Mangodo drove his Silver 2006 Honda Accord through the yawning gates of the Mausoleum-looking edifice. Who would have thought anyone would erect such a gigantic structure as a ‘mad house’. His conscience pricked him then. If this were a mad house, his colleagues and him would have to be mad folks. No! It wasn’t a mad house. It was a place for the mentally unstable. Phew! That sounded even worse. Nonetheless, Mangodo was impressed. Someone had gone to so much financial trouble to ensure the place lacked the usual ambience of a mental institution. There were no chained patients being pulled into and out of ambulances at the parking lot. No crazy sounds greeted them from the many wards they knew were nestled within blocks of neatly arranged connecting buildings. Better still, no one rushed to meet them with handcuffs and straight jackets when they parked their car and walked towards the reception. So maybe it was not your regular mad house.
“Wow!” Kemi couldn’t hide the awe that enveloped her core. “Hill View Care Gardens? Nice! How did you get this address again?” She asked Mangodo.
“How many times do I have to tell you it was Professor Nero that wrote this referral for Ivy?” Mangodo retorted through gritted teeth.
“Easy boy. Calm down. It was a harmless question.”
“What does it matter who gave him the address?” Ivy fired at Kemi.
From her tone, Kemi knew Ivy was still mad at her. “I’m sorry, Ivy. You’re right. It really doesn’t matter.” Kemi was eager to please.
“Oh please! Don’t patronize me! If it wasn’t for you, I would never have landed at the ICU in the first place. I would right now be in an expensive dinner gown, making millions of naira, and meeting the crème dela crème of society. And just when we were starting to get along, you had to go all out and spoil my business relationship with Senator Yuri, with your holier than thou attitude, even though we all know that most lawyers are crooked. Why didn’t you just refuse my appeal? Because of you again, I’m now being shipped off by a Doctor and a Barrister to a Psychiatrist. You’ve practically turned me into a battered and mentally unstable young lady. Thank you very much!” The automatic doors had barely opened before Ivy rushed through in a huff. Her last sentence resounded with so much vehemence that Kemi and Mangodo hadn’t bothered replying with the customary ‘you’re welcome’.
“Are you saying you couldn’t get me the ladies?” Senator Yuri asked Ade, his personal assistant.
“No sir.” Ade shuffled his feet uncomfortably. “Bisola said she can do nothing without Ivy. And the other Madams said they won’t be able to get that many young ladies in so short a time, Sir.”
Senator Yuri got up from his chair for the third time that evening. What was he to do now? He had made sure not to return Ivy’s calls since she sent the useless Barrister to insult his intelligence. How was he supposed to go back now that the time was almost up? Wouldn’t Ivy see it as an opportunity to alter the terms of the contract? But where else would he get the fifty five disease-free ladies?
“Get on the phone with Ivy. Tell her I’ve been ill, and that’s why I’ve not been able to return her calls all the while. Make a dinner reservation at Sheratone Hotels and Suits, and invite Ivy. Tell her it’s urgent, and it concerns the contract.”
“I’ll do that right away sir.” Ade made a deep bow and left the office.
Senator Yuri brought out his phone and dialed a number. “Hello,” he said into the mouthpiece, as soon as the person on the other end picked, “get the car ready. There’s been a change in my evening plans.”
“Right away sir.”
Ivy was sitting in between Mangodo and Kemi at the Reception of Hill View Care Gardens, when her phone rang. She brought it out absent mindedly, pushed the ‘call receive’ button, and held the phone to her mouth. “Hello!”
“Hello Lady Ivy. It’s me Ade. Senator Yuri’s PA.”
“Oh!” Ivy tried to contain her excitement. “Yes?” She got up and made her way toward the automatic glass doors…
To be continued…
© Oselumhense Anetor, 2019.