Femi’s father turned to leave Bimbo’s private hospital room. She was asleep when he came to check how she was doing.

“Can you please call me when she is awake?” he asked a nurse on duty.

“The patient in room 5?”

“Yes please. I’ll be within the hospital premises until she wakes up.” He handed her one of his business cards from his shirt pocket.

“You have tried so much for your daughter.” The nurse who collected the business card commented as she received it. Mr Adegoke nodded.

“But she was also a fighter. It is surprising that she didn’t die after such a wound.” The second nurse commented, trying to say something encouraging.

“Thank you.” Mr Ademola said.

“Wait, sir. The stress is telling on you. Can’t you ask her mother to come and relieve you of the stress?” the second nurse asks.

“She… her mother…” he cleared his throat to regain himself. The question was too sorrowful to answer. “Her mother is dead,” He answered simply and walked away.

The second nurse covered her mouth while the first one edged her with her elbow, mouthing “Your mouth will not kill you”.

“I’ll call when she wakes!” the first nurse called to Mr Adegoke, a shabby attempt to diminish the effect of her embarrassed colleague’s indiscretion. Mr Adegoke however did not hear. Not because he didn’t hear the call, it was just that his ears weren’t open to whatever she was trying to say as there was a lot more on his mind.

Femi and his mother were allowed in room 5 after a few protocols were observed.

Bimbo opened her eyes when she sensed that she had visitors.

“Femi.” She called and smiled weakly at him as she sighted him. He nodded and returned the smile.

She tried to sit up but was stopped by Mrs Elihana’s voice, asking her not to sit up. Bimbo turned her head and squinted at her; the sunlight was streaming through the window, beside which Femi’s mum stood.

“Who are you?” she asked weakly.

“Erm.. she’s my mother. The doctor says you need someone other than men to take care of you… you know, if possible.” Femi replied, quite embarrassed at his apologetic manner of introducing his mother.

His mother took over the situation immediately. She walked over and touched Bimbo’s head, trying to make sure that Bimbo was fine.

“You’ll be fine in a matter of days my dear,” she cooed lovingly.

Bimbo turned her head to look fully at her face, wanting to believe what the woman had said.

“My music box,” she said instead.

“What did you say?” Femi’s mum put her ear to Bimbo’s mouth to hear what she had to say.

“I need my music box,” she tried to speak louder this time.

“Your music box is ruined. The police took the ruins out already,” Femi answered.

“The memory cards?” she said after listening to Femi.

Femi understood what she wanted. Sadness and sorrow were still lodged in her heart. She still felt that her life was being threatened, hence she wanted to revert to her former music sustained life.

Bimbo on the other hand was worried that she hadn’t died. She had hoped that the attacker’s wound would cause her to finally die, but here she was, alive, weak and threatened. She would have to go back to her playlists.

“I want to listen to my songs,” she insisted.

“I don’t think that’s good for you now. You need to rest,” Femi answered. Bimbo was about to protest weakly but stopped when she saw her stepfather walk into the room. He had been told that someone who identified himself as his son was in the room with his daughter who appeared to be awake.

Mrs Elihana on the other hand looked at him with contempt. She then eyed him from head to toe. Femi’s father tried not to lose his grip on the nylon bag containing food. His ex-wife’s eye lashing was enough to make him lose his footing.

Femi nodded at the man, who also nodded in reply.

“Bimbo, how are you doing today?” he asked.

“Why are you here?” she tried to speak with anger in her voice. A feat which was not possible.

“I brought you food. The doctor said you could drink something light, so here’s pap for you,” he said as he unwrapped the flask from the nylon. He opened it and was about to scoop half-a-teaspoonful of the pap from the mixture of pap and milk.

“I don’t need your food,” Bimbo refused adamantly.

“Oh, and I thought of it too. It was just that the woman said that custard is oyinbo food; that pap will be better for you. I can go and get the custard if that’s what you want.”

Bimbo shifted her neck to another side of the room. She didn’t have the strength to argue this out. She had stated her stand and hoped that it was enough.

Femi instead gave her a look that gave her assurance that she could drink the pap. She hesitated and shook her head in response. Femi nodded, urging her to take the food.

She turned her face to look at her stepfather who smiled when he saw her face. He scooped another half-teaspoon of the pap.

“I can take it myself. Just drop it and go,” she said in the same manner with which she had been talking.

Her stepfather dropped the food gently on the table and drew it closer to her table. He then walked out of the room with Femi at his heels.

Bimbo sat up after he had left the room. She tried to pick up the spoon with her wounded right hand but the spoon shook in her hands and clattered to the floor. Femi’s mum who had been watching her walked quickly to her side and collected the flask from her, determined to feed her, whether she wanted it or not.

“Have you been looking forward to my reply concerning your suggestion?” Femi asked after making sure that he could talk with his father without any distraction.

“What have you decided upon, my son? Femi’s father asked with a calm façade.

“I had a job here and lost it a few days ago due to my sister’s needs. I was in line for a promotion before that happened. I had decided to stay back and seek another job with the few connections I have, but if it means fighting the evil in our family and since my life is also at stake, I’ll follow you to Ogun state.” Femi stated.

Femi’s father wanted to leap for joy. Instead, he patted Femi at the back saying, “Well done my son, you’ve made a very good decision,” while he sent praises to God in his heart.

Read the previous chapter here


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