet him today sef”.

“Great. Man United is playing today, something uefa whatever” Chidinma looked like she couldn’t be bothered, “I sha promised Frank I would do pepper soup for him and his friends instead of him going out for all those boyfriend snatchers to catch. So you will gist me later abi”.

“Wifey” Tola teased, “both of you should do and marry”.

“Help me tell him oh” Chidinma laughed as she left for her table.

Tola smiled and bent over her work. She had exactly two hours thirty-eight minutes to finish and get to the Ministry of Justice before they closed for the day.

 

……… ……….

He sat down rubbing his forehead. The headache was back again, the stench in the toilet didn’t help. What was the warden saying? Was there hope? Could he have a chance at getting out? He didn’t understand why his lawyer wouldn’t help. He got up again and picked up the brush. He was on toilet duty this week and had been cleaning the toilets with nine others. They were almost done.

“Jacob, Jacob, Jacob”

Quickly Jacob turned to face the caller. Oga Titus stood at the door of the toilet watching him. Behind him Ogbeni and five other guys stood idly.

“How far now?”

“Fine”

“Remember I say we go still come collect our favour. Toh time don reach oh” oga Titus smirked as he walked towards Jacob. The other prisoners cleaning stood staring. Ogbeni pointed to the door, they got the hint and quickly left.

“I don’t see how I can be of help. I don’t have any connection” Jacob said. He was out numbered and didn’t dare do anything stupid. Hopefully one of the prisoners will alert the guards.

“But you do my guy. You think say I no know about your painting connect? No lie na” oga Titus said. Jacob didn’t flinch, his face showed no emotion.

“It is nothing. Na oga Okafor just dey help me sell them, that’s all” Jacob said trying to play for time.

“Shebi oga Okafor or wetin you call him name dey in charge of the art and craft section?”

“Yes”

“Good, make we cut to the chase. My guy wey dey move my stuff dey on sick leave so my merchandise don stop dey flow. Boys for yard wan start dey misbehave because them no dey get their supply” oga Titus shook his head like he felt sorry for them, “so wetin go happen be say your guy go take your drawing to a particular buyer wey go settle am, in return as him dey bring art supply come yard, him go bring one package for me”.

“See, oga Okafor no dey do that kin business ” Jacob started to explain.

“Guy I say my buyer go settle your guy, if you look am you sef go gain” oga Titus explained.

“You no understand me, see ….”

“No. E be like na you no understand” Oga Titus interrupted him “I no dey ask you”. He turned and started walking towards the door.

“I no go fit oh” Jacob said trying to plead. Oga Titus stopped in his tracks. The five guys surrounded Jacob eagerly waiting for instructions. “Oga Titus abeg, I no fit” now Jacob was pleading.

Without turning oga Titus spoke up “BOYS!!! Make una try help our friend here change him mind abeg” with that he left. Jacob did not see the first punch coming.

 

………… ………..

 

Another long day was finally coming to a close. Tola turned off the gas burner, poured the hot water from the kettle into a mug of hot cocoa. She loved to take beverages before sleeping, a habit Chidinma and Aunty Peju envied because unlike them, it seemed to have no effect on her weight. She picked her mug, took a sip and walked out of the kitchen.

“……. Yes I know ……. but that deal will shift power …… have you spoken to the minister? …… ”

Tola paused as she was about to start climbing the stairs to go to her room. Her father’s voice came from his study across the hall. She stood there for a while mentally debating if she should go up and call her aunt or if she should go talk to her dad first.

“Omo lawyer, what are you doing standing there?” Her father had walked out of his study without her noticing.

“Ah daddy good evening” Tola greeted going on one knee respectfully, “I was just arguing with myself if I should come and disturb you. Going out?” She saw the brief case in his hand.

“Yes, late meeting” he said scratching his forehead, then added “would have loved the disturbance”.

” Okay, I’ll just go upstairs”

“Don’t wait up okay, I’ll take my keys. Good night” he said and walked away.

Tola smiled sadly, her dad could make the simplest of conversations awkward. She took the stairs two at a time, she would call her aunt and then get started on the files she had picked. She entered her room dropped the mug on her bed-side table and went to her bag to get her phone. Two missed calls and some messages. She checked the missed calls as she sat on her bed. Tega. She smiled as she remembered their evening together and was excited he called, maybe she liked him but of course she had to form. She mentally noted to call him in the morning.
She checked her BBM.

Chi: babe what’s up? How did it go?
Chi: where did you keep phone now? Answer me.
Chi: PING!
Chi: PING!

Tola smiled, time tag showed she had sent the last message 15minutes ago. Knowing Chidinma, she was most probably bored. She quickly replied.

Tola: it was okay. It was just drinks, nothing fancy. Boring actually. how is the hosting going?

Almost immediately messages started flooding in.

Chi: these grown ass men are just shouting anyhow. I can’t even watch. Someone is always jumping in front of the tv. I am hiding in the bedroom
Chi: what do you mean boring? Don’t play with me oh. Isn’t he cool?
Tola smiled. Maybe she should tell Chidinma but she knew Chidinma will start planning her wedding.
Tola: first impression, he seems gentle, out going. Schooled in California. That’s where you grew up right?
Chi: yeah. Okay we will talk more tomorrow. Let me go back to being sexy host *wink smiley*

Tola had to laugh. There were other messages but seeing the contacts who sent them, Tola was in no hurry to reply. She dialed her aunt’s number. She picked on the third ring.

“Babe how far?”
Aunty mi (my aunty) it is not fair oh, it is not fair”.

Aa ah ki ni mo shey (what did I do)?”

“You just forgot me” Tola said.

“Sweetheart it is not like that. You know how it gets when I am preparing to travel. How have you been?”

Tola excitedly filled her aunt in on all that had happened during the weekend and her date. Aunty Peju knew about Muktar and took Tola’s side. She believed no one was king in relationships and was easily irritated by pompous people. Tola felt she got that from her aunt.

“So we are going South-south now?” Aunty Peju asked excitedly.

“I don’t know yet oh. Let’s see how it goes now” Tola said.

“Okay see I’m heading out, just finished dinner”

“Where?”

“At Transcop. Business stuff, I had to impress. Errrm… if you don’t go for your Lagos party I can come over for …… IT IS A LIE!!!” Aunty Peju exclaimed.

“What is it aunty are you okay?” Tola was worried.

“Where is Otunba?” Aunty Peju always called her father by his title.

“Daddy? He went out, said he had some business meeting. Why?”

“This doesn’t look like a business meeting oh” Aunty Peju replied. Tola was confused. What was her aunty talking about.

“What do you mean?”

“Your father just walked into the lobby with Tinuke”

“Which Tinuke? Wait, wait you mean Mrs. Adejo?” Tola asked trying to place the name.

“Yes, your mom’s childhood friend. Isn’t she divorced? Hmm this doesn’t look anything like business Tola” Aunty Peju finished.

Tola sat up, what could her father be doing in a hotel with her mother’s friend?

 

Always smile, it will either cause someone to smile or cause someone to wonder. Have a great week – Fadaray

Posted in The Tragic Dilemma

THE TRAGIC DILEMMA – 3

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THREE . . . . .
“Guy I no like as this thing play out oh” JP nudged Jacob as they sat on their cell floors eating dinner. Once again the cooks in the prison had put in extra effort to make the food taste terrible. Like being in a prison wasn’t bad enough. Jacob had gotten used to it after uncountable vomits and stomach pain treatments. Sometimes he joked with other inmates about if he would ever be able to hold in good food after this experience.

“Me too” Jacob replied recalling the encounter they had experienced the previous day, “that smile on his face was too suspicious”.

“We gats dey on the lookout in case gbege wan start” JP advised in a whisper as he looked around at the other inmates in the cell for any prying ears.

Unlike what Jacob had seen in movies the prison was not as spacious, clean nor as accommodating as he had thought. He stayed in a cell that had 6 double decker bunks for fifteen inmates. Meaning every night 3 people were bound to sleep on the floor. And that misfortune normally fell on the newer inmates. He had received his fair share of it in his earlier days. Back then it was a cell of 20 inmates, so more people slept on the floor. The only way you got closer to a bunk was if an inmate died or if you got a favour from the so called elite prisoners. That was done by trading. From money, drugs to work shifts or information.

Just as if on cue one of the inmates walked pass.
“Cop-J how far, I hear say new hit don commot with your name inside” he laughed. The guy talking was a randy loser named Chief. A local drug dealer that got caught and was spending 5 years as sentence. Somehow he got his drugs into the prison and that made him feel he was a boss. Jacob wasn’t scared of him.

“Don Jazzy go feel the hit wey them Oga Titus boys do for you oh” he mocked further.

“Guy stay your lane” Jacob said quietly. There was something about his voice that sent chills to people. But it seemed Chief’s stupidity was causing a dis-function with his warning receptors because he ignored it.

“See now them don make any fool think say him fit open mouth talk” JP said in irritation.

“Na me you dey call fool?” Chief stood up from the floor he had just sat on to face JP who just ignored him.

“No be you I dey talk to?” Chief said angrily as he stormed up to JP about to kick his plate. In one swift move JP was on his feet, rushed at Chief and slammed him to the wall.

Immediately Jacob ran to the bars of the cell to check for guards, the other inmates just stood looking.

“You little tout. You no fit respect people wey don dey here before you abi?” JP whispered in his ear. “guy you better holl’up and go ask about me”.

“JP warden dey pass” Jacob whispered.

“You try this next time blood go flow” JP said to Chief and as if nothing happened he let go and went back to his food. A glimpse of a shiny object didn’t pass Chief by. He realised JP was not joking and went to sit quietly. Jacob joined JP.

“I see your craze never stop” he chuckled.

“Remain small I for jam him head” JP said still calming himself. “Onto better gist. Wetin we go do?”

Jacob looked at him and scratched his beards. “Bros I no know oh. But I’ll think of something”.

 

………. ………. ……….

“Did I tell you Muktar called me again?” Tola said to Chidinma as they drove the long road that lead to the airport. Dayo had decided to fly in with a 7.30am flight from Lagos and she had promised to pick him up. She had practically dragged Chidinma out of bed and into the car and she was still in-between sleep and consciousness. They were both in some very expensive looking PJs. Chidinma had got for them on her last trip to the U.S. to visit her mom. “If we must go unprepared at least we will go in style” she had commented as they left the house.

“Say what now?” Chidinma sat up attentive.

“Are you kidding me? Was it not you that was barely awake some seconds ago?” Tola asked shaking her head “I’m sorry for you”.

“Why did Muktar call?” Chidinma ignored her friend’s teasing.

“Something about flying into Lagos for a pool party he is hosting. Said it was gonna be a big deal” Tola said absent mindedly.

“So?????” Chidinma pressed, Tola looked at her puzzled. “Are we going?”

“Going where? I am going to start a new case this coming week. My very last probono case” Tola stressed on the ‘last’ part, “besides no money obsessed dude for me thank you very much”.

“So what? One weekend of flexing won’t hurt. Besides you never gave Muktar a chance”.

“I did”

“Oh please don’t deceive yourself, a couple of dates is not enough and you know it” Chidinma said. Tola rubbed her forehead. They had just arrived at the airport toll gate.

“He is egoistic and full of himself. Worse he feels his money can get him everything” Tola said disgusted as she pulled out the proper change for the toll fare and paid the steward. As she drove past the gate and headed towards the domestic terminal of the airport she continued. “You should know by now that doesn’t move me”.

“You seem to not realise that time is going. Your maternal clock is ticking, you are now in the Wednesday of your life oh” Chidinma said and they both laughed.

Ever since Chidinma got serious with her boyfriend Frank, she had made it a point of duty to get her friend a man. Asides Muktar there was Tony the banker who seemed like his goal in life was sex, there was Omar a lawyer who wanted to marry after two weeks, the last relationship she had got Tola into lasted exactly 6weeks with Tola exhausted with what she called ‘his obsessiveness’. But for some reason she wasn’t giving up. They had found a convenient place close to the terminal entrance and parked. It was already 8.23am and Dayo had sent a text at 7.40am saying they where about to board in Lagos so by now, he should be arriving.

“Hope you know I am not coming down sha?” Chidinma said making herself even more comfortable.

“In PJs? If Dayo can’t find his way to us he is on his own. I am not going down either” Tola said.

“Seriously we should go” Chidinma said.

“We just agreed not to come down” Tola said confused.

“To the party mumu” Chidinma said.

“Oh, that. By the way who said you were invited?” Tola asked laughing.

“Say what now?” Chidinma replied in her accent again.

“Muktar knows better than not to include me”.
Tola’s phone rang.

“D1” Tola said.

“Where Una dey?” Dayo asked.

“Middle parking lot area, directly facing that Dana Airways’ sign board” Tola explained.

“Okay I am coming out now. Una no fit come welcome me let me form freshest?” Dayo joked.

“Get out joh. We are still in our PJs” Tola said “Look out for the Evoque”. Dayo started shouting. Tola had to laugh.

“Its a lie!! Its a lie!!! Daddy allowed you drive it. See me running now” Dayo said and hung up.

“He was excited about the car?” Chidinma asked as she let Tola’s smile infect her. Tola nodded in agreement.

Soon they saw the scruffy, afro-haired son of Otunba Adekunle running towards them. Despite their declarations, the ladies came down excitedly.

“D1!!!” Tola screamed as she jumped on her brother. He was 5feet 12inches. Four inches taller than her and bigger. He hugged her back as onlookers walked passed.

“Big sis wassup???” Dayo greeted his sister back. She kept holding him till he pulled her off.

“Why must you just spoil my market?” He said looking around embarrassed.

“Abi am boosting it” Tola said rolling her eyes.

“Yeah. Heard that before. E no dey work” Dayo said. He turned to Chidinma.

“You need to stop this” he said looking her over.

“Stop what?” Chidinma started looking around pretending to be looking for what he was referring to.

“This your beauty na. Its getting out of hand” he smiled playfully as she slapped him on the chest and hugged him.

“Flattery will not get you my cousin’s number” she joined in the joke “but thank you”.

“How Una dey now? Popsi gave you keys to the Evoque? You’re kidding me” Dayo blurted out the words excitedly.

“Actually I brought it so you can drive us back” Tola said. She smiled at the surprised expression on her baby brother’s face. “Daddy said you could drive any of the cars…”

“IT’S A LIE!!!” Dayo shouted.

“Chill joh, he said any car except the G-Wagon” Tola said. But obviously it didn’t spoil his mood. They both knew the Range Rover Evoque was the car Dayo liked most. He was already heading to the driver’s seat. Chidinma had jumped to the back seat and so Tola went to the front passenger seat.

“Oya let’s do this” Dayo said excitedly as he switched on the ignition. “ATM first”.

“Can’t you do that later?” Tola asked.

“Nope, because I am taking you two fine ladies to breakfast at the Hilton” Dayo said and the girls screamed in excitement.

 

………. ……….. ………..

 

“Two days boss, two days and you never teach that fool any lesson” Ogbeni, Oga Titus’s second in command said as he paced in a corner. “you for let me jab am one or two times”.

“And risk loosing my trusted right-hand to one-lane for maybe a month or more?”

“Them no for fit see am na. Boys bin don cover up”.

“Who be pikin? Abi you think say I dey play when I tell you say I get plan?” Oga Titus looked at him.

“But you never talk anything na”.

“I been dey confirm status. Got info this morning” Oga Titus said smiling. Ogbeni knew that smile and he was smart enough to know that it brought good tidings.

“GREAT OGA TITUS!!! BABA ALAYE!!! You know say I ready for anything” Ogbeni hailed his boss.

“Good it is time we pay our friend a visit” Oga Titus said with a smirk.

 

………. ………. ……….

They were having a swell time. On Saturday they had gone to their mom’s grave, after which they went to swim and to an open barbeque event called ‘Bring your grill’. They had played monopoly and Dayo went out to see some friends. It was Sunday and they had just left the cinema after watching a movie and were going to have dinner. It was at a spicy sauce restaurant..

“Both of you are creepy especially you Tola” Chidinma said as they took their seats in the restaurant.

“What now?” Tola replied.

“Y’all be complaining about my accent” Chidinma started “but you are the ones doing the American way of paying respect to the dead. Going to the cemetery gives me the creeps. No offense.”.

” None taking” Dayo smiled. Tola just hook her head. A waiter came and took their orders. It didn’t take fifteen minutes before he returned with thetheir meals.

“Girl how did you find this place?” Chidinma asked as she dived into her jollof rice “this stuff is heavenly”.

“It was Toks oh. Met him at the bank the other day with a chick he said was his cousin and they were heading for lunch so I just joined in. She brought us here”.

“Who is Toks?” Dayo asked, mouth full of peppery chicken wings.

“Manners boy. He is a colleague” Tola scolded her brother.

“Tokunbo!!!” Chidinma exclaimed “why haven’t I thought of hooking you two up?” She took a thoughtful look.

“Because madam cupid he has a girlfriend!” Tola rolled her eyes.

“Oh that’s true. Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

“Chidinma stop this thing now” Tola begged.

“Say what now?”

“I swear you watch too much black American soaps” Tola said and Chidinma laughed.

“So D1 tell us about this Oiza chick” Tola said. D1 gave her an embarrassed look. “Oh don’t worry, Chidinma won’t tell her cousin your cheating…. Since you are not dating her. Mumu talk joh”. Chidinma chuckled.

“She is in my department”.

“Oh no” the two ladies chorused.

“We are about the same age. Difference in months”.

“Oh shit” chorused the girls again.

“Oooh what now?” Dayo asked.

“Sweetheart that will not end well” Chidinma said. “Same department means less privacy, and same age, errm too close, not cool”.

“Chill out you two, I didn’t say I wanted to marry her oh” Dayo said. The two girls realised he was right and started laughing.

“You see what you have caused? Now I think like I am bent on getting married” Tola said dropping her fork. “I need to use the rest room will be back shortly” she got up and turned.

BAM!!! Tola stumbled backwards as the drink poured on her T-shirt.

“Oh shit”

“Damn my shirt. Dude watch where you are going now. My shirt is ruined” Tola was upset.

“I’m so so sorry” the guy said.

“Sorry doesn’t cut it” she said checking the damage as Chidinma quietly passed her a tissue. She looked at the guy then at his drinks.

“Maybe you have had too many drinks for today” Tola added.

“Hey no need to be rude I apologised. It’s not like you were looking either” he fired back.

“Oh excuse me, I should have eyes at the back of my head right” Tola said sarcastically.

“I doubt it will help, not with all that weave” the guy replied with equal sarcasm.

“Oh no he didn’t” Chidinma gasped in excitement. She was enjoying the drama.

“You are despicable” Tola said and walked past him. He held her back and Dayo stood up.

“Please I am really sorry. That was disrespectful and uncalled for. Please let me get you a new shirt” he said. Despite the grab, his touch was gentle.

“Okay this is what is going to happen before you go all Nigerian crazy girl on me” Chidinma intervened, “you will both introduce yourselves, and …..” She hushed Tola as she was about to complain. “…. And you will set up a day to take her to buy a replacement. How does that sound?”.

“Sounds like Crap” Tola said

“Sounds like fun” guy replied.

“Great it is a date” Chidinma said happily clapping her hands.

 

Hope it was a fun read. We had fun creating this particular one. Remember it is friction. Till next Sunday, stay safe, keep smiling and pray for world peace. One Love. – @mfadaray