BROKEN HEDGE (Part 23&24) – TOYIN TAIWO

Part 23
(BROKEN HEDGE)
©️Toyin Taiwo

BEATRICE

It’s been more than two weeks now and I didn’t set my eyes on my husband. I’ve searched from him everywhere. Even his personal assistant, driver all claimed they don’t know his whereabout. Some even said he’s out of the country.

My three sons were arrested by the police last week and I was told by the police that they won’t be released. They’re going to be charge to court. I used some connection and I met with the DPO The DPO told me that EFCC had already taken up the case but he can still help me out if I’m willing to cooperate. He asked me to pay #5million. I tried to beat the price down but he said the offence my son’s committed will earn each of them nothing less than 15 years imprisonment. He said if I want to avoid that I have to get the money in order to settle everyone involved in the case. I only had #2million cash in my account. I traveled to travel to Dubai last month to buy goods to stock my store. I had to run to friends to get the remaining money. I decided to stop searching for Afam. My children are now my top priority..

After spending a week in police custody my children were released with a bail of #5million. My children were released.

After there release, I thought they will be sober but they disappointed me as usual. They continue with their hard drugs which everybody now know them for and alcohol drinks, getting wasted. I don’t know why God choose to give me those set of children.

Some days later, I got a hint that Afam is back and I decided to pay him a surprised visit in his office.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

AFAM

I resumed work the next day. I had a brief meeting with my right men which include my secretary and PA.

They filled me in where necessary and I had a lot of documents to sign. I was to travel to India the following week to meet with our partnering Pharmaceutical company.

Three days later, I was in my office when I heard voices outside my office. I call in one of the security guard manning my office door. I had to put them there because of Beatrice. I already knew that sooner or later the news will get to her that I’m now in town.

“It’s your wife sir”

“Let her in” I ordered. The door was opened wider and the almighty witch walked in dressed elegantly like someone who has no problem.

“Leave us” I ordered and the security guard left.

She walked towards my sit but I stopped her before she got closed to my table.

“Stop right there. You can take that sit behind you” I commanded pointing at the sofa.

She eyed me and sat down. I didn’t join her on the sofa. I maintained my seat.

“What do you want woman, the last time I checked we were divorced and you’ve been settled in court”

“Afa….” I cut her short.

“For a start, I knew what you did to me and by God’s grace I’m off your shackles”

“Onye jiri asi kojoo gi isi, Ibidogo ijukuru ndi amuma ugha ndi choro ka ha mebie ezinulo anyi. Ehn!”

(Who fed you those lies, you’ve been visiting fake prophets who want to destroy our home. Ehn!)

“Did you just say our home? Beatrice quit the melodrama. Which home are you talking about. The one I run or the one you run with your witchcraft and manipulations”

“So I’m now a witch after giving you three good sons”

“You mean the sons who are already your source of sorrow or the son’s who I doubt if you’ll ever have any gain out of them”

“Akpokwa mu na umuakam iyi Afam” (Don’t curse me and my children Afam)

“You are cursed already Beatrice. The evil that men do live after them. It’s just a pity that you dragged me into your mess. I should never had been the father of those sons of yours”

“Ogini! Did I get myself pregnant?”

“I only had one son with you before the divorce. That’s the only thing I remembered”

“Oh! I bought the other two abi”

“Amaro mu. (I don’t know) I shrugged.

“Afam, I give you three days to come back home or else…

“Or else what, you’ll k!ll me”

“I know you went in search of that stray woman. I know she had a daughter for you. Don’t play with fire” She threngthened.

“Beatrice! You knew all along that I had a child! You are heartless. You know what? Get out of my office” I ordered.

“You can’t kick me out, I’m your wife. I bear you three whole sons”

“Useless sons you mean! Now get out! I don’t have time for your Shenanigans”

“You will regret this, I swear”

“You think so, anyway I give you the house and everything in it. For your son’s I’ll have to run a paternity test to find out if they are actually mine. Once they are mine, then they are covered. Good bye Beatrice, it’s over” I rang the security alarm and the securities came in and led her out of the company premises through an hide out exit in order not to create scene.

I called an emergency board meeting immediately Beatrice left. Two hours later. The conference room was filled up with the board members on sit.

I entered into the conference room and everyone stood up to acknowledge my presence. I sat that down and they all did.

“Good morning members of the board. I’m sorry for this impromptu meeting”

I don’t know if I’m thinking right or not but I had to mention the first thing that came to my mind.

“I want to move this company to Lagos”

“Wow! That’s not a bad good idea. We all know how large Lagos market is” one of them said

“We once suggested this but you objected then” another said.

“There are so many renown Pharmaceutical companies in Lagos. How do we handle competition?” Another asked.

“Good question. The strategy and planning department will work on that” I said.

“We can’t moved the company to Lagos. Lagos is not feasible”

“Why is that?” Another member tackled.

“There are no more lands in Lagos. Even some of the Pharmaceutical companies in Lagos had relocated to Ogun state.

“Yes, he is right. Lagos is already jam packed. Most companies are in Ogun state now. And it’s not far from Lagos.

“Wouldn’t that be another journey from Lagos to Ogun State? Because I have another business I’m going to be attending to in Lagos” I stated.

“It’s just like the outskirts of Lagos. I have friends who have company there. And they lived in Lagos and returned home every day after the close of business” Mr Kalu, My right hand man answered me.

“Really! That sounds nice”

“Yes, I’ve been there few times for consults. From my friends house in Lagos to his company. It’s just about an hour, thirty minutes journey” He added.

“I think you should call that friend of yours. If he could help us get suitable sites we can purchase for the company”

He gave the friend a call and placed it on loudspeaker. He held the phone close to the mic opposite him. The man Mr Adebayo by name offered to connect us with his real estate agent in Agbara, Ogun state. He said we can get as many hectares as possible. And the sites are close to the highway. He scheduled a meeting with him and they were to meet in Lagos the following week.

After the call we set up a committee who will be in charge. And we choose delegates who will travel down to Lagos. The delegates includes A quantity surveyor, civil engineer and Mr Kalu. I promised to step in for the final inspection before the transaction.

After the meeting I went straight home. Luckily for me the house was empty.I went straight to my sons bedroom. One after the other. I searched for their comb and hair brush. I found some strands of hair on them. I took them and kept each in a small plastic bag and labelled it.

I went to the hospital and confided in my personal doctor who promised to be discreet about the DNA test. The doctor promised to contact me when the results are ready.

I left the hospital and went back to the h0tel. I packed a suitcase and check out of the h0tel.

“Take me to the airport” I said to my personal driver. Who took off immediately. We got to the airport and discharged him and told him to return the car to the company.

While waiting for my flight to be announced, I called Oba and told him I’m returning to Lagos and I need him to pick me up.

“Sir!” He sounded surprised . “But you just….

“Oba I’m at the airport already and I’ll be in Lagos in few hours” I cut in.

“Why the change of plans, we still talked last night”

“I’ll explain everything when I get to Lagos” I said and hung up.

I landed in Lagos and Oba was already waiting for me. He took me to the same h0tel where I lodged the last time.

He helped me with my suitcase as I checked in. I told the receptionist I needed a Suite.

“Suite?” Oba questioned.

“I won’t be leaving anytime soon. I’ll explain later” I paid with my ATM card via POS. And a card key to the suite was handed over to me.

I settled down at the suite and decided to satisfy Oba’s curiosity. I told him everything that transpired between Beatrice and I. Including her threats.

“Oba it’s better I get far away from her before she starts having me followed and find out about Amara and my daughter. She still thinks that Amara and my child stays in Enugu. So let her continue her search there. I had to come back to Lagos quietly. No one in the company knew my where about” I explained.

“So how long do you intend staying here?” He asked.

“I don’t know but I’m not leaving my daughter again” Oba sighed, looking at me strangely.

“Have you told Crystal and her mum that you are back in Lagos?”

“No, I haven’t. I’ll call them and inform them” I replied and pick my phone immediately to make some calls.

.

Part 24
(BROKEN HEDGE)
©️Toyin Taiwo

CRYSTAL
I was on the so called date with Soma when my Dad’s call came through. He told me he was in Lagos. I was so surprised, he just left on Monday and today is Friday.

I promised to check on him the next day.
The dinner date with Soma was great. That was my first time at the restaurant. I enjoyed myself and we both had fun. We chatted all along and I was happy that we were back to the way we use to be when we were still friends.

“Crystal, can we do this often? He asked.

“Hmm…. Don’t push it, Soma this is not a date ‘date’ I said quoting the word date with my fingers. “We are just friends having dinner together”

“I know but you know I’ve really missed you, I’ve missed us. You are close yet so far. Do you know how my life was before we reconciled? I still…..

“So…ma! Please!”

“Ok, I won’t say anything for now” he said and smiled.

When we were through he walked me up to my car. We hugged each other before I entered into my car and drove off while he watched me leave the parking lot.
I got home and met my mum having dinner. I joined her on the dinning while she was doing justice a large chunk of meat. I greeted her and sat opposite her.

“Care for meat? She asked.

“No, thanks. I just ate dinner. I’m filled. I replied.

“Why did you eat out?”

“I thought I told you I’ll be going out with Soma”

“You said this week, you didn’t tell me it’s today”

“You are right mum, I found out today as well. He just called me and he had made reservation for today. I should have called to inform you but I forgot”

“So you too have decided to make it public now” she grinned.

“Make what public?

“You two are done hiding after all this years”

___________________Toyin Taiwo

“Listen Mum! Let me just say this. You are right all along that I was dating one of my male friends and yes it was Soma…..

“Was?” She cut in.

“Yes we broke up or let me say I broke up with him”

She laughed. ” You hid the relationship when it was really happening and you now decide to go out publicly when it was over?”

“Mum, you won’t understand”

“Make me, you know I love Soma very much. So why did you break up with him?”

“Mum, I’m not telling you anything. He wants me back hence the reason for the dinner date and all but I’ve moved on”

“Are you seeing someone else?”

“No, I’m not really into him again”

“You know what don’t conclude yet, let’s pray about it”

“Huh! Mummy! Ok, I’ll pray about it. If it’s God’s will then I’ll go for it. It’s just that my heart doesn’t yearn for him again”

“Don’t worry, Once it’s God’s will. God himself will take care of that heart of yours”

“I agree, thanks mum. Now let’s not talk about me. Did Dad call you?”

Yes, he did o. He said he’s back in Lagos. I was surprised he left few days ago”

“Daddy is back because of us, that I’m sure of us”

“Us or you. Is he my father?” She countered.

“Whatever, I’ll go check on him tomorrow, then I’ll hang out with the girls later.

“Alright go and change and allow me eat my food in peace” she said jokingly.

I wonder when my mum will realize that my father is still very much in love with her. ____________________Toyin Taiwo

OBA
I took the last passenger for the day from Airport to Surulere. I needed to go to the market. From Surulere, I went straight to the market to get my parents some food stuff.

As the first child and only son of the family. I’ve made it a point of duty to always provide food for my family monthly. I stucked the house with food stuff that will last a month.

My parents are low income earners. They engage in petty trade that can hardly sustain the family. I have two other siblings. One just got admission into the university while the other is still in SSS 3. My shouldered my siblings responsibilities.

I had to work and school at the same time just to have my Bsc but after I graduated, I toiled and toiled but couldn’t get a descent job. Thank God for a good man in my area that gave me one of his car to use as cab. He asked me to pay in installments which I did and the car is finally mine. He gave the car away at a very considerate amount. The man was also the one who introduced me to someone at the airport transport park and that was how I started working at the airport park.

This fetch me more money as the cab fee at the airport is higher. And that was how I was able to keep the body and soul together and also take care of my family. And thank God for customers like Daddy Afam who pays well. I have quite a number of nice customers. Some have even offered to help me secured a better job. I believe God we provide one in his time.

After buying the food stuff at the market, I drove to my parent’s house. My siblings came out when they realized I was around. They moved the things I brought inside the store for those that needed to be in store and also some are kept in the kitchen.

We used to live in a face to face house before I started working but I managed to get a room and a parlour self contained apartment for them and luckily it also has a store. After the initial payment was due my parents made sure they renew the rent on their own. Claiming they don’t want to k!ll me with too much responsibilities as I also have my life to live.

One of my siblings has rushed to my mother’s store to inform her I’m home. She came back and start showering me with prayers. I’m used to it cos I get that every time.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

She made Amala and ewudu laced with egusi for me. The fresh fish soup too was on point. She always made sure I’m the first to eat out of the very foodstuff I bought. And I always enjoyed it. My mum had PhD in making that particular meal. She’s a good cook, I give it to her any day.

I was busy savouring my meal when my father came in. We exchanged greetings and my mother informed him of the things I brought and he thanked me and prayed for me too. My father was served too. He was still eating when I informed them I was leaving. They pleaded for me to stay a bit longer but I told them I needed to be somewhere.

I left my parent’s house for Daddy Afam’s h0tel. He had called earlier and ask me to come see him.

I got to his suite and met Crystal. We all exchanged greetings. I sat close to Daddy Afam.

“Crystal just got here too. She still can’t believe I came back to Lagos” he said

“I was surprised too when you told me to meet you at the airport”

“Imagine, he even got a suite this time. Which means he’s not planning to leave anytime soon” Crystal said with a worrisome look.

“It’s like I’m not welcome here” he said feigning anger.

“Of course you are Daddy but…

“No but, just let me be”

“Ok sir” she raised her hands in surrender.

Daddy Afam ordered food for us but I exempted myself. He asked why and I told him I just ate a while ago at my parents.

Crystal and I both listen as her father shared life experiences with us. One of the reasons why I like being around him. He’s words are inspiring and it motivates. He also told us he’ll be going for a business trip in India next week Tuesday. He’s very transparent to me also not only his daughter.

Later in the day, Crystal announced she was leaving. Daddy Afam saw her off to her car while I stayed back in the suite.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

CRYSTAL
My dad walked me to the car and watch me Open the door and entered.

“You can go back now. Don’t keep your friend waiting” I said referring to Oba as I was about to turn on the ignition.

“I’ll join him shortly, I just want to watch you leave” he said smiling like I’m one special goddess.

I smiled back and try to start the engine but the engine refused to start.

“What’s happening? Try to raise it”

I tried it repeatedly and I got the same result. My dad tried as well, nothing positive.

“I think she needs a mechanic. Automobile are really funny, it can develop faults anytime”

“Imagine I drove it here without an itch and now it won’t start” I said sounding frustrated already.

“Let me call Oba, maybe he could help”

He called him and he came right away.

“Crystal is still around!” he said when he sighted me.

“Her car is faulty”
Oba got in and tried to no avail. He opened the burnet and checked the oil and all. He adviced I call my mechanic.

“My God! Not today… I need to be with my friends and they are already waiting for me. One of them just sent me a message on WhatsApp” I said.

“Oba can you please take her to where she’s going?” My dad requested.

“Thanks, I said.

I called my mechanic and gave him the description of the h0tel. I told him to call me when he’s here, so I can call my Dad to meet with him to give him the car key.

I gave my dad the key after locking the car.

He knew I wasn’t happy. He collected the key and hugged me.
___________________Toyin Taiwo

“Cheer up my dear” he said and I smiled. “Take care. My regards to your mum”

“I will, thanks” I said and left with Oba.

He asked where I was going and I told him. On our way, Enitan called and I told her I’ll join them soon.

“I can see your friends are anxiously waiting for you” He said.

“Yes, the funny thing is that I was the one who fixed the time and I’m late already”

“It’s not your fault, don’t be too hard on yourself”

“Yeah. Oba! Do you support my father leaving his family behind in Enugu. I still don’t know what he’s doing here in Lagos. Don’t you think he’s been selfish”

“Selfish you say! If been happy is called selfish then I wouldn’t mind to be selfish. If he’s happy here, then we should let him be”

“I can see you knew his history too. He’s not happy with his family at all”

” So, let’s support his decision”

“Ok. We are here already”

“Yes” he replied and parked the car”

“How much is my bill?”

“I think the question you should ask is how will you get home from here?”

“I’ll take a cab, don’t worry about me”

“I know this area very well. Taking a cab here at night could be dangerous except you have a known cab man” he explained.

“No, I don’t.

“If you don’t then it’s dangerous”

I placed my hand on my temple trying to think.

“Don’t worry I’ll wait for you”

“No…no.. you don’t have to do that. You know girls gist nau…we may not leave here until another two hours”

“Crystal! This is what I do for a living. That’s the nature of my job. Sometimes I wait as long as five hours for a customer. Once the person is ready to pay for my time”
___________________Toyin Taiwo

“You want to wait?”

“Sure or do you want your Dad to have my head if anything happens to you!” He said playfully.

“Ok, but I won’t like to keep you in the car. You can come in and have some drinks. It’s on me” I said.

“Thanks for the offer, but no thanks. I’d rather wait here in the car. I’ll just while away time watching some movies I just downloaded.

“If you insist. I’ll leave now” I said and alighted.

I entered into the restaurant faced with the prying eyes of my friends.

Me: Sorry guys my car broke down.

Enitan: When? I thought you said you were at your Dad’s.

Me: Yes, it broke down at his place. My mechanic will pick it at the h0tel.

Ezinne: So you took a cab down here.

Me: Sought of, my Dad’s cab man brought me here. He was with us at the h0tel at the time. He offered to wait till I’m through.

Hauwa: Don’t worry Ezinne will take you home

Me: I totally forgot that Ezinne is with us now. Let me release the guy.(I made to stand)

Ezinne: Where are you going, you better sit. I didn’t come in my car”

Me: Why?

Ezinne: My car is at the mechanic. I took a cab here too. I thought I’ll go with you.

Hauwa: Geez.( She sighed)

Me: Don’t worry Ezinne, Oba will take the both of us.

Enitan: Huh! Sorry. At least there’s a cab waiting to take you guys home.

Me: Now what are we discussing today anyone with interesting gist? I asked and the gist began.

Hauwa: I heard there are hot guys at the telecom company. Any prospective boyfriend?

Hauwa asked after we were through discussing Enitan’s love life and hers.

___________________Toyin Taiwo

Ezinne: I don’t even have that kind of time at the office.

Enitan: I wish we still have free guys among us. I really wish for you to date within the circle.

Me: What do you mean by that we still have guys who are single nau… What happens to Onochie, Jay and Soma?

Hauwa: Wait! I don’t understand. I thought Onochie is dating again and Jay also has a white girlfriend and Soma and you should be working out things.

Enitan: That’s true, I just remembered that Onochie is presently not seeing anyone.

Me: Onochie is not dating presently. As for Jay I never took his Relationship with the white lady serious and as for Mr Soma! We are not working anything out. You ladies should read my lips and don’t go home running to your men. You people should not interfere in my business.

Enitan & Hauwa: Crystal!

Me: What! It’s over between Soma and I! Girlfriends…..

Ezinne was just quiet although looking at us.

Hauwa: Babe! Give this guy another chance na. Don Allah(please)

Enitan: He still loves you. It’s all written all over his face at the picnic.

Me: Well… it’s like we are through for today. I think we should call it a day, I have someone waiting for me outside.

Enitan: Yes, it’s late already. I won’t push it today but we’re still going to have this conversation again. Ezinne relax, ehn. The right guy will come around soon.

Hauwa: Yea, so you won’t be the only Single lady amidst us.

Me: Hello o….. Last time I checked, I’m still single. And as for you Ezinne, you are going no where. I already know the who you liked among the guy’s. (I winked at her)

Ezinne: I don’t have eyes for any one o. Crystal please free me.

Hauwa: Hmm…. Crystal, feel us in na. Who is the guy?

Me: Don’t you hear her, she said my assumption is wrong. Now Ezinne if you don’t follow me now then you are on your own. Good night ladies…. I Enitan and Hauwa who are still looking confused. They hugged Ezinne too
___________________Toyin Taiwo

We all left the restaurant. The other two left in their cars while Ezinne and I boarded Oba’s cab.

Ezinne asked about the bills and I told her not to bother. We first stopped at Ezinne place to drop her off before heading to my house. Some minutes later we stopped in front of my gate.

Before I alighted, I thanked him and asked how much my bill was.

Will you just get down first and close the door?

I obeyed and did as I was told. Waiting for him to answer my question.

“I can’t bill Daddy Afam’s daughter! Go in, it’s cold out here. My regards to your mum. Good night” He said and zoomed off. I couldn’t even protest as he was far gone.

The gateman opened the gate for me. The door to the main house was locked so I made use of my keys. Mum was not in the sitting room, she wasn’t in the kitchen as well. So I went to her room. I greeted her.

“I didn’t hear you drive into the compound” She said and I downloaded the day’s event to her.

“How will you go to work on Monday?”

I’ll call the mechanic tomorrow after service. He should have fixed it by then”

“Are you sure the car will be ready by tomorrow. Remember tomorrow is Sunday”

“I hope so cos I can’t remember the last time I took a public transport”

My Dad’s call came through and I pick it after informing Mum, it’s Dad on the line.

“Hello Daddy”

“Evening daughter. Oba said he just dropped you off at home”

“Yes and he didn’t collect a dime from me Dad. And I spent more than four hours of his time”

“Really!”

“Yes, he said he can’t collect money from Daddy’s Afam’s daughter” I said mimicking him.

“That’s so nice of him. I’ll call him back to thank him”

Ok sir, good night. Sleep well”
____________________Toyin Taiwo

“Good night dear, regards to your mum”

“I will…bye…” I said and the line went off.

“Oba brought you home!”

“Yes, including Ezinne her car is at the mechanic too”

“So he didn’t collect money!”

“Yes mum”

“That guy always amaze me you know. I just like that guy, I think oba and your dad are best friends in their first life” Mum said and I smiled.

“Let me leave you, I need to be in my room now”

“Have you called him?”

“I don’t have his number”

“Tell your Dad to send you his number”

“I will. Good night mum”

“Good night my darling” she replied and I left her room for mine.

ATTENTION PLEASE: TO SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY OR TO GET THE HARD/SOFT COPY OF THIS NOVEL, PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR ‘MRS TOYIN TAIWO’ by CLICK HERE.
God bless you