Mariam: It appears I am hovering over the threshold of life and death. But I do not want to die mama [Slurred speech]
Martha: No, you won’t. God forbid! My enemies will not succeed over me [Mariam nods and looks away].
But that stupid boy, my God will punish him. He shall suffer just like…
Mariam: No, mama. Don’t curse him.
Martha: Hmmm, what do you know? [Hisses]
Mariam: He is innocent.
Martha: Who? Frank? Hey, Mariam. Mariam has killed me. Are you defending him after what he did to you?
Mariam: He did not do anything.
Mariam: It was those boys. I recognized them.
She was talking about the same boys that the police arrested a few months before close to the University gate. A woman came to the country from America along with her husband on a trail of her money, which she had sent to one of the boys. She had thought she was going to make a lot of money from a business that the boy, Big Show, had introduced to her. But he defrauded her and stopped responding to her many messages even dared to tell her she had been scammed.
Martha: You need rest. The doctor asked that you should rest, while they try to make a diagnosis of what is wrong with you. They still don’t know.
Mariam: We know!
Mariam: Even Nurse Kike has advised that we go to a traditional healer.
Martha: God forbid. What does that nurse know? Rest! That is what the doctor requested.
The white woman had reported Big Show and the other boys to the police. They flung into action knowing how much money they could make if they helped her to recover the money from the boys. The boys were rounded up one evening as they were stepping out of a bar where they had gone drinking. The white woman and her husband were happy to learn of the arrest and with an assurance to recover her money and wire it to her wherever she was, the duo happily left the country for their base. The boys spent a night at the police station and were released after parting with a huge chunk of the money Big Show had obtained from the white woman. The other boys also parted with some money.
Mariam: With all the money they gave to the police, the boys became broke. That day that Frank invited me to the club, I was still waiting for him to arrive when the boys entered and started collecting our pants. Frank said his car broke down on the road and would be late. I did not hear from him till the boys came.
Mariam: He knows nothing about it.
Martha: But…the boys confessed…
Mariam: That they worked together with Frank?
Martha: Ehn [Nods]
Mariam: That was a lie! They wanted to implicate him.
With Nurse Kike trying unsuccessfully to restrain her, Adanma, second wife of Azeez, stormed into the room where Mariam and Martha were. Disheveled, her face was soaked in tears. Adanma had never appeared in such a state. She was an intensely proud lady, who did everything possible to impress her friends and oppress her perceived enemies. But here she was without any of such affectations.
Nurse Kike: Madam, can we go out to talk.
The nurse tried to persuade Adanma and Martha to leave Mariam to rest while they stepped out to talk. But Adanma would have none of it.
Adanma: Wo, wo, wo…our husband has died. He died few minutes ago and would be buried this evening.
As if to prevent her from falling, Martha sprung up from her chair and hugged Adanma tightly while assisting her to a seat. With tears, she turned to look at Mariam, who has become lifeless. Martha was shocked to find Mariam in that state. Few minutes before, she was just speaking with her. The nurse was rushing out to fetch a doctor, hit a chair and tumbled to the ground.