One of the doctors watching them from the receptionist stand walked over to them as they struggled to drag Annie with them.
Doctor: “Hello please?” he said politely, smiling as they turned to face him.
Paul: “Hello! What can we do for you?” he asked still trying to calm Annie down.
Doctor: “Can I ask you guys a question please?”
Dickson: “Sure, go on”
Doctor: “Who is that little boy to you?”
Ralph: “Hmmmmm! We don’t know him, we were just driving by when we saw people gathered. That was when our baby asked us to stop the car, she kinda rescued him from getting killed” he explained proudly.
Doctor: “Your daughter should be given an award for such a brave act. And I overheard her saying she wants to stay with the boy? She’s got a really large heart I must say”
Ralph: “Yeah thank you!” he replied eager to get away from the conversation so they could go home.
Doctor: “May I suggest she stays? She and the young lady here, I will personally take care of them. They can even stay at my place tonight and tomorrow and if you stay around, I will drive them home myself. The way I am looking at things now, this girl might fall sick if you forcibly take her home like this.
Paul: “We are sorry to decline doctor. She is too young to really know what she wants. Thanks for your suggestion anyway. We will get going now, thank you” he said and they all turned to leave, he noticed that Annie was quiet all of a sudden, he checked and realised she had fallen asleep in his arms and heaved a sigh of relief. They drove back to Ibadan in silence with each of their minds occupied with thoughts of the young boy and the state they met him in. it was really pathetic.
He sat thinking about where he could find Sammy. He still nursed doubts in his heart about his wife. He knew he had to find out the truth but how he could do that was something he wasn’t sure about. He remembered he hadn’t read news that day and he had forgotten to get newspaper from the vendor, he decided to check online. He logged in to www.adelove.com and the first thing he saw was JUNGLE JUSTICE: AN INNOCENT BOY ALOMOST LYNCHED BY AN ANGRY MOB. The title seemed catchy so he decided to read it cursing the adults who would want to set an young boy ablaze just because of some cheap commodity. His network was slow so he tried again by reloading it. It came on at last and the pictures he saw almost took his breath away. Laying on the floor was his son, covered in blood, unrecognizable because of his swollen and bleeding face. He dropped his phone and stood up, unable to continue reading the news any further. ”Oh my son! My son!!” he kept muttering breathlessly. He thought he was going to have a heart attack because of how much pain he was feeling in his heart. “All these is my fault, I drove you out of the house… where exactly are you?” he remembered the post could give him information about his whereabouts and went over to his phone, picked it up and proceeded with his reading again. He saw the picture of the brave beautiful girl who had saved his Sammy. They were pictured with her rocking Sammy’s head on her lap and looking menacingly at one of the men carrying out the nefarious act.
He finally got the address of the hospital where Sammy was admitted at, without thinking, he ran for his car and zoomed off. Ophelia ran out when she heard the sound of his car leaving the compound and wondered what could be wrong this time. She saw his phone on the table with the post he just read still on the screen, scooped it up and scanned through it. She staggered back when she saw Sammy in the pool of his own blood. Her hands began to shake while her palms sweated profusely. She quickly dropped it, took her car keys and went after her husband.
On getting to the hospital, he was directed to the doctor in charge of his son’s case.
Richard: “Good evening, I am the father of the boy who was brought in some hours back. The one in the ER” He introduced himself.
Doctor: “I know whom you are, the receptionist already called to inform me of your presence” he said as they shook hands.
Richard: “Oh good! So how is my son? Will he be okay?”
Doctor: “Of course he will be okay. He sustained multiple injuries though, three broken ribs, mild concussion of the brain and some fractures here and there. But let’s thank God that girl stood up for him when she did, by now his charred corpse would have been what you’d be picking from the road now with people looking at you as the father of a thief”
Richard: “Hmmmm glory be to God. Does that mean my son is not in danger anymore? I mean he will recover?”
Doctor: “Of course he will recover faster than you think. You should find a way to thank the parents of that girl. They even paid your son’s hospital bills and the girl? She was so taken to your son that she didn’t want to leave”
Richard: “I must see that girl of course, I read about it all online and I must say I am really impressed. Her parents must really be proud of her. Please when next they come, tell them I want to see them, they should give me a call” he said handing his card to him.
Doctor: “Okay they will hear. And don’t worry, your son will be fine”
Richard: “But can I see him now?”
Doctor: “Of course! If you can’t see him then who can? I will take you there. Come with me please?” he said leading the way.
Richard: “Thanks a lot” he said as they walked along the long corridor leading to the Emergency Room.
He was taken aback when he saw his son. He was plastered from head to toe. POP was used to support one of his legs. He fell on his knees and just stayed there with his heard down like a gallant soldier who fell in battle.
Doctor: “Are you okay?” he said holding him gently by the shoulder.
Richard; “I am not okay doctor. You see that boy lying over there? I am the reason he is there. He told me something grievous someone is dong to him and I refused to believe him. I even punished him for calling me a coward when I knew within me that he was really saying the truth. Now he is lying here almost maimed while his mother is lying cold and stiff in the ground, all my fault”
Doctor: “I will advise you to just pray for him to get better soon so you can apologize to him. That is the best way and hope the person that did that grievous something has been reprimanded? Don’t let him or her go scot free”
Richard: “She will not. I will reveal her dirty secrets to the whole world, I will ruin her life for ruining my family” he said bitterly.
Doctor: “It’s okay, go talk to your son now, he seems to be awake. I will get going though, I am having another appointment in five minutes’ time.” he checked his time, patted Richard’s shoulder and started walking out.
Ophelia hid herself behind the door till the doctor had disappeared out of sight. She quickly sneaked away from the ER and fled from the hospital.
Ever since they got back from Abeokuta, Annie refused to talk to anyone. She became sullen and withdrawn overnight. The cries of the boy kept ringing in her head, his agonized gaze as he looked up at her. She felt like she could almost feel all the hurts he had passed through in his short life on earth. She wanted to go back there so much but there was no one to take her, which saddened her so much.
Paul: “Annie, we are going to see that boy on tomorrow which is Saturday. Will you like to go with us?” he said that morning as they were preparing for work while prepared for school.
Annie: “Yeeeees! She said jumping up excitedly. “let’s get him plenty gifts, I will give him all my toys even Elsa”
Paul: “You like him that much?”
Annie: “Yes I like him very much, he looks as if he is my brother”
Paul: “Really? Brother from another planet heart right?” he teased her.
Ralph: “Looks like someone is back. Welcome back baby, we missed you” he said pecking her on the cheek with the foamy teeth paste in his mouth.
Annie: “Uhnnn! 1st daddy, you are dirty” she said using her towel to clean her cheek.
At the hospital, The POP on his leg had been removed while some of the bandages still remained. He kept thinking about the girl who had saved him. She looked exactly the same age as his Annie, for this one fact, he wanted to see her so much. As he was thinking, he heard shuffling of legs outside, he looked sideways and there she was, sanding right there grinning gleefully.
Annie: “Oh my God! You look better friend. Thank God He answered my prayers” she said walking towards him slowly afraid that if she walked fast, she will find out that it’s all a dream anyway.
Sammy: “So you’ve been praying for me?” he said sitting up.
Annie: “Of course! Meet my three dads. This 1st dad, 2nd dad and 3rd dad” he said pointing at them one after the other.
Sammy: “1st dad, 2nd dad, 3rd dad? Are those their names? How is it that you have three dad? What of your mum?” he asked after he had nodded greeting to the three dudes standing like her body guard.
Annie: “They refused to tell me where she is. What about you? But what is your name? I don’t even know your name”
Sammy: “My name is Samson but everybody calls me Sammy. What about you?”
Annie: “My name is Annie…”
Sammy: “Annie…?” his eyes almost popped out of their bruised sockets.
Question: Will he get to know she is his sister here? What will Ophelia do about this latest development?
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