Written by: Victor Chinoo
Modupe was clothed in a black tracksuit with blue stripes and a pair of Nike sneakers. Her ears firmly plugged with a beat earphone connected to her Samsung Galaxy S6, which dangled in her pocket as she descended the stairs. She had called Monica to inform her that she was taking the entire week off. “Please have Linda and Ifeanyi work on the wedding that is coming up at Eko hotels and suites, this Saturday. Everything is already planned, so they just need to implement the template we have in place,” she explained to Monica. “I will talk to them right away. Is everything okay?” Monica asked. “Yes…yes, everything is fine. I just need a break. See you in about a week’s time. If anyone calls me for business, please pass the call to either Linda or Ifeanyi.” “I will be sure to do that!”
She gazed at her watch for a moment and then hit the street for her late morning jug. The sun was out, so temperatures were already creeping up, but she was desperate to clear her head with a quick jug. She listened to Yemi Alade’s ‘Johnny’ as she circled the corner between her street and the perpendicular street, Toyin Street. She increased her pace once on Toyin Street as she dashed towards Water Park. The tree-lined street brought nature closer to her in the middle of Lagos and its overflowing human population. ‘Johnny leave me follow Cynthia. And I don’t know what to do. And he talk say I no do am like the way Cynthia dey do. Johny give Uche belle…’ Modupe sang along to Yemi Alade’s song as she jogged vigorously.
A tall, clean-shaven man appeared suddenly behind her. He too was in a tracksuit – red and white in color. He raced along the street behind her like a springbok. He had a knapsack on his back as he ran. By the time Modupe noticed him, he was within a few meters of her. Another runner late in the morning on a fairly warm day, she thought to herself. The man closed the gap between them. Modupe ran at the same pace, taking a right turn on a deserted part of the Water Park. The man turned in the same direction, increasing his speed. Modupe heard the sound of his footsteps as his Nike sneakers slapped powerfully against the pavement on the sidewalk. She moved to the right to make way for him to run past. Out of nowhere, she heard a loud noise as she took a blow to the back of her head.
She slumped to ground and the man proceeded to hit her in the head again with a massive club. Blood oozed out of her head. He raised his hand for a third hit, as he sought to finish off the job, but a male voice shouted from a distance. “I will shoot you if you hit her again!” Modupe’s assailant looked in the direction of the voice and saw a man dashing towards him with an object in hand. He dashed off, running as fast as he could. Within seconds, he swerved to the left and then to the right, changing directions multiple times in an attempt to lose the man.
The Good Samaritan who had been holding his son’s toy gun stopped by Modupe’s limp body and began to yell for help. Another passerby from the parallel street heard him and ran over. Soon, they lowered Modupe’s body into a waiting car and rushed her to the nearest hospital. The first passerby called the police, who arrived shortly afterwards while Modupe received treatment. They took Modupe’s phone and flipped through her phonebook. They found her parents’ phone number and rang them up. Her father and mother, Olayinka and Ajoke arrived at the hospital as soon as they received the chilling phone call.
Her mother, Ajoke was hysterical. “Who won kill my lovely child oh? (Who wants to kill my lovely child?),” she cried asking to be allowed to see her daughter right away. “She is in the theater right now, madam. We don’t know if and when you will be able to see her,” a nurse explained. “Wetin you mean by if and when? (What do you mean by if and when?) Is she still alive?” Her husband who was just as anxious managed to keep a tight rein over his frayed nerves. “Stay calm Ajoke. I am sure the doctors are doing their best,” he said, rather unconvincingly.
“I am doing everything I can to convince him,” Biola’s father, Seyi appealed fervently to Dayo. “My patience is growing thin, Seyi! How long do we have to wait before we find out if Biola is going to change his mind? I hate to be snubbed when I have put myself out there, and to treat my own daughter like this; that is not acceptable. I will not have it…I repeat; I will not have such unruly besmirch of my family name. I have invited my friends and relatives, and now, I have to go back to them and retrieve my word? I am not sure you are doing your best, my friend. I’d rather step in and squeeze loyalty and acquiescence out of your son if you don’t know how to do it,” Dayo barked at Seyi. “There is no need for you to get involved yet, Dayo. I can guarantee that he will play ball…real soon. I am applying pressure from all corners!” “You have a week, my friend…one week before I take matters into my own hands.” The sound of the phrase, ‘one week’ sent chills down Seyi’s spine. He swallowed hard as a million pictures flitted through his mind. “I will get him to play ball in one week, Dayo. I promise. I have to leave now.” “I will be waiting!”
Also Read: Lagos Wedding Wahala – Episode 6
Soon after leaving, Seyi returned to his Mercedes SUV and snarled orders at his driver, forcing him into driving from Lekki to Victoria Island like a maniac. He entered his mansion on Eleke Crescent. He had acquired the building some years earlier for a whopping one hundred and fifty million naira when the Portuguese embassy moved its embassy from Lagos to Abuja. After remodeling the building, he rented it out to mostly staffers of foreign embassies while keeping the penthouse at the top of the twenty-five storey building. He took the elevator to the penthouse, poured himself a glass of scotch and walked to the window. He savored the view from there as a million thoughts screamed desperately in his head for attention. How come a powerful man like me is being made to go through this? He pondered the situation. Look at the view from here; it is as though I have Lagos in my palms. I am far wealthier than Dayo, but because of my son’s senseless obstinacy…and I guess, my past mistake, Dayo is ordering me around like a child. I have to end this cycle. I can’t continue like this.
He had a Eureka moment. Searching feverishly through his phone book, he found the phone number he was looking for. A rare smile; a sinister smile graced his face as he dialed the number. It worked before; it has got to work again! He assured himself as he listened to the beeping of Isabell’s phone. ‘Hello!” Isabell’s voice chimed over the line. “This is Seyi, Seyi Idowu. Do you remember me? Dayo’s friend – Dayo, your man. We met at Jevinik Restaurant on the Island sometime back – one Friday night you were dining with Dayo!” “Now I remember. We had such a fun evening at Jevinik Restaurant. It has been a while, how are you? You said you’d call, I never heard from you!” Isabell was her usual exuberant self. “I am fine. Indeed, it has been a while. You know how life goes; business and all that.”
“You were travelling to Spain in a few days, I recall. How was your trip?” “It was awesome. Maybe someday I will take you with me.” “I wouldn’t mind. I have been begging Dayo to take me on one of his numerous trips abroad, but he keeps making excuses. You actually remembered me today, hope all is well?” “All is well. I wanted to check in on you. At the same time, there is something or a few things I would like to offer you. Would you mind coming to my place tomorrow?” “I don’t mind. Life is boring at Unilag, so if you are willing to host me, then I am all in.” “Good! I will host you to the max. Do not mention this to Dayo yet. I have a thrilling offer for you.” “You have me all excited. I will certainly be there tomorrow.” Step number one is accomplished, Seyi thought as he hung up. The sinister smile on his face was growing bolder. He rang his cleaner and cook to place a few orders. His plan to hit back at Dayo was slowly taking shape.
“Lara, have you been able to talk to Modupe?” Biola asked as soon as he picked up his phone. He was elated to receive a call from Lara. He had been waiting to hear from her all day. “What did she say?” “Something terrible has happened, Biola.” Lara announced. “What?” Biola asked. He was suddenly nervous. “Modupe is lying limp in the hospital. You need to get here now. I rang her number, but it was picked up by a policeman who eventually put me through to a nurse. The nurse told me that Modupe was attacked in the morning while jogging. It is bad…really bad.” “Oh my God! Modupe!!! Please God keep her. Who would do a thing like this to Modupe? I am on my way to the hospital. Which hospital, Lara?” Lara gave him the address of the hospital. “Her parents have cried their eyes swollen shut. I can no longer console them. We need to figure out what happened.” “I will be there as soon as I can,” replied Biola who dashed out of his new office and raced downstairs.