In case you missed it, read Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4 , Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7 and Episode 8
You do not want to think these things. You do not want to say them. But you find yourself saying them, you find the belief creeping on you. Even to me, my accusation sounded ludicrous.
Fafa looked at me with eyes like orbs “Reks, what are you talking about? Have you been drinking?”
“Oh so you want me to begin drinking again so you can make sure that your plan works, just in case the first drinking didn’t work abi? Well, it has worked. Are you happy now?”
“Reks, shut up, shut up! This is not you talking, it’s the pain, I’m certain.”
“Look at you. All your planning, all the scheming, wasn’t it to get to my boss? Now that you are with him, you are falling in love and talking about him as if he’s the best thing that has happened to you since Brazilian weave.”
“You are being a brat, you know that? And yes, what if I fall in love with him? Look, he has been in these last two days what all the men have not been to me in the years. He’s a great guy, single and doing well. What is there not to love?”
“He’s one of the main reasons my life is ruined like this and you are jumping into his bed after just two dates? Oh Farida!”
“Contrary to what your stuck-up ass thinks, he has not even seen a bra strap. Get over yourself, men wager over who can get a woman all the time, so your boss didn’t do anything so way out of the ordinary. He actually wagered because he believed you would not fall for Ochuko.”
“Ow, so you now know this, right? Listen to yourself Fafa, just listen to yourself”. I mean can you guys listen to this babe. I was vibrating within.
“Do you think I went in with the intention of liking this dude? I mean, I was scheming to bring him down! But he’s not who you think he is babe, he didn’t even know Ochuko was married. Ochuko lied to you, to his wife, to him, to everyone. I was going to get to telling you before you threw that bombshell at me.”
“I see,” was all I said.
“You see what Reks?” she asked. When I didn’t respond, she came closer and asked one more time “What do you see?”
“I see that like everyone else, you merely used me to get what you want – a man that isn’t one of those your sugar daddies. What I don’t understand is what my child did to you. Why you had to…”
“Rekiya, the first about me falling for your oga is correct. This nonsense about me killing your baby is just that – arrant nonsense!”
“You know what Fafa, just leave me alone. Yes, like everyone else, leave. Like daddy, like Ochuko, just leave.
“Rekiya, you’re asking me to leave your house at this unholy hour?” Fafa asked in disbelief. But I really didn’t care anymore. I just wanted her to go. I turned away from her without answering. She immediately picked her keys, turned around and stormed out before I could say anything else. I was alone again and this time, I couldn’t call even Fafa. The tears came tumbling down, drowning every reasonable thought I tried to have. The truth is, I knew I had merely transferred what I was feeling for myself to Fafa.
Moments later, there was a knock on the door. Fafa must have forgotten something. “Why the hell did you come back?” I shouted from the couch, struggling to stem the flowing tears. I didn’t want her seeing me like this.
“Open the door, Rekiya Patuwak.” It was not Fafa.
Rekiya says “To tell the other half of what happened that night, we have to listen to Farida tell it from after she left my house. So from here on till the end of the episode, you’re listening to Madam Farida.
You know, I really should go back and slap some sense into that Rekiya girl. Okay, Farida, calm down. Breathe. I had decided to come and lodge in one of my chairmen T.T. Bundle’s hotel, I didn’t feel like going back home that night. They knew me there, so I was up in my room within a few minutes of getting there. Before I got there, I had blanked my mind but now after a warm soak in the tub, I settled down to think.
The truth is, I had felt guilty about liking Rere (that’s her oga’s name, pronounced ray-ray, for some lengthy Delta name I cannot still remember). And foolish too, how could Farida fall for a man in two days? But truth is one gets old, one becomes more sensitive, one needs more than money and glitterati after a while. These things become tiring and one needs more, and Rere was this more and more. I knew it wouldn’t be easy for my friend to understand this, but I hoped and believed she would.
But I understood what she must be going through. She had lost the baby, and the doctor had told her it was alcohol, and I gave her the alcohol. The baby. My mind has a way of fixating on something and telling me something I should think more about. Sometimes I try to ignore it, but it keeps disturbing until I listened and thought about it a lot more. And many times, I end up finding stuff that is wowza out. It was what happened to me when I stayed on that “the child” phrase now. I really couldn’t care less for that Ochuko (yeah, I sound harsh I know). He messed my Rekiya up and tried to swindle my Rere (yes, he’s my Rere) for the lion’s share of his hard earned money. But the child stuck out in my mind like a sore thumb and so I began to think about what I had gleaned from the conversation with Rekiya about how she lost the baby. First thing that struck me was that there had been no blood, no bleeding, either before she got to the hospital or while she was conscious while she was there. What kind of loss of baby just happened when someone was in drug induced sleep?
The second was the absence of scans. The doctor had not bothered to show her any scans confirming anything. He just told her verbally. It didn’t sit right with me.
And then there was the matter of his not bothering to inform her father or anyone else while Rekiya was asleep, since he was their family doctor. I know her dad, he would have gotten to that hospital sharply if he had been told. It didn’t quite fit with what would have been normal.
Maybe my mind fixated on the baby matter because it was the one that pained me the most of all the things that Rekiya had said. But I sensed that something about it did not quite sit right, and I made up my mind to get to the root of the matter. A thought crept into my mind, but I shook it off. It was a terrible thought to even consider, but it kept coming back. And the more it did, the more it seemed plausible.
I retrieved Doctor Phillips’ card from my handbag. A few years ago, he had given it to me when I went calling with Rekiya and her dad for their annual checkup. I dialed the number on it with my second number and it rang out the first time. I decided to try a second time. I was really counting on this number still working. He picked before the caller tune got to the noisy part.
“Hello, please am I on to Dr. Phillips?” I cooed, putting on my British accent for the occasion.
“Speaking, to whom am I speaking?” he responded.
I introduced myself as a popular socialite and told him I wasn’t calling with my own number because of the nature of what I was going to discuss. He said he was listening.
“You see, I have a problem. I’m not supposed to be pregnant right now but I am. To make matters worse, my husband and I are due for a checkup with our personal physician in a matter of two weeks, and it will be discovered. I require a discreet abortion, but not any of the harsh ones that another doctor can easily discover on a mere cursory examination. I am told you are something of a specialist in this area,” I said.
When he responded, his voice was defensive. “Who gave you such information? I don’t engage in such…”
“Oh cut the bull doctor. It doesn’t matter who told me. I’m in need of this service urgently, and I’m willing to pay you very handsomely. What I stand to lose by being discovered is very much”
“How much are you willing to pay for this ma’am?” he asked.
He had swallowed the bait. I smiled. “By asking me to name a price, doctor, are you confirming to me that you are able to carry out such an operation?”
“Madam, your price will do a lot to convince me to carry it out. But if you want confirmation, yes, it can be done. I carried out such a procedure this afternoon in fact. And the young lady did not even know any procedure had been carried out when she woke up from being sedated. It is that, shall we say, unnoticeable to everyone.”
“Great! That’s just what I require. I’m willing to pay you five thousand pounds to do this and keep it between us.”
I could almost see him smiling greedily when I mentioned how much I was willing to pay. But he tried to press his luck and said “Madam, you need to take into account the suddenness of the request. If you could make it seven thousand pounds, I would do it.”
“Done.” I said, and I imagined him beating himself for not asking for more.
“When do you want to come in for this procedure?” he asked.
“My husband is in Nigeria till Wednesday. I will come in on Thursday, that’s six days from today. Is that fine?”
“That’s fine madam. I would look forward to seeing you.”
“Please do not call this number, it will be turned off. I’ll call you on Wednesday evening to confirm our appointment. Thank you and goodbye.” I cut the call off before he could say anything and then turned that phone off. I quickly opened my files on the phone, retrieved the recording and played it. The conversation I had just had filled the room. The new technologies on these new phones were great.
Now, to find out who the doctor had been talking to.