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Bimbo was nothing short of ecstatic, all she’d hoped for had finally come to pass! To see Frank again was a dream come true; she couldn’t believe her ears when Susan told her that Frank actually requested that she come to Lagos to meet him.
According to Susan, he had forgiven Bimbo, and quite understood why she did all she did. Bimbo started making preparations to travel without wasting time, and with the help of Susan, she was able to conjure a brilliant lie to convince Dafe to allow her travel to Lagos.
Dafe didn’t object. The lie turned out to be unnecessary; he really didn’t seem to care much about why she had to travel. None of what Bimbo did in the past weeks seemed to matter to him anymore. He’d made up his mind to sit back patiently and see how long her ‘transformation’ would take-and where it was all headed.
Even though they both lived in the same apartment, they gradually drifted apart with each becoming more intimate with their phones; giggling and smiling at the screen. Conversation became awkwardly formal and as brief as possible. Dafe started coming home late, and Bimbo didn’t ask any questions. Both knew the path they’d silently consented to tread was precarious for their relationship but Dafe was tired of ‘trying to make it work’ and Bimbo really didn’t give a hoot! Each had found new excitement and neither knew about the other’s secret.
Ideally, Dafe would waltz into Bimbo’s arms by 6pm but she started having to welcome him home as late as 8pm or even 9pm sometimes. She wanted to ask him about it, but decided not to start any argument that could lead to flaring tempers-nothing would dwindle her super excitement until she had the chance of seeing Frank again-but this Tuesday night was somewhat different. It was quarter past ten, and Dafe had still not arrived. She called his phone but it was switched off, since she met him, his phone had never been switched off-not even when he attended board meetings. Bimbo was getting worried; even though their relationship left much to be desired, Dafe never kept late nights. She didn’t know who else to call as she didn’t have any of his friends’ numbers. She remembered she had the pin of a close friend and colleague of Dafe. She scrambled through her bbm contacts and tried to ping him, but the pings weren’t delivering. Exhausted, she tried Susan’s number just to have someone to talk to, but Susan was also out of reach. Bimbo was utterly confused, her stomach started making funny sounds, her head ached; she was worried sick. It was already too late to leave the house in search of a man whose whereabouts she didn’t know, she wanted to call the police but she decided not to let her fear get the better of her.
In her confusion, she sat back on the couch, and stubbornly continued trying Dafe’s number-as well as Susan’s-and even though she got the same response each time she didn’t relent. Her doggedness was truly admirable, but as worried and apprehensive as she was, sleep eventually got the better of her.
Frank finally snapped out of what he concluded must have been an illusion. He hadn’t screamed, but that was exactly what he wished he had done. His mouth was still wide open in reaction to the events playing out in front of him.
“I would give you some time, however little, to consider my offer. The cheque is yours for keeps. Get back to me when you have made your decision” the MD said, on a final note, and left the lounge.
Frank wanted to rise up from his seat and leave as well, but on second thought, he decided to take some more time to ponder. There might actually be some sense in the MD’s offer. Sandra was his gateway to traveling out of the country, but she’d been lying helpless in the hospital bed for days now. What if she died, should his long awaited dream die with her? But then, there was also the investigation into Dennis’ death to think about. Even though there had been little noise about it recently, he was still not allowed to make any move out of sight, and Bimbo needed to be seen to at least make some sense of his friend’s mysterious demise. Frank thought about it all and got even more confused. Something was not right, he had an hunch that there was more to the MD’s unfounded benevolence and he was determined to find out the truth.
Fate seemed to have smiled upon him when he got a call from the doctor very early the next morning informing him that Sandra had regained consciousness but would still be kept in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for proper attention. He drove to the hospital quickly and met with the doctor. Frank was glad when the doctor told him that the MD didn’t know about Sandra’s improved situation yet, as his phone was switched off when a call was placed across to him. He begged the doctor not to reveal her current state to the MD just yet and that Sandra should be allowed recuperate fully before the MD was intimated. The doctor however told him that would not be possible because it was against professional ethics to withhold such from the patient’s family except in the event of a life threatening situation. Frank had no impetus to tell the doctor that he would regard telling the MD as life threatening, but he begged the MD to give allow some time pass before revealing anything.
After three days, Sandra was out of ICU and responding well to treatment. Since she got up that particular morning, she’d been longing to see Frank, there was so much she had to say to him, just him alone. She was tired of the farce she called love, she wanted to let out the truth, she wanted to tell Frank all she had done to get him. She didn’t care if he would leave her afterwards, she just wanted to have peace. It didn’t matter to her either if her life was threatened by the MD. The coma seemed to have changed a lot about her, she was in pursuit of redemption.
“Mr Frank will be here very soon ma” the nurse attending to her announced as she came into the ward with breakfast.
“Thank you very much” she replied with a big smile as she sat up to eat her meal. She had earlier asked the nurse to stop referring to Frank as her husband or fiancé (Frank introduced himself as her husband though) she preferred he was just referred to as “Mr Frank”
Her eyes were fixated on the door with high expectation that Frank would appear behind it and she would just pour out everything. She’d never had a greater urge all her life. After about thirty minutes, the door opened and Frank walked in, but the MD was with him. Sandra’s smile slowly gave way as she sighted both of them. Her excitement died instantly and she just managed to reply their greetings.
The MD understood why Sandra felt uneasy and he wanted to apologize and call a truce with her. He knew everything was falling upon him, and he needed to act fast.
Frank was happy, everything seemed to be falling in place. Bimbo had called the day before to inform him she’d arrive the following week; that meant he would get all the information he needed regarding Dennis’ death. Sandra was alive and getting well, he was happy for him, that was a way out of the web of confusion he’d been to have her back, and she was also a way out of the web of confusion he’d suddenly been trapped in.
“Good to have everyone here.” The Doctor came in just when they were done with pleasantries. “I’m glad we all can smile after everything.”
“Yes doctor, I’m really glad. You have lived up to expectation yet again!” the MD responded.
“Not me sir. We only treat, God heals.” the Doctor continued.
“Meanwhile, I would love to see one or both of you in my office right away. I want us to have a short discourse.” the doctor said and left immediately.
The MD persuaded Frank to go with the doctor. “You’re her husband, closer to her than I am. You should go and hear what the doctor has to say. I’ll wait here with her.”
Reluctantly, Frank made for the doctor’s office. Leaving Sandra and the MD alone.
“You almost had me killed!” Sandra snapped.
“I’m sorry Sandra, I didn’t mean for things to get to a point like this. I’ve realized my mistakes. I seek redemption, and I’m willing to give everything to that cause.” the MD pleaded.
“I’m tired of all this too. I don’t have the strength to carry on with it anymore. I just want to make everything right…” She paused and leaned against the wall before she continued: “I have decided to tell Frank everything. I don’t mind losing him, I just want to tell him the truth…”
“Stop right there! Sandra! Do you know what you’re saying?” The MD interrupted. “Have you gone bunkers? Oh my! It seems going into comatose has made you lose reason.”
“I won’t have you insult me Mr Kolawole Ajayi!” Sandra called him into order quickly, she seemed confident and safe even though they were alone in the ward.
“Sandra, by telling him everything, I’m sure you intend to skip the part where Dennis had to come in, and how he had to be eliminated, isn’t it?”
“Why should I do that? After all, you claim Bertola didn’t kill him, let the police do their job. I just want to clear the air, I just want to feel peace from within. I don’t care if it will cost my life!” Sandra was resolute and the MD knew it. His plans had all been thwarted. He knew he had to move quickly, else he was in for big disgrace. In a desperate attempt to save his face, he quickly came up with an alternative.
“Err… Sandra. How about you forget about confessing. Let go of Frank, since you now realize he’s not worth keeping. Let’s leave this country and go begin a new life elsewhere.” He stopped short, looking closely at Sandra to see if his proposition was sinking in. “See, I have already started making moves to sell the company, I am willing to give Frank a handsome amount of money to begin a new life as well. Damola and Damilola will be coming home in a few days to spend some time. We’ll both tell them that the company isn’t doing well in Nigeria, and that we plan to establish ourselves in the UK. You and I, along with the kids will leave Frank and all this mess in Nigeria… sounds good, don’t you think?” he submitted, hoping to get a favorable response from the forlorn Sandra.
“Kola Ajayi!!!” Sandra retorted. “That’s exactly where you get it all wrong”
“How do you mean?” The MD inquired.
“When I mean the truth, I’m talking about the ‘absolute’ truth! It is called restitution! Asides talking to Frank, I’m also going to tell your children about their mother as well!” Sandra said coldly as the MD froze and went as pale as a ghost…
To Be Continued… Next Sunday.
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