Read Part 1 HERE
Read Part 2 HERE
Read Part 3 HERE
Read Part 4 HERE
Read Part 5 HERE
He woke up to the hushed voices of two people arguing. They spoke in refined English tones like the oyibo people in the movies he watched and unlike the Pidgin English of the slums or the Yoruba spoken among the gang he lived with.
"I can't believe you're paying for this boy's hospital fees after what he did," the harsh, low voice of a woman reached his ears.
He didn't recognise her voice but understood her words clearly. He could read, write, and speak English better than most boys his age in the slum. He'd loved learning new languages when he went to school.
"He is just a boy," a deep male voice said. "I couldn’t let him bleed to death in the driveway."
His words were slow and deliberate, making Kola want to turn his head so he could see the face of the man who spoke so gently.
"Maybe not," the woman said. "But did you have to bring him to a private hospital? Why didn't you just dump him at LUTH or the General Hospital and let them take care of him there?"
"I told you already. This place was closer. And I knew for sure they would have the facility to deal with his case."
"And now, you are paying for a private room for him. Have you forgotten he is a criminal?"
Kola heard the heave of a frustrated sigh.
"Angela, do you not have any compassion? He is just a boy, as young as our children. It could be Felix or Mark lying there hooked to a drip and with a bullet hole in his leg."
"But he isn't ours and neither Felix nor Mark will ever be a criminal. We take care of our children, which is more than can be said for his parents." She tutted.
Tears stung Kola's eyes at the vehemence of her words. But she told the truth. Perhaps if he'd had caring parents who were still alive, he wouldn’t be in this predicament. Now, he'd become a criminal. An armed robber, of all things.
Maybe if his father had raised him, he would've been a man as kind as the one in his room at the moment.
"At least one good thing came out of all this. You finally agreed to move us to Ikoyi. About time, too, in my opinion," Angela said.
The man didn't respond. Kola pretended to be asleep until the couple left his room and the nurse came in to check on him.
The next day, he sat on his bed staring at the drip hooked to his arm and trying not to let the smell of disinfectant overwhelm him. He didn't like hospitals especially since it reminded him of the last time he'd seen his mother.
"It's good to see you awake," the man said, looking him over. His eyes sparkled as he smiled and soft lines appeared around his lips.
Although the man appeared happy to see him, Kola stiffened and shifted in his bed, backing away as far as he could go. He recognised the voice as that of the man from yesterday arguing with the woman. If so, it was the man's house they'd burgled. Did the man come to arrest him? Were there police men with him?
To be continued.
Come back tomorrow for more.
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