He walked along the long passage of the hospital knowing fully well that a young beautiful Jade was behind staring at him and feeling disappointed for snubbing her after she pleaded for forgiveness. Though it hurt him tremendously, but having the knowledge that his father was in prison for a crime he never committed broke his heart the more. Jade turned to see Mrs Ukachi coming out from the emergency ward. Her movement was like that of a person who lost something on the way. She anticipated to see no one but her son, Ken. Jade stopped her, still on the passage, while Esther and her father sat on a long bench.
“Is my son back?” Mrs Ukachi asked Jade in a haste.
She shook her head. “I believe your son is hiding something from us. He stayed with Ikuku, a powerful man. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine” she paused while the woman looked at the entrance of the hospital hoping to see Ken coming from it. “Uhm.. ma’am,” Jade called back her attention. “Thank you for helping my Daddy on..”
The presence of a nurse interrupted them. She wore a medical hand gloves stained with blood. Her voice sounded hastily but politely. “Please, ma’am, the doctor needs you. He said your husband needs some blood”
Mrs Ukachi and Jade glaced at each other.
“Oh, I’m sorry, he’s not my husband” Mrs Ukachi pointed at Jade. “This is the daughter here”
“My father’s blood group doesn’t match with mine” Jade quickly said.
“C’mon, let’s go first” Mrs Ukachi held her by the hand, following the nurse “I can donate mine for him since I’m O-positive, but let’s see the doctor first” she added to the hearing of Jade alone, almost like a whisper.
The sun set thereby gradually bringing about darkness on the geographical area of the world. It reflected on the wheel screen of Mr Dennis car, driven by his son, Wisdom who steadily handled the stirring wheel, thinking about his father’s words: “You must not lay your hands on a woman, that’s my point!… That I smoke doesn’t make me a bad person, son” Wisdom exhaled, feeling bad for accusing his father wrongly. He also remembered Fred’s words too: “I trust you, dude.. I.. I trust you to make it out of here alive. When you do, get to my parents and tell them that I love them.. Most of all, promise to get whosoever that set this fucking trap and kill him, even if it’s Otiotio, my governor..” he also felt bad for the death of his friend. Therefore he pulled the car to a stop, brought out the gun and got it ready. Immediately he ignited the engine again, Ken’s words also came into his memory: “I’ll meet you at Golf Equisite Hotel, near Enugu airport, room 22 precisely before six post meridian. Otiotio will die by your bullet. I have seen it all?” he glanced at the car digital clock: 5:05pm. He topped another gear. “What is Ken hiding? He saw it all. How?” he kept thinking until he nearly hit down someone crossing the road. Only then did he understand his father’s statement: “Empty your mind whenever you’re on the driver’s seat” he smiled then tried not to think of any other thing.
Information had gone round that Otiotio was on his way to the city airport. Therefore people crowded there for more agitation in a way no space was given to any person to enter into the tarmac talk more of an airplane. Suddenly, the governor siren came with his convoys, but they saw no way to enter into the airport. People began to throw stones at the parado vehicles without minding the SSS who came out with guns to clear the crowd. As if that wasn’t enough, the sound of gunshots came from nowhere, shooting at the particular car Otiotio was inside thereby making him to rush out of it, running like a pregnant woman towards the nearest hotel found there; Golf Exquisite hotel to be precised, of course, protected by three gun men. However, tear-gas had been released within the vicinity thereby dispersing the crowd gradually. Some died while some suffocated. Yet, many troop towards the hotel, disorganized Otiotio and the three men in such a way they all ran towards different ways. Unfortunately, the governor ran into one of the hotel rooms, room twenty-two precisely to see Wisdom aiming a gun at him. So he raised his hands up in the air. Wisdom locked the door instantly.
“Do you know me, old man?” he asked.
Otiotio frightened. “Listen, Kid, I could make you the richest boy among your age mates. I will give you whatever thing you want. Just spare my life”
“That’s not the answer to my question. Do you know me, old man?” he repeated.
He nodded, feeling the same heat of untimely death the teenagers felt in the land of zero.
“Do you remember the promise I made to you using my singlet?”
He nodded again still with his hands up.
“Unfulfilled promise is a sin”
“Likewise killing, kid” Otiotio found his voice.
Wisdom had a factitious smile filled with anger and hatred. “Who are you to tell me what killing is all about?! Do you know how my friends suffered and dead because of you?! Do you know how it feels for someone’s life to be subjected and measured in ten seconds with hard riddles! It pains me if a remember it” he began to shed tears. “Now, in ten seconds, you will die the same way if you don’t answer my riddle correctly: Brothers and sisters I have none but this man’s father is my father’s son. Who is the man?” he began to count down, aiming the gun at him. “Nine, eight, seven…”
“Wai.. wai.. wai.. Wait, wait, kid!” Otiotio stammered.
“Three, two, one” Wisdom pulled the trigger on his head. Blood splashed. “That’s for Fred” he moved closer and shot two more bullets. “That’s for Gina and Sandra” he shot the last one. “Say hi to Paul” he rushed out of the hotel, trying to locate his father’s car. His movement was like that of an executor, rushing out from his crime scene. He opened the door of his car, entered then found Ken seated on the next front seat. Therefore he became shocked! “What.. how did you come here?”
“I told you I would meet you here?” Ken replied. “How did it go?” he changed the topic.
Wisdom ignored him then started the car and drove away. “He’s dead by my bullets, just as you told me” he later replied then glanced at him. “Now, start talking; How do you know i was gonna kill Otiotio right inside the hotel room?”
Ken brought out the magical eyeglass. “I saw it through this”
“How? What’s that?”
“A magical eyeglass. It was given to me by Ikuku who said my father left it for me. It only requires you to wear it and call the name of any person you must have seen his or her face before, then you’ll see the time or date of anything bad that will happen to that person. The bad thing must try to take the person’s life. So the time you left to bring your father’s car, I went to a lonely place, called the governor’s name and I saw him shot dead by you inside the hotel” Ken explained.
“What about those men in black?”
“I don’t know who they are. Though Ikuku told me of them. They are looking for this eyeglass”
“How then did you outrun them coz they were damn swift?”
Ken staggered into the Bush after jumping from the vehicle. He never ran much into the bush before he saw a tall canopy tree which he climbed. Therefore, as the men rushed in too, they didn’t notice his presence up in the tree rather sped into the inner part of the bush. Ken waited for a while without noticing their presence then gradually climbed down the tree and began to find his way to Golf Equisite Hotel…
“That’s how I found my way here” he concluded. “You must keep it a secret” he added.
Wisdom glanced at the magical eyeglass again. “That’s your burden to carry, bro” he topped another gear.
Back to the hospital, Mercy found her way there. She could be seen walking through the long passage of the hospital, flinging her butt involuntarily in a short black skirt and white round curler T-shirt that had an image of an international celebrity. She passed through the emergency room where she saw Mr Raymond and Mrs Ukachi being attended to by doctors. Sooner did she meet Jade and Esther on a long metel bench at the reception. There was television there, broadcasting the current situation in the city.
“I saw Wisdom and both of you on T.V. What of Ken and others?” Mercy queried.
“We lost Fred” Jade replied while Esther remained absent-minded. “She lost her mother too” Jade clarified, looking at Esther. Only then did Mercy understand her reason for being mute. Therefore she consoled her. She turned to see Wisdom and Ken coming from the entrance of the hospital, even Jade smiled happily to see Ken back safely.
“Ken?” Mercy ran through the passage and hugged him tightly in everybody’s amazement. They all wondered when both became too close for such a hug and excitement coz, Ken they knew was an introvert. “I’m so happy you are okay” the young girl said after disengaging from him.
Ken smiled with a look at Wisdom.
“Don’t look at me bro, you’re unpredictable” he began to go, leaving them behind, yet smiled too which gave Jade some hope.
“I’m happy you are okay too” Ken replied as they joined their friends at the reception where Jade and Esther welcomed him. “Where is my mother?” Ken asked, but nobody replied him due to a breaking news that came from the television saying, “After a long and violent agitations by citizens over the death of competitors who were told by a survival name Wisdom Dennis to be planned by governor Otiotio, the governor has been found dead at Golf Equisite Hotal where he was trying to escape to another country. His killer still remains unknown..”
An unbelievable exclamation escalated not only in the reception but also in the whole city. Jade and Esther looked at Wisdom suspiciously, of course they understood that he was the one who did it. Just before they became inquisitive, Mrs Ukachi came out from the emergency room. “Ken!” she called.
Ken turned. “Mother” he embraced her as others stared at them. Jade wished she had a mother who would embrace her too.
“C’mon, let’s go home” Mrs Ukachi Whispered.
“Wait!” Mercy approached them. “We can go together with my parents”
Hearing that, Ken said, “No, we..”
“Is okay son” the mother interrupted him without knowing that he was only trying to prevent her from see Mr Nnanna and his wife. Nevertheless, she waved at Jade and others a good bye. She was also appreciated by Jade for the blood she donated to her father. On the same manner, Ken shook hand with Wisdom and waved at others a good bye, letting them know that they would see in school the next day. Mercy did the same.
Moreover, Mercy walked side by side with Mrs Ukachi and her son, Ken, towards the entrance of the hospital. They stopped at the last pavement, staring at Mr and Mrs Nnanna who stood by their car, actually, waiting for their daughter. Mrs Ukachi and Mr Nnanna stared at each other as if never seen before. Though Ken understood it, but Mrs Nnanna and Mercy had no clue of the meaning of such eyes contact.
“Mercy, let’s go. Its getting late” the mother broke the silence.
“Mum, Dad, please, carry my friend, Ken and her mother along” Mercy pleaded.
The mother smiled , looking at Ken. “Oh, I can remember you. One of my daughter’s favourite competitors. Thank God you made it out from the hands of the wicked. Please, let’s go”
Mrs Ukachi swallowed hard after averting her eyes from Mr Nnanna, a man she hoped to be his wife, a man who woke up a sleeping butterfly in her stomach. Her voice came dryly, looking at Mercy. “Uhm.. Oh my dear, I just remembered that we shall branch somewhere before going home” she smiled factitiously, now looking at Mrs Nnanna. “Thank you very much for your help”
“Is okay” Mrs Nnanna smiled back.
Mercy became confused, watching Ken leave with his mother. She just couldn’t understand the sudden change of mind. Nevertheless, she went home with her parents.
On the other hand, Wisdom wanted to leave the hospital too. He looked at Jade and said, “I have to go home now. Its been a long day”
“Okay” Jade folded her hands. Her look was inquisitive. “Did you do it?”
“You know what I’m talking about”
“I fulfilled a promise I made to him and Fred. Yes, I did it”
Both remained silent as their eyes never departed from each other.
“Listen, Wisdom…” Jade wanted to say but interrupted by Wisdom.
“I know, Jade. It’s not for me to forgive. It’s for my Dad and God” he placed a hand on her shoulder. “I don’t want the issue of our parents to weigh us down coz I’ve found love in you., okay?”
Jade smiled happily. “I love you too” she whispered.
He released the hand. “I’ll go look for a way to get my Dad out of prison”
“Don’t worry, I’ll make my Dad confess when he gets well. It will be easier”
“Bye” Wisdom encouraged Esther too then went home.
At the residence of Mrs Ukachi, Mrs Ukachi wept bitterly for being used by Mr Nnanna. She sat in the living room with her son, Ken, who couldn’t believe he made it home alive. At the same time, he pitied the mother for going through emotional pains again. He made her understand that he knew all along, but didn’t know how to tell her. Suddenly, a knock came from the door then Mr Nnanna entered like a child chased out of the house.
Mrs Ukachi stood angrily, then slapped him. “How dare you step your feet here again! You were lying to me all this while. I never knew you had a wife. Now get out of here!”
Mr Nnanna’s voice came dryly. “I came to apologise”
“Hell go with your apology. Leave my house!”
He gradually left while Mrs Ukachi wept bitterly.
The next day, Heartland comprehensive collage mourned for the death of their own, likewise Kings collage. Many students cried especially the parents of the affected children. Mrs Chinyere, their principal, was speechless. Who would have thought things would fall apart?
Nevertheless, Wisdom walked gently inside the prison yard. He was directed by a warden, passing through several passages and opening several doors until they arrived at the visitor’s room. He sat down on one of the tables, waiting patiently for his father. Suddenly, he arrived, wearing a yellow prison uniform. He quietly sat opposite his son in a way both stared at each other.
“Son, I’m innocent” Mr Dennis broke the silence.
“I know, Dad” Wisdom paused then continued. “Mr Raymond confessed how he set you up after he was shot.”
“That fool! I’ll make sure I..”
“You’ll do nothing but to forgive him, Dad. Please, for my sake and the God’s sake.” Wisdom paused again while the father listened. “I’m sorry for suspecting you earlier. I’ll get you out of here soon”
“I’m happy and proud of you, son” Mr Dennis stood up and hugged him.
Days later, Mr Raymond recovered from the bullet. He brought Mr Dennis out of prison then called for a get together dinner between both families. He never forgot to invite the woman who donated blood to him, Mrs Ukachi precisely. All sat in his dining room, including Wisdom and Jade who noticed how her father looked at Mrs Ukachi. She wished both got along, so she called in the process, “Dad,”
“Yes, my dear” Mr Raymond listened likewise everybody.
“She’ll make a perfect match”
All stopped eating, while Jade gestured at Mrs Ukachi then all laughed.
“Your daughter knows good things” Mr Dennis joked.
Mr Raymond and Mrs Ukachi glaced at each other with a smile. He wouldn’t miss to have her as another wife.
After school over at Heartland collage, Ken and Mercy could be seen on a lonely road cautiously planned by both. They looked at each other wanting to explore the feelings in them. Ken held her hand. “The city is yet to know me. And when I’m known, you must be known too. Do not come to school tomorrow”
“What are you talking about?” Mercy asked.
He smiled. “I must say I love you, Mercy, so much”
“I love you too” she smiled then both gradually had their first kiss. How would Mercy understand his first statement? Ken was speaking out of what he had seen with his magical eyeglass. Though soon, she would be forced to understand.
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