Faceless - Episode 11
University of Lagos.
“Somebody hel…pp…help me…!”, I screamed as I ran into the bush. I stumbled on branches but I still kept going. That’s the only way I could escape.
“No one is going to hear you”, I heard the strange guy say.  “Just be a good girl and come out to play.” He continued.
“It won’t even last 5 seconds darling, it’ll be over before you know it. Stop this hide and seek game you’re playing. We are both adults. “, he said.
Present Day.
“Ini,  Ini. Ini”, Nima Duke was shouting at the top of her lungs by the third time while shaking me profusely.
“Hmm”, I replied while trying to open my eyes.
“It happened again madam”, Nima said.
“What happened again?”, I replied while trying to sit up.
“The nightmare or in your case, the noonmare”, She was trying  to smile but i could see it didn’t reach her eyes like always.
“I’m fine Nima, if I wasn’t you’d be the first to know. You’re my best friend, why won’t I tell you what’s wrong?”, I said trying to sound as  reassuring as possible.
“Three straight days in a row mamii, you better be as good as you claim to be girlie.”, she said while standing up from the bed and going to sit down on the couch.
“But you on the other hand looks beat up. What’s wrong babe ?”, I said, popping a gum into my mouth to keep my mouth from oozing.
“Alice left. I woke up this morning and all her stuff was gone, went to the living room just to see this stupid paper on the table.”, she tossed the paper to me and continued, “She didn’t even have the decency to wake me up.”
” Oh wow, there goes your fifth roommate in just one month. Are you that unbearable to live with?”, I teased
“I’m not actually finding this funny. My dad won’t even want to hear that I’m leaving alone. He’d come for me.”
I laughed, “You’re making it seem like your house isn’t a fortress. This guy, you live in a mansion. Do you know how many people want to live there? I mean, its not like your apartment isn’t nice. It is, but it’s not just as big as a mansion. D’you understand?”
“I don’t know what to do but I need another roommate by the end of today. One that won’t bail. I can’t go back home, mansion or not. You know how I’m trying to be independent.”
I chuckled,” You?  Independent?  How?  Name one thing you’ve done on your own since you moved into your apartment? You didn’t even arrange your closet yourself.”
I paused and watched as she rolled her eyes. Typical Nima, especially when you hit a nerve.
“Oh well, what do I know right?”, I continued.
“I just hate you so much Iniobong Omotor. How are we friends again? “, Nima said while throwing a pillow at me and as usual, I caught it. Grinning I said, “You love me honey. Ok, ok what are your options?”, as I reached for my laptop bag.
” I don’t know Ini, I’ve not seen anyone that I can live with. Honestly, I’m getting fed up. In fact I’m beginning to feel no one understands me like you.” She paused and looked at me. “Of course, You!! You have got to be my roommate girrl.”, she exclaimed while shaking my body.
“Move in with you?  Have you lost your mind? All the way to the island? I’ve lived here  all my life , the change will be huge.”
“Really? Think about me your best friend, I come all the way from lekki almost everyday to see you in this place and you know coming to ikorodu is like travelling to another  state entirely. Plus I honestly feel you need the change of environment,  I mean live a little girrrrl. Life is wayyy short!”
“Nice pep talk, but I can’t. I mean ….”
“You can, infact im going to ask your dad right now”, and with that she left the room leaving me to think of my life.
Live a little?
Pfft…. of course I live a lot sef.
I mean, besides being a 22 year old with no Instagram or Snapchat ID, there are still fun stuff about me. Like err… I can’t think of right now but I’m sure Nima’s just exaggerating. Okay maybe she’s the only friend I’ve got, but that’s only because what happened to me almost five years ago turned me into a bitter, angry woman.
My mind went back to the dream I just had, I shuddered at the thought of it and quickly went for my laptop to start on the Graphic design of the logo of Nima’s beauty haven like she calls it .
I froze when I saw the date, it was the 29th day of the fifth month of the year making it exactly five years since that dreadful incident.
                                                                          ****
Muritala Muhammed Airport.
Adekunle Fernandez Otunba was beyond pissed. He had traveled from Chicago, Illinois to Lagos which takes twelve bloody hours and 30 minutes. On getting to the arrivals hall, there was no one waiting for him and he had specifically told his mum a 100 times that he’d be arriving by 7 pm. One thing he hates, is to be kept waiting. And right now, he was losing it. He was lost in thoughts till his phone rang, he quickly checked the caller ID.
Mum.
” Really mum? It’s been 30 minutes?”, Kunle said, deliberately stretching the ’30 minutes’.
“Good evening to you too son.”, Mrs Otunba replied in a sarcastic tone.
“Mum. Good evening, where’s he? “, Kunle replied.
“My baby, I can’t really hear you. The Whatsapp call is reconnecting here, This Glo has started again.”
“Mum? Mum? ….” , Kunle shouted.
Too late, the call had already disconnected. After about 5 years of leaving Nigeria, the network still sucks. Disgusting.  He was very irritated and it was so visible all over him. He kept pacing at the car park where he was told to wait for Mr Victor, the driver. Lost in thoughts, he was oblivious of his surroundings till he was tapped on the shoulder by a stranger.
” I’m sorry sir, but I’ve been blasting the horn at you for over 10 minutes so I thought it’d be wise I got down to call you sir.”, the young man quickly said breathlessly.
“And you are?”, Kunle replied with a raised brow
“Victor sir, Victor Adamu.”, he hurriedly said.
“Oh yousonofa….”, kunle clenched his fists and held his tongue. “Do you want to lose your job boy? How can you not be on time? I mean where I come from 7pm is 7pm, heck it’s even 6:55pm. You got that?”, he continued. “Lets just go.”
“I’m really sorry sir.”, Victor said and looked around. “Only one box sir?”
“Were you expecting the whole Chicago? Walk briskly, I need to get out of here.”
When they were fully seated in the car.
“Sir, is the AC too much? Do you want radio? Sir, I have AUX cord for your phone o, incase”
“Please, you’re a clown. Just drive.”
***
An hour and forty-five mins later.
God is Good Hospital.
“Hospital? Victor, what are we doing here please?”, Kunle asked.
“Madam said I should bring you here, sir”, Victor replied.
“What? My mother? Is she alright?”, Kunle said while getting out of the car.
“No , I mean Yes”
“Are you mad? Talk my friend.”, Kunle replied impatiently as he started heading towards the building.
“Its your dad sir. He had err.. he got err.. heart attack do am.”.
“Heart what?. You’ve got to be kidding me right now.”
                                     ***
Nima’s Apartment.
I had barely settled in when I heard my phone ring. Now where the hell is that darn phone! I thought as I ran upstairs, after all the Usain bolt technique I  wasn’t still quick enough. The call had already disconnected.
Nima, I said as I looked at the caller ID.
Sigh. What is it this time?, I thought as I called back.
“Nima”, I said immediately she picked up.
“Ini, I’m in the hospital. Please can you get my overnight bag to me? It’s in my walk in closet, by the left. Do you know the hospital? Its the one with the really cute doctor.  I love you, thanks.”
The line went dead.
Hospital? What happened this time? This girl won’t kill me.
30 minutes later.
After driving  the streets of lekki like a mad woman, while praying so hard that nothing bad happened to my bestie. I mean for her to need an overnight bag, must be pretty serious don’t you think?
Sigh. I hope not , I thought as I ran Into the waiting room.
“Good evening”, I said breathlessly
After sizing me up, from my mess of a bun on my head to my bare-face, then my food stained dress to finally, my flipflops for a good sixty seconds , she replied with ” Yes, can I help you?.”
Clearly not satisfied with what she saw, but what do I care ?
“You can help me by doing your job,  not staring at me. The unemployment list can use one more name. I’m looking for Nima Duke.”, I said with so much boldness that the Nurse was shocked.
“I’m sorry ma’am, Nima Duke..”
She said while pressing buttons on the computer. “Oh yes, I’m not sure but you should check the doctor’s office. It’s on the……”
“I know where it is”, I interrupted.
Holding my overnight bag, I began heading for the elevator.
So deep in thoughts that I didn’t notice the man who had just gotten off the elevator, with a cup of coffee.
“Holy shit.”, I shouted when hot coffee spilled on my already ruined dress.
“Are you blind or what?”, I continued as I struggled to wipe my dress with my “free” hand.
“I’m really sorry miss and No, I’m not blind “,  the strange man replied. “Just didn’t see you there. “, he continued.
“Sure, cause I’m small”, I replied still struggling to wipe.
He chuckled and , “well, you kinda are”.
Excuse me? What did this brother just say? Is he really finding this funny?
I looked up at him with the sole intention of cursing him out, but I couldn’t even stutter when I saw his face.
About the Author.
Tracy Gabriel started writing at a young age of 8. Finally came out  with a bang last year with a book titled Elizabeth Peters- Through her eyes. This 19 year old is definitely not stopping, so you’re going to be seeing her face for a long time. Stay woke. Follow her on Instagram @tracygabriiel, Snapchat: Kaayla.Gabriel and Twitter: @itzkaayla_