Seeing her cry broke his heart. Melvin took Lola’s hand and whisked her out of the intensive Care Unit. He knew she needed to be consoled and words of encouragement could make her feel better. Zara stared at Duke for a short while and walked away. A nurse allowed Mike to see Duke briefly.
“You need to pull yourself together,” Melvin said quietly to her at the lobby. She leaned her body against the wall as tears fell down to her cheeks. “I know it’s not going to be easy, you need to stop crying, especially in front of these nurses.”
“This is hard for me.” She could hardly say the words smoothly because of the way she cried. The tears had hooked her voice.
“I know and it’s a pity this happened to Dr. Duke. He does not deserve this. That woman’s soul will never rest in peace.”
She didn’t say anything, only listened.
“You have tried. Don’t give up on him, anything can happen.”
Lola wiped her face and chose to stop crying. She looked at him and nodded. “Thank you.”
“You are welcome. I had no idea you and Dr. Duke were involved in a relationship,” he added. “I thought it was with Dr. Jidenna. It came as a surprise to Zara and I. We knew about it after Duke was shot.”
Melvin watched her walk away without getting a response. Lola went to the ladies-room to wash her face. She took a deep breath in and out and faced the mirror.
“Lola, Duke will be fine. You don’t need to worry. Be positive.”
Ahmed on his way to the cafeteria saw Solomon Duke gesturing towards his direction. He was tempted to reach out to him, but wondered if it was appropriate to speak with him. He thought quickly and decided to step away by walking pass him. They looked at each other and Ahmed greeted him politely.
“Good afternoon sir.”
“Good afternoon doc.” That moment, Solomon raised his eyebrows and dimmed his eyes as if he was trying to reoccur something. He pointed at him and both of them halted. “I know you.”
“I am one of the surgeons that operated on Dr. Duke. He is my boss.”
He gestured his hand and Ahmed took it to shake. “Thank you for what you did. I appreciate it.”
“It’s my job sir. I’m glad I was able to join them in saving his life.”
“Well, he is still in coma.”
“I know sir. Never say never, he might wake up when you least expect it.”
He shrugged and his eyebrows cocked. “Have we met before?”
Ahmed was about to answer him when Solomon spoke.
“You have a case concerning the property of your late father. I remember now. Am I right?”
“You look different as a surgeon. It’s a small world.”
“Yes sir. It is.”
“You knew who I was. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I felt it wasn’t the right time because of the situation.”
“I understand, but it doesn’t change or solve my son’s problem. Anyways, see you in court soon.”
Solomon walked away and Ahmed pondered on what the verdict could be.
Lola prepped for surgery with Dr. Melissa and they operated on a woman. It was successful. The two of them went to wash their hands and Melissa stared at her.
“I hope you are eating.”
Lola gave her a look. “Yes. Why did you ask?”
“You have lost some weight.”
She smiled and turned off the water from running. “I eat good food, Dr. Melissa.” She dried her hands with one of the white towels stationed there.
“I didn’t say that. You might eat good food but a little portion. Dr. Duke’s recovery is important. Your health is also important.”
“I am not sick.”
“Dr. Lola,” Melissa said even though she was getting a bit pissed with Lola’s answers. “If you don’t eat or not, it will never change what will happen to Dr. Duke. He doesn’t even know what’s happening to you right now. If you keep on neglecting your health and focus on him, you will break down.”
“And what is that supposed to mean?”
Melissa denoted the anger in her voice. “I don’t pretend. I like to say the truth even though it is bitter and it will hurt someone. Dr. Lola, focus more on yourself.” She stormed away.
Lola had a frown on her face and shut her eyes. She heard footsteps and she quickly opened her eyes and saw Zara standing in front of her. She had a smile on her lips.
“Hi Dr. Lola.”
“Hi. What is it?”
“Nothing. I just want to let you know Dr. Duke has two female visitors. They are with him. One of them is his ex-girlfriend.”
She appeared surprised and it was obvious Zara was waiting for a reaction.
Lola smiled lightly. “Okay.”
“Okay? Is that what you are going to say?”
“Madam, what am I supposed to say? Please, excuse me.”
Lola marched away without looking back. Zara hissed.
Lola met Jidenna and Yvonne coming out from the ICU. They were in a conversation. Yvonne looked good in her skirt suit. Lola wanted to appear strong in front of her. She forged a smile.
“Good afternoon Dr. Yvonne. It’s good to see you again.”
Yvonne glared at her from head to toe and back at her face. She wore an impolite expression on her face and continued to speak with Jidenna. Lola never expected such from her. It was obvious it surprised Jidenna too.
“Thank you for letting me know about this.” Yvonne told him.
“You are welcome,” he said quietly. He no longer felt comfortable when Lola never said a word and entered the ICU. “What was that about? Why didn’t you answer her?”
“Why should I answer her?” Yvonne asked.
“You tell me. Do you have a problem with her?”
“I don’t have a problem with her.” She attempted to step away, but paused and asked. “Is it true she has been the one taking care of him?”
“Everyone is taking care of Dr. Duke. We want the best for him.”
“You know what I mean. When I came in, I heard she is his girlfriend.”
“And who told you that?”
“Dr. Melvin. I saw him and asked him if Duke was getting the proper medication and attention from his loved ones. He said yes and his girlfriend has been showing him love. I asked who it was and it surprised me when he mentioned her name. I can’t believe she was the one he was in love with.”
“He told you?”
“Yeah.” Both of them started to walk away as they spoke to each other. “He told me he was in love but couldn’t be with her. He said she was in a relationship.”
Jidenna realized Lola was saying the truth that fateful day.
“Did you know they were having an affair?” She asked.
“I don’t think Duke has made their relationship official before he was shot. I am sure it was that day they talked about their feelings for each other.”
“She is bad luck. That’s means she is not even his girlfriend.”
“I never said that and she is no bad luck. It’s not her fault.”
Yvonne frowned. “Why are you defending her? She must be the reason he is fighting for his life. I didn’t even know this happened. Dr. Wole did not call me. He is still upset I left.”
“Dr. Wole is not upset with you. He has gotten your replacement. He has been busy and I am sure he didn’t want to bother you with everything that has happened to him. That man needs a vacation.”
“What else has happened to him apart from his employee getting shot in his hospital? Where I work, our lives are secured. Nothing like this can happen.”
“Don’t blame the man. He has tried.”
Yvonne stopped walking and Jidenna did the same.
“What?” He asked her.
“You haven’t told me what happened here after I left. What happened to Dr. Wole?”
Jidenna sighed. “It’s a good thing though. Dr. Lola is his biological daughter.”
Yvonne opened her mouth in shock. It was hard for her to say a word.
Lola was standing behind Daniela. She was seated and looking at Duke quietly. She patted under her eyes with a handkerchief. There were two nurses there. The male nurse was writing on Duke’s file while the other observed the ICU machine. Lola had to clear her throat gently to alert her. Daniela turned back, saw Lola and stood. She moved closer to her. Seeing her face to face, Lola remembered the slap.
“I came with my father’s colleague, Dr. Yvonne to see Duke. I am sure you remember me.”
“I was right that day. You were actually having an affair with him. You should be ashamed of yourself for sleeping with him while I dated him. I don’t regret that slap.”
“You should be the one ashamed of yourself. You are making this about yourself when you should be concerned about him waking up from coma. You have no shame.”
Daniela gazed at her stunned. The nurses exchanged glances and refused to leave even though they were through with their duty.
Lola continued, “You were lucky Duke was there that day if not, I would have slapped you back because you were wrong. Duke never cheated on you with me. If you don’t have anything reasonable to say to me, respect yourself and get the hell out of my way.”
“I hope you know who I am. My father is Daniel Jumbo.”
“I don’t know who your father is, but I am sure you know who my father is.” She smiled brightly. “My father is Wole Bello.”
She widened her eyes. “That’s impossible. You can’t be his daughter.”
“I am his daughter.” Lola moved closer to her face. Unafraid of what might come next. “I may not be able to stop you from seeing Duke but I can order you to get out of this hospital and never step a foot here again.”
“You can’t do that.”
“Yes I can. If you don’t want that, step away.”
Yvonne looked directly in her eyes and they never blinked. She carefully stepped away from her and Lola motioned near Duke. Yvonne scornfully eyed her.
“Someday, you will pay for humiliating me. I will take everything you have. I promise you.”
Lola continued to focus her attention on Duke. Yvonne’s threat was an empty one. She thought to herself. Yvonne left.
In the evening in her father’s home, Lola remembered what Melissa said and decided to cook and eat. Her mother had called to ask if she could come over. Lola told her it wasn’t necessary. Wole was in his bedroom relaxing. Later, she made a call to the hospital to ask of Duke’s welfare. After the call, she stayed at the living room thinking of him.
Few minutes later, Wole emerged. “What are you thinking about, Lola?”
“Nothing dad. Should I serve you your food?”
“Not really hungry. You cooked?”
“Why didn’t you call the chef or ordered for food?”
“I was not in the mood for that. Have you been able to reach a good detective?”
“Yes. He will be coming to the hospital tomorrow.”
They heard someone knocking on the door. Lola looked at Wole who didn’t seemed surprise.
“Are you expecting a guest?”
“Yes. Dr. Jidenna.” He walked to the door and opened it.
Lola appeared unbothered. She turned on the television, Jidenna entered, and he greeted Wole. He stared at Lola’s direction.
“Lola, good evening.”
Her eyes were focused on the TV. “Good evening.”
“Please sit down.” Wole told him.
“Thank you sir.” He sat opposite Lola.
“I will leave both of you to talk.” Wole began to walk away.
Lola quickly stood. “Dad, what’s going on?”
He paused to answer her. “Jidenna called me and asked if you were at home. He said he wanted to see you.”
“And he didn’t call me. Why call you instead?”
Jidenna rose. “I knew you won’t pick my call.”
She glared at him. “I have nothing to say to you. I don’t want to see you.” Lola wanted to speak to Wole but he had gone.
“Lola.” Jidenna called her name.
She looked at him disdainfully and folded her arms. “What?”
“I know you are not happy with me for informing Dr. Yvonne. I never knew she would inform Duke’s ex-girlfriend.”
“It’s not even about that. You can inform anyone about Duke and it’s nice they came to see him, but what I won’t take is when someone is trying to intimidate me. See the way Dr. Yvonne looked at me today. It was because of you.”
“She will never look at you that way again. I told her Wole Bello is your father.”
“What if he wasn’t? See Jidenna, you are one of the people in that hospital that welcomed me wholeheartedly and I am grateful. I am no longer angry with you.”
“I should be the one angry with you?”
She raised her eyebrows. “Why should you be angry with me?”
“I saw the way you looked at me when I was alone with Duke. You think I was there to hurt him. Why would you think such a thing? Do I look like a monster to you?”
“I never accused you of trying to hurt him.” Lola said and walked to the door. She placed her hand on the handle. “I think it’s time for you to leave. If you still believe I should be with you as a lover, I can’t be your friend. I can only be a colleague.”
Jidenna smiled lightly and bowed his head. He raised his head to stare at her and she opened the door. He motioned there and spoke to her. “The fact that I still want you for myself does not mean I want Duke to die. I hope he doesn’t.” he walked out.
“We can never be together.” She slammed the door hard.
Lola bounced to her father’s room. He stated Jidenna had narrated some certain things to him. He didn’t even know they dated until he told him. Lola explained everything. From how she fell in love with Duke and ended up being Jidenna’s girlfriend.
The next day at noon, after Lola finished attending to a patient, she wanted to leave for the cafeteria but didn’t want to eat alone. Her father crossed her mind. She went to his office and met Jidenna with him. They had finished their discussion and Jidenna rose on his feet.
“Thank you sir for your time.”
“It’s nothing.” The office’s ling rang and he answered, listened and replied. “Send him to my office.”
A knock on the door and Wole said. “Please, come in.”
A good-looking man appeared to be in his early thirties walked in and shut the door. He was wearing a nice fitted suit and an expensive one. Wole stood with a smile on his face, approached him and extended his hand.
“Good afternoon sir.” The man greeted Wole and shook his hand.
“Good afternoon. I have been expecting you. You are welcome.”
He nodded at Jidenna who did the same. Wole pointed at the settee and told him to sit.
Dr. Fola knocked and opened the door. They all looked at his direction and he saluted everyone.
He said to Jidenna. “I heard you are here. Your attention is needed.”
Jidenna thanked Wole once again and left. Wole introduced Lola to the man. He was the detective.
“Nice to meet you Dr. Lola.” Detective Churchill said to her in a firm tone. Even while he was trying to be professional, it didn’t take the splendor in his appearance.
“Nice to meet you too.”
“I have informed him the details of what happened over the phone. If there is anything you would like to add, you can tell him.” Wole told Lola.
“I think you must have told him everything he needs to know.” Lola said.
“Do you suspect anyone in the hospital?” Churchill asked her.
She doesn’t want to mention a name. She just needed him to do his job and find out himself. “No.”
“Okay. I will visit the mental institution tomorrow.”
“Would you need me to follow you? I could help.”
He smiled at her. He had a very nice smile. “There’s no need for you to follow me. I wonder why the family of the surgeon is not involved in this. Don’t they want to know if there is a conspiracy concerning the shooting?”
“They are unaware.” Wole responded. “They feel the woman did everything by herself. My daughter thinks otherwise. We want this settled once and for all before I would reveal it to the surgeon’s family. We are only trying to help.”
He gave a nod. “I understand. If anyone assisted the murderer to plan this, I will get him or her. I know what to do.”
“I am counting on you detective Churchill.”
“I will do my best.”
Lola heaved a low sigh and felt a bit reassured.
“I never knew you were going through such.” Zara said to Ahmed outside the hospital.
They were sitting on a bench under a shade. Ahmed had narrated certain things about his life, including the court case.
“What are you going to do now?”
“I will wait for the verdict. I don’t have a choice. I only hope it will be in my favor.”
“Dr. Duke’s father doesn’t look like someone that would collect a bribe from your uncle. He seems like an authoritarian and that should make him an uncorrupt judge.”
“I hope so. So what happens to the baby now?”
Zara heaved a sigh and thought for a minute. “My parents will be so disappointed in me for getting pregnant before marriage. I have tried to prove to them that I am just like my siblings, but they don’t think of me that way. That is why I am alone.”
He looked into her eyes. “You are not alone. I am with you if you keep our baby. I will never abandon you. You and I are not compatible and you know it but I will always be there for you.”
She kept mute for a moment and spoke to him. “I will keep the baby.”
“Thank you.” Ahmed said happily and hugged her. “I promise to be a good father to our child. When the case is over, we will plan our baby’s future.”
“That’s fine. When are you going to court?”
“It’s next week.”
“Good luck.” Zara said.
In the evening, Lola changed clothes and prepared to go home. She had gotten close to the door when she remembered she had not seen Duke. Lola went there and wore a smile the moment she saw him. She sat on the chair and held his hand.
Suddenly, he gripped her hand tight and let go immediately. Lola ran to Dr. Robertson’s office. She was lucky she met him on his way out. She told him what had happened.
Suddenly, he gripped her hand tight and let go immediately. Lola ran to Dr. Robertson’s office. She was lucky she met him on his way out. She told him what had happened.
“Are you sure?” He asked.
“You know that doesn’t change anything if he doesn’t wake up. He could be the cause of an impulse. It means nothing.”
“Why don’t you see him first?”
“Sure. Let’s go.”
Both of them went there and Dr. Robertson examined him. Just the look on his face, Lola knew he was going to say what would make her unhappy.
“Like I said before, it means nothing.”
“But it’s an improvement. You need to tell his father. I heard what he wants to do.”
“I don’t think it will change his mind,” Robertson said. “But I will speak with him about it. I have a meeting with him tomorrow.”
“Okay. Please, let me know when he is around.”
“I will.” He smiled widely, just to make her feel better.
Nothing at that moment made her feel better. It made Lola feel sick.
The following day, Detective Churchill arrived at the institution in a trendy suit. It was a huge building and from the look of it, it was expensive to admit a person there. Churchill entered and looked around. He saw a CCTV at the reception. He approached the receptionist. He met her recording herself. She apologized and asked what he wanted. He inquired to see the owner. The owner wasn’t around. He asked for the manager.
“Do you want to make an enquiry?” She asked him.
“Yes, but I will like to speak with your manager. It’s very important.”
She made a call and she directed him to his office. Churchill met the manager and he showed him his card and introduced himself.
“I am a detective and I am here to investigate this place.” Churchill said.
The manager appeared shock. He was a man in his late forties, average in height and quite slim. “This place is legal. We don’t have skeleton in our cupboard.”
“What about a woman named Ngozi Eze?”
He looked at him dazed. “How did you know about her? We have been looking for her!”
“You have been looking for her?”
“Yes!” The manager exclaimed. “She left unnoticed. One of the cleaners notified us about her disappearance. She wasn’t in her room when she went to clean it.”
“And you never bothered to find her?” Churchill asked in a surprised tone.
“We did. We informed her family, but they didn’t want to get involved with her. Her elder sister said it was better she has gone. She said they didn’t have the money to pay for her upkeep and other expenses here.”
“If they knew they couldn’t pay further, why did they bring her here?”
“A surgeon assisted the family to pay the bills. I can’t remember his name unless I check her file.”
“Is it Dr. Gerald Duke?”
The manager remembered instantly. “Yes! That’s his name.”
“Well, she shot him and she is currently dead.”
“What!” He rose and moved to where Churchill sat. “Are you sure about this?”
“Yes. He is currently in coma. She committed suicide.”
“I have idea this happened. If you need my help, I will offer it. What do you want?”
“I believe someone helped her to escape from this place. I saw the CCTV. Can I see the footage of the day you noticed she left?”
His face fell. “I am sorry. It’s not working. I should have gotten a new one. I’ve been busy.”
“Damn it. When did it stop working?”
He thought and answered. “I think a day or two days before she escaped. I have a good memory.”
“That’s strange,” Churchill said. “Do you think someone working here, helped her?”
“I doubt. We are professionals here. She was a danger to herself. We knew her condition. She was always claiming she was in love with the surgeon.”
Churchill sighed heavily and stood on his feet. “Someone must have planned this.” He put his hand under his chin to think. He dropped his hand, hesitated but asked. “Is it possible to get the footage of the days before the CCTV went bad?”
“Yes. We keep records every three days. The discs are kept in the storeroom. You can watch it with my laptop.”
“Okay. Have you watched them before?”
“Yes but I didn’t find anything suspicious.”
“Okay. Get them.”
“Okay detective.” The manager left and returned with three discs. He carried his laptop and placed it on the desk. He inserted one of the discs and played it. Everything seemed normal. No patients passed though the entrance. Only visitors and employees paraded the reception hall.
As they watched, Churchill inquired. “When was this?”
“Two days before she disappeared.”
He shook his head frustratingly as he didn’t find anything useful. “Remove it.”
The manager made a move to eject it and something caught Churchill’s attention. He quickly uttered.
“Wait!” He reversed the video, paused and pointed at the screen. “I know that face. I have seen him before.”
“That’s a volunteer that worked here for some weeks. Do you know him?”
“No, but I know he works for someone I know.”
The man in the video was wearing the official uniform for workers taking care of the patients. He was walking towards the door.
Robertson had sent for Lola. Solomon Duke was in his office. He mentioned what happened to Duke but Solomon didn’t believe it. Lola came in and Solomon didn’t even allow her to explain before he expressed himself.
“Mike told me about you and I know you love my son, but it’s not going to change my mind. You can’t use such strategy on me.”
“This is not a strategy sir,” Lola said. “It isn’t a lie. I swear. He held my hand.”
“It doesn’t change anything.”
“Please sir. You need to give him time. He will wake up.”
“I have given him enough time. My wife must not know about this and if she ever comes here, don’t mention it to her.”
“Okay sir.” Lola stormed out of the office in tears. She tears ceased when she saw Wole and Churchill with two officers. She saturated to meet them. People started to poke their faces at them.
“What happened?” She asked her father.
Wole asked her. “Do you know where Dr. Fola is?”
“Dr. Fola? I don’t know. Maybe he is at the dressing room. Please, tell me what’s going on?”
“It seems while he was suspended he went to the mental institution to work there.”
“Oh my God!” Lola turned and ran in rage to the direction of the dressing room to check. Wole ordered one of the officers to hold her, which he successfully did when they all walked in. As usual, Fola was caressing a nurse’s body. The two of them were in shock and stopped what they were doing.
Lola was shouting as the officer held her firmly. “You murderer! How could you! You have been caught!”
“What did I do?” Fola asked unemotionally.
“You know what you have done.” Wole said with anger all over him.
Churchill went to Lola. “You need to calm down. Do you know where his locker is?”
“You have no right to check my locker!” Fola shouted and the other officer gave him a hot slap.
Jidenna, Melvin and Ahmed were already there watching. Ahmed pointed at his locker, Churchill moved there, and found it locked. The officer forcefully dipped his hand into Fola’s pocket and saw the key. He gave it to his boss. Churchill wore a hand glove, unlocked it, checked inside and found a gun with condoms and porn magazines. Everyone gasped in shocked.
“I didn’t kill Duke!” Fola barked. “That crazy woman did! You can’t prove anything.”
“Then why is the gun in your locker?” Churchill asked him.
“I don’t know. Maybe someone put it there.”
“Why did you volunteer to work at the institution?”
“I wanted to help. I wasn’t doing anything when I got suspended because of Duke. It was because of him I was suspended!”
“But you came back.” Wole said. “It was because of Duke I suspended you. I wanted to sack you!”
There was no remorse on his face and behavior. Lola took a deep breath and told the officer to leave her alone. She promised not to do anything drastic. He released her and she motioned near Fola.
“I will get the best lawyer to prove you guilty. You will not get away with what you have done. I hope you know you are nothing. You are worthless!”
Fola became angry. “At least I am better than your lifeless boyfriend. He is going to die!”
Lola only looked at him with disgust. “I just want to remind you while you will be in prison, you won’t have access to any woman. You will rot in jail and I hope someone teaches you a lesson there!”
“Bitch!” The officer quickly handcuffed him while Churchill read him his rights. It didn’t stop him from insulting her. “I wish you were the one in coma! I should have told her to shoot you!”
This last sentence was taken into record and they were witnesses who heard him. Solomon had seen everything and Wole told him it was Lola’s idea to investigate it. He thanked her. Fola was denied bail and charged to court. A query letter was given to the nurse.
Duke’s family thanked Lola and Wole for what they had done. They kept in touch with the detective. For a week, whenever Lola wasn’t working, she checked on Duke to see if there was any improvement. He was still the same. Lola noticed Duke’s beards were coming out. She played one of his favorite songs ‘heal the world’ as she cleared his beards. She did it with pleasure.
On a Thursday evening, Lola entered the ICU looking drained after a hectic day. She operated on three patients. Her eyes began to pile up tears as she sat on the bed with him. She was trying not to cry loud as her lips quivered.
In two weeks’ time, the four contract staffs would know their fate. Although she knew hers, it didn’t stop her from thinking about the others. She wished everyone would get full employment even though Zara was a troublemaker. Lola hoped Duke would wake up before then. There was no more time. The month his father gave him would be over in two weeks and two days.
She looked at him sorrowfully and the thought of him not with her shattered her fragile heart. She erupted into tears.
“Duke, I can’t bear this anymore. This pain is getting too much and I hate it. I hate this feeling. I can never let you go. Please, just wake up.” She rose and began to rub his arms. “I wish you could feel my touch, know that I am here for you. I will never give up. Please, you have to wake up. There is no time. Please Duke. Don’t leave me. Don’t say goodbye. Never say goodbye.”
Her tears fell from her eyes and dropped on his neck. She quickly cleaned it. “I’m sorry.”
Lola sat down, bowed her head and continued to cry. She stared at him and there was no change. She shook her head and stood to leave. She wiped away the tears from her face, pecked his hand and moved closer to his face to kiss. She kissed him lightly on his forehead and turned to move towards the door.
Suddenly, she felt something inside her, like a hunch to look at him once more, maybe everything would be all right. Precipitously, she heard a faint sound. Lola paused and turned back. Duke had removed the oxygen mask as he blinked his eyes continuously. He was trying to wake up fully. She speedily motioned to his bed and touched his body.
“Duke… Duke... Duke,” She kept calling his name. “Duke.”
Duke finally opened his eyes. He didn’t say a word, just stared at her uncertainly as she stared at him in awe. The door opened. His parents and Mike entered. Lola smiled at them and shifted away from the bed to give them space.
“He is awake.” She told Duke’s family.
The three of them rushed to the bed with happiness and incredulity. They couldn’t believe it. It felt like a miracle. Duke closed his eyes, opened them and heaved a long sigh. They kept on asking him how he was doing, but they were not getting a reply.
“Where is she?” Duke asked in a low voice, but they could hear him.
The three of them looked at each other, puzzled. Lola seemed curious. Was he asking for her? She asked herself. Mike turned back at her, stretched his hand and she took it and enthused close to them.
“She is here.” Mike said with a smile on his lips. “She has always been here.”
Lola wore a sunny smile. Duke shook his head slightly and everyone was confused.
“Where is she?” He asked again and cleared his throat warily. “The woman that shot me. Where is she?”
“She shot herself.” Mike replied. “She didn’t make it.”
“That’s awful.” He said and tried to get up.
Lola quickly pushed him gently on the bed. “Please relax. You have to rest and we still have to monitor you.”
Lola quickly pushed him gently on the bed. “Please relax. You have to rest and we still have to monitor you.”
Duke barely looked at her. “I know. I am okay. I feel very fine.” His eyes went to his parents and he wore a smile. “It’s good to see you again.”
“It’s good to see you too my son.” Solomon said.
“We are so happy you have woken up. God is faithful.” Mirabel told him.
He stared at his brother. “How is my beautiful niece?”
Mike gave him a look and answered. “Fine. She misses you. We all miss you.”
Duke stayed mute. He never stared at Lola’s way. Mike gazed at Lola bewildered and glanced back at Duke.
“Duke, you are not saying anything to Lola?”
“Lola? Who is Lola?”
The four of them were visibly shocked. Lola widened her eyes as she looked closely at Duke.
“Duke, you don’t recognize me?” She asked him in an astonished tone.
Duke gazed at her for a moment as if he was trying to contemplate if he knew her. He finally spoke to her with less sentiment in his voice.
“Who are you?”
Lola’s heart sank. Duke must have forgotten about her. A memory loss. What a mess. What a disaster and total heartbreak.
To be continued on Saturday or Sunday.