Harry drove home and walked straight to his room to run himself a warm bath.
A knock came on his door just as he exited the bathroom.
Chief Stanford : son! (He called out from the other side of the door)
Harold: yes….. Father (that word father being so heavy in his mouth and came forth with much reluctance)
Chief Stanford: can I at least come in ?
Harold : sure the door is not locked.
Chief Stanford made his entrance and sat on the sette facing Harold and he began.
Chief Stanford: My boy ( that felt more appropriate to Harold who looked on keenly) why has your countenance suddenly changed since you drove in from Enugu, you have refused also to take anybody’s call in the last few hours and had told nobody of your whereabout, does this have to do with any fight with Ijeoma?
Harold: (laughed) no sir, Ijeoma cannot be a problem, I just am having one of those down moments after running into an old school mate who I loved so much after a long while, but the guy seems to be battling with life as it has had its toll on him, so I have been sad about him. (He managed to lie).
Chief Stanford: wow, very touching son, can you invite him to tomorrow’s party so that I can meet him and please cheer up because your mother is worried sick.
The mention of mother made his heart twitch but he managed to keep calm.
Harold: okay Sir, I’m fine.
Harold stepped out and tried his best to socialize, even kissing Ijeoma’s cheeks from time to time in public, he took it further by playing around with Chief and Mrs Okeke.
All was in top gear for tomorrow’s celebrations and the house was already beginning to become a beehive of activities.
In the evening a call came into Harold’s phone and it was Sydney. He was calling to inform him That the test results was ready and he was on his way to the diagnostic centre.
They agreed to meet there and Harold made an excuse to see Ikechukwu his friend and drove off in the Toyota corolla.
Sydney was at the gate of the diagnostic centre when Harold pulled in, so he waited for him to park properly and they both made their entrance into the laboratory.
Ikechukwu had explained to Sydney that he had Malaria parasite in his system and a high attack of semonella typhi which had made him suffer serious typhoid fever as well.
He was referred to the pharmacist with his test result and when he moved into the pharmacist’s office for prescriptions ikechukwu slid Harold’s test result into his palms and went back to work.
Harold waited for Sydney carefully concealing his own results in his pocket and as Sydney came out of the pharmacist’s office, he joined Harold who led him to the counter with his prescriptions and with his card, made the total payment on the POS.
Sydney was given the drugs and with instructions boldly stated on the packs on how to take them. As they exited the pharmacy, Sydney broke down in tears of gratitude close to Harold’s car and held his feet thanking a visibly embarrassed Harold who quickly pulled him up and opened the door for him.
Harold let out a long breath after shutting Sydney’s door and walked round to sit behind the wheels of the corolla.
Before he thumb started the automobile he told Sydney to be thankful and grateful to God instead as he was just a tool in God’s hands to solve his problem at that moment.
Harold drove to Umuguma junction and as Sydney made to alight, He insisted on getting to where Sydney resides.
They drove further into Umuguma and when they got to the part that was no more motorable, Harold parked properly on the side and locked the car. He walked down a bit further, getting to Sydney’s place, it wasn’t even his place because he was being allowed to squat and honestly it was verily in a condition of squalor.
Harold came in and blended immediately shaking hands with the other three occupants of the lowly ventilated and tiny spaced room amongst the numerous rooms of a slumlike apartment built on a flood plain.
The guys barely looked up as they were about to devour a bowl of garri with what seemed like a coloured soup. Harold declined when they invited him to the banquet before him, lying that he had eaten with Sydney outside.
Harold after a while called out Sydney and asked him to gather all his belongings. Which he did in awe and in absolute obedience because he had come to believe in Harold.
When Harold came in, he spoke up;
Harold: guys I say make I thank una well well on behalf of my cousin who una don help squat all these while.
As I enter Naija I say make I come carry am make me and am come begin dey stay (he lied)
The bewildered guys looked on in surprise as Harold went further by handing out a wrap of fresh crisp one thousand naira notes each to them.
They all kept screaming and dancing and one of them even carried Sydney’s bag as they left, the trio who hadn’t even cared to either wash off their garri stained hands or put on some clothes over their shorts saw off the duo happily.
And when they got to where Harold was parked, Sydney hugged them all tightly before they droved off with the trio waving until they were out of sight.
Why are you doing all these for me? Sydney asked as they drove away, because no human being deserves to inhabit such a place and haven’t you come to think that you got sick because of that environment? Harold replied.
Sydney queried no further not for lack of what to say but because he was so dumbfounded by the huge act of kindness, unspeakable generosity and an interesting turn of events in his life courtesy of some very kind hearted guy who had picked interest in him only because he carelessly walked into him driving off a petrol station.
Harold drove to a guest house and booked for two days, he left after making sure Sydney was well settled but not without concretely assuring Sydney that he’d be back in two days.
As Harold got into concord boulevard he parked very well by the corner and reached for his glove compartment fetching Sydney’s DNA result, he also reached into his pocket and fetched his.
He took a deep breath and opened both results and after studying both results burst into a long cry, in fact he wailed.
I’ve found my brother he kept wailing to himself in the car.
Instantly he missed growing up with a sibling like he used to, memories of loneliness as a kid a times despite all the nice treats flooded back while he had a brother elsewhere, intact from what Sydney had told him about his family, siblings.
He remembered quarrelling and making up with his numerous toys which he all named just to have a feel of siblings.
The summer holiday trips couldn’t even replace them.
For one long hour he was in this bad mood, shutting the world away, ignoring the calls that kept hitting his phone.
For one long hour he mourned the times lost with his real family.
For one long hour he wept at the deception thats had gone on for thirty one years.
He cried at his affluence and his real family’s impoverishment.