Major Festus: “What is that supposed to mean?” he asked, staring at his elder brother with irritation.
Olamide: “I have been in prison in Malaysia for a long time but I am not stupid. I know father left something behind. I want my share.” He said softly.
Major Festus: “you sold the old man’s house and disappeared, and you expected him to leave you something? Are you okay?” he asked, his blood boiling.
Olamide: “That was not the only property he had. I know of the cocoa farm, the rubber plantation as well as the two buildings at Abeokuta.” He replied.
Major Festus: “when you left, mama fell sick. Father spent the little he had to save her and he died in the process. Why do you think I joined the military? You think it’s because I love to hold a gun and fight wars?” he asked, angry now. “I had nothing to do. It was in the military I finished my education. It was the military that gave me access to the wealth I have today. None of this is father’s. Nothing here is yours.” He added
Olamide stared at him quietly. He had come back to Lagos, with the idea that his father had died rich. He found it difficult to believe that the man had died poor. He had been wrong. He sighed and found a seat to sit.
Olamide: “I have nowhere to go. I have nothing except for this clothes on my back.” He said softly, his eyes on the floor.
Major Festus looked at him sadly. He knew his elder brother was bad news but he was his brother. He was the only family he had.
Major Festus: “I will fix you up somewhere, don’t you worry. Naomi!” He called out.
A maid came to the sitting room immediately. He told her to prepare one of the guest rooms. Olamide watched them with a smile on his face.
Doyin drove Florence to a restaurant where they had lunch. During lunch, he told her that he was a doctor who had studied in the United States. He had returned home for his father’s burial and had decided to stay back to handle some family issues. He had gotten a job at a private hospital which turned out to be the Olayinka’s family hospital, to Florence’s surprise.
Florence: “but I have never seen you there.” She said.
Doyin: “I am resuming next week.” He replied.
They had ordered food and they soon became silent as they focused on filling their stomachs with good food.
Some minutes later, sipping glasses of white wine, Florence shared her own story with Doyin. She told him about the death of her son and how her husband had gotten the guilty policeman dead. She told him about Desmond too,
Florence: “Festus does not understand that anytime I see that boy, I remember that my real son is dead. It hurts to look at the boy.” She said, her eyes looking into the distance.
Doyin: “He brought in the boy to make you happy, don’t you think so?” he asked.
Florence: “No. It was revenge. The boy is a punishment. He reminds me of my guilt. You see I was supposed to pick him up from school that day.” she replied quickly.
Doyin: “you and him do not seem to be getting along well?” he asked.
Florence: “I had no illusions when I married him. He wanted the access to my father’s contacts. My father wanted me out of his house. We had a sort of understanding; he let me do what I like as long as I kept it under wraps and I don’t get involved in his affairs.” She replied.
Doyin: “I am sorry about your son’s death.” He said, slowly.
Florence: “It’s been a while now.” She said smiling sadly. “Come let’s go someplace else. Here’s becoming too crowded.” She added, looking around the restaurant.
Doyin: “where do you suggest?” he asked.
Florence: “I know a place where we could have our privacy.” She replied coolly.
Doyin raised an eyebrow in surprise. “This woman is certainly forward. I wonder what her husband will say about this?” he thought to himself. He beckoned a waiter over and asked for the bill.
Egbe placed a call to Obianuju. She had first called her after she had finally settled down in Mrs. Bakare’s house. Obianuju had been angry with her for leaving the way she did but after she had apologized profusely, her friend had forgiven her. She had listened as she told her about the kindness of Mrs. Bakare. She had since then been calling her once every week as well as sending money over for Benita. Benita was now in her second year at Delta State University studying Political Science.
Egbe: “my dear how far?” she said.
Obianuju: “I dey o. how are you? How’s Lagos?” she replied.
Egbe: “Lagos is fine joor; noisy and fast as usual. You won’t believe what happened?” she said.
Obianuju: “what happened?” she asked, her voice rising with excitement.
Egbe: “I saw him. I saw my baby. He is all grown up now. That Major brought him to the school I teach in. I told you that if I stick around, I will have my opportunity to see my son again.” She replied excitedly.
Obianuju: “serious! Did he see you?” she asked.
Egbe: “No I saw them through the window. But guess what; my class is the only class that has space for a new student. So it is possible that he might end up in my class. I will get to see him, talk to him, play with him… God.” She replied, excited
Obianuju: “so what are you going to do next; kidnap him or what?” she asked.
Egbe: “I have no plans right now. I want to be as close to him as I can be. That is all for now.” She replied.
Obianuju: “Okay o. Benita sends her greetings o.” she replied.
Egbe: “ehen… she is at home? Oya give her phone let me talk to her.” she replied, laughing.
The club was on a quiet street, in an unassuming building. There was no sign to give anyone passing, the idea that the building housed a club. Doyin had driven there under Florence’s directions. She had also called her driver to go and pick her car up from the boutique.
Florence knocked and a peephole opened and an eye peered at her. She stared back at the eyes without saying a word. The peep hole closed with a clang and the sound of bolts moving filled the place as the door was unlocked. She turned to smile at Doyin. The door opened into a brightly lit corridor. Florence led the way without a word to the man at the door, Doyin walking behind her. They got to a reception and at the desk, Florence collected a key. She turned to Doyin and beckoned to him. Both of them walked on to the opposite side from where they had entered and opened a door. The door opened to a staircase, which both of them climbed.
At the top of the stairs, they found themselves in a poorly lit corridor. Doyin looked at Florence
Doyin: “what sort of place is this?” he asked as Florence inserted the key given to her at the reception into a door.
Florence: “a place where two people can be themselves without worrying about what the world thinks.” She replied, smiling.
The door opened and she dragged Doyin inside and banged the door shut.
Question: What do you think Florence intends to do with Doyin at the club she took him to? hat are your ideas on what Olamide is up to any good?
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