HUMMING ROSE - Episode 13

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Hey guys... I'm really sorry for the delay...

So here it is, let's go

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I opened my wardrobe and selected a black flowing gown with pink floral prints. I looked at my reflection again noticing that I looked even leaner than before; I shook my head sadly. I wore a Galliano slippers, carried my pink Gucci handbag, pulled a black scarf over my head and dark shades as I headed for the door.

I had earlier called George and surprisingly he took my calls crying as we talked . He was indeed a very emotional person. His father was to undergo a major surgery and he was really scared at the whole idea. I tried to console him the much I could but the more I did, the more he sounded broken. I had no option than to go the the hospital despite all I was going through.

"Good evening ma'am" I greeted the nurse on duty pulling my shades as she nodded.

Tessy Johnson Hospital was one of the biggest and best in town; a place for the rich and wealthy indeed. When George had texted the address earlier when I requested it; I was taken aback as to how wealthy a family he came from yet so humble.

"Please ma'am, I'm looking for Mister George's father's ward" I sounded stupid.

"George's Dad? You don't even know who you're looking for, Miss? You don't even know his name? Tell me, who are you?" She asking pulling down her eyeglasses as she gave me a deep look.

"My name is Thelma Ojali and yes I don't know his name. I'm George's colleague and friend though" I answered.

"Girlfriend?" She probed further letting out a weak smile.

"No ma, We work at the same place, yeah" I replied smiling sheepishly.

"Alright

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. Please could you place a call across to Mister George? His Dad is well known around here, he's really in a critical condition and visitation is only on request. So, I need to confirm before I let you to his room" she explained.

"No problem ma'am. I do understand" I said dialing George's number.

I dialed severally but George's number was not connecting. I tried and tried but to no avail. 

"The number isn't going through ma'am, I've dialed severally" i said.

"I'll have to dial the room then" the nurse said trying to help.

It wasn't long before she dropped the call.

"You may go up now, enter the elevator to room 358. It's on your left" 

"Thank you very much Ma'am. I'm so grateful" I squeezed some thousand naira notes in her hand as I ran along.

In no time, I got to the room and peeped through before turning the handle. George was seated on a sofa alongside a young girl about my age or a bit older; I gently slid the door open as I walked towards them and on seeing me, George stood up and gave me a very warm hug.

"Thanks for coming through Tee. Here, meet my baby sis, Alex. Alex, this is Thelma, my friend and colleague" he gestured.

"You're welcome George, hope you stopped crying like a baby already?" I teased.

"Hey Alex, how do you do?" I said giving her a light hug as she smiled back at me.

We both walked over to his Dad's bedside and on close observation, my jaw dropped! I shook my head over and over as I looked from George to the airport manager and back to George again. He was staring at me looking confused,

"Dr. Raphael Adesina; our manager, is your dad!? I asked with a feel of shock.

"Yes Tee, why do you look so surprised? I thought you knew" 

"Not at all! I never had the slightest hint!" I said as my eyes became blurred with tears; 

I observed him closely taking note of the different tubes connected to his body, his neck support as well as how emancipated he looked with swollen legs. My tears finally dropped, I couldn't hold them in anymore. 

Sitting down beside him, I took his hands in mine as so many thoughts ran through my mind. I could remember the day he slumped down in his office before me and how I helped revive him. I muttered a prayer in my heart.

"What is wrong with him George?" I asked with a teary eye.

"Heart failure" he muttered amidst tears too.

"Oh my God, George! I'm so sorry Gee. Youre going through a lot really" I cried standing up and I hugged him again. 

"Is there anyway I can help at least?" I continued

"Money is not the problem, Tee. I just need your prayers, your company and..." His voice trailed off as he cried.

"You have me Gee, hold yourself together and be strong please. I'm not going anywhere away from you, my dear" wiping his tears with some wipes I took from my bag.

I really felt sorry for the young man standing before me crying like a baby looking for it's mother. I felt so concerned, I have never seen George like this; he never really had friends or got close to anybody; highly secretive. Looking at him, I saw another side of him I've never even imagined; a part of him yearning for a true friend, a shoulder to cry on without fears. There and then, i swore to stick close the much I could, helping him in every way.

"Thank you Tee, I feel indebted to you" he finally said.

"It's fine George" saying as I waved at Alex, took his hands as we both walked out of the room. The atmosphere wasn't conducive anymore, I just needed some time to let everything sink in. So much was happening at a fast pace in such a short time.

We got down and outside the building, as he opened up to me about his family life. I understood that he's mom was still alive; a huge relief to me, so I thought and a banker who barely had time for her family and sick husband. I thought of how pathetic a woman she was! George told me how she sparingly visited her husband spending most of her time at her workplace. She loved her children so much but her husband was another story all together; a wealthy man who she was betrothed to at a very tender age against her own wish. 

We were still talking when my phone beeped; it was a message from another unknown number. It read;

"It's time to play according to my rules, Loser! Any smart move, this video will be sent to people who are dear to you as well as your puppy dog, George!" I read it as shivers ran down my spine.

George noticed my uneasiness and tried to question my look but I excused myself to put a call through. It wasn't time yet to tell him anything and I was happy he never asked on why I shut him out earlier without even returning his calls.

"Hello Annie" 

"Hey Teee! He showed up today at work. Coincidentally, I bumped into him on my way to the cafeteria" she blurted out.

"Thanks Annie. I'll call you again when I get home" I hung up without even waiting for another statement from her.

George still asked if everything was okay and I affirmed as I told him that I would be on my way home. He walked me to my car, gave me hugs and bade me goodbye.

"Hello Annie"

"Tee! Why did you hang up on me? I don't even understand you anymore! You've been seriously looking for this dude, you've not even shown up at work since decades and here am I covering up your tracks without explanations! What do you take me for? A fool?? A toy!? You ain't even speaking up. What are you hiding from me, Thelma!!?" She shouted on top of her voice as I remained silent not knowing what to say.

"Talk to me!? Have it gotten to this? You're hiding things from me now? What is it that you can't tell me, Thema? Oh God! I expected more from yo..." Her voice trailed off as I could hear sobs coming from the other end.

"Annie please..." She slammed the phone on me as my stomach rumbled. I felt like crying, throwing up and all guilty at the same time. 

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I turned and tossed on my bed as sun rays from my window filled my room. I checked the time and it was already 12:00 pm. I stretched and yawned, standing up I lazily walked to the bathroom, I needed to bath and prepare for work. This is the first time I would be stepping my feet at work since my arrival from Abuja.

Stepping out my room clad in a black turtleneck sleeveless top, black jeans, a Calvin Klein waist belt, a short brown bob wig, black stilettoes, a big black jacket and dark shades, I walked out of my house and into my car as my driver started the engine.

In no time at all, I swung my office door open and staring back at my scary self was Annie who was busy with her lunch.

"Welcome back Tee!" She hugged me excitedly. This was the woman that was raking, threatening and thundering in my ears two days ago, I thought as I shook my head lightly. Annie was a sweet soul, no doubt!

"I'm not yet back babe, I'm here to play a game" I replied mischievously my mouth curving into a wicked smile.

"What is it again? Your drama never ends, does it? Meanwhile, are you here to scare me with that outfit, too?" She asked pointing to me.

I laughed at her last statement as we both sat down. This time, to feed her curiosity, I decided to narrate everything to her. Before I could even finish, I noticed tears coming from her eyes as she held me in her arms. She was pained!

"I'm so sorry for judging you Tee. You really went through a lot" she spoke as tears dripped from her eyes.

"It's fine Ann. Just help me, will you?"

"That dare devil! Son of a bitch!! I told you Tee, I never really liked that guy neither did I trust him. I have a strong feeling that he's behind all this... What a cold heart!? I'm here for you Tee" she hugged me again.

It was already 4 o'clock when I decided to leave, it was time to meet the monster I've been keeping surveillance on all these while. I wasn't sure I was taking the right step but I needed to start from somewhere.

"Hey tee, he just left his office to the car park now" Annie said from the other end.

"Fine! Yeah... I've seen him. Driver follow that car!" I ordered my driver.

"Thanks Annie. You can now leave."

We followed the car and soon enough, it pulled up before a bar. Dave stepped out and walked into the bar as I got down from my car too and followed him. I took a table close to his own burying my face in a magazine which I pretended to read as I waited for the right time to strike.

It was already 6pm; and I had waited there for almost two hours, also texting Annie and my sister Sharon. I ordered for just water which I never touched. After sometime, I noticed him walking out of the bar when I got up and followed him, this time I walked as fast as I could in my stilettos trying to catch up with him.

He got to his car, pressed it open and was about entering when I tapped him on his shoulder. He turned around, and just in time, I lifted my hands so high in the air and landed a hot slap on his face. He staggered!

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