We are coming to the end of Tangles!. You would remember at the beginning of this when I warned that Tangles! “..is written in a sorta weird sequence, with the events occuring in real time but not necessarily in sequence.” Ok, good. The point of Tangles! is really to test out an idea and to totally confuse all but the most seasoned reader. So, no matter the twists, follow the thread, keep to the right and we’ll find our way out this labyrinth.
“Okay, I wouldn’t tell you my name, but I play Sharon in Janusaneni’s Tangles! I’m the stylish one! School drop-out, designer, half-tomboy, sexy, fair etc. Do not confuse me with Rebecca oh! Ehen..peeps be confusing us, she’s pregnant I’m NOT! And yeah, the Tangle, I love my boyfriend Tony okay, but you see..I have to be there for Paul now. Always..uhm..later. Keep reading Tangles!”
Tangles! – a tale of twisted emotions
*theme song of Papa Ajasco plays briefly..stops…..no music*
The Silver Cross hospital was always quiet this time of the day. It was 11:30am and somehow nobody gets sick at this time on Sundays. As usual, the air was thick with the acrid tang of antiseptic and disinfectant, the gagging smell of sickness and the bitter taste of fear. No place has more fear than a hospital. The fear of death, the fear of life, the fear of needles. Paul had begun to recover, the doctors said. The next day was Independence day and if Dr. Akpan could be believed, he would be allowed visitors for 30mins.
In the private room, the windows were closed with the curtains drawn back to let in the sunlight. In a corner, the split air-conditioning unit whirred in a steady rhythm keeping time with the beeping of the EKG. On TV, a man in a dark suit sat and smiled at the screen. His hair was permed and combed back neatly with a parting on the right side. “The Word is your safest bet..” He said, tapping a black Bible. In a corner near the TV, Sharon stood, whispering agitatedly into a phone. “…be inconsiderate. I can’t explain the reason to you…”
On the other end of the line, Tony fumed. Since that night almost two weeks ago when he performed at the Talent show, things had gone from bad to worse between him and his girlfriend. On the other hand, his Camp popularity had increased and he couldn’t take a step anywhere without hearing ‘T-Lion’. For his girlfriend though, her brother/cousin had been involved in an accident, the same accident he had heard on Twitter, and somehow the hurt was directed at him. Unable to reach her that night, he had tried and reached her in the early morning when she came home. Asking her what happened had led to a flare out and things had kept going downhill since then. It had taken a while for him to figure out the ‘cousin’ was probably an old boyfriend who Shae obviously still had deep feelings for. Resentment had set in after that.
“…See, I can’t take this now, I’ll talk to you later,” she said, cutting the call. Tony kept staring at the phone.
“Are you alright?” She asked.
Tony looked across the buka table, as if in a daze, at the pretty girl. It was the phrase that always came to mind whenever he looked at her. That, and a healthy throb in his groin region. She touched his arm. Her fingers were hot, as was her entire body. Hot. They had been friends since the first day of Camp when they had done clearance together. They ate together, saw the shows and events together and generally hung out like a couple. Tony usually tried to be the faithful sort and though the temptation was in her eyes, he had never entertained the thoughts of cheating on Shae. But he and the pretty girl had grown closer, especially in the last week, the more he and Sharon grew apart.
“No, I’m alright,” he replied picking up the fork. Her hands trailed off his arm and somewhere in his nether regions, his pulse quickened. This was wrong. “Is it her again, or Sharon?” the pretty girl asked, shocking him.
He had forgotten how much he told her. But who could be blamed? He had been emotionally distraught and troubled and needed someone to unload on.
In Akoka, the morning was calm also. Most of the students were inside the campus and in the hostels and lodges outside the campus, those absconding were indoors. In the street, a kid struggled with a thin fowl for a piece of bread. The chicken snatched the bread from under the nose of the kid and ran off shrieking and cackling while the goat bleated sadly. Rebecca watched the scene from her window. She was naked. She had taken to dressing in, well, nothing these days. According to her reasoning, she had no shame any more and soon all would be laid bare. Not for one second did she consider an abortion. For the hundredth time that morning, she stared at her stomach. It was growing bigger.
It takes about two months at the very least before the bulge of pregnancy may begin to show. Rebecca was barely up to two months pregnant and as flat as a board. The anxiety of pregnancy had rid her of an appetite and caused her stomach to recede even further, till the mound of her sex was almost a bulge. But in her mind, she was as bloated as a pig.
When she tried calling the father of her child and discovered he had been in an accident, her world had crashed. She had paid a clandestine visit to the hospital and she had seen him. Her Paul, all swathed in bandages with wires leading in and from every point the plaster did not cover, to several machines in the wall. She had recognised the EKG and one glance at the faint pulse it registered had nearly resulted in a miscarriage. But that was then, she was stronger now.
That day, with her hair all mussed and tears in her eyes, she made her way to KFC. Sitting in an alcove, hidden behind an AC unit, she had cried into a bowl of ice cream. Then she had called Tony. One might judge her foolish for calling him, but the truth was, she had always loved Tony, perhaps not as much as she should have, but at that point there had been no one else.
When he answered the call the surprise had been evident in his voice. She didn’t blame him. They hadn’t spoken in months, and this call was as out of the blue as a fart from Smurfette. She had almost ended the call then, but his voice had turned tender and he asked; “What is it hon?” She had burst into tears afresh. Then she told him she was pregnant.
When men have sex they expect the girls to become beholden to them. So when Tony heard those words, his first thought had been hurt and jealousy. Somewhere deep within him, he had probably hoped she would never know another man. “How did it happen?” he had blurted foolishly.
The same way elephants do it! a voice in his head mocked. But that day she had been too distraught to talk and he had spent six minutes telling her to “Calm down” and “Take it easy”. She had called later in the evening to apologise, to which he had replied, “It’s alright” and “Are you okay?”
Courtesy had made him call again the next morning and later at night. By the next night he had the full story, and he was heartsick.
As Tony and the pretty girl left the mammy market, he reconsidered his plans. The next day was the passing out ceremony and before the afternoon was done, if his original plans held, he would be on a flight back to Ikeja. If he changed his mind though, on leaving camp he’ll head into town and join the pretty girl in her apartment for at least a night. It couldn’t be called cheating, after all, for all he knew his girlfriend was spending nights with her ex-boyfriend/brother or cousin. On the other hand though, he did promise to check in on Rebecca. Look at me, knight in shining armour, he thought scornfully, one tearful Rebecca and I’m drawn back into the web.
The spider crept past her fingers, stopping briefly to glance at the book she was reading. At least, she assumed it was glancing. Spiders have a series of compound eyes after all, so it should be able to glance if nothing else.
She had been at his bedside since morning. It was past noon now and the nurses had been in to check him. He was sleeping though. He slept all the time these days. The doctors kept him heavily sedated. According to Dr. Akpan, he needed a lot of rest to recover. Yesterday, he had been awake for an hour, but talking tired him, so she just held his hands and spoke to him. Right now, he was awake but he wouldn’t let her know. The thought excited him and on the EKG, the monitor showed a slightly raised bump. Sharon didn’t notice, she was engrossed in her book.
Her bedside table was covered with get-well cards and some flowers from female colleagues at the bank. Beautiful flowers, but none as pretty as the girl who sat in the chair reading. The wounded man looked at her from under heavy lids; long hair tied in a knot behind her head, a masculine longsleeved shirt over dark jeans and a pair of boots. Not exactly the typical female look, but then again it was Shae. She adjusted and for a second, some boob flashed. The EKG gave a beep.
He thought of Rebecca. Why hadn’t she come to see him? He had tried to as Sharon earlier – when he first came out the coma, but the smiling doctor had told him to rest, that questions could come later. He hated doctors who smiled, those were the ones who got you to kill yourself.
“Oh, young man, an accident? We may have to amputate your head sir.” Bloody bastards! The EKG gave a couple of beeps. Sharon looked up. “Paul?”
To be continued…
*Once again, I state that I have no issues against any ambassadorial-style churches, nor with any form of hairstyling. I like Denrele after all.
*Big time appreciations to @juneberrrry for staying up and providing the second crazy head, you’re not well!
*And uhm..this post contains resemblance to people alive and dead and it was purely intentional and yes, you can sue me. I need the popularity..(._.)
Ff me on twitter @janus_aneni
P.S: And I got zoned to the Help-me-form-lesson-note Zone, and here I thought the Fellow Corper zone was bad enough.