Hi baby, I just got called about a meeting in Abuja and I have to get there tonight, heading home to pack, sorry I’m missing your sisters engagement tell Seun we will do full turn up for her white wedding…
Toun hit the send button and waited for her husband’s reply.
“Baba please find somewhere to make a U-turn “, she said to the grey haired driver who Yele employed to relive her of the stress of driving three weeks after their wedding.
“Head to the mainland we are going to Yaba ’, she informed still staring at her phone.
The driver looked at her from the rear view mirror with pity in his eyes, but she was too far away to notice, he knew what was happening and prayed she told her husband before it ruins their marriage.
Toun looked out the window as the car sped past others on the Third Mainland Bridge, the view of the sea started to blur as her voices in her head increased, she tried to stay calm while the driver glanced at her as much as he could to make sure she was fine.
Oga Yele and madam as he choose to call were the two of the most patient and caring people he has met in his entire laugh, he was employed to drive just when poverty threatened to destroy his family.
His last daughter Shayo had stupidly allowed one of the idiots living in their face me I face you compound impregnate her at 17, four months after he accepted his fate his daughter was rushed to the hospital after complaining of severe stomach pains, the doctor informed them the baby was growing outside the womb and the bigger it got the more dangerous It was for the young adult. The surgery would cost more than his life savings, he had been crying in the car park of a company beside the hospital to hide the shame when he met Yele and his life had changed from that day.
‘’Oga welcome o’’, Park for that side the over enthusiastic security said running towards the empty space a few feet away from his post.
“Tell him the usual story”, Toun said to the driver handing a wad of five hundred naira notes. She grabbed her box from the boot, the security guard ran to her hoping so get his hands on some crisp notes. She watched the car drive onto the busy roads; the gates closed turning back to the security struggling with the box.
It’s been five months since her last visit and four years since she started lying to Yele and her family members none of them suspecting a thing. He trusts her more than he trusts himself.
“Madam welcome, hope no problem”? The receptionist asked flashing her almost perfect white teeth. The only place in Lagos where the staffs are polite, she thought to herself as she returned a fake smile hiding her shame.
“Please tell Mr Tk I’m here”.
She watched the receptionist pick up the phone dialing whilst staring at her with pity. Five minutes after a tall handsome walk into the waiting area with a sad look on his face.
“Get someone to prepare a room”.
After filling all the required documents, they made their way up the stairs stopping on the third floor and walked to the last room on the long empty corridor.
“This is not as cosy as your last stay but once something comes up, the room will be changed”.
She looked around the room, two beds in each end soon the tears started to blur her vision.
“Will leave you for a bit, get comfy and we will start as soon as you are ready, what excuse did you give your husband this time “?
She listened to him as tears continued to roll down her cheeks, the voices in her head increased as the clock ticked. She was doing it to protect her family.
Wiping her tears, she watched Dr Tokunbo Kolejo go through her medical files, wondering how long she has to stay in the doomed hospital for.
TK who is a family friend had been very helpful since her diagnosis, he urged her to tell her father who was like a brother to his.
“No I can’t you imagine having a mad woman as a member of your company committee”, she shouted as his pleas fell on deaf ears.
Each time the voices in her head got beyond control, she made up a false business meeting, and she couldn’t bring herself to inform him of her schizophrenia which was getting worse by the day.
“Many are mad but few are roaming, one day you will not be able to control and it might be late to make him understand”, Tk said to her first time she was admitted.
“But we are all assumed to be sane once we are beyond these walls”.
She looked out the window, watching the mini traffic caused by danfo drivers loading.
A G-wagon with a government plate number was waiting to drive into the compound, the numbers rich people who frequent the hospital shocked her. She had seen politicians come and go; she once shared a ward with a well-known Nollywood actress when all the private rooms were booked.
Everyone has secrets, some worse than others ,Toun was not ready to share hers with her husband, she paid her driver an amount three times his salary to keep his mouth sealed after he saw her have an episode. Since then he looked at her with pity when she laughed or smiled too much and swore to guard the secret with his life each time he drove her to the psychiatric hospital famously called “Yaba Left” as it was on the left side of Yaba.