Previously On 88,000 Acres of Bad Shit,……
The chapel brought some sense of peace. The flames danced from the black and red scented candles. There was a mosaic portrait of Mary on the window. Behind the altar was a crucifix of Jesus Christ. Ophelia knew that was the only place in the hospital that had divine intervention. At least she believed that. She knelt down, bowed down her head and prayed. Maybe God would listen to her and not judge her harshly for what she had done.
She hoped that when her time is due on this earth, perhaps St. Peter will call her name. She believed that all evil must be cleansed and washed away. But what had that feeling of justice brought her apart from fear and terror? Her brother was now in the hands of police and would be judged for something he had not done. The snake was alive but injured. She was sure that the snake would want revenge when it fully heals. What should she do? Should she make it right by leaving no trace of evidence? Should she turn herself in?
“Forgive me Abba Father, for I have sinned and I’m yet to sin again. Maybe someday you’ll understand my actions. It was for the best of everyone Lord. But the wicked deserve punishment. And I’m only doing this for the love I have for him. Show me a sign if thy ways are right or all this is a foolish course of action.” Ophelia ended her prayer.
She went back to the intensive care unit and found four guards and her mother silently crying.
Ophelia: What is it mother? Why the tears?
Francesca: The doctors are not sure if she will make it. They gave me the chance of switching off the life support machine. Her condition is deteriorating.
Ophelia: Why did you not do it? After all she is good as dead.
Francesca: Why do you have so little hope in humanity?
Ophelia: I know you love her more than I did. And I compete for your love mother.
Francesca: May the heavens forgive you for you do not know what you are doing.
Outside the first lights of the morning sky begun streaking across from horizon to horizon. A warm breeze blew about. Ophelia’s hair flowed with the wind. She drew in a deep breath and looked across the horizon. It was the first time after a very long time she had felt that euphoric feeling. It reminded her of her father Ifuen. She wondered where he was. If he ever thought about her. If he shaved his head bald and dyed his beard with an ochre color.
She went to the house to freshen up and have a fresh change of clothes. She would lay low for a while. Her recent foul mood would give away her deeds. She had to maintain calmness and play the game well. Ophelia knew that the stakes were high.
“Jenkins Adema. Mr. Akala’s legal representative.” She said as she stretched her hand to greet a visibly distraught Artemina.
“Dr. Artemina Miles. His psychologist.” She said as she shook hands with her.
“How is he?”
“They roughed him up real good.”
“I was afraid something like that would have happened. I’ll have to file for physical and psychological torture for my client.”
They went to the police’s lobby desk and requested to see him. They were led to where he was. Akala was in a sorry state. He was numb and cold. He was chained. Blood had dried on his skin.
Jenkins: Sir, I’m here to ensure that you get bail and get out of this forsaken place.
Akala: Doctor, I wish I could stay forever.
Jenkins: Snap out of it sir.
Artemina checked for his pulse and noticed that it was fading. She was sure that they would lose him. The police had no option but to arrange for his visit to the hospital. They had another worry on their hands. It would be evident that they had tortured him. They did not want this spilling out to the media.
The sun shone brightly. It was 0830 hours. A few media personalities were mulling outside General University Hospital to see if they could get any more developing news. It was there when the ambulance pulled at an abrupt stop followed by a police car, Jenkins and Artemina’s cars closely behind.
Akala was wheeled to the emergency section. He was mumbling incorrigible things. It seemed that his fuse finally gave way. Perhaps that was what was keeping him sane. Jenkins had filed for bail and medical care for her client. She sued the state for not giving Akala a fair trial and hearing.
There was a commotion at the hospital’s ground floor. Journalist wanted to know what was happening. Artemina decided to address a few of their queries.
Journalist 1: What has happened to the suspect?
Journalist 2: Would the suspect be okay?
Artemina: The suspect was taken into custody as you knew and he has been tortured. He needs urgent medical care. The state is accountable to whatever happens to him.
Journalist 3: Are you his lover? Why are you concerned?
Artemina: I’m his doctor. Everything else will come to light.
It was at that moment when Nneka’s car pulled to the drive by. Ophelia alighted from the driver’s seat. She wore a golden summer dress accompanied by a silver pearl white necklace which dangled across her neck. She walked elegantly. She clutched her purse tightly. Went straight over to Artemina. She smiled at her.
“It’s going to be a good day doctor.”
All cameras and videos had turned towards her. For a moment everyone was struck in awe by her beauty. And when she talked, she talked like June.
Journalist 3: Are you his mistress young lady? It is a usual occurrence that mistresses show up at such times.
Journalist 2: How are you related to the suspect and his wife?
Journalist 1: Do you know of anything?
Artemina: That is enough.
Ophelia: I am Ophelia. Mr. Akala’s sister. I am the one who masterminded the whole thing. I wanted to come clean on this whole matter. Someone else should not suffer for my crimes.
Artemina: Stop this madness Ophelia. That is a serious allegation.
Ophelia: It is time that I should set things straight. I truly wanted the snake dead. Too bad I could not cut its head. It is time out and lights off for me.
She began having coughs. And with each cough she spat out blood. Blood trickled down her nostrils.
“Te, te, tell b… bro… Brother… That I love him and I did all this for him.”
Ophelia fell to the ground. She looked at the heavens and smiled. Maybe heaven would be welcoming. She closed her eyes. The sinister gates of malice shut down with her.