Uncle Kay, a famous business man, also known as Uncle Karim, is the managing director of Hafafa Insurance,Abuja; a topnotch insurance company. People speak well of him for the good attributes he possess has a way of casting spells on anyone that comes his way. It is this gift he uses to outmatch his competitors, Kadir will always complain to Mike,
Kadir: “My brother is too generous!”
Mike: “That’s what endears him to folks! He’s got a good heart!”
Kadir: “Abegi, alotta folks take advantage of that and take him for granted. Do you know how many times he has been swindled of millions?,” he will rant and hiss.
Mike: “Well, haven’t you heard that God loves cheerful givers? It’s the reason why he can never lack.”
Five years ago, he met his beautiful wife, Jemilah. People who know them will always gossip about their inability to have children, many of them believe Jemilah is the one responsible for the fruitless marriage. Others believe Uncle Karim is a member of a fraternity that offers wealth and disallows existence of children in the home. A woman in their estate, a widow, someone who benefits from their benevolence goes around with a story that is a figment of her imagination. According to her story,Uncle Kay goes to an unknown junction to perform sacrifices and she has seen him on numerous occasions. That is her own theory of explaining the reason for their childlessness, “he is a bloody ritualist, he sacrifices his unborn children for wealth!” she would always say.
Years after Uncle Kay establishes the mother company, he decides to create Hafafa Insurance with only a few, but hardworking staff. Kadir, not wanting to be the only young male staff in the company forced Mike to join the team two years ago. Mike was made the head of the Health Insurance Department within one year of his arrival. In fact, Mike was, and is still Uncle Karim’s favourite staff.
The day does not seem like a Monday morning. The early morning rain has ruined meetings and appointments. Mike arrives the office an hour late for the meeting. He is supposed to meet with other heads of departments, before going to the mini hall to train the newly recruited marketers. Counting his steps, he slowly walks into the board room so that no one will notice that he is late. Until he gets settled before he sees that he is not the only one who shows up late at the meeting; this gives him a bit of confidence. Scribbling some words on the paper, he listens to Uncle Karim’s speech with total concentration.
Uncle Karim: “…any questions?” he asks after concluding his speech.
Other heads present at the meeting shake their heads.
Mike: “Yes, Sir” he stands up, stares directly at Uncle Karim’s secretary and continues, “I want to know, I want…I …..” he pauses, his colleagues exchange glances, Uncle Karim is more confused
Uncle Karim: “Mike? Are you ok?”
He clears his throat,
Mike: “Yes Sir, I am…’ he closes his eyes, opens them again and takes another stern look at the Secretary
“I …..I ….I…”
Mike loses his balance, struggles to stand up as he murmurs something while pointing at the direction where the Secretary is seated. This time, he is already surrounded by everyone in the room. They call the ambulance and Mike is taken out of the premises unconscious.
The hospital where the ambulance takes Mike to is a stone throw from his place of work. Kadir had been informed as soon as the ambulance took off. He has never been to the hospital but manages to find his way there. He looks around the room where Mike is on bed, looks at his friend Mike and begins to wonder what would have put his friend in this condition. Suddenly, he jumps out of his thoughts.
Mike: “help-help-help!” he wakes up dragging his pillow.
Kadir: “Calm down, Bro. I am here with you.” he holds him down.
Mike is sweating, unable to recognize where he is,
Kadir: “Don’t move! Stay right there, I’m going to call the doctor”. Kadir comes back to the ward with the doctor who sedates Mike a second time. Mike is now asleep; he looks like a battered bat as he lay helplessly on the hospital bed.
The following evening, Mike is discharged from the hospital. Series of tests have been performed on him but nothing seems to be the problem. The last doctor on call advised him to see his pastor and explain how he feels. Mike does as he is told but nothing changes; his pastor advised him to sow seeds into the church so the Lord can prevail. Mike has never been the type who believes in spiritual experiences. He assures himself that he will make an appointment with a psychologist.
His meeting with the psychologist helps him regain a part of him that he thinks has been missing, but he is yet to resume work. He thinks about how he embarrassed himself in the last meeting and gets more depressed about the whole situation. To agree that he is beginning to lose his mind is too much of a burden in his heart. He knows within himself that what he is going through is now more than the ordinary.
It is midnight, Mike is lying naked on his bed, the same bed Meenarrh had laid when she was murdered. He is restless, unable to sleep, he stands up and picks the Bible. He reads:
“John 1 Verse 9:
If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…’
Like a blind boy led by his mother, he climbs his bed slowly. He feels guilt running deep down his veins. He begins to ask himself questions- why didn’t I call the police? Why did I involve Kadir and not take care of it myself? What if he implicates me? Why did I do this to myself? Am I truly cursed? Am I just unlucky or is something wrong somewhere? He uses the blanket to cover himself slowly. He does not shut his eyes for ten seconds before his phone starts ringing.
Mike’s Mother: “Mike nwam. Are you sleeping?”
Mike: “No, Mama. What are you doing awake at this time of the night?”
Mike’s Mother: “Hmm my son. I just had a terrible dream about you, a very very terrible dream. You were…”
Mike: “…Mama!” he cuts in “You have started again”
Mike’s Mother: “Noo…this one is sooo real o. You were in one ermm errrmm…what is the name of this place that you young boys go and dance every Saturday night? The type that I hear Chief Okafor’s son opened in Asaba?
Mike: “Hahaha Mama, you mean a club?” confused, but laughing at his mother
Mike’s Mother: “Ehen-en, yesssss! A club. As I was saying, you were there in that place with some friends of yours. You were all dancing and crying at the same time and I stood by the window calling you to come out of there, but you couldn’t hear me…then I woke up. And I said to myself, my only son cannot die in the city. Whoever is planning to harm you will die a shameful death. Amadioha will…”
Mike: “…Oh, not again, Mama. Do you still do this? I have told you to stop cursing.” He cuts in angrily. ‘Mama nothing will happen to me. Maybe what you just saw in the dream is what is happening to me now. I was just discharged today. I had been in the hospital, I had Typhoid.”
Mike’s Mother: “Chineke! I knew it! I knew my enemies won’t succeed. It won’t be anyone other than Mama Chika. I saw her at the market today o and she eyed me from head to toe, just because I did not buy Ugu from her.”
Mike: “Mama, see…stop talking like you are not educated. And stop talking like you don’t go to church. It was just Typhoid. Please Mama, calm down, I’ll be fine.
Mike’s Mother: “Akuko! Me, Adanne Okorocha, u want me to calm down.”
Mike: “Yes mama. I will talk to you tomorrow. Try getting some sleep, you need it”
Mike’s Mother: “Get some sleep? Of course, you will not only talk to me tomorrow, you will also see me. I’m packing my bags. First thing tomorrow I will leave for Abuja. Goodnight my son.” She cuts the call immediately.
Mike is now fully awake. He doesn’t know what his life is now turning into. Did he offend God so much that He decides to reveal it to his mother so soon? His wild thoughts lead him to an unexpected slumber-a deep one.
…Stay tuned for Episode 6
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