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David and I walked hand-in-hand down the lake. “I can imagine the look on your mom’s face.” I said. He smiled and I smiled back. David’s phone buzzed and a text message came up. He stared at it and passed the phone to me. “You are always in my heart…now…then…and forever.”I read out loud and hugged him.
“We did it, Kimberly.” He said, softly as he stroked my hair. “I love you.”
I wanted to remain like that forever. In his arms! Everything about David was different. I could feel his heart beat so close to mine. “I love you too…sometimes.”
He pulled away slightly from the hug with my hand still firm on his back. There was a tiny glint in his eyes. “Sometimes?”
I chuckled. “Now and forever.” I replied with my eyes moist. “I love you, David.”
He smiled and pulled me back into his warm embrace.
I rolled off the bed and landed onto the floor. “Ouch!” I yelped.
Tola hissed as she adjusted her jacket. “Sonny boy left pretty early?”
“What do you mean?” I asked, looking down at myself. I was wearing a guy’s shirt, but I had my own trousers on.“Oh my God! What happened?” I screamed.
She snarled. “You don’t remember?”
I shook my head numbly. “Tell me what happened.” I said, as I slowly sat on my bed.
“Nothing jor…” Ini replied as she strolled into my room. “And David left last night not this morning.” She added as she sank into a chair. “I don’t know where you guys went to last night but you came in asleep and he had to bring you in here.” My jaw dropped. “Don’t worry, he wore a round neck tee.” I heaved.
“Killjoy!”Tola said eyeballing Ini. “Why didn’t you let me continue?”
Ini hissed. “Na so…so you can continue deceiving the poor girl, abi?”
I heaved a huge sigh of relief and collapsed back into the bed. “Don’t you guys have anywhere to go?” I yawned.
“Of course, I do” Tola replied, stressing the ‘I’. She turned in Ini’s direction. “Can I borrow your car? The Range Rover is giving me some problems.”
Ini shook her head stubbornly. “No! I have to pick Ini from the daycare today after the photo shoot.”
“Just take a taxi.” Tola shouted.
I blocked my ears with my fingers as blurted out. “Why don’t you take a taxi to work, Tola?”
She swirled in my direction. “Hello! You are talking to an office executive here.”
Ini chuckled. “Oh my dear…you are gonna need that taxi ‘cos there is no way I am riding in a taxi to a photo shoot.”
Tola hissed and eyeballed us both coldly. “I’ll manage my car.” She said and walked out.
Ini and I giggled. “Why can’t she ask Wole for a ride?”
“I tire o!”Ini replied in Pidgin English
I smiled and drew my duvet up to my chin. Ini pulled it off aggressively. “What?” I shouted.
“Don’t you work?”
I rolled my eyes. “Ini…I would go to work soon, besides, it’s just six am.” I replied glancing at my alarm clock.
“I have to ensure you aren’t late.” She said and walked out with the duvet.
I bumped into Ben as I approached the office hallway. “Ben…what’s up? Did you get the articles I sent to you this morning?”
He nodded in the affirmative. “Yes, I did.”
“How are things with Oyinkan?” I asked with a smile.
He took a deep breath. “I don’t really know. I don’t think I can win her heart.”
“Of course you can. You just have to give it sometime. These things work themselves out with time.”
A lady, the secretary to the managing director approached us. “Excuse me, Ms. Bankole, Mr. Adeoye would love to see you in his office now.”
I nodded. “I’ll be there shortly.” I said, dismissing her. I smiled in Ben’s direction. “Ben, you have to win Oyinkan’s heart. I think she will like you.” I said, tapping him lightly on the shoulder. “See you around.” I said and walked away briskly.
I smiled at Mr. Adeoye as I closed his office door. “Good day sir, you sent for me?”
He nodded. “Please take a seat.” I obliged. “How’s work going?”
“Very well sir. We would have the next set of articles ready soon.”
He smiled and tapped the table lightly. “I would like to talk to you about something more personal.” I nodded, prompting him to go on. “Did you hear about your Dad bursting in during your Mom’s press conference on the announcement of their divorce?”
I took a deep breath. “I haven’t heard about it.”
“I watched him last night, a real shocker.” He started. “I must say your Dad is really sorry for everything.”
I nodded. “That’s left for him and my mom to sort out.”
“Wura already chose the divorce. All your father wants is forgiveness.”
I interrupted. “Excuse me sir, but what’s going on here? Are you advocating for my Dad?”
I turned to see Dad as he walked into the room. “What is going on here?”
“Kimberly, I want you to forgive me. I am really sorry.”
I rubbed my forehead. “I don’t know what to say…you hurt my mom and I. You almost destroyed our lives.”
He nodded. “I admit. But, I have said a lot to Mr. Adeoye here and I don’t know where to start from with you, you know most of it.” He paused and swallowed. “Kimberly, I am a disgrace to you as a father, and I know it.” He said as tears rolled down his cheeks. My heart broke. “Kimberly, I am not ashamed to say I am sorry. It would be the worse for it if I didn’t.”
“Dad…stop.” I said softly as I stared at him.
He shook his head pitifully. “I should have been different, and I am sorry.” He swallowed. “Kimberly, please forgive me, forgive your father.” He said as he drew closer to me.
I wiped off the tears welling in my eyes. “Dad…you don’t have to do this.”
He bowed his head and got down on his knees. I bolted from my seat. “Stop this, Dad.” I said as I tried helping him up.
“Please forgive me, Kimberly.” he said as he remained on his knees.
I wiped his tears and drew him up for a hug. “I forgive you, Daddy.”
Wura placed her cup of coffee on the table. “Elizabeth, this is a fine place you’ve got here.”
“Thank you.” she replied with a smile. “I am so happy to be me again.”
Wura smiled. “It’s good to have you back.”
Elizabeth nodded. “I see you’ve finalized your divorce from Tunji. What do you have in mind?”
“I don’t know for yet, but, I intend to focus on my work now. I am going to be meeting a couple of people along the line. I won’t have the time to dwell on Tunji.”
Elizabeth smiled. “I hope so…I spent twelve years in that facility and I couldn’t forget Bolu. It might sound funny, I woke up cursing him every day, but, I kept asking myself questions too.”
“Questions like…Could I have made it work? Was it my fault?” She replied as she took a deep breath. “In the end, I knew I wasn’t at fault, but it took me a while to realize that.”
Wura walked towards the window. “Tunji and I can never have anything together again. This one is broken…beyond repair.”
Elizabeth walked up to her and leaned against the window. “Sorry my friend.” She said and hugged her.
Wura soon pulled away from the hug with a smile. “Now on a lighter note, did you really send that stuff to Bolu?”
Elizabeth grinned. “Yes I did. He would be in for a shock.”
“Oh…he would.” Her friend affirmed.
Bolu walked briskly into his office. His secretary followed immediately behind him carrying a parcel. “Welcome sir.”
“Yes? What do you want?” he snapped. “When is the meeting with the investors?”
She nodded as she placed the parcel on the table. “They are expected to come in by 7pm. They also requested the presence of Mr. David Coker as they have done favourable deals with him in the past.”
“Tell them that David is busy… he is on leave…or preparing for his wedding. Just say anything.” He barked.
She trembled as she nodded in fear. “Yes sir…I will do j…”
“Erm…has anyone been by the office today?” he asked, cutting in. “Like a female, looking elegant…” he scoffed. “Did anyone come here?”
She shook her head in disagreement. “Not at all, sir. The only person that stopped by was a messenger who brought this parcel for you.” she said, lifting the parcel before him.
He scoffed. “What’s this?”
“I don’t know, Sir, but, I could open it for you if you don’t mind.”
He hissed. “I mind. Just drop it there and get me a glass of water.” He said as he pulled his drawer open to fetch his aspirin bottle. “Also, schedule a meeting for me with my doctor. My head’s been clanging a lot these days.”
His secretary nodded and hurried out of the office. She returned almost immediately with the glass of water and dashed out again.
Bolu picked up the parcel and ripped the wrapper apart carelessly. He trembled as he stared at the parcel. It was a painting. The painting showed a man sliding off a chair with his hands on his head. His eyeballs ran across the painting nervously and they were soon wet with tears. He held his head in fear and screamed out loud.
David pulled my chair back and waited for me to take my seat.
“I hope you feel better now.”
I smiled faintly. “Thanks for bringing me here.” I said quietly.
He nodded and stretched out his hand across the table to meet mine. “Kim, we both know how it feels to have fathers who have hurt us a lot, but there is a difference here, your Dad is sorry, mine isn’t!”
He paused and shook his head sadly “But I am glad that you have forgiven him.”
I smiled faintly. “I had to. I had no choice.”
“You did, my love. But your kind heart chose forgiveness. Baby, I love you.”
I smiled as I squeezed his hand. “I love you too, David. How’s your mom?”
“She is doing okay. I called her phone today, she said she was having a good time at the house.”
I nodded. “That’s great news.” I cleared my throat. “David…”
“Yeah?” he started as he raised an eyebrow.
A waiter approached us with a smile. “Good afternoon. May I take your order please…”
The Intercom rang once before Tunji picked it up. “Yes.”
“Sir, some policemen are here to see you.”
Tunji nodded. “Send them in.” he replied and replaced the intercom.
The door opened slowly and three uniformed men walked into his office. He blinked as they he stared at him. “Good afternoon.”
“My name is Inspector Amos and I have with me a warrant to arrest you.” he said flashing his badge and dropping the warrant on his table.
Tunji nodded. “Okay.” He took a deep breath. “I will just call my lawyer to meet us there.”
“Sir, we would like you to accompany us right now so we don’t have to apply some force.”
He nodded. “Okay…let’s go.” He replied.
The Doctor adjusted his Stethoscope. “I don’t think our services here at the Clinic would be sufficient. What happened to the Boss?”
“Dr. Malcolm, I don’t even know what happened. I heard him scream and I rushed in here, went I got here, I saw him soaked in sweat and that was when I sent for you.”
Dr. Malcolm blinked. “Have you called his son?”
The secretary nodded. “I just sent someone to do that.”
He blinked. “I am expecting the ambulance here soon. We would take him to our affiliated hospital.”
Bolu stared at them. “Where are you taking me to?” he asked, slowly.
“Sir, you are under a lot of pressure right now and you need to rest.” Dr. Malcolm replied.
Bolu snarled and slammed his table. “Are you both insane? Who is under pressure? This is my office and no one…”he shouted. “Absolutely no one would take it away from me! Or me from it!” he said, slamming the table repeatedly.
Dr. Malcolm stared at the secretary. She trembled and started to step back slowly. Dr. Malcolm swallowed. “Sir, we just think that you need to rest before your next meeting.”
Bolu’s eyes popped out and he hurled his phone at them, the huge painting followed immediately and the secretary rushed out of the office. Dr. Malcolm stared at him as he pushed his table angrily. “I will finish Elizabeth! She can’t come here to take over from me.” he shouted angrily as he punched his table furiously.
“Why are ignoring your phone calls?” I asked as I sipped my wine.
David stared at his phone. “It’s from the office. I don’t want to have anything to do with them there for now.”
I smiled faintly. “But it could be important.”
He nodded. “Well…nothing is more important than the both of us being here together.”
I smiled. “You flatter me.”
“It’s not flattery, babe. I love you, and I refuse to choose work over you.”
I grinned. “I feel honored.” I stretched my hand across the table and picked up his phone. “But…sometimes, you have to attend to some matters.” I said with a smile, picked up the call and slid the phone to him.
“Yes?” he said harshly. I stared at him and he relaxed a bit. “How may I help you?” he asked with a smile and I smiled back. His smile faded slightly and he blinked rapidly. “Okay…I’ll be there now.” He said quickly as he dropped the call.
“What’s going on?” I asked worriedly.
He took a deep breath. “It’s my father…he is sick.”
Security men rushed at Bolu Coker and held him in his seat. He screamed and kicked hard at them but he was no match for the able bodied men who succeeded in cuffing him to the chair.
“I’ll kill all of you…I’ll finish you all off!” Bolu shouted.
Dr. Malcolm took a deep breath and stared at Bolu Coker. “I am afraid he’s really gone overboard.”
The door opened and a Doctor walked in. “Dr. Malcolm, what’s going on here?” he asked, staring at Bolu Coker.
“Thank you for coming so fast, Dr. James.” Malcolm replied, and walked James closely to the door. “I think Mr. Coker is actually losing his mind.”
Dr. James took one look at him, drooling and kicking so violently and answered immediately “We will take him to the hospital and call in our psychiatrists to examine him.”
“That would be great.” Dr. Malcolm replied.
Bolu Coker was whisked up by the security men and carried forcefully out of the office.
“Good afternoon, I am Inspector Amos.”
Bolu’s secretary stared at the policemen. “What do you want?”
“We are here to see Mr. Coker.”
She scoffed. “He is not on seat.”
“Well, where is he?”
She shook her head stubbornly. “I am afraid I cannot tell you.”
Inspector Amos smiled. “I am afraid we would have to arrest you then.”
He shrugged. “For withholding useful information in a police investigation. Arrest her!” he ordered his sergeants.
“Wait! He has just been transferred to George Hospital.”
Inspector Amos nodded. “I hope for your sake that you are telling us the truth.” He said and stormed out.
I held David’s hand as he placed his head against my shoulder. I tried to block his ears so he wouldn’t hear his father screaming so uncontrollably from the ward. He’d scream, laugh, talk to himself and then scream again. I kissed David’s forehead tenderly.
“My Dad is losing it.” He said softly.
I nodded. Mild word for going gaga or crazy. “He’ll be fine.”
The door opened and two doctors approached us. David immediately walked up to them. “What’s going on?” he asked.
“Mr. Coker, we are afraid but your Dad is having serious problems here. We’ve had Dr. Obinna here take a look at him.”
David and I cast our glance on Dr. Obinna. “Sir?” we asked.
Dr. Obinna took a deep breath. “I am a psychiatrist and I have a facility where we are going to take him to, but that would be if you grant us permission.”
David stared at me and smiled faintly. He then whispered into my ears. “Asylum.”
I chuckled and stared at the Doctor. “Do you mean an Asylum?”
“Well if you put it that way.”
David stared at me with a corny smile. "Payback time.” He then smiled in the Doctor’s direction. “Where do I sign?”
I pinched him and muttered between my teeth. “Why are you so excited?”
He nudged me slightly with a smile. “I am not excited, I am blessed. I feel so glad doing this to him, exactly what he did to my mom.”
“You must love this.” I replied with a sly grin.
He winked. “We are yet to get to the best part.” He replied with a smile. “Can we please see him?” he asked the Doctor.
The Doctor nodded. “Yes, we would have a nurse with you in there.”
David and I were escorted into his father’s room. Bolu Coker widened his eyes as he saw us walk in. he had been cuffed to the bed. “I’ll get you both!!! I’ll finish you off!!!!”
“Of course, except that you will have to do that in white scrubs.” David replied.
Bolu struggled with the bed. “No…no….no….no…no…NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” He screamed. I held onto David tightly as I watched him kick aggressively.
“This was what you did to my mother!” David shouted.
The door opened and the doctors rushed in with two policemen. We stared at the policemen. “What do you want?” David asked.
“I am Inspector Amos, and Mr. Coker is under arrest.” He said showing his badge and a warrant.
David swallowed and stared at his Dad. “Well…this is more interesting than I thought.” He turned in the inspector’s direction. “Well, if you can arrest a mad man, be my guest.” He said and walked out.
I shook my head and hurried after David. “Baby, why are acting like this?” I asked.
He took a deep breath and pulled me close for a hug. “You have no idea how much I have waited for this day. The day my Dad would pay for all his sins, for hurting me and my mom.” He sniffed a bit. “I feel horrible seeing him in that condition, but, I thank God he is getting what’s coming to him.”
“My Dad must have been arrested.” I mumbled
“Baby, I am sorry…your Dad is a better man though. He at least repented.”
The policemen walked out of the ward. “Err….It’s obvious that Mr. Coker can’t be arrested in his condition, but he is under arrest by the law and so we would have him cuffed at the Asylum and under police watch until the court decides what to do.”
“Has he already been charged to court?” David asked.
Inspector Amos nodded. “Yes. We would be in touch.” He said and walked away.
I smiled faintly and stared at David. “Oh well…I pray for his soul.”
He nodded and kissed my forehead. “Kim, I want to be with you all my life. You are all I’ve got.” He said.
Bolu wrestled as he was carried into the Asylum in his white scrub. “I am not crazy!” he shouted. “Elizabeth!!!! I’ll get you!!!!!!!”
The Doctors locked him in a room and watched through the glass as he hit his head angrily on the walls and eventually slid into the floor in a messy pool of blood on his head.
“Omo that man na mental case o!” One of the Doctors said.
Dr. Obinna nodded. “We sedated him twice and he resisted, he is really crazy!”
“What’s his routine going to be like?”
Dr. Obinna took a deep breath. “The same for everyone, but his would be twice their own. You would flog him regularly with the other patients, let’s see if he feels pain at all.”
“I am sorry sir, I was unable to grant you bail pending your trial.”
Tunji’s face fell as he stared at his lawyer. “It’s okay. It’s hard behind bars. Have you told Wura?”
The lawyer nodded. “I did, but she was indifferent. She said all the best to you.”
Tunji swallowed. “And Kimberly?”
“I sent her a text message.”
Tunji nodded. “Anyway, I hope they get Bolu.”
“Err… Mr. Coker has been transferred to an asylum.”
“Asylum! That bastard! How low can he get to run away from the law?”
The lawyer shook his head in disagreement. “I don’t think he’s faking it, he did not even know anything about the police before he was taken to the hospital.”
“Well…seems like God had other plans for him.”
Ben walked into my office. “Staying late?”
“Waiting for David.” I replied.
He nodded. “It’s 7pm, maybe he’s not coming, I could give you a ride.”
“He’ll come. It’s probably traffic that’s having him delayed or something. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine”
Ben smiled. “Alright then. See you.” he said and walked out.
David had sent me a text saying he would pick me up. I would wait.
The door opened shortly and David walked in looking so smart in his suit and trimmed beard. “Babe, what’s this?” I asked with a smile.
“What?” he asked as he smiled.
“You are looking too good. Are we going out?” I asked.
He shook his head. “I came to take you home.” He replied.
I took a deep breath. “Well, this is some appearance.” I said, grabbing my bag and getting up.
“Shall we?” he asked, as he held my hand.
I nodded and followed him.
Elizabeth handed Wura a glass of water. “So, my husband is in the asylum and your ex is in jail. Our lives must be really messed up!” she said as she took her seat.
Wura laughed. “No…I think we are blessed. Come to think of it, it was that painting that activated Bolu’s insanity. The police should come for you soon.”
“I see…well, we are not to blame my dear, they got just what they deserved.” She replied.
Wura nodded. “I agree with you, so, when are you going to have your exhibition?”
“I need to finish up some paintings before I get my gallery open. I made a couple of calls concerning that today.”
Wura smiled. “You are coming back really strong. I am proud of you.”
“Thank you for helping me.”
David pulled up in front of my house. “Get some rest.” He said with a smile.
I nodded and kissed him. “Take care.”
“Bye.” He replied. “I have office work to attend to.”
I nodded and stepped out of the car. “See you.” I said and watched him drive off.
I unlocked the door of the house and walked into the empty house. Tola and Ini were usually in before me. I took a deep breath and went to the kitchen to get some water to drink and then left for my bedroom to get ready to take a bath. My memories played back to kissing David as I enjoyed Lynxxx and Banky W’s ‘Letter to my unborn child’ He looked sharp this evening. Why didn’t he stay? Why did he have work to do? I cursed my luck.
I wore my bathrobe and returned to the living room. My phone’s back light turned off. I picked it up immediately. “3 voice messages!” I gasped as I played them. “Kim, I need your help. Quickly…please…” my mouth dropped agape as I played Tola’s second and third distress messages. “My car… I would try to muscle it into the es…” I panicked as I dialed her phone number. “Switched off.” Came the service response. My heart raced. I immediately dialed David’s number. “Switched off!” “Oh my God!” I said as I adjusted my bathrobe. I ran my finger through my wet hair. ‘Ini should have given Tola her car this morning’ I thought. What could have happened to Tola’s number…and David’s too. Did they crash into one another? I mean…he just left, right? I thought as I bolted from the chair.
My phone rang. “Ini”. I picked it. “Ini…where are you?” I shouted.
“Kimberly, hurry down to the Estate gate. Tola has been in an accident!”