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WRITTEN BY: LIZZY OYEBOLA YAKUBU
I couldn’t look at the principal’s face no matter how hard she tried to make me talk to her.
She looked so worried that guilt covered me from my head to toes.
“How do you feel? Much better?” She kept asking and I kept nodding. I felt that she must have felt so disappointed that not only did I not take her at her word, I tried to jump out of the school in an illegal way and even skipped my exams!
“How are your eyes too? Can you see me?” She asked and I nodded again.
The doctor walked in just then and walked straight to my side.
“How do you feel now, dear?” He asked and I smiled, nodding.
“Is she unable to talk? She has just been nodding since morning, doctor” My principal and I smiled shyly.
“I am sorry ma” I said and she heaved a sigh of relief.
“You scared me” She said, pinching my shoulder very slightly. Everyone laughed.
“I need to check your eyes” He said, opening his eyes and flashing his pen light into them.
“Venom coming into contact with eyes can cause intense conjunctivitis with a risk of corneal erosions, complicated by secondary infection, anterior uveitis and even permanent blindness” He started explaining.
“Ah!” My principal exclaimed.
“But thankfully, the first aid the school clinic rendered to Blossom worked. I was so happy when I saw her with a pad over the eye and dark glasses over them. Your school must be so standard to understand that” He said and my principal blushed.
“Thank you doctor. We try to offer the best to our students.The way this snake got into the school is still shocking to me. We are employing the services of pests controllers from today to help go round the school”
“Yes, that will greatly help” He said. “Blossom, do you feel any itching in your eyes and skin?”
“Slightly” I said and he nodded, writing in the case note.
“You will be fine.” He said, adjusting the IV line. “Once you are done completing your IV antivenom, I will come check you again” He said, bent beside me and smiled. “Any question before I go?”
“Yes. What is the name of the snake that bit me?” I asked and he smiled.
“You are so inquisitive, huh?” He said, smiling. “From our test on the venom, it was a spitting cobra. There probably are rodents or a poultry at the back of your school where it visits. It is highly venomous but you will be fine. You will be under a close watch for some hours before I allow you go home” He said and I sighed.
“Thank you, doctor” I said and he gave me a high-five and started to go away.
He had not reached the door when I saw Dola entering with full force into the ward. He looked so worried, tense and sad. I sat up immediately and sighted him. The nurse pinned me down to my bed instantly while the principal looked behind her to see what was making me go hyper.
“Dola, what are you doing here?” The principal asked.
Two teachers and one of the school drivers followed after him so we knew it wasn’t that her jumped the school fence.
“He would not let the gate-men rest. He kept on saying he needed to come see her, so, we had to come with him since we were coming over, anyway” Mr. Afolayan, the health master said.
“Exam?” Principal and I exclaimed almost together.
“So, you left your exams because of Blossom? What is wrong with these children? First, Blossom was running away to save her father. Then, Dola is running away to save his friend. And you both are the glory of our school. Mr. Afolayan, why did you allow him to….” Principal was railing when Mr. Gabriel stepped forward.
“WAEC cancelled the exam ma” He said and I looked up, shocked. Dola eyed me and thereafter avoided my face.
“It cancelled our center or the general exams?” Principal asked.
“The exams for today ma. According to the circular on their websites, they realized that the exam questions have been leaked. So, the exams will be scheduled for another day” Mr. Gabriel explained.
“Ah, this God! This God! So, You love my children this much? Ah!” Principal exclaimed, going on her knees. I was too shocked to speak.
I knew the exams were cancelled because of Dola and I! God must have foreseen what terrible decisions we were going to make.
“Oh my!” I exclaimed, shocked beyond comprehension.
“Mr. Afolayan and I will go to the nearby eatery to get some food for you ma and Blossom” Mr. Gabriel said.
“Oh, as if you know. I am grateful” The principal said and the two teachers left.
“Dola, I thought you came to see your friend. Why are you standing aloof?” Principal asked and he walked close a bit.
“I didn’t come to see her ma.” He said as he eyed me again.
“You came to see me, then?” The principal asked, smiling heartily.
“I only came to see her health. How her health is coping, ma” He said and the principal started laughing.
“Dolapo Adeyemi oooo!” She exclaimed as she laughed again.
I couldn’t stop laughing also. I knew he was very mad at me and on the other hand, he was so worried about me. I didn’t know what to do to make him cheer up, so I racked my brain to bring up a plan.
“Yeh!” I exclaimed, holding my bandaged leg in pain and frowning as if in serious pain.
He ran close.
“What is it? Oh my goodness, should I call the doctor? Are you in serious pain?” He kept asking all at once, looking desperately at me.
“Blossom, is all…” The principal asked, looking worried as well. When she saw my wink, she paused the question and returned to her seat.
I burst out laughing.
“I thought you didn’t come to see me na” I said and Dola placed his two hands on his head, shook his head and sighed.
“You were really pretending?” He asked and I laughed again.
“Let me go and look for a toilet o. I need to ease myself before all these laughter would make me embarrass myself here today” The principal said.
“Okay ma” We both answered.
“Ah ah, see the way you both answered as if you’ve been planning to oust from here since” She said and we laughed again.
Soon, she was out and Dola was seated on the stool close to me. He didn’t say anything. He was looking far away, feigning anger.
“I am sorry” I said and he eyed me again. “I heard on the news that my dad would be arraigned today and that there was no witness for him. I wanted to go look for his wife to make her confess” I explained and it worked because he looked right at me then.
“He is being arraigned today?” He asked and I nodded.
“At 3pm” I said and he looked at his wristwatch.
“It’s 1pm already. Oh my goodness, what do we do now? Do you know where the woman is? Do you think she will confess?” He asked.
“I do not! I am so weak and confused. My dad can’t afford to go to jail at all but I am helpless” I said and he sighed, stretched his two hands towards me.
“Can we quickly make some decrees together, please?” He asked and I joined my hands with his.
“Our daddy shall not go to jail in the name of Jesus!”
“Send helpers to us oh Lord. Father, send witnesses to that courtroom, Lord! Let the enemies be shamed in the Name of Jesus!”
We were soon done praying and he looked deeply into my eyes.
“You are so stubborn, right?” He asked and I chuckled.
“No. I am so loving! Love is insane. I love my dad so much I was ready to risk it all”
“And you couldn’t even tell me?”
“If I had told you that I wanted to jump out of school for that, would you have supported me?”
“Well, of course not! But girl, the way the exam was postponed shook me to my marrows. I was too shocked!”
“Same here, Dola! I just couldn’t believe my ears.
Suddenly, the principal entered, her clothing looking all rumpled. Her head tie had fallen off also and she looked as if she had been in a fight. She was smiling though, looking at us all with a victorious smile.
“Ma, what is that? What are you…?” I was asking when two reporters quickly followed after her. Mr. Afolayan and Mr. Gabriel entered also, looking rumpled. Even the food bags they were holding were oil-stained.
Was there a struggle somewhere?
“Please, lock that door. No one is allowed to come in after us” A reporter said.
I tried to sit up but Dola held me down. He arranged some pillows under my head instead and raised the bed a little bit.
“So, Madam, we just witnessed a fight between you and a sick woman in the bathroom. What is the matter? What happened? Can you explain to us from the beginning?” The reporter asked.
“I was not fighting. Instead, I was being attacked. The woman wanted to snatch this phone from me…” She raised her motorola phone “and I did not allow her. So, she started pulling at my hair, and fighting me. Of course, she is not sick and I am so disappointed at this hospital for saying that she is sick when she isn’t”
“Do you know the woman?”
“Sure. She is the wife of my friend. She is the woman who has been popular over the news recently- saying that her husband stabbed her and all that stuff” She said and my eyes widened at once. Dola looked into my face too with a hopeful face.
“What is in the phone?” The reporter asked.
“Her voice and pictures.”
“Can we have access to them?” The reporter asked.
“Sure, as long as you will not bury the evidences” Principal said.
“Our media organization is a very reputable one and we are live right now, everyone is watching us from home. So, nothing will be tampered with.” The reporter said and the principal nodded.
There was a bang on the door.
“Open this door or I break it down now!” I heard that witchy voice from outside.
My dad’s wife.
I looked through the window and saw her. She only had a wrapper on and she was sweating profusely.
The cameraman quickly went to the window to film her display outside.
“Don’t film me, are you sick?” She screamed.
Soon, a crowd had started gathering at the entrance of our ward.
“Madam, is it true that you were lying against your husband? That he did not stab you?” A man asked her and she spat into the man’s face.
“You must be a fool to ask me that kind of question” She said and there was a loud murmuring outside.
“This woman is rude!”
“How did the man get to marry her?”
“They’d just been married for three days when it happened. Is it not obvious that she is a strange woman?”
“Let her show us the stab marks. She must show us” The man who had just received the spit on his face said angrily.
“Yes, let her show us the marks o” Some people started echoing.
The woman started to run away but the man she had assaulted was very quick as he laid a hold on the edge of her wrapper and she was stark naked.
Dola turned back to look at me instead.
The sight was so embarrassing!
The cameraman in our room opened the door to follow the scene and if not because the security men of the hospital came to her rescue, the mob would have torn her to pieces.
The cameraman turned back to the room and the room was shut.
“We are presently at the Huntington Hospital, Ikeja where we had just finished covering the live swearing in of the new president of this hospital. A sight caught our attention when we were set to go and that is what you have been seeing on your screen for the past fifteen minutes.” The reporter explained, facing the camera squarely.
I just didn’t know how to feel. I was too apprehensive to know where everything was going to end.
“The obscene publication act will prevent you from seeing the full video of what had just happened now but the alleged victim of the high-profile domestic violence that has been on the media for a while. Mrs. Romoke Fries had just come in to disrupt a fine session of our reportage. Unfortunately for her, the mob that had gathered around her pulled off her wrapper to show a very fresh skin with no stab marks at all” The reporter said again.
I pulled in my shaky lips as my whole body frame shook out of excitement.
“In the meanwhile, a woman here seemed to have gotten a record of her confession. Mrs. Fries had attacked the woman, in a bid to seize the evidence but thank God, our evidence is still safe. We will show you the content of the recordings very soon but for now, let us link to our correspondence at the Federal High Court, Ikeja where the arraignment of Mr. Fries is ongoing” She said.
“I thought you said it was for 3pm” Dola said and I sighed.
“I must have heard things very incorrectly,” I said.
The reporter switched on the black and white TV and soon, the court surroundings were shown.
The principal came to sit beside me on the bed, holding and squeezing my hand excitedly. I smiled at her, trying to gain strength for my shaky body.
“Hello Debby” The reporter at the court said.
“Hi, Sammy! What is the report like in the Federal High court now?”
“Debby, in actual fact, the proceedings at the court today was interrupted by a crowd that stormed the court premises after watching your side of the news, I guess. They want the release of the defendant”
“Yeah, interestingly, Debby, the plaintiff was not in court. Her representative fled immediately the judge was presented with the evidence of your live news coverage”
“Amazing! Who presented the evidence to him?”
“They seem to be the workers of the accused. They are by name Moses and Yekini” He said and my heart leapt for joy.
They did not forsake my dad!
“Great! So, what is happening right now at the court?”
“Well, the chief judge is furious right now, obviously. He called for a break so he could meet with his bench. We are all waiting for the final verdict.”
“What do you think is going to happen? What do you think the ruling is going to be? In his favur or against?”
“In, of course. I guess I need to take you to the entrance of the court premises for you to see how many people are outside, supporting the man.” He said.
“Please do. I know it might be difficult to hear your own voice, then but show us, please, for the people at home.”
Soon, the outside of the court premises was shown with so many angry men and women screaming on top of their voices.
My principal looked into my face and pecked me, her hand shaking as well.
“Debby, the break is going to be over in two minutes. I would love to go in now and wait for the judge” The correspondent at the court said.
“Alright, Sammy! Please keep us posted”
“Yes, Debby! Thanks and well done” Sammy replied and Debby switched off the TV.
“Wow, Madam, can we have the recording now?” She asked and my principal nodded.
“Your engineer has collected it and has been working on it on his computer since some minutes back” Principal said.
Debby looked at the engineer and smiled.
“Done processing?” She asked.
“Done” He replied and they gave each other a high-five.
“Let’s go live now again” Debby said and the engineer nodded.
“One, two, ready, go!” He said.
Soon, the voice of my dad’s wife was loud and clear- transmitted live!
“See, Mrs. Bimbo, you must definitely represent well. I want him in jail forever! He thinks he can marry me and boss me around, I must show him the boss is me!”
I shook my head.
“Yes. My picture has been well doctored, right? Ah ah, no be money the graphics designer go collect? Don’t worry, Mr. Fries get money well well. But you and the artist will be well paid” She laughed. “Trust me, ore mi, once he goes to jail, I will treat you well. You are talking to the latest CEO in town” She laughed again.
There was a pause.
“Yeah, this was what I confronted her with. Immediately she heard her voice, she started struggling to get it from me. I quickly had to start recording again without her knowing” Principal said.
“Wow, just wow!” Dola exclaimed.
“Who are you? Who are you, I said” My dad’s wife’s voice rung in the recording.
“You do not need to know me but why have you been lying to the whole nation that you are sick? You even got yourself admitted in the hospital, just to prove a point that is not true. What is your?”
“Do you want to die? What is your business in our family affairs?”
“See how fresh your back is. You have no wound whatsoever there, why are you now…”
We heard a loud bang and the principal’s screams
We all turned to look at her face.
“She slapped you?” Debby asked and the principal smiled.
“With the back of her slippers even!” She replied and we all exclaimed, so shocked and angry.
“Yes, he didn’t stab me but what will you do? The court proceeding is on now, how will you stop it? What is your evidence? You think this nonsense recording will suffice?”
“Today is the day? But woman, what will you gain in all these? You just want his CEO position and that is all? Is that how cheap you are?” The principal asked.
“You are sick, for asking me such a sick question. You know my name, I am Romoke Adegoke! I must get rid of that man called Fries! I just must!”
“You lie! This recording will destroy you!” The principal said and a struggle started again.
“You mean you were recording the new talk that we just had again?” She asked.
“You must be so slow to think that I will allow this revelational talk go in the air without me getting it on record”
“Then, you must go to jail too!” My dad’s wife said, struggling with her. The principal started screaming.
“Help, can anyone hear me? Help! Mrs Makinde is here o. Help me, I am under attack! Blossom, can you hear me? Dola, can you hear me?”
We heard the door open suddenly in the recording.
“Mr. Gabriel, please get this woman off me. Mr. Afolayan, take this recording, lives depend on it, my brother” She said.
I hugged her deeply as I started to cry loudly.
“You are indeed a mum to me! Thank you, ma! Thanks for saving my dad! Thanks thanks” I cried, shaking her in total appreciation.
Soon, the light and camera shone at me.
“You are Mr. Fries’ daughter?” Debby asked.
“Yes. He adopted me from birth after my mum’s demise” I said and I looked into the faces of Dola and the principal. The latter wasn’t shocked, so I knew she knew about it but Dola was visibly shaken.
“Wow, so you are not his biological daughter?” Debby asked.
“Yes. I lived with my dad for eighteen good years without a knowledge of this fact. It was few days ago that I go to know, immediately after he got married to this woman”
“Is he a good father to you?”
“Absolutely! I couldn’t have asked for a better person in my whole life.”
“It was in a bid to get out of the school to get her dad’s wife to confess that she had been lying that she got bitten by a snake this morning. She even risked writing her final exams for her father” Dola said.
“Who are you?”
“I am Dolapo Adeyemi, Blossom’s best friend”
“Yeah, we all know they both loved each other”
“Yes. My dad is so sacrificial! Because of me, he would not take up an official duty abroad, just to be by me! He would drop me off at school and pick me up in the evening. He would cook for me and buy me anything I needed! I said I never knew he was not my father until few days back when he got married” I said and Debby smiled.
“This story is so emotionally dramatic. I think Nollywood has to make it into a movie. How do you feel at the dramatic turn of events?”
“Sincerely, I do not know how to feel! Should I scream for joy! Do I cry? Do I laugh? I just do not know how to feel. But I am grateful that I took that step to jump out of the school this morning to get my dad saved. I thank God for the snake that bit me when I was trying to explain. That was what brought me to the hospital in the first place. I thank God that WAEC cancelled our exams for today, if not, my teachers, Mr. Afolayan and Mr. Gabriel and my bestie wouldn’t be here today. Dola and I wouldn’t have been able to pray together and decree things! My teachers wouldn’t have been able to save my principal and this evidence would have been lost! In short, I am just grateful!” I said and started crying again.
“Oh my, it’s such a dramatic one here at Huntington Hospital, Ikeja! Now, we have a hint from Federal High Court, Ikeja that the verdict has been given. Let us join Sammy”
“Hello Sammy, how do you do? What’s up?”
“Hi, Debby, I am and all smiles right now. The verdict has been passed and Mr. Fries has been acquitted. You can hear the chant of victory behind me, can’t you? Girl, your live broadcast was watched live in the court today. You deserve an award” Sammy said and chuckled.
“Come off it, my friend” Debby said and chuckled as well. “Can we have a chat with the judge?” Debby asked and Sammy nodded.
“Sure! I have been waiting for him to come out since. Oh, here he comes.” Sammy said, run towards the judge that was going towards the car park.
“Your Lordship, everyone is happy at the verdict you just delivered in court. How do you feel about the case?” Sammy asked.
“Well, I do not know how to feel. I feel a mixture of dissatisfaction and anger!”
“Why is that sir?”
“A woman fooled the court? Who is she? She must be brought to book! This case is now between the woman and the state. And by the grace of God, she must go to jail!”
“Wow, that’s okay sir. What are the charges against her?”
“A whole lot. Can you not see how she falsified evidence for the court? How she defamed her own husband? How she deceived the court of law? Can you not see how she even wanted to tamper with the evidence on ground in the hospital? She and all that connived with her to perpetrate all these crimes, will face the music, trust me!” The judge said and entered the vehicle.
“Debby, you have heard for yourself, right?”
“Yes o. And trust Judge Adefarasin. As he has said, so he would do” Debby replied. My stomach flustered.
“Mr. Fries is leaving the premises. I think I need to speak with him also before calling it a day” Sammy said and I sat straight, staring at the TV intently.
I saw my dad being thrown up in the air by some huge men, Moses and Yekini laughing so hysterically beside him like they were his police.
Winner o o o
Winner o o o
Mr. Fries was not fried o
Patapata you don win the woman
“Is he a winner?” Moses sang aloud and the crowd responded.
He is a winner
In the Lord Jesus
When they dropped him, Sammy was able to get to him.
“Sir, how do you feel today?”
“Ah, see ehn, the joy in my heart is too overwhelming. All I want to do now is see my daughter. That is all I want to do now” He said.
“What about your wife sir? Will you still be married to her?”
“Ah, see, mr. reporter, let’s leave that area.” My dad replied.
“Married? Na me join them together, na me go separate them o” I heard Grandma’s voice loudly. That was when I realized that she was beside daddy.
“Mama niyen!” The crowd hailed.
“My mum is being emotional right now, don’t mind her. God will definitely teach us how the whole thing will go, thanks” My dad replied.
Yekini drove dad’s car close and my dad smiled at Sammy.
“Thank you very much. I need to put some things together at the police station and then, go see my daughter! Thanks a bunch.” He said and shook Sammy’s hand. He then faced the crowd and bowed. The crowd gave a cheer, clapping heartily as they did.
He entered the car with Moses and Grandma. The car zoomed off.
Different people moved to Sammy to be voluntarily interviewed.
“The woman must be arrested”
“Yes, she must rot in jail!”
“Women are devils, man!”
“Not all women though”
“I have planned not to get married o. It is like cutting your life short”
“I have been married to my wife for forty years and it’s been amazing. One must just get it right, that’s all”
“Hmmm…that woman would be stoned to death if it was Moses’ era”
“Yeah, the God of this generation is too merciful”
So many people said so many things but my heart was too overjoyed to even comprehend the whole argument on the TV.
I never imagined that my dad would be vindicated too soon!
My phone started ringing and I paused the audio.
“Who is it, now?” I asked, trying to reach out for my phone.
“Hey, Dr. Zee, good morning”
“It’s afternoon in Nigeria, babe. How are you doing today?”
“I am very fine ma. You?”
“I am very well. How is your health? I am seriously missing you”
“Awwwnnn… you have such a sweet heart, mummy Zee. I am much better now. I have told mum and dad that I would love to leave for Nigeria later this week”
“Really, your EDD is close, why not have you baby in the US”
“Yeah, my parents said the same but really, momma, I can’t wait to see Blossom. I really can’t. I want to finish her story quickly, come back to Nigeria and meet with her”
“Awwww, she can’t wait to meet you too actually. Just make sure you get the best medical care there first, okay?”
“Are you almost done with the story?” She asked and smiled.
“Yes momma. This is my best scene ever! I am almost done”
“Tell me what happened there?”
“Her father was vindicated” I said and she started laughing.
“The Blossom’s story is just starting, babe. You have not seen anything yet”
“Seriously, tell me something!”
“My dear, go grab your lunch and resume listening o.”
“Wow, now the suspense is high then. Oh my!”
“Haha, dear, I am praying for you and my pretty angel. Keep praying and studying God’s Word, okay?” She asked and I nodded.
I was so glad that I had someone so sweet like that, having my back and I just couldn’t wait to meet her!
TO BE CONTINUED IN EPISODE 14
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