Pemisire had been thinking on how she could wash down her despondency, and that of Richard but no idea came up. She had tried to calm herself and had succeeded in doing that, Richard was just left still crying on the hospital bed there. “I have told you before, there is no God.” Richard said, pressing his lips together after.
“I don’t want to start arguing on this again, you know yourself that he exists.” Pemisire replied.
Richard turned his head toward her and smiled faintly. “Where was he when I needed his help? Where was he when everything became tough? Have you ever wondered why you worked as a Bartender?” He asked her.
There was a brief silence for a while before Pemisire replied. “Richard, I do. Maybe because of you, who knows?”
“No! He worths to be questioned. Why are some people rich and some very poor?” He asked further.
“Your questions can only be answered later. When the time comes, you will know. By the way, when will you call your mother again to speak with her?”
Richard hissed as he turned his back at her. “I am not ready for any atrocious woman.”
“You should be passionate to the unpassionates, good to the bad.” Pemisire said.
“Em… Unknown, you don’t know this woman, do you? She sent me out of her house all the time I went there and until I picked the urgent call that led to my accident.” He said.
“Forgive the person who doesn’t worth it, you have to be kind.” Pemisire told him.
Richard gave a soft chuckle and shook his head. “I have a problem with you, it’s this problem of lack of understanding. Can you forgive someone who killed your sister?” He asked.
Pemisire stood at once and turned her back at him. Though, the guy was just saying his own, he never knew Pemisire had lost her sister. Pemisire soughed and faced Richard. “I think I have to leave now, I want to catch a friend of mine.” She said.
“It is not that I wish you sister death, I was only expressing my mind, hope it’s not that you’re angry with me.” He faced her too.
“No.” Pemisire forced a smile.
“What is no? You were more cheerful than now, you must be angry.”
“No, what you said and my departure are coeval. Don’t think I’m leaving because of that.” She replied.
“You don’t look like a Bartender, you speak eloquently. What made you take up that job?” Richard asked her.
“If God wants you to know, I’m sure you will know soon.” She smiled and waved as she walked out.
“It wasn’t easy because today is Sunday.” Helen informed Pemisire.
“Really? So how much did you buy the phone?” Pemisire asked Helen as she sat down on the bed and admired the phone.
“I hope you know that’s not a new phone, it’s been used by someone before. So, I think you should be using my MTN sim that I don’t use any longer.” Helen told her.
“Really? That’s cool, at least it will safe hundred naira or more.” She smiled.
“Yeah, hope you like the phone.”
Pemisire smiled. “I have no choice, fairly used mobile phone. Anyways, I love it.” She replied. “Thanks, you won’t lack anything good.” She added.
“Abeg! It’s because of you that I cancelled Church-going, you should prepare me what to eat.”
“Get me the sim as soon as possible, let me start getting set to prepare the food.” She stood up.
“Yeah.” Helen stood up to get her sim card for Pemisire. She had used it before she couldn’t find it again and now found it some weeks before then.
“So, Doctor, when will he be discharged?” Jay asked Doctor Martins.
“He should be discharged on Wednesday. He is now really better, just want to watch him till then.” He replied.
“I hope this is not a type that he will keep sitting on the wheelchair till everything would be fine.” Uche chimed in, stroking his beard.
Doctor laughed. “I can’t say for now, he might be discharged tomorrow or Wednesday. But, all I can say is that he must not engage in anything stressful for a month, he should take his drugs regularly, eat and relax.” He told them.
“Alright sir.” The guys looked at each other and echoed.
Jay and Uche were heading to Richard’s ward when they saw Pemisire approaching. “Hey.” Jay waved first, smiling.
“Hey Jay. Uche, it took you years to get the clothes yesterday, isn’t it?” She asked, trying to be familiar with the guys.
Uche sniggered. “You! You’re alo accusing me? I got stucked in the traffic.” He replied.
“Traffic? On Sunday?” She laughed.
“So, how are you?” Jay asked.
“How’s Richard?” She asked her own question.
“We are heading there.” Uche said.
“I hope he has stopped crying. Anyways, I’ll see for myself.” She said, turning back to lead the way.
It was in the afternoon, the lunch time of Uche and Jay. It was an opportunity seized by them to quickly check on Richard. “What do you do for a living?” Jay asked her as they walked on.
“You should have asked your friend.” She said, dismissing the question with a wave of left hand.
“Rich!” Pemisire smiled as she approached the bed.
“Hmmn…lustrous, glowing, shinning, flickering set of teeth.” Richard smiled.
“King of wheedlers!” Pemisire chuckled and sat down.
“Foolish guy, have you ever qualified me that way?” Jay bustled in.
“Ha! I’m still looking forward to seeing the bright sun of that day.” Richard smiled.
“Which day? What is your friend talking about?” Uche asked.
“You know he’s been lying down for long, who knows?” He laughed.
“Looking forward to seeing the day you guys would be sensible. If you had white teeth, I’d have told you, but you have nothing better than what you have there.”
Pemisire was impressed. She never knew she’d meet Richard in that cheerful mood. She wanted to ask how he was when she glanced at her phone and rushed up to another side. “It is the useless phone you bought, not my fault.” She told Helen on the call.
“I said I didn’t! It was the work of the useless phone. Only God knows where you got the thing from.” She laughed as she replied Helen.
“Greet your students, bye.” She said and walked back to Richard’s place.
“Can you see our friend has turned his back at us because of you?” Jay said, contorting his mouth.
“What’s my own business?” She smiled.
“Take care of our Richard, we have to leave.” Uche said as he stretched his hand forward to get Jay’s attention. “We have to leave, we suppose dey go now.
“Yeah, we will be back soon.” Jay said as he waved at them.
Lawrence and his guys just got to Ibadan in his Nisaan Jeep, trying to trace where Omolayo Estate was.
It was Tuesday morning, Pemisire just finished dressing up when Helen was ready to leave for school too. She smiled as she waved at her, picking up her handkerchief. Just then, Helen walked back in, smiling and winking at Pemisire as she picked up her call. “Michael.” She said softly as she conversed with the guy on phone.
Pemisire cleared her throat and leaned against the wall as Helen made her call. It was after some minutes she concluded the call and grinned up to Pemisire. “He said he’d be here very soon.” She said.
Pemisire hissed dryly. “Honestly, I have forgotten you made a call the other day, didn’t he tell you the actual day he would be here?” She asked.
“He asked after you and said he’d be here very soon.” She replied.
“Honestly, I think we are in danger.” She said.
Helen snorted as she smiled. “You think so? Do you think it is a lie?”
“I know this a lie! See Helen, I think we should leave this house as soon as possible.”
“What is Pemisire saying? You’ve taken this issue serious, why?” Helen hissed, frowning.
Pemisire scratched her head. “This is serious, honestly. I have something in me telling me we are in danger. You’ve leaked the secret.”
“I didn’t! I only told him you’ve been here, that’s all.”
“Didn’t I tell you not to tell anyone?”
“Anyhow.” She hissed and waved her hand.
“Anyways, I have to go and see Richie.” Pemisire picked up her bag.
“Richard’s wife.” Helen pulled out her tongue and laughed.
“But, give me his mobile number.” Pemisire brought out her phone.
Helen handed her the phone and flicked her hand to check what the time was. “I’m running late.” She said.
“I’m through too.” She gave her the phone back and both walked out.
“Now, things are going on smoothly, I think we can strike tomorrow instead of Friday.” Lawrence told his guys.
“Yes boss. What is the schedule for today?” One of his guys enquired.
“Visiting the Estate again, to ask for their room.” He replied.
“But sir, the money we’ve spent so far is very much, I still see the possibility of we spending more.” One of them complained.
“Yeah. To get a house to rent, within just a day is not a small things, also the way we’ve planned everything. But, the documents we have come for will make even my tenth generation not to suffer.” He grinned. “I ought to leave everything to you guys but I have to be here to see for myself.” He laughed.
“So, let’s keep hoping and preparing to strike tomorrow.” He said, nodding continuously.
“Who are you? Please tell me.” Richard asked Pemisire as she sat beside him.
“I don’t know the number of times you want me to tell you I am the unknown.” She smiled.
“Is it because you care so much because of me that has made you come early or you ran away from home? How have you been coping, leaving your house when your parents and siblings are around?” He asked her.
“Did I tell you I have parents?” Sher said taking her face away.
“Really? Please tell me your name. For you to have left your Bartendering job because of me, I wish to know you more.”
Pemisire laughed. “I am the unknown, that’s all.” She replied.
“I am sure my friends must be preparing to go to work now, but you are here taking care of me. I appreciate you.” Richard said.
“I told you earlier, maybe God purposely let us meet for me to let you know of his existence and let you know you have to forgive all those who have sinned against you, even when difficult.”
Richard smiled. “You are twisting the discussion again.”
“The Doctor has assured me that I’ll be discharged this morning. I wish to bury my sister today.” He said, changing the mood.
Pemisire sniffled. “Just.. be patient, take everything easy. I don’t want you to start crying. I will help you start the preparations now, I think I should check on Doctor Kate.” She stood up.
“Thanks so much, I appreciate you.” He said, trying not to cry.
Pemisire smiled faintly. “ALL is well.”
Pemisire sat down beside Richard and handed him her handkerchief. She just returned from Doctor Kate to know about Christie. “I know it isn’t easy, but you have to be patient.” She replied.
“You know it is not easy? As if you’ve passed this stage before. God is still merciful to you.”
Pemisire smiled. “Let me tell you a story about a set of twins.” She sighed and stood up, turning her back at him. “The two were close, ate together, did buy clothes together, shared love and everything together with their only father. The two lost their mother when they were little to Cancer, lived all along without a mother. The father was rich, influential and really, he was popular. He did all he could do, by not marrying another wife, a nanny or anyone else. See, the family became one that even if someone wasn’t around, others would not eat. Now, it was on a cold night that the family was killed but just one of the twins could run away. What do you expect her to do? Loosing the mother, father and even twin sister?” She said wiping her own tears too.
“Don’t tell me this is your story.” Richard said as he ,managed to sit down. He was in pain but could risk his wound to sit because of her.
Pemisire turned around and looked into his eyes. “Can you be trusted?” She asked as she wiped her tears again.
“About you? I can keep anything, you are more than a sister to me.” He replied.
Pemisire burst into tears again as she spoke. “I am the only one left.” She told him.
“No! Tell me this is not true, tell me it is a lie!”
“This is true, I tell you this is for real.”
“How have you been managing? You are a strong lady, rich in glamour, great in knowledge, I still can’t believe it.” He was shocked.
“It all happened in less than a month now. I was down! I was broken apart! Richard, I lost Pemisayo and my Dad to the hands of a evil man because of something precious.”
Richard found himself crying for her. “Until you get to another person’s farm, you won’t know your’s is even small compared to another’s.” He said.
“You have to lie down, you know the wound is still fresh. I beg of you, don’t cry any longer.” She sniffed as she wiped her own tears too.
“So, if I may ask. What is your name?” Richard asked.
“Pemisire,” she answered.
“Why would you be discharged as early as this? I never knew it would be as early as this.” Uche said.
“The Doctor said there has been a drastic improvement and besides my own case isn’t bad, if not, I wouldn’t have been allowed to eat for three days, would have been taking drips.” He replied.
“But at first, he painted it as if it was something so great.|” Jay hissed.
Richard smiled. “How has been the office?” He asked.
“Nice.” He replied.
“Where is the unknown?” Uche asked.
“She went home to do something important.” He replied.
“The unknown’s husband.” Jay laughed.
“Anyhow.” Richard hissed. “Guys, you won’t be able to return back to the office, we have something drastic to do.” He told them.
“Like?” Uche asked.
“We are burying her very soon.” He replied.
Jay sighed and sat down. His mood had changed already. “Don’t you think this can be handled when you are completely alright?” He asked him.
“The earlier, the better. The earlier, the memory fades away.” Richard replied.
“Yeah, but where is the place?” Uche asked.
“This hospital’s cementry.” He replied.
“No problem, all is well.” Jay sighed again.
Richard and his friends got out of the hospital. He was already better then. The Doctor just left them, telling them the dos and don’ts concerning the injury. “Many Doctors like to allow patient stay in the hospital for about a week after the surgery for monitoring but I see you’ve responded to treatment and your internal organs weren’t affected. There was no internal bleeding, that is why I am releasing you to leave. Besides, you have a lot people beside you and they are caring. The more you stay here, the more the money to be paid and I know your status.” The Doctor told them.
Christiana had been buried already. Tears of pain, sorrowful minds and wail that all would miss one another filled the air, during the burial.
Richard’s friend did all they could to make sure all was coordinated well and done that afternoon so they would forget soon and Richard would be able to rest at home. Doctors Kate and Esther were also present during the course, it was like she should come back to life.
“I really thank you.” Richard said to Pemisire.
“All is well.” She smiled.
“Let me have your mobile number.” He said.
Pemisire dictated and hopped into the car with them. “You should at least follow me home.” Richard said, managing to laugh though he was still picturing how his sister was buried.
“The Director said we should see him now.” Uche sai as he dropped his phone.
“That means you guys will be at home, we will be back soon.” Jay said and sped off.
Pemisire admired Richard’s living room as she stepped in the room had butter yellow walls, white crown
moulding, red sofa and two red gingham checked chairs with decorations which include vases, decoys, moose and bear figures, a hand carved bear, wooden moose, planter, pine cones, a potpourri bowl, coasters, glass table tops in the living room.
“This place is great!”
Richard smiled. “Please, sit.” He said, lying down on the sofa.
“Now, you’ve been enjoying here too.” She smiled.
“What do you want to eat?” He asked her.
“Eat? I can’t laugh.” She laughed.
Richard chuckled. “Just tell me, I’ll prepare anything.” He grinned.
Pemisire smiled. She had a flashback of how she was crying with Richard when they were at Christiana’s grave. “Hmmn… have you called your mother?”
“Pemisire, don’t!” He rebuffed.
“No, you have to do that.” She said.
“I’m not going to forgive that woman, I won’t!” He hissed.
“Richard.” She said and picked up her phone. “It’s this useless phone, I don’t have it’s time.” She said as she picked up Helen’s call.
“I’ll soon be at home, hope everything is still intact?” She asked.
“Alright, later.” She said and ended the call.
“Pemisire.” Richard called her name softly.
“Yes.” Pemisire replied. “I’ll soon be living.” She said.
Richard cleared his throat. “I really appreciate you for all you help so far. May God bless you for me.” He said.
Pemisire laughed. “For you? God will bless me myself. And, wait oh, did you just mention God?” She grinned.
“Don’t mind me and that man, your story has made me cool down.”
She chuckled. “You haven’t heard of anything! I don’t know how soon I’m going to die too..”
Richard’s eyes widened. “What? What are you saying to yourself?”
Pemisire laughed. “I am serious about this, that man that killed my parents can come for me.” She replied.
Richard exhaled. “He must be dealt with! What has your family done for him?” He asked.
Richard, you won’t understand.” She waved her hand.
“No! Tell me the reality. I need to know what the problem actually is, what have you guys done to that fool?” He was becoming more serious.
Pemisire sighed. “Richard, who else is at home?” She enquired, her eyes darting round the living room.
“My friends and I live here, just you and I are in the house.” He replied.
“I wish to tell you this because I might die soon too.”She replied, making everything more serious.
“I told you not to say that!” He hit his thigh softly.
“He wants… how can I trust you?” She asked, gazing at him.
Richard chuckled. “Believe me, even my sister’s picture that is in my room won’t hear this.” He replied, smiling.
Pemisire laughed. She started explaining her story to Richard as she stood up, walking round the living room. Richard had fixed his eyes on her too, like a goat expecting an owner to leave his things for it. It was quite heartrending to him too. He never knew he had been with someone with a greater problem but had no problem because she ad forsaken them to God. He kept on sighing until he spoke again. “Now, do you still wish to sleep in that house tonight?” Richard asked her.
“Yeah, I have no choice, no othe place to go.” He replied.
“As you’ve said, I promise no one will hear this, not even my best friends. But, if I get you somewhere to stay for a while, will you stay there?” Richard asked her.
Pemisire smiled. “Sure.” She replied.
“Jay’s sisters have their own apartment, you can go and stay there for a while. Maybe you will move there on Friday because i have to tell my friends about it but not about the secret. I am sure they’ll let you.” He told her.
“That is also good, I can.” She replied.
“Yeah. He is the only son, with three sisters as his siblings. So, the three ladies have a house where they all live in, it was bought by their parents. They have reasonable and good parents, unlike me.”
“Don’t say that. It is either that they are not your parents or… I don’t know but you still have to be patient and have a forgiving spirit.”
“But, can you trust me up to a level? Can you bring the documents for me to keep in my wardrobe here, locked up and safe from anyone. A rented apartment is even bad to keep such a thing, anyone can barge in at anytime and take anything away. Even if robbers rob us here, they can’t take it because they will think it contains just ordinary documents.” Richard said.
Pemisire sighed and scratched her head. She began to think, wasn’t he right that it might be stolen in that house, even before the appearance of Lawrence? Vital documents shouldn’t be taken out just anyhow. She believed Richard was the best to be trusted at that time. “Expect me, tonight.” She said and hurried out. It began to look like a reality, what if they steal the attache case before getting home?
PEMISIRE GREETED HELEN AS SHE CAME INTO THE HOUSE, she checked where they kept the attache case and brought it out. “Girl, I smell danger!” She said, ready to leave the house.
“Wait, where do you now want to keep it?” Helen asked her.
“With Richard.” She replied.
“Girl, don’t put your trust in just anyone, it is very risky.” Helen stood up.
Pemisire shook her head. “With the little time I have spent with that guy, I am sure he is not a fake. I am sure he will keep it as a secret and can’t betray me.” She replied.
Helen frowned. “See, I still don’t want you to trust him that much. You just met like a week or so, why would you trust him to the extent of these documents?”
Pemisire smiled. “I called that guy today and it didn’t look like Michael’s voice at all!”
“His voice might have changed, we can’t tell.” She replied her.
“We will discuss better, I have to leave before the arrival for his friends.” She said and rushed out.
[i]I pray this girl won’t run into trouble, why would she trust someone this much! Though, I haven’t met the guy but I am sure the guy must be making her go crazy. But, wasn’t that Michael? It’s been a while we saw, his voice might have changed. If we call her now, her useless phone will just be wasting my airtime, picking up itself even before the owner of the ears the ringing tone.[/i] She hissed as she lamented.
“Boss, are we striking early or late?” One of the guys asked Lawrence.
Lawrence tweaked his nose and swooshed out a long breath. “I think morning should be the best because they might leave the house after.” He said, still thinking. “Are you guys sure you asked well and you were told their room is the third one to the left?” He asked them.
“Yes boss.” they echoed.
“So, we should be there very early to check if the attache case is in that room, if not, we will carry the two ladies to the uncompleted building found near the bush there to beat until they tell us where the attache case is.” He said, looking down.
“So, be preparing. Tomorrow is the D-day.” He swooshed out a long breath again.