Harold later manned up and drove home silently, on arrival he went straight to the bar at the extreme end of the expansive sitting room and poured himself some Irish cream, gulping it all almost at once.
He was on his second glass when Ijeoma came to meet him to announce that dinner was ready.
He joined them at the table, marveling at how he was able to maintain his composure.
After dinner he went into his room refusing Ijeoma’s entreaties to warm his bed that night, in his words, he had important business to give serious attention that night and needed not be distracted.
A disappointed Ifeoma went away murmuring about how he hadn’t even had her time since picking her up from the coal city.
Harold put both DNA tests in his file, pulled his phone from the charging port and dialed a number.
He had arranged for one of his private and empty bungalows he had put on the mortgage market to be put out of market as there was to be a new occupant from the day after tomorrow.
A cleaning team was also mobilized by him through phone to go the next day and get the house ready and habitable.
He called another contact of his for supply of modest furniture to the bungalow at Aladinma and his final call was for keys to be delivered to one Mr Sydney who was lodging at a guest house somewhere in town.
He said a prayer thanking God for such a huge revelation and asking God for guidance.
He went to bed, but stayed awake for a while before sleep finally captured him.
Chief Stanford Okeke’s Birthday celebrations was a carnival of some sort, being an astute business man and owner of various international conglomerates which oiled the national economy in various ways and a national illustrious son of the South Eastern part of the country, various captains of industries, five state Governors, lots of Senators, countless politicians, captains of industries and the Vice President representing the Presidency were in attendance.
IMO concord hotel was a beehive of activities as well as Chief Stanford’s residence, everybody was busy immersed in one activity or another but Harold still found time to sneak out to go and see Sydney.
He made arrangements for one of their company’s drivers to convey Sydney to his new Aladinma home the next day and made sure Sydney had religiously adhered to his prescribed drugs.
He snuck back to the party with nobody noticing his temporary absence.
Ijeoma was allover him once she spotted him and in order to conform to the norm, held her and danced beaming radiant fake smiles.
He was rocking her world at the moment but he never meant to.
By nightfall they had retired to the house and Harold held it down even with Ndaa Letty throwing one or two jokes at him from time to time, he laughed very hard in pretence and by past ten in the night, he was getting sick of the whole game so he tactically retired to his room citing fatigue as an excuse.
In the morning while they were at the Assumpta cathedral for the Thanksgiving mass, he had also found a way to sneak out to supervise the Aladinma apartment just in time before Sydney was conveyed to the place.
Sydney had been informed by the receptionist that he had a visitor, he was expecting nobody but Harold who well new his room and would have walked straight in, Harold also was not due to see him till afternoon, so he was very surprised at the announcement.
Tell him I’d meet him in a moment he announced to the receptionist over the intercom.
When he came out, he met the young man who had arrived and asked for him, Oga my name is Osondu, Oga Harold sent me to convey you to your new place he announced when Sydney was done exchanging pleasantries with him, he drove Sydney in the Toyota Landcruiser after helping him fetch his luggage’s and in no time they were at Aladinma.
An elated Sydney hugged Harold upon arrival, Harold immediately dismissed Osondu and wasting no time Harold began;
Harold: Syd, I’m late for Mass, I just dropped by to let you know that from today onwards this is your new home, there are no rents payable and the necessary documentation to the ownership of this place will be delivered to you tomorrow just for the appendage of your signatures.
Sydney : My brother, what good did I do to deserve all these acts of kindness? Was the only thing a surprised Sydney could mutter.
Sydney was very oblivious of the fact that calling Harold his brother had sent tremors of joyous sensation all over him.
Harold: do you really want to know why I’m doing all these to a man I just met? Okay I’d answer you.
I have been an only child wishing for siblings that I never had until yesterday that I nearly ran you over. Of course like you rightly pointed out earlier on, we’re brothers.
Sydney was lost and confused, he didn’t understand it was too good to be true how his fortunes had changed for good overnight.
Harold knew he wouldn’t understand and left it at that.
Harold : I need you to move your entire household from Orlu to this place, immediately, here’s money to that effect, meanwhile I’m working out something since you said you were into sand dredging and all that, tomorrow you’d sign a contract to supply our construction firm all the sand needed for a soon to commence 2000 housing units estate at Egbeada, the granite inclusive.
Sydney nearly fainted on hearing this, he ran outside and urinated almost on himself, this time lucky enough to empty the hot piss on the innocent flowers in his lawn.
He ran round the compound and later back to where he had left Harold who was just shaking his head, smiling happily. He sat down, he stood up, he jumped up , he lay prostrate and held Harold’s shoes and made and attempt to kiss it, Harold withdrew his legs and reprimanded him not to do that again, this time Sydney was in tears, he could never in his wildest dreams have been a home owner and a supply contractor to a huge project of that nature even with a registered company.
Harold drew him up and hugged him, he cried with Sydney for a while and wiped his eyes with a handkerchief he produced from his pocket and then handed it to Sydney to equally dry his.
Harold pat Sydney at the back hugged him again and urged him to start the process of relocating his family from Orlu to Owerri immediately.
Inside of him, he couldn’t wait to meet his real family.
They both settled for weekend to that effect.