NADIA: We got to the Academy only to see an ambulance in charge already. Joyce insisted on going with her, and so, we followed in Daniel's car.
We were both silent; lots of thoughts ran through my mind, and I was sure he was pensive too.
"They are winning this, Nadia. What is the purpose of this competition, if the person to claim the honor isn't alive?"
Joyce made sense; but it looked like she was giving up already.
"Joyce, she is not dead. Don't kill her with your words."
She shook her head in disbelief.
"You didn't see her Nadia; there was no sign of life in her.”
"Get yourself together Joyce, now is not the time. We can still win this!"
Sudden waves of calmness surged through her; she remained calm, although I knew she wasn't convinced.
"Daniel, what do we do?” I drew him aside and asked. “ I'm pretty sure the president would soon be hospitalized too.”
He kept quiet for a while before answering;
"Joyce and Serena are the only ones who can get close enough to treat the president. Nadia, we've missed two lessons already; if we miss the third, that'll result in our suspension. You know Brenda is eagerly waiting for that, don't you?"
He made a point.
I sat down with Joyce and explained Daniel's suggestions. We just needed her to be strong enough; thank God she was quick to see reasons with us.
"I can get our family doctor to help with the medications, but we have to be smart while treating him,” Daniel said.
He called the doctor almost immediately, but he didn't answer the phone, so he promised to go bring the drugs himself.
An hour later, the doctor blessed us with good news: “She is stable”; but then he slashed down our Joy when he revealed the bad news underneath:
"The poison has eaten up her liver. I'm sorry, but she has just 6 months to live, at most. I’m sorry about this."
My heart beat so loud; I could hear Joyce's heartbeat too. She looked around for where to sit and allow the words sink deep into her brain.
Thirty minutes later, I was getting worried. She didn't make a sound. She didn't say a word. She kept staring at the unforeseen.
I was about to at least say something, but my worst nightmare showed up. It was Wilson, Brenda by his side.
Immediately, my heart began to throb fast. I began to loose control of my defenses again.
"We are here to offer our condolences," Brenda said smiling.
You can imagine. And Wilson, well, he was on his dark shades as usual;
"Honey, don't laugh, this is a serious issue. The woman is dead."
I scoffed in disgust, "She is not dead Wilson; in fact, she has many more years to live."
The shock on their faces prompted me to even tell more lies.
"And you need to see the sight of the president, when he came to visit her."
Wilson scoffed at that one.
"Shut up Nadia!"
For a moment there I actually obeyed. But then, Daniel's words broke through his hold on me and whispered to my spirit, “You are strong, Nadia."
I smiled and opened my mouth.
"No Wilson, you shut up!"
They had walked past me, but my words made him turn back in shock.
"You said what?"
"Oh! So you are deaf now?” I added, “Easy, I'll repeat. I said, Shut up!"
Brenda made an attempt to take the war front but Wilson made her step back. He wanted to fight his own battle.
"You've grown wings, right? You cheap slut!”
He was expecting it to get to me. It did get to me; but then, I broadened with smiles, “It’s funny how you keep running after this cheap slut; your wife can't satisfy you? Huh! Wilson?"
It shook him to the bones. I could clearly see that on his face. Brenda changed her standing position. She appeared more attentive, and from a distance, I could instantly pick that she wasn't aware of what I had said.
"Oh Brenda, poor Brenda… you don't know about this? He calls every now and then, although I don't pick up; he is a used product. As if that's not enough, he showed up in my room to kidnap me when I refused his advances."
"Shut up Nadia! Stop talking nonsense."
He tried to shut me up.
Oh my God! An idea popped up. I immediately understood that I could actually use my painful past to my advantage.
"Oh dearest wife, did your husband tell you that he dated me for 4 years, leading to marriage? I can show you our marriage certificate as evidence."
Her handbag fell from her hands.
"No baby, don't listen to this bitch! She is trying to tear us apart. Don't you get it?!"
I wasn't done yet.
"Come on Brenda, you are a woman. And we both know I am telling the truth."
Brenda started out immediately. She didn't respond when he called. She left her bag behind. Wilson picked it up and threatened through his clenched teeth;
"I'll crush you. You bastard…!"
I got serious;
"No Wilson. I'll crush you. Mark my words. You will get nothing out of Kayode's kitchen. I will make sure you are thrown out to the streets. I will make sure your marriage crumbles. You will peel your knees and beg to the ends of the earth. Mark these words. Idiot!"
I knew he was trying to diversify if this was the Nadia he knew. There was no time for him. He quickly ran after Brenda.
DANIEL: I came back with the drugs, only to hear that my baby had fought a battle on her own.
"Are you serious? I'm so proud of you!”
I perked and hugged her tightly.
“Daniel, I can't breath."
"Oh sorry, sorry..."
I was probably going to say something else, but someone called me from behind. My eyes went wide. It was my mother.
What in the world is she doing here?
“Mum, what are you…?”
She didn't let me land; her voice was slow and shaky with anger, "Daniel, there are secrets you should know today: Serena is my blood sister, and woe betides anyone who has hurt her."
Continued on next page...
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