My Life Story; Episode 18
Gradually, the anxiety I felt began to increase. Hannah’s absence greatly disturbed me. All throughout the period of fighting in the hotel, she never came out neither did Samuel. Negative thoughts began to sip through my mind. I feared something bad might have happened to Hannah. There was only one person who should know where she is. Even if we had just fought, I had no choice but to talk to Sarah. I looked around and spotted Sarah, she too had a worried look on her face. She had her phone to her ear for a while, obviously trying to call someone. The frustration and resignation after each attempt showed that she wasn’t getting any success. I marched towards her with obvious annoyance.
“Where is Hannah.? ” I demanded, Sarah noticed the fury in my voice, she too was scared. I expected her to reply harshly, but I guess she too saw the enormity of the situation, and her undeniable involvement.
“I don’t know where she went, I left her in the hotel” she replied, with a shaky voice. She was almost crying. Her sudden change of emotion made no difference to me. As far I was concerned, she was as guilty as hell for all that might be happening.
“Why on earth did you leave her there? ” I inquired further, spitting out more anger.
“I didn’t see them any more when I wanted to leave, she wasn’t answering her phone either.”
At that point, Sarah began to sob. Something told me she knew more than she was letting out. She wasn’t just panicking, there was more to it. What ever it was, we had to find Hannah.
“Get up, let’s go and look for her” I ordered
“Where would we start from ” Sarah asked,
“The hotel of course” “They are not there, Samuel and Folorunsho took her away, I don’t know where they went. None of them is answering their phones” she replied.
Fear gripped me when I heard those words, I knew there was something wrong with those boys. Something must have happened to Hannah. I walked back to my seat with resignation, my heart pounded. I kept dialing Hannah’s number over and over again. It rang repeatedly but there was no response. I placed my head on my desk again, hoping to catch some sleep before the extra lessons began. I was almost dosing off when my phone rang. I picked it up in a hurry, I knew it had to be Hannah.
“Hello? Where are you” I asked in a hurry. The voice at the other end of the phone wasn’t Hannah’s. It was a lady who identified herself as a staff of the hotel we just visited. She called to find out who owned the phone. Apparently, she found Hannah’s phone in the room while she was cleaning up. It became obvious to me that my friend Hannah was missing. I turned towards Sarah, she was still on her seat. This time, she was shedding tears. She definitely knows what was happening. I sprang up from my seat and ran to her, gripped her shirt by the neck line and demanded to know where Hannah was.
The Sarah I know would have fought back, but she looked up at me quietly with guilt written all over her face.
“Something happened to Hannah” Sarah confessed. My heart almost gave out. Goose bumps appeared on my skin, I have never been this scared of anything before.
“What happened?” I asked nervously.
“While I was in the room with Ayo, he got a call from Samuel. He said they took Hannah to the hospital, he didn’t tell me why. When I insisted on knowing, Ayo excused himself and walked out of the room. He didn’t return until I decided to leave.”
“Which hospital?” I enquired
“I don’t know” she replied
“And you left her?”
Sarah looked at me without saying a word, tears flowed freely from her eyes. The hatred I felt for her increased. I felt like choking her to death. But then we had to find Ruth. I dragged her up and ordered her to follow me.
“Where are we going?”
“To find Hannah of course.”
She kept quiet and followed me sheepishly. It was almost time for extra lessons to begin, but I didn’t care about that. I just had to find Hannah. We changed our clothes at the gate house, and boarded a taxi heading towards the hotel. I hoped anyone there would have a clue to where Hannah was taken. I couldn’t help but wonder what could have happened to her, she did not look sick when we left school together this morning. She was quite active and full of life. I have never known her to have any health challenges either. I stared out of the taxi window, playing up a lot of scenarios in my mind. I was convinced that those boys had a hand in whatever happened to Hannah.
The taxi pulled up in front of the hotel, we handed the driver his money and went in. I recognized one of the receptionist, she was
there when we came earlier. I walked up to her, and asked if she knew about a girl who was rushed to a hospital from the hotel earlier. Unfortunately, she had no idea. She only gave us a list of hospitals around the hotel, they were five in number including a psychiatric hospital.
We hurried out of the hotel into the street, hoping to move from hospital to hospital in search of my friend Hannah. I prayed silently that nothing bad happens to her. The first hospital was just a few meters away from the hotel. Sarah and I strolled along. She walked rather sluggishly behind me,
almost as if she was scared of finding Hannah. No doubt, she already knew how much I hated her at this point.
As we walked by, a lot of thoughts gathered in my head. I was preoccupied with the thought of what could have happened to Hannah, but on the other hand I couldn’t keep my mind off my broken relationship with Matthew. I wondered if he would ever forgive me. The identity of the girl in the room also troubled me. For someone who claimed to love me and he has within few minutes gotten a new girl to himself. Is this what love is all about?
Matthew moved on really fast. Images from the past few hours continuously flooded my mind. I wondered if Matthew actually
knew I was in that hotel, at the same time I cursed myself for not leaving sooner, and not seeing the similarity between Folorunsho and Matthew. I would have saved myself a lot of heartache. At that point, I realized that I knew very little about those boys at the hotel. I slowed down a little, to allow Sarah catch up with me. I wanted to satisfy my curiosity.
“Did you know that Folorunsho was Matthew’s cousin? “I asked, facing Sarah.
“No” she replied, shrugging her shoulder unconvincingly. she was obviously lying I could tell. But I did not border to press further, because it would make no difference at this point.
“How did you know Ayo?, and what arrangements did you have with him?” I queried further.
“We were friends before he traveled to Canada. This morning, he called to inform me that he was around. He wanted some girls to spend time with himself and his friends. So I collected sixty thousand naira from him to ‘arrange’ two girls. I didn’t know it would be like this I swear”
I looked at her with disgust written all-over my face. She faced down, probably embarrassed over her actions. She even lied about the price. Folorunsho said he gave her eighty thousand naira. I turned away and headed into the hospital complex. We walked straight to the reception, to meet an angry-looking girl in her early twenties.
“Good afternoon” we greeted simultaneously.
“How may I help you? ” she asked, without replying our greeting.
“We are looking for a patient who might have been brought here today, her name is Hannah.”
She made several clicks on her mouse before informing us that they had no patient with that name. I felt a little more disappointed and worried. We left for the next hospital, which was just a few minutes away. We searched helplessly for Hannah, until there was just one hospital left. I took out the list of hospitals the hotel receptionist gave us, and glanced through it. I was greatly shocked when I realised that the last hospital is a psychiatric hospital.
Could Hannah have gone mad? I wondered. I turned toward Sarah and announced to her that we would be checking a psychiatric hospital next.