Read Chapter XLIII here.
A million thoughts raced through Bisi’s mind as she drove to the hospital. She kept shaking her head vigorously and pinching herself so she would wake up from this nightmare. But it wasn’t working because she was living this nightmare in reality.
She gripped the steering wheel as tears blurred her vision. She wiped them away with the back of her hand.
It is not that bad. Fiifi is going to be okay, the voice in her head kept saying. News of a deadly clash between a heavily loaded truck, an SUV and a salon car was being reported on the radio. She put it off. She couldn’t any more panic to her already disturbed state of mind.
She entered the hospital to find it busier than usual with staff shouting orders to one another. As she looked around hoping to find someone to talk to, she heard a nurse saying, “Everyone in the first car passed. Very unfortunate.”
Bisi’s heart sank. Everyone? She didn’t know which car her husband was in. But it seemed it was as fatal as she feared. When she finally got someone to talk to, all she got was that she should wait for the doctor.
She alternated between sitting down and tapping her feet anxiously and pacing the hall every few minutes. She felt her phone vibrate. She took it out and saw that it was Kukuaa calling. She had actually forgotten she had children to call.
“Hey Kuks,” she said, trying to hide her emotion from her voice.
“Mum, are you okay? I just realized you’re not the one hosting your show. Are you okay?”
“Um…no. I’m actually at the hospital.”
“What? Are you ill?”
“No, I’m fine. It’s your dad.”
“My goodness. What happened to him?” Bisi could hear the panic in her voice.
“It seems he was in an accident.”
“What? The one being talked about on radio?”
“Oh no. Is he okay?”
“I don’t know. No one is telling me anything. But what I’m hearing around isn’t comforting.”
“I’m on my way.”
“Okay; please be careful on the road.”
“I will. Talked to Esi?”
“No, I haven’t. She’ll be in tomorrow. Let’s wait for her to come.”
“All right. See you soon, mum.” The call ended. Bisi sighed. She was beginning to feel feverish.
“Father, give me strength. I need you now more than ever,” she muttered. The busy bodies scurrying past her made her feel dizzy. She sat down and closed her eyes and tried to calm her anxious heart.
Her phone vibrated. She looked at the screen and glanced around. She answered it.
“I see you, mum.” She ended the call and Bisi saw her walking towards her. They hugged.
“Any news yet?”
“No. I kind of fell asleep. I don’t know how that happened. Now that you’re here, we can find someone to talk to us.”
A nurse directed them to the doctor in-charge.
“Mrs. Pratt?” He asked as they approached him.
“Is he alive?” Kukuaa asked.
“Yes, but he’s a very critical condition.” Both ladies sighed in relief.
“We had to do an emergency surgery on him. The next 48 hours would be very critical for him.”
“Can we see him?”
“Yeah but briefly.”
“Can I stay overnight?”
“Not tonight. Walk with me so I fill you in with the details.”
“Fii!” Bisi cried out when she saw her husband covered with bandages and saw tubes everywhere. She rushed to his side and took his hand. Kukuaa took his other hand.
“Oh gosh, he looks terrible.”
“He’s going to be fine. Your father is strong. He’s going to come back to us. I know he is.”
“Oh yeah, he’s not done living yet.”
The doctor came in and asked them to leave the room. He assured them he’d pay attention to him. They thanked him and walked out of the hospital. They both sighed when they inhaled the fresh air from outside.
“You brought your car?” Bisi asked Kukuaa.
“No, Esi guilt-tripped me into letting her take my car to her business conference, remember?”
“Oh yeah. That was really big-sisterly of you, Kuks. I’m proud of you.”
“Oh yeah? It kind of feels like the car is for both of us.”
“It kind of is,” Bisi said, unlocking the doors of her car and opening her door.
“Oh so it wasn’t my birthday present after all, was it?” Kukuaa asked as she sat in the car.
“It was but till we buy her one, you two have to share it,” Bisi said with a smile. Kukuaa shook her head.
Bisi took off. It was silent for a while, each one buried in her own thoughts.
“He’s going to make it, right?”
Bisi glanced at her. “Is that a question?” Kukuaa stared at her for a moment and looked away.
“He is. He has to. He promised me that.” Kukuaa nodded and attempted to bite her fingers to feed her anxiety but the taste of the nail polish on her tongue made her withdraw her finger almost instantly.
He can’t leave me now; not when things were great once again between us. Father don’t take him away from me. I’m pleading with you…
“Mum?” Kukuaa’s voice rang through Bisi’s thoughts.
“A penny for your thoughts?”
“Just praying to God to spare my husband’s life.”
“And He will.” She touched her mother’s arm and gave it a slight squeeze.
Bisi called Fiifi’s deputy at the company the next day and informed him what had happened and asked him to take charge of affairs. Bisi and Kukuaa were getting ready to go to the hospital when Ewuresi arrived home.
“Good morning, mum.”
“Good morning, Esi. You’re in early.”
“Yeah, I set off quite early. Where’s Kuks?”
“She’s getting ready.”
“Are you two headed out?”
“Yeah. We’re going to see your father.”
“What do you mean?”
“He was involved in an accident last night.”
“My goodness! The one talked about on the media?” Her face was filled with horror.
“How’s he doing?”
“He’s critical but we are praying he pulls through.”
“Oh God, take control,” Esi said, placing her hand on her chest to find her heart pounding.
“Have you told Nhyira about it?”
“No; he’s about finishing his papers. I don’t want to mess up his concentration. Hopefully by the time he finishes, your father would be out of danger and it wouldn’t be terrible news to break to him,” Bisi explained.
“Oh okay. Please wait up for me. I’m going to put my bag in my room.”
“Sure.” Ewuresi went upstairs.
Bisi had had a very restless night. She couldn’t help but picture how miserable her life would be if the worst happened to Fiifi. Recalling Fiifi’s out-of-the-blue decision to update his will not too long ago made her more uneasy. Did he have a premonition that such a thing was going to happen?
“Don’t make me a widow and my children, orphans. Please watch over him.”
“She wiped the tears from her eyes when she heard Kuks and Esi coming down the stairs. She got up.
“I’m driving,” Kuks said. Bisi handed her car keys to her.
“News reaching us is that one of the victims of the tragic accident which occurred last night on the highway is Mr. Fiifi Pratt, the CEO of the Pratt Group of Companies and he is in critical condition at the moment. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and we wish him a speedy recovery…”
“Are you kidding me?” Constance muttered as she took her phone and dialed Fiifi’s number. It rang for some time but no one picked up.
“Don’t die yet, Fiifi Pratt.” She called Nhyira. She pulled her car to a stop and waited for him to answer.
“Nhyira, have you heard the news?”
“About your father.”
“What about my dad?”
“He had an accident last night. Bisi didn’t call to tell you?”
“No, she didn’t. Are you sure it’s my dad?”
“Yeah, I just heard it on the radio. You should start packing your things, Nhyira. Just in case he passes, you should be here so you can be assured of getting your fair share of his wealth.”
“Are you serious right now? My father has suffered an accident and the first thing you think about is his property? What kind of woman are you, Constance?”
“The practical one. I know, your father is such a gem but after the mourning and the shedding of tears, we have to get down to business. Who knows, Bisi and her daughters might be meeting with Fiifi’s lawyers as we speak. You drag your feet and before you know it, you’ll have nothing.”
“Sorry but I have to speak with my mother. Talk to you later,” Nhyira said and ended the call.
“Hey wait…seriously, he hang up on me? Talk of manners,” Constance said and dropped her phone on the passenger seat and got back on the road.
“Mrs. Pratt, this is your husband’s phone. It rang about an hour ago,” a nurse said, giving her Fiifi’s phone. She thanked her and looked at the screen. She saw a missed call. She keyed in the password and unlocked the screen. She inhaled deeply when she saw that it was Constance’s number.
“Father, keep her away from us. Now isn’t the time to entertain her senseless drama.” She put the phone in her bag.
Nhyira tried Bisi’s number for the fifth time. She wasn’t answering. His anxiety level had risen to an all-time high. What was going on? He called and texted his sisters but no one was responding. Maybe it was time for him to return home. He had his last paper in two hours and he was totally distraught. His least concern was if he was in the right frame of mind to write the paper. He knew abandoning the paper would be reckless so he would write it. Whether he would pass or fail was a different ball game but he didn’t care. He couldn’t wait to be done with it so he could be on the next available flight back home.
After their visit to the hospital, Kukuaa decided to drive her mother and sister to their offices. Ewuresi checked her phone.
“Um…mum, you said we shouldn’t tell Nhyira, right?”
“Well, it seems like he knows. He has tried to call me three times already and he has texted me too. He said he has tried contacting you several times but you didn’t pick up.”
“Really? My phone has been on silent. I didn’t want to be disturbed by any pity calls,” Bisi said, taking her phone from her bag.
“But who could have told him? I don’t think Fox News or CNN reports on car accidents here in Accra,” Kuks remarked.
“Social media maybe?” Ewuresi said.
“Or Constance. That woman wouldn’t spare a second to disrupt Nhyira’s peace over there. Can you believe she dared to call your father’s phone today?”
“And what did you tell her?”
“I didn’t get to answer it. A nurse gave it to me today.”
“The next time I set eyes on her near our family, I’m going to put my lady–ness aside and strip her naked. What the hell, I’m sure everyone has seen her naked already so it wouldn’t be news. I’ll think of something,” Kukuaa said in a serious tone.
Bisi called Nhyira’s number. It rang for some time but he didn’t reply.
“He’s not picking.”
“Maybe he’s preparing to write his paper. Today’s the last day, right?” Kuks asked.
“Yeah. I can’t believe Constance couldn’t exercise self-control and broke the news to him. She’s toxic.”
“Yep; is there an antidote to her type of poison?”
“Death. That’s the only way to get rid of her. I need to start praying some wicked prayers. I hear they work,” Kukuaa said. Ewuresi laughed. Bisi couldn’t help but chuckle.
Kukuaa pulled over when they arrived at Bisi’s office.
“I’ll come pick you up. Let me know when you’re ready to leave.”
“Sure. Thanks for the ride.”
“My pleasure.” She got down and so did Esi. Esi replaced her on the front seat.
“Take care, mum and don’t worry too much. Everything will be fine,” Ewuresi said.
“Sure. Take care too. No overtaking, okay?”
“Yes ma’am. See ya!” She drove off.
Nhyira stared blankly at the window in the airplane. He had always anticipated the day he would go back home and reconnect with his family. He couldn’t believe he was going back under such circumstances. He wondered how his father was doing and what a turn his life would take if he passed away. He didn’t want to be at war with the family he loves over property as Constance was expecting.
“Father, spare my father’s life,” he prayed.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016
Read Chapter XLV here.