My week couldn’t get any more worse with the news that my biological mother is seriously ill. The tone at which Aramide delivered it is very scary and made me want to know what the real situation is.

Temmy: Who is that?

Me: Aramide, she said my mother in serious ill

Temmy: Mum is ill?

Me: My biological mother

Temmy: Oh, what’s the nature of her sickness?

Me: Aramide said she cannot ascertain the nature of the sickness but she’s been admitted in to the hospital.

Temmy: Admitted? It’s that much?

Me: According to her it’s serious and she said my mother is requesting to see me.

Temmy: Then go see her

Me: Yeah I will, but she’s insisting its better tomorrow.

Temmy: Tomorrow? That’s not feasible

Me: That’s what I said but she insisted.

Temmy: That means we have to go to the secretariat earlier tomorrow. We’ll leave afterwards.

Me: How do we get permission?

Temmy: Free that, they can’t expect we’ll start working just like that. One week break from the camp horror is not bad.

Me: I’m really scared bro

Temmy: Don’t be, let’s just pray, I’m sure she’ll recover back. Try to tell Uncle Ben on time.

Me: That will be tomorrow morning

Temmy: Yeah, it’s already late.

Tomorrow soon came and we were the first to arrive at the secretariat which made it easier for us to have our registration as early as 9AM. The only “but” was the bank officials who were not on ground until 10am for the account opening. We left the secretariat and were ready to start moving on our 9 to 11 hours journey if we are to be at the accepted speed limit.

Surprisingly, Uncle Ben gave me two hundred thousand naira to take care of my mother asking me to give him feedback and take my time until she’s fully recovered. Although I felt he thought I’m talking about my mother known to Daddy Orire. All in all, I was happy to have the money but it raised more questions on why Uncle Ben was that nice to me. It looks more that just because Daddy Orire linked me to him, it’s more like he has a special interest. I wish I knew what both he and Daddy Orire are up to.

We were already driving out of the compound when I received a call from Uche.

Me: Hello Uche, how are you?

Uche: I’m fine; you did not call me yesterday evening.

Me: I’m sorry about that, what’s up?

Uche: I’m fine, I had my registration yesterday and I’ve opened the account this morning.

Me: Oh that’s good; we’ve done all that too.

Uche: Are you going home?

Me: Yeah, I have a pressing issue to attend to, we are already moving

Uche: Oh wait! Where are you?

Me: Still in the streets, why?

Uche: I’m currently in the garage; please pick me up when you get there.

Me: Which motor park is that?

Uche: It’s close to that junction you dropped me off that day. I’ll be waiting.

Me: Alright, but we aren’t going to Lagos though

Uche: No problem.

We picked Uche at the described garage and embark on our journey. While on the road, my mum called and said she has heard about my biological mother’s sickness.

Me: Who told you mum?

Mum: Aramide called me and besides I’ve had the feeling something like that might happen.

Me: How do you mean mum?

Mum: When you are back I’ll tell you everything.

Me: Okay mum, I’ll come when I leave the hospital

Mum: No, come home first.

Me: Mum! Aramide said she wanted to see me and that today is the best time. It’s even scary mum; don’t you think I should see her first?

Mum: I know she wanted to see you and I know the reason why, which is why you must come home first

Me: It’ll be late before we get home though

Mum: I know that too, but you must come home first.

Me: Okay mum, I’ve heard you.

Mum: Opeyemi please o, come home first o.

Me: Mum! I’ve heard you really.

Mum: What of Temiloluwa?

Me: He’s the one driving

Mum: Okay, you guys must not speed beyond the limit o. My prayers are with you.

Me: Thanks mum (The line went off). Temmy mum asked me to come home first.

Temmy: Hope there is no problem?

Me: I’m even more confused now

Temmy: She must have her reasons

Me: Sure she does, she is so adamant I must come home first.

Uche: Are you guys going somewhere else?

Me: Yeah, I need to see my mother; she’s ill and admitted into the hospital.

Uche: I don’t understand; your mother asked you to come home first and you want to see your sick mother? I’m lost.

Temmy: Uche you can’t understand yet, maybe later.

Uche: Alright, hope you guys will pass Ore?

Temmy: Sure, you’ll drop there?

Uche: Yeah, I’ll take Lagos bus from there.

Temmy: Alright no problem

Uche’s phone rang and she spoke for a while with mixture of English and Igbo, even Yoruba sometimes. I wish I could speak at least three indigenous languages apart from Yoruba and two more international languages apart from English but no one to guide me. She came off the call and asked for a favour.

Uche: Will I need a favour from you

Me: Alright I’m listening.

Uche: I need a place I can sleep over tonight

Me: Why, what’s wrong?

Uche: My mum just told me nobody will be at home by the time I’ll get home and I won’t be able to get the key until tomorrow.

Me: Oh oh, you did not inform them before you left home?

Uche: I did call them and they told me my brother will be at home but now she said he’s going back to school for an urgent reason.

Me: So how do we go about it?

Uche: You are the man, you suggest

Me: I would have said you should sleep over at our side so we can drop you over at Ibadan when we are leaving tomorrow but that would be like you going backwards.

Uche: So what do you think?

Me: What about we lodge you in a hotel at Ore till tomorrow, so you can board Lagos bus from there.

Temmy: That’s a good idea

Uche: Where do I get money to do that?

Temmy: Don’t worry about that

Uche: Okay, thanks guys, but will I be save there?

Me: Of course you will. We’ll look for a better hotel there

Temmy: I know one that is located close to the Lagos garage. It looks good.

Uche: Okay, thank you so much guys.

I understand the reason why Temmy was in total support of lodging her in a hotel. He knows going home with us will create some after effects especially from my mum. she loves strangers and adore anybody we call friend but she’s been critical of female friends ever since the issue of trying to match make Daddy Orire’s daughter (Lola) and I started. Suddenly all ladies are trying to marry me in her sight. I’ve been looking for ways to make her happy and also be happy but marrying a woman of my choice might make her sad while marrying her choice might dent my dream marriage plan. I know it’s my home and I should be responsible for everything, but I felt my mum might have her reasons which are always or mostly cogent. Apart from that, she’s more mature, more experienced, far more spiritual and I know she can’t push me into fire. I pray God help me so she can like whoever I choose. The current situation with Funmi is not even making it easier because I was planning on introducing her to my mum during this service year but that is just a dream now.

We stopped a little at Benin to have our lunch while I took over the steering from Temmy. Some distance outside Benin not too far from Ore, we met a heavy traffic that took us more than one hour to scale through. It was so annoying to discover the holdup was caused by police men who blocked most part of the road with woods and tyres leaving only a little portion for car to pass in such a way that nobody can move fast. It would have been a little fair if they were not holding some vehicles on the road right there to ask for whatever they are asking for.

Sighting them from afar off, we pulled a fast one by wearing our NYSC caps, though Uche was already fully kitted on “six over seven” (i.e. without the khaki long sleeve shirt). We did that to win some sympathy vote from them, maybe they will respect our uniform and allow us to leave on time, though the vehicle documents are completed and up to date.

Our tactics did work as the police man just hailed us saying “Corpers wee” to which we responded “Waa” as he passed us beside the vehicle in front of us. Moving closer to Ore we started to notice that vehicles coming were having leaves and tree branches hung to their wipers and some to their mirror. The only reason that could happen is if there is riot ahead, most especially students protesting. We stopped by a man selling palm wine on the road and asked him what the situation ahead was like to which he advised us to have some leaves hanged at our wipers and prepare some Naira change to spare because the bike riders are rioting in the town in response to the police killing of one of them over what they said was bribe.

We followed his advice and hung some leaves on the wipers and side mirror as every car behind us followed suit. It was getting late already and I noticed the insecurity feeling from Uche.

Me: Uche what’s wrong? Why are you breathing loudly and periodically?

Uche: I’m fine Will.

Me: Common Uche, tell me what it is

Uche: I’m sorry Will, but can you guys stay with me tonight?

Temmy: What?

Uche: Temmy I’m scared. These people are causing trouble and extorting money from people during the day time, who knows what they’ll do at night.

Me: I believe the hotel will have good security

Uche: Are you sure about that?

Me: They are supposed to; by the way if they can harm you, then staying with you won’t stop them. They’ll probably harm all of us.

Uche: I’m really scared.

Temmy: Will, she’s right, we can’t just leave her here alone.

Me: Well, the only other alternative I know is to follow us down home

Temmy: If she’ll want to

Uche: Why not? I’ll sleep over at your side please. I can’t stay alone in this town.

Me: Okay no problem, I better call mum we are coming with a friend.

Temmy: Nice idea.

So Uche is sleeping over at my place, hmm.

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