Have you read the beginning of chapter 4?
It was a Sunday. Ngozi had left her room to avoid Biola`s Sunday drama — the noise and smell. She thought she could get some sleep at the children`s room, then wake them to prepare for church. She was also ready for an argument with Maxwell. She got into the room and only saw Busola and Adedoyin. She assumed that Maxwell was in the restroom, but to her surprise, twenty minutes passed and she didn`t see him. She checked the restroom and other parts of the house, and still did not find him. She dialled his number, but it was switched off. Then she noticed that some of his belongings weren`t in the room, and Adedoyin noticed that the backdoor was left open, a clear indication that someone had left the house. Ngozi immediately ran into her room to alert Biola. Strangely, she didn`t meet him praying as expected. Biola was typing on his phone. He looked delighted and surprised, and also looked like he would soon got enraged. This mixed countenance confused Ngozi who already had bad news. They both had something to say, and were eager to do so. Well, as usual, Ngozi let him go first.
“Would you believe that those stupid lab people mixed up results?”
“How’s that possible?” Ngozi asked, confused, and still eager to deliver her news.
“Take a look,” Biola said, giving his phone to her.
Ngozi read the text message. It was true. The laboratory apologised for mixing up test results. Busola actually had typhoid, and her result would be delivered to the house the following day. Ngozi was enraged, in addition to her confused state on Maxwell’s disappearance. Then she broke the news to Biola who got up quickly to search the house as if Ngozi and every other person could have been wrong. As he was searching, Ngozi received an email. It was Maxwell.
“Biola, Maxwell has sent a mail!”
Everyone scampered to read the email on Ngozi’s phone.
“Aunty I have offended you and everyone else, please forgive me. Please don`t look for me; I am safe and fine somewhere. I am just ashamed. Thank you for all you have done.
Everyone was wondering what Maxwell could have done. But Busola knew and remained quiet. They tried to call his phone, but he wasn`t reachable. Biola broke the news of the test result to Busola and Adedoyin, and they were delighted. Busola, beyond delight, had some peace. He told Ngozi not to reply the email yet, that he had a plan. They all prepared for church quietly that Sunday. Everyone, except Busola, had questions and doubts, however, they remained quiet.
Busola`s treatment began shortly after the test result arrived the following day, and no one said a thing about the pregnancy test she refused to take, even though her parents still wondered why. Biola quietly checked the house for everything he considered valuable, thinking Maxwell could have stolen something, hence his disappearance. But everything was intact. He told Ngozi to reply his email the following day, and asked him what he had done. Maxwell did not reply. The family decided to spend some time praying for him every morning. They also informed other members of the extended family. Biola believed that Maxwell became uncomfortable in the house because his Sunday morning prayers were too powerful for a demon-possessed person. Ngozi believed that Maxwell was depressed because he was jobless, so he needed some time to be alone. Adedoyin could tell that Biola and Ngozi were wrong, but he could not tell why Maxwell left. Busola knew why he left, but pretended to be confused.
Ngozi was still bothered about what Amaka said, and why Busola did not take the pregnancy test. Biola too wondered why Busola did not take the test. Busola and Adedoyin still hadn`t registered for the UTME. Maxwell was still away and unreachable.
Chapter 5 — A Plan
Check this space next Sunday, August 11th.
The writer is Akinsiwaju Sanya.
Read some other works by the writer.