The Call of Ciri could only be ignored for as long as 'It' permitted. There was a set time for everything.
One woman’s mistake will cost three others their happiness.
Omah’s future was already written in stone until her father dared fate. Death hovered always around her loved ones.
Ada’s life was simple and beautiful until destiny threw her into the path of
Leila, who is tormented by her dreams and visions. Both bear an uncanny resemblance that is difficult to ignore, stirring deep secrets. While Ada wants answers, Leila wants the past to remain asleep but her actions are beyond her control, hurting the people she loves.
Funmi; meant to be the new beginning, is the link that brings these women together, thereby setting the dice rolling towards the end of their happiness.
Read an excerpt
da felt bad about what happened but hurt she wasn’t told they were having a baby.
“What sort of shock would make someone pass out?” She turned to Zim.
He shook his head without looking at her. Zim wanted to leave and drag Ada with him from the hospital. He suddenly felt very protective over her. She had confided in him about being adopted, her unproven relationship with Leila and the truth they didn’t know. And sitting across from them was a woman who could pass for Ada and Leila’s relative because of their identical features. She stared at Ada in fright and Zim couldn’t take his eyes off her for a second. It was as if he was looking at how Ada would look in another fifteen or twenty years.
He dared to take his eyes off and looked at Ada for a moment to see her downcast. When he turned his eyes back on the woman, their eyes met. He felt her hold her breath as if she’d been caught. Nervously, she glanced back at Ada, then at Zim and quickly jumped off her seat and took fast tottering steps away from the waiting area. She stopped and glanced back at Ada, before disappearing into a corridor. Involuntarily, Zim shot up from his seat looking in the direction of the corridor where the woman had disappeared into.
“Zim?” Ada called gently, startled by him.
He looked down at her and sat down. “I'm sorry,” he muttered, and then faced her. “Look sweetheart, do you want to go home now?”
Ada looked at him. “Okay,” she said uncertainly. “Are you alright?”
He smiled. “A sudden ache in my head,” he took her hand. “Come on, we’ll see if Glory is awake.” What a night. He shook his head.
Later, when Chuks walked into Glory’s room, she was awake. He went and sat by her. Taking her hand in his, he kissed it. She was watching him. Her face was still very pale.
Glory was sad about the loss of the baby, but she had no regrets. Ever since they were married, she had always known how difficult it would be to carry a pregnancy to term. Even Chuks knew, so they didn’t push it after her first three pregnancies ended in the first trimester. So why does she have the feeling that her husband was sad at the turn of events? Was he sad because she didn’t tell him?
“How many miles away are you?” Chuks leaned down to kiss her.
She smiled wanly. “I'm right here.” She squeezed his hand weakly. “I'm sorry. I should have told you, but I wanted to get through the first trimester before raising your hopes.”
“Shh,” he held a finger to his lips. “It doesn’t matter. I need you to be strong. Don’t waste the little energy you’ve got.”
“Zim and Ada were here also. But on returning, I missed them. Did you see them?” He asked her.
She shook her head. “Love, there’s something I have to tell you.”
“Not now honey,” he shook his head.
“This can’t wait,” she said, making sure she had his full attention. “When you came downstairs with Ada while I was on the phone, was I alone in the living room?”
Chuks made a face and wondered what a ridiculous question. “Of course, yes. We are just three people in that house remember? The maid left earlier.”
Glory held his gaze. “Leila wasn’t in the house? I mean, after I left for the hospital, you guys didn’t see Leila?”
Chuks could see she was serious. “Honey, Leila is not in town. Remember they left to bury her father-in-law weeks back. She cannot be back yet and Ada wouldn’t know.”
“I know that,” she interrupted him. “Which was why I was surprised when the doorbell rang and it was Ada at the door. At least you heard the bell ring, right?” he shook his head in the negative giving her a strange look. Glory sighed. “Now I am getting scared,” she said as her eyes watered up. “First I wondered why Ada wasn’t with her key. I didn’t even know she stepped outside.”
“Ada and I were upstairs,” Chuks put in.
“So I thought,” Glory said. “But then, she said something was about to happen that will unravel things and that I could stop it. That was when the phone rang and she quickly asked me not to answer it until she was done explaining because it was connected to the call. I laughed it away and was going for the phone and she yanked me back with so much strength, I almost fell. She insisted it was the hospital calling and that I shouldn’t come in this evening no matter what the emergency was.”
“Honey, are you sure I shouldn’t call the doctor? Ada couldn’t have been with you when she was with me. And Ada has never taken such a tone with you.”
Glory nodded. “That was why I was surprised when you guys came down and I looked behind me, and there was no one. It was at that point I realised it wasn’t Ada. It was Leila.”
“Glory? But of course, you can tell them apart and Leila isn’t in town. Aren’t you imagining things?”
Glory shook her head. “No honey. I am not. Because I thought I was as I drove down here. But on getting to the hospital, I think I know why Leila or whoever that was – whom you guys didn’t see – didn’t want me to come here today.”
“What are you talking about?” Chuks asked.
“Where is Ada?”
“She is not here.”
Glory nodded. “Good. Don’t allow her to come into the hospital.” She raised two weak fingers. “There are two of them. Two,” she told him. “I don’t think Ada should see them.”
Chuks pondered her words. Glory sounded so serious and scared all at once. “What are you talking about?” he asked gently.
Glory hesitated to collect her breath. She was still very weak. “At the hospital entrance,” she began. “I saw the woman. I could have passed, but I was strong.” She sighed. “The emergency patient,” Glory shook her head. “A little girl. She looked at me Chuks,” her voice broke and she couldn’t hold the tears anymore.
Chuks was now very attentive. He used his fingers to wipe off the tears “I don’t understand.”
“Tell Vivian to show you the girl I was called in to attend to.”
Chuks hesitated, but she urged him on and he went.
Omah watched Funmi. Her daughter was sleeping peacefully. She knew she came close to losing Funmi and the development left her very confused. The whole thing made no sense. What sort of life was it? Whether she loved Funmi or not, what would happen would happen. Her belief that putting Funmi at arms’ length would lessen the pain when Funmi was gone was destroyed. As best as she could, whatever time they had left together, Omah was going to love her daughter. She would give her life to make Funmi happy.
Omah didn’t understand what kind of convulsion that was. She thought only infants convulsed but what Funmi went through was beyond her explanation. She told the cab to take her to the nearest hospital. When Funmi continued to convulse, Omah ran out of the hospital. She was afraid and didn’t want to see when her daughter died.
When she went back into the hospital minutes later, she found everyone tending to the lady doctor who fainted in Funmi’s room. Instincts told Omah something wasn’t right.
Nothing scared Omah in all her years as that girl in the waiting room did. Not even the fear she felt all those years back when Mohammed Adamu locked her up could compare to what the sight of that girl inflicted on her.
A stranger with the Watcher’s face! The resemblance pulled at her memory, trying to reveal a story that was buried. As scared as she was, her eyes never left the girl. Omah kept staring and blinking, hoping the picture would disappear. But it was real. She stared at a younger version of herself. Omah then made a mistake of glancing over at the girl’s companion who had noticed what she noticed.
That was when she fled. Omah was scared. The girl must know the doctor and the doctor had been shocked to see Funmi. Omah wished Funmi took after her father in looks. It would have made her life easier.
Sitting beside her sleeping daughter, she wanted a doctor to tell her she was free to leave with Funmi. Though it was past midnight, time wouldn’t delay her. She wasn’t sure what would happen if she saw that girl again. She wanted to run.
Suddenly feeling the presence of someone else, she turned and saw a man standing inside the room and looking at Funmi, his face expressionless. Thinking he was a doctor, Omah rose to meet him. “Good morning doctor,” she said. “Do you think she’s alright now? Can we leave?”
He stared at her quietly in hesitation before nodding towards the bed, not taking his eyes off her face. “Is that your daughter?” he asked gently.
Omah nodded. “Yes, doctor.”
“I'm not a doctor,” he told her, returning his gaze to the girl on the bed. “I'm sorry. I walked into the wrong room.”
Omah looked disappointed. “Oh.”
“I hope she gets well soon, madam,” he told her kindly.
Chuks didn’t return to Glory. All he could think about was his daughter who wanted answers and here at the hospital were two clues they could explore. He was glad Ada wasn’t here. He wanted to speak with the woman before bringing his daughter into it.
Ada woke at dawn. Through sleepy eyes, she looked around the dark room. She could see the window. But her bed was wrongly positioned. She sat up.
“Trying to remember where you are?” Zim asked.
“Oh,” she said. “I did forget where I was. Morning Zim.”
He sat up. “Morning sweetheart,” he felt for her hand.
The moment they got to his place the night before, Ada fell across the bed. He watched as she rolled away and fell into a deep sleep. But his night had been bad. The woman at the hospital invaded his dreams. He didn’t know if he should tell her.
“I'm hungry Zim,” Ada cut into his thoughts. “We didn’t eat last night.”
“My fault,” he said straightening up. “I’ll go into the kitchen and see what I can do.” Zim wondered just how he managed to fall in love with this girl. He had known Glory for many years. Through her, he started working for Chuks some two years before. He also knew about Ada but never imagined he would meet her and fall for her. She was more than a breath of fresh air. She made him feel very different and he felt very protective over her. But he didn’t understand why he fell so hard and so fast.
Ada had issues. He didn’t like Leila. He didn’t like the way she looked at him. He didn’t like how attached Ada was to her but she was part of the package. Then out of nowhere was the woman at the hospital. What would he tell his family about Ada’s family?
“Are you alright?” Ada joined him in the kitchen and he nodded. “You sure?” she asked.
He hesitated. “Let me ask you,” he started. “What would you do if you saw someone you resembled? Identical looks.”
“Like Leila?” she asked and he nodded. “I will run after that person and maybe I might get some answers.”
He hesitated no further. “In that case, I shouldn’t have
kept this from you yesterday.”