I left Richard’s office dazed. I should be celebrating my pregnancy but how do you cope when what you love the most is in danger of being yanked away from you. I was trying to piece up an explanation for what I had just seen but none of the conclusions I arrived at made sense. Only one thing seemed logical and could be a possibility. I was just a few steps away from Richard’s office when I saw Prisca approaching me with a questioning look but the look seemed to disappear when she saw my countenance.
“How did it go?” she asked. Before she could catch her breath, I pulled her into Richard’s office, closing the door firmly behind us. We sat down without a word and I gave her Richard’s phone. She looked at the phone for a while, and then looked at me.
“I don’t understand this. When did this happen?” she asked, confronting me directly.
I stood up and paced the room slowly, trying to gather my thoughts together. “The time I bumped into Kelvin should be a week ago. No, wait. It was yesterday”, I said. I expected that the misunderstanding between Richard and I had reached a week, thinking about all the numerous things which had happened but the reality is that, it is just a day old. I had checked the day the message was sent and saw that it was the previous day.
Prisca was waiting for me to continue. “What were you doing with Kelvin, Bell? You don’t still have feelings for him, do you?”
My head jerked in her direction. “Definitely not. Whatever I felt for him died the day I saw him with that harlot. Most times I wonder if my feelings for him was actually love because I can truly say I love Richard and what I feel for Richard is nothing compared to what I felt for Kelvin.”
“OK” she breathed. “Then tell me what actually happened because I don’t see myself hugging Frank if I see him today.” Frank was her boyfriend; the one who almost raped her.
“I was on my way home earlier than usual yesterday because I felt terribly weak when I had a flat tire. It was so surprising because I just changed my tires barely a week ago. I couldn’t get a mechanic so I set about doing it myself. All of a sudden, Kelvin showed up. He did not leave until I allowed him fix the tires. I was about entering my car when he suddenly blocked me, causing me to bump into him. All he said was that he wanted us to have a drink together and familiarize with each other. I declined, explaining that I am a married woman and so on. I left him there and DID NOT hug him” I concluded.
Prisca thought for a while. “My guess is that someone took a picture of you guys when you bumped into him”.
“I have thought of that but what I don’t know is who would have done it. Did Richard put someone on my trail?” I thought aloud.
“I would not say that. I would say that Kelvin asked someone to do that for one singular reason; the same reason that brought him to your office today” she said standing up.
“What? He was here? When?” I queried, surprised and alarmed.
“some hours ago. I guess you were on the hospital bed then. He got what he hadn’t expected though; Richard met him there and asked men to bundle him out” she replied.
I was becoming more confused by the minute. Richard had received this message yesterday but did not say anything about it. I remembered his countenance yester night and knew that he must have seen it. He also saw Kelvin today but did not mention it. Why on earth would he do that?
Loretta paced the waiting room holding her head in her hands. Apart from the several abortions which she had done, she hasn’t literally killed anyone before. She still couldn’t replay the scenario. How did she get herself into this mess? Her tears flowed ceaselessly. She had called James Branson and informed him because she didn’t know what to do and she needed someone here to hold her hands and tell her it would be alright.
She saw Richard pass in a hurry towards the emergency department and her heart skipped a beat. What would he do if he found out after treating the guy that she was the one who put the guy in that condition? It would just make their relationship more complicated, hence, destroying any hope of re-union between them. More tears flowed unhindered as her heart ached.
“Loretta” she heard James call behind her. She turned and threw herself in James’ hands, needing all the support she could get. James just held on to her, his heart beating faster than normal, whispering words of encouragements. His eyes snapped up just in time to see Richard head in the direction of his office, furiously, through the glass barrier. Loretta also saw this and left his arms instantly.
“he must have found out that I brought him and refused to treat him” she exclaimed, holding her head fiercely. James could not see that happening. Richard would not hold someone’s life ransom just because of Loretta; Richard is not like that. Maybe Richard is angry about something else, besides, he wasn’t even sure Richard would be the one to attend to the guy in question. He has so many doctors in his hospital. Guessing is not an option, though. He did not like seeing Loretta so distressed, no matter what she had done to him.
“I would talk to him” he said, walking in the direction of Richard’s office. Loretta followed briskly. He tried dissuading her but she was hell bent on begging Richard herself.
Richard marched into the office and I was startled, Prisca also. He should not be back by now, I thought. He had left barely ten minutes ago, and knowing how long such emergency cases could be, only one thing could have happened.
I rushed to him as he sat on the couch. “What is wrong honey? Is the patient Ok?” I asked hoping that whoever it was is not dead. Richard just fixed a permanent glare on his face and I could not understand anything again. Just then, the door opened and my father-in-law came in, accompanied by the last person Richard wanted to see – his mother. He was up in an instant.
“Is the devil bent on making what ought to be my happiest day very miserable? What are you doing here?” he asked, glaring at his mum.
I held his hand. “C’mon Richy-” I was saying
“Don’t touch me” he yelled at me and I shrieked. He has never done that. I was hurt down to my bones. I detest people yelling at me, it reminds me of one person: Mr Badmus, before he changed.
“Son” Mr. Branson started. “Could you please put this behind you and save the dying patient Richard? He was hit by Loretta and she is freaking out now. Please son, he had nothing to do with what your mum did, don’t let him pay for it” he concluded.
Richard glared at his mum for a while, and then faced me. “You are right dad. He has nothing to do with my problem with mum but he has something to do with my crumbling family. The guy that was hit is Kelvin”
“What?” Prisca and I yelled. I jumped out of my seat in an instant. “What is going on here Richard? You are leaving him to die because he is my Ex?” I could not believe it.
He shook his head. “No. I am not leaving him to die. The other doctors are with him but I cannot save someone who just threatened to bring us down some hours ago. I also got the message where you were with him, holding him affectionately. What do you think I would feel”?
Loretta left the place she had been since she came in and knelt down before anybody could stop her. “Please Richard, save the guy. I don’t know what you have with him but please don’t let him die, please. You may decide not to forgive me for what I did to you but please save him.” She said in tears even though everyone tried to get her up. Prisca and I finally got her to her feet.
I looked at Richard more closely and I could see him fighting a battle within himself. He was distressed and I could understand his reluctance. I carefully asked everyone to excuse both of us and within seconds, we were alone. I didn’t even know how to deal with things now that we were alone. I just stared at him.
Ronke smashed her phone on the floor in frustration. All their chances were now destroyed. She had told Oyin to keep things cool but she wouldn’t listen. They had sent the message earlier than planned. She had specifically told Oyin that they would have to change the position and atmosphere in the picture they had taken of Kelvin and Belina before sending it to Richard but Oyin was too damn impatient. If they had edited the image with computer; thanks to the highly developed technology; they would have been able to put Belina and Kelvin in a compromising position, probably naked, kissing or something a bit stronger than a mere hug. Now Belina is pregnant. She hissed and poured herself another glass of drink.
If Oyin had been patient enough, she might have even gotten Richard to doubt the paternity of the child. But now, that is totally out of the question. She had placed a lot of hopes on the success of this thing.
“I am not going to rest for nothing. If Oyin can’t get money from that guy for me, she would have to get it anywhere else if she wants to keep her secret” she said to herself. Maybe it is time for some blackmail.
Prisca had left Loretta and Mr Branson immediately she left Belina and Richard alone. She saw that ‘harlot doctor’ enter an office which she assumed was hers. she felt an instant urge and desire to confront her and that is what she would do, she thought. she got to the office and luckily for her, no one was there. she was about to knock when she heard the lady in the office talk to someone on the phone. she would not have bothered if she hadn’t heard Belina’s name in the conversation.
“The plan is ruined” she heard her say. “That Belina of a woman is pregnant”… “How am i supposed to know that?”… silence followed.
Prisca did not know the full detail of what must have happened between Richard and Belina but one thing was definitely sure, she would find out what this woman have been up to.
She entered the office like a predator. Oyinade looked back, not knowing who had entered but on seeing her, she seemed to know who she is – Belina’s sister.
“You know what Missy? i think we need to have a little chat” Prisca said, sitting down comfortably and crossing her legs.