‘you are awake!’, Olawunmi sputtered and almost choked on her biscuits. She wiped her mouth with her hanky. She looked at me, bright eyed, placed her left hand on her chest, and exhaled audibly; which was quite dramatic.
‘Hmmn Precious, you wouldn’t believe what happened to me last night, I left my phone in the taxi I took to Marina beach, after which I almost drowned in the beach, you won’t believe it, then when I realised my phone was missing, it was too late, it was dark already and..’, she kept on with her senseless prattle. I could not make head or tail of what she was saying. I had barely regained consciousness, my head banged heavily as though a sledge hammer was hit on it severally. I felt myself slowly drifting off, I was still feeling faint. Finally, I slept.
It was Olawunmi who had grabbed me last night. So I learnt from her on our way back home. Yvonne was busy, she couldn’t come to the hospital, she had an appointment, ‘a very very important one’, that was how she put it. Then slapping the knuckle side of her left hand against the palm of her right hand and doing the same with her right hand, she made a light clicking sound with her throat
I don’t even know know how come I forgot that phone in that taxi’, she said.
She turned to look at me, sharply, as if she suddenly recalled something important
‘your number was my last dialed number, did you see my missed call? Probably the driver called you or something’.
She further explained that she was chatty with the driver and very friendly towards him, therefore, he would have found a way to reach her. That was when it all made sense to me
‘better tell that your phone bye bye. I almost had a heart attack that yesterday. The driver or whoever it was kept calling. I thought it was you.. It was not funny at all’.
Olawunmi kept a straight face. We rode silently home, there was nothing more to discuss. Oh, there were numerous things to discuss, why was Olawunmi’s room empty? for instance and why did this route home look exceptionally unfamiliar. We were now in between multiple rain forests. The car became very fast suddenly, as though the driver was aware of my rapt uneasiness. This was definitely not our way home. Olawunmi kept a straight face still.
I whisked away several leaves that clung to my body. We had been walking in this thick bush for hours. Olawunmi would still not tell me where we were headed. There wasn’t even network here at all. I cleared my throat to capture Olawunmi’s attention, I cleared it nothing less than twelve times, I was sure.
‘What is it?!’, she yelled, then took a deep breath obviously to calm herself down, softly this time
‘what is it?’ she asked.
‘No o, it’s just that I don’t understand this new route home. Is there traffic along old ikang road?’ I asked, trying my every best to feign confusion, both in my face and voice,
‘plus’, I continued, ‘how far the furniture in your room, what happened to them?’
She turned quite rapidly at me, for she was ahead of me
‘what do you mean furniture?’ then as if recalling something, she snapped her fingers
‘Oohk, it’s true ooo. My room was empty when I returned home. I don’t know what happened to the furniture there. I.. I.. did pack my clothes and shoes, yes, I did. But, the furniture’, deep breath,’ I have no clue as to what happened to them’. Things just got more confusing. By now I had gotten to her, she held my hands firmly, facing me she said
‘I’m about to take you to someone who would change our lives forever. I have met him prior to today. He has been of help immensely. But now, I am introducing you to a better and richer future’
she dropped my hand, and looked ahead, pointing, she told me to look, and look, I did. There, amidst the chaos of shrubs and bushes, stood a well maintained bungalow, it was not painted though, but it stood there, firmly rooted to the ground. And no, it was not a mud and thatch house. The driver had been following us, behind, all this while. He rushed ahead of us into the house.
‘it was one of Yvonne’s uncles that introduced me to this place. He said Yvonne did him strong thing, abandoning him because she found richer men, that was when it dawned on me that all these men she calls uncle are actually not her uncles. And when she manages to introduce us to one, it is like she has done us an impossible favour.
Kpa!..’ she continued to talk, I listened. She talked about how this anonymous uncle, for she would not give me his name, encouraged her to rise above Yvonne
‘he told me that if Yvonne could, then I could’, that was how she put it.
‘so why did you return home last night?’ I asked expressionlessly
‘to take you along with me of course. You are my friend, always have been, for a long time. I could not rise and leave you behind’. The driver came out of the house, it was now I noticed his towering height. He was very slim too.
‘the lord shall see you now’, he said and briskly walked back in. His knees knocked hard against each other as he walked. I winced with pain on his behalf. Why must almost every very tall individual have k-leg? I thought to myself. Olawunmi ahead, she motioned me to follow her, then abruptly she stopped, I stopped too, then, she faced me, and shaking her forefinger rhythmically, she looked at me intently, she said
‘you know in order to soar to the top, we have to do away with every form of distractions and weaknesses. Emotionally especially. That Oseloka boy was beginning to become a distraction, I hope you stayed away from him as I told you to?’, her eyes wandered to my hand, where the finger marks were, there was this unmistakable glint in her eyes, she grinned with satisfaction and walked briskly too into the house. I stood there, frozen with fear and shock. Blood drained from my face. I was white, I knew that.
Olawunmi was the witch!