He couldn't understand why the woman suddenly fainted on seeing him. It was like she'd seen a ghost, and the most interesting part of it was that she actually did shout his name, followed by "Ch-i-i-zos!", before slumping in the banking hall. Though her face seemed familiar he couldn't at that moment recall where he'd met her before. One of the customers with some knowledge of CPR helped resuscitate her, but on seeing him again she passed out. It was at that point that he decided to simply walk away from that scene despite having not accomplished his aim of coming to the bank in the first place. Hardly had he made it out of the bank's premises than he noticed that the woman and another man was following behind, and when he boarded the bus that will take him from the bank to his home, he noticed that the same woman, and the man were now tailing the bus he was in, with their car. When he was certain that they were indeed tailing him, he decided to alight from the bus, and confront them. They stopped their car and he approached the woman sitting beside the man who was driving. She didn't faint this time, but appealed to him to grant them an audience, and if possible they'd like to meet with his family. She said it was quite unfortunate that he couldn't remember her, but that she'd met him before, and he'd been kind enough to help her through a predicament, for which she would love to reward him handsomely, preferably before members of his family. On a good day, he'd have simply ignored the woman at that point, warn her to steer clear of his business, and continue on his way home, but though he didn't trust the woman enough to believe what she said, he was also very interested in getting to the bottom of her story. Also, the fact that there are currently a number of friends and family at his home for his child's christening ceremony (for which he'd been at the bank to make some withdrawals), instilled confidence in him, as regards the woman and her escort doing anything crazy in the presence of so large a gathering, that are favourable towards him. He could also relish the possibility of good press, should the woman be true to her words as to her intentions. With all that in mind, he made for the back seat of the car, and directed the duo to his house. He met a pensive atmosphere at home, with his wife and others saddled with the responsibility of organizing the days event, wondering what kept him for long, while his wife didn't remove her suspicious gaze on the lady that had accompanied her husband home. She remembered vividly that she was the same lady that attended her (now) sister-in-law's wedding in Anambra State, three years before she got married to him. Even though her husband had assured her that there was nothing between them anymore, and they remained friends regardless of the fact that they'd had something between them while they both served in Jigawa State twelve years ago, but her suspicions was again piqued when he appeared to have taken forever in seeing her off to Onitsha (from where she left for Port Harcourt) the day after the wedding ceremony, having spent all night (after the wedding) chatting with her, at least the much she was aware of before succumbing to sleep. The manner in which his wife then went ahead to cordially but cautiously greet the strange woman, further aroused in him the desire to speedily sort whatever issues that had to do with the woman so he could get on with the pressing issue of the day. He couldn't fathom how he'd become that old just in his early forties to have memory challenges, enough to not remember who this woman was, even when his wife has shown clearly that she was quite familiar with her. He didn't even think his case of Lethologica could speedily have progressed to early onset Alzheimer's disease. It had become pertinent that everything would've to wait till he resolved the matter at hand, hence he refused to accede to pleas by those around to allow the ceremony to commence in earnest, after which he could sort whatever it is he had with the woman that tailed him from the bank out. Once he'd managed to pacify his wife and organizers to make do with what they already have due to his inability to withdraw some money at the bank, , he craved the indulgence of guests who had already arrived to tarry a while longer before the commencement of the ceremony, while he asked just close family members, his wife and the woman and her male escort to come with him to his apartment upstairs. It was while there that the woman explained why she fainted twice in the banking hall on seeing him. His wife had already concurred with the strange woman that they were familiar with each other, but that they hadn't seen each other since after that wedding in Anambra State. The woman explained however, that she'd been seeing him after that period, till about two years ago, when he visited Port Harcourt to ask that they both start another family together, seeing as his wife hadn't been able to have children with him. She then went further to explain to the small gathering, that she hadn't exactly agreed, but told him she'd think about it, seeing as there was someone interested in her at the time. Her intention was to agree, only if he jilted her, but he hadn't and they had gotten married with a child so far. It was while she was with her husband at the bank in Lagos, to procure foreign exchange to travel abroad for vacation, that she saw him and fainted, and on recovery begged her husband to help her get to the his abode, if possible see his family. He still looked bewildered as the woman narrated her story, and though none of it made sense, he still allowed her to continue, until she said that even if her would-be husband hadn't come through, the plan of having a second family with her couldn't have materialized for him, as just the same evening after he left her in Port Harcourt for Onitsha, the bus in which he was travelling in, along that stretch of road on Elele (after Madonna University as one made for the Aba-Owerri Road), was attacked by armed men who'd shot at the tyres with the intention of kidnapping the passengers, unfortunately one of the bullets hit him in the head, and he'd died along with the driver, while a few of the passengers sustained injuries. Sadly, that didn't stop the armed men from robbing the dead and injured who couldn't run into the nearby bushes of all their valuables, which was why she couldn't reach anyone, after she heard the news about the late night attack on the bus the next morning, and calling his number to no avail (which she described as quite uncharacteristic of him), and had gone to the mortuary close to the scene of the incident where, according to the news, the dead had been taken; only to find his body, unwashed still with the gaping hole in his temple and the exit wound, at which point she couldn't any longer continue with her story, but sobbed uncontrollably with accompanying intermittent shivers of her buxomness. There and then, he began to feel some numbness in his feet. His wife had now joined the woman to cry, and in between sobs mentioned that she could remember that her husband travelled to his hometown in Anambra State, at about the same time the woman talked about, but that she wasn't aware he'd gone to Port Harcourt, though she noticed he hadn't returned with his clothes, nor anything he travelled with, which he simply attributed to a robbery incident at Òrè, in Ondo State while returning via night bus the morning following the night of the said incidence. Her joy at her husband's safe return belied any other concerns she might have had, at the time. For someone that made such trips at least four times a year, she noticed he hadn't travelled home to Anambra after that particular journey two years ago, though he'd been to other places in Nigeria for business, which interestingly had begun to record exponential growth, and after seven years of childlessness they now had a child, whom those present had come to witness his christening on the fateful day. All of a sudden, he noticed everyone looking at his feet, and he decided to follow suit, while wondering how to respond to something he hadn't the slightest inkling about, only to find that his feet weren't there anymore, and his knees were fading, then his thighs, groin, torso, chest, only then did he understand what was happening. 'kovich PICTURE CREDIT: - https://www.pinterest.com AKUDAYA https://madukovich.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/akudaya/

Published by m'khail madukovich