A Friend in Need (7)
Tayo was mystified. The situation he thought he was getting over was now getting him down. It was like re-opening a healing wound and adding salt and pepper. He groaned in pain as he thought of the possible consequence of his refusal to succumb to Tolani’s request. From the little he knew about her, she was capable of making good her threats. This burden is too heavy for me, Lord. Help me please. Tayo breathed a prayer.
There was nothing more both terrifying and frustrating as facing a blackmail. The frustration stemmed from the helplessness of the victim while the terror engendered from the threat of the blackmail. Should he give in? Or, should he just call her bluff and damn the possible consequence? Seems like a good option after all.
Tayo thought of what Tolani’s resolution might be. Maybe she was scared about it herself. Maybe apart from knowing that it was wrong, she had read about what the aftermath of abortion would be on her emotionally and psychologically. He hoped she knew she would never forgive herself if she went ahead with the process. Maybe the only way she could live with herself after the abortion was if she succeeded in blackmailing him into getting involved. If he fell for it, she would go ahead, if he didn’t, she wouldn’t.
Tayo decided he was not going to send money for the abortion. If Tolani wanted to go on with it without him, she should; he was not ready to continue covering his sin with other sins. If she decided to make good her threat, she’d only be helping him make a confession he’d probably never have the courage to make himself.
He waited for the expiration of the deadline he was given before trying to call her. He tried time and again, but he couldn’t reach her. Each time he called, it was either her line didn’t go through, or when it did go through, she didn’t answer. He even went to her house on two occasions, but he was told she had moved without leaving a forwarding address. She didn’t show up at the company too till his internship was over.
Tayo had hasted back to school immediately after his internship, before going home for the 3-month break from school. He hasn’t heard from her since then. He just kept wondering what could have happened to her? Did she eventually go ahead with the abortion? If she did, was it successful? He seriously doubted the truth of that. If it went as expected, she would have contacted him.
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He feared that something had gone wrong. Maybe there were complications, he thought. Maybe—God forbid—it even took her life. He was frightened into tears. Haunted by his past, he had since lived every day in fear and torment unconsciously expecting a bad news from anywhere, and at any moment. That explains why he had been locking himself up since his return to school.
He had taken time to document the whole incidence in his journal. Writing his experience helped him feel better. I closed the diary and took a deep breath. I actually had to take another very deep breath before I could say a word.
“So, that means you have not heard from her since then,” I said enquiringly.
“I haven’t.” His reply was terse.
“You should give her a call,” I suggested. “At least, try to find out where she is and how she’s doing.”
“I never stopped trying, Femi. She doesn’t answer my calls. I don’t want to text her because I’m afraid the phone might not be with her. I don’t want to implicate myself.”
“Well, how about calling her with someone else’s number? Here’s my phone, you can call her with this.” I offered.
Tayo took the phone and typed in Tolani’s number immediately. They were so close that he knew the number by heart.
The phone had not rung for long before it was answered.
“Hello, who is on the line please?” The voice from the other end asked.
To be continued…