BROKEN HEDGE (Part 39&40) – TOYIN TAIWO

Part 39
(BROKEN HEDGE)
©️Toyin Taiwo

BEATRICE
“Accident ooo. My sons…..

“What hospital ma, we need to take you there. You can’t drive in this condition” one of them said.

I was taken to the hospital and I got the greatest shock of my life when I got to the emergency room. The three of them were laid side by side and a police officer was standing next to one of the beds.

“I’m their mother, what’s going here” I shouted.

A doctor and two nurses hurriedly held me.

“You have to be strong madam. Is there any family members with you?” The doctor asked.

“I came with my staff ooo. Talk to me what’s going on. I went from one bed to the other touching my children’s body.

The doctor came to my side. “Well, madam. The accident was really fatal and your children were in a very bad shape. According to the police officer who was present at the scene” he said pointing to the police officer. “Two of them were already dead on arrival while we tried our best to revive the third but I’m sorry we lost him too”

I was just looking at the doctor. I was trying to process everything he just said. I don’t want to believe what he’s saying is that all the children I have are dead.

“Madam” The doctor shook me to reality.

“Ewoooooo….. I’m dead ooooo. Three children, all dead in a day. Eh eh……” My staff came to my aid and held me down. Right in front of me, the bodies of my sons was packed to be taken to the morgue.

“The bodies are going to be transferred to the morgue now and you need to sign some papers ma” said the nurse holding a pen and forms in her hand.

“She can’t do that now, she’s not in a right frame of mind” one of my staff said.

“Will you sign on her behalf?” The nurse asked.

“Yes, I will” he said and signed the papers.

“I’m dead already, somebody should just get a gun and shoot me ooooo. I want to go and join them” I wailed the more and I was ushered out of the emergency room by my staff.
______________Toyin Taiwo

I was taken home. But before going home I told them to take me to the scene of the accident. The car was a write off. According to the police officers, my three sons were coming from the club early in the morning in a drunken state. ‘The car summersaulted six times ‘ says one of the eye witnesses.

Bad news spread like wild fire, it was all over media. The house was filled up with family, friends, neighbors who came to sympathized.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

AFAM

I was in a meeting with the construction company’s engineers to discuss the engineering part of the ongoing project when several incoming calls flooded my phone. To my surprise, Beatrice too called.

“What’s going on back home?” I asked myself. I decided to excuse myself to call back.

I put a call through to Beatrice. She has never called since she left Lagos. I also got Miss calls from my uncle’s and some family friends but I decided to call her first.

“Hello” I said when the call connected but I was greeted with wailings.

“Your sons are dead ooooo. Afam…. You and your white witch have succeeded in k!lling my sons” She wailed.

“What! Dead! How?” I asked and the line went off. It’s obvious she hang up on me.

I had to call back one of my uncle’s that called earlier. I want to believe she’s just playing pranks on me.

After placing the call, I realized that Beatrice wasn’t playing pranks on me. My three sons are actually dead. I sat on a chair besides me and dump the phone on the table in front of me. I wanted to move, I couldn’t, I wanted to call but I can’t even talk. And I was at the meeting with my new PA. He came to look for me and saw me in my state, he got to know what happened and drove me back to my house. The meeting obviously couldn’t commence.

I got back home, called Amara who was shocked at the news. Especially when she heard the cause their death.

“Afam tell me it’s not true. Imagine Crystal and I still pray for them last night, believing God to touch their hearts” she said bitterly.

“I guessed it’s late now”

“I’m so sorry for your loss. Please be strong Afam. When are you leaving?”

“Anytime from now. My PA is on it”

“You can’t go alone, let me come with you” she offered.
______________Toyin Taiwo

“Amara you know that’s not a good idea. Beatrice will not take the sight of you lightly and the last thing we want is her drama”

“You are right. Just keep me posted. May the Lord console you and Beatrice”

“Amen, thanks”

“Take care and be careful around Beatrice. May God protect you”

“Amen. I need to go now”

“Ok. I’ll call your daughter and inform her”

“Please do, thanks. Bye”

I called Oba too and inform him. He volunteered to follow me to Enugu. I called my PA to make provisions for him too.

By 8pm that very day, we got to Enugu.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

BEATRICE

I watched him as he entered with two young men. I recognized one of them. I saw him at the station though I don’t know the relationship he has with Afam. I also noticed he’s close to Afam’s daughter from the way they conversed at the station.

Afam greeted the sympathizers he met in the sitting room. His kinsmen and mine were also on seat. He came and sat beside me. He patted my back.

“Beatrice I’m really sorry for the death of our children”

I slapped off his hand. “Do not lay those filthy hands on me” I said through a clenched teeth. I stood up and left the sitting room. He followed me quietly to my room.

“Beatrice, this are my sons we are talking about here”

“Huh! Your sons! Please cut me some slack as if you care one bit about them” I scoffed.

“I feed them cloth, educate them and we both know how that end. The only thing is that you never allow me raise them my own way. You raise them your own way, you spoilt them rotten and you’re still sitting there blaming me!”

“You know what? I don’t need you here, so get out!”

“Beatrice!”

“What We know who is actually mourning here. You still have a child. I’m the childless one here. For the last time, get out! And I mean now” I said with the

last energy in me and he left my room.

The next day the bodies we’re taken from morgue and made to rest at the cemetery. That day was the worst day off my life. I was beyond controlling. I cried, wailed and wailed all day.

Afam provided everything needed for the burial. After the burial he assigned some family members to stay with me for some time. He gave them money for the upkeep of the house. The jobless women accepted his offer.

.

Part 40
(BROKEN HEDGE)
©️Toyin Taiwo

CRYSTAL

I couldn’t go to pay my dad a visit when he came back from Enugu. We had a one week National conference held here in Lagos and I was also one of the speakers at the conference. I only spoke with Dad on phone. Though my mum was with him for few days. We made sure he wasn’t alone after all that just happened. Although he says he’s fine and can take care of himself but I urge mum not to listen to him, so she’s been staying with him.

The following week, I couldn’t make it until Friday as I went for a submit in Ghana. I left work early and got him some fresh fruits on my way to his house.

I met mum when I got there in the sitting room with him. He was looking pale and has lost weight. I hugged him as I felt pity for him.

“It is well Daddy. God knows best”

“Thank you my child” he said and I sat very close to him.

“The cook is making dinner, will you have dinner with us” my mum asked.

“Don’t tell me you’re going home this night” Dad cut in before I could even answer mum.

“Ehm…” I scratched my weave.

“No ehm. I’ve not seen you in days. Crystal, you are sleeping over” he said as a matter of fact.

“Yes sir! I’ll pass the night and I’m very sorry for not been around all this while. My heart is always with you. I hope you know that”

“Off course I know. You almost run down my battery with your calls” he said and place my head on his chest.

Mum smiled at us.

“See the way you came alive when you saw your daughter” My mum commented.

“Someone is jealous” My dad said and we all laughed.

“Crystal! Did you hear from Oba?” Mum asked.

“No mum we haven’t spoken for some days now” I replied.
______________Toyin Taiwo

“Why is that, you too are good friends” Daddy said.

“Dad I don’t even have time for myself lately. He didn’t bother to call me too” I sat with a frown.

“Hmm… someone is call starved” he whined.

“Dad stop na”

“Anyway, he’s sick. We just got to know today” Mum informed.

“My God, I don’t know and here I’m I blaming him for not checking on me during the week”

“Reason why you shouldn’t be angry if you don’t here from people because you don’t know what’s up with them” Dad advised.

“I don’t even know his place” I said truthfully.

“That’s bad! I thought you guys are very close” he said.

“He never invited me, you can’t blame me for that!”

“He never invited me too but I visited. Anyway, I can give you his house address”

I passed him my note pad and a pen. He scribbled the address and gave it back.

“Thanks” I smiled.

“That young man doesn’t rest, I told him to rest for a day or two before he starts work but he said he’s fine. I know he will soon break down”

“You know Oba he’s restless”

“I know, tell him I’ll check him during the week”
Ok sir, I will”

Dinner was served, I passed the night at Dad’s and luckily for me, I left some clothes behind the last time I was here during the house warming party.
I woke up the next day. Took my bath, dress up and took my breakfast before leaving the house.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

MUMMY EJIOFOR

I freshen up and was on my way to have breakfast but I stopped by to check on Crystal before going downstairs. I got there and the room was empty. I went to the sitting room but met only Afam watching newspapers headlines news on TV.

Though his mind is far away that I’m sure of because once he’s alone his mind is elsewhere. I only pray to God to give him fortitude to bear his loss.

“Afam” I called out and he jolted.

“You startled me Amara”

“I’m sorry but you are not here” I pulled a stool and sat in front of him.

“Don’t mind me Amara”

“You need to put yourself together. I was really happy yesterday when you were chatting with your daughter and now this morning you went back to your old self.

You think I don’t know what I’m doing when I decided to stay by your side! If you are still like this now, what happens if I leave”

“I’m sorry Amara, if I’m frustrating your efforts”

“You don’t need to be sorry. Just be strong for yourself and for us” I advised.

“Thanks, I appreciate everything you are doing for me even though I don’t deserve it after what I did to you…..

“Shh….. I cut in. That’s the past, don’t go there”

“Ok ma” he said and smiled.

“Ehm…. where’s your daughter, she’s not in her room?”

“Oh! she left immediately she took her breakfast”

“To Oba’s place right”

“Yes” he nodded increasing the volume of the TV.

“Hmm…… Crystal kind of have a soft spot for Oba. See the way she reacted last night” I said.

Afam just smiled. “Why are you smiling?” I said and he picked the TV remote he dropped earlier and turned down the volume again.

“What’s going on do you know something?” I asked cunningly.
____________Toyin Taiwo

“Women! Ok, all I know is that they like each other” he replied.

“You mean like ‘like’ As in love” I said quoting the word love with my fingers.

“Amara! Please don’t put me on the spot now” he pleaded.

“If you know something then I should equally know” I demanded.

“Okay…..Oba is in love with her and I think Crystal has feelings for him too and truthfully that is all I know”

“Huh!”

“Why the long face Amara. You don’t like him for your daughter! Is it because of his status. Amara he’ll make it, he has potentials, he’s ambitious and hard-working and….

“I know, Afam she’s my only child and I want the best and I mean the very best for her. She has male friends that she had spent half her life with. I wonder why she never chose any of them but Oba! As much as I like him he’s… he’s… I don’t just know…..

“Amara look at me” he said and I looked into his eyes while he held my hands. “I understand you perfectly well and this is a good mother saying how she feels. You don’t need to be scared for Crystal our daughter will be fine”

“It’s not my decision to make anyway, may God’s will be done. I’ll continue praying for her”

“I love that. And now that you are all dressed up. I hope you are not leaving?” He asked.

“Relax, I’m not leaving now maybe later in the evening. I have to go home and prepare for church.

“Ok then. I can still make use of your company before then” I just smiled and happy he had loosen up. He smiled back and increased the volume of the TV while I went to the dinning to set the table for breakfast.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

OBA

I heard a knock on the door but I was so weak. To walk to the door was a big task for me.

The knock persisted, I gathered up the strength I have left to get the door.

“Crystal! I said weakly and surprised at the same time.

“Oba! Look at you, I don’t need to ask how are you, you are not fine at all” she said with a concern look on her face.

“Come in” I said as she stepped in and I gestured for her to sit on the plastic chair next to my bed where I laid..

“I’m really surprised to see you here. You didn’t inform me”

“I decided not to call, so you won’t stop me from coming”

I watched as she looked around. “Nice place you have here”

“Thanks. Daddy Afam gave you my address?”

“Yes. And thank God I came, you are not looking good at all. Oba you can take care of Africa but you can’t take care of yourself! You should be in the hospital.

You are weak, you can barely walk” she said sternly.

“Crystal I’ve taken drugs but I just realized too that the drug isn’t working on me. It’s been days now” I explained.

“That’s why there’s a caution for every drug ‘If symptoms persist after two days please consult your doctor’ So you should have gone to the hospital”

“I’m too weak for that”

“Then you should have call someone” She said, feeling my body temperature with the back of her palm and gave me a Stern look.

“Jesus! Oba! Your body is hot. I mean very hot” She said and place her hand on my forehead. “Do you have a thermometer?”

“No, I don’t”

“You need to take a shower now but that’s not even a good idea. You are hot and shivering at the same time.

“Yes, I’m cold, I don’t even know you noticed”
____________Toyin Taiwo

“Where’s the bathroom” she asked and I pointed at the bathroom door”

“I guess the other door is the kitchen”

“Yes” I replied.

She went into the bathroom and came back with a bowl of water and a small towel.

“Can you sit up?”

“Crystal I only feel like lying that’s the only comfortable position right now”

“No problem, lie down. Can I or you’ll take the clothes off by yourself?”

“Crystal…… I said faintly.

I’ll take it off. You are such a baby, where is that Mr Hero. I really need to film you and show it to my dad. You’re nothing but a baby when you’re sick” she said.

I watched as she removed my shirt, singlet and my trouser leaving me cladded in my boxer.

She dipped the towel into the bowl half filled with cold water. She squeezed it but she didn’t squeez it dry and started mopping my body with the towel.

The water became warm due to the temperature of my body, she had changed the water twice before my temperature normalized.

She took the bowl and towel back to the bathroom and returned with only the towel which she placed on my forehead.

“I’ve you eaten this morning?”

“No” I replied and she gave me a ‘seriously!’ look.

“I know I should have taken something but…. I tried to defend myself.

“Do you have custard in the house?”

“Yes. It’s inside the kitchen cabinet” I informed.

She went into the kitchen and came back some minutes later with a small white tray with the prepared custard in a soup bowl, a spoon and a tin milk. I guess, she had familiarized myself with my kitchen.

She placed it right before me and positioned me to sit. She sat right opposite me with the tray in-between us on the bed. She made me take it all.
____________Toyin Taiwo

“Do you have paracetamol?”

“Yes” I said and pointed to the plastic bag containing the drugs I bought from the pharmacy.

She pour all the drugs on the stool, and picked out the paracetamol sachet.

“You’ll take only paracetamol just to suppress the symptoms you are having right now. You won’t take the other drugs since it’s not effective” She instructed.

I swallowed the paracetamol with water and relaxed on the bed.
10 minutes later, I was about dozing off when she tapped me.

“Oba do you feel better?” I nodded yes.

“Let’s get you to the hospital. Please try and dress up or should I..?” She didn’t sound like she’s seeking my opinion it’s more like an order.

“No, I’ll help myself” I don’t like hospital but as it is now, I dare not say no to Crystal. I never knew she was that strict. She didn’t give me a choice, reason why I never call my mother when I’m sick but here I am in the hands of another mother hen- Crystal.

I dressed up reluctantly and we set out while she help locked the door.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

CRYSTAL

I drove in my car while Oba gave me directions to a hospital in his neighbourhood.

He said the hospital is good, that most people in that area including his landlord patronize the hospital. Though he said he hasn’t been there for treatment before. Before he said that, I knew that already, it’s glaring that he hate hospitals.

So when we got to the hospital as a new patient we have to register first with and a case note was opened for him. After we’ve paid the required amount. The nurse who attended to us also gave him an appointment card to come with whenever he wants to visit next.

We went back to the reception waiting for the doctor to call him once it’s his turn to be attended to.

Fifteen minutes later, he’s named was called but guess what? Baby Oba asked me to go in with him as if the doctor will slaughter him inside the consulting room.

I followed him, the doctor asked him few questions. He asked him to run the test and he said the results will be ready the next day. But the treatment will starts that very day. The doctor said he’ll take injections for three days and some drugs will also be administered.

“Oba hope you are not allergic to any drugs or injection?” I asked him.

“I’m allergic to chloroquine. It itches me for days and the itching could be very unbearable sometimes” he replied.

“And you didn’t say anything!” I said.

“Thank God you asked him. Are you a medical personnel?” The doctor asked.

“Yes. I work in a pharmaceutical company

“Wow. Which of the company?”

“Chemochezzy pharmaceutical company”

“Really, I’ve been trying to get some drugs from that company but they said I couldn’t get it because the quantity I demanded was not much. And I only need them for some special cases I have in my hands right now. And it’s very expensive in pharmaceutical stores”
____________Toyin Taiwo

“Sorry about that, that’s the company’s policy””What’s your position in the company?”

“Clinical data manager”

“Wow! Then you are in position to help me out”

“I’ll try” I opened my purse and handed him my card. “Here’s my card, give me a call whenever you are ready”

“Thanks so much. I appreciate your kind gestured. I’ll give you a call on Monday Thanks so much””You’re welcome”

“Mr Oba we’ll administer Athesunante injection, no chloroquine” The Doc said.

“Thanks Doc” we said and stood up.

“I should be the one thanking you. Please the bill is on me, you don’t need to pay a dime” He offered.

“No please” Oba said. I insisted too.

“You won’t understand. I only get this drugs I’m talking about when I travel to the states and I’ve exhausted the last one I bought and I’m not even traveling anytime soon” The doctor explained.

“We insist, we are paying. And we’ll pay to the cashier once we leave this office” I said with a final note. He knew I wasn’t going to change my mind so he gave up.

We went back to the nurses station with the case note. The nurse went through the case note and asked if he had eaten. I told her Oba took custard but she insisted he still take a body of soft drink. I got him a bottle from the mini supermarket inside the hospital.

He was given injections and his drugs. We got back home. Parked the car in front of his apartment next to his own. I led the way while he followed. I was about to open the door but I realized the door wasn’t locked as the key didn’t turn clockwise.

I opened and it opened but I closed it back and face him.
“Oba I locked this door before we left” I was still waiting for his reply when the door opened from inside and a young lady came out.

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God bless you