Hello everyone, Welcome to a this month’s series on tpc. I’d like to thank everyone who followed the last story. lt was a great experience sharing with you guys. Please enjoy this story through the month of April. This post is dedicated to Valerie Edetanlen, my most consistent follower. May you always find peace and joy in your future home.
Sisi Lara, as she was popularly called in her office walked briskly out of the lunch room towards the elevator. Her presentation was due in twenty minutes, and she had gone to the lunch room to have a glass of chilled juice just to calm her nerves. She decided to draw some fresh breath over the banister behind a big glass wall that overlooked Lagos Island. She looked at the different portions of the Logo of Bovista Insurance Ltd decorating the glass wall. She had offered thirteen years of her career to the company, and she did not regret it one bit. She joined the Bovista at the age of twenty three, and today she was just three ranks away from becoming an Executive Director. As a Senior Manager Finance, she was responsible for raising investment capital for the company. She spare headed the listing of the company on the New York Stock Exchange two years back, and today she had successfully brought to Nigeria, the President of International Finance Corporation who was going to be making a decision on behalf of the Corporation to invest two hundred Million Dollars equity in Bovista. The deal, if successful, will be the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. Looking over several building in the business district, Sisi Lara knew she was on top of the world. The MD and other Executive Directors were going to be present at the presentation, and there could be no moment in her career as auspicious as the events that will unfold in the Executive Conference Room, two floors above her. Apart from standing ovation from her senior colleagues, she could see her face on the pages of newspapers all over the country. Younger colleagues scampered out of Sisi Lara’s way as she took bold steps towards the lift. She barely noticed the pleasantries offered. “Good Morning ma”, “You look splendid ma”. The lift door closed and she pressed the button ‘M’; an exclusive button for the few and privileged management cronies in the company.
Seven year old Tade struggled with his breathing on his bed as he wheezed continuously with every intake of air. As a young, jovial, and energetic boy, he hated being held down by sickness. He understood, from what his dad told him the last time he was ill and admitted in the hospital that he suffered from Asthma, and his dad had promised him that Jesus was going to heal him. He wanted to scream for Uncle Monday, the new minder, or Aunty Tope, the housegirl; but he knew his voice will not be loud enough to be heard from the room they both slept in everyday, when his parents were not at home. He barged in one Monday afternoon after returning from school and saw Aunty Tope standing naked in front of Uncle Monday. He did not know what to make of it, and he couldn’t to tell his mummy when she got back because he was asleep before she came home, and the next day she had gone to work by the time he woke up. However, he told his best friend in school who said “They must be having sex”. Whatever the word sex meant. He managed to crawl out of bed, towards the door, wondering if he would make it through the flight of stairs. “Jesus, please heal me. I hate this sickness”. He stepped back into the room, and went in search of his inhaler through the heap of clothes all around. If he found the inhaler, he would catch enough breath after some minutes to shout for help. As each second passed, he knew he had very little time left to call for attention. His final option was to reach for his phone and call his dad. His mum never picked his calls; she came back everyday apologizing for being in a meeting. ‘Jesus, please don’t let me die’.
“I haven’t heard from Tade today. You don give am drugs?” Monday asked Tope through the kitchen window. He dropped the gardening shears in his hands, surprised that Tope opened her mouth like she had forgotten.
“Chai…Tope….how could you forget? Oya Quick…go find am..and u know sey the boy no well at all”. He ran inside the house and hopped five steps at a time through the staircase. Barging into the room, he was greeted by the most horrible sight of fun-loving Tade on the floor shaking and wheezing. His eyes rolled up , as he struggled to keep his eyelids open.
“Call madam. Quick. Wey your phone? “, he screamed at Tope, who entered the room a few seconds after him. Confused, he lifted Tade up, and carried him on the shoulder down the stairs. Tade fainted on the staircase as the pressure from Mondays shoulders further worsened his ability to take in more air. Tope grabbed her mobile phone and dialed her Madam’s number, while Monday ran outside to get the driver in the gate house. There was pandemonium in the compound. Everybody loved Tade. He is a very jovial, and friendly boy.
Sisi Lara looked at the time as she stepped out of the Management Meeting Room; she had just one minute to pick Tope’s call, and start her presentation. All eyes were on her, as she excused herself from the room.
“Stop shouting Tope. I heard you. Call Oga. I’m in a meeting. Tade will be fine!”, She hung up the phone, took a deep breath , and walked inside the meeting room, just in time to hear the Managing Director’s Speech. She quickly pushed back thoughts of the phone call she had just received into a shelf to be retrieved after the all important presentation that was about to take her career to the next level. Composure was necessary, and that meant being tough on the inside. Besides, she knew her husband was capable. He even had a better history of Tade’s medical condition.
Monday, recognized the sight of a dying child. He grew up in the creeks of Niger Delta, and though Tade was the son of two rich individuals living in Ikoyi, his mangled face at the back of the Toyota Corolla was reminiscent of the children that died from breathing complications as a result of pollution in the creeks. He thought only the poor, malnourished, and underprivileged die like that. In town, he could not lay his hands on the local mixtures that revived some of the children. Tope continued to fiddle with her phone.
“We have to move.”, the driver said. This boy is dying.
“Where are we going to? Do you know the way to their Doctor’s hospital?”. Monday retorted.
“I have never been there Monday. I barely started driving them two weeks ago”. Mr Samuel jolted when he remembered he knew the way to Chevron Hospital in Lekki. His former boss, who was an Indian was a patient there until he was flown out of the country for treatment. He put the car into gear, and drove out through Bourdillon Drive at Top speed. Looking at the boy through the mirror, it was obvious he had little time to get medical attention. Tope dialed her Oga’s number for the third time, and he picked.
“Oga, Tade don faint, and Madam say make I call you.”
Charles jumped up in front of his client at the words of his housemaid.
“Where is he? Let me speak with Monday. Take him to the hospital”
“Oga we are already on our way to Chevron hospital for Lekki here”, Monday shouted on top of his voice.
Charles was far away in Ilupeju, at the time of making the phone call, and his shirt suddenly became drenched with sweat as he struggled to come terms with the information he just received. There was no point stopping them from going to Chevron Hospital. Monday convinced him that the only hospital Mr Samuel could drive to was Chevron Hospital. He searched for the number of an old client of his, who worked with Chevron and asked if he could assist in ensuring his son received attention immediately he arrived at the hospital.
“I am sorry sir, I have an emergency to attend to. Can we fix another appointment?”, he looked at his client while he grabbed his car keys.
“The minister is an impatient man, and he needs those devices installed today. I do not think we have the luxury of time”
“My son is dying. Tell the minister my son is dying. All my luxuries are useless without my son”, Charles got a little emotional with his client who was sent by the Minister of Special Duties to get him to install anti-explosive devices in his office and house. He had received several death threats from the Boko Haram Sect in the last two weeks. Klint Securities was the only company in Nigeria that offered such hi-tech security services. Charles stormed out of the office without a word to anyone. Once inside his car, he turned on the engine, and shifted the gears to turbo-drive. He knew he had very little time to arrive at the hospital. Tade must not die.
“God, the bible says children are a heritage from you. Please suffer not my son to die.”