Night Runs – Chapter 13 – Mirage

Enjoy this new short story series

Chapter 13

Mirage

Adio didn’t pay enough attention when his passenger settled into the backseat. If he did, he would have noticed her hair.

There is a boldness in being so natural, in greeting the world just as you are, and Adio saw that in her hairstyle. While he understood that hairstyles were getting more daring and creative by the day, her hair felt like freedom of expression taken too far.

She weaved her hair into large spikes that jotted out in all direction mimicking the sunshine.

“Good evening.” her bubbly self started out.

“Good evening, ma’am.” He replied.

“Come, sit here.” She continued, beckoning towards the backseat door.

“Excuse me.” Adio looked at the rearview mirror to see his passenger make space.

“Are you comfortable?

“Yes, I am. Thank you” Adio replied.

“No, not you, silly.” She chuckles.

Adio looked again at the rearview mirror, his neck bent awkwardly for focus.

“Looks like we got company. Looney tune!” Don chipped in. “By their hair ye shall know them.” he added.

Adio had started the journey, negotiating the car to avoid potholes on the Apapa/Ijora road, renowned for its perennial and deadly pits. He still didn’t understand what was happening in his backseat. Were there two passengers in the backseat or one? His passenger seems to be in animated conversation with no one in particular.

“Yeah, I know. You know you were right when you mentioned that Chris had a thing for Esther. I watched them closely today at the party. He couldn’t keep his eyes off her. I envy the bitch.”

Silence. Adio could almost hear his eyeballs make a squishy-like sound as they turned around in their sockets.

“She is speaking to her “Donna”! Hahahahaha” Don’s annoying laugh rang through his ears. “This is indeed crazy, who would have thought that we could find a match.”

“Shut up Don. Her case appears to be a serious mental health condition.”

“I wonder if I could perhaps meet “Donna.”” Another round of annoying laughter accompanied the statement from Don.

“Just shut up, Don.”

Adio opted to watch and listen to his passenger.

“No, you can’t tell me that. I always knew Esther was a virgin. There is nothing you can tell me.” Her voice appeared tense.

“Is everything okay there, ma’am?”

“No, that is not true. I like Chris, but I am happy for Esther. Stop it.” She snapped.

Adio felt like he was the invisible person in the car. Her destination was still thirty minutes away and that was pretty much a long time. He was unsure how much of this diatribe he could accommodate.

“Ma’am! ”Ma’am!” Adio called out firmly.

The lady turned to Adio.

“You can call me Amanda.”

“Okay, Amanda. Can you keep your conversation down, please.”

“Sure.”

Silence slipped into the car for a moment until her voice rang out.

“Leave me alone. Just leave me alone. I am not continuing this discussion. I already told you; I don’t fancy Chris again!”

“What the hell! Madame, I will have to end this trip right now.”

“Leave me alone!” Amanda wriggled in the backseat as though wrestling her arm from someone.

“They are fighting Adio.”

“What kind of nonsense is this for God’s sake.” A worried Adio started to panic.

 “How do we separate them, Adio. She could hurt Donna.” Don felt genuinely worried.

“Leave me!” Was followed by grunts and groans as though Amanda was exerting herself physically against an invisible aggressor.

“Leave me!” This time it was followed by a loud scream that pierced through Adio’s eardrums.

By the time Adio parked the car, Amanda was in a violent fit, stamping her feet against the front seats while her arms thrashed around knocking on the side windows violently.

Adio left the car engine running as he jumped out of the driver’s seat, he could easily have left his skin behind with the speed he got out of the car. If panic was contagious, he certainly caught the bug. At that moment, he felt the urge to run, escape, hide, all at the same time. It was no different than when he was a child fearing the belt, the slipper or whatever his dad came to beat him with.

He looked around in the dead of the night for help, but the empty streets, with flickering neon lights mocked him with eerie silence.

Her screams pierced through the car windows as he peered into his car in utter shock to see his passenger writhe in unbearable pain. She was starting to have a seizure, Adio could tell because her eyes had rolled into her upper lids while her body had started to stiffen with sudden uncontrolled jerking movements of her arms and legs. The screaming had stopped, replaced by the gurgling noise as she was starting to choke on her tongue.

He was so bombarded by fear that his next actions became erratic. He raced to the rear of his car, yanked up his boot in one quick movement, his spanners and jack knocked on each other before he slammed it shut decidedly.

Then he raced to the other side of the road. He had absolutely no idea what he was searching for. He knew he could not simply stand moping, doing nothing as multiple sweat beads raced down his face to freedom.

By the time he returned to the car, everything was calm.

His passenger looked a bit dazed, out of sorts and confused as she tried to make sense of her disheveled hair and the trail of spittle at the corner of her mouth.

As though in slow motion, Adio approached his car with caution, each step landing on the tip of his toes thinking he had become a threat to the situation and must tread carefully.

He opened the rear door so he could take a good look at his passenger, who was now adjusting her blouse and smoothening the creases.

“Please get in the car, let’s complete this trip.” It was an order, not a plea.

 

PS- You can help protect someone during a seizure by being prepared to take simple steps. Some seizures are more dangerous than others, but most aren’t an emergency. If you want to do something for the person, focus on keeping them safe.

  • Give them room. Keep other people back.
  • Clear hard or sharp objects, like glasses and furniture, away.
  • Cushion their head.
  • Loosen clothing around their neck, if you can safely.
  • Don’t try to hold them down or stop their movements.

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1 thought on “Night Runs – Chapter 13 – Mirage”

  1. Adedamola ilori

    Will Adio ever breakeven on this job? Also, thanks for the information on seizures, very educating..

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