By Olu Olutosin
“I don’t think I need to send you a memo to remind you about how I set my examination questions because you all should be conversant with it by now, if you study as you are supposed to and you know everything you are supposed to know then you will definitely have no problem writing my exam. For those who think they can’t study enough or are not brilliant enough to write the exams, you know how we do it, come and see me in my office so we can talk about it” said Mallam Jibril and as soon as he was done addressing the class, he packed his textbooks and left.
Mallam Jibril is one of the lecturers taking the economics students, he is well known for his corrupt ways, if not the most corrupt then he should be among the most corrupt lecturers in the whole of the school. He is a man that wouldn’t be less than 50 years old in age but he still enjoys flirting around female students who are young enough to be his daughter. All the students are aware that you cannot only read and think you will pass his exam, you must sort his course before you can pass.
‘Sort’ is the slang students use in referring to bribing a lecturer to pass his/her course but in Mallam Jibril’s case, the girls can either sort him by cash or by having an affair with him while the boys can only sort him strictly by money.
“Guy make we go chop for cafeteria before the next lecture start” Ben said to Isaac who was behind him sitting beside Ejiro.
“Olboi I no get money oo, na you go pay” Isaac asked.
“You dey craze, I tell you say na you wan pay before” he replied and stood up to leave.
“Ejiro I want to go and eat, I will see you when I get back” Isaac said to Ejiro and left the class.
“Olboi you no even greet Ejiro at all” Isaac asked Ben as they were walking down to the cafeteria.
“I don greet her when we been jam for gate this morning” Ben replied like he didn’t want to speak further on it and Isaac perfectly understood and hence he didn’t probe further.
They haven’t gone far from the class when they heard a feminine voice calling there names, they turned towards the direction where the voice was coming from and they realised it was Beatrice. They tarried for her to catch up with them.
“Where are you guys going to” she asked as she hugged the both of them.
“We are going to the cafeteria” Isaac replied.
“Ohh but can I talk to you for a minute” she said to Isaac.
“I will just be under that tree” Ben said to them and excused himself.
He walked down to the tree and sat down on a small piece of wood facing their lecture room. Coincidentally Ejiro also walked outside the lecture room and looked straight to where Ben was and immediately looked away. Ben kept looking towards her side and at that moment he realised how deeply he must have hurt her, he remembered all the moments they spent together, he felt guilty for all the pains he must have made her go through. He decided to walk towards her and see if they could talk things out.
As he was about to cross to meet her, he was obstructed by a car that suddenly pulled up infront of him. It’s Anne’s car.
“Where are you going to in such a hurry” Anne asked with a straightface.
“Errmm Errmm We are going to the Cafeteria” he stammered.
“And why are you heading towards that direction” she asked suspiciously pointing towards where Ejiro was standing.
“What directio….” Ben raised his head to where she pointed to and wanted to reply but he couldn’t finish the sentence.
He ran across the road without looking for oncoming cars, he ran towards where Ejiro was standing, she was lying down on the ground now. Isaac who saw Ben running like a mad man ran after him without even knowing why Ben was running.
“What happened to her” Isaac shouted when he saw Ejiro lying on the floor.
“She fainted again” Ben shouted back to reply.
They both lifted her and rushed towards where Anne’s car was. Anne who had also realised what happened ran out of the car to open the back door and then rushed back to ignite the car. Ben and Isaac laid her in the back seat, Ben sat beside her and Isaac ran to sit in the front.
It all happened so fast that Beatrice couldn’t even move or ask what was happening, before she could realise what was happening, Anne has already drove out of the school compound.
Anne drove so fast that even the best racer in the movie fast and furious will have to give his best to beat her in a race at that very moment. In a twinkle of an eye, they were already in the University of Abuja teaching hospital. The nurses rushed her in with a stretcher and instructed them to wait at the waiting room.
After they waited for a long time, the doctor came out from the room they carried her to.
“Doctor what’s the situation right now, is she alright” Ben asked as they all rushed to where the doctor was.
“It’s like she hit her head on a very hard substance when she fainted which has made her fall into coma” said the doctor.
“Coma” they all screamed
“The coma is not what you guys should be worried about right now” doctor
“What then should we be worried about then” Isaac inquired
“About what has been causing her to faint” he replied
“And what is that” Ben.
“She is suffering from Cardiac arrhythmia” Doctor said
“What’s that” Anne asked after what seemed like a long silence.
“It is a group of conditions in which the heartbeat is irregular, too fast, or too slow” the doctor said and when he saw they didn’t seem to understand what he’s saying, he continued “Many types of arrhythmia have no symptoms. When symptoms are present these may include palpitations or feeling a pause between heartbeats. More seriously there may be lightheadedness, passing out, shortness of breath, or chest pain. While most types of arrhythmia are not serious, some predispose a person to complications such as stroke or heart failure, Others may result in cardiac arrest”
“Isn’t she too young for all this terminologies and sicknesses you are calling” Anne asked.
“Yeah it happens mostly to people from age 60 and above but on a rare case like this, it happens amongst young ones” the doctor replied smiling.
“Okay what is the way forward now” Ben
“She needs a surgery as soon as possible” he replied
“Please proceed with the surgery immediately, I will foot all the bills” Anne said.
“The issue now is not about the money alone, it’s about the kind of surgery she needs”
“What do you mean by that” Ben asked angrily.
“She needs a heart transplant” the doctor replied with a serious look this time.
“Heart transplant” they all chorused.
They all waited till late in the night to see if Ejiro was gonna wake up from coma but when it was really getting close to midnight, Isaac and Anne decided to go home while Ben volunteered to stay back and keep an eye on her.
Anne dropped Isaac off at his apartment and left for hers, Isaac walked into his compound and was surprised to see the light in his room switched on, he was so sure that he switched the light off before leaving for class in the morning. He walked slowly through the silent compound trying not to make any noise and disturbing the people sleeping. He got to the door and tried opening it without the keys, to his greatest surprise, the door wasn’t locked. Never before since he has been living in that apartment has he ever forgotten to lock the door with keys, moreover he was so certain about how he left the house after switching off the light and locking the door. He prayed in his mind that it should just be a case of the locals breaking into his House and nothing more.
He entered the house slowly and saw that the room was just as he left it in the morning, all his furnitures and electronics were intact, he wondered if he really didn’t lock the door or something wasn’t just right. He left the door opened for him to be able to run out if he sees anything strange, immediately he stepped away from the door, the door closed by itself and clicked like someone just locked it from outside. Fear gripped him, he started feeling cold from the inside, he started struggling to open the door but all his efforts proved fruitless, the door was strongly locked, nevertheless he kept on struggling with the door until he started feeling weak, when he realised he was getting weak he let go off the door but the was still feeling the weakness. Gradually he felt all his body being paralysed, he fell down to the ground and couldn’t move his hand, legs or any part of his body except for his eyes and mouth.
“What is happening to me, am I having stroke or what” he said to himself.
“You are not having stroke, you are only feeling all these because I am making you feel so” someone said and it sounded like the voice was coming from the kitchen.
“Who is there” he tried to shout but he couldn’t, his voice just came out softly like a whisper.
He started hearing footsteps and knew the person was approaching, he expected the worst but who he saw was far more than the worst he was expecting.
“Hello babe, what are you going to eat tonight now” Anne asked on the other end of the line.
“Babe I can’t eat anything tonight but I will be glad if you can make me yam and egg for breakfast tomorrow” Ben replied .
“Okay baby, take care of yourself and I love you” Anne
“I love you too babe” he replied and hung up.
Ben’s sitting on a chair close to Ejiro’s bed, he was so exhausted to the extent that he was already dozing off until he heard Ejiro’s voice.
“You won’t understand” Ejiro said
Ben was so happy when he heard the voice, he thought she was out of coma but when he saw that her eyes were still shut, he realised that she was still unconscious. He was still contemplating on whether he should go and summon the doctor or not when he heard her speak again.
“Ajadi my mates are angry with me, they said I have broken the rule by falling in love with you, they have not even talked to me in a while and am scared about what they can do to us” she said unconsciously.
Ben was surprised and afraid at the same time, he remembered the dream Isaac told him about Ejiro referring to him as Ajadi.
“I don’t want people to start saying that another person has died because of Omolabake” Ejiro spoke again.
He remembered that Omolabake was the name that Isaac said Ejiro called herself, he also remembered the day he passed out when he was making out with Anne, he remembered he was speaking some strange words unconsciously and also remembered calling out the name Omolabake, he was more certain when Anne confirmed to him that he kept on repeating the name Omolabake.
He began to wonder what’s really happening to all of them, wondering if they are all part of the prophecy that strange priest in the village was talking about. He really needed someone to explain this mystery and prophecy’ he concluded in his mind.
“How did you get into my house Beatrice and what are you doing to me” Isaac asked still lying paralysed on the floor.
“You can’t even recognise me when you see me so how can you make the right decisions. Wait, is it that you really can’t remember anything” Said Beatrice.
“What are you saying, I can’t make any sense out of everything you just said” Isaac replied.
“What a pity, even if you can’t remember anything, it won’t stop me from taking my vengeance on you” she said
“Beatrice what did I do to you, how did I wrong you” he asked pitifully
“Beatrice is no longer here, I am borrowing her body for the time being, as soon as am done with my mission, I will leave” she said smiling.
Looks like she was enjoying the view of him lying down helplessly.
“Who are you” he inquired
“I am Clarieta” she replied nonchalantly
“What in heaven’s name are you saying, okay let’s even assume that you are Clarieta, what wrong did I do to you, why did you tried to kill me the other day”.
“I didn’t try to kill you, I killed you. I don’t know why that silly priest revive you” she snapped at him.
“But why” he snapped back
“Because you chose her over me” she said and headed back to the kitchen.
“Chose who, when, where, how” he asked but didn’t get any reply.
He started trying to think back and see if he had ever met Clarieta before meeting her in class the other day. He was still thinking it through when he heard the strange voice again.
“Didn’t I tell you to be careful and watchful” the strange voice spoke.
He realised it was the voice that called himself Babatunji but he couldn’t reply by speaking out loud because he was scared Beatrice or Clarieta as she claimed to be might hear his voice from inside.
“Please help me” he said in his mind hoping that the voice would be able to read his mind.
“I can hear you and yes I have called out for help, let’s just hope the help comes before she kills you” the voice replied
“Who did you call for help, is it Ben” he said in his mind again but the voice had gone mute.
Clarieta approached from the kitchen with a cup in her hand. She came closer to where Isaac was lying down and tried to force the substance in the cup down his throat. Suddenly a light shone brightly at a corner of the wall in the room, gradually the light dimmed and the chief priest appeared.
… To be continued