(Continued from Sins of the Forebears II)
Fridah does not have time to think. With the mammoth vehicle bearing down her, and with seconds to go before it smashes her little car into smithereens, she swings her car off the road. Because she is still moving at a high speed, her Subaru loses control when she swerves off the road and rolls into a ditch. Then everything goes black.
When Sebastian pulls out of the Hearto Supermarket parking lot, the only thing on his mind is to make sure that Fridah is okay. He wants to meet her and personally apologize. He is feeling guilty over what has happened, and his dislike for his mother has multiplied a hundred fold. It is now bordering on hatred.
Fridah has left at a high speed, but Sebastian’s Lexus is a vastly superior car to her Subaru. He is confident that he will catch up with her within no time. He caught a glimpse of her taking the highway route towards Nairobi, instead of going the opposite direction towards Kenekene village, and he assumes correctly that she is headed to the police station.
He drives the one kilometer stretch to the junction that leads to the police station then exits the highway. He can see her car in the distance, so he accelerates to catch up with her. He is still quite some distance behind her when he notices the wayward trailer. He slows down and swings his car off the road. He is sure the trailer is going to smash into Fridah’s car, but he also knows that he is not safe. The huge vehicle’s momentum downhill is unlikely to be deterred by Fridah’s little car.
His plan is to park his car on the side of the road, jump out and run to safety, just in case the giant carrier decides to smash his car off the side of the road. But he does not get to do all that. He has just managed to park his car on the side of the road when the trailer comes hurtling down. But he is lucky. Even as it makes its uncontrolled zigzag movements downhill, it does not touch his vehicle, but continues downhill and crashes into a tree, its sheer force uprooting the tree and causing it (the trailer) to overturn.
It takes Sebastian a full minute to recover his senses and remember Fridah. He swings his car back to the road and ascends the incline. The spot where her car left the road is clearly visible, so he parks there and jumps out of his car. Her car is lying on its side on a ditch. He jumps down to the ditch, gets to the car and peers inside.
She is still strapped on the seat belt and her face is bleeding, most likely from injuries caused by the shattered windscreen. The car is resting on the passenger side, so she is on the raised side. Sebastian tries the door. It is unlocked. He takes her hand and feels her pulse. She is still alive, but unconscious.
As he unclips the seat belt, he notices her handbag. He assumes that her phone is in there, and he will need it to call her mother. He takes it first and slings it over his shoulder. He then carefully removes her from the car. As he takes her to his car, he sees the obvious challenge. He will not be able to climb off the ditch to the road with her in his arms. Fortunately, a crowd has begun to form, and it includes police officers from the nearby Shava police station.
One of the police officers lowers his hands and Sebastian places Fridah into his arms. It helps that Fridah is small bodied. Then he remembers that Tom, Fridah’s son, was in the car. He goes back to look for the boy. He finds him in a bush. He is sobbing, but he has no visible injuries. He must have been somehow thrown out of the car when it started rolling.
One of the men in the crowd picks up Tome so that Sebastian can climb out of the ditch. Sebastian unlocks his car and the police officer places Fridah on the back seat and hops in to support her. Sebastian places Tom next to his injured mother jumps into the driver’s seat, throws Fridah’s handbag at the front passenger seat and drives away towards the hospital.
The easiest way to get to Shava County Referral Hospital would have been to go downhill and rejoin the highway, but the overturned trailer is blocking the road, so Sebastian continues up hill, past the police station and joins the dirt road. The road is rough, but it is the only way he can get Fridah to hospital on time.
When they get to the hospital, Fridah is taken to the emergency center. A few minutes later, a young female nurse comes with an update.
“Her bruises are superficial. Doctors initially feared that the pieces of glass may have damaged her eyes, but she is fine. She is in shock though, and doctors have not ruled out internal bleeding. A doctor will come later to give you an update after they have thoroughly examined her.”
“Thank you nurse,” Sebastian says gratefully. The police officer left as soon as the medics took Fridah and Tom, only asking Sebastian to make time to pass by the police station and make a statement. Sebastian has already called Harriet, Fridah’s mum, and wonders whether it is wise to call her again, just to give her this update. The update will lift her mood and make her less anxious as she comes.
“Is this girl your girlfriend?” the nurse asks.
Sebastian hesitates. At first he doesn’t understand why his relationship to a patient would concern a nurse, but then he realizes that they might require the authorization of a family member before conducting some procedures.
“Yes she is. But I have called her mother, and she is on her way.”
“Do not worry, she will pull through,” the nurse says kindly.
“How is the boy?”
“He is doing okay. He has calmed down and doesn’t seem to be in shock. Doctors are still examining him.”
They chat for a few more minutes and then the nurse goes back into the emergency room.
As Philomena is driving home, she is thinking about Fridah. She cannot allow her son to marry into a family of losers. The girl may be a lawyer but she has no pedigree. And she has no morals either, which is why she has a child out of wedlock. And only God knows how many more she has aborted.
Her biggest fear has always been that a social climber will target her son with an eye on the family wealth. That fear came alive today when she found him having lunch with that loose girl Fridah. Everyone one knows that Fridah’s father is a drunkard, and her mother is illiterate. She might be a lawyer, but she is a social climber. That explains why she got pregnant while in college. She must have been sleeping with old men for money. Philomena cannot allow Sebastian to shame the family name by marrying her. She will destroy that girl systematically.
Shortly after Philomena gets home, she receives a call from her friend Nancy. Nancy is the Shava County Woman Representative, and her daughter June is the girl Philomena would like Sebastian to marry. But although June has a massive crush on Sebastian, Sebastian does not really know her primarily because she was very young when he left Shava, and he rarely comes home.
“I thought you told me that Sebastian is single and that you would set up a blind date between him and June this week,” Nancy asks coldly.
“Yes, I did promise that.”
“Then why is June telling me that Sebastian is at Shava County Hospital with his girlfriend?”
“Has anything happened to my boy?”
“No, but it appears that his girlfriend has had an accident.”
“She is not his girlfriend. She is a social climber who…”
“Sebastian told June that the girl is his girlfriend.”
“So they have spoken?”
“Yes, although of course your son doesn’t know who June is. You can’t do this to my girl Philomena. You know how much June adores Sebastian, and you are the one who started raising her hopes.”
Philomena’s mind is overworking now, laying out possible scenarios.
“Maybe June can help all of us.”
“If that social climber has been involved in an accident, it means that it is possible that she will die, right? Doctors know that that is a possibility, isn’t?”
“Yes. But from what June told me, she is not that badly off. She is unconscious and in shock but she will recover.”
“June can make sure she doesn’t recover. She is a nurse; surely she knows something she can inject the girl with to make sure that the girl’s blood pressure shoots or drops until she dies. Anything that will make her die in a way that looks natural. When that social climber dies, June will be there to comfort Sebastian and their romance can begin from there.”
“You are very bright Philomena. Let me call June. And remember, even after they begin a conversation, you have to lean on your son to follow through all the way to the altar. He needs to put a wedding ring on June.”
“Of course. Do not worry about it Mhesh.”
Sebastian and Harriet are in Fridah’s private ward when the nurse Sebastian had spoken to earlier comes in. Doctors have confirmed that both Fridah and Tom don’t have internal bleeding, and Harriet has allowed a concerned neighbor to take Tom home and watch over him.
“What are you injecting her with?” Sebastian asks the nurse. “I thought the doctor said she will not need any more medication until he comes to check on her again?”
“It is okay. It is just paracetamol,” the nurse says sweetly. “The doctor says that she needs a shot of painkiller so that when she wakes up she will not be in a lot of pain.”
Harriet and Sebastian exchange glances then allow her to pass and give the injection. They have no way of knowing that by letting the nurse have her way, they are signing Fridah’s death warrant.
Image by Piotrg255 from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/accident-auto-crash-car-road-734594/
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