My warm greetings to you, dear readers.
I started this journey and you rode to finish with me. In between, I failed to keep my promise. I broke your hearts and earned myself many (unspoken) curses. But it’s important to point out that you were always there. Times without number, I’d decided to dump the story like the rest of the stories I’ve started this way but your comments propelled me onward.
This was my first trial of long (episode) story. There were flaws in the beginning and you pointed them to me. I believe with your corrections and participations, I became better. So this is where I draw the curtain to Go Getter. I wouldn’t mind to hear your thoughts on the ending of this story. I’ll admit the story ended abruptly, and maybe not the way it should, but the tunnel it was taking me into was growing darker. I couldn’t see clearly anymore…
To cut long story short, please dear readers, let me know what you think of this episode and the story in general.
Wunmi’s day to leave the hospital came after a month. Before this day, she’d been thinking of Ochuko and how her short affair with him had ended. They all had made the news. Some reporter who worked with The Sun had come to gather her part of the story on the Monday she was supposed to be officially announced Ochuko’s partner, the Monday that met her sleeping in a hospital bed incapable of movement.
Ochuko had been admitted in the same hospital as she but she only got to see him once all through his stay. He was discharged a week ago. Her doctor friend, Tim, had walked beside her to his ward that day. It was a pain having to walk with the support of clutches but Tim had smiled at her throughout the walk, commenting on how fast she was healing. Tim was a sweetheart.
Her heart had been heavy with dread when she got to the door of his ward. Lucy’s laughter carried all the way to where she stood and accompanying it was an older version of the girl’s laughter. It was as musical as the birds of dawn. She felt a twinge of jealousy in her heart, it stabbed her like prickles of dry stems. At that instant, her desperation returned. She saw the family of plenty she’d have had with Ochuko; saw this family travelling to the village for Christmas on a Coaster bus. Her first impulse was to kick the door open and drag Ochuko back to her ward, but the dread had settled back in – deeper this time.
“Please take me back to my room.” She’d said to Tim.
He nodded his head and gave her an understanding look, but the moment she turned her back, the door flung open. She slowly turned to it and almost melted. All eyes were on her. They had stopped their discussion and were concentrated on her – Ochuko with his back resting on the wall, Lucy sitting in-between his spread legs, and Sandy sitting on a chair beside the bed. There was the lady with her joy, she had thought, the lady who was sought for by many. She didn’t earn it, she never struggled to get the man she was to become a part of. She was sure to leave the deceitful Tim with his hands still on the door like a chauffeur opening the vehicle door for his master and limp the way back to her room alone but for Lucy who had jumped off the bed and ran to her.
She had reluctantly gotten in and sat on the bed next to Ochuko’s. She felt out of place all through the visit. They had discussed love and relationship, unmindful of the ever attentive Lucy, and Ochuko had announced to her that he was taking Sandy as his wife. He had reached out and squeezed her hand. Shivers like lightening bolts had coursed through her nerves on that squeeze. He had smiled at her said plenty things she couldn’t remember. All she could retain in her head was, I’VE FORGIVEN YOU FOR EVERYTHING, PLEASE WOULD YOU BE MY WIFE’S CHIEF BRIDESMAID?
It was not in his place to ask and even though she meant to point this to him, her voice had failed her. Once again, she had the centre stage and everyone was waiting to hear her sing. Every eye was on her, poking her mind like the beaks of birds on grains. She cleared her throat once, coughed, then cleared her throat again. It seemed to have dried up unnecessarily. She felt like pushing her hand off his hand and seeking the sorrowful solace of her pillow where she’d cry for her loss, but there was encouragement in that hold. He rubbed the back of her hand with a finger, sending more shivers racing through her nerves. Unsettling and settling her at the same time.
She had looked straight into his eyes and seen a glitter in it. She knew it wasn’t for her. It was a glitter in anticipation of her response, which of course would be favourable to him. She needed his forgiveness. Now she’d gotten it, would she give it back by refusing his request? Would she ever say NO to any demand of his?
She broke the gaze and looked at the remaining people in the room, one after the other, starting with Tim and ending with Lucy. She saw the answer she gave in Lucy’s smile. Lucy who had demanded to know where her dad stood in her life.
He had to be a man set loose from the blissful confine of her heart.
The remaining things that happened in that ward that day was totally forgotten, never to be picked from the empty bin that was her memory. She had to remind herself over and over again that he was lost to her. She had to look forward to his wedding…
Tim came out from the hospital’s pharmacy with a waiting smile for her. She smiled back at him. He signalled for a minute with a finger then went to talk with the nurse at the counter. She lifted herself from the chair and started making for the entrance door. In less than a minute, Tim was beside her. He slung one of her arm around his waist and one of his over her shoulder.
“Remember to remember, Tim!” The nurse called out.
Tim didn’t reply. He led Wunmi out through the double doors and into the bright day.
“My car is among the plenty cars parked in this lot, but the café I have in mind is down the road. A minute walk if we are intent on beating time; two minutes tops if we chat our way down there.”
“The man who would never come out openly with his words.” Wunmi poked a finger into his cheek, the place she suspected his dimple resided.
“And what does she mean by that?” Now his smile had invited the dimple.
Wunmi buried her pinkie in the dimple and studied his facial feature. “You’re not a bad guy.”
“If that’s what you were trying to say, then I’ll advice you revisit philosophy and logic. Logic especially.”
Wunmi laughed and he joined her. When the laugh tapered off to its last, they had walked a quarter of the distance.
“What was the nurse asking you to remember?”
“My proposal this afternoon.”
“Just remind me of the proposal when we get to the café. I can’t risk forgetting it. You’re constant reminder will help me remember. That’s the way my memory works.”
“I can’t believe you’ve got a proposal to make to me and it’s in a café. I mean, that’s –“
Tim stopped abruptly and stopped her words with a kiss. It lasted only briefly and when it was over, Wunmi started picking up from where she stopped. He hushed her with another kiss. They stood a full minute kissing, while curious passers-by walked past them with necks craned, oblivious of where they were actually headed.
The kiss ended with most of Wunmi’s breath. She gasped for air and her heart speeded up it’s beat. She couldn’t believe she’d kissed someone she was only beginning to know in the centre of the road. But the experience was interesting.
“Can the proposal wait?” She asked.
“Anything for you, my lady.”
“Let’s go to my house. It’s a command.”
“Alright, boss lady.”
* * *
There was just one person Bobo needed to see before travelling with Carol to their hometown. Carol had built a house with the proceeds from her work in the village and had a big farm running. She wanted them to go back to manage the farm and live a quiet, happy village life. She wanted them back the way they had been.
Bobo welcomed this idea wholly and when he discussed it with Benji, Benji had had no objection. Well, maybe because Benji was enjoying his honeymoon and was still distracted by his wife. Maybe because he wanted him to get married at all cost. But he knew it was a perfect plan. He had gotten all the drama from the city. He needed somewhere to calm his head and rearrange his life.
He dropped at Ochuko’s gate and paid the bike rider. He proceeded to the gate and knocked once. A face appeared from the peep-rectangle in the gate and observed him.
“Who are you?” The face asked.
“I’m Bobo, friend of Sandy. Can you tell her you’re holding me at the gate?”
“Na wahala you dey find.” The face retreated and the rectangular opening became gate once again.
A second later, the guard stepped out. He stretched out a hand to Bobo who hesitated before taking it.
“Nobody dey house oh.” The guard announced.
“You came all the way out to tell me this?”
“I dey do my work.”
Bobo refrained from making a comment as, ‘go ask again what your work is.’
“So, what should I do?” He asked, not necessarily out of an opinion on his next course of action, but for the sake of hearing what the dumb guard would say next.
“I call madam for phone before I come out. Na him she tell me say dem travel go village for her mama burial.”
“Oh?” Bobo smiled.
If the guard was true to his words, then it meant that Sandy had not forgotten about him; meant that something had been building and if things had gone the normal way, he would’ve been hers.
“Can you give me her number?”
“Wait, make I ask am first.” He started back to the entrance.
Bobo followed him and the moment the guard pressed the button on the phone to retrieve the last dialed number, he snatched the it. He quickly typed the number into his waiting phone’s dialler, dropped the phone and left the security house. The guard could only stare after him balefully.
Bobo stopped another bike and asked to be taken to his place – Carolinda’s place. He couldn’t call the number yet. He thought he needed to see her one last time rather than hear her voice.
He remembered all the drama seeing her had caused and wondered if it wasn’t best that she was absent. He was tired of the drama. He sincerely was. This helped him decide to place the call through. He thought of a reason for calling and found none. It would be best if he forgot he ever met her; if he just moved on with Carol.
He got down from the bike and instinctively decided he’d make the call together with Carolinda. He needed her to see that he was letting go of something precious to have her. As he climbed the steps to their apartment, a draft of air washed over him. He smiled broadly and called it the wind of change.
* * *
Casmir sat late in the bar closest to his house. He drank the last from his cup and wondered dimly why the moon kept taking different shapes no matter how hard he tried to put it in focus. He had screwed up his date with the chic from the hospital he’d been rolling with for more than two weeks.
She had come over to his place to keep him company and prepare him some meal. She had finished preparing the meal and had gone to the bathroom to take her bath. He was sitting on his favourite chair with a glass of beer when he heard her scream.
He almost spilled his drink on his shirt in his haste to get to the bathroom. She was standing naked in the entrance of the bathroom with a bra that didn’t belong to her. She held it high in her hand and uttered another loud cry.
This was madness. He thought to tell her but knew better. Her eyes were burning with a kind of delirium he reserved for slaves who have finally reached the edge and wouldn’t take anymore from their masters. She looked like she would fling the bra any moment and jump on him with sharp claws.
“Zara, what is the matter?”
“You cheating son of a bastard!”
“Now, that is not a word to call a man.”
“And who cares what I call you, Your whore? That’s how you keep deceiving me. You make me feel like I’m the only one. You make me feel like we’re heading somewhere, whereas, you’re out there playing games.”
“Listen what? Listen to how I’m ignorantly sharing a dick with some slut? You’re not serious and I’m mad at you for deceiving me!”
“I didn’t –“
“Shut up! Shut up!! Shut up!!! Shut–“
But that was how far she could come with that last. What he had feared happened then. She jumped on him and easily blindfolded him with the bra. She tied it to the back of his head and began to dig her nails into his skin.
With all his strength, he smacked her on the floor. It was the only thing he could do to get her off him, you see, he was just another blind Samson. But it was the wrong thing to do. As they both lay on the cold tile, he discovered that her body had grown stiff. He also discovered that she had stopped screaming. She was saying nothing. She was silently still.
He had quickly untied Sandy’s bra from his head and attended to the lady lying cold on the wet tiles. He didn’t care to check her pulse, didn’t care that she was naked. He rushed her to his car and drove straight to the hospital. It was the wisest thing he’d done in his life…
So, as he tried one last time to put the moon steady, he agreed he’d never been any wiser in his entire life. He’d almost killed his new love because of his ex’s bra which he used to masturbate. How does that sound for a headline?
He laughed shrilly and won himself his first belch, the aftermath of this was a fine spray of vomit. The tremor reeled him to the ground where he lay in his own puke, totally discarding the idea of putting the moon in a steady position in the sky.
A waiter came to help him to his feet. He got up with plenty effort, almost bringing her down.
“Are you Sandy?” He smiled into her face when he was up.
She wrinkled her face but didn’t look the other way.
“We’re done packing. It’s time for you to pay, we want to close.”
“How much is it?” He dug out his wallet with an unsteady hand.
“Let me gather your bottles and calculate again.”
“Take this, Sandy.” He stretched the wallet to her.
She meant to tell him that she wasn’t Sandy but seeing the number of notes in the wallet, she thanked him. She didn’t want to risk losing the wallet to him. If accepting to be Sandy would pay for his drinks and leave her with plenty cash as tip (yes, she saw it as a huge tip), then so be it.