‘How did it happen?’ Tobi’s eyes fell on his mum who was standing just right next to him, whispering the question with a surprised and worry ladened voice which complimented the uneasiness bestrewed across her face. Tife was right behind her and both ladies looked more than disturbed.
Tobi tore himself off the wall he was leaning on to lower his gaze at his mum. He had no intention of telling her Tori got involved in an accident but had no choice when he received a call from her later that night, asking why he was out that late. So he had to tell her despite his resolve not to alarm her.
It’s burdening involving females in situations involving life and death.
Tobi shot a quick glance at Ebiere who sat on one of the iron benches outside the hospital wards as she sobbed. Her face was already wet with tears and it was obvious she was quite stunned and shaken by the accident. She had been mute since she heard the news except for the silent sobbing sound she couldn’t stop making.
‘She got hit by a car.’ Tobi whispered the reply back to his mum. He already told her about the auto accident on phone and he felt it was unnecessary he was repeating it.
‘Hit and run?’ His mum asked once again raising a curious brow.
Tobi nodded before adding; ‘The police were chasing a stolen car and it was during the chase that Tori got hit. We had been assured by the police that the driver would be found.’ Tobi stopped talking like he just remembered something. ‘Don’t tell me you allowed Tife drive you down here. It’s late’ He gave his mum a stern look. He knew he was transferring aggression but he wasn’t quite sure he was in control of his own emotions.
‘No, your dad drove us here and he would have been here if he hadn’t been looking for a suitable place to park. So, how is Tori right now?’ She asked the worry still scattered across her face.
Tobi didn’t reply but instead gave his mum a cue through his facial expression.
His mum’s curiosity wasn’t satisfied nor did his facial hint do much to ease her tenseness and worry. She brushed past Tobi to sit beside Ebiere who increased the intensity of her sobbing immediately Tobi’s mum placed a comforting hand on her shoulder, murmuring comforting words in the process. Ebiere tried to control her sobs by placing her palms on her mouth but that ended up doing nothing to help.
Tobi took his eyes off both of them and so did Tife. The siblings are now back to looking at each other.
‘Is it really that bad?’ Tife asked gesticulating with a quick glance at Ebiere when she pronounced ‘that’.
Tobi knew the answer to that and he was really mad. Mad at Tori for being at the scene of the accident which her presence at that point where she was said to have been found made no sense and looked as though she was being suicidal and had coincidentally, unfortunately ran into a crazy driver.
‘How bad could it be? You are not even answering!’ Tife snapped her finger at Tobi’s face and waited impatiently for the likable answer her brother would give.
‘She had a deep cut on the side of her face and a nurse said something about internal bleeding and a number of broken bones. She is still so very unconscious and we’d only know how very bad it is when the doctors are done with her inside.’ Tobi answered keeping his voice as low as possible as not to arouse the already dying beast of weeping imbedded in Ebiere.
‘Oh!’ Tife seemed to understand Tobi’s initial muteness. ‘It’s pretty bad.’ Tife retorted making sure her voice was at the same volume with Tobi’s.
‘I can’t find Jo anywhere around…’ Tife saw her brother wasn’t listening to her but instead, he had his gaze raised to stare. She followed his gaze and saw what held her brother’s gaze. It was a plump, middle aged man who kept a straight, expressionless face and was walking towards them. His outfit made Tife assert he was a doctor and the way his presence held Tobi’s attention made her conclude he wasn’t any doctor but the doctor assigned to Tori.
Before Tife could turn to say something to Tobi, he was already in front of the doctor and the speed at which her mum and Ebiere appeared before him too was quite amazing. Soon, they were all surrounding the doctor who was already talking to Tobi.
‘…nerve damage due to the impact of the car’s blow. There is a pelvic fracture and some other slight fractures. There are different cuts on some parts of her body with the deepest at the side of her face. The nerve damage coupled with the pelvic fracture had led to a kind paralysis on her legs. What I’m saying in essence is, it would be impossible for her to walk if she eventually regains consciousness.’ The doctor said to the shock and sadness of his listeners.
Jo was in her office going about her daily routine like everything was normal. Like nothing is wrong with not setting her eyes on her mun for the past two days without her travelling. Like having no one talk to for the past two days is perfectly normal.
Like her whole life was perfect and normal when it actually wasn’t!
It’s bad enough she has her conscience haunting and taunting her wherever she was but what hurts more is having to put up with pretense. The pretense of being someone who has no worries at work. Acting like she gives no damn when she actually hated herself for her actions and was more than frightened things would get worse if she doesn’t stay put and let things happen the way they are supposed to.
How could she possibly face her mum, Tobi and a list of others who are apprehensive about the accident and would probably bury her alive if they find out she had been the sole culprit who upset Tori into attempting suicide?
But why would Tori attempt sucide because of what she said? It wasn’t like what she said was that terrible.
Or it probably was?
But She really doesn’t mean to harm her. All she only wanted was for her to dissapear peacefully and never come back again into her life ever again.
All she wanted was a Tori-free life.
She knew she had been selfish and jealous and it hurts so bad admitting it but it was actually the right thing to do.
Why didn’t she even think it through?
She had felt so insecure and her position threatened that she had resorted into that stupid and desperate move?
The plan was fine until the deed was done. Now it feels so much like she worsened her situation because it felt like she had lost everything she tried to protect. Her mum, Tobi, her home…..
The truth was bound to be revealed soon and she really doesn’t want to imagine what would eventually happen to her when it does.
Ever since the incident with Tori two days ago, she hadn’t really been herself. She had concurred with the voices in her head that she had been a terrible person and the only way her conscience would be at peace is by letting her mum know about her approaching Tori with the offer of leaving.
It is quite apparent her mum would hate her but her mum would hate her more if she learns she was going to hide the truth and got to know through Tori.
She comfortable about telling her mum but she was planning to go see her mum and Tori for the first time today since Tori got admitted.
Even though she works in the same hospital, she hadn’t visited her.
Not even once.
She had even declined Idris’ suggestion of visiting Tori with him, telling her what he heard about the accident being rather fatal and unpleasant.
Jo had ended up making up some flimsy excuses that made Idris questioned her. Asked her if her refusal to go see Tori was because of the hugging episode with Marcus.
Well, it used to be because of Marcus but it isn’t anymore!
What hurts more was the pathetic look on Idris’ face when he did ask.
To be sincere, it was like she forgot Marcus existed ever since the episode came up. It is something about her family, about her life, about how she would eventually end up and Marcus was the least of people she would worry about.
It was then she realized the clinging she had on Marcus had grown rather thin. She felt like she had one less problem without him.
Jo packed up for the day with a mind made up to actually come out to her mum. The inevitable was bound to happen anyway even though it spelt disaster, it was better she was doing the right thing earlier before it’s too late. Before Tori actually do the talking herself.
Jo’s heart shook with every step she took. Her grips tightened on her bag as she swallowed hard hoping her sudden courage wouldn’t fail her.
It’s now or never.
She comforted herself with the possibility of her mum not being as mad at her as she had imagined she would. She might just forgive her with some castigations and that would be all.
She wouldn’t be deceiving herself. She knows that won’t be all.
‘Hey Tife.’ Jo called trying to sound gay. Tife was on her way out of the department when Jo saw her.
Seeing Tife was relieving as she wouldn’t have to put herself through the strenuous work of calling her mum to give her directions of Tori’s room. In actual fact, she wasn’t sure her mum would pick up.
‘Hey.’ Tife answered and Jo could tell she doesn’t look exactly pleased to see her. It was like Jo’s presence fouled her mood and as though her presence needs questioning.
Not Tife too! A voice yelled in Jo’s scull.
She was really in for some battle.
Shrugging off the doubt welling up inside her and ignoring her legs which were threatening to make a U-turn and make her abort her mission, she walked to Tife, her heels clicking on the tiles with every unsure steps she took.
‘Can you take me to my mum?’ She asked and she hated her rasped voice which were actually pleading.
Tori pursed her lips and after minutes of ruminating, turned and led Jo down a corridor. After walking for a few seconds, Tife stopped before a particular door and entered while Jo, who was still deliberating on whether to go in or not, stood outside.
And just right before she could agree with the ‘go ahead and open the door voice in her head’, the door swung open from inside and Ebiere came out, slowly, carefully and noiselessly closing the door behind her.
‘What are you doing here?’ Ebiere said quietly. Her whispered question did nothing to hide the detest and anger in her voice and on face. Her question was more on the rhetorical side and a little on the sarcastic side.
Jo could feel her confession being swallowed back into her throat. Her mom was looking so dishelveled and ruffled that she suddenly became mute. Wondering if her idea of a confession was good afterall.
‘You are not talking?’ Ebiere asked with a raised brow and a frown. ‘Just get out of here!’ She yelled and made to go back inside only for Jo to hold unto her elbow with a grip so tight and annoying that Ebiere had to turn around and brush her palm so hard across Jo’s right cheek that Jo could tell her face was flaming up.
Ebiere could tell she really hit her hard as she felt heat blazing on her palms.
Jo held her face gingerly with her palm, stream of tears flooded her pretty face messing up her light make up. She wasn’t sure why she was crying. It was probably because the slap hurts so bad plus because this is the first time her mum would ever hit her or it could be because all she could see now was a dead end at her supposed confession.
She wasn’t angry nor was she mad at anybody. The only thing she felt at that very moment was self-pity.
Ebiere held up her head, flicking back the tears in her eyes before yelling so loud a deaf man could hear.
‘How could you? How could you act like you didn’t know how bad your sister’s condition was! You guys may not be related by blood but isn’t it just human? Human that you shove aside grudges when life and death is involved! You are so heartless, self-centered, selfish, jealous and you just disgust me! You disgust me, I don’t want to see you!..’
‘Mum!’ Jo screamed. She was actually yelling with a scrunched up face while she sobbed. ‘Just listen to me!…’
‘Tori is awake!’ Tife announced with a bright face. She opened the door and poked her head outside to announce to Ebiere whose anger was immediately replaced with excitement. Ebiere hurried inside with Tife leading the way.
Jo stopped sobbing when Tife made the announcement. Her face was still masked with sadness even though she was also happy Tori woke up. One of her fears was out of the way only to be replaced by another. The fear of Tori beating her to her own confession now that she is awake.
Knowing she was probably making the worst move ever, she turned the door handle, opened the door and gently slipped inside.
It’s heartbreaking to think that love might just not catch up with you. That night, after Smith walked out at the bus station, I sat down there for hours wondering how this situation had come Read more…