Tunde was driving at 60km per hour on the third mainland bridge. He bobbed his head to the music blaring from his radio speakers. As he descended at the Onikan end of the bridge and was about to circle the roundabout to face Awolowo road, his mobile phone began to ring. He put the earpiece attached to his Bluetooth into his ears as he tapped the receive button.
“Bròdá mi, Bàámi ti kú o.” (My brother, father is dead). The person on the other end cried into the phone.
Tunde took his eyes off the road for a few seconds and in those seconds; everything seemed to happen swiftly. He failed to notice the truck coming from his right at top speed and by the time he looked up, the sound of metal on metal was the only thing he heard. The impact of the hit threw Tunde’s car onto the opposite side of the road and it settled on its head with its tyres in the air. Cries rent the air as onlookers rushed to his rescue.
“Bròdá mi, bròdá mi.” Sewa called.
Mama Tunde walked out of the room she shared with her husband. Her eyes had bags under them and they were red and swollen. She looked at her daughter and called out to her.
“Sé ègbón ë lò n pè? Bèrè ibi tó wà ko tó sö fun.” (Are you calling your elder brother? Ask for his location before you tell him). She asked her daughter who still had her mobile phone placed by her right ear but looked like she had just seen a ghost.
Immediately, Sewa realized she had made a grave mistake. She had heard the impact of the hit and the cries before the call suddenly dropped. Her body shook as fear engulfed her. The vibration from her phone startled her and she looked at it. Her brother was calling back. She took quick steps out of the house and picked the call when she was out of earshot.
“Bròdá mi, kí ló sëlè?” (My brother, what happened). She asked.
Sewa realized the voice on the phone wasn’t her brother’s. “Hello, please can I talk to my brother?” She asked.
“Hello madam, good afternoon.”
“Good afternoon, give the phone to my brother. I want to talk to him.” Sewa said impatiently.
“You will talk to your brother, madam but you need to calm down.”
“Don’t tell me to calm down.” Sewa shouted. She took a deep breath before speaking again. “Please, I beg you I want to speak to my brother.” She pleaded as she spoke quietly.
The man on the other end of the phone sighed and Sewa’s heart skipped a beat. “Your brother was just involved in an accident. An ambulance was around the corner, so he was picked and rushed to the hospital. Your number was the last received call, so I decided to call you.”
Sewa asked for the details of the hospital and thanked the caller. As she dropped the call, her knees suddenly became weak and she sat on the floor. Fresh tears ran down her cheeks and she ground her teeth to stop herself from screaming and drawing her mother’s attention.
She looked up to heaven and cried. “Oh Lord, please save my brother. What am I going to tell my mother? Ha! Her first child and only son.” She lamented as she placed her hands on her head. She stood up and bit her finger in regret. “Oh Lord, help me.” She prayed as she walked back into the living room where her mother was seated with her head bowed.
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