Your Brief Bio:
Jerry is a graduate of Eduation English. He teaches English Language as a subject in a notable Senior Secondary School. Jerry is a lover of truth, music stories and people.
Tweet-Style Story Summary:
The story revolves around the life of a Doctor who once had an beautiful and lovable family but lost everything when he mistakenly picked the wrong bag.
I had just arrived Nigeria and my journey from London with British airways was not as comfortable and stylish as I had expected it to be. The air hostess and crew on board did their best to put smiles on my face but all through the flight I was just skeptical of something. I wasn't settled. My thoughts kept jumping from tree to tree without perching for a second. I couldn't fix it. Even while I sat in the comfort of my house, I still felt something was off. I felt within me that something is wrong somewhere.
My wife was already in the kitchen trying to fix dinner by 7:15pm when I heard her yell
"Sugar, go take a shower so by the time you're down, dinner will be served"
"Ok!! when I'm done with my angel here I'll take a shower." I replied as i played with my daughter's ponytail.
" That reminds me, Daddy where is the toy and the Princess Sophia gown you said you'll get from London for me? "
my daughter asked with a weeny-tinny tone as I sat her down on my thighs. I smiled gave her a kiss on her forehead
"I promised you some presents honey and I got you them for you including the toys and the Sophia dress you asked for but first, Daddy has to rest before he unpacks his goodies from London hmm? So go upstairs, finish up your assignment and when I'm done with dinner I'll come read you a bed time story. Deal? "
She smiled, did a Princess-Cinderella-like turn and danced joyfully away. I watched her leave with pride in my eyes. Kim is just a replica of her mom but a cuter and younger one. At five she could ask a question big enough for an 18 year-old. Her brown eyes always seek into my soul. Her smile penetrates my fatherely heart. She has a dimple dip enough to hold a drop of water on each side of her chin, slim cut lips and immaculate dentition to match. Her ebony skin is one gift she didn't let her mom deprive her of. From my sitting position I scanned my living room it didn't change a bit from what it was when I left for London two months ago. The white PVC ceiling still held a brown fan with three blades, the TV and the LG theatre system still faced the long couch on which I always sit with my wife whenever we were seeing a movie or entertaining a guest. The tiles were milk and shiny in colour; so where the curtains - milk in colour against the grassy-green walls.
Finally, maybe nothing is wrong or going to go wrong. My family is in good health. Maybe my unsettled heart is just disturbed because i came back to Nigeria; maybe. I chuckled, made a move to lay on the couch for a while before taking my bath and dinner when I saw my wife rush into the sitting room with a concerned look upon her face
"honey I was unpacking your luggage only to find out that you came back home with the wrong bag. This bag is not yours." she said as she dropped it to the floor. I sat upright almost immediately the bag landed on the floor and starred at it for long seconds but still couldn't find anything wrong. The black leather bag was exactly mine in length, width and colour. I smiled before looking back at her to say
"what makes you think it's not mine? nne that's my bag biko. I packed up myself and came back with this bag. This is my bag" I said pointing to the bag on the floor.
She already had a scared face, I stepped forward to hold her but she stepped back and in a shaky voice
" unless you're not telling me the truth about what you did in London for two months, this bag does not belong to us Mike. From the name to the contents, they don't belong here."
now she was pointing at the bag. Her cat eyes were almost filled with tears. Why does she want to cry I wondered within myself; is it because of a bag? Psst - Women. I exhaled, shook my head in bewilderment and decided to check for the name on the bag tag when I noticed that the name written there wasn't mine. As a matter of fact there was no name on it at all just a letter and it was the letter "X". Now it was obvious the bag isn't mine so out of curiosity i unzipped the bag and to my consternation, beneath the first two shirts spread inside the bag were stacks of money - dollars, crispy dollars. The words "F--k" left my mouth without permission as I shuddered at the sight of such huge amount of money. We both took a step back almost at the same time. And I just tried to convince myself that I was dreaming when my wife's phone rang. The sound startled our already graveyard silence, she ignored it and instead asked
"how did it happen? where did all this money come from? "
"I don't know. I, I I was in London for my medical program nothing else I swear...I don't know how I got here with this bag or neither did I know there was money in it. You've got to believe me... Honey, there's a mix up somewhere." I was still talking when the phone rang again and she picked it this time while i just stood there wishing everything will make sense
"Yes?.. " she sniffled, rubbed her index finger on her straight long nose before asking
"who is this?....................what?. "
she looked at me with her eye balls full of shock and ready to pop out. She held her heart with right palm to avoid it from sinking into her stomach but the caller kept talking and suddenly she looked at me, snapped her fingers at me and said in a hurry
"Mike put on the TV, Just put on the tv-e-e-eee"
"who is on the phone? who are you talking with?" I inquired as i advanced closer to her.Fear gripped my voice, nne what's happening?
"I said put on the TV Mike! she stomped her foot on the black center rug. " She hung up "That was my friend Ozioma and she said you're on TV". She was visibly shaking and muttering with unsteady hands
"Jesus, Jesus please let this be a dream. Please, tell me this isn't happening"
I made for the TV and switched it on, tuned on to the news channel to see a picture of me with a caption beneath it
"Dr. Udochukwu Michael wanted for his involvement in sponsoring the terrorist sect Boko Haram"
the beautiful newscaster went ahead to say..." he was last seen at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport today by 6:23 pm where he successfully evaded security officials." at this point an enlarged picture of me covered the screen and the newscaster's voice resounded from the background
"...The police has put a bounty of 10 million naira on him for whoever produces information that'll lead them into catching him. He is believed to be violent, therefore the public is advised not to engage him"
My mouth was agape, the TV remote dropped from my hand and I couldn't move nor utter a word. But somehow I heard my wife crying, felt her sit on a couch to catch her self from falling. I was lost yet I heard my daughter come down to the sitting room in her pyjamas sounding frightened
"mom I had a bad dream." she said. " I can't sleep alone I want to sleep with you and Daddy" on hearing her voice I came back to reality, my wife rolled her eyes repeatedly to stop the tears from streaming down her chin, she gave Kimberly a hug and carried our daughter in her arms.
Unlike my wife I didn't need a chair to catch me I already knew I was falling and I could do nothing about it. I felt helpless, the earth was spinning in a whirlwind and I felt my world crumbling and the pieces dropping around me. My wife's eyes were red with tears as she rocked Kimberly back to sleep
" Mike what have you gotten us into? " was all she kept asking rhetorically when suddenly another phone rang. A different phone. One that obviously sounded awkward to our ears because it startled us. The tone was that of a desk phone but it wasn't a desk phone because we have none. I looked around me and listened intently to get where it's coming from. I checked everywhere before realizing I hadn't checked the money bag. The phone was ringing again for the fourth time when I dug it out from the pile of money. It was a small black cell phone with an antenna and a blue florescent screen which was laid next to a black pouch under all the money. Whoever put this phone here has to be the owner of this money and the newly discovered pouch I thought to myself. My wife was still saying don't pick it when I curiously picked the call. I hesitated for seconds without saying a word then a deep authoritative voice that was obviously computerly manipulated broke the silence
"I assume you've seen the news yes? "
I nodded repeatedly, swallowed spittle, took a step forward and another backward, stood in a freeze and asked
"who's this? "
"I am the one person who has the power to change your destiny Mike, so you'll do as I say"
"wha.... wha... what do you want? who who are you? I don't understand...."
"Who am i? Call me the Unknown, You on the other hand need no introduction. You're Dr Mike Udochukwu, but i prefer to call you the Chosen." he chuckles, takes a second and continues "You're the best cardiologist in Nigeria, I know you are a father to beautiful five year old Kimberly and husband to a beautiful Pediatrician wife - how lucky. " He said the last two words with a bit of sarcasm in his tone
"Sir, i still don't understand? how do you know me? Please what's happening?
"At this point Mike, i expect you are aware of the fact that I know everything about you. I know you're the HOD of Cardiology at National Hospital Abuja and I also know that by 10:00am tomorrow your hospital will be launching a multi-billion naira surgical room and political dignitaries will be present to witness this ground breaking achievement. And judging by your posts on your facebook account, it is obvious and evident you hate this government with passion. Your last post as at 12:03pm a day before yesterday reads and I quote
"I hate this government. Wish its leaders will just stop breathing. I'll do anything to support anyone who can make it possible."
"no! no, no you've got things mixed up. I swear that wasn't me! It's not me. I swear! I don't even have a facebook account. I don't even know how to operate one..."
"I know. I know you don't have a Facebook account but you don't have to worry, we created one for you "
"please, please sir I'm just a doctor I, I, am not a terrorist please... please I don't know what you want from me but i have a family..." I was crying and wasn't done when his deep voice cut me short
"inside the bag Mike is a mini pouch I'm certain you must have seen. In it is your mission if you choose to accept it. But so you know if you don't accomplish your task. Your family as you know it won't be in existence by 5pm tomorrow. And for your own sake, don't bother calling the police as that will only shorten your time." he paused and said the last sentence with emphasis "Remember these words: We've got eyes everywhere" the phone line suddenly goes dead with a beep.
I turned around like a madman in search of his sanity and made for the black pouch inside the money bag. My wife stood up with Kimberly sleeping in her arms and she kept asking me
"what did he say, who was it? what do they want? how come he knows you? "
but I was too transfixed to say a word so I unzipped the pouch and in it were two items that shocked me to the marrow. When I fully had a good look at them, the only words that came out of my mouth was
"oh my God"
I looked at my wife and back at the two items and I couldn't believe my eyes. The first item was a black Smith & Wesson's M&P22 Compact pistol that had a silencer over the nozzle and the second was a picture of a face with an X drawn over it; it was the picture of Nuhu Adbulaziz, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.