The Addict 9
The Oyemekuns struggled with breakfast but had to eat because their friends had insisted. They needed the energy from the food to run around during the hours that would follow their daughter’s waking up. The bread tasted like a log of wood while the eggs threatened to choke them to death. But they managed to wash it down with the beverage which was looking to them like seawater.
A few minutes after their breakfast, a scream from Tola’s room announced to them that she was awake and rearing to go for another day of screams. Her voice rang loud and clear. It caused a cacophony of sounds to the ears of anyone, who is close enough to hear it. Owo had removed the gag from her mouth when she slept. It was for this purpose she did it. There and then they knew that surely, psychosis is a big deal!
Tola had woken up but her sense had yet to return. The drug had almost worn out while her parents and their friends were downstairs. When the sleeping drug finally wore out, the scenes returned. This time she was in a subway in London, sitting alone and looking at the passing trains. She was going nowhere but between her index and middle fingers sat a stick of cannabis mixed with tobacco – which was mixed with it to kill the pungent smell of the weed and not attract the law. As she gently nursed the stick, one of her friends came to slap it out of her hand, which prompted her to raise her head to look at the intruder, who was bold enough to halt her enjoyment. Looking up, what she saw made her scream her lungs out. Marilyn – one of her course mates in school – was spotting a tattered vest and torn jean shorts. She had seven heads and each of the heads shouted at her that she was doing something bad. Tola was madly scared as Marilyn brought her seven heads close to her face. How she wished she could explain what she was seeing but rather she screamed again!
The scream brought five healthy adults running up the stairs. It was funny as Ahamadu, who was still outside when the screamed started, got to the bottom of the stairs before his employers and the Hassans. Tola was beloved to all!
They all arrived in the room at about the same time. She was battling with the restraints used to hold up her hands and legs. Since she had been sedated earlier on, her parents expected that she would recognise them or show that she felt some human presence in the room when they entered. But that was not to be. Tola was in another world – seeing another set of people. She was not in Nigeria at all and not near her parents’ residence. She was in a traumatic world where only screaming and scarecrows existed.
“We need to gag her and get her cleaned up before we head to the hospital,” Owo said to no one in particular to break the silence and temporary helplessness that had pervaded the room.
“Let’s not turn this place into a graveyard and this is no time for mourning,” she continued.
“Ahamadu don’t stand there like a comedian thinking up a new shtick. Join me to lift her to the bathroom. Idowu please get me the gag I removed from her mouth last night. I guess it should be on the dressing mirror. Ayomide please get us some new clothes for her and Tade please help me get paste on her brush.”
Everyone was brought out of their temporary statue-like state and like a mini-zombie they all obeyed Owo’s commandment. Ahamadu left the bathroom door and went close to Tola on the bed almost as Idowu found the gag and cello tape and arrived at the bedside. Ayomide had shuffled her way to the wardrobe to select the cloth and after a few minutes of rummaging through the well-arranged in-built wardrobe, she selected a flowing flowery gown made with a light material. Tade also walked into the sparkling bathroom, found the toothpaste and thoughtfully applied it on one of the toothbrushes he found in the brush holder hung on the mirror on the bathroom wall.
After successfully gagging her, the duo Owo and Ahamadu carefully lifted the screaming but hushed Tola off the bed and carried her towards the bathroom just as her father was coming out of the room – he was the most sluggish despite having the lightest of the tasks.
It was an arduous task getting her stripped for the bath. Ahamadu had to leave the bathroom after helping to loosen the leash a little. Owo insisted that the guard should respect the privacy of the young lawyer despite her current state. He was grateful for the break because he had thought up different excuses not to witness the bathing scene. Idowu and Tade held her hands legs while Ayomide held her head steady as Owo expertly brushed Tola’s mouth. It was a touching sight!
After that, the nurse requested that she be held in place as she cleaned her up in place of a proper bath. Owo expertly cleaned her as the screaming and struggling continued. She soaped up the glove sponge Tola uses and wiped every part of her body as the other still held firmly to her hands, legs and head. After the cleaning, her bath robe was worn for her and Ahamadu called in as the journey back to the room was to be done.
After placing her on the bed, Ahamadu was dismissed and asked to clean the car. The Oyemekuns driver was not around has he had requested for a week leave to attend to some family issues. Ahamadu immediately left the room and headed downstairs to get the cars ready. In less than thirty minutes the cars were ready for the journey while Tola was already dressed, gagged and shackled for the trip. Her parents had changed into other clothes while the Hassans had also found some comfortable clothing items to get into.
“The cars are ready ma,” Ahamadu said as he came upstairs for the umpteenth time that day. He was enjoying none of the events of the last 24 hours but he was glad that he was available. He had not had his dose of weed that day and he was not feeling too happy with that.
“Idowu, please be a man and help lift her along with Ahamadu to the living room. Tade please go and get your wallet and some cash. Government hospitals haven’t caught the cashless bug yet and there will be a lot of paperwork to be done. Ayomide please get her ID card or some other means of identification. The men of the Nigerian Police won’t respect that you are lawyers and would want to make a fuss out of our situation especially when the would see that she is gagged and bound. We don’t want to be sued for the kidnap of our own daughter,” Owo was definitely miles ahead of the others in the house in composure and thought. Mrs Hassan was indeed a strong woman. For the second time in the day, she had dished out sets of instructions necessary to ensure that Tola got to the hospital safely. The others got what they needed and headed downstairs. Owo cleared the room and ensured that the bathroom was also in order before joining them in the living room.
Tola was carried into her parents’ car – flanked on both sides by Owo and Idowu. Her parents didn’t have the emotional stability to sit with her. Ayomide sat on the passenger’s seat in front beside her husband, who was at the car’s wheel. Ahamadu opened the gate and Tade eased the car out of the compound onto the street.
The journey was uneventful as there was no sound in the vehicle except for the muffled screams of the sick young lady. Ayomide kept turning her head at every opportunity to look at Tola whose eyes were ridden with fear and anxiety. Ayomide would give the whole world to know what was going on in her daughter’s head. Owo kept assuring her that Tola would be fine. Idowu at every opportunity kept patting her back from the back to also reassure her of Tola’s safety.
Tade sped past the Lekki Estate gate and turned on to the Lekki-Epe Expressway towards the mainland. The journey took them to the ever-busy third mainland bridge but as he navigated the turning that would take them off the bridge to Ebute-Meta, they were stopped by a patrol of policemen.