Love Music & Dreams 5
Hello Yarners – trust you had a great week – so we had a couple of first time ‘commenters’ last week and I want to specially welcome you to the family – it would be nice to keep the interaction flowing.
Enjoy today’s episode and don’t forget to drop a feedback.
For previous episodes – click here.
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//Break The Rules//
History is made by those who break the rules ~ Men of Honour
Teni opened her eyes to her sister’s worried gaze and the disinfectant smell of a hospital room. ‘What happened?’ She asked weakly with a tired stare.
Tola smiled, squeezing her sister’s hands softly.
‘What happened?’ She asked again, her voice barely audible.
‘I should be asking you what happened.’ Tola replied, ‘you passed out.’
‘Really?’ Teni asked trying to sit up without disrupting the flow of the IV drip inserted into her hand.
‘Yea. It’s been so long ago since you had a crisis that this suddenly feels strange,’ Tola said, motioning to her sister’s position on the bed with her eyes.
Teni smiled faintly. ‘I guess I’ve been over-working myself lately and being drenched by the rain two days ago sure didn’t help my case.’
‘And what were you doing in the rain?’ Tola asked bug eyed. ‘You know better than to expose yourself like that,’ she continued without waiting for an answer.
‘We were doing some outdoor shoots for our next event,’ Teni said softly, the look in her eyes similar to those of an errant child.
‘Teni… I can’t lose you,’ Tola said, her voice quavering with emotion and her eyes brimming with tears.
Teni was surprised at her sister’s reaction but could only stare at her with guilt filled eyes. ‘I’m sorry sis,’ she started before being interrupted by the sound of the door opening and the entrance of her father, alongside her friend, Amaka.
Tola quickly wiped the tears from her eyes with the back of her palm as she heard the creaking sound of the door. She could not allow her dad catch her crying. The man had gone through too much already; losing a wife and only son to SCD. She sometimes wondered at his strength and how he has managed to still keep a smile not just on his face but on the faces of those around him. She often imagined that the smiling was just a facade of strength for the pain he was hiding somewhere, but the light in his eyes was usually too genuine for her imaginations to be true.
‘And how is my wonder woman doing?’ Mr. Adisa asked, walking briskly up to the bed and placing the bag in his hand on the desk beside the bed.
‘Tired but ready to go home,’ Teni replied, giving out another of her faintly smiles.
‘Home?’ Tola asked chuckling. ‘In what condition?’
‘You have a drip in your hand and you want to go home?’ Amaka added with a big grin on her face.
‘But I have things to do,’ Teni answered, her voice soft and barely audible, looking towards her dad who had settled in nicely into one of the two chairs in the room with his attention captured by the news story on the television. ‘Daddy?’
Mr. Adisa’s face turned towards his daughter, ‘you can’t go home now,’ he answered matter of factly. ‘The doctor says you’re suffering from exhaustion and that you need plenty of rest, at-least forty eight hours of good rest.’
‘Forty eight what?’ Teni shrieked, ‘but I have somewhere to be tomorrow,’ she protested with a frown on her face.
‘I’m sorry but nowhere you have to be is as important as your health young lady,’ Mr. Adisa replied with a straight face.
‘Exactly!’ Tola piped in.
‘Dad,’ Teni called out in an entreating voice whilst eyeballing her sister in a quick glance.
‘Your boyfriend will have to do with your absence this week, at-least he coped well last week,’ Mr. Adisa replied, ignoring the surprise on the faces in the room. ‘Seeing you in this condition is not good for his concentration, it might even make him lose,’ he teased.
Tola and Amaka burst into laughter while Teni wore a big sulk on her face. It was obvious she was trying not to laugh.
‘He’s not my boyfriend,’ Teni grunted to no one in particular, her eyes roving from Amaka to Tola.
‘Hmmn,’ Amaka sighed, rolling her eyes.
‘Even your partner in crime doesn’t believe that,’ Mr. Adisa said, rising from his seat.
‘Ah! I didn’t say anything sir,’ Amaka exclaimed with her hands raised in the air to protest her innocence as Mr. Adisa exited the room.
‘Yes, you did,’ Teni cut in. ‘And I’ll deal with you for that.’
The room erupted again in laughter. It was an unusually boisterous environment for a hospital ward, with every face in the room radiating with happiness.
Stella slowed her pace as she approached Daniel’s office so as to allow her peep into the room.
Bankole was standing over Emmanuel as they both gazed at the laptop screen, while Daniel’s desk was empty as it had been since the week began.
She suddenly wished she had seen him on Monday when he came to submit his resignation letter but she had locked herself in the office, refusing to pick his calls and dropping the receiver back on the box immediately she heard his voice on the intercom.
But how could he just resign like that? She asked herself the same question she had been asking since the day she walked out of his house in anger. And to think that he had the option of a month lieu of notice which would have made them see each other a while longer, but instead opted to pay his time off with a check, showed she was not really in his plans.
She had always believed that he was different – different from Ebuka at least. She shook her head regrettably. And now it was Ebuka acting all nice and being so sweet. A boyfriend who usually would only do staggered dates now wanted to spend as much time as possible with her. Lunch dates, dinner dates, make-up dates and whatsoever dates that could be found… the world definitely was going mad.
She tapped on the elevator call button, waiting at the entrance of the lift and watching the floor indicator display. She could perceive his scent on the hallway as beautiful memories of times he had seen her off to the elevator from his office filled her mind.
The bell chimed as the elevator’s doors swung open to allow her in. She exhaled in relief as soon as the doors closed behind her and the elevator began its descent to her office floor. ‘I’m not in love with him,’ she muttered to herself, in response to the war raging inside her mind. ‘He’s just a friend,’ she continued, raising her voice in a bid to drown the dissenting voices in her mind.
She knew she was lying but this was a time when the truth just didn’t make sense.
The ring seemed to dare the other elements in the room to ignore it as the sapphire rock encrusted by diamond stones nestling on a platinum band dazzled in the reflection of light seeping through the vertical blinds.
Ebuka smiled to himself as he gazed lovingly at the ring. It was beautiful. A ten thousand dollar, diamond and Ceylon sapphire ring had no reason not to be beautiful.
He couldn’t wait to see her eyes pop in delight when he would pull the ring out of the case whilst proposing. Daydreaming about her reaction had become his favourite pastime since he purchased the ring.
Ebuka was a happy man as everything in his life seemed to be working perfectly at the moment. Stella who had previously refused to see him was warming up to him and going out with him on dates and even though they were not lighting up the room with the crazy sparks of two people in love, the atmosphere was usually cordial enough for some laughs.
He was however positive that things would have improved tremendously before the celebration of her birthday in two weeks when he planned to propose in a show stopping event.
He was pulling all the stops to make sure the proposal was top notch and had gone as far as to contract Gold for the event, much against Raheem’s advice who believed contracting Gold for the job was risky and simply ludicrous.
How will you ask your side-chick to plan your proposal? He had asked sarcastically, embellishing his words so as to amplify the stupidity of the idea.
But Gold was not a side-chick; a dissatisfied and scheming alternative. She was the other woman with whom he explored his lusts and fantasies without the need for an emotional investment.
Gold knew her place in his life and seemed content with the arrangement. That seeming contentment was part of the allure that ensnared him to her.
The glitter from the ring halted his train of thoughts, as he allowed his mind lapse into another session of his favourite pastime. A devious smile formed on his lips.
Danny’s eyes were glued to the television just like the other contestants as they watched Stephanie’s performance backstage from the waiting room.
Hers was the first performance of the night and from the applause of the audience when she was through, it was obvious the stakes had been set at a high level.
Ifeanyi rubbed his palms together as he paced up and down the room. He was the third performer of the night after Tunde who had already gone up to the lobby behind the back-drop, waiting to be called out to the stage by the Presenters.
‘Just this hurdle to the final,’ Orode breathed as she watched the band do the intro to Tunde’s song on the television.
‘Yea,’ Danny replied, running his fingers on the strings of the guitar he cuddled to himself. He had tried to scan the audience in search for Teni from the television but the camera always seemed to change directions as it approached the position where he suspected she would be seated with her friends.
She just has to be here, he thought to himself, closing his eyes as he ran his scale on the guitar. It was the Unleash You weekend and for the first time in the competition, contestants were permitted to perform with an instrument.
He could hear Tunde’s voice from the television but it was the song in his heart that he was listening to as his fingers strummed quietly on the guitar and at that moment he was interrupted by the mention of his name, Danny.
He opened his eyes and standing before him with an official’s badge strung around her neck was Amaka, Teni’s photographer friend. ‘What are you doing here?’ He asked surprised at her presence backstage, and just before he could get an answer, he felt an overwhelming sense of fear take over him. Something terrible has happened to Teni, the voice in his head said loudly. ‘Where’s Teni?’ He asked in panic, ‘What happened?’ He asked as he led her to a corner of the room.
Amaka was surprised by the amount of questions thrown her way. ‘She’s in the hospital,’ she answered, clearly flustered, ‘but she’s doing okay,’ she quickly added stretching out the note in her hand to Danny.
Sorry I can’t make it down today as I’m out of Lagos with my dad.
Cheering you all the way to the crown! Go Danny!!!
Danny raised his eyes from the piece of paper in his hands and they were filled with questions. ‘You say she’s in the hospital, but her note says she’s out of Lagos, what’s really going on?’
Amaka was clearly fazed, she was not too sure what to say. ‘Nothing,’ she said unconvincingly.
‘Tell me please,’ Danny pleaded, his eyes bearing doubts.
Amaka could see the questions in his eyes as they stared straight into hers, ‘Teni fainted, but she’s getting better now,’ she replied, hoping to use the truth to stop the interrogation as she grew uncomfortable being backstage with a stolen pass.
‘What hospital is she?’
‘Oak-Bridge hospital,’ Amaka answered, ‘it’s twenty minutes’ drive from here.’
‘Take me to her,’ Danny said, dropping the guitar on the couch by his side.
‘What?’ Amaka asked in shock like she didn’t hear him well.
‘Take me to her,’ Danny repeated, leading the way out of the room.
‘Danny!’ Orode called out to him as he approached the door. She had seen his brisk movement from the corner of her eye. She walked up to him, arresting him with her gaze. ‘Where to?’ She asked.
‘Oak-Bridge hospital,’ Danny answered, ‘Teni is sick.’
Orode watched as he turned and continued out of the building immediately he answered her. With the determination in his eyes she knew nothing she would say would stop him, she only wished she would have someone who would abandon everything just to be with her just like Danny was presently doing.
‘What’s happening?!’ The voice screamed over the phone, ‘where’s the boy? Where’s Danny?’
‘I hear he has left the building,’ the director replied, his right hand pinning the phone to his ears whilst gesticulating to his assistant standing in front of him with his left hand.
‘And what’s your plan?’ The voice asked in excitement.
‘The show will have to go on without him sir,’ the director replied. ‘He’ll just have to be disqualified.’
‘You must be joking!’ The voice replied.
The director had a startled expression on his face with his eyeballs threatening to pop out of his socket.
‘Disqualify? Have you not heard the chants from the audience?’
‘No buts…’ The voice interrupted. ‘Are you even on twitter right now? ‘Where is Danny’ is the number one trending topic in the country and for the first time ever, the show is trending in Ghana and South-Africa and all you can come up with is that the show will go on? Yes the show will go on but you have to find the boy.’
‘But sir, he’s not… in the building,’ the director said, when he could finally get a word in. ‘I just heard he’s gone to visit a sick friend at the Oak-Bridge hospital.’
‘You even have a location, which solves seventy percent of the problem.’
‘Sir, I can’t bring him back in time for his performance even if I leave now… It’s a twenty minutes’ drive without traffic and that’s assuming he’s ready to come with me,’ the director replied exasperated.
‘And why do you have to bring him back?’ the voice asked, ‘why do you think we have an OB van in the budget if we never planned to use one? The way you handle this challenge will tell me whether or not you’re fit to direct this show next year. If you handle it like an opportunity for greatness, then you might get a new contract but if you handle it like a crisis like you’re presently doing, I’m afraid…’
‘I’ll fix this,’ the director cut in, his voice showing his resolve even as he wiped the sweat off his brow. He was sweating profusely in a fully air-conditioned room.
‘Good, I trust you will,’ the voice said. ‘Take one of the police escorts with you, that should halve your traffic time and don’t forget to take anything you believe you might need when you get there, a microphone, a guitar, anything. Soji, these people want a show, let’s give them one,’ the voice chanted like he was giving a half time pep talk.
‘Yes sir,’ the director replied as he pressed the end call button. If there was still any chance at all to have Danny perform on the show, the best time to leave for the hospital was now.
Danny sat at Teni’s bedside with her hands in his as they watched the judges share their thoughts on Orode’s performance.
‘I still can’t believe you left this to come stay here with me,’ Teni purred, her eyes on the television placed on the wall stand at a corner of the room. ‘I would have preferred you didn’t,’ she said.
‘I’m sorry but hearing that you fainted because you haven’t seen me in a while was enough for me to hurry down,’ Danny joked.
Teni giggled. ‘And you really do believe that right?’ She asked, searching his eyes for answers.
‘Of course I do,’ Danny replied, his eyes straying back to the television. It felt strange watching the show from the outside.
‘Erm… Oge, just a second on the tweets, seems like we have an update on Danny.’
‘Oh Really! That’s some breaking news Femi.’
‘Yes it is Oge. We have confirmation that he’s at the Oak-Bridge hospital.’
‘Yes, from what’s been gathered, he’s visiting his sick girlfriend…erm… Okay… I’ve just been told that our crew on ground is setting up to bring us live pictures from Oak-Bridge.’
‘You can say that again Oge, crazy scenes right here in the house, crazy scenes on Twitter where #WhereIsDanny and #TheStar are the top two trending topics in the country…’
‘You can add Oak-Bridge to that list Femi, Oak-Bridge just started trending.’
‘Wow! Like you would say…’
‘Exciting times we’re in, but right now we have to take a short break and when we come back, we’ll be bringing you live pictures from the Oak-Bridge hospital and you never know, we just might have a surprise performance from Danny, so don’t go nowhere!’
Teni had a questioning look in her eyes as she watched Danny open the door slightly and peeping into the hallway before shutting it back almost immediately. ‘They’re here, right?’ She asked as she heard the voices on the hallway.
‘Yes,’ Danny replied, standing away from the door.
‘Are you ready?’
‘I don’t think I want to sing,’ Danny answered, shaking his head.
‘Why? You have to do this for me Danny, please,’ Teni begged, ‘I don’t think I can live with myself knowing that you lost out of the competition because of me. If they’re presenting you with another chance, why don’t you take it?’
Danny stared into her wet eyes.
The door creaked open at that moment as Amaka, two senior officials of the hospital and a tall dread-locked man walked into the room.
Danny recognised him as the director of the show. The one who usually got everyone jittery at the studio, the big boss. What could he possibly be seeking at the hospital?
‘You need to help save my job,’ the director said as he stretched out his hand for a handshake.
Stella stayed transfixed to her screen as she read the last lines of episode eleven slowly.
She swallowed hard, scrolling down the page to where the Presenters introduced Danny’s song to the audience and instead of singing the song introduced, which was what he had rehearsed all week, he switched, and instead began to sing Teni’s favourite song, ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars.
Oh, her eyes, her eyes
Make the stars look like they’re not shining
Her hair, her hair
Falls perfectly without her trying
She’s so beautiful and I tell her everyday
She found herself singing the song whilst reading the lyrics on the laptop screen. She could feel sweet sensations course through her body as the scenes from the story formed live pictures in her mind like she was watching it on TV. The story made love feel so beautiful even though she knew that with their genotype incompatibility, theirs was a love that was shipwrecked before it even set sail. It felt like seeing the ‘Titanic’ after the first time, you knew it was going to end in tragedy but you just couldn’t stop smiling, watching the many moments of love.
She wiped the tear rolling down her left eye.
The familiar sound of her ringtone cut through her thoughts and glancing at the phone screen, her eyes catch sight of the one name she was hoping not to see, daniel writer.
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