By Young C.c
Read My New Short Story – A Ghost In School
‘Henry,’ Mrs George called as Henry showed on the screen. ‘Henry, how are you?’ she asked, the look on her face clearly showed she had been longing to see him.
Henry did not reply but kept staring at the screen intently. ‘Henry it’s me your mother,’ she said, placing her hand on her chest to emphasize. Henry just kept staring without replying, after sometime he glanced at Dr Tobi who gave him a look of encouragement.
‘You don’t recognize me Henry? Don’t tell me it’s true what this people has said about you losing your memory,’ she said in a grieving manner but the man she was talking to looked indifferent. She saw him turn and take some steps backwards.
‘I don’t know her,’ she heard him say to someone she couldn’t see as he proceeded towards a settee.
‘Ah! Henry, Ekene. His father’s son, boy with the large heart, man of so many dreams and visions,’ George began to speak words that he was used to hearing from her. Henry stopped just before the settee, he thought something sounded familiar. He turned back to the screen with a suspicious look, he couldn’t just point it out. He hissed and sat down.
‘I don’t remember her,’ he said to Dr Tobi again.
‘Henry, I carried you for nine months, breastfed you…’ the woman began to wail.
Henry got up and walked closer to the TV again, he stared at the screen for a while without even paying attention to all Mrs George was saying. He wondered why a woman he didn’t know was acting so emotional about him, there was nothing she said that he could relate with. She even called him ‘Ekene’, he had never heard that before. He turned back and walked straight to his seat, he paused midway again when he heard her screaming.
‘Ekene, please it’s me your mother, look very well at me. You took after me in all aspects, see,’ the woman said, pointing at her face. ‘We look alike.’
Henry turned to look at her face again and a confused smile formed on his face, to him there was no resemblance.
‘You look like her,’ he could hear someone say to him softly. It was Ken who was staying close to the television.
He gave Ken a deep frown and became more suspicious about the whole set up. He began to think Ken was trying to lure him into a trap with the woman.
‘Please, I don’t want to see for now,’ he said to the doctor and walked back to his seat. He picked up a towel from headboard of the bed and cleaned his face with it, then he sank into the bed and buried his face in the pillow.
‘Please disconnect, it’s enough for now.’ Dr Tobi’s face appeared Mrs George’s screen.
Dakolo went to the laptop and closed the chat. He turned back to see Mrs George weeping.
‘Don’t worry ma’am, everything would be alright,’ he said to console her after which he signaled for the junior officer who was with them in the room to lead her out. His phone rang.
‘Hello Mr Sylvester, sorry I’ve not been able to speak with you well; I was busy. You were saying something the other time which I didn’t quite understand,’ he said into the phone.
‘Yes sir,’ Mr Sylvester’s said. ‘I was trying to explain to you our need for Mr Henry’s presence, the whole of NSCC may crash if we don’t have him in three days.’
‘But you know that isn’t possible sir, Henry is in a critical state and we can’t take him around. Even if he comes, he wouldn’t be able to do anything, and you know that already.’
‘Sir, we don’t really need him to do anything, we only need his finger print to unlock a process,’ Mr Sylvester said. ‘We found out today that he already began the process Kimberly suggested but the problem is that he locked it with his finger print and we need him to be here this week.’
‘What about taking the fingerprint from where he is?’ Dakolo suggested.
‘No, he has to be brought to the office. Our system is inbuilt and can’t be moved.’
‘Mr Sylvester,’ Dakolo called and then took a brief pause. ‘I can’t believe I even agreed to get his fingerprint for you, it’s impossible to get that for now. Let’s wait till everything settles.’
‘But sir, it could crash the whole NSCC,’ Mr Sylvester pleaded.
‘Just forget about it and wait,’ Dakolo said, not minding the seriousness in the man’s voice, he ended the call.
‘But Doc, what’s up with Henry? Do you think your solution is working?’
‘Yes, faster than I imagined,’ Dr Tobi answered, smiling.
‘Faster?’ Ken stared at him in surprise, ‘how can you say that it worked when he was even callous to his mother?’
‘It worked,’ Dr Tobi answered confidently. ‘I know it worked, he responded as I expected.’
Ken kept staring at the doctor’s happy face in surprise, to him Henry did not respond as expected.
‘He would start recalling some things while he’s sleeping or when he’s alone and his mind has wandered far,’ Dr Tobi explained. ‘What he needs now is more of things like this, even if he doesn’t recall his memory fully, the fear in his mind for people would be erased.’
‘So you’re saying it’s possible he doesn’t regain his memory?’
‘It’s a fifty-fifty possibility,’ the doctor said. ‘But the chances of him regaining would be increased if we can take him to the places he has been recently and expose him to people he has related with before his poisoning.’
‘But what about me and Agent Dakolo? We’ve related with him recently, he was with us that afternoon before he was drugged at evening.’
‘Are you someone special to him? Or did you do something special to him that day?’ Dr Tobi asked.
‘No, we actually questioned him about some matters relating to Samantha Osman. We felt he was hiding somethings and we threatened for him to speak but he didn’t.’
‘Oh!’ Dr Tobi exclaimed. ‘You threatened him? That explains why he’s still scared of you. It also shows that my solution is working. He has a very faint memory of you guys, but he sees you as monsters.’
Ken gave the doctor a sharp look. The Doctor smiled and clasped his palms together apologetically, ‘sorry about that, I didn’t mean to insult you with it but that’s just how he sees you.’
‘Okay,’ Ken shrugged. ‘But how can we make his recovery faster without taking him to town?’
‘We can’t make it faster, we can only try. But I suggest that we keep showing him videos; show him videos of his hobbies; for example, if he loves to watch football and we know that his favorite team is Arsenal FC, we can play several videos of their past matches for him to watch. We can also record videos of his house, his room, his resting place, his office; that could help too.’
‘Hmm…’ Ken nodded thoughtfully, ‘I’ll communicate this to Agent Dakolo.’
** February 3, 2031 **
‘Good morning sir,’ Mr Sylvester could hear several of the junior staffs greeting him from every corner of the building as he walked to his office, one of the messengers was following him with his bag. Mr Sylvester noticed an unusual frenzy in the corporation building that morning but he couldn’t tell what it was. He kept on marching to office, hoping that someone was going to come and brief him soon on the matter.
‘Good morning sir,’ Frank joined him from another block, he collected Mr Sylvester’s bag from the messenger and began to walk with Mr Sylvester to his office.
‘Good morning Mr Frank, why don’t you allow the messenger take the bag, you shouldn’t be doing that.’ Mr Sylvester replied.
‘Sir, there’s trouble.’ Frank stated, ignoring the man’s last statement.
‘There’s trouble?’ Mr Sylvester paused just before the door to his office.
‘Yes, there is. The cameras system have stopped working,’ Frank said.
‘Aww!’ Mr Sylvester exclaimed and his shoulders dropped. ‘Just as we have all discovered beforehand. Is Kimberly in her office?’
‘Yes, she is,’ Frank answered.
‘And what’s she doing about it?”
‘She’s been in her office since morning trying to control the situation but as we all know, the solution is to get Mr Henry’s fingerprint.’
**Two days later**
‘Vice President to return into the country in three days time,’ Tarasha read the headlines of the news. Chief Elvis had been reported to have traveled out of the country for medical treatment, Tarasha couldn’t wait for him to return so that she could begin to execute all her plans. She had also began to study the Inspector General and was already making plans for his death too.
‘Senate President still in Coma,’ she read the next headline. Nasiru Attahiru had been flown to India for treatment but it was only a waste of money, the man would not survive the poison that was administered to him, Cole had waited for appropriate number of days for the poison to digest and mix with his blood before sending him home. The last headline she read before her phone rang was ‘NSCC in confusion as cameras begin to malfunction. She picked up her phone and stared at the caller’s name, it was Cole.
‘Hello Boss, I was in the bathroom when you called.’ Cole’s voice came through.
‘Okay, any signs of Benny yet?’
‘No signs yet.’
‘Alright listen to me now,’ Tarasha said in a serious tone and lowered her voice. ‘The cameras system have began to malfunction since Monday but it seems that wouldn’t be enough motivation for the police to give me what I need. What I want you to do now is to cause confusion, install some bombs in certain areas of the town, maybe three to five places. But make sure that it isn’t close to where people are, so that it doesn’t kill much.’
‘Okay boss,’ Cole replied and the call ended.
That was Tarasha’s first strategy to force them to bring out Henry. She was sure that the police would run to the NSCC for help on footages that captured the people who installed the bombs but the NSCC would not be able to help because the cameras have been malfunctioning. That should make the police bring out Henry for the fingerprint but if they still don’t, it could cause distractions that would make her able to trace Henry and even start work on the Inspector General..
Henry stood at the balcony of the house, wondering what life was all about, wondering who the people he lived with were and why they cared so much about him. He also wondered why there were so many policemen around the house.
Only three days ago had he began to come out of the house, he noticed that the house which he lived in was the biggest and most beautiful in that area, the other houses were ancient and small. The people were different also, their dressing and culture was different, they spoke a strange language which he never heard before.
He was enjoying the moment, the cool breeze was blowing on his skin and he was having a nice time viewing the women walking up and down with logs of woods on their head and some baskets of farm produce while most of the men were moving with their cutlasses and hoes, some could also be seen coming out of bushes with local guns on their shoulders and small dead animals in their hands.
A certain old woman passing with two of her children made him recall something which he saw the previous day while taking a stroll with Dr Tobi. He had seen a woman about the same age with this advising two young people; a male and a female; telling the male one who was the eldest to look after his sister when they got to the city. From then on, a voice had been echoing in Henry’s head, ‘Henry, look after your sister very well; remember that you’re the father she has at school.’
The voice kept echoing in Henry’s head and anytime he heard it, he would have a feeling of guilt and failure, maybe he had failed in the responsibility which the voice gave to him, he thought. Later that night, he began to relate the voice he was hearing in his head to the woman he had seen on the television days ago, the voice sounded like Mrs George’s own.
He took in a deep breath, closed and opened his eyes, something caught his attention. He stepped down from the balcony hurriedly and began to walk towards the road, soon he started running.
‘Henry,’ Dr Tobi and two officers called as they an after him but he wouldn’t stop. ‘Just follow him behind, don’t stop him,’ Dr Tobi said to the officers.
Henry was running after two people who were riding a bicycle. A girl was at the far front, her speed was more while the guy was following after her, trying to call unto the girl.
After some minutes, the girl stopped and dropped off her bicycle. The boy stopped also some metres behind her. Henry stopped running and watched them from afar. He saw the girl pack some quantity of sand and throw at the boy.
Something suddenly flashed through his mind, he saw himself riding on a power bike. He then saw a girl in front of him in a bush, she had her back turned to him. Suddenly she picked up a stone and threw at him, the stone met Henry’s forehead.
‘Ouch!’ Henry screamed and touched his forehead, the two officers behind him came to his rescue. Although, no stone had touched his head today, he still felt the same pain he felt in the picture he recalled.
The police officers began to lead him back home.
‘What do you remember?’ Dr Tobi asked him as he stepped back into the balcony.
‘A girl,’ he replied, still holding the part of his forehead where he felt the pain.
‘What does she look like?’
‘I didn’t see her face, I only saw her from behind.’ he replied the doctor.
‘Try, you can remember,’ the doctor encouraged.
Henry closed his eyes, his brain traveled fast. He saw the same shape of the lady’s behind, but this time in a room; he was lying on a three seater sofa, a drip bag was hung above and the liquid was running into his body through the drip line.
‘Can you see her face now?’Dr Tobi asked, bringing him back to the present.
‘No, but I saw her with a pin,’ Henry said, illustrating a syringe with his hands. ‘I was sleeping on the chair and water was entering my hand,’ he added, showing the position where the fluid was entering into his vein.
Dr Tobi smiled, ‘come, let’s go in.’
‘Hello Mr Sylvester,’ Dakolo said into the phone in an urgent tone.
‘Hello sir,’ Mr Sylvester replied back in a tensed tone.
‘I know you’ve gotten the news of the bomb blast which happened simultaneously at Roffman and Denril streets,’ Dakolo said. ‘It’s a surprise that the officers in charge just told me that the NSCC has not provided any data yet.’
‘Sir, we’re working on providing the data already,’ Mr Sylvester replied.
‘What do you mean by working on it? The normal procedure is that the data should be sent at least thirty minutes after a casualty.’
‘I know sir, we’ll try and get back to you now.’
**45 minutes later**
‘Guys, we really need to do something quick,’ Mr Sylvester said as he walked into the general computer room. Tarasha and the guys who worked with Henry were seated in front of different computers, very busy with what they were doing. They all looked up to stare at Mr Sylvester on hearing his voice.
‘This is the third bomb blast that has been reported in Abuja today and we can’t provide the police with videos captured around the place before or after the blast,’ Mr Sylvester added.
‘We can’t provide what we don’t have sir,’ Tarasha was the first to reply.
‘The cameras have not been functioning and we couldn’t have recorded anything.’ Frank put in.
‘But we have to do something quick to get our cameras working again,’ Mr Sylvester said, trying to encourage them to work more.
Tarasha took her hands off the computer keyboard and placed her eyes on Mr Sylvester conspicuously. ‘There’s nothing we can do,’ she said flatly.
‘So Kimberly, you mean you’ve not found a solution by all you’ve been doing since?’
‘I’ve told you the only solution already, it’s Mr Henry E.G’s fingerprints,’ she replied him and got up from the seat. ‘All we’ve been doing since is just a waste of time.’
Mr Sylvester heaved a sigh and put his left hand on his head, his phone rang. Whoop! It’s the Inspector General,’ he said and decided to take some time to think of what to say. The phone rang twice again before he answered.
‘Mr Sylvester, why are you not answering my calls?’
‘Sir, we’ve been running around trying to fix things.’ he replied with no apologies in his voice.
‘What are you trying to fix? What’s difficult in sending the data you’re supposed to send?’
‘We don’t have any data sir,’ he stated flatly.
‘What do you mean?’ Rikau replied.
‘Our cameras have stopped working; I spoke to Agent Dakolo about it and I also sent you a petition but got no positive reply.’
‘But you know that what you’re asking for is not ideal,’ Rikau said.
‘Sir, that’s the only way we can get our cameras to start working again; without that we may not function for the next one year,’ Sylvester said, almost shouting on top of his voice.
‘I’ll get back to you Mr Sylvester,’ Rikau said calmly and the call ended.
Mr Sylvester closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, he opened his eyes to see Kimberly and the two guys staring at him.
10 minutes later.
‘Good afternoon sir,’ Agent Dakolo said into the phone.
‘Good afternoon Agent,’ the Inspector General was the caller. ‘I heard that there’s a friction between the anti bomb squad and the NSCC.’
‘Yes, there is,’ Dakolo replied.
‘The NSCC claims that their system is locked and that the only way to unlock it is with Henry EG’s fingerprint.’
‘Yes sir, they told me that.’
‘Find a way to get Henry E.G to the NSCC office as soon as possible.’
‘But sir…’ Dakolo tried to argue.
‘Shh… Don’t be insensitive, over thirty people have been displaced, five people killed. The bombers are capitalizing on the fact that the cameras are down, we need to rectify it immediately.’
‘Shut up and just do as I say,’ the IG commanded.
END OF CHAPTER NINETEEN
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