Those Awkward Moments (Final Episode)

Those Awkward Moments (Final Episode)

“Excuse me, nurse,” Mother said to the uniformed woman manning the desk, “could you please tell us where we can find Ngozi Okoli? She was brought in earlier –”

“From a gunshot incident,” the nurse finished. At Mother’s nod, she said, “She came out of surgery awhile ago and has been stabilized. Are you family?”

I answered, “No, but –”

“Right now, the only people allowed to visit her are family members,” the nurse said. “There’s already a brother sitting with her in her room.”

“That’s fine, we don’t want to sit with her. I am one of the people involved in the gunshot incident with her,” I said, pointing at my chest. The supplication on my face was stark as I continued, “I just want to know how she’s doing, nothing more. She saved my life and I just want to know that she’s okay.”

“She’s stable for now –”

“Please, nurse,” I interrupted her, my eyes pleading, “I just really need to see that she’s okay.”

She hesitated a moment, turning her gaze from my face to my mother’s. Then she sighed and said, “Okay, but it would have to be just one of you. And you cannot go in while her brother’s still there.”

“Fine by me, thank you so much!” I gushed. “I don’t mind looking in from the window of her room. Any glimpse of her is better than nothing at all.”

“Very well,” the nurse said, before leaning forward to point down the corridor. “She’s in the room on the second left turning, third door on your right.”

I nodded my thanks, turned to get a squeeze of my hands from Mother, before walking down the corridor toward Ngozi. I got to the third door on my right and moved to the window to peer in at the occupants. There were two of them. Ngozi lay on the bed, utterly still, and looking frail against the backdrop of machines beeping gently in their effort to keep her alive. There was a man seated on the chair beside her bed. His chin was dropped into the cup of his palms, and worry lines were etched on his forehead and seemed to get more and more engraved every time he looked up from his listless staring into space to his sister on the bed.

He caught sight of me by the window, and stared at me for awhile. When I didn’t move, he beckoned me inside with a wave of his hand. I opened the door and walked inside, shutting the door and standing right next to it.

“I take it, you know her?” the man said. His voice was gravelly and his features a striking male cast of Ngozi’s.

I nodded. “Yes, I do.”

“A colleague or friend?”

“A colleague, and only recently, a friend.”

His eyes narrowed a bit. “Only recently?”

I took in a small inhalation. “I was in the room when she was shot.”

The man’s breath hissed as he inhaled sharply.

“I was bound next to her,” I continued. “It was our shared folly that put us in harm’s way and made her victim of a mad woman.”

“Why?” Ngozi’s brother husked. “Why did you two do what you did?”

“Because we wanted to do good, prove the innocence of a man we both admire and respect.”

He gave a choked sob and blinked rapidly as he turned his face back to his sister, lifting a hand to clasp hers. “Well, a lot of good it’s done her. When the search for truth ends with the threat of life getting extinguished, then that truth maybe shouldn’t have been sought for.”

“There’s no truth that shouldn’t be uncovered,” I demurred softly. “Ngozi believed that.”

The man whirled around and his moist eyes flashed heat at me. “Well now she’s lying there, fighting for her life! And you…!” He choked to a stop, and seemed to fight to swallow what he’d been about to say, what I knew he wanted to say.

“And me, I’m alive and standing here, daring to presume that Ngozi would still have wanted to do what she did had she known the outcome,” I said. “I had to escape unhurt, while she got shot.”

The stark grief on the man’s face confirmed my words as his thoughts. “I’m sorry…” he whispered.

“You don’t have to be. I’m sorry, sorry I got so presumptuous. Sorry I didn’t heed the coward in me when it warned for me to back out. If I hadn’t gotten involved, none of this would have happened.”

“Perhaps, but then my sister would have found another way. She’s fierce like that.”

Yea, she’s fierce alright, I thought with a nod, as I recalled how tempestuous our relationship had been in the past. To think that there was a time I loathed this woman almost as much as she’d loathed me.

Just then, the beeping from the machines began to rise in discordance, appearing to record the occurrence of something wrong.

“What’s going on? What’s happening?” Ngozi’s brother said in sudden panic.

“I don’t know – Doctor!” I screamed and had whirled around to yank the door open to exit the room in search of the professionals, when the door was jerked open, swinging inwardly so forcefully it narrowly missed scraping skin off my forehead.

Two nurses darted into the room and hastened to the bed to check the monitors and the patient.

“What’s going on? What’s wrong? Talk to me!” Ngozi’s brother kept saying over and over again.

“Anita,” the older-looking nurse said urgently to the other one, “go and fetch Doctor Olabode. Get him here quickly.”

“What is happening?”

“Sir, if you could please step outside –”

“I am not going anywhere! Tell me what is going on –”

“Nurse Yemisi, what seems to be the problem?” a male voice preceded a white-coated man into the room just then. Nurse Anita had just gotten to the door when he made his entrance. Amidst a flurry of medicalese from the nurse, the doctor rapidly inspected Ngozi with deft fingers and his stethoscope. His inspection lasted ere seconds, before he began barking orders. More medical personnel began swarming into the room, wheeling in equipment, as gloved hands stripped off the bed sheets from Ngozi’s body and began moving over her in a tense endeavour to resuscitate her from whatever danger she’d slipped into. Her brother was yelling his protestations as he – and I – was ushered out of the room and its entire vicinity back to the reception where Mother and my friends were waiting.

“Kev, how’s she?” Tayo began the moment they saw us.

I shook my head, glancing at the man who was shaking with evident grief beside me.

Tayo, Sly and Jude followed my gaze to the man, and Tayo looked a question at me.

“He’s her brother,” I mouthed my response to him, and he nodded.

“Is she okay?” Sly asked.

“Not really,” I answered forlornly. “She was fine, and then she relapsed. The doctor and nurses are working to stabilize her now.”

“She’ll be fine, I’m sure,” Mother intoned. “I’ve been praying for her and for Samuel.”

“Thanks, mum.”

The wait for report from Ngozi’s room was excruciating. When her brother became calmer, I attempted to engage him in bland conversation. I got to find out his name was Obidike Okoli, a contractor who owned small businesses here in Lagos, in Abuja, Makurdi and Port Harcourt. When he talked about his sister, he beamed with the pride of a sibling who took pleasure from her personality and from what she had accomplished for herself.

Our rapport was cut short however when Doctor Olabode finally emerged. We saw him before he saw us, and Obidike and I were already on our feet and surging forward to meet him before he was halfway into the reception. His expression was solemn as he approached each other. But I tried to tell myself not to dwell on that. These doctors always wore solemn expressions, no matter the nature of the news they bore.

Still I found my knees buckling and I managed to stay upright as we came to a stop before the doctor. The man divided a heavy look between the two of us. I started to shake my head, but I knew there was no way to duck the blow.

“I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “But she didn’t make it.”


I’m sorry, but she didn’t make it.

The words had exhausted the loop they’d been running around my head now that it was three hours after Ngozi passed away. But the crush of pain I felt at the reality of her death kept battering away at my insides, unrelenting. My tears had long since dried, but the aching would not leave my heart. Obidike had left the hospital about an hour after the doctor gave us the news; he’d wanted to get right on preparing for his sister’s funeral. Mother and my friends had given me space to grieve, and even now, they were nowhere to be found. Not that I was looking. I just wanted to wallow in the solitude I could get in the reception that wasn’t empty, not even at this time of the morning.

I was not to remain on my own for much longer.

I was staring, without really seeing anything, in the direction of the reception’s entrance, when suddenly my vision firmed and centred on the man who’d just walked in, looking very casual in slacks and a short-sleeved shirt. A man who I’d started to wonder if he was still alive. A man who saw me moments after I saw him, and with a contortion of his expression, instantly made a beeline for me.

I stood up to meet him. He came to a stop before me, and I saw the sadness, the grief in his eyes.

“You know,” I rasped.

“Yes, I do,” Josh replied. And he pulled me into an embrace, a gesture that unlocked another bite of tears in my eyes, which forced their way out to moisten the fabric on Josh’s shoulder.

From the shudder of his body against mine, I knew he was crying too.


“This is all such a mess,” Josh said thirty minutes later, as we sat, observing the human traffic in the reception.

I looked at him. I heard his unasked question, and felt a struggle in my search for an answer. “Josh, I honestly don’t know where to start,” I sighed.

He turned to me. His tone and expression were without censure as he said, “How about you begin with your deal with the police, one which you didn’t bother to tell me about? How about we start there?”

Remorse twisted inside me. “I’m really sorry. Believe me, I wanted to –”

“What stopped you? I almost understand why Ngozi wouldn’t tell me. We were close, as close as any male boss can get to his female secretary. But you! I treated you like a brother.”

“And it was the sense of loyalty I had for you that pushed me to go ahead with Ngozi’s cloak-and-dagger plan of exonerating you.”

“Still, you didn’t trust me, did you?” His gaze pierced me, my soul.

I dropped my head to the ground and said slowly, “No, I guess I didn’t. And I’m sorry. Please, don’t be mad.”

He sighed and I felt him turn his face away from me. I looked up at his profile as he refocused on the hospital activity. “I’m not mad.” He paused. “Okay, maybe a little. But not at you. I’m largely mad at myself, for not realizing all this mess sooner, for not knowing Maureen was up to no good with Highland, and for essentially putting you all in this kind of danger.”

“It’s not your fault, Josh.”

“It kind of is. I was in charge. I should have paid more attention.”

“She is family. You couldn’t have known.”

“Well, our familial ties have ceased to exist,” Josh said coldly. His jaw had set in hard lines. “By the time my dad and I would be done with that bitch, she’d wish she never married into the Bassey family.”

“I’m sure your vengeance won’t be necessary. After all that’s happened, after…” I paused to ride the pain. “After she killed Ngozi and effectively earned herself a murder charge, I’m sure she’ll be going away for a long, long time.”

For a few moments, we sat again in silence.

Then Josh asked, “How’s your friend? The one that got into the line for fire for you…”

“Sam’s fine. Or at least that’s what the doctor said.”

“Okay, I hope he pulls through.”

“I hope so too.”

“I have to get back to Highland. There’s much to do. I don’t see this New Year starting out so easy for me.”

“You’ll survive.” I gave him a wan smile.

“And so will you. You don’t have to hurry back. Take all the time you need to get yourself okay, okay?”

I nodded, not saying what was on my mind.

“And when my dad returns, I’ll be sure to let him know the big part you played in all this.”

“That won’t be necessary –”

“Nonsense! You did a good thing, and he should know. You deserve whatever recompense he deems you worthy for. In fact, I see a quick promotion in the near future for you.”

I produced another wan smile. This time, Josh noticed its lackluster nature, and I saw the anxiety leap into his eyes as he said, “You will be coming back to Highland, right?”

I sighed. I’d made up my mind, in that moment when I was strapped to a chair, looking on at Maureen as she mocked me, that should I make it out alive, I was going to say bye-bye to Highland and its drama.

I just didn’t think I’d have to tell someone this soon.

“Josh –”

He didn’t let me finish. “Kevin, don’t tell me you’re thinking about not returning to Highland.”

“I just –”

“Look, don’t make any decisions this hasty. You might get to regret them later. Just take your time, a about three weeks off, and work through everything. Just don’t decide to leave Highland please.”

I sighed. “I can only promise to think about it all. I can’t promise anything else.”

“Fair enough.”

He got to his feet. I did too. We hugged briefly, and he started out of the room.

“Mr. Achike?” a voice called softly beside me.

I turned away from Josh’s retreating back to the nurse who’d spoken my name. “Yes?” Instantly, I knew what she was here to tell me. “He’s awake?” I blurted.

She nodded, a stiff one – but confirmation nonetheless. “He’s asking for you.”


I found my way to Samuel’s room. The door was ajar, and I walked into the scene that besieged me with a strong sense of déjà vu. There was the patient on the bed, hooked to the machines that supported him and beeped their monitoring of his life. I felt a faint sense of unease flicker on and waft about within me. Guilt sat like a rock in the pit of my stomach.

Samuel lay supine on his bed, but he was very awake; his attention was on the mute television mounted on a small dais positioned against the wall.

He felt my presence and turned slowly to look at me.

“Hi,” I said softly as I approached the bed. “It’s me, Kevin, the guy whose life you were crazy enough to save.”

He kept on staring at me, steadily, blankly. There was something unnerving about his neutral expression.


“Who did you say you were again?” he choked out.

Shock slammed into me with the force of a shotgun pellet, and I staggered back a step. No! it couldn’t be! Fate couldn’t be this cruel to me! I stood there, staring miserably at Samuel.

And then, his deadpan expression cracked and delight surged. His eyes sparkled as his body began to shake with the soft laughter that rumbled from his mouth.

“You bastard!” I hissed. “You almost gave me a heart attack!”

“Totally worth it,” he replied. “You should have seen your face.”

“Oh yea? Well, you’re lucky you’re an invalid. I’d have started my taekwondo practice on you.”

“And you think you can get one over me after that flying tackle I exhibited back at Highland?”

“Ehen, about that…” I got close to him, took the skin of his hand in between my thumb and index finger, and punched him hard.

“Ouch! Hey! What was that for?”

“For being stupid enough to save this guy’s pathetic life.” I was pointing at myself as I said this.

“Oh come on, your life is not pathetic.” He paused and then added, “It’s just sad.”

We burst out laughing, but our hilarity was shortcircuited when Samuel began to grimace with pain and clutched at his bandaged chest.

“Seriously, Sam,” I said, “it’s not funny. You could have died.”

“But I didn’t. How about we just thank God for that?”

“Yeah, I guess.” I sighed. “I’m so happy you’re alive.” Tears stung my eyes, tears I didn’t know I had left, and I began blinking over the moisture. “You have no idea how happy I am that you made it.”

“Hey, hey, don’t get all drippy on me now.”

“I can’t help it – oh my God…” The tears had started leaking out of my eyes and slipping down my cheeks even as I flicked them out of my eyes and face.

“Do you seriously want to start crying right now?” Samuel said, amusement etched on his face.

“I’ve been crying a lot this morning.” I wondered if I should tell him about Ngozi, and discarded the thought almost immediately. “And I don’t know… Maybe it’s because I feel like everything bad that’s happened this year – sorry, last year, is all my fault. First it was Jude, and then my colleague, and now, you! Maybe Janet’s right, maybe I am bad luck. And you guys should just stay away from me.”

“Since when did you start listening to the words of Cruella de Ville?” he quipped.

“Since everything happening around me started proving she might have a point. It makes me appreciate more why I shouldn’t be made to know certain things I should know.”

I gave him a pointed look, and he narrowed his eyes. Then he widened them again and gasped, “Jude has told you, hasn’t he?”

“Yes, he has. And I’m so mad at you that you didn’t think to tell me the moment you found out he was lying about his memory. I swear, Sam, if you weren’t already in the hospital –”

“Okay, first of all, it was his secret to tell, not mine. So why don’t we just shift this anger away from me and place the focus on the real issue here.”

“Which is?”

“I don’t know. You tell me!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s just… this is what I’ve wanted for o long now. But it still doesn’t change the fact that he lied to me. There’s something that feels so awfully off about knowing I was lied to by the man I’ve always loved so.”

“Yes, but that was only because –”

“Yes, yes, Janet. I know. But I didn’t know this then. So I moved on with my life. And now he shows up, drops the bomb on me and just expects everything to go back to the way they used to be?!”

“Wait! What do you mean, you moved on?”

I expelled a breath. Then I said slowly, “I met someone.”

His eyes goggled. “Really?! Who?”

“You don’t know him, but you should know that it was so serious, I almost had sex with him.”

“Okay, too much information, bro!” he exclaimed, closing his eyes and turning his face away, like he could already picture me doing the nasty. A moment later, he turned to face me again. “Well, do you like this guy you’re seeing?        I mean, really like him?”

“I do – I mean, I don’t know…”

Samuel sighed. “Look, Kevin. Do you want my advice?”

“You mean the advice of someone who’s jumped in front of a bullet, and isn’t even fully conscious right now? Sure, why not!”

He blew a raspberry at me, before saying, “As long as I’ve known you, you’ve always had something for Jude. So it was no surprise when we all saw how heartbroken you were when he got shot. I mean, I literally rocked you to sleep so you’d stop crying that first night you were home after he was hospitalized. I know how much you love him. Seriously, anyone with half an eye can see you with him and tell just by the way you look at him.”

“I sure hope people with half an eye aren’t that much walking about in Nigeria,” I said wryly.

He chuckled before he continued solemnly, “I also remember how miserable the whole situation made you. You were a mess – I mean, abusing celebrities, blackmailing billionaires and joining forces with the police –”

“Yeah, I get it! I was Kanye West on steroids.”

Samuel chuckled again. “Exactly! What’s to say this news you’ve heard now will make things any different. I mean, you and Jude still have a lot of issues to resolve, and they can just as easily be avoided.”

Okay, now I was confused. “Samuel, what are you saying?”

“I’m saying, if you’ve met someone else, someone you truly care about, and who truly cares about you, then why risk it for a relationship with so much against it, including fate? Don’t tell Jude I said this, but if you’re tired of things like this happening, and you just want a simple, happy life for a change, then forget about being anything more than his friend. But if chaos and upheavals and ups-and-downs are your thing, then by all means, run away with him into the sunset.”

“Whose side are you on exactly?”

“I’m not on anyone’s side, but yours. I’m hashtag team Kevin. And I just want you to be happy.”

The smile that crept across my face was genuine and wide and came from a heart warmed by the words of my friend.

We lapsed into silence as he turned his attention to the TV, and I stared off in space, thinking and slowly coming to a resolution.

Finally, I said, “I think I know what I want now.” I was grinning as I said this.

“Well, what are you still doing here?” He made waving gestures at the door. “Go and get it.”

I got up from the seat I’d taken next to him and moved close to him. “You know I could totally kiss you right now.”

“Please don –”

Before he could finish his sentence, I swooped forward and planted a kiss on his lips, and then I drew back.

“Eww!” he exclaimed, before sticking out his tongue as he acted like he was gagging.

“Sharrap! You liked it!”

“Gerrarahia joor!”

And I did, laughing as I walked out of his room. And then I was no longer just walking. I was walking really fast, past Mother, Sly and Tayo, were called out to be in the waiting room, but got no response and the blur of my passing body. My mind was on a singular track. I couldn’t spend an unnecessary second without telling him how I truly felt about him.

For the first time in a long time, I knew what I wanted.

I stopped walking and started jogging. Then I was running until I was out of the hospital.

And then, I was at the entrance of the hospital building, and I stood there, panting heavily, my chest heaving from my brief exertion.

And then I saw him on the other side of the road. He saw me too and something communicated itself between us. And a smile slowly inched across his face, stretching his lips and turning on the brilliance of his dentition at the appreciation of his realization that he was the one I wanted.

I smiled back at him, and started across the road to him.

I believe it was a wise man that once said, “Sometimes you make decisions, and sometimes decisions make you.”

Right at this moment, it felt great making this decision.


Written by Reverend Hot

AUTHOR’S FINAL WORD: This is the end of Those Awkward Moments, but certainly not the end of the story of Kevin’s navigation through life. The series will be going on a break, and by the grace of God, will return in the near future with more peeks into the loves and life of Kevin Achike.

Previous Photo: A Few Days Ago On BBM

About author

You might also like

Series (Fiction) 4 Comments


The phrase “Thank God it’s Friday” had never held so much meaning to Martin as it did now. It had been a crazy week both personally and professionally. Apparently the

Series (Fiction) 4 Comments


So here’s what went down last week on BEAUTIFUL SINNERS. So Amara is still seeing her dead mother at the most unexpected places. She comes close to telling her ex-husband-to-be,

Series (Fiction) 13 Comments


Previously on DOWN LOW… * As soon as Martin gained consciousness, he instantly regretted it, as his head threatened to split open with the force of his headache. He tried to


  1. Mandy
    January 20, 07:57 Reply

    Wait, Kuddus?! He chose Kuddus?! Who da fuck did he choose?! Reverend Hot! Bia hia osiso! How dare you leave such a vital part of the story out of the FINALE!?! Just how DARE YOU?!

    • Ueze
      January 20, 11:16 Reply

      Has to be Jude.
      Kuddus is/was waiting at the eatery, with his ultimatum, abi?

      Great job, Hot Rev!

  2. Baby
    January 20, 08:12 Reply

    This is so beautiful… That advice that Samuel gave Kevin was a blast… Kevin made a smart choice… Nigga deserves to be happy for once. He should also go back to Highland…

    Nice one Rev. Hot

  3. Sheldon Cooper
    January 20, 08:22 Reply

    Reverend Hot who gave you the permission to leave me in this state? How could you?!

    I feel for Jude. *dabs tears off eyes*

  4. MagDiva
    January 20, 08:43 Reply

    Omg! I couldn’t breathe reading this. Samuel is a goat for playing that cruel trick on him. Lol

    I hope he went with Kuddus. But a part of me thinks it won’t last long and he will be back in the loving arms of his one true love.

    Thanks Rev Hot for the very hot series. Thoroughly enjoyed every single one

  5. shuga chocolata
    January 20, 09:37 Reply

    Wow!!! sometimes we make decisions, and other times decisions makes you.


  6. Davitch
    January 20, 10:42 Reply

    I laughed and almost cried whilst reading this masterpiece

  7. Mitch
    January 20, 12:42 Reply

    Oh, hell no! Rev, don’t even think of leaving me with this kinda cliff hanger.

  8. simba
    January 20, 12:57 Reply

    I had tears in my eyes….. which was awkward because a patient is sitted asking if am okay….

  9. Brian Collins
    January 20, 19:46 Reply

    What will be the title for season 2? I don’t got time.

  10. wealth
    January 21, 06:50 Reply

    Woah,best finale ever. You’re simply the best. So inlove with this writer. Nice work.

  11. Charles
    September 28, 05:27 Reply

    I won’t mind if this books series is converted into a movie,nice one

Leave a Reply