‘There goes my heart beating… ‘cause you’re the reason I am losing my sleep. Please come back now…’ the restaurant was afloat with Calcum Scott’s song and Bello was already tapping to the serene muse.
It was a cold evening with the smell of fried rice and chicken hanging in the air, with customers settled in tables’ of twos and threes, with people who held knives and forks wrongly, and you could see their discomfort yet they held up a plastic smile, because they had to fit into this place of affluence.
From where Dr. Bello sat, in the middle of the restaurant, under the sparkling chandelier, his eyes moved from one table to the other like a hawk seeking for a prey, staring endlessly. He met two lovebirds locking lips. He shook his head in disgust and sighed. He sipped his wine, the hotness burned through his throat. Why is she not yet here? She is an hour late. He thought. He wanted to get upset and leave but she was a beauty too fragile to hold. This one was special and she reminded him of Fumilayo, his most beautiful diamond he lost.
Scars never heal; you only learn to live with them. He tried to hate Fumilayo but the only thing he hated was how much he loved her. Back in the university, their love was priceless and they wore it boldly. He was an orphan with an unhappy childhood until Fumilayo stepped into his life. She was a ravishing beauty as she brightened up his life. They made promises never to part. They were inseparable. Bello had mapped out their life together, from their marriage to the names of their children until that night. Valentine’s night.
That evening, Bello had been calling her. It rang many times, no response, and later it was switched off. It was supposed to be a special evening for them, yet she was not there. He was dead worried. He was swelling with confusion until Dayo, his course mate, dashed in, panting.
“Oboy,” he tried to catch his breath, “I just saw your babe…o”
“Where? I have been calling her. Where is she?” Bello’s voice quaked with fear
“I saw her going to that Pot-Belly-Womanizer lecturer’s flat.”
“Jesus! What are you saying. No nah… this can’t be true… My own Fumi?”
“My brother, come and see it for yourself.”
They both zoomed down to the lecturer’s quarters. They sneaked into the corridor and planted their ears on the door. At that moment, the world stood still, Bello could hear Fumilayo’s voice. She was moaning in rhythmic tones. It was unbelievable to him. No, he still felt it was a dream as tears gushed out. He cried, bit his lips, as pain nestled in his heart. He wanted to break the door. He wanted to strangle him. He wanted to risk it all; he wanted to kill. But Dayo fought him off. That night, he caused love and vowed to always hurt love.
The Restaurant was getting colder. Bello sipped, his tongue rolled over his lips licking drops of wine hanging at the corners. His eyes held a man reading a large newspaper in his front. Was this man here? He thought with mild disinterest. He looked at his watch for the umpteenth time.
“She has to come. She must come. She has no option. She can’t escape it. I am Dr. Bello.” He muttered inaudible words to himself, and smiled. It has been eight years since he graduated, and he is now a successful lecturer with fine looks. After his emotional travails, Bello slid into a behavior of sleeping with female students and breaking any lovebirds he finds. He had had many encounters: Bisi, Amaka, Rose, Onyeka, breaking and hurting love, the list was endless. But this one was proving too stubborn to crack. He had it well planned. He had paid for a hotel room. From there they would leave, she had to come. He was certain.
And she came. He saw her coming in, waddling through tables and waitresses, in a glowing navy blue gown. His breath froze. His breath rose to pant, adjusting his suit.
“Good Afternoon Sir,” her words were as fragile as she was.
“Oh my dear. You just walked in and your presence gave me wings, I feel like I can fly.” His words were always scented with poetry.
She smiled shyly.
“Did you not see the time on the text I sent?”
“Yes Sir. I did. But…” Her words were too heavy to come out.
“But what? I have been waiting all day.” He smiles. ”My white soup! So you are ready.”
“Sir Sir… Sir…. I have a boyfriend. I can’t do it.” Tears gathered at her eyes.
“What do you mean? Oh! You don’t want to graduate… So why did you come?”
“Sir I’m Scared. I’m so scared. Please sir, I love my boyfriend. we will get married soon .’
“Don’t worry, you will enjoy me. Ah! I will tell you why I am called Dr. Bello. My white soup….oh you’re beautiful.” He licked his lips.
“Please Please I beg you..”
“Stop that.. Do you want to embarrass me? Okay, you can go… Then you will come back next year”
“Ok. Sir. I will do it. I’m ready” she wiped her eyes.
Joy ran through him, “So shall we go? I am all set.”
“wait sir! One more thing.”
“ohmm what could that be… can’t it wait”
“Sir, maybe you should talk to my uncle.”
“Are you mad? Are you a child? Infact, who is your uncle?”
“There… he is the one reading a newspaper. He is the VC.”
The restaurant was noisy but silence came to Dr. Bello alone. His heart sank, the world was spinning.
‘’Hello Dr. Bello, I see you’re the one who wants to sleep with my niece…” The VC’s voice rose from a table opposite his…
Then an eerie sensation dawned on Dr Omeiza Bello…..The air conditioning system couldn’t help the hot stream of instantaneous sweat coursing down his body…..
Immediately, Obasere’s epic track came on play….’Egungun be careful, na express you dey go!!’…
Few years in jail, Dr Bello realizes how foolish he was to allow rage and vengeance take over him. He decided to be like Dr Hakeem, who offended him. Instead of channelling his anger to Dr Hakeem, he wanted to destroy the lives of female Students. Dr. Bello was not just jailed for wanting to sleep with the V.C niece, but for numerous crimes, like rape, violence, sex for grades and other abnormalities. Vengeance is not always the ultimate.