Kelvin had been in his room for days. He was in such a sorry state after the Iil incident which occured some days ago. His beards were over grown and the only thing he had appetite for was the bottles. He had emptied all the bottles in his bar, his mother had gone to look for him when she didn’t hear from him only to find him laying in his own vomit. She called for an ambulance which took him to the hospital and he was admitted but on opening his eyes he had demanded to be discharged at once and he had gone right back to the bottles. For some crazy reasons i decided to ring Tomi’ s cell but it was declared not available. Although she had a low self esteem and she lacked confidence she was a hard worker and she was honest. How i wish things had turned out differently for her and Kelvin.
I tried to draw him out but he wouldn’t even open the door and only God knows what havoc he was wrecking on himself and his liver behind that closed door. His mother too had also gone up again to see if she could at least convince him to open the door.
” I still can’t believe that she is gone” Victoria sobbed. ” Why does Linda wreck havoc wherever she goes? why is she so heartless?”
” Vicky there was an accident and your sister wasn’t the one behind the wheels of that bus.”
” She is not my sister! i am actually glad now that she is not my blood!”
” Victoria don’t ” i cautioned her.
” What are you saying Child?” My mother asked. ” She is your sister and it wasn’t her fault.”
Kelvin’ s mother walked into the room and sat down pensively.
” Tosin who was this girl….the one that died” She asked .” Who was she to my son?”
” She was Kelvin’ s woman and he loved her” i replied.
” How is Linda involved in this?” she demanded.
” I don’t know but she must have said some nasty words to her to make her leave here so abruptly on that fateful day. Hell! This is all so f—–g crazy! Tomi doesn’t deserve to die that way!”
” Tosin watch your language” My mother admonished.
” I am sorry”
” The bus went up in flames before your eyes and nobody survived?” Mrs Adediwura asked with palpable concern, her eyes were misty. ” No one deserves such gruesome death. Even animals are not roasted while they still have breath in them”.
” She was such a good natured and kind hearted person.She wouldn’t even hurt a fly.” Victoria said.
” Does anyone know where her people live? have they been notified?” Mrs Adediwura asked.
” Onyinye and Dantata should know where they live.” Victoria replied.
” I will see to it that she is given a proper burial” Mrs Adediwura said, wiping away tears.” Linda will never become my son’ s bride as long as i am still alive.” She promised. ” Have you been to the morgue? and has her body been identified? ”
” I went to the mortuary yesterday with Dantata. They were all………..they were badly charred. ” i replied. not realizing the effect my word would have on the women present. They all burst into tears and i regretted my thoughtlessness. Mrs Adediwura, Kelvin’ s mother, left the room to and my mother followed her. I got up from where i sat and sat close to Vicky. I pulled her into my arms gently while she sobbed her heart out.
We all went to the morgue the next day and we were surprised to be informed that all the bodies had been claimed by their families except that of the useless driver. We decided to go see Tomi’ s family and lend them our support. We drove down to Ojota where Dantata said they lived and for almost thirty minutes we have been knocking but no one has answered the door yet.
” Are you sure this is where they live?” My mother asked.
Dantata pounded on the closed door several before replying.
” Yes ma. I have been here thrice”
” Where could they have gone to?” Mrs Ade asked.
” I think we should ask the people in the next house” Victoria said.
Two little boys ran into the compound rolling tyres with their hands.They were laughing at the top of their voices about something. I felt a heavy pang in my heart. The young boys reminded me of my brother and i when we were still boys. We used to watch each other’ s back, we used to play and climb trees in our yard. We skimmed our knees several times on our adventures and delusional missions to save the world. That was before my paternal grandmother came back from the states and pitted us against each other. I forced back the image of Sola as a young child and whistled to the boys. They came charging towards us in a playful race.
” Hello guys. Do you know where Mr and Mrs Adebola lives?”
They exchanged looks.
” We don’t know them ” one of them answered.
” He means the people residing here” Dantata explained. ” In this compound ”
” Oh okay! Mummy Tomi and Daddy Tomi!” they both chorused.
” Yes” Victoria said, in a bid to urge them to reply faster.
” They went for a burial”
” Burial? Where?” Mrs Ade asked them.
” My mummy said they went for a burial. Johnson you know aunty Tomi that gives us sweet and that round thing?” He asked his partner. ” She’s the one that died.”
” It is robo joor! Not round thing. I know nau. The burial is in Ibadan even my mother followed them.” Young Johnson replied.
” Thank you very much” Mrs Ade said, slipping them each a thousand naira.
They jumped up happily, thanked her profusely before racing out of the yard.
Dantata slipped his hand round Victoria ‘ s shoulder pulling her firmly to his side.That singular act had my blood raising and i walked angrily out of the compound.
To be continued..