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Nike stood up and walked towards the duo.
“What do you mean by he is dead?” She asked them.
“He died in a car accident in August 2011” Shade replied. She sounded like she could burst into tears any minute; “the thirteenth to be precise. I remember it well because I loved him.”
“Hold it. Hold it. Let me get this right… The boy you saw today died two years ago?”
“And you loved him?”
“Yes.” Her voice had become mere whispers but Ronke held her by the shoulders and comforted her.
“So what you’re saying now is that your dead lover is alive.” She paused to think and suddenly asked; “were you guys dating?”
A puzzled look appeared on Nike’s face.
“You’re confusing me now, you loved him and he loved you back, yet you were not going out. How does that make any sense?”
“It does, because he didn’t love me back. He loved Ronke.” She turned to look at Ronke but Ronke looked away.
“Aha! I knew it!” Nike said in excitement. “Now, this feels like desperate housewives but this time, in real life.” Her eyes shone in glee and she pointed her fore finger at Shade. “You; you liked him while Josh liked you, Ronke. And then Mr Lover boy dies in an accident two years ago on the thirteenth of August, the exact day Nath tried to kiss you Ronke this year.”
Ronke and Shade looked at each other and froze. “That’s true.” They chorused.
“So you see girls, now we have a story to sell to Wale Adenuga. Dope right?”
Both girls turned to her and hissed.
“Why are we even listening to you? It’s not as if you have a serious bone in your entire body.”
Nike opened her mouth to reply but Ronke’s ringtone interrupted her. The Techno Phantom shook with each vibration and the ringtone; Personally by P Square filled the entire room.
She picked the phone, looked at the caller’s name, hissed and turned to face the others.
“Who is it?” Nike asked.
“The one in my course.”
“The son of the senator?! The guy that drives that red Murano on campus… Wow, why is he calling you?” Nike was excited already.
“How am I supposed to know?” Ronke answered. “Am I not the one he is calling?”
“Hello. Is this Ronke?”
“Okay. This is Tope, the one in your course; the guy that drives the Murano.”
“Yes I know.” She was irritated by his arrogance and fought every bit of her to cut the call.
“Okay, cool. I need to see you.”
“I can’t tell you now. I promise to do so immediately we get to where we are going.”
“Where are we going?”
Her heart skipped a bit at the mention of Sheraton.
“Sheraton hotel?” Ronke she asked. She made sure her voice was louder than normal so it would catch the attention of the others. It did. All of them except Chloe who was dead asleep rushed to her side to eavesdrop on the call.
“Yes, Sheraton hotel. I’ve set up a reservation for a table for two. We should be there before seven.”
Hmm… Ronke knew she wasn’t missing this for the world but like every ‘good girl’, she had to play hard to get.
“You should have told me before.” She replied with a stern voice. “I’m kinda busy now.” Nike shot her two thumbs up and the three of them giggled.
“Well, I know I should have. I was going to tell you in class today but you weren’t around and my plan was to make it a surprise; you know, treat the most beautiful girl in the entire school to a first class treatment in Nigeria’s finest hotel.”
She covered the mouthpiece with her free hand and nodded to the girls. He really was good; no wonder girls fell for him. Shade urged her to continue the call. The hurt she felt minutes ago was non-existent now.
“Alright, I’ll see what I can do. What time are you coming to pick me?”
“Me? I’m not coming to pick you.”
“What? Am I supposed to walk down to yo…?”
“My driver is.” He interrupted her.
“What do you mean by your driver?”
“It’s a dinner for two in Sheraton Ronke, not some random restaurant. I was thinking we make it a real dinner like the type you see in foreign movies and my Murano won’t quite fit the bill, so I sent for my driver at home and he’s bringing my Aston Martin.”
“My Aston Martin Vanquish; It’s my latest car. Haven’t even seen it yet, it arrived from America two weeks ago.” He waited for her reply and then continued. “So, my driver is coming to pick you up and then come and get me too. Is six fine by you?”
“Alright, see you by six then.”
“Yes.” She couldn’t understand anything anymore; she was floating on cloud nine and all her replies to his questions automatically became yes.
“I hope you understood all I’ve said.”
“Do me a favour; wear something sexy.”
“Alright then, bye.”
“Bye.” She waited for him to drop the call and screamed. The girls managed to calm her down and she told them everything they didn’t hear clearly themselves while eavesdropping.
“The guy is boxed up o!” Nike commented. “Aston Martin of life. Ronke darl, you have hit this jackpot”
“Yes o!” Ronke replied. “Now, let me get what I’m going to wear.”
The year was 2011. It is mid-august and the rainy season was beginning to pack up and vacate for the dry season. All was quiet and calm on campus that evening. Most students just finished their lectures for the day and some were headed for their dormitories while the rest hurried to the cafeteria for a meal or a quick snack.
Back at the college of science, Nath waited behind while Josh talked to Shade. She giggled and blushed at every statement he made and a bystander would have thought Josh was a comedian. Nath found it amusing however. To him, watching Shade talk to Josh was a favourite pastime he always enjoyed.
Why she wouldn’t just tell him she liked him? He wondered. It was so glaring, everybody knew but so was Josh’s love for Ronke. That was a worse case. Even the lecturers knew poor Josh was desperately in love with Ronke but in his case, Love was blind and a big coward!
If she fell for him every time he stared and ogled at her, she would be in hell about now.
He watched Josh round up his conversation with Shade and wave at Ronke who was seated at the far corner in the hall. She waved back and smiled. Nath quickly turned away to avoid Josh see the faces he was making. They could have been a cute couple if only his best friend gathered up some slack and walked up to her.
Josh joined him and they walked out of the lecture hall. The sun was still up, few clouds were in sight and it was 5pm; perfect time for a journey Nath devised.
“You know you should have gone to kiss her goodbye or something.”
“Huh? Kiss who? Shade?”
“Shade kor. Is it Shade you love?”
“Oh Ronke… forget that side.”
“Okay o, your loss not mine. Oya let’s go to where we were going.”
“Go where?” Josh asked. Nath sighed and punched him on his shoulder.
“Don’t tell me you forgot. “
“Forgot what?” Josh kept a straight face while he spoke. He wasn’t sure how long he could keep it up but so far it got Nath frustrated, he was ready to keep it up forever.
“You’re just nuts. This is exactly why I…”
“I remember jor.” Josh replied and laughed. “You should see your face when you’re frustrated. You look like a combo of Shrek and Bill Cosby.”
“Sha lets go.”
“Nath, don’t you think it’s too late. Ikeja is not close to Akoka.”
“We will be back soon, I promise. And it’s Thursday; there is never traffic on Thursday.”
“Are you sure about that?” Josh asked reluctantly. His mum had warned him about travelling late and especially with ‘Danfos.’ “Nath, can we just go tomorrow?”
“No Josh, If you’re not going, no P. I’ll see you later.” He started to walk towards the entrance of the school and Josh stood there looking at the rear of his best friend retreating with each step.
“This guy is going to get us killed and he’ll now be forming” He muttered.
“Ode, wait jor.” He said aloud and ran to join him…
Nath woke up from sleep and sat up. He just had the same dream he had last night. It had become a regular since they had the accident and he suffered the injury to his head.
He looked to see Josh who is peacefully sleeping in the corner.
Thank God we survived that accident.
He never wanted to imagine how life would have felt if Josh had not recovered from the coma. He would have…
There was a knock on the door and he stood up to go answer it. He opened it to see Lekan bent over and panting like he had just run a cross country.
“What?” He asked without letting him catch his breath.
“Have you seen tope?” Lekan managed to ask.
“What’s wrong with these guys?” Nath mutters under his breath. “How would you come to my room, knock my door and then ask me if I have seen Tope? Does that make any sense to you? Shouldn’t I be asking you? Aren’t you his bodyguard?”
Lekan opened his mouth amazed and pondered on which question he would answer first. He said something in Yoruba and later switched to English;
“Calm down o, are we fighting? Tope just said I should come and tell you to come see him and his girlfriend in his new ride.”
“Girlfriend? When did Tope have a girlfriend?”
“The same one you know now. The one you almost kissed last week. I heard he’s taking her to Sheraton.”
Nath cursed and slammed the door in Lekan’s face.
“That guy is a bastard!” He kept his voice low so it wouldn’t wake Josh. “We just talked today and the idiot is already working on it. I bet he started planning before he came to meet me.” He collapsed on his bed and considered waking Josh to tell him.
He finally resorted to telling Josh and as he was about to tap Josh, he heard a knock on the door.
“Who the hell is that? I hope it’s not you Lekan because I’ll shoot you!” He heard no response, grinned and Josh turned to look at him.
“What? Why did you wake me?” Josh asked.
“I just wanted to tell you that…” the door swung open and when Nath saw who was at the doorway, he felt a sharp pain at the back of his neck. His vision became blurry and he passed out.
Nath opened his eyes but the bright lights directly overhead irritated him and it took him a while to get used to them. He scanned the room and saw his mother talking to a doctor at the far corner beside the door. He tried to call her but his mouth was numb and no sound came out. The doctor however saw him struggling and rushed to his side alongside his mom.
“Just stay still, I’ll be right back.” The doctor said.
He managed to ask his mother where he was and she explained to him how he fainted back at school and a friend brought him here.
“It was Josh.”
“Joshua Fela, my friend. He brought me here.” His mother started sobbing and she rushed to get the doctor. They came back together and the doctor examined his eyes with a tiny flash light.
“We have to run another CT scan. If my presumptions are right, the fainting or whoever he saw might have caused another haemorrhage; and if that is true, his former condition might have gotten worse.”
“What condition?” His mother asked.
“The Capgras Syndrome. Didn’t you just tell me the last thing he said he saw was his dead friend.”
“Dead friend… you mean Josh?”
“Yes.” The doctor answered.
“Josh is not dead o; he was sleeping in the room before what happened.”
“What do you mean?”
“I was talking to Josh and another Josh entered the room. This one was much older, had beards and pimples.”
“So there were two Joshs’. ”
The doctor looked at his mother as if to say ‘I told you so’ and left to get ready for the CT scan.
“Nath, my darling…” his mother said. “Josh is dead; he didn’t survive the accident.”
“No mom, he isn’t. We have been together since the accident.” Her sobbing increased and she held his hand to her mouth.
“Nath, no. he’s not.”
The doctor came back with some nurses and other doctors and he was wheeled to the MRI department of the hospital, his mother followed closely and did not let go of his hand until they got to the room where the CT scanner was. She was asked to wait outside and she reluctantly agreed.
Nath looked at the CT scanner in the distance and chuckled. It looked like something Disney character; Tony Stark would own if he was real. His view of it however got blocked when a nurse came to administer anaesthesia on him. Immediately, his vision became blurry and his body felt numb. He struggled to keep his eyes open but the same nurse held him and told him to be calm. He obeyed her and blacked out seconds later.
To be continued next week Tuesday.
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