By Ikumawoyi Toluwalase
O lord, why do you stand so far away?
Why do you hide when I am in trouble?
“Should I run or stand and fight these goons?”, he thought to himself. Joseph had left the hotel very late, because he could not sleep throughout the night. The annoying dream he had every night kept disturbing him. He had a massive migraine all through the night, and even his pain relievers couldn’t save him from the throbbing headache. When he finally slept around 4:30am, thanks to the annoying love telenovela he watched, he woke up very late to the heavy knock on his hotel room door.
When he opened the door, he met a beautiful young lady wearing a loud makeup and an annoying smile. Ohh! he has a big distaste for smiles.
“Your time has expired sir, I came to ask if you would be taking the room for another extra day” she quickly said to the yawning Joseph standing in front of him clad in his customized American flag pyjamas.
“Nope!! I will be leaving in an hour” he said and closed the door not willing to hear anymore of her croaked voice. It really sounded like that of frog to his eardrums, the girl must have sang all night, he concluded and dismissed the thought immediately from his head.
He dragged himself lazily to the bathroom to have a quick shower, though still sleepy.
“Its was just four hours extra, can’t you guys forgo it?”, he argued with the receptionist after the petite young lady had told him he would have to pay extra money before he could sign out from the hotel.
Amidst grumbling and murmuring, he paid the extra cash and made his way to the gate where he got a cab, “Oshodi, or do you know any other place where I can get a bus going to Ondo town” he had said to the cab driver.
“Hmmh Ojota will be preferable but it might cost you more sir”. The cab driver responded trying to convince him though considering his own personal gains too.
How he wished he had not accepted the offer made to him by the cab driver, he had been there for close to two hours, yet the bus was not full.
After spending a total of 3 hours at the bus stop plus paying for the extra one seat remaining to make the journey fast rather than waiting for the person to come for another extra hour, the journey back to his parents’ house started…. Well, he soon fell asleep due to his lack of sleep earlier and the hold up at the Redemption camp area along Lagos-Sagamu express road, only to be woken up by the shouts of “Come down!!” Oh no!! his bus was being attacked by armed robbers.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want… Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death… He that keepeth Israel never sleeps nor slumber”. Lying flat on the ground, he muttered some prayers for the first time in three years.
As a trained FBI agent, he slightly raised his head and scanned his chances, “Wow I am lucky”, he said to himself. There were only four of them, one of them who seemed like their leader was sitting inside the bus with a small axe in his hands, while the other three were busy searching and ransacking the people lying on the ground if they had any money on them. Luckily for him it was his turn, and the robber who was to search him was holding an AK47 rifle, the other two only had locally made pistols
“Hey!! You stand up, kneel down and raise up your two arms”, he was ordered. The unsuspicious robber walked up to him, letting down his guard and searched him. Just as the robber bent to touch his pocket, he disarmed him with the skills only a trained agent could exhibit, with calculated moves he shot at the two other robbers and ran into the bush, he could hear several shots, aimed at him, but he was a fast runner. He ran, fell, stood up and nd kept running. It was dark already and he had nothing on him except his purse. At least he was lucky to have that at the back of his jean trousers.
He finally found his way back to the main road, where he tried to stop some coming vehicles to assist him. But the gun he was holding and his bloody cloth scared them away. He desperately need a ride, and he did not even know where he was, plus the time said 9:30 already. He decided to take the bulls by the horn by walking down the road, maybe he would be lucky to meet a good Samaritan..
“Hello officer, I think you need help”, said a beautiful woman probably in her late forties. She looked like a nurse judging from the white dress she was wearing…
“Thanks so much ma, am really grateful”.. He said to her when she dropped him in front of his street, Igbo Oja Ondo town.
The woman that picked him was travelling to Ile Oluji so she was definitely a good Samaritan indeed.
“Please make sure you treat that wound so as not to get it infected soldier”, she said as she smiled at him and drove away. He had lied to be a soldier who was travelling and his bus got robbed. “Well it is half truth anyway”, he said as he walked home without the gun, as he had disposed it immediately he entered the woman’s car.
“Its me Dare” he said, after knocking on the door.
“Jesus Christ!! What happened to you?” His mother screamed as she opened the door.
“Hello mum… I was in the kitchen when you called. What!! How? Not again… I told you not to listen or respond to his arguments again… Okay ma, weekend. I will call you before I sleep”, she dropped her phone in exasperation as her mind raced back to the information her mother had just related to her. Her dad was just too head strong, he never considered his health whenever he engaged his wife in hot arguments, sometimes on unnecessary matters. The last time which was two months ago, her dad had argued that Donald trump would win the American election coming up in November, while her mother had countered him saying Hillary Clinton was the best candidate for the seat of the world president. They had argued for long hours until her dad had to stop due to his usual attack resulting from high blood pressure… Now it was bring back our girls campaign versus Buhari.
“What a couple”, she scoffed. Her mother was a lawyer who had dropped her profession for her passion as a writer, and her dad, a retired lecturer in philosophy.
“I hope he is not going to die this time around”, she thought out loud. Just then fear enveloped. But there was little she could do, her mentor was on his way to her place and her roommate, Jibike would arrive from her visit home that very night. Even if she left the key for Jibike, her mentor had called that he was on his way already. It was his first time of visiting her during her service year in Ondo state, and the journey from Sagamu to Ondo was quite a long one. She sighed and resigned to fate.
“Is anyone at home?”, she heard a familiar voice. She had been asleep for over an hour, awaiting his arrival.
“I am very sorry sir, I dozed off”, she said opening the door for him. Doctor Paul Akinjuwon had been her mentor for close to two years. She had met him at the first semester leaders’ retreat. Her spirit had clung to him, and when she walked up to him after his wonderful message. He simply accepted and had since been a blessing to her.
“Erhm give me two minutes sir, let me serve your food”, she said while serving him cold bottled water in a tray.
“Oh thank God, can you please switch on the fan” Doctor Paul said, as the Power Holding Company restored the power supply. He had just eaten one of the best meals in his life.
“Dear, I must say you are a good cook, and the man that will marry you is a lucky man”, he said smiling. He had taken his seat on the only plastic chair in the room, while Jadesola sat on her bed.
They reminisced on past issues and finally settled on the issue of her family, she opened up on several issues bothering her, amidst the discussion she became emotional, and tears flowed from her eyes.
“I can’t loose him just yet, he is just too young to die”, she expressed herself, while doctor Paul stood up from his seat and joined her on the bed. She needed a hug and bit of comfort with encouragement he had thought.
As he sat down beside her, he pulled her close to him and pat her back, he found himself doing more than patting as his mind created images.
“He will be alright”, he said in almost a whisper as he held her chin with his hand and did the only thing on his mind…
Almost immediately, her door flung opened and the duo were jolted back to reality at what they had done and who had caught them in the “very act”…
To be continued…
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