State patrol?” He exclaimed and the women drew closer to him reflexively.
He couldn’t tame his mouth anymore. He was as scared of the eventualities as everyone else and somehow he found himself praying that nothing too lethal had happened.
“OK. Thank you so much for calling sir, I would be on my way as soon as possible. Thank you, sir.”
“What happened?” Udale asked just when he barely dropped the phone off his ear. His eyes carried no hope at all… for the first time.
“Matthew had a fatal accident on the Abuja-Kaduna highway.” He said, with the little calmness he could gather.
“Matthew? Kaduna? What is he going to do in Kaduna? Oh my God!” Udale was jumping on one of her feet.
“Let’s get out of this place first.” Max said, walking away immediately.
Pastor Lydia with watery eyes held onto the feeble, tired and weeping Udale.
Pain can never be measured in equal sizes.
Oga Jude walked into the office, Omachoko following closely behind him.
“You are welcome sir.” The secretary said as courteously as she could, rising to her feet.
“Is my wife in?” Oga Jude asked, smiling and ignoring her question.
“Yes, she is sir.” Her eyes are all on Omachoko and he could only wonder why.
It was not the normal look of astonishment or marvel; it was the type that speaks clearly the state of her heart.
Omachoko saw Oga Jude open the door to the inner office and he hurried off after him quickly, before he would close it.
Halima was standing against her window.
She probably was so lost in thoughts because she looked frightened the initial time she turned to face them.
“Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t know you would get here this fast.” She moved to hug her husband. “…Choko, choko, my personal person, apart from shinning, what other hobby do you have?” she sniffed, rubbing his back lightly.
The way one would a child that’s crying.
Omachoko is used to this. Maybe because she deals majorly with kids, she supposes everyone to be one. If not, what would explain patting the back of a fully grown man? Halima is extremely caring. Caring to a fault. That was probably part of the reasons Omachoko will never go to their house. At the early times with Oga Jude, she would send a driver to buy food and bring for him. She did that three consecutive times every day. That was before she got busy anyway. Omachoko couldn’t have had any mind of being more hardworking if she had stayed back and keep loading his stomach with free food. She is sweet like that. She got busy attending a lot of professional seminars and taking examinations here and there. To Omachoko, it was a good thing she got busy.
“Nice to see you again, Aunty Halima. It’s been so long. Where have you been?”
“Yeah! Really long. I’ve been in my house.” She winked her tired eyes at Omachoko who smiled. He knew where she was going to with that answer.
“Lolo, that was exactly what I was telling him in the car o. So he cannot now see Helen on the road or anywhere and recognise her.” Oga Jude added, concentrating on whatever he was doing on his phone.
“It’s not like that jor. I should have met her today, save for school. But I’ll meet her soon. Probably take her out. She may even be a wife material Oga.” Omachoko was giving an inconvenient joke and he knew it.
Oga Jude scoffs, looking at his wife. She has grown lean within the few hours she left home this morning and now?
“Lolo, asthmatic attacks now makes you cry?” Oga Jude asked
Omachoko felt that question was insensitive. Maybe not, though. He knew about her health condition right from time. He was quite close to her at that beginning time and she served more or less like a spur to him as well.
Her wells are golden. Maybe that’s why his oga calls her Lolo, she is royalty indeed. Slender and tall, with ageless soft, clay colour skin. Her smile? It can melt the heart of a wicked king. And that smile was what she just gave now. He has really missed her.
“You know, because I was a victim myself, I know how it feels when poor innocent children are molested.” Halima started but her husband interrupted her.
“Nne bia, what am I saying, what are you saying? I’m asking why your eyes are red!”
“I know, sir. You know so much stress usually stimulate the attack. I had seen some messy things today and started coughing dryly some minutes ago, I didn’t want to embarrass myself so let’s just have the inhaler to be double protected.”
“Seen messy things?” Oga Jude sounded concerned. “What happened?”
She took a breath in before explaining.
She talked about the girl that had been under sexual abuse by her uncle for about three years now, how she had suffered in silence because according to her, her aunty is so unapproachable. She talked up to the part of discovering the pregnancy and the suicide attempt of the little girl.
“What?” Omachoko screamed, springing onto his feet. “The b—–d should be locked in the deepest part of the dungeon and the key should be thrown into the river. Mtcheew!” He drew a long kiss.
“I feel so horrible. How can people be so heartless to molest a little child? The innocence, the helplessness, the undue sadness.” A tear rolled down her right cheek and she wiped it out immediately. “…my father almost made my life miserable. He would get drunk and I became his prey for that night!” She coughed out loudly.
Oga Jude quickly got up to hold his wife down till she sat comfortably. He picked at her hair lightly.
“You really don’t have to remember all those, Lolo. You know you can’t afford to break down now.”
“This asthmatic nonsense was his entire fault… or was it Nne’s fault? She was hurt. I can understand her pain. It’s only that I couldn’t understand why she chose only me to pour the anger on; by sending me out of the house in the cold night and asking me never to come back.” She was literally crying this time.
Oga Jude held onto her. He never approves her talking about this part of her life. She wouldn’t agree, but she obviously hasn’t been able to deal with the hurt. It’s so long ago now; one should naturally enjoy saying the story. Halima’s case is different; her heart is as soft and charming as her smile.
“I didn’t get pregnant then o and you knew all I went through before God finally fated our paths to meet…” He looked up at him leeringly and he blushed. They almost have become oblivious of Omachoko’s presence and he didn’t mind. He was enjoying the whole show.
After getting everything good, get a wife good in everything. That has been Omachoko watchword.
“…this girl in question is pregnant!”
“God!” Oga Jude exclaimed, falling into the settee beside her.
Omachoko felt like getting up and going in search of the heartless fellow that must have subjected a little girl to this so much pain.
“Where is the idiot now?” He asked, in an angered tone.
“We don’t know my dear. He left here this morning when I broke the news of her pregnancy to him and they said his number has been unreachable all day. The wife is so devastated and had to leave. I understand her case.” She mopped her face with the handkerchief she dragged close from the shelf beside the settee they are sitting on.
“Can I see the girl?” Oga Jude asked, sounding really concerned.
He got up, collected Halima’s hand and helped pull her up.
“I would be back shortly, Choko. Please wait up for me.”
“Oh why?” Halima asked with surprised tone. “You can come along Omachoko. She was sedated so as to stitch the cut she gave her wrist. She is still asleep.” She turned to Omachoko who didn’t get up from his seat. “Oh! Unless you don’t want.”