4. The Master Bedroom
Okey was lying on the left side of the huge bed, with a towel over the swelling on his head. Kene was sitting on the other side of the bed, talking to her mother who was opposite her in a sofa against the wall. They were the only other people in the room apart from him.
I leapt on the bed and in one swift move, kicked him off it. He flew into the wall, crashing against the home theatre system aesthetically mounted on there.
Kene’s head whipped around. Her mother shot up from the sofa. I leapt on Okey, grabbed his shoulders and shook him up and down like a rag doll.
‘Wake up.’ I struck him hard across the face. Spittle flew from his mouth.
‘Oh my God, is he epileptic?’ Sarah cried.
Kene was standing at the end of the bed, her eyes wide open and her hands clutched at her breast.
You want a movie? I will give you a movie.
I held Okey’s head with one hand and with the other, struck his face repeatedly from side to side. He was waking up and as he started to feel the stings of the slap, he moaned.
‘Oh my God,’ Sarah cried again. She rushed out of the room.
Kene moved closer.
Oh, you want more.
I let Okey’s head fall to the rugged floor, got up and pressed one foot gently on his chest. He started to gasp for breath.
‘Okey, wake up,’ Kene and I said simultaneously.
I stomped lightly on his stomach. His upper body jerked upwards. He groaned, clutched his stomach and rolled to his side, facing me.
‘Stop. please,’ he begged.
Kene knelt behind him. She stretched out her hand and tentatively touched his shoulder.
‘Okey, what’s wrong?’
His eyes were finally open, his face contorted in pain.
‘Louisa, I’m sorry,’ he said to me.
‘It’s not enough. You have to confess.’
He closed his eyes and started to cry.
The doctor came in, followed warily by Kene’s parents. Dr. Igwe knelt beside Kene, startling her. She got up and rushed to her dad who held her close.
‘He’s awake,’ Dr. Igwe said over his shoulder to the Iwedimpas. He grasped Okey’s shoulder and gently shook it. ‘Mr. Njokanma, can you hear me?’
‘Call him Okey,’ Chief said.
Okey curled himself into a foetal position. He was weeping so hard that his body shook and his breath came out as grunts.
‘Look, this guy is drunk. This is what happens when someone with a weak brain tries to finish a bottle of Grey Goose in one sitting.’ Jude had come into the bedroom.
Okey had his hands clutched to his face and tried as he could, the doctor could not pry them away. Feeling stumped, Dr. Igwe started to stroke Okey’s back, trying to console him.
‘I thought you said he had an epileptic seizure,’ Chief asked his wife.
‘He did,’ Kene interjected and described to her father what she had seen.
‘Doctor, can you give him a sedative so he can sleep and stop making this horrible noise. He is disturbing the baby,’ Sarah said.
Kene turned and walked out of the room.
I lay down beside Okey, our knees touching and tried to hold his hand. He jerked away and started to scream, ‘Leave me alone. You are not real. Go away.’
He shot to his feet, almost knocking Dr. Igwe down.
Sarah screamed, ‘Doctor, do something.’ She and her husband rushed to the other side of the room. Okey made a break for it and ran out of the bedroom.
Jude burst into laughter, ‘Stupid fool.’
‘We have to catch him and hold him down so I can give him a sedative,’ Dr. Igwe said as he rushed after Okey.
‘Go and help him,’ Chief told Jude.