I stood there, by the road side. I knew mother would be worried sick as the unusual had happened, which was unlikely of me. All I could think of was how to get home safe; the insecurities of my locality got me highly worried. I glanced at my Apple wristwatch mother bought for me two weeks ago. The time was 10:30pm on the dot. Most vehicles that passed by me where owned by private individuals. The ones meant for mass transit weren’t heading in my direction.
‘‘What have I gotten myself into?’’ I asked myself, knowing that I won’t get an answer.
Out of the blue, a white Bugatti 2016 model stopped right in front of me. A dark, tall, chubby and handsome looking gentleman rolled down the side screens.
‘‘Hello there young lady, are you going in my direction?’’ he asked with a big grin on his face.
I turned to face his inquisitive stare. I was in a state of dilemma for a moment, thoughts floated in my mind. I needed to get home on one hand, and I was too cautious about my safety on the other.
‘‘Don’t worry, I assure you that I won’t kidnap you, okay?’’ he quipped.
That statement from him surprised me. How on earth did he know exactly what I was thinking about? He looked nice and jovial from his appearance. My friend once told me about how her innocent uncle was kidnapped by a group of friendly-looking passengers he was unfortunate to transport; so, my suspicious about this guy was justified for me. Now that he had explicitly noticed my fears, I decided to take the risk—staying out any longer might be catastrophic for me, as thugs occasionally patrolled the streets at midnight.
‘‘Aren’t you going towards CBN?’’ he asked.
‘‘Yes sir, I am,’’ I replied, nodding my head.
‘‘Okay then, hop in, let me drop you off. I’m going towards the place anyway,’’ with amicable tone, he uttered.
I entered the car—my dream car. He drove while I kept mute for minutes, without saying any word. I was undisturbed for a moment, until the unexpected happened.
‘‘So Delilah, how have you been doing?’’ he inquired, smiling while he focused his sight on the road.
‘‘Wait, how did you know my name? I can’t remember introducing myself to you sir,’’ I replied, startled.
The song ‘Run for your life’ by The Beatles was playing on the car’s radio from the loudspeakers of his car.
‘‘You don’t have to introduce yourself to me, I should be doing just that. My name is Spy. Or you can just call me the Spy,’’ he replied, faced me.
‘‘Well I’d rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another Man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or I won’t know where I am…’’
Was the lyrics coming from the speaker; the meaning of the words sending cold shivers down my spine.
Oh my lord! What have I gotten myself into? I thought.
‘‘What’s wrong? You look stressed,’’ he said, still focusing his eyes on the road, smiling cheerfully, as if he just said something funny.
‘‘So how’s preparation?’’ he asked.
‘‘Preparation? For what sir?’’ I replied in surprise.
‘‘Preparation of course, for your upcoming birthday party, or won’t you celebrate this year? Happy birthday in advance by the way Mimi.’’ He winked at me.
I was shocked when he wished me a happy birthday (I couldn’t imagine how he knew), but when he called me Mimi, I was rather terrified, and my heart raced. Mimi was the name my grandmother used to call me before she died. Since then, nobody had called me Mimi… until he did.
‘‘What! … you know about my birthday too? And my pet name?’’ I asked.
‘‘Not only your birthday. I know everything about you. Right from July 17th 1985,’’ he said. That was my date of birth.
I wanted to ask who he was, but we were already about twenty meters past where I intended to drop.
‘‘Sir… I will drop now. Close to the Bookshop over there.’’ I pointed at the Melvin’s Bookshop.
Immediately he parked, I rushed out of the car and fled from the area to avoid any interaction with him whatsoever.
‘‘Mimi! Mimi! Hold on, your bag!’’ he called out to me.
I heard his call, but was too scared to stop. I ran home. Mother noticed how disturbed I was on getting home. She decided to ascertain what the problem was.
‘‘Delilah my child, what kept you out so late at night today? And I’m very sure you are not on night duty today. What happened? Hope all is well at the hospital?’’ she asked, more like interrogated.
‘‘Yes Mama, everything was fine. We had an emergency problem. A guy was brought to us by the police; they said he tried to kill himself while in custody—’’ I was saying when Mama interrupted.
‘‘Why is this generation so soft-hearted? They happen to think suicide is the solution to their problems. Unfortunately for them, suicide is just one of the problems and not a solution,’’ she said.
‘‘Yes Mama, you’re absolutely right. I wonder where they get the courage to do such contemptible act,’’ I added.
‘‘Fear! Fear, my daughter. They are afraid of their trials, so they do these acts to please their cowardly hearts. Let me tell you something my daughter: A lion will never take its own life, no matter how unskilled he is at hunting. He would rather die of hunger—that’s determination. So my daughter, whenever your trials are starting to overcome you, don’t run away from them but rather face it. The day you become the prey of your trials, is the day you become weak,’’ she concluded.
‘‘Yes Mama, thank you.’’ I replied, smiled concisely.
The ding dong sound of the doorbell woke me up from my sleep. I walked languidly towards the door to see who halted my rest, with slight furrowing of my eyebrows.
Behold, my elusive fear! The Spy was standing right in front of me, looking excited.
‘‘My goodness! How did you know where I live? Have you been following me? Oh! I see. I will call the police, if you don’t leave my presence this instant!’’ I yelled, although was afraid.
‘‘Relax, relax Mimi. I am not here to cause any trouble. I only came to give you this.’’ He handed my bag to me.
‘‘Okau, you can leave now Mr. Man. Please leave right now sir,’’ I requested when he hesitated.
I never wanted Mama to know what exactly happened last night, and how this strange guy was tormenting my life within these past hours. How he knew so much about my life was a question that befuddled me. I asked myself, was he really a spy? Or am I just a victim of an illusion? Perhaps he was just a swindler, trying to get to my head.
‘‘Delilah, who were you yelling at? I thought I overheard you talking to someone a minute ago?’’ Mama inquired.
‘‘Nothing Mama. It was just the neighborhood kids with their normal menace.’’ I replied, giving a smile to cover up my pretence.
Mama must have noticed that I was on edge, exactly how I was whenever I was up to something. I walked to my room to avoid further interrogation from Mama, an inevitable act of hers.
My phone rang. I was busy with Annabel preparing for the party—setting flowers above the curtains and flyers on the walls. Mama and Linda my cousin were in the kitchen getting ready to bake the cake, which had these boldly words written on it: ‘Happy Birthday Delilah’. The seating room was colorfully decorated with lights and balloons. Chairs were arranged in a welcoming manner, and sprayed with the ‘Black Gold Perfume’.
‘‘Aunty! Aunty! Your phone is ringing,’’ my kid sister clamored.
I picked the call and the voice of Spy spoke into my ears. I was confused about the nature of his call, I was out of words—shocked.
‘‘Please sir, who are you really? And why are you disturbing me?’’ I pleaded.
‘‘I’m sorry for that Delilah. I am Spy, The Spy of 6th June 2016, remember?’’ he asked
‘‘6th June 2016? And what is that supposed to mean?’’ I asked with surprise.
‘‘Have you forgotten so soon Delilah? 6th June 2016, 6th June 2016. Remember Mimi, remember. You promised to keep me with you always, but you lied Mimi. Mimi you lied,’’ he said to me.
I had no idea what 6th June 2016 meant. And why was this stranger calling me a liar? I may not be a saint, but lying was just not my thing; especially to people I don’t know.
‘‘Please sir, just stop calling me. I believe you’ve mistaken me for someone else,’’ I pleaded.
‘‘Delilah! What are you doing over there? Come on, the guests have started arriving already,’’ Linda informed me.
The sitting room was occupied by friends and family members. Music was played—the traditional Fuji. I exchanged pleasantries with the guests, while they wished me a blissful birthday. Gifts filled the central table; wrapped with beautifully designed wrappers. From afar, I sighted a red paper-wrapped-unicorn-shaped gift, tagged ‘6th June 2016’ with a birthday card attached on it. I walked close to it and picked the card; opened to see the content.
‘‘6th June 2016. Dear Mimi
I wish you a life where everything will be red,
A life with no other colors,
Reading that wrecked my composure. He was a nightmare to my life, horror was personified in Spy. I held on to for the sofa to avoid falling on the floor. My feet got cold, hands were shaking. I could not get a hold of myself.
‘‘Delilah…’’ Mama called.
‘‘Ah!’’ I screamed; looked green.
Mama was startled, and everyone’s attention was fixed on me; they were all shocked by my reaction.
‘‘Gosh! Delilah, what the hell was that? What’s wrong with you girl? You look unwell,’ Linda cautioned.
‘‘Linda, please take Delilah to her room,’’ Mama ordered.
I got to my room, flung the sheet over my body to calm my nerves, or perhaps wake up to everything being a mere bad dream. I was at the abyss of escutcheons, Spy, the culprit. I struggled to rid my mind off the text written on the birthday card, but failed multiple times. I was already on edge when I received a call on my phone. I flicked a glance at the screen and the name Spy was boldly written on the there. I became terrified again.
‘‘Don’t pick! Don’t pick!’’ I yelled at Linda; when she attempted to answer. I sat down.
‘‘Why? Is this the reason why you’re looking so tensed?’’ she asked.
‘‘Just don’t pick the call Linda. I’m serious about it,’’ I cautioned
‘‘Huh, really now? It seems you have a text message Delilah’’ she noted.
‘‘6th June 2016, Room 109. General Hospital,’’ she read. ‘‘What sort of text message is this?’’ she uttered, shock was written all over her face.
The sight of Linda reading that text message, got me frightened. I quickly remembered the odd day at the hospital, ‘6th June 2016’ straight off. The day I promised Mr. Wilson safety, before conducting the surgery that took his life in the process. I never believed in ghosts, nor have I ever experienced such things in my seven years as a professional doctor. Could this Spy of a guy be Mr. Wilson’s spectre?
‘‘Delilah! Delilah! What’s wrong with you? You look chaotic. Who’s this person that is calling?’’ Linda said as she pointed the phone at my face.
Frightened, I fell to the comfort of my soft pillow unconsciously. He ran after me, with an axe on his hand. My legs could no longer carry me. I tripped and fell to the ground, taking raspy breaths. He raised his axe to the sky. I can see the rage in those reddened eyes of his. I tried to plead. ‘‘Please don’t…’’
Voices sounded fro afar. I woke up to the sig of Mama, Linda and my kid sis, standing beside my bed. The environment looked familiar, until I saw Dr. Arthur.
‘‘Dr. Delilah. How are you feeling now?’’ Dr. Arthur asked.
‘‘I’m feeling a little bit better sir. Thank you. How long have I been here?’’ I inquired.
‘‘About an hour now doctor,’’ he replied.
I was discharged a day after. I got home to the thoughts of the scary events that induced my illness. I sat on the couch, reading the morning newspaper. The headline read: ‘Doctor sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his patient.’ Individuals commented on the issue.
‘‘Well, he deserved what he got. And this should serve as a lesson to any medical doctor out there, who is planning or has done such act, that the consequences will be severe,’’ Bar. Ernest (SAN), counsel to the plaintiff said in an interview with the press.
I was confused, everything was revolving around my situation. I didn’t murder Mr. Wilson, what happened was beyond my control.
‘‘Delilah. Someone is here to see you,’’ Mama said.
‘‘Someone ? Who’s that Mama?’’ I asked.
‘‘How am I supposed to know? He said his name is… ehnn… Spy, I think. Yes, the Spy.
‘‘My God! What’s he doing here again?’’ I asked in shock, then stood up.
‘‘I advise you go and hear him out. He said he is here to apologize for what happened; about your ill health,’’ Mama advised.
He wore a red suit, with a black bow tie. To him he looked like a gentleman, but to me he was Lucifer in human form. I walked towards him sluggishly. He smiled and buttoned up his sleeve. I came close to where he sat and knelt down. He hopped up in bewilderment.
‘‘What’s the meaning of this Mimi?’’ he asked in a perplexed tone.
‘‘Please don’t hurt me Wilson, I beg of you,’’ I joined my hands together and pleaded. ‘‘I didn’t murder you. What happened was an accident, and it was not my fault. Please forgive me for not fulfilling my promise,’’ I cried out.
‘‘What are you talking about Mimi? Who died? And who is Wilson?’’ he asked.
‘‘6th June 2016. I conducted your surgery, remember? Before the unfortunate incident happened. You died in the process,’’ I said.
‘‘I am not Wilson. I have never gone through any surgery before in my life.’’ He laughed. ‘‘Oh! Is that why are have been behaving strange towards me?’’
I stood up to my feet. Mama didn’t utter a word on seeing the drama that unfolded in her presence. I turned to see if Mama was still standing behind me. She gave me the interrogative stare, which made me turn to face Spy.
‘‘If you’re not Mr. Wilson, then who are you? And how did you know so much about me? How?’’ I asked.
‘‘Am Spiro. My friends call me Spy, the Spy.’’ He smiled and continued, ‘‘On the 6th of June 2016, I was a patient at the General Hospital were you worked. I was on my way to the men’s ward when I saw you coming out of Room 109 in a rush. You dropped something of yours. A book titled ‘GEM CELL.’’
‘‘Oh ho! My diary. You found my diary?’’ I asked and frowned my face.
‘‘Yes, and that’s how I knew everything about you,’’ he said.
For the first time, I felt relieved. After a horror-filled seventy-two hours of misconstrued intentions of his. I relaxed and sat on the couch to comport myself.
‘‘And what was that, about the red wishes on the birthday card you sent?’’ I inquired.
‘‘I read it on your diary. You once wished there was only one color in life, which was red, your favorite color.’’ He laughed. ‘‘ ‘You promised to keep me with you always’ was a phrase I read on your diary too,’’ he said.
‘‘What is happening here? I don’t understand,’’ Mama inquired.
‘‘That’s what I intend to find out Mama,’’ I replied.
‘‘Listen Mimi, the major reason why I came here, is to tell you how much I love you. Everything I did, I only did that because I really love you. That’s the reason why I’m wearing your favorite color right now,’’ he claimed. ‘‘Just forget about the whole Mr. Wilson’s persona.’’
‘‘So Mr. Spiro or whatever you call yourself, how about the music ‘Run for your life’ that was played by the radio station the night I entered your car?’’ I inquired.
‘‘I don’t know, coincidence maybe. You liked the song?’’ He smiled, giving the annoying grin. He tried to be witty with me, I stood up and walked to where he sat and gave him a resounding slap on his cheek.
‘‘This, is for frustrating my life. And before I blink my eyes, I want you to get lost. Get out of my house!’’ I yelled.