Eleven years ago
It was project defence day and Ezinne was running quite late. She wasn’t too worried though. She knew the defence would begin before she arrived but she would get there well before it would be her turn. She felt overly prepared for it and was confident about her performance. Mofe had revised with her and coupled with the awesome application he’d assisted her with, she surely believed she would be getting an A.
As she drove out of her compound, she parked at the gate to the compound next door where Mofe stayed. It was time to call off their misunderstanding. She had missed him and had forgiven him for keeping the news that he would be leaving the country soon from her. She didn’t want to stay mad at at him anymore. She had been up for a while the night before thinking about it after the spat with her father and had decided she knew him. Mofe Was Crazy about her, just as she was for him, maybe even more. He would never hurt her deliberately, she trusted him that much.
She would just have to make do with the long distance thing when he left. She didn’t know how she would survive it but when the time comes she would sort it out then.
Stepping outside the car, she unbolted the gate to his compound the way he had shown her. She wasn’t sure if he’d left for school yet but she would check. Knowing him, he was probably already gone as he was such a stickler to time.
She got to the BQ building and was about knocking when she saw saw the door was slightly open.
“Hello…. Mofe?” She called as she pushed the door open. The room was dark but she could make out a figure on the bed.
It was Mofe’s aunt.
She was lying down but Ezinne heard her groaning lightly.
“Aunty, are you okay?” She asked as she stepped into the room, dropping to her knees by the older woman.
Her eyes were closed and she wasn’t responsive but she kept groaning lowly. She recalled that the woman was diabetic. Could she be going having a crisis? This didn’t look good at all.
“Aunty, where’s Mofe? You don’t look good… we need to get you to a hospital…”
“Mofe…is not…In… Eric…..” The woman managed weakly.
Ezinne didn’t want to believe they had left her alone at home like this.
She brought out her phone to begin calling Mofe when the door suddenly opened and Eric barged in. He looked sweaty and was panting like he’d been running and was out of breath.
“What are you doing here? Mofe has left for school.” He said brusquely noticing her presence as he brushed past her to look down at his mother.
“Mom, I have your medicine here.” He said to her as he laid the back of his hand upon her forehead as if checking for a fever.
“If she is having a crisis, she needs a doctor.” Ezinne asked him, ignoring his attitude problems. She already knew he didn’t like her. The feeling was quite mutual.
“What do you know about her condition?” He asked rudely.
“Look, just help me get her into the car. She’s too weak to even speak. This is more than we can handle here.”
“We?” He asked her. “This is not your problem, don’t you have your project defense or something today?”
“If you are not going to help me get her in the car, I will take her there myself and drive her to the hospital.” She told him walking to the door. She would open the gates herself, drive into the compound and carry the woman into the car if Eric kept up with his nasty attitude.
The woman was weak and Ezinne suspected she might slip into a coma or unconsciousness if she wasn’t looked at by a professional quickly.
“Wait where are you going?” Eric called but Ezinne didn’t answer. She didn’t have time for his annoying self. She would do what she had to for Mofe’s aunt. Even if it meant missing her defence.
Mofe had lost count of the number of times he’d checked his wristwatch. Project defence was almost over and Ezinne had not turned up. She couldn’t have suddenly developed cold feet, could she? She’d given him the impression that she’d been ready, why the sudden no show?
She wasn’t also picking her calls and he was worried. So worried he had pushed his defense till he was the last person.
Now it was finally his turn as everyone had done theirs. He was stalling and over explaining everything just to bide time, hoping that Zinny would show up soon.
“Is there a reason you keep glancing at your wrist watch,” one of the examiners asked.
“Erm.. No Sir. Just checking to see I’m not spending too much time.” He lied knowing he had spent more time than necessary but as he was the last person in the class to do his presentation, the examiners didn’t mind. They also seemed to be enjoying his project choice.
They had thrown him questions which he’d answered brilliantly but now it seemed they had run out of questions.
“Okay let’s see your application.” One of them asked.
Mofe’s face fell. This was the last stage and it would be quite brief. He had to stall some more.
He proceeded to boot up the computer he’d borrowed from a course mate knowing the system was really slow to start up. One had to wait almost ten whole minutes before it concluded it’s booting process.
The examiners chose to be patient as he spent another fifteen minutes taking them through everything.
They asked more questions and just as they were rounding up, he saw Ezinne come through the door. Looking a bit flustered, she held her laptop in hand.
“Thank goodness.” He muttered.
“What’s that?” A lecturer asked.
“Nothing sir.” He said quickly. “The last student is ready sir, am I free to leave?”
“Last student? There’s still one more student?” The HOD asked and he nodded.
“Yes Sir, Ezinne Onu.” Mofe supplied knowing the man was quite disappointed at not being able to leave yet. One more student wouldn’t kill him,Mofe thought silently.
“Send her in.” The HOD replied. “Very impressive work as usual, Mofe.”
“Thank you sir.” He replied knowing that was extremely high praise coming from his supervisor but his eyes were on Ezinne. He was curious to know what had kept her so long
She was outside the HODs office, waiting for him to be done before coming in.
He picked up the laptop along with his other materials and walked over to her. “Where the hell have you been, Ezinne?” He asked struggling to keep his voice down. “You’re the last here, I had to stall for you for almost an hour now or it would have ended. I tried your number several times but you didn’t pick.”
“Calm down Mofe, I will explain later but you really need to call your cousin immediately. There’s been an emergency.” She said quickly.
“What?… What happened?” He asked, suddenly troubled.
“I can’t talk now, just call your cousin now, please.” She said before walking into the office.
Emergency? What emergency? He wondered as he exited the computer lab immediately to make the call. From Ezinne’s tone it had sounded pretty important.
Eric picked on the first ring.
“Eric, what’s the problem.” He asked without bothering with any pleasantries.
“ Mofe, It’s mom….”
“Mom! What’s wrong with mom?” He asked immediately fearing the worst.
“She came over after you’d left for school, she seemed really ill and I realized she didn’t come with her medication so I went to get them and ….”
“Get to the point Eric! Where is she now?” He asked cutting him off mid sentence, silently praying his aunt was fine.
“At the hospital, Zinny brought her here.”
“Hospital?” He yelled in shock. For her to be at the hospital meant it had been pretty serious. “She had a crisis? Is she going to be fine?”
“I think so… The doctors are still monitoring her but it seems they intervened in time. She’s still unconscious but they said she should come out of it soon.”
“Goodness! What hospital are you now? I’m coming over.”
Eric gave him the details as he rushed back into the lab for his stuff. He couldn’t wait a second longer. He would have to see Ezinne later, right now his aunt needed him.