I was scared to death, I hurried to the window. It was Bro. Fred. With my hands on my chest I sighed.
‘His visit is so timely. The holy spirit at work’
I thought as I opened the door.
“Bro Dele, hope there’s no problem. You’re perspiring profusely and your fan is on the maximum.” I was about to start the whole tale narration when I felt a restriction in my spirit. I questioned the restraint because I felt this was a brother and a problem shared they say is half solved. “Whosoever keepeth his mouth keepeth his life!”
I heard it unmistakably in my spirit and that was just enough to keep my lips glued.
Bro Fred poked me back to consciousness. I jerked and smiled plastically.
“My brother God is control.”
Bro Fred obviously knew there was something fishy.
“Ehhn ehhn, he is. Anyways I just came to remind you of the village outreach planning.” I shrugged and replied.
‘I just hope am alive then’
“So hope you’d be on ground. Hope you are not traveling anywhere?”
Fumbling with my hands I replied.
“Eeehm I won’t be traveling home any time soon.”
“No problem then. I just branched to say hi and remind you.”
“Ooh, that was thoughtful of you. Thanks”
The sneaking was scary but successful. I leaned against the pillar after pressing the bell. Mummy opened the gate; “Come in dear.”
She hugged me as I was on my down to do the prostrating.
At the table Mum’s questions got me narrating the entire story all over again. Mummy Edward was restive and obviously scared. Daddy said nothing except for a few grunts.
“God would see us through and one thing is sure; we are not losing you, Dele.”
The amen thundered as mum gave off the highest pitch.
After the meal we prayed fervently. I was starting to regain my peace. I knew God was with me and that restored my smile.
God spoke clearly to me that morning. My quiet time was one like no other. Isaiah 49:15 came alive to me, it was like I had never seen that verse before, especially the way NLT put it.
“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!”
As if that wasn’t enough Isaiah 43;2 came alongside.
So though my fear lingered the knowledge of his love whispered peace to my heart.
I was busy with the chores when my phone rang. It was Bro Fred. I hesitated for a while; “he must have noticed my absence.” I muttered but I shrugged and received the call.
“Hello, is this Mr Ige Bamidele?” That wasn’t Fred’s voice, I was sure and that gave me the willies.
“Yes, it’s Dele Ige on the line.”
“Well, I’m Doctor Idris from caring hands clinic, ketu.”
I retrieved the phone from my ear and glared it. And yes, it was Bro Fred’s number. I was more confused. He continued..
“Mr Alhassan Fred was rushed down here yesterday night. He was involved in a ghastly motor accident and he demands your attention.”
My heart throbbed. It was like a fable, I couldn’t even believe my ears talk more of give him a reply, I just hung up.
I relayed the entire phone conversation to Dad and Mum. She was of the opinion that the devil was working against the believers on campus and that I needed to go check on him ASAP.
“Dele, go get dressed. I’m going with you.” Dad said and headed for his room, tapping away on his phone.
“What’s the name of the hospital?” he turned to me.
“Caring hands clinic,ketu.”
“Uhhm… Call him and ask for the ward number but don’t talk about me coming with you to him.” Dad said on our way to the hospital.
I did as instructed. Dad picked his phone and with his fingers all over the screen he was typing something. Something I didn’t know neither did I care to. The Doctor picked the second call and claimed Bro Fred wanted to see me alone.
Everything left me confused. My plight, and now Bro Fred’s. A lot of thoughts flooded my mind but I waved them off on the word I had received.
“Dele, you’ll go in alone. May God be with you.”
I muttered clasping my trembling hands together.
Bro Fred was badly hurt. He had blood smeared bandages on his head and knee. The moment he saw me, he burst out weeping.
“I was on my way from the village survey for the outreach.” He said still weeping.
“Survey? I thought it’s scheduled for Thursday?”
“Ehhn.. It was shifted. Sorry I couldn’t inform you. Hope you came alone tho?”
“Eeem.. I didn’t even inform anyone on campus.”
I was still trying to pacify and encourage him when the Doctor walked in.
I sprang up from where I perched beside Bro Fred and in anxiety I asked-
“Sir, like when would he be discharged?”
I was concerned because I didn’t want Fred to miss the mid semester exams.
The Doctors left hand was in his back pocket under his overall. Never had I seen a medical practitioner with such a deadpan face.
“Well, he’d be here for atleast a month. He had fatal injuries and a major fracture.” He replied in a husky voice, his english locally accentuated. My eyes widened.
I looked at Bro Fred, his whole face was drenched with tears. Compassion swept over me and tears began to well up in my eyes. I looked back at the Doctor and he was pointing a gun at me as he removed the glasses that concealed his bloodshot eyes with his other hand. My heart sank to the bottom of my shoes. I clung tightly to the curtain behind me. Electric surge and cold waves fluttered down my spine.
“Shebi, them warn you. You no gree hear. No wonder them talk say; dog wey go los no go hear hunter wizu.”
I shut my eyes firmly and in tears I muttered silent prayers.
“Plea…se don’t sh…oot!”
I shrieked with my eyes still closed.
* * *
The concluding episode comes next.