Egbe’s heart skipped on hearing Doyin’s words. Her eyes widened in terror. She instinctively turned towards the room in which Desmond was kept.
Doyin grabbed her hand and dragged her out of the hospital. She struggled with him then she stopped when she saw his eyes. “He is scared.” She thought to herself as she shrugged of his hand s and tried to calm down. Both of them stepped out of the hospital and Doyin directed her to his car. He opened the door for her and she entered. She watched him as he stared about him with fear and worry. His emotions rubbed off on her and she too became scared; jumping at every shake of a tree or a flower.
Doyin entered the car and the car revved to life. He drove them to a secluded bar and led her to a shaded spot where two people can talk without being noticed.
Doyin: “how well do you do you know the Olayinka’s?” he asked, after sending the waiter away without making any order.
Egbe: “Not so well. I have never met the wife but I have met the Major several times.” She replied, trying to compose herself.
Doyin: “Mrs Olayinka and her son were poisoned. It was food poisoning by the bacteria E. coli. But that is not all, I also tested for other substance in their system and I found trace amounts of Warfarin in their system. It is a compound found in rat poison. It was not enough to kill them immediately but with a regular dosage, the buildup of the poison will get to the point when they will die.” He said, staring at Egbe intently.
Egbe: “I don’t understand. Why would anyone want to kill Desmond? He is just a boy. I don’t get it.” She replied, highly agitated by the doctor’s revelations.
Doyin: “where there is a lot of money involved, nothing is surprising o. I tell you. I have seen cases in the States where men will kill their families just to collect the insurance money.” He replied.
Egbe: “are you saying that Major Festus is trying to kill his own family? Why would he do that? He loves Desmond like his own.” She replied.
Doyin: “Desmond is not his son?” he asked, acting surprised. After all he was not supposed to know the family.
Egbe: “no. he was adopted. Their first son died. But that makes no difference; I have seen the both of them together; they are very close.” She said.
Doyin: “I don’t know the family well. I am just stating facts.” he replied.
Egbe: “I am going to confront Major Festus. We will find out the person behind the poisoning.” Her eyes widened as a thought came to her; “Major Festus’ brother! I knew that man was not good. He looked too shifty. I need to meet with Major Festus. Somebody is probably working with him in the house.” She thought to herself.
Doyin: “what is it?” he asked, observing her facial expression.
Egbe: “oh…nothing. I just remembered something I need to do for my mother.” She replied, standing up.
Doyin: “I need your help. I have no proof. Maybe we can work together to save the boy and his mother?” he said, standing up and placing his hand on Egbe’s arm.
A spasm passed Egbe’s face when she heard the word ‘his mother’. “If you only knew that you are speaking to his mother, maybe you will not be so willing to share your thoughts, doctor.” She thought to herself. She nodded her head and left abruptly.
Doyin watched her leave with a curious look on his face. “There was something that was not right about that woman. She seemed too interested to be just an ordinary teacher. I need to tell Florence.” He thought to himself then he rushed after her;
Doyin: “hey wait up, let me drop you off.” He said.
The next day, Doyin got to the hospital early and he immediately went to Florence’s room. He entered and closed the door behind him then he walked to the bed. Florence gazed at him with a small smile on her face.
Florence: “your plan seems to be genius, my darling.” She said softly.
Doyin: “what do you know about your foster son’s teacher?” he asked.
Florence’s face puckered in a frown. She had not seen the woman since the incident between her and Olamide.
Florence: “I don’t know. I have never really spoken to her myself. Why do you ask?” she asked, staring at Doyin suspiciously.
Doyin: “she showed too much interest in the boy yesterday. And it felt as if she was hiding something. I don’t want to get into trouble for you, madam. If there is anything you are not telling me, now could be the time to say it o.” he said.
Florence: “don’t be a fool. We are in this together. Forget about the girl. So how is he?” she asked
Doyin sighed; “he is recovering. It was just food poisoning and it was reported on time.” He replied, sitting on the edge of the bed.
Florence: “so what is the next step?” she asked.
Doyin: “now we frame your husband for trying to poison the boy then we end the boy.” He replied.
Florence giggled. She sat up on the bed and hugged him.
Florence: “God! You are devious. See why I love you.” she said, excitedly.
Doyin looked at her and smiled; all he could think of was Egbe’s dark eyes and trembling lips.
At work the next day, Egbe’s school headmistress summoned her to her office. The woman was furious. Egbe had disobeyed her and left her class without a teacher for the remaining part of the day.
Headmistress: “I employed you because you were vouched for by a woman I respect. But I will not tolerate insubordination. No child is more important than the other in this school. I had intended to relieve you of your position in this school but I have considered that you have been a diligent teacher in this school. I have therefore decided to deduct 20% of your salary for this month. I hope this serves as a warning?” she asked.
Egbe: “I am sorry ma.” She said.
Headmistress:”you may go and please let it not repeat itself again.” She said as Egbe left her office.
Egbe went back to her class but her mind was not in teaching. The words of Doyin filled her head with weird thoughts. She didn’t know what to believe but she was sure that Major Festus was not the guilty party. She had not told Mrs. Bakare what happened; she needed some information first. Besides she didn’t want to trouble the old woman with worrisome news. She was very sure that Olamide was the one. She had to see Major Festus and share her suspicions. She had to.
Major Festus got to the hospital and went straight to his son’s room. The boy was awake, his eyes gazing listlessly at the television placed high on the wall. His eyes lit up as soon as he entered the room;
Major Festus: “Hey soldier, how are you?” he asked.
Desmond: “I feel weird like Thor threw his hammer at me, while the Hulk punched me all over the place.” He said, grinning.
Major Festus: “if you can remember your comic characters so well, maybe it’s time to get you out of this place eh?” he asked, laughing.
Desmond nodded his head. Major Festus shook his head, still laughing.
Major Festus: “not so fast young man. We need to get the doctor’s approval first okay? Let me go and see your mom.” He said.
He patted Desmond on his head and left the room. He walked a few meters down the corridor and paused, listening in on the door before he pushed open the door. The doctor and Florence were talking in lo tones and they were holding hands. Florence’s face paled on seeing him, her hands quickly pulling off Doyin’s own and going under the bed covers.
Question: Do you think Major Festus heard any of what Florence and Doyin were discussing? Do you think he would carry out the threat he had given to Florence earlier, concerning her boyfriends?
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