Richard woke up around 11 am because he couldn’t sleep the night before. He woke up with a terrible headache and hunger. He sat on his bed for minutes before he stood and went to the bathroom to brush his teeth. After he was done brushing, he went back to the room. As soon as he finished sat down
Paul walked into the room. Richard turned and saw Paul looking so worried more than ever. “What happened?” Richard asked perplexingly. “Don’t tell me you don’t know,” Paul said. “I just woke up, I don’t know what is going on,” Richard replied. “Janet is dead,” Paul replied. “You must be kidding, right?” Richard asked. “Have i ever joked with you about something like this? And does it seems like I am kidding you?” Paul replied. Richard could still not believe what Paul was telling him. “Why don’t you go take a look online? Her death is all over the school media,” Paul continued. Richard ran to his phone that was charging close to his and unplugged it. The instant he unlocked the phone, he found an update about her from the (school) website. He visited the website for more details where is stated that he was responsible for her death because she committed suicide after he had dumped her.
Richard suddenly started feeling dizzy. His heart started beating faster and he became totally scared. “Why would she kill herself?” Richard asked. “Didn’t I warn you from the beginning? Now looked what you have caused,” Paul said. “I really didn’t mean for any of these to happen,” Richard said. “I know,” Paul replied. “I still don’t believe this,” Richard said as he stood. He ran out of the room and boarded a taxi to Janet ‘s dormitory. Upon arriving, he noticed many people there
which was proof that something definitely happened. He walked slowly towards the crowd with his heart beating faster. He wished it was all a prank planned to scare him for what he did. When he got closer to the crowd, Riskat ran out and slapped him. “Why are you doing here you murderer? You don’t feel ashamed of coming here. Your wickedness is quite astonishing. I wish God would burn you in hell,” Riskat cried and the rest of the people came and held her back. Tears started falling from Richard’s eyes without him realising. Ever since he was born, there had never been words that hurt him that much.
He slowly turned and walked away from the crowd and went back to his room. As soon as he sat down, his phone started ringing. He removed the phone from his pocket and noticed that it was Prof. Grace calling him. Out of guilt, Richard could not pick up her call, because it was clearly stated in the news that Janet committed suicide because Richard was dating her daughter. The Prof. Called about three times until she gave up when Richard was not answering. About 10 minutes later, his elder sister started calling him also. He then presumed that she must have also heard the news. Again, he couldn’t pick up his sister’s call. She had worked very hard to get into the university. She had warned him seriously when he was coming not to get involved in any trouble. And with what happened, he couldn’t gain the courage to talk to his sister. He felt so guilty that despite how she worked hard, everything would go in vain.
He later received a message from his sister asking him to come home immediately for the have something important to discuss. Richard totally scared upon reading the message. He quickly removed his sim card from his and destroyed it. He felt it was the right thing to do at that moment. He remained in his room until in the late evening. When he went out, he found out that he was the topic of discussion in the whole school. People kept talking about how evil he was for breaking Janet’s heart. He went to one of the restaurants close to his campus to eat something, but the owner insulted him and said she will never sell him any of her things again. Things got more complicated for Richard after that. He was rejected by the whole world including his best friend. He wished he could have someone to talk to, somewhere home he could tell how he was feeling at the time. He suddenly felt like the whole school had become a hell for him. At last, he made the decision of leaving the school to somewhere where no one could ever find him
In the night around 8 pm, Richard gathered all his clothes and put them in his travelling bag. He hurriedly walked out of the room so that his roommates won’t meet him. He walked to a cab close to his dormitory and boarded it. “Where should I take you?” The can driver asked after he started the engine of the car. Richard remained quiet for a moment, because he hadn’t come up with a place to go. “Excuse Mister, are you with me?” The cab driver asked noticing Richard’s silence. “Just take me to the bus station,” Richard uttered at last.
The driver drove out of the the campus, and soon, they were driving on the highway. As the car was moving, Richard thought about Janet and the night they got into trouble at the club. He remembered how she happily talked to him and the love she showed him. She instantly started crying unable to restrain himself. When the driver noticed Richard, he instantly stopped moving. “What is wrong with you?” Asked the driver sympathetically. Richard kept crying and couldn’t utter a single word. “Did something happened to you?” The driver inquired again. “No, is nothing,” Richard moved his lips finally. The driver continued to drive and drove for about 30 minutes before arriving at the bus station.
“How much should I pay?” Richard requested. “500 Naira,” He mentioned. Richard opened his wallet and paid the driver. He drove immediately he was paid.Richard dragged his bag slowly as he walked into the bus station. The bus station was fenced with rough building blocks that seemed to be almost collapsing. It has two openings, each of which is used for entering and existing the bus station. Even though the openings were supposed to have gates or some sort of doors, they were empty. He began to think of where to go apart from home, because he won’t dare show himself to his sister.
When he got into the bus station, he looked around and noticed how the burses were arranged in rows. Some of the burses were big, while some of them were small. There were several small restaurants and shops located at the extreme of the bus station. “Do you need to buy a bread?” Came a little voice behind Richard. When he turned, he noticed that a little girl that barely 6 years old Hawking breads. The breads were arranged on big circular tray which she was carrying on her head. She was wearing a white dress that seemed to have lost it colour.
He looked around the bus station and noticed that there were similar kids of age Hawking all sort of things. “Aren’t you too young to sell things on your own?” Richard asked the little. “No I’m not,” the little girl smiled revealing the gaps in her teeth.
“Where are your shoes?” He asked after noticing that she was bare footed. “I don’t have any” she replied. “Why don’t you use the money you earn to buy yourself shoes?” He questioned. “I don’t really earn enough, and we use the money to food,” the little answered.
At that moment, Richard remembered his sister and appreciated how hard she worked so that they could live a better life. She had to give up school and get married so that he and his younger sister could get a place to live. She had to wake up early in the morning every day to go her shop in the market that about 3 kilometers away from where they live. She used the money she earn and pay for their school fees.
“Here, let me have a loaf please,” Richard said giving girl one thousand Naira. She brought down the tray she was carrying and handed him the loaf he requested. “No keep the change, buy yourself a shoe” he said when she tried to give him his change. “Really?” The little asked super excitedly. Richard responded by noding his head with a smile on his face. “Thank you so much sir,” she happily said. She took the rest of the bread and left the bus station.
There was a sign board placed at the top of every bus indicating where the bus would travel to. Richard walked around the station trying to decide which bus to board. At last, he decided to go to Porthacort because he once heard his friends talking about how nice the place was. He walked to the bus and found it to be empty. He walked to the driver’s door and knocked at the window. “How may I help you?” Asked the driver. “I thought this bus is leaving to Porthacort,” Richard replied. “It is, but it usually depart at midnight,” the bus driver informed. “If you still have unfinished business, you can go and attend to them before is time,” he added. “Is okay,” Richard answered.
He tried to walked away with his bag when he told him that he can leave it there. “Are you sure is okay of I leave it here?” He asked. “Yes, I will put it in the trunk,” replied the driver. “You need not to worry,’ he added. “Thank you,” Richard replied.
He walked to one of the shops and bought a chilled bottled drink before going the bus. “Are you done already?” The driver asked. “Yes, can I please sit in the bus? Because I’m so exhausted,”. “You can come in, the door is not locked,” the bus driver replied. Richard walked into the bus and sat on the last sit. He brought out the bread he bought from the little and stared eating it with the bottled drink. After he was done eating, he leaned his head against the window and started thinking about how messed his life was. At some point, he felt terrified of the decision he made feeling like running away to a place he never knew anyone was a huge mistake. But when he remembered about Janet and how people were angry at him, he decided it was the best thing to do. He remained in that condition until he finally fell asleep.
At about 11 pm, pessenger to Porthacort started arriving. At about 11:45 pm, they got so many that their notice waked Richard from his sleep. And by 12 am, the bus was already full. The driver’s assistant went around the bus and collected the fee from each and every passenger. And some few minutes after midnight, they began their journey
Throughout their journey in the night, Richard couldn’t sleep. He kept thinking about Janet and regretted everything he had done. Around 5 am, he finally fell asleep.
Around 7 am, the bus finally arrived Port Harcourt. “Wake up, we have arrived,” the passenger sitting next to him touched him on the shoulder.
Richard opened his eyes and stretched his arms a bit. “It seems like you’ve had a nice sleep,” the man said. “Not really,” Richard answered.
“Are you sick?” The man asked. “No I’m okay,” Richard replied reluctantly. The man stopped talking when he noticed that the expression on Richard’s face.
minutes later, they arrived at the bus station where the bus will stop.
“Who is dropping here before we will proceed to the bus station?” The assistant driver announced.
Most of the passenger started coming down from the bus. When Richard noticed that, he thought of doing the same thing. He walked down from the bus and proceeded to the trunk and waited for his bag to be brought down.
The bus drove into the bus station some few minutes later.
Soon, they were approached by motorcycle taxi drivers asking for where they will go. It was then that Richard started regretting why he fled to a place he had no one. He could have gone to back home and live with his friends without his sister discovering that he is back, he thought. “Where are you going to?” Asked one of the motorcycle riders. “Actually, I’m waiting for a friend to pick me up,” responded Richard. “Oh that’s good,” he replied.
minutes later, everyone was gone leaving Richard all by himself. He looked around the city and noticed it was so big and goes as far as he can see. There were many vehicles on the highway moving with a very high speed. Beside the highway were shops arranged in rows selling all sorts of things. Many people gathered around one of the shops that sold clothes. Richard thought if he hadn’t used half of his money on the bus, he could have bought a shirt too.
He stood in his position for about minutes before he finally decided to move. He crossed the highway and went to a local restaurant situated right in the middle of shops. Unlike the rest of the buildings, the restaurant was a big but with two coconut trees above it. There several plastic tables and chairs in it arranged in favour of the customers. Richard walked to the restaurant dragging his travelling bag along side him. “Good morning sir,” Richard greeted a woman who seemed to be the owner of the restaurant. “Good morning, you are welcome sir,” the woman
answered. “Would you please sit down” the woman said pointing at an empty chair next to Richard.
“What can I get you?” The woman asked after Richard had sat down. “Anything,” Richard barely responded. “Is anything wrong?” She asked when she noticed the impression on Richard’s face. “No is okay, I’m just having a little headache because I didn’t sleep last night,” Richard replied. “That’s really terrible, and it seems like you are travelling despite the fact that you are sick,”.” Actually, I have just arrived at this place, I was in a car throughout last night, that’s why I couldn’t sleep,” Richard replied. “Well, you will need to rest after your meal, your headache is nothing but exhaustion,” the woman smiled. “I think so,” Richard said trying to fake a smiled.
She proceeded to a small kitchen that built behind the hut some few meters away. It was built of zinc roofing sheet. The zinc sheets were all black due to the constant used of firwoods for cooking. “The woman came back with two plates and kept it on the table for Richard. It was a pounded yam and ” egusi” soup on the plate. The instant the food was dropped in front of him, he started eating ravenously like he had never eaten before. The woman turned in surprise and watched how Richard was eating. When Richard noticed that he was being observed by the woman, he adjusted his speed and started eating slowly. “Enjoy your meal,” the woman said before proceeding to the next customer.Kindly share out stories from generalloaded.com using the floating social media icon button on the bottom of the screen
By the she returned to Richard, he was almost done with his food. “You are not from here, aren’t you?” The woman asked.
“No I’m not,” Richard answered. “But if you don’t mind me asking, where are you from?” The woman asked. Richard remained quiet without replying to the her question. “Is okay, you don’t need to disclose that to me,” the woman smiled. “How much is the food?” Richard asked. “Is 1000 naira,” came her answer.
Richard was so shocked by how exorbitant the food. He thought it was just a local restaurant and her food is not going to be expensive. Left with no choice, he brought out one thousand Naira from his pocket and paid the woman.”Thank you,” she replied and attended another customer. Richard remained sitter there for some
minutes until there was no more empty sit for other customers to sit. Left with no option, he stood up from the the sit and walked out the restaurant.
He walked around the city for hours until it was finally evening. He was extremely tired and hungry and felt any moment if he continues to walk. At that time, he arrived at the slummy part of the city. He saw a tree with a lot of garbage disposed around it. He decided to go under the tree and rest. There are bushes around the tree; because of that, it was isolated around people. He got to the tree, the smell around it was so heavy that he stand it.
As he turned to leave the place, he suddenly found himself surrounded by some thugs. By simply looking at the way they dressed, he knew things would not turn out good for him. He turned around and still found someone behind him. “If you one to leave this place in one piece, hand over everything you have,” one of the boys said. “Please I beg you, this all that I have and I am not from this place,” Richard pleaded. “It seems like you have come to the wrong place at the wrong time,” replied one of the boys.
Richard kept pleading to the extend that one of the boys took out a little knife and stabbed him in the stomach. He felt he has never felt before and blood started oozing out. He placed his hand his on where he was stabbed in order to reduce the flow of the blood. At that moment, the thought of Janet came to him. He thought maybe it was a punishment from God for what he did to her. They searched his body and removed all the money he had. They threw out the papers they found in his travelling bag and walked away from the place. Richard started feeling dizzy due to the amount of blood he lost.
“How is he doing?” Asked deep male voice. “He is doing better,” replied another female voice. “You should inform me when he wakes up,” the man instructed. “Alright sir,” replied the woman. Richard heard the footsteps of the man walking away. He thought everything was a dream. His eyes were heavier than ever. But at last, he finally opened them. He found himself lying on a small sick bed with an
intravenous drip attached to his hand. He felt the intensity of the pain in his lower right abdomen that he couldn’t even move properly.
He looked around and he discovered that he was in a hospital. It was a huge hall with over 50 sick beds arranged in rows. It was so crowded with people most of which they come to visit the sick people. Some of them were sitting on chairs, some were sitting by the edge of the beds while some were standing. As far as Richard could remember, he had always hated going to hospitals. The smell of the environment always make him sick. At that moment, he was still wondering if he was dreaming or not. He looked at the bedsheet on his bed and discovered that it has completely faded. He inhaled deeper in to smell it and he quickly turned his head away.
“You are finally awake,” came a voice behind him. He turned and discovered that it was an elderly nurse standing behind him. They moment he saw her, he was suddenly remember what happened to him before he passed out. “Good afternoon,” Richard greeted her. “Is still morning actually,” the nurse replied. “I’m sorry, good morning,” Richard greeted. “Is okay, how are you feeling now?” She questioned. “Not so good,” Richard replied sensing his pain. “Is okay, it get better in few days,” the nurse replied.
About 30 minutes later, two women came to him. It was the woman he met in the restaurant with her friend. Richard tried to sit up when he saw them approaching his bed, but the unbearable pain couldn’t allow. “Please lie down, you should for the doctor’s instruction before you do anything,” the woman said. Richard stopped attemping to sit and watched as the women got closer to him. “How are you feeling now?” The woman asked. “I am doing better,” Richard smiled. “Do you remember me?” The woman asked. “Yes, I think I stopped at your restaurant yesterday,” Richard replied. “Yesterday?” The woman asked. Before Richard could reply, the doctor came to observe him. The woman and her friend stepped by and watched as he was being examined.
“Why are you here?” The woman asked after the doctor had left. “Something terrible happened at home, I can’t go back,” Richard replied. “What is that happened that you can’t go back?” The woman asked. “Someone died because of me, and everybody blames me that,” Richard replied. “You shouldn’t have run away, your mother will be very worried,” the woman said. “My mother?” Richard asked confusingly. “Yes, your mother. I know you will be surprised that we know
her,” the woman said. He became more confused when she said that thinking they had mistaken with another person.
“We went to the same secondary school with your mother in Lagos 25 years. We were roommates and best friends at that time until she disappeared one night without a trace in our final year,” her friend announced. “When you were attacked three days ago, there was an announcement in my neighborhood asking for knew you. When they showed me your family pictures they found in your documents, I instantly recognize your mother; I never thought i would see her again,” the woman smiled.
“Do you really know my mother?’ Richard asked. “Yes we know her. She Full name was Mary Simon,” the other woman replied. Became quiet for a moment. It was obviously clear that they knew mother. Suddenly, tears started dropping from Richard’s eyes. “What’s wrong?” They asked worriedly. “My mother died some years back,” Richard revealed.
The moment they heard Richard said that, the smiles on their faces faded. “Are you really telling us the truth?” They doubted. “I wouldn’t be here if she was still alive. She died with my dad in a car accident when I was little,” Richard explained.
Suddenly, tears started dropping from their eyes. “You know for all these years, we have been expecting to see her one day,” the woman finally uttered. “The last time we saw her was 25 years ago. The three of us used to be best friends at time, we wondered why she disappeared without saying goodbye,” the other woman said.
“Actually, it was her fault. Her father used to serve in the military. He got posted to different place and he took my mother and moved with her,” Richard announced. “Really?” They both asked. “I can’t remember the story in detail, my sister knows much of it,” Richard continued. “So where do you guys live now?” The first woman asked. “We live in Okene, from kogi state,” Richard replied. “That’s okay, we will leave you to rest,” the woman said. And the left him heart brokenly.
Richard was left alone on the sick bed with no one to talk. Many memories came to him as he was lying. He thought about his childhood when his parents were still alive and how he played with his sisters. He wish he would go back in time to
those moment. At that moment, he gave up all his ambitions of becoming something in the future. He thought his future was already ruined. He was being checkpoint by the nurses on some intervals.
Later in the night, the hospital was dark because there was no electricity. This is going to be the worst night of my life, Richard thought. He could hear the sounds of mosquitoes going around the hospital in the dark. If there was any he hated most in his life, it would be the sounds of mosquitoes. He felt as if he was buried in a grave.
Around 8 pm in the night, the woman from the restaurant came to check on Richard. He was extremely happy when he saw her walking towards his bed. “Good evening,” he greeted her as she approached. “How are you feeling now?” She asked. ‘Much better, but I’m extremely thirsty,” Richard answered. “You have to endure it, the doctor said you can’t drink anything until tomorrow,” the woman mentioned. “Yes, the nurse has already told me that,” Richard replied.
She sat on chair next to him and placed her hand on his forehead feeling his temperature. “Your body temperature has dropped, unlike in the morning,” she said. “Yes,” he uttered. “I brought you a blanket and some mosquito coils, I thought you might be needing it,” she announced. “I will very much appreciate it,” Richard said happily. She lighted two of the mosquito coils and put them below his bed. “I’m sorry I can’t spend the night here, I will be here first thing in the morning before I go to work,” she announced. “Is okay, you have done quite much for me,” Richard replied
About a week later, Richard was finally getting discharge from the hospital. He woke up the next morning think about how he could persuade the women on staying. They told him the night before that they would take him back to his family. He woke up early in the morning and sat on his sick. There wasn’t any Sign of sleep in his eyes.
He looked at the beside him and saw little boy lying on it. His mother had been sitting beside him for the whole without any sleep. It remained him of the last he had a fever when he was 13 years. His two sister spent the night in the clinic with taken care of him. At that time, a thought came that women are more caring than men. He looked around the hospital and noticed that most of the relatives of the sick people that spent the night there were woman.
“So you are up,” the mother of the little boy said. “Oh yes I couldn’t sleep any longer,” Richard replied. “How are you feeling now?” She asked. “I’m doing much better now,” he replied. “I have some food here with me, I brought it to my son yesterday, but he couldn’t eat it because he was sick,” the woman offered. “I would eat it,” Richard smiled. She brought a small food flask that’s she kept beside the bed and handed Richard. When he opened the flask, he observed that it a friend egg and some potato chips. “Thank you,” Richard uttered. “You are welcome,” the woman replied. “I heard the doctor saying you will be discharged today,” the woman said. “Oh yes I’m finally getting discharged,” Richard smiled. “How long have you been here?” She asked. “A week I think,” Richard replied. “You have been here quite long,” she said.
“Oh yes, I had surgery and doctors have to monitor me, that’s why I couldn’t go,”he explained.” Did you had an appendix?” She asked. “Not really, I was stabbed by the thugs,” Richard replied.
“That’s really terrible, that’s why you should always heed to your mother’s instructions. You should be careful with the people you interact, the world is not safe anymore,” she said. “I will be more careful from on,” Richard responded. They talked for hours until it was 7 am when his mother’s friends arrived.
The instant he saw them, he began wondering what lie to tell.
“How are you feeling now?” They asked after they had arrived his place. “I’m doing much better now,” Richard smiled. “I’m really grateful for your help, I can’t
really thank you enough,” he added. “Is okay, you are lucky to have us; why did you even move here without knowing anybody in the first place?” The woman working at the restaurant asked. “I have to leave home because things aren’t good there,” Richard uttered. “And this is the first place I thought of because I heard there are plenty job opportunities here,” Richard added.
The women looked at each other before they boh looked at him again. “Don’t have work to do there back at home?” “I’m not in quite good relationship with my sister, that’s why I left; but I will go back to her when she starts missing me,” Richard lied. “No, this is not righ, your parents are death, you need to stick together as a family,” the woman insisted.
“Please, allow me to stay here until she can forgive me in the future. I did something terrible to her, and I don’t think she will forgive me anything soon,” Richard said as tears dropped from his eyes. “Whatever it is that you did to her, I absolutely sure she will forgive you,” the woman said. “Let’s allow him to stay, he can leave when he’s fully recovered,” the other woman said.
“If you stay here, what will you do? Can’t you see that you already an adult?” The first woman asked. “Well, since this place is a big city, I plan on working here,” Richard replied. “Well, I will let you see for yourself,” she replied.
At about 10 am, Richard was to be discharged from the hospital. He folded the blanket they brought to him and held it in arms. “Let me have that,” one of the women said and collected the blanket from him. They walked out of the hospital and boarded a tricycle that will take them home. “Let me honest with you, none of us here is Richard, we are just managing with our lives. Are you sure you want stay here?” The first woman asked. “Yes I’m sure,” Richard nodded. “This is the right chance for you go to your family, because my last savings to pay for your transportation,” the woman mentioned. Richard remained quiet for a moment. “You are leaving, right?” She asked.
Richard replied by shaking his head. “Is okay, don’t come and regret it later,” she smiled. “If you are going to stay with me, there is something I would like you to
know,” the woman announced. Richard looked at her waiting to heard what she will say. “My husband is not fond of people, and he’s pretty aggressive,” the woman revealed. “I’m okay with that,” Richard responded. “Is okay, I will see how you would handle that,” she smiled.Kindly share out stories from generalloaded.com using the floating social media icon button on the bottom of the screen
The Pink Clouds