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My eyes meet Sam’s glare through the rear view mirror and I roll my eyes. Seriously? What is wrong with this guy? If I hadn’t known better, I would think he was a jealous spouse. He sure is acting like one! I tap Sunday on his shoulders and he starts driving. I fish out my phone and type.
So did you think my naked body was as capturing as yours?
I know I’m crossing a line but I feel that line was snipped yesterday night. I will know if I’m correct by her reply. God, to think that she was lying in my bed yesterday night, pouring her heart out. Feels like a million years ago. She doesn’t reply so I put it on vibration and throw it on the seat beside me. I had some tests done the last time I was at my therapist’s and I’m supposed to get the results today. I hope it’s good news. This week is going to be very busy for me. Taking up leadership role in my family’s empire, convincing Ella and dealing with my medical condition. Everything feels so stifling. I subconsciously tug at my absent tie. I gesture for Sam that I want the air conditioner off and wind down the glass. My phone vibrates and I jump. I can hear my blood pump as I pick it up quickly and click on message.
Mr Fola. Just wanted to be sure you are working on the software.
I sigh, downcast.
I’m on it.
I type and send.
I grab my laptop bag near my foot and pull my laptop from it. I have been working on this thing for weeks now. I love my job and I hope nothing takes me away from it which is why I’m reluctant about assuming this role. The man my father put in charge of me, Barrister Lanre Peters, looks like a trustworthy person but I don’t trust that easily. Where was he all these years I had to fend for myself on the streets? Hmm? Now, he comes to tell me I have to assume a role I’m clearly not ready for. What happened to all my cousins or uncles that took everything and pushed me away when all I needed was family? Did they just drop down and die or did they fall off the earth? I’m not bothered though. I have money now and I have family- Sam and Ella- even though Ella doesn’t know it. Yet. I don’t know how I’m going to break it to her. Besides, I want to be sure first. I want to be one hundred percent certain even though my guts already told me what I need to know. I think I may be in love with her. I already know I’m physically attracted to her and I’m also protective of her. Honestly though, I knew this from the moment I saw her. The first day we packed in to this house- Sam and I. I knew there was something there but I didn’t want to pursue it. I came here to bury my head and she was unconventional. I didn’t need drama. Truth be told or let me say because of the power of the human mind, Ella is the girl you see at first glance and you turn back to look at her again. You give her this long look that never satisfies you. You don’t turn away till she catches on. She is beautiful but that’s not even her most enrapturing feature. It’s the combination of everything. Her figure, her hair, her complexion, her tattoos, her charisma. Everything. Admittedly, I was caught but at that moment when I first saw her, I immediately categorized her under ‘runs girls’. I still feel ashamed of that moment even though I held on to my beliefs till yesternight. I’m going to speak with Sam about her neighbour. Something has got to be done. When I saw her face today, I just wanted to hit something. I’m breathing heavily from the rage unfurling and Sam turns to look at me with concern. I give him a dry look and he rolls his eyes. My hands fly swiftly over the keyboard as I get lost in my thought again. I’m just waiting for her consent. I don’t understand why men rape. Even I get ladies. So what is the problem? She doesn’t even really expose her body. Her limit is shorts. So, why? I must admit I’m feeling overwhelmed on her behalf and I’m going to get justice. I couldn’t protect her from those men years ago and was not able to do anything about it. I couldn’t protect her from her neighbor even though I felt a warning. I wish I had stopped her from entering his apartment that day. I knew something was wrong but I just couldn’t place my finger on it. I couldn’t stop him from harming her but I will be damned if I let him get away with it.
We are stopping. I look outside the window and see that we are at the hospital. I close my laptop and push it back into the bag and hand it over to Sunday. I get down and walk into my therapist’s office. He is not on seat but the nurse smiles at me as she slowly tells me to wait for him inside. I smile in gratitude and walk to the visitor’s side of the table and help my self to one of the chairs. Ella has a boyfriend. Tony. My subconscious self tells me. I don’t know why it does at this moment and I feel a little bad because of that unneeded information. I don’t have time to pursue that thought though because my doctors walk in.
“Fola.” The senior doctor says and beams. I smile back at him even though I feel a bit nervous. Yes, we are on a first name basis. He shakes my hand and takes his seat. I nod at the other doctor, a lady in her mid twenties, and she smiles shyly at me. We went out on a date once but then we found out she was slightly older than me which wasn’t a problem to me though but she said she couldn’t. Besides, I was her patient. The senior doctor, Fenwa, wrote something on a medical journal and passed it to me.
So have you stopped texting altogether?
No. I’m getting there though.
Good. We have good and bad news.
You will need a surgery.
Hot damn! I don’t want a surgery. Sigh. There is no other way?
None and the bad part of the news- wait, the surgery isn’t the bad part?- is that it’s just about sixty percent guaranteed.
Let’s start speaking onwards, Fola. This feels like giving counting numbers to a basic six student as tests.
I raise my eyes to him and he smiles at me.
“The good news?” I ask without making a sound.
He smiles and raises a thumb, and I shift uncomfortably, tugging at an absent tie. “The good news is that you have a sixty percent chance of regaining your hearing back.” He says slowly laughing at his own joke. I’m not even finding it funny. “Come on.” He cajoles. “Fola, you have to see the humor in what I just said. I have been practicing for days.” He says rapidly.
The sentence was too long. I didn’t really understand him but I think he wants be to smile so I smile and nod towards the paper he is clutching tightly.
He looks at his hand as if on cue. “Oh. This is your result.” He says slowly.
I drag the journal close to me and write on it.
What about talking? I ask, fearing the worst.
The doctor shakes his head at me and pulls the journal to himself. He glances at it briefly and writes.
That, I’m afraid you have to do by yourself. You know I told you, you locked your mind. The key is finding the key.
Okay, now I’m regretting starting word plays with this guy.
The result from the ENT surgeons shows that the only problem you have is a minor accident with your ears, probably from being too close to a very loud object like a bomb for example.
I don’t know why that sentence sends shivers down my spine.
The only thing that confuses me now is that you say you don’t remember talking or hearing at all.
The doctor switches back to talking. “Fola please let’s get the surgery done for you. It will even improve your chances of speaking. Do you see?” He says while gesturing to aid my perception.
I nod firmly and he beams again.
Sam is still visibly pissed when I walk out of the hospital. For the love of God. To think that Ella even told him her name and he still couldn’t grasp that she is my Ella.
I check my phone again but no new message.
Olumide was getting weaker from grief. To think his mother was responsible for this. What kind of family was he born into? Yeah, they had money but money wasn’t everything. In fact, money was nothing. Nothing! His life was a testimony of that. Ever since he was grown enough to be aware of his surroundings, he knew his family was dysfunctional but he wasn’t really affected by it till he started seeing his friends’ families and knew that he had lucked out of something truly wonderful. He hated his family and wanted a new one himself. He ran away from home several times but he was always found. It was the bloody blood that ran though his veins. He was the spitting image of his father just as Afolabi was his. To think of his son in the past tense was to bury a hatchet in his skull. He couldn’t believe the only wish he had in his life was taken by a woman who even though had the power to give it to him, didn’t. A family. He looked at a framed picture he had someone print out of his phone. It was a rare moment where Fareedah was smiling along with him and Afolabi. His mother had been calling him incessantly but he couldn’t even bear to hear her voice. He had never hated anyone as much as he hated his mother. Just then, his phone vibrates from an incoming message.
Afolabi may still be alive. Some of my men were asking around the area where the shooting took place and some eye witnesses told them they actually saw a young boy being dragged away by two men. We showed them his picture and they confirmed it was him. I strongly believe there is hope, sir.
Good job. Olumide sent back.
He felt a glimmer of hope in his chest but as soon squashed it. People would say whatever you wanted to hear as soon as you shoved cash into their eager hands.
He should know.
Mehn, this long thing is killing me oh but this month is about pushing boundaries, no?