BITTER PERCEPTIONS: EPILOGUE

Doris

The Doctors soared into season seven, ratings still peaking high despite recent developments. Dr. Bayo Olumide hung up his stethoscope for the last time to focus on retirement, and we missed the fatherly role he played through the years. Edward Ekpo, an old friend of Olivia’s, took his place on the panel. His wife Paula was recruited as an OB correspondent, and instantly made a name for herself with her offbeat reports and outlandish interviewing technique. My sense of style style also evolved—light blue scrubs tailored to fit my slimmer figure replaced my old white coat, and I ditched the trademark braids for Team Natural, although Femi still made my wigs. Chidiebere joined forces with a work colleague to open their private practice in Ikeja, and The Doctors moved their programming from network to syndication following Bass Communication’s abrupt demise.

      Airport authorities in Brazil had arrested a camera crew covering the FIFA World Cup after detecting cocaine parcels concealed among their equipment, and a thorough investigation tracked the supply down to Okon ‘Hogan’ Bassey’s secret cartel. The high-profile media tycoon had used Bass Communications to distract the public from his illegal dealings and made billions on the side. No wonder Bass TV remained on air when other private channels suspended transmission during their own financial crisis—Chief Bassey kept his businesses afloat with money acquired from pushing narcotics?

The mansions, helicopter, luxury cars… Surely no-one acquired that amount of wealth through media alone? Christian and Christopher had heard rumours of wild drug-fuelled parties held at his mansion where aides pumped Columbia’s finest through the air conditioning, and exclusive guests snorted lines off topless hostesses amidst open-air orgies. The government immediately took action, seizing possession of his finances and property immediately after the chief’s arrest, and everyone associated with Bass instantly labelled a suspect. Programming came to a permanent halt as the police continued their interrogation, and even the LivMedia team faced questioning, but was cleared after the police and NDLEA concluded Olivia had played no part. I felt no sympathy for Chief Bassey, his nephew Etim, and several members of his ‘firm’ who received lengthy sentences in the slammer, and neither did the Bass employees who all lost their well-paid jobs.

     Three years ago the Basseys won full custody following an extensive battle between Isaac’s grandfather and his mother’s husband. Three years later Oscar Mfon, a former Bass FM Uyo DJ-turned-hip hop producer, publicly declared he fathered Isaac during a brief affair with Shirley B before she dumped him for Jideofor Okoroafor. Oscar put two and two together when years later a gossip blog leaked photos of the boy, and promptly called his lawyers who help him win his case against the jail-bound drug-dealing clan. Isaac was forced to readjust yet again. Poor kid, he didn’t deserve the strife.

     Mirabel, my former patient at New Aggrey, had blossomed into a beautiful young woman with aspirations to study Nursing Science after secondary school, but cut ties with her parents for good. She could never forgive them for putting their own selfish needs before her well-being when they forced her to marry the wealthy Alhaji, and had since changed her surname to Olufemi after the Cherry Blossoms founder. I understood her anger, but prayed her parents would have a change of heart and accept their daughter back into their lives. Remi claimed my involvement with the charity had boosted their publicity. Donations poured in from around the globe after the BBC filmed a documentary on Nigerian rape victims in Nigeria, and every penny received went towards medical bills, accommodation, security, and education, transforming our girls from insecure downtrodden victims into strong women. 

      “So Chidiebere, I hear you have some exciting news for us. Do tell,” urged Zainab, and Edward leaned forward, eager to hear the best his co-host had saved for last.

      “As if you didn’t know already, ” Chidiebere beamed in his usual modest manner.

      “Okay, we do know, the audience knows, and all our viewers know. Just tell us again,” Dr. Edward teased.

      “With the growth of social media in our country, nothing’s a secret anymore. I’m pretty sure even aliens on Mars are aware. Why do I have to repeat it?”

       “There’s no actual proof life exists on Mars, so don’t worry, your secret is safe here on earth, ” Edward laughed.

      “Excellent. Okay, Dr. Ed…” Chidiebere finally gave in. “Just in case anyone’s been living under a rock the past two years, I recently became a father for the second time.” Chidiebere jumped from his chair and excitedly waved his arm towards the wings. “Hey baby, wanna join us?”

      Oh no, he didn’t. Vowing to kill him for making my term of endearment public knowledge, I walked into the bright lights and faced the audience to rapturous applause, and he rest of the panel stood from their seats cheering in acknowledgement.

       “Yes, that’s my baby, Dr. Doris James! And what’s more, we’ve added another baby to the mix. Our son, CJ!” The crowd, still on their feet, cheered again, and I smiled back before walking towards the panel, fearing the lights were too bright for my baby. The  newborn in my arms, that is.

      “Come over here, Doris, take the weight off,” offered Zainab, and a studio runner placed an extra chair next to the main host.

      Yeah, let me quickly join you all before my usually shy husband does a Tom Cruise on the desk. I handed CJ to Chidiebere who proceeded to rock our little bundle of joy, and my heart swelled with pride at the tender father-and-son image projected onto the studio monitor.

      “Hey everyone, hi viewers!” I waved at Camera 3, ignoring mean glares from a few females I recognised as regulars who sat in the audience for one reason only, nothing to do with medical advice of any sort. “Great to be back with you all, even if it’s just for the day. And I brought a little surprise with me, our little CJ. Is he adorable or what?”

     “He sure is, Doris, I can tell he’s going to be a total lady-killer one day, just like his old man,” remarked Edward with a chuckle.

      “Don’t encourage him, Ed, he’s still in nappies!” Chidiebere protested.

      “Just joking. But CJ is the spitting image of yourself, with more hair!”

      Chidiebere pretended to take offence. “You had to bring that up, didn’t you? Thanks. And my head is shaved, I’ll have you know!”

      “My replacement finding love on the show, who knew? Although I must say I’m not that surprised—I used to watch you guys at home after I left, and I could sense the mutual attraction. It’s great to have you back, though.”

      I turned to Ruth Gyang who sat in my old seat, which ironically used to be her old seat; Olivia had asked the other original panellist to rejoin The Doctors during my maternity leave. Having experienced motherhood myself, I understood why Ruth was in no hurry to return to her presenting duties after she gave birth. Her kids now older, Ruth had agreed to resume her old duties, and she made a fantastic presenter.

      “Why, thanks, Ruth. I enjoyed being your seat-warmer, it’s presented me with numerous opportunities, I’ve met so many wonderful people, and I’ve found a new family for life at LivMedia, not to mention the new one I have at home. I’ve learned so much, grown so much, I’ve been blessed every step of the way, and I wouldn’t change any of this for anything…” The audience gave a heartfelt “Aw…”.

“And there’s my number one blessing seating next to me—my boy. Well, two boys if you count the tall bald one.” The crowd roared, and I grinned at Chidiebere who once again pretended to look annoyed. “No, no, I meant that in a good way. You should see Chidiebere at home though, he’s such a big kid himself when it comes to our son. He’s very hands-on—he changes diapers, he rocks him to sleep, he sings nursery rhymes…”

      “Careful, now,” warned Edward. “You’re destroying his macho cred on TV, and he may never live it down!”

      “Oh, come on,” Zainab defended. “What’s so ‘unmacho’ about a man showing his sensitive side when it comes to his own kids?”

      “Thank you,” I concurred. “Chidiebere recently got some abuse for feeding CJ in public—and before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusions, he used a bottle…” More laughter followed. “Some random guy saw Chidiebere feeding him in our car outside church, and he screamed at him, saying he should be ashamed. A father feeds his son, and he’s meant to be ashamed? My father attended prenatal classes with my mother in the UK before I was born, and I turned out alright, I think! It’s so satisfying to see a father and son so close, and people need to keep their opinions to themselves.”

     “Exactly,” said Zainab, and more applause followed. “You need to get your father on the show, I’ll love to hear of his experiences! You always bring the best guests, like Dr. Julius-Njemanze, she was great when she came here. Speaking of which, you’re returning next week for an extraordinary show, aren’t you?”

      “Yes Zainab, we’re doing a special on motherhood. I’ll be here with other new mothers, and we’ll be discussing labour, breastfeeding, development, everything major when it comes to motherhood for the first time, and you’re all going to help us out! I’ll be speaking from experience, and it’s going to be exciting, so don’t miss it.”

      “You really don’t want to miss it, folks, so please make an appointment next week!” Chidiebere delivered the show’s closing catchphrase, and the audience rose to their feet, erupting into a huge cheer. “Thanks to Dr. Edward Ekpo, Dr. Zainab Saheed, and Dr. Ruth Gyang. I’ve been Dr. Chidiebere James, and let’s not forget the beautiful Dr. Doris James, my wife!” The audience applauded louder, nearly drowning out the music playing on a loop. Weren’t they supposed to play our closing theme at this point? Chidiebere daintily took my hand in front of the bewildered crowd after passing CJ to Zainab, grinning mischievously. “Shall we?” he asked with a flash of that infamous smile, his eyes gazing deep into mine.

      An a capella group had sung this song at our wedding. Somebody please tell me Chidiebere isn’t about to slow-dance with me in front of thirty million viewers, I fretted. I spotted Olivia standing in the wings, and pleaded desperately with my eyes, begging her to rescue me from national humiliation. Not that she got the message; instead she smiled and gave me the thumbs-up, no doubt praying for a memorable moment to go down in her show’s history. Thanks for nothing, Liv. 

      “Chidiebere, what on earth do you think you’re doing?” I whispered alarmedly. “This is The Doctors, not Celebrities Take 2; they got cancelled years ago!”

      “Come on, baby. I’m just impulsive,” he grinned devilishly. “Dance with me, please?”

      Chidiebere had borrowed my ‘red’ album in the early days of our relationship, and “Just to Be Close to You” quickly became his favourite track, although we agreed the slightly uptempo song wouldn’t cut it for our first dance at our wedding reception. Yes, I, Doris Duru, finally tying the knot. Despite everything I told Anna when I declared I’d never get married? Still, who could argue with destiny?   

     “It’s not like you to act on impulse,” I whispered, resisting the urge to snatch my hand away, in case Indigo Lily ‘misinterpreted’ my response as an on-screen spat. 

      “And it’s not like you to resist a Backstreet Boys song,” he answered. “Come on Doris, we’re not doing anything illegal. Remember that episode we did on dancing last year? ‘Dancing has been known to encourage muscle strength and tone while improving flexibility’. Ring any bells?”

      “Poor imitation, I sound nothing like an oxygen-deprived mouse. Okay, fine,” I reluctantly agreed. “Try not to stick your tongue down my throat though, or you’ll get us taken off the air. Just because BassNet is no more doesn’t mean Mum and Dad won’t be this watching on IBC.”

      “And my folks will be watching this on BCA. Don’t worry, I’ll behave. Scout’s honour,” he promised, mimicking a scout boy salute.

      Chidiebere led me to the front and drew me close, wrapping me in his big strong arms, resting his chin above my head. I closed my eyes, inhaling his musky aftershave deeply, taking in the meaningful lyrics, and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. My healing process had taken years, but the last two had liberated my heart, soul, and spirit, finally releasing those overwhelming fears holding me back, crashing down every barrier. Forgiving my aggressors hadn’t wholly erased the past, and I would never justify Jide’s actions, but wallowing in hatred and bitterness had only twisted the knife. My torrid experience had inspired my work with Cherry Blossoms, allowing me to channel some of my energy into their projects, and attending sessions with my new counsellor further empowered me, helped me stand taller, fight back stronger, and take more control. No ice cream scoop required. 

      And Harrison? The minute I shook my ex-boyfriend’s hand during our awkward reunion in Abuja, the animosity disappeared. Harrison genuinely regretted the incident outside EU’s teaching hospital, admitting he hadn’t entirely believed the story himself. We parted as friends before we parted, and I was pleased to hear about the progress he’d made since graduation—a lucrative career, a beautiful wife, two adorable children with another on the way. The full works. Life had treated him well.

      And Chidiebere? How on earth had I fallen for Dr. Chidiebere James? Actually, who wouldn’t fall for a sweetheart like him? He’d watched my violent reaction during my chance meeting with a university rapist, but never judged me unfairly. He was only a phone call away whenever I needed advice in the weeks that followed. He supported my career and never felt threatened, even after my TRI win, believing my best was yet to come. He made me feel like the only girl in the world, even when I squeezed those stubborn pounds into waist-cinching corsets, even without a scrap of makeup, even without my hair. He treated everyone with respect without any pompous airs and graces. Any other man would have run a mile the minute those EU sordid details resurfaced, but Chidiebere remained at my side, never flinching at my imperfections, always there for me like a good friend. Never had I imagined we’d become anything more than good friends. Good old Fate and her plans…

      My favourite designer and good friend Ebonee Jade once again played a pivotal role, helping me design a sleeveless A-line gown in white satin, and a short plain veil supported by a crown of white roses. Simple, chic, elegant, and not a corset in sight. Anna had helped me choose the bridal train attire, but couldn’t understand why Chidiebere and I turned down a juicy deal with Hello! Nigeria to cover my big day. Our wedding was about us, not the expenses, and definitely not about extra money. Juliet had done an exceptional job with the five-tier vanilla sponge sandwiched with raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream icing, and covered in plain white fondant. No miniature bride-and-groom figurines, no adorning roses, no cheesy inscriptions. Simple and sweet, like the man whose last name I now bore.

      Everyone who meant everything to us witnessed the memorable occasion, but I hadn’t expected Dr. Julius to arrive with her husband after I extended an invitation via email. My parents wasted no time rushing over to thank my old lecturer for her support during my EUquirer scandal—Mum with tears in her eyes—but Dr. Julius merely smiled and shrugged off their gratitude.

      “You raised a strong, intelligent woman, Mr. and Mrs. Dooroo, that’s why she’s reached these heights, and she’ll go on to do greater things. You both should be proud of y’selves. I can honestly say she was a great student, and I was proud to have taught her.” Mum and Dad stayed in touch with the Njemanzes after the wedding, and Olivia would later invite my former lecturer as a guest on The Doctors.

      The I Hate Doris Duru Club’s Lagos chapter glowered with envy at the sight of Chidiebere and I dancing in front of the TV cameras, but who cared? Grimace all you bloody want, I mused, pulling my husband even closer until his lips rested on mine. Our fans cheered wildly, giving their encouragement, and the kiss lingered—the type Nigeria censors wouldn’t allow on a family show. Chidiebere stared back at me flabbergasted when I let him come up for air, and I gave a sly grin. The man I’d just kissed on TV was my husband, and the haters could go to hell.

      I didn’t have to apologise for anything. Especially when I was simply being me.

Mex Orlando  Emeka

      Her long slender legs peeked through her royal blue evening gown slit, her glossy hair flowed down her slim shoulders, her bright sparkled with pride, contentment, and fulfilment. Presenting The Doctors on TV, winning major awards at prestigious ceremonies, endorsing antiseptic on countless billboards and posters all over Lagos, modelling for a popular fashion brand, appearing on yet another magazine cover… And she still found time as a spokesperson for a women’s charity where she helped raise millions for sexual abuse victims? Like a true woman of substance, Doris Ezinne Duru still had it, never lost it. 

      Cosmopolitan front cover carried the headline “DORIS JAMES NIGERIA’S FAVOURITE DOCTOR DISCUSSES LOVE, CAREER, AND NEW BEGINNINGS”, and with her trim figure no-one would guess Doris had recently given birth. I opened the magazine and scanned through the first few paragraphs until I reached the part where her husband described their first meeting.

      “When I first met her at Bass TV studios where we were recording at the time, I was smitten,” smiles Chidiebere who lovingly wraps an arm around his delectable wife. “Totally smitten. She was strong, smart, extremely driven, and did I mention she was also easy on the eye? I saw this beautiful lady standing in for Ruth [Gyang] on The Doctors, and introduced myself, wanting to know her better. She didn’t disappoint because she was everything I’d imagined she would be, and I loved her company. And then the bombshell droppedshe was already in a relationship. Why wasn’t I surprised? The best women are always taken, but whoever that guy was, I hoped he understood just how lucky he was, because she was one special lady.”

       “Aww, how lovely, is he a charmer or what?” Doris gushes, placing her left hand over his right, and giving a flash of her wedding ring. “I thought Chidiebere was lovely when we first met, and he looked after me on my first day on the set. Well, everyone on the set did, and they all made me feel very welcome, but I was mesmerised by that million naira smile that beams on every TV every week across the nation. My word, you should have seen how his fan cheered anytime he opened his mouth during my first recording, and I kept asking myself ‘Seriously?’, but I could totally understand how anyone could fall for the man I would later call my husband.”

       “Ah, now you’re just being overly nice,” Chidiebere teases, playfully slapping her on the shoulder. “I was even considering leaving the show the year she joined, but Doris urged me to stay. Come on, you know I’m not all that!”

       “Modest much?” Doris replies. “People watch Chidiebere on The Doctors and only notice the guy with the smile that drives everyone wild, and yes, they are his real teeth…” Chidiebere gasps in false horror at Doris’s revelation. “But to me, he means so much more. He was there for me when I was going through a really dark period in my life, always calling me to wish me well, always on the other end of the phone, no matter what.” She pauses, and the atmosphere suddenly becomes tense as her voice cracks with sorrow. “I was in an abusive relationship when I first started on the show, although no-one knew it at the time. The man lived abroad while I was here in Nigeria, but he wasn’t happy unless he was controlling every single move I made. He had no respect for the career I’d built for myself, he didn’t even want me presenting The Doctors, and we had some serious arguments about it, but eventually, I stood up for myself and did my own thing.”

        It’s hard to imagine how any man would be abusive towards this gorgeous, intelligent woman loved by millions, and I ask her to elaborate. “One thing most people don’t realise about spousal abuse is fists don’t always have to be raised, because abuse comes in different forms. The man in question was always criticising me day in, day out. He’d insult my job, mock my TV appearances… all this from the man who said he wanted to marry me, yet he always came up with some lame excuse when it came to fixing a date. The only true word that came out of his mouth was ‘hi’everything else was a complete lieand when I finally put my foot down after five years and said it was over, that’s when his violent streak reared its ugly head. I discovered he was already married, and couldn’t believe it. “

      Chidiebere takes Doris’ hand in his. “When I discovered Doris was already with someone else, I knew there and then she was out of bounds, sneaking behind someone’s back with someone else’s woman has never been my style. But that’s how it is with cheaters hiding a secret, they make up a bigger lie to hide an old one. Doris hid her pain well on set because she’s a wonderful presenter, but it must have been awful.”

      That’s not to say Doris’s break-up was the green light for Chidiebere to continue from where her ex had stopped. “Not at all,” he says. “I was tempted, I won’t lie, but what sort of friend would I be if I don’t give her time to heal?”

      “I even swore I was done with men after that horrible experience, one of a few horrible experiences, actually,” Doris chips in. “I hadn’t always had the best of relationship when it came to the opposite sex, so you can imagine how wary I was of my colleague when sparks began to fly, and boy did they fly!”

      “Big time,” Chidiebere laughs ruefully. “Even the other doctors on the show noticed, as did Olivia, our producer, but Doris always denied it. Zainab [Saheed, fellow presenter] would even ask why she always smiled whenever my name was mentioned, and Doris would claim they were all making it up. Gosh, she was stubborn!” 

       So what attracted the pretty part-time Ebonee Jade model to Nigeria’s hunkiest surgeon? “He had no big ego, he’s not arrogant in any way. He doesn’t even like to talk about himself that much, but always has nice things to say about his family, especially his mother whom I love dearly. When we started dating, he was only interested in me, really giving me his full attention, and when you talk, he listens. He’s also supportive, and believes in me tremendously.”

       Throughout the interview, the dashing Dr. Chidiebere speaks highly of his wife, and the presence of the interviewer and photographers is no hindrance to any show of affection. Two hours later, and the medical pair still gaze into each other’s eyes like two lust-struck teens as they did in the now-viral video of the couple dancing on The Doctors. And to think Doris turned him down the first time he asked her out.

      “When I think about it now, it’s scary because I didn’t know what was in front of me all along,” Doris reminisces. “But come on, have you seen his female fans? He used to show us some of his fan mail, and it would leave me half-amused, half-disgusted, some of those letters and emails were really X-rated! But as time went by and I began to spend more time with him, I discovered Chidiebere was no playboy, in fact, he was clearly the opposite. Hopefully, he won’t kill me for revealing this, but apart from the obvious, he’s a really sensitive soul with a caring heart, and very devoted to my stepson Chibuzor. I used to watch the two of them behind the scenes in the studio, and it was touching to see a father and his son so close; he’s a terrific dad.”

      “She thought I was already spoken for when I introduced her to Chibuzor, and she was in no hurry to meet someone new after her breakup, and I understood that. But it’s important to know Chibuzor really liked Doris, and the two of them are close. I’d watch the two of them together on the set of The Doctors, and I could tell she would be a wonderful mother when she had her own kid. And I was right. CJ popped out about a year after the wedding, and knowing that this wonderful woman is the mother of my child is an amazing feeling.”

      “I was nearly 37 when CJ was born, and the moment he arrived became the cherry on the top. I didn’t even think it would happen because I thought I’d left it too late, but it did, and loads of women a certain age give birth these days. Motherhood is pretty tough despite the help and support from my mother and husband, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. CJ has brought us so much joyhe’s a bright, funny boy with a smile for everybody, you can’t help but fall in love the moment you meet him despite his mischief, he’s just like his twin uncles. We truly have been blessed, and I’m so glad I gave Chidiebere that chance. I have a loving husband and a beautiful child I spend all my time with. God is good.”

      Does this mean the award-winning presenter has quit the show like Ruth Gyang before her? “Not at all,” confirms Doris. “We’ve discussed it, Chidiebere and I, and as much as I loved my job at Future Hope and my role on The Doctors, family comes first. I want to spend plenty of time with CJ as he grows up, but there are other projects in the pipeline, although it’s all hush-hush at the moment. I’m no longer with Future Hope, I work with my husband now, and I love it! I’ll still make the occasional guest appearance on TV whenever I’m asked, but I’ll love to return permanently someday. Maybe, who knows?”

      “She’s probably doing every other presenter out there a favour; if she was still on the panel, she’d win Best Presenter every single year. Let’s give someone else a chance, right?” he teases.

      Not bad for a woman critics branded a ‘sellout’ due to what has been described as “Overexposure 24/7” owing to her appearances in commercials for Ebonee Jade and Nettol. Does the criticism bother Doris in the slightest? “I’m not going to lie, that sort of talk can get to you,” says Doris. “But before The Doctors, before Ebonee Jade’s campaign, before Nettol, I was a doctor first, and always will be. A doctor who likes nice clothes, a doctor who’s used Nettol for years. What’s wrong with preaching what you practice?”

      “All they do is talk, but they don’t know my wife,” Chidiebere adds. “Have they forgotten the work she does for charity, especially Cherry Blossoms? She led their sponsorship programme when it first started in 2006. Nine years later, the girls under that scheme are now at university, studying hard to rise above those followers of tomorrow. Doris always keeps a low profile with Cherry Blossoms unless necessary, like when she has to appear at a launch or in a PSA, and she always does an exceptional job. My wife is a good doctor, good at her job, very popular at her workplace, and that’s that.” 

      Clara Duru, an Owerri-based midwife currently in Lagos for the customary ‘Omugwo’, strolls in holding her adorable grandson Zimuzo Chinonso Cuthbert James, affectionately dubbed ‘CJ’ by his doting parents (Eagle-eyed TV viewers would have already spotted Mrs. Duru in fashion designer Ebonee Jade’s latest fashion campaign featuring famous Nigerians and their mothers; Doris’ cousin, fashion blogger Anna Agu, also makes an appearance with her own mother Bernadette Duru). The tiny tot is exactly as Doris described him: an attention-grabbing cherub, and expresses his delight as he’s handed over to his mother. Both leave the room for his feed after posing for a few more photos together, Chidiebere still filled with admiration. Do the couple plan to have more children? “If it happens, it happens, but with Chibuzor and CJ, we’re blessed enough. I never thought I’d ever marry again after my first wife died shortly after Chibuzor was born, but it happened.” He brushes a finger across the scar above his eyebrow, a reminder of the car crash he survived the night Chibuzor lost his mother. 

     “CJ is never lonely, though,” Doris adds when she returns. “My brother Fred and his wife live just five minutes away, and his cousins Lucas and Sophia love him, always fussing over him. Anna’s daughters pop in regularly too, and Chibuzor’s a protective big brother. I’m glad we all share that bond because family’s important. I’ve truly been blessed…”

      What a contrast to my own uneventful life. My record company dropped me before I released my long-awaited classical album. My fiancée fled into the arms of some wealthy dude after I broke the news, just like the other lady before her who dumped me when the cosmetic company I worked for went bankrupt. My parents no longer held me in high regard after Doris shamed me that Christmas day, and nothing sucked more than losing your own parent’s trust. At least they allowed me to move into the bishopscourt, after the landlord chucked my possessions into the streets, but I’d forever lost their trust. Now I understood how Jide felt the afternoon I ejected him from the student’s flat after EU announced his expulsion.

      Jide… The world could have been his oyster had he risen from hate and envy after his father abandoned the family. Jealousy and wrath had not only ruined my old friend’s life, it had destroyed a whole generation, leaving his mother with no grandchild, and a man with no legacy.   

      Unlike Dr. Doris James. 

      As long as my name is Doris Duru, you will never know peace…

     Without further ado I opened my laptop, searched Dr. Doris James on Facebook, and began to type.

     Dear Doris,

      I’m probably the last person the wish to see, but please hear me out. I’m can’t begin to express how remorseful I am…

THE END

© 2019 Okoko Dedeh, Tami. All rights reserved

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