My mouth tasted like a pit toilet. I was in a small green room and tubes filled with fluid were strapped to both arms. Power failed and I found the darkness comforting.
Where was I? And how did I get here?
Power returned and in the distance, a chorus of kids screamed, “NEPA!”
It was funny how our government kept changing the name of the national power authority while the epileptic services remained the same. Or got worse.
The door cracked open and someone shone a phone torch on me.
“You are awake,” he said, easing himself into the room.
His name was Tayo, he was a nurse and I was in Top Vine Medical Centre. I had been brought in unconscious about six hours ago and my blood sugar had been critically low. Further tests were being run to find out if there was anything more sinister going on. His orders were to check on me and find out what I wanted to eat.
In spite of myself I smiled.
“Two boiled eggs, Coconut rice, baked beans, fish pepper soup, fried plantain, steamed vegetables and fruit salad.”
He was silent for a while, “anything else?”
“A bottle of Coke. Ice cold.”
The lights came on just in time for me to see him slap his jotter shut and strut out of the room.
I spent three days in the clinic and I gained as many pounds. I was treated to a continental breakfast, a traditional lunch and a gourmet dinner.
I wasn’t let out of my room though and I wasn’t given my phone.
On the fourth day, I decided to try some light exercise.
My arms were sore and slightly swollen. I howled in pain before crumbling into a heap on the tiled floor.
“Easy. You don’t want to do permanent damage to yourself, do you?”
I cringed. It was Suto the witch.
With as much dignity as I could feign I stood up and faced her.
“Ah. We are quiet now. Quiet is good. I like quiet. Especially if it is intelligent, loyal and obedient. Do you think you could do that? Be obedient? Of course you can. Anyone can be anything if the price is right.”
She sat on my bed brought out a flask from her bag reached for glasses on the fridge and poured me a drink.
I took it from her and stared into the cup.
She poured herself a cup then burst out laughing.
“Red wine from Italy. Drink up. You are hired. And guess what? Not as a driver anymore. You are going to be … my personal assistant. ”
Her phone rang and she switched it off without checking who called.
“Oh, by the way, I brought your things.”
She reached into her bag and produced the things: my phone, keys and an empty wallet.
I heaved an inner sigh of relief until she dug further into the bag and dragged out a coil of brown rope.
“What is this?”
“Spare rope for emergencies,” I said, without blinking.
“Hmm, for a minute I thought you were planning to hang someone.
Get ready. You are leaving in five minutes for the staff quarters.”
She drained her cup, grabbed her bag and sashayed out while I grabbed the rope and broke into cold sweat.