NADIA: My heart throbbed so fast that I could barely track its beat. “There’s trouble,” my mind kept telling me.
"What is it? What did he say?" Joyce questioned.
I realized I was still holding the phone to my ears. How do I drop this bombshell? I cleared my throat and tried as much as possible to believe my own tone.
"Daniel called..." I said.
"I know its Daniel, Nadia. What did he say?" Joyce pushed back. I could see she understood there was bad news.
"He said… He said... Mrs. Olutayo..."
"Mrs. Olutayo!? What happened to her!?"
Joyce was becoming impatient with my delays.
"She was involved in an accident!"
Joyce swallowed a lump down her throat. She tried as much as possible to calm herself down when she muttered;
"Where has she been hospitalized?"
I shook my head; she didn't understand the weight of the bombshell.
"There is no need for a hospital, Joyce; everyone in that car got burnt beyond recognition."
Joyce got the shock of her life. She immediately found a place to sit, panting in fear.
"Nadia, it's over. They've won."
DANIEL: Wilson had called me up. It was late in the evening. His voice sounded quite achieved and settled;
“Young boy, your mother is dead. Come and confirm the body. I'll text you the location."
He ended the call and left me in suspense. For the next three minutes, everything Akin said to me didn't sound humane. I was blank. It took me another five minutes to decode the words I just heard.
I sprang out of my bed and fitted into my jean trousers and polo shirt. I dashed out of the academy, and headed straight to Kayode's kitchen.
"Madam is not here, sir; she left with her PA for a business meeting," her secretary informed me.
A minute later, I received a text to my phone, directing me to the scene of the accident. I zoomed on high speed, and from a distance, I could see the SUV squeezed and compressed, totally burnt.
“They had collided with an electrical transformer; my guess is, they had break failure,” the road safety personnels and other eye witnesses explained.
Break failure? They have succeeded in killing my mother.
I approached the car to see three beings burnt beyond recognition. And then, I noticed my mother's Italian gold watch; it was burnt, but I could still see it attached to her wrist.
"That's my mother!"
I pointed out with shaky hands; the tears had refused to drop.
Wilson arrived in his Jeep, accompanied by his bodyguards.
"Oh God! My sister, whoever did this to you will know no peace!" he lamented.
I couldn't bare the rage. I charged towards him and landed my tightened fist on his cheek; his dark shades fell off immediately.
"You bastard! You've succeeded in killing her, huh!?"
He didn't retaliate. People were already filming us; he had to remain calm.
"Daniel, I know this has hurt both of us, but let’s try and work this out together. We are family, and we need each other now.”
I spat on his face. The crowd murmured, each with their own opinion, but I knew one thing for sure: He killed my mother.
"Whatever your plans are, you will not succeed. You hear me!? You will not succeed!"
He walked up to me. Immediately, I tightened my fist again, just in case he tried anything stupid.
With a smile on his face, he whispered into my ear;
"Well, I've succeeded already, little brother. Can't you see it?"
He withdrew from me and displayed his remorseful side to the public. Turning to the officials present, he said;
"Please get my sister off that thing."
NADIA: I was restless, Joyce was troubled. We were both disturbed. The news got to the academy an hour after the accident. Exams were postponed immediately. A full house assembly was called to formally break the news to the entire students.
"Mrs. Olutayo is dead," a face I had seen only once announced.
"That's Brenda's mother," Joyce whispered to my ears. She was the same woman who addressed us during our internship.
"Mrs. Eucharia?" I asked in a whisper.
She nodded in affirmation.
Murmurs and lamentations roared through the entire crowd until she spoke out again.
"Exams would be postponed till next week. We pray her soul rest in peace."
I cast my mind on Daniel; I could imagine what he was going through. “How will he take this?” I asked myself.
I called his phone almost every minute, but he didn’t pick up. At some point, his line could no longer be reached.
Joyce on the other hand took out time to pay Serena a visit at the hospital. I quickly seized the opportunity to tag along. I went straight to Kayode's kitchen; but unlike before, I was not allowed to exceed the customer service area.
"What's this? Who ordered this?” I asked. “I used to come here before..."
"I’m sorry madam, you can't get pass this section; it’s the manager's order."
Wilson had taken charge already. I badly needed to see Daniel.
I was contemplating on how to scale through them when Joyce called. I knew there was trouble again.
"Nadia, its Brenda: She has ordered that we be separated. You will be assigned a different roommate.”
The phone went hot on my ears. Our enemies were taking things by storm.
Continued on next page...
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