LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 17

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - The number was out of service, father, Good Samaritan, good, police, God, driver.


“Here is your temporary receipt for ten million naira,” the bank manager said, handing Agusi a piece of paper. “Once the money is counted and deposited in your account, you will get an alert. I will personally manage your account from now going forward,” he explained. “Thank you very much,” replied Agusi. “Let me see you out,” the bank manager offered. “Not to worry. I can see myself out,” Agusi said, feeling important all of a sudden. This was what he had been craving his whole life; wealth…affluence! He had a spring in his step as he walked back into the banking hall. “Thanks for your help,” he said to the customer service girl. “You are welcome, sir,” she replied, slightly bending out of respect as she spoke.

“Sorry, I forgot to ask your name.” “Chinyere,” she answered still smiling, albeit a plastic smile. “Can I get your phone number?” Agusi asked. She quickly scribbled her number on a piece of paper and handed it to him. He winked at her flirtatiously. “I will give you a call.” “I will be expecting your call,” she replied smiling. Have a lovely evening.” “You too.” Agusi got into his car and headed to a pre-booked hotel – Enitona Hotel near GRA, Aba. He had taken some money from one of the bags. I can give myself a treat tonight, he thought. I should probably call that girl later tonight. After all, it is Friday night; Agusi weighted his options as he joined Aba traffic.


Uduma managed to find his way home. He was riddled with fear. He went under his bed, opened an old wooden box and took out a gun he had stowed there. He put it in his jacket, took the bullets that lay in the box and left. He was afraid that the police might be onto him soon. He was not sure whether he had hit Ifunanya or not. He dashed outside, got in the car and drove off. As soon as he was out of the area, he pulled up in a quiet area in Emene and called Agusi. His number was out of service. Where is he? He wondered. He dialed him twenty times, but there was no response from Agusi, so he sent him a text. Could it be that Agusi has double-crossed me? He thought to himself, cringing at the thought.

Chidera called Agusi’s number, but there was no response. The number was out of service. She was keen to find out if he had done the job. She was staying with Miranda in Enugu. A return to the village was out of the question. The shame of being stood up on her wedding day was far too much to stomach. She dialed Nneka. “Chidera, I am sorry for not getting back in touch with you all this while,” Nneka said. “You forgot me…just like that,” Chidera accused her. “You have no idea what I am going through, Chidera.” Nneka went on to narrate how Chijioke threw her out. “He is now with his longtime girlfriend in University. He won’t even let me see my own child,” she lamented. “I am very sorry. So, Isiguzo could not resolve the situation for both of us?”

“My friend, he could not oh! Things even went from bad to worse for me. My mother and I now live in my maternal home and the situation is really dreadful. My father would not let us step onto his compound. He believes that my mother and I are evil, and at his age, he is thinking of taking a new wife; a young girl not that much older than I am.” As if you did not know that you and your mother were evil? Chidera thought. “I am sorry to hear that,” Chidera said superficially. “I am not giving up on the situation any way. Isiguzo tells me that the gods won’t speak to him about me and my former powers, so I am looking for an alternative measure.” She lowered her voice and spoke into the phone. “I know you have some contacts in Enugu, Chidera. You know, people who can take out a target at a price.”

“What are you driving at, Nneka?” “Of course, you know what I mean. My father is sitting in the house that Chijioke built for us. He has no idea how that house came to be. If not for me, he would never have known Chijioke, how much more the massive house he lives in now. I want him…you know, I want to take care of him. I have some money that I stashed away when I was with Chijioke. I am willing to pay someone to take my stupid father out of the picture, so that my mother and I can at least, have a place to call home; a befitting home!” “Your own father?” “Yes, my own father. I don’t care. He is a stupid drunk. He is better off gone than alive.” My God, I knew you were evil, now I know you are worse than I am…you are the devil himself, Chidera thought to herself.

“Okay, if that is what you want, I can help you. This is not something you can arrange by phone though. Come to Enugu. I am staying at Miranda’s now. You know the place right?” “Yes, I do.” “Come as soon as you can. I can link you up with some guys. Bring a picture of your father.” “I will be in Enugu in two days. I am really pleased. Thanks for helping.” You have no idea what awaits you here, Nneka. You got me into this. I will certainly make you pay, Chidera thought. “What are friends for, Nneka? When one door closes, another opens. We will get through this my dear friend.” “Thanks a lot, Chiichii.”



“What did you do to her?” A mean-looking policeman asked the driver of the pickup van. “I am telling you the truth. I was only helping her. I found her under attack and like a Good Samaritan, I fought for her. I fought off the young man who was chasing her with a gun. Then, I brought her to hospital and before I knew it, the hospital security held me down and called police on me. I did not harm her. I don’t even know who she is. I was only trying to save the poor girl. Is she alive? How is she doing?” The driver asked. He wore a frown on his face. “So, what was a pistol doing in your trunk, liar?” “I told you already; I fought off her assailant. I beat him down and in the process, his gun fell off, so I picked it up and tossed it in the trunk. What could I have done? Leave the gun there for him to pick up, load it and shoot both the girl and I?” “You are a creative liar. I know your type.” Gbosaa!!! The policeman slapped the driver.

“My God, this is what I get for being a Good Samaritan. God, Please save me from this,” he cried. “Stop using the name of God in vain, Mister! Are you a kidnapper or a ritual killer?” “I am neither!!!” The driver answered. “Okay, we will keep you here until you tell us the truth. Nasiru, take this man to the other room and have him shocked with electricity,” the sergeant ordered his subordinates. “Noooo!!! I was only helping!” he begged through tears.



“Nurse, please get things ready for the surgery!” The doctor instructed. “Almost everything is ready for the surgery, doctor. We should be ready in less than half an hour.” The slender beautiful nurse answered. She was on the move as she spoke, getting things ready for the surgery. The doctor waited in the adjoining room to the theater. He was eager to operate on Ifunanya. “Dr. Anyasi,” a man in suit called to the doctor. “Yes, chief accountant. What can I do for you?” The doctor who was clad in a white overall with a stethoscope hanging around his neck asked. “Are you really trying to operate on that girl who was brought in by a pickup driver?” “Yes,” replied the doctor. “So, who is going to pay for that expensive surgery?” “As a medical professional, my job now is to save this girl. From the scan, she had a fatal miscarriage and broke her neck as well when she took a fall. The driver claimed that she was running from a shooter. If we don’t do the surgery, she will die by the end of the day. I have to operate on her first. Later, I am sure she has a family that will cover the cost.”

“What if she does not have a family to pay for the surgery, so who pays for it?” “I don’t know. Do you want her to die? We can work that out later. For now, my job is to save her life!!!” “And my job is to save this hospital. We are not doing well financially, Dr. Anyasi.” “Don’t you have a soul, Diala, Mr. Accountant?” “My soul is to save this hospital, so that we can all have a job. What if she is some…some whore…a prostitute roaming the streets at night for sex? Who will pay for her surgery?” The accountant shouted. I remember her…I am very sure that it is her. Yes, it is the same girl I slept with once…she was literally asking me to take her home from the club and sleep with her. She is a worthless whore, the accountant, Diala thought to himself. He was one of the many men that Ifunanya had slept with while she was struggling with the reality of having been dumped by Emeka. “Diala, I don’t care what you say. I am doing the surgery anyway. If there is no one to pay for the surgery, I will pay for it from my pocket, okay? It is against the ethics of my profession to watch someone die, when I can do something to save that life!!!” Dr. Anyasi said emphatically.
 
STORY CONTINUES...
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 18
 
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 16

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 17
LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 17
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - The number was out of service, father, Good Samaritan, good, police, God, driver.
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