The Last Twelve Hours
© 2017 Kayode Odusanya
Monday, 13th November, 2017
It was two in the afternoon when he opened his eyes in bed. Lying next to him with a smile on her face was a light skin beauty, his girlfriend, Maryann. “Were you watching me while I slept?” He asked as he rubbed his eyes. She nodded before getting off the bed. Maryann was in a sky blue silk nightgown that accentuated the curves on her body. He sat up in bed and watched her brush her hair at the standing mirror in front of the bed, and he thought how lucky he was to have her in his life. Not only was she beautiful on the outside, she was beautiful on the inside as well.
He reached for the A/C remote by the bedside stool, and pointed it at the split unit at the top of the wall to his right. The temperature had been set for when they were cuddled up in bed, and now he was starting to feel the cold. His eyes went back to Maryann standing in front of him, and a smile appeared on his face as he traveled down memory lane. She had shouted out his full name in a crowded room. He was mostly popular behind the scenes in the movie industry, and even though most of his colleagues knew his name was Sola Agboola, no one called him by that. Everyone called him Agbo. He later got to know that she was an admirer of his works, and wanted to shoot a movie with him. A lot of Nigerian musician had started picking up acting as a means to get more income, and they weren’t really doing it for the passion. But after his lunch with her that day, he knew he knew she would be great to work with.
They never got around to making the movie, but they hit it off immediately; becoming almost inseparable. At some point, she stumbled upon his medical records, and he thought that would scare her away, but her love for him continued to grow. In the beginning, they had both agreed to keep their relationship secret because she had just gotten out of a messy high profile relationship, but today was the day they had decided to come out as a couple.
“So, what are you going to wear tonight?” She asked as she turned around to face him. With no makeup on, she still looked as pretty as ever.
“I don’t know; maybe jeans shorts and T Shirt.” He said as he gently massaged the back of his neck. “By the way, I am going to hang-out with Goliath a little before coming over to the venue.” He added. She stopped brushing her hair and the frown on her face grew bigger. “Come on! It will just be for a little while.” He continued. But she didn’t say anything back. Instead, she turned around to face the mirror, and continued brushing her gorgeous long hair.
“Sola, you are an adult and you can do what you want.” She said and stopped to put the brush in her hand on the nightstand before turning to face him. “Come on Agbo. You know what happens when…when…” She was saying and stopped when she saw his facial expression change.
“Maryann, when was the last time I got drunk? I’m not a kid.” He said with a frown on his face. As he made an attempt to leave the room angrily, she rushed over and grabbed his hand. He stopped, but didn’t turn around. With her hands around his waist, she held him tightly from behind, and placed the side of her face on his bare back.
“Please don’t get angry.” She said in a low voice. He turned around to face her and cupped her face in his hands before leaning in to kiss her.
He hit traffic right from the foot of the third mainland bridge, going into the island from Lagos mainland. Some work being carried on the bridge had caused the traffic, which was unexpected for an off peak period. He wished he had her by his side to keep him company. “She’s out of your league.” People would say every time they found out they were dating. It was hard for them to comprehend how a skinny ordinary looking guy like him could get a beauty like her. Heck, she was the hottest female musician in the country. She could be with anyone she wanted, but she chose him. After her last relationship, she had decided she was going to embrace true love, regardless of what anyone thought of the person she was dating.
He felt something underneath his seat as he tried to adjust it. It was an almost empty bottle of Martell. He guessed one of his friends forgot it in the car from their outing yesterday. He was tempted to take a quick swig of the Cognac, but he remembered what he had promised her, and he put it back under his seat.
His mind wondered again and he remembered his last drunken episode. It always seemed like he was in control till he would wake up the next morning with a headache, wondering what he had done the night before. It wasn’t like he didn’t know his limit, but sometimes, he would just be thinking, okay, just one more sip and I would stop, and then it will be another drunken episode all over again. He never used to get drunk in his college days, and his past always kept him falling into the trap all over again, and again. All it took was for someone to hype him up, and he was at it again. He considered giving up drinking all together, but it was hard for him to do that, when all his friends and colleagues drink socially when they hangout. Being a buzz kill was something he never liked to be. But today, there sure won’t be any drinking.
Goliath’s white 2017 BMW i8 was one of the few cars parked at the bar’s parking lot as Agbo pulled into the bar’s premises. It was a small place Goliath had opened to make money off of celebrities like him, and fans of his movies. He was someone that Agbo had worked with multiple times, and every time they did, the movie was a success. So, even though he was a lot younger than Agbo, they were really close friends.
She flashed white set of teeth at him and waved as he drove past the car to park further down the parking lot. Angela was one of Goliath’s many girls, and she was sitting at the front passenger’s seat of the BMW with the vertical door up. BMW had borrowed the scissors doors technology from Lamborghini on the particular model. He parked his Honda next to a white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with two police men in it. They were escorts that followed Goliath everywhere. His dad being a popular and rich politician gave him that nickname, because he really was small in size, but the power he could wield if he needed to made him larger than life.
“Oga, well done o!” One of the police men greeted him in broken English, saluting Agbo as he came out of his car. Agbo nodded at them with a smile, and remote locked his car. They had gotten to know him from his hard partying days with Goliath. He checked himself in the mirror, wiped the sweat off his brow with a white handkerchief and adjusted the black Lacoste polo top he had on, and then walked off.
Goliath was already out of the car and heading his way when he turned around. “Go shorty! It’s your birthday!” Goliath was saying in his raspy voice, doing the dab dance as his girl stood and watched with a smile on her face. He pulled up his sagging jeans at some point, tucked his gold Jesus Piece chain underneath his blue Versace long sleeve shirt as he continued to dance to Tekno’s ‘Go’ song. With a wide smile on his face, Agbo greeted his young friend with a handshake and an embrace. And then he gave Angela a quick hug. She pecked him on the cheek and said happy birthday. She dressed casually in blue jeans, and a white t shirt; a dark skinned petite girl, with a look on her face that said I love to have fun.
“The guys are waiting for you inside.” Goliath said and pulled Agbo away from Angela.
“Okay.” Agbo said with a laugh before adding, “I can’t stay long though.”
Goliath looked at him with a frown on his face before saying, “Okay. Come inside first.” Walking side by side, they headed to the club entrance at the front of the glass bungalow, sharing small talk, until the doors of the club opened up, and the quiet inside made them stop talking. It was dark, and Abdul wondered what was going on till the lights came on, and a thundering, SURPRISE!!! reverberated through the room.
After Agbo saw all the people in the place, and thought of the time his friend would have taken to put this together, he thought it would be unfair of him if he didn’t appreciate it all and a least merry with them for a while. From having it in mind that he wouldn’t go past 5 shots, to ten, to twelve. That was the last he remembered, before he started going in and out of consciousness, and seeing himself talking loud, and acting out of character. One time, he went and grabbed Angela from behind, and instead of her getting angry, she just started gyrating to the music, and rubbing her ass against his crutch. That was the last thing he remembered before he blacked out.
At some point, when people got to know that he wasn’t just hyped about his party, but was actually drunk, they stopped giving him shots. He got angry, and started cursing out his friends.
After a while, Goliath had to attend another party close by, and almost the whole club moved outside. Goliath was moving from one car to the other, trying to coordinate his convoy. Agbo was staggering from one person to the other, saying gibberish. When Goliath was ready to leave, he told his boys to go get Agbo, but Agbo was pushing everyone away, saying he was okay. Even Goliath tried to pull him into his BMW, knowing the state his friend was and not wanting to leave him alone, but Agbo pushed him away too. When he saw he wasn’t getting anywhere with the move to get Agbo in his car, he told some of his boys to wait behind and make sure Agbo got home safely before heading to his car. His phone started buzzing as he got in. He checked and saw it was Agbo’s girlfriend, Maryann. He knew she would delay him if he picked, so he muted the phone, started up his car, and made his way out of the car lot. His friends drove out with him in his S Class Benz, but his escort stayed behind. When Agbo saw Goliath had driven out, he staggered back into the club.
12:01 am. Tuesday morning.
Maryann had been trying to get in touch with Agbo for hours, without any success. She even tried Goliath’s line when she got frustrated, but even he didn’t pick up. She was outside a restaurant on the mainland. The place usually closed by midnight, but the owner was her friend, and she had rented the place for Agbo’s birthday party till 3 am. She was looking ravishing in the red mini gown and black Christian Louboutin high heels she had on. Her friends, Agbo’s friends, and friends of friends were all waiting for the celebrant. Most of them knew they were dating, but some didn’t. When she tried Goliath’s phone one more time and got an ignore tune, she walked back into the well lit restaurant and whispered her plans to her best friend before heading out.
She got into her white Range Rover Evoque, fired up the engine, and drove out the lot; headed for the island.
Back at the club, Goliath’s friends were trying to get Agbo in their car to drive him home, but he was still pushing people away, saying he wasn’t drunk. He kept telling them he had to go meet-up with his girlfriend, and then he would mumble some other meaningless words. When they saw there was no stopping him, they told him they were heading to where Goliath had gone, and that they would take him there, and then drive him to meet his girlfriend later. He finally agreed to their plans, and even let one of them drive his car. The Toyota Tacoma with police escorts inside drove behind them as they left the club.
A few minutes after they drove out, Maryann drove into The Goliath Club premises.
With the windows up, and engine off, Agbo was sleeping in the backseat of his Honda Accord. They had locked him in the car because no one wanted to watch him, and his drunken episode was killing everyone’s vibe. He was sitting in the middle, with his head bent all the way back, and then all of a sudden, he woke up, and coughed twice. He was about to throw up, but the vomit went back down, and he choked on it. He tried to cough again, but his windpipe was blocked, and his breathing became erratic.
The air in the car was heavy, and he was finding it hard to breath. He put his palm on the side glass, and took a deep breath, then started banging on the glass. At that moment, Angela from had been heading out to check on him, and when she saw him banging on the car window, she rushed over and tried to open the car door, but it was locked. She tried all the other doors with no success, and then ran inside the quiet looking brown colored building behind her. She appeared a few minutes later with two guys. They overtook her, and one of them hit the Honda key fob in his hand to unlock the car. As he opened the backdoor, Agbo fell out. He quickly supported him, and pushed him back into the car. At that moment, Agbo looked at them, and took his last breath before collapsing on the car seat. The guy holding him slapped his face a couple of times, but nothing. He shouted out, “Agbo! Agbo! Agbo!” There was no response. He looked back at Angela with fear in his eyes. The chubby guy standing next to Angela said, “He is drunk. He’s just sleeping.”
“Timmy, are you crazy; why! Why?” Angela started shouting and pushing the chubby guy. “I told you guys not to lock him inside the car alone.” The guy holding on to Agbo gently stretched him out on the back seat of the car, and got out quickly. He ran into the building, while Angela entered the car, shaky as she checked Agbo’s condition.
Some seconds later, the guy that had run into the building came back out, ran towards where the escort pickup truck was, said something to the two police men in it, and ran back to the car. “We have to take him to the hospital, fast.”He said before heading to the drivers’ side of the car.
The Toyota Tacoma drove out the hospital with the lights off, and then turned it on when they hit the road. The two police men were in the front seat, and two of Goliath’s boys in the back seat. Everyone in the car was quiet. They had just been told what they had all known about half an hour ago but were too scared to accept; that Agbo was dead. Brought in Dead was term the doctor had used, before they all said they had to get something from the car, and disappeared from the hospital.
It was too much to handle. Timmy wished he could turn back the hands of time. They were all having fun just a couple of hours ago, how did it all go wrong, he thought to himself as he looked out the car. The street lights started looking like tall trees on fire, and he felt like he was on the highway to hell. His phone started ringing, and he saw ‘Goliath’ on the caller ID. He picked up, and Goliath kept repeating, “What the Bleep!” After saying the same thing about half a dozen times, the line went silent. He had been busy with fans when everything was happening, and you could hear it in his voice that he felt if he were around, his friends would still be alive. “Don’t say anything to anyone yet.” That was the last thing he said before the line went dead.
After getting off the line with her best friend, and telling her to disperse everyone at the venue for the surprise party for Agbo, she tried Goliath’s number once again. It rang multiple times, but no response. She was still at the parking lot of the Goliath club, in her Range Rover, with the engine running, and AC on. She threw her phone on the front passenger’s seat and took a deep breath as she prepared to drive back home when her phone started to ring. It was Goliath, and she quickly picked up the iPhone 7.
“Hello!” She said into the receiver, and waited, but all she got was silence. “Where is Agbo?” She asked. She had never really liked Goliath and never hid how she felt.
“Hmm!” Goliath exclaimed and took a deep breath.
“What? Is he drunk? Where is he?”
“Mary, Agbo is dead.”
It felt like someone had hit her on the head with a big hammer. The imaginary sound of the hammer hitting her skull echoed in her ear for a couple of seconds. After a while, she put the phone down on the center console of the car, and looked straight ahead. Goliath’s raspy voice could be heard shouting, Maryann, multiple times, as she drove out of the club. When she got out on the street, she stopped suddenly and killed the engine in the middle of the road. She looked to her side, and her phone was ringing again. She picked up, and Goliath was asking her where she was. “Just bring me Agbo.” She said with a calm voice into the receiver, and ended the call. She threw the phone in the back of the car and took a deep breath. She exhaled through her mouth as she fired up the car and started driving again.
She hadn’t driven up to a distance of 20 meters when she pulled over on the side of the road and broke down in tears; crying out loud, with snot bubbles coming out her nostrils.