It was like an inquisition. Dooshima’s parents sat on two single chairs opposite the long sofa that Dooshima was sitting on.
“So we are listening, apart from driving that noisy jalopy about aimlessly, what plans does that Adokiye has to give you a good future? Her Father asked.
Dooshima tried to look calm and confident.
”Daddy, Mummy, Ado has things he is working on that will soon materialize. He just needs a little time and anyway I am still in school and…”
Dooshima’s Mother: You are still in school and what, Dooshima? It is when you finish school that he will have money abi? Your Father and I didn’t give our blood and sweat so that one useless, jobless artist boy will ruin our Daughter’s life. If finding a man is your issue there are many eligible bachelors in the Church we will seek out a few for you! You can then select.
Dooshima: No Ma that will not be necessary! Please give me a little time, all will work out!
Dooshima’s Father: We will give him 3 months to clean up his act, if it is still looking gloomy then you will have to end your relationship with him, or else! Look for someone who is earning a living, Dooshima, Please!
Her parents leave the parlor one after the other.
Dooshima was seated at an eatery on Campus. Ado had said she should wait for him there. She had her face down looking at her phone when he walked in. She was about to stand up to give him a kiss as usual but there was something in his eyes that stopped her. His eyes were ice cold and he was breathing hard and sweating profusely.
“Ado what’s wrong with you?” She asked
‘What’s wrong with me abi? I should ask you what is wrong with you? And to think that I thought that you were different… I was a fool, a very big fool”
“Ado, what are you talking about? Who is a fool?” Dooshima asked looking confused
Ado sat down, brought out his handkerchief from his pocket, and wiped his face.
I called myself a fool, for thinking that a Tiv girl could keep her legs closed for long!
Dooshima is now fuming “Ado you must be mad! It is your Mother that can’t keep her legs together!”
Dooshima, don’t ever call my Mother names, or I’ll …..”
“Or you will what, Adokiye??
“Dooshima look, let’s calm down and let me say my piece!”
Dooshima sits down and says “say your piece!”
“On my way here, I stopped to see a guy that had been owing me some money he is not a student or staff but he lives on campus. This Guy has seen us together several times, so he knows you. He asked me whether I was still seeing you and I said I was. I asked why he wanted to know, and he told me that he has seen you several times in Frank’s car- even late at night. Go on and deny it!
“Ado, I am not dating Mr. Frank!
“Okay, but is it true that you have sat in his car more than once?”
“No! It is not a lie, but that’s because…”
Ado starts to rise
“Don’t bother Dooshima. I’ve heard enough!
“You are a snake-the worst type of snake ever! I always wondered why you reacted so badly to going to see my Aunt. Now I know it’s because you wanted time with your new boyfriend!
“Ado, it is not so, let me explain! Please!” Ado walks away quickly to his car leaving Dooshima crying.
“Tinu, please pick up!” Dooshima said to the phone, as Tinu’s phone kept ringing. Finally, Tinu picks up the call sounding sleepy.
Tinu: Babes, how far?
Dooshima: Tinu, are you in the hostel?
Tinu: Yes I am. Anything? Why are you sounding like that?
Dooshima: I’m coming up to your room
The call ends
Tinu: But calm down now and stop crying, Dosh! You didn’t do anything wrong! You shouldn’t feel bad at all. Him sef, why would he believe what that guy told him about you?
Dooshima was sniffing, she couldn’t speak. She had never entertained the thought of ever being with Frank. Adokiye had got it all wrong. She had kept redialing his number, but it wasn’t going through at all. It seemed he had blocked her number.
All Tinu’s assurances fell on deaf ears. Dooshima tried to piece the events together and how they all happened. This was all Mr. Frank’s fault! Her sadness changed to anger. He had deceived her into thinking that he was a genuine friend that wanted the best for her. All he had succeeded in doing was to ruin her relationship with Ado. She only saw Tinu’s mouth moving. She tried Mr. Frank’s line. It was busy. She began to head towards the departmental building. She needed to have it out with him. To hell with his help and her graduation!
Coincidentally a student had just stepped out of Mr. Frank’s office when she got to the front of his door. She walked in without knocking. He was very pleased to see her and his face broke out into a very wide smile, which began to varnish as soon as he saw how red her eyes were “Mr. Frank I came to thank you for ruining my relationship! Mr. Frank didn’t look up! He said quietly “Teni, you know how you make me feel when you get angry” Dooshima went quiet a little and then said “How many times will I tell you that I am not a reincarnation of your late wife!’ I came to tell you to fail me, burn the answer script you made for me, I don’t need t. I don’t care if I turn 80 in this school having carryovers. Never speak to me ever again! Mr. Frank was silent. All he said was “You’re just like her” Dooshima walked out of his office without a word.
Dooshima made her way to the taxi car park. She needed to see Adokiye explain that it was all a misunderstanding and lies. At that same time, a young man was speeding along the 3rdMainland Bridge. He drove as if he were drunk, but he wasn’t. He was angry, very angry. He wiped tears from his face and also catarrh from his nose, with the back of his hand. He hadn’t seen the danger signboards warning motorists to slow down because of maintenance work that was ongoing and that had made the road a little slippery at certain spots. Obviously, this young man did not see the signs and couldn’t slow the car fast enough to avoid skidding and eventually going over the barrier. He ended up in the water below. Fishermen dived to his rescue. He made it out of the water but on the way to the hospital, he stopped breathing.
Dooshima sat down in the dark in Adokiye’s living room waiting for him. She had fallen asleep and dreamt that she was in a market, trying to buy 2 Ankara fabrics. She couldn’t make up her mind which one she preferred.
At that same time, something snapped inside Mr. Frank. He got up and walked out of his office leaving his phones on his desk and the door ajar. He drove to the Marina on the campus. Came out of his car and began to walk into the water very slowly.
Dooshima was awoken by a chilly breeze that came into the living room. It was 11.30 pm already and Adokiye was not back. She could picture him making several stops to avoid seeing her. She was determined to wait till whatever time he returned. She needed him to trust her again. Her thoughts were disturbed by her ringing phone.
“Yes?” she said. I do. Yes. It can’t be him, Nooooo! Where is he please??? I’m on my way! Dooshima wailed as she made her to LASUTH emergency. She struggled with flying hair across her face and hot tears as the Okada sped.
Mr. Frank’s lungs had taken in much water. It was the last bit of his shirt sticking out of the water that alerted the campus coast guards. They rushed to bring him out of the water and did their best to get water out of his lungs and also to resuscitate him. His pulse was weak. He was not responding.
Dooshima walked into the emergency room, where Adokiye lay. His eyes were shut as if he was sleeping and his body was cold when she touched him. She called his name over and over again and one of the Nurses came to her and asked“Are you his sister? NO! Dooshima replied crying. I am his fiancée. “Okay then,” the Nurse said “I am so sorry. We didn’t want to tell you on the phone. He was brought in here near dead. He kept repeating Dosh before he….”. Dooshima wailed! Her brain seemed to shut down from the sight of a motionless Ado. She fainted.
The coast guards had given up and decided to take him to the campus clinic. By the time they got to the hospital he had no pulse and was pronounced dead on arrival. It was several hours later that they decided to take Mr. Frank’s corpse to the mortuary. On the way to the mortuary, the coast guards lamented. They carried his body into the anteroom of the mortuary and were told to leave his corpse outside until they had settled the registration and fees. One of the men carrying the corpse missed a step and Mr. Frank’s head hit the wall. Suddenly Mr. Frank coughed. The coast guards dropped him on the floor and took him to their heels.