At the muson center, the fashion week was about to start, but the sponsor was nowhere to be found. The advisory team in Cytron tried calling their CEO, but it rang and rang, she was not picking up. It was unlike her. They decided to send the president to represent her at the event, but everyone noticed that Bimpe was absent.
Oyinda was held in detainment and charged with being an accessory to crime, and also for perjury because she lied in court that she saw Bimpe kill her father when she knew it was Brian who did that. Bail was refused her, she was told that until her brother was caught, she would be in police custody. Sitting in the cubic jail cell, she wished for company, but found none. Even the prostitutes that were arrested by the police had been bailed just two hours after their arrest. She had been here for 48hours and she didn’t know when she would leave. Rats and cock roaches were her cell mates, stinking rats that were not afraid of her. They would come close to her and look at her like she was a stranger in their abode, then they would come close to her feet and pick at it. She got so frustrated, she began to wail and bang on the gate of her jail cell.
Oyinda: “Let me out! Let me out!” she cried. The prosecutor in charge of the murder case came to meet her.
Prosecutor: “You haven’t seen anything yet and you are crying. When the trial is concluded, you would be sentenced and then jail will be your home for a long time. You made a fool out of me in court; I hinged the whole case on your testimony, not knowing it was all bullcrap. Help me find your brother and I might be lenient.”
Oyinda: “I will do anything” she replied. She felt a pang of guilt but quickly brushed it. After all, she has been here and her brother had not sent help her way, he was somewhere, free and she was suffering for what she didn’t do.
Prosecutor: “Good” he beckoned to a junior officer to bring her out of the cell and take her to his office. In the office, he offered her a glass of water, which Oyinda gulped down for she was tasty.
Oyinda: “What do you want me to do?”
Prosecutor: “You will call your brother and tell him you have been released and you want to see me. Make sure you convince him to meet with you. The venue would be 4pm, at Mama Cass”
A man was walking down the dusty path, it was actually down the valley, it was shorter route to his place of work, the recession was not smiling at his pocket and he needed to cut cost, so he trekked this path every day. He saw the burning car and knew there had been an accident, he felt sorry for whoever was in the car, and wished that he had been there earlier. That was how he felt about every misfortune, he always wished there was something he could have done to prevent it. Then he saw a mound ahead, it looked like a person. He quickened his speed and it was like he was not getting there fast enough, he began to run. He reached the spot and saw that it was a young girl.
Man: “Oh my God, what happened to you, oh she is dead” he bent down and held her wrist to check for a pulse.
Man: “Oh thank Jesus” he said as he felt a very faint pulse. If he did not get her help immediately she would die. He heaved her on to his shoulder and began to run, even though she was heavy like a dead body… she was already at death’s door.
Man: “Please God, save her, just this one soul, save her” he muttered under his breath as he throttled to find the expressway. On the expressway, he flagged down a taxi, but on seeing Bimpe dripping blood, they drove away. He was still dancing up and down looking for a taxi when a police van arrived. They saw the man with the woman dripping blood, with bullet holes on her back.
Police: “Hey you”
Man: “Please rush this woman to the hospital, I found her down in the valley, please don’t let her die” They carried Bimpe into the van and handcuffed the man, he would need to explain to them why he was with a woman that had been shot.
They took her to the nearest hospital on the expressway, with their sirens blazing and howling. At the hospital, the nurses transferred Bimpe into a gurney and rushed her to the Intensive Care Unit. At the same time, they got the surgeon that it was a matter of urgency. Five minutes later, the surgeon have scrubbed and in his scrub gown rushed into the theatre with his team. He staggered when he saw who he was going to operate on.
Nurse: “Doctor, what is it?”
Dapo: “My child, Bimpe” He rushed to his set of equipments and began work on Bimpe, they had to get the bullets out. This was the hardest test of his life since he began practicing Medicine; the fate of his child lay in his hands. He began to pray as he worked on her.
Dapo: “God don’t allow her die in my hands. Help me, show me what I should do” he muttered his prayer. Somehow, the media got the news and soon it was on the news in every radio and television outlet that Bimpe was shot multiple times and fighting for her life. There was speculation as to who the culprit was. Only one detective thought that Alhaja who escaped from the courthouse and has never been seen again could be responsible for the attack on Bimpe, he also thought of Brian, the son of Chief Bamigboye.
Detective: “Ha, that little woman has stepped on a lot of toes” he said as they got ready to storm the hospital. They knew it was related to both the murder of Alhaji Dambazzau and Chief Bamigboye, so they had to be there, if she survived to get her statement , and also to be on the lookout, if her assailants would come for her again. They also had to set a drag net for the culprit.
Oyinda had no choice than to cooperate with the police to trap her evil brother. She made a call to him, it rang several times he did not pick.
Oyinda: “He is not picking his call”
Prosecutor: “Then you will here for a long time” just then the prosecutor received a call, after listening for a while his face became grim. Then he dropped the phone and held his head.
Prosecutor: “It seems your brother has been busy, Bimpe is undergoing surgery right now, she was attacked, multiple gunshots to the back, she might die. And if she does, I might lose my job, the backlash will be too much, I was pursuing the wrong and allowed the main culprit get away, and it is all your fault, you had better think of ways to bring your brother in, because it is about to get brutal for you.”
Oyinda began to tremble, she remembered her dad, and wept. If he was alive, all these would not be happening. Just then, her phone rang. An idea just entered her head and she decided to use, after all Brian’s stupidity caused their father’s death, she had better start looking out for herself. She pressed the receive button.
Oyinda: “hello aburo mi”
Brian: “Where are you, I am leaving the country and I want you to come with me”
Oyinda: “I am in a friend’s place”
Brian: “But you were arrested inside the court room”
Oyinda: “Yes, but I posted bail. The trial will begin only when they lay their hands on you. I want to come with you wherever you are going. But ypu have to finish what you started. Heard Bimpe is in the hospital, she is on her way to recovery”
Brian: “What! She was dead when I left, is that girl also a witch? I am coming right away, tell me the address”
Oyinda: “Are you mad, you want my friend to see you, your face is all over everywhere, I will meet you at Mama Cass, not the one in Ikeja, meet me at the one in Ajose Adeogun, by 4 pm. Don’t be late” he said he would do just that and she hung up before he could hear the defeat in his voice. She wished there was another way out. At four, she was taken to the police officers mess where she was given a bath, and given fresh clothes to wear for her meeting with her brother.
Doctor Dapo worked on Bimpe for five hours, by this time Ladejo, Basirat and Dele had come to the hospital. Basirat felt guilt, she began to blame herself. If only she had been responsible, if only she had brought her close after the abortion and made her understand that one mistake should not determine the path her life would take, and then Bimpe would not have chosen this path, she wouldn’t be fighting for her life as she was doing now.
Basirat:”Please God, if you can save her, just this once, I will change, I will be a better mother and woman” she prayed. Ladejo on his path begged God not to take away his only daughter; she was the only daughter he had, since God blessed him with only boys.
Ladejo: “Children should bury their parents, not the other way round” he prayed, his heart was heavy. Dele was old enough to know that if Bimpe died he wouldn’t see her again, so he pleaded with God in his own way to deliver his sister from the clutches of death.
After the surgery, Bimpe was not responding, she was in a vegetative state. Dapo tried all he could but one bullet was stuck there between the third and fourth vertebrae, if he pushed further, she might never walk again, so he left it. The Good Samaritan was released when it was clear that he had no hand in the attempt on Bimpe’s life. He coordinated with Dapo and invited his church members to keep a vigil. They prayed all day and all night. But Bimpe remained as she was.
At Mama Cass, Oyinda sat by the door, and waited for Brian. She wished they could escape together when they came, but she knew the place was surrounded by the police. Then she saw her brother coming, he wore a cap covering his face, she was tempted to signal him to run. She stood up but it was too late, he was already in the restaurant, once inside there was no way he could get away.
Brian: “Oyinda mi, I am sorry for whatever you have gone through because of me” he embraced her and kissed her hair as he used to do when she was still little. Oyinda began to weep.
Brian: “Don’t be a crybaby now, it is almost over, we will leave this fucked up place for good, dad and mom are no longer here. It is us against the world now” he embraced her, then his eyes saw a man dressed in plainclothes, and the hairs at the back of his head stood up, he knew already that he was in trouble.
Brian: “Oyinda what have you done, did you set me up?” he pushed her away and made to run away.
Detective: “Stop there!” he had his gun drawn out. Yet, Brian still ran, but he forgot the glass door of the restaurant in his haste, and went through the door with his head.
Oyinda: “Ye oh, egba mi o, Brian!” she wailed as she watched her brother stabbed on both sides by the ragged ends of the broken glass door. Brian fell and the police rushed to his side, they loaded him in their van and rushed him to the hospital. But before they got there, he died in the van. There was no way he could survive, the glass had stabbed him near his heart and perforated it. The news of his death spread like wildfire, at the same time, the police flooded the internet and news waves with the fake news of Bimpe’s fast recovery.
Alhaja was in her hideout, since the day they attacked Bimpe, she had been on edge, watching the news for any snippet of information about Bimpe. She was consumed with rage when she found out Bimpe was recovering.
Alhaja: “It seems you are a cat with 9 lives, but if I have to kill you 9 times I will. I will not rest until you are out of this world.” She got the information about the hospital she was in, and this time she decided she could not entrust anybody with this task, she had to do it alone. She put on her burka, it made her feel invincible because she could walk in anywhere and they wouldn’t k now she was the fugitive they were looking for. At the hospital’s lobby, she inquired for Bimpe’s room at the nurses’ station.
A detective was standing by and heard her inquiry, he looked at her and none of her body was showing. He did not know why, but his instinct told him to watch her. Perhaps it was his distrust for women in Burkas, borne out of his days with the army fighting suicide bombers in Bauchi state. He followed He followed her covertly as she climbed up the stairs; she went to Bimpe’s room.
Alhaja was pleased when she saw that the floor where Bimpe’s room is was deserted.
Alhaja: ‘I want to see your eyes when you face death at my hands. This time I will not spare you” she said and opened the door quietly. As she entered the room, the whirring of machines was deafening, she looked at Bimpe and saw that contrary to the news, she was nowhere near recovery. She’s long dead. She wondered why the media would give false news, then it occurred to her it might have been put on the news on purpose, and she had just walked into a trap. She rushed back to the door and opened it. Alas it was too late, she starred into the nozzle of a detective’s gun, and two others stood behind him, with their guns drawn. She raised her hands up in surrender, she cried in her heart, because she had failed. But she was comforted with the fact that Bimpe might not live. One of the detectives who was a radical, used his pocket knife and tore through the burka, to reveal Alhaja’s face.
Detective: “Well well well, Alhaja Zainab it was nice that you could join us, we have been looking for you everywhere, thanks for coming to us” he turned her around and shoved her at the wall. They handcuffed her and took her away.
When Yusuf heard that his mother had been arrested, he came back to Nigeria, he heard that she and Brian had attempted Bimpe’s life and now Bimpe was fighting for her life. From the airport, he rushed to the hospital. There in the courtyard, people were already lighting candles and keeping flowers under Bimpe’s picture.
Yusuf: “Who did this, she is not dead yet” He rushed into the lobby and asked for Bimpe’s room. As he was climbing the staircase, he brought out his prayer beads and began to pray. He blamed himself for what happened to Bimpe, she loved him, but he was consumed with getting his father’s properties back that he could not see. Reaching Bimpe’s room, he was shocked at how lifeless she was. Gone was the strong Bimpe, in her place was a weak lifeless body.
Yusuf: “I am here now, forgive me, please my love forgive my foolishness. Do not give up, fight for us, give us a second chance” he began to cry. Something strange happened, Bimpe began to jerk. The machine she was connected to, began to beep, she was having a flat line. Doctor Dapo rushed in, with some nurses and they tried to resuscitate her.
Dapo: “My little one, daddy is here now, your real dad is here, and don’t you want to hear my part of the story?”
Bimpe: “I sure do” Bimpe said as she opened her eyes. Everyone was beyond shocked; they could not believe their eyes. They began to clap. Ladejo hearing the jubilation inside rushed in with his wife.
Bimpe: “Mother? Father?” she said looking at them quizzically. Then the memory of what happened to her flooded her mind and she cringed.
Bimpe: “Brian tried to kill me, he shot me, and his men did too” she said weakly.
Dapo: “Don’t say anything, you need to recover first”
Bimpe: “So you are a doctor? Thank you for saving my life even though I caused the loss of your friend’s”
Dapo: “You are my daughter; I would give my life if it would save you”
Bimpe: “What?” she looked at her parents.
Ladejo: “Yes it is true”
Dapo told her that he did not believe Basirat and he was scared, after much pleading, Bimpe forgave him and embraced him.
Bimpe: “I also have a story to tell, but I want it live, broadcasted to the world”
They got a television station to broadcast it exclusively.
Bimpe: “This is my story” she told them about going to the University, falling in love with a boy and getting pregnant, she told them about the betrayal, the abortion, the scandal in the village. She also told them about leaving the village and the decision to pursue money instead of love, meeting Alhaji Dambazzau and marrying him. Here she apologized to Dominic for using him the way she did, and begged his forgiveness.
Television anchor: “So the question on all our minds is, did you kill Alhaji”
Bimpe: “I had no hand in Alhaji’s death, but I knew he was going to be killed. I was going to see Alhaji in the office one day when I passed a corridor, two men were discussing, i would passed on my way, but I heard Alhaji’s name called, I hid somewhere to listen. I was shocked when I heard that the security men and one of his body guards were on their payroll. I decided I would tell Alhaji; perhaps he would be so happy that I saved his life and he would reward me with something big. But as I made to leave, a hand gripped mine. Behold the third associate had seen me, they dragged me into the corridor and threatened to kill me and track down my family. I wanted to call their bluff but they already saw me flinch at the mention of my family and knew they had me. They were going to kill Alhaji and there was nothing I could do about it. I did not want to lose at both ends, so I made a deal with them. They helped me manipulate Alhaji’s will with the help of Barrister Demba, in exchange I kept their secret and also gave them business priority in the companies in my care. This was a Wrong Turn I took, though the offer was a good attraction but fatal one. These old men were part of a group called the Cabal, and Alhaji was among them, he fell out with them and they decided to remove him from the scene.”
Before the end of that day, the police came and handcuffed her hand to the bed, they would wait till she recovered before they arrested her. Bimpe recovered and was arrested for being an accessory to murder. In a short trial she was convicted. By this time, her relationship with Yusuf was going through healing. She was sentenced to two years in prison. After six months in prison in which she became closer to God, and her family members especially her real dad, the Group for Woman Rights and Emancipation took up her case. It was repealed and it was ruled that she was threatened, she did not speak out due to self preservation, and there was nothing else she could have done. All charges against Alhaja was dropped, and fresh charges for her attempt on Bimpe’s life was made. She was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Bimpe became free after 8 months in jail. She returned all the assets to Yusuf, and the ones she got from Chief Bamigboye she gave to Charity organizations because Oyinda was nowhere to be found.
Dominic watched Bimpe’s revelation on television, he cried when he heard all she had been through. He forgave her after carrying the grudge for so long. It was time for him to move on with his life and love someone else.
Barrister Demba was in his office one day when he was subpoenaed by the Nigerian Bar association. His role in changing Alhaji’s will was reviewed and he was disbarred and his license to practice law was revoked. Bimpe gave the shares she had in CYTRON COMPANY to him (Barrister Demba)
Oyinda left Nigeria after burying her father in a quiet funeral; she went to Ghana to start afresh While Bimpe started an advertising company with her finances. Yusuf wanted the, to get married, but Bimpe had cold feet towards.
Bimpe: “Give me time; I have been married more than most people my age. I want to go back to school;. Education remains the best legacy”
Yusuf: “You are right. I am here for you, not going anywhere” they embraced. Dapo watched them from his place bat the breakfast table and smiled. God came through for him and his daughter, they had both been giving a second chance at life. Not everyone got second chances.
New Story Next week Insha Allah.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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