The call: chapter 8

 

cover the call

The consistent buzzing of his IPhone on the night stand woke him up.  With his head still buried in his pillow, Jude reached for his phone and pressed the power button. That shut the phone up but as he  tried to get back to his sleep, it started buzzing again.
He reached for the phone and picked the call without looking at the caller.

“Good morning big brother.”

He cracked his eyes open at the voice and checked the caller.

“Seriously Julian! Why are you calling  by this time?”

“Wow! Hello to you too.” She said and he could hear the pure sarcasm in her voice.

“What do you want now?”

“I want to see my big brother.  We saw last when? Like 6 months ago. We need to catch up.”

“Julian last I checked, you were in New York.”

“I came back to Nigeria yesterday.”

He sat up immediately. ” You are back in Nigeria? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I just did.”

“Yeah yeah!”

“Anyway, guess who I came back with?” Her perky voice picked up again.

“Who?”

“I said guess.”

“Seriously Julian? It’s 4am.”

“Just guess.”

“Sylvia?”

“No!’

“Errrr… Tosin?”

“No! Common, you dated her.”

“Emmanuella!”

“No!”

“Ruth?”

“Arghh!” His sister sounded exasperated “it’s Halima.”

Halima? “Oh! Yeah that’s true. I dated Halima too. So she is back in the country?”

“Yes! And she is dying to see the new you.”

“There is nothing new about me.”

“Yeah right! You went for short service and came back toned and bigger.”

“And your point is?”

“She wants to see you. Jude, Halima is crazy about you.”

“And I am not.”

“Common!” She whined. “You really liked her before.”

“Exactly! ‘Liked’ meaning past tense.”

“Whatever! Lunch, 1pm today at Trukadero. I will come with Halima.”

“I am busy Julian. I have alot to do at the orientation camp.” That was a lie, he didn’t plan on staying in camp that day.

“The what? Never mind. I don’t want to know.”
Typical Julian “I can’t make it Julie..”

“You will. It’s dad that fixed the lunch not me.”

That said it all. It was an order to be at lunch, not a request to be denied. Great!

“Love you big brother and see you at lunch.”

“Bye Julie.”

The call ended and he was left gazing into the darkness of his room in camp.
He never imagined himself sleeping here but for Adanna he had. He was tempted to check up on her but that would ruin his plan to stay clear of her.
Since he was awake and had no plan of sleeping, he decided to go home.
He wore his uniform from the previous day and got out into the cold early morning air.

He stopped at his car and stole a glance at the clinic before opening the car. He couldnt just leave like that.

Jude closed the car door and locked it with his remote, before taking quick steps towards the clinic.
As he approached, he saw Gerald, one of the corper pharmacist and a cool guy he had spoken to before.
He signalled to him and he jogged over to him.

“I need a favour.”

“How can I help sir?”

‘The girl that was brought in yesterday evening. ”

“Adanna?” Gerald inquired.

“Yeah I think that’s her name .” He knew it was her name. He didnt think he could ever forget it. But he had to pretend so the corper would not suspect a thing.

“Could you get her a good meal before she is discharged? Something nice so she could eat.”

“No problem sir.”

“Has Any one come to check her? A friend maybe?”

“No sir.”

‘Alright.” He removed his wallet, brought out 5 one thousand naira bills and handed it over to Gerald. “That should cover the breakfast for the girl and yourself.”

“Thank you sir.” The corper revealed a Generous number of teeth.
He turned around and walked back to his car hoping that Gerald would give her the food. There was only little he could do. He thought as he entered into his car, a black 2016 Acura ILX.

He drove past the parade ground and saw the corpers doing their morning drills, so he parked his car briefly and listened.
Dust had risen and filled the air, making it quite difficult to see, but he was still able to make out the instructor wearing green and white jogger leading the drills.

A man-o-war song was blarring through the megaphone and it brought a smile to Jude’s face as he recalled his own camp experience.
“Call:🎵This is the way I wanted to be oooo
Resp: This is the way I wanted to be,
Eeeeee I want to be a corper,
Eeeeee I want to be a corper,
Eeeeee I want to be a corper,
This is the way I wanted to be.
Dem go born wor-wor,
Dem go born wor-wor,
If corper marry soldier,
Dem go born wor-wor.

Dem go born mu-mu,
Dem go born mu-mu,
If soldier marry soldier,
Dem go born mu-mu.

Call: O Rah!
Resp: Rah!
Call: O Rah!
Resp: Rah!🎵”

He watched the scene before him with nostalgia until after a few minutes, he ignited his engine and drove off into the early morning.

———-***********———-

” Don’t worry! I know my brother. Everything will be fine” Julian said to Halima. They were sitted at a table in the chosen restaurant waiting for Jude to arrive.

“What will be fine? ” Jude asked as he approached them in dark blue jeans, white T-shirt and a black blazer. He finished the dressing up with a brown foreman chukka boots.

He notice Halima flush out of embarrassment as he pulled out a chair for himself and removed his sun glasses.
Julian was out her chair in seconds and ran around the table to throw him a big hug.

“I missed you!” She said and settled on his lap. Thank God she was a size 8.

“I missed you too dear.” He looked at his sister and ruffled her hair.

“Hey!!” She stood up and walked back to her seat. “Do you know how long it took me to style this ?”

“After a degree in architecture and an internship at one of the top firms in New York you are still vain. You need the military.”

She laughed “That’s why I have you and dad.”

“Yeah. Speaking of dad… You really want to provoke him with what you are wearing.” Jude warned.

“What is wrong with what I am wearing?” Julian looked down at her bodycon gown that displayed the ‘8″ of her figure.

She shrugged “You too, aren’t you over dressed? ”

Jude chuckled “for dad? No I don’t think so.” He glanced at Halima who had been looking at him.
“How was new York?”

She smiled broadly and wanted to answer when they saw 2 soldiers entering followed by their father.
They all stood up to acknowledge him.

“Father!” Jude said curtly while Julian threw herself on him.

“Daddy! You look Good despite your work.”

Her father eyed her dressing and tried to swallow his comment. “Princess… how was your flight ?”

“It was smooth.”

He nodded for them to sit down and signalled for the waiter.”

They ordered different dishes and as the waiter rushed to get their order, General Bagro cleared his throat. “Halima za ku iya barin tebur? I want to talk to my children ” Meaning ‘can you leave the table?’ in the hausa language.

“Lafiya sir.” Halima humbly stood up and left the table.

” How is the orientation camp Jude. I hope you are not messing things up. Your reputation is my reputation as well.”

” I am aware of that sir.”

“Good.” He paused, as the waiter placed their food on the table and left. “This is necessary for your political career as you know. And I have heard talks about how you are not a true soldier.” The general continued, as he used his cutleries to eat.

“I am also aware father.” He took a sip of his lemon water.

“Just don’t disappoint me you understand?”

Jude nodded.

“You understand?” His father emphasized.

“Yes sir.”

“Good! And you should think of settling down soon. You are not getting younger.”

“Father, I am 29.”

“And so? Is it until you are having baby mamas around the place?”

Jude swallowed tightly. This was exactly why he despised lunch with his dad. And it was one mistake, one pregancy which the girl aborted.

“Is there anything I need to know about the orientation camp? I hate surprises. ”

“None sir.” He gritted out.

“Dad, I trust Jude has got it covered.” Julian decided to put in. It was a big mistake.

“Coming from you? You are barely covered with that thing you have on.”

Julian frowned “Dad! I am a woman and I can very well wear what I want to.”

“Really? Not while you are a Bagro. So if you want to dress how you want, get married. You are 23 years after all. Your mates have children.”

Jude could see his sister’s countenance change. “Dad! We talked about this.”

The general looked at his daughter for a brief second “fine Princess.” He used his napkin to dab his mouth and brought out one thousand naira notes which he placed on the table without counting it.

“Jude I need you at a meeting tomorrow after which we will discuss how to meet with the party leader of APC to discuss your political career. Clear your schedule as soon as possible.”

He pushed his chair back and stood up to leave despite His food that was barely touched. “Call me if you have a problem that you both can’t handle. Lunch was nice. We should do this often.”

With that he turned to leave and his soldiers fell into their position behind him.

Jude stood up immediately and pushed his food aside. “I am out of here.”

“Jude….”

He walked around and kissed his sister on her cheek. “Take care and call me okay?”

“But Jude…”

He paused, anger visible on his face. “Nothing ever pleases him.”

“Jude, calm down.”

“I am… I can’t even let him affect me like he use to before.” He sighed “later sis.”

As he walked away, he heard Julian call after him “What about Halima?”

He stepped into the hot sun and put on his glasses.

Halima could go to hell for all he cared.

To be continued….

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