Husband and wife looked at each other.They looked at Banke together their eyes greatly questioning her.Their wonder, amazement and disbelief were clearly written on their face.They seemed to signal to themselves that something must be done. Something had to be done, it is getting worse. She has totally lost her senses.Dr. (Mrs) D’Almeilda moved towards the door but as if Banke is reading her thoughts she blurted out:
“I am completely sane. You don’t need to go and get a psychiatrist. I am alright”.
The Doctor came back to her bed. She looked intently at her.
“Yes, alright, my husband is not dead.”
“Not Dead?” The couple chorused together.
“Yes, not dead, he is in a London hospital.”
“Then what happened? Who was buried? Why did we not hear anything since?”
The questions came tumbling down.
“It is a long story.This letter explains.”
“No part of the story. Though it is a long one I will read it out for you. I hope you can wait.”
So she started reading the letter.
Dearest Sweet Wife,
I am writing you this undated letter from my sick bed. Although I could have written earlier, I was unable to write because of my condition and the situation in which I found myself. I could not trace how I found myself in London, but I can now- thank God- recreate what happened before I found myself in London. I am a twin, with an identical brother.You would have been able to know that now.You must have got this letter from him.. However, for more than twenty-eight years, I did not know I had a twin brother.The story is not of this year.It started long time ago as I found out the first time I saw him in Geneva. I would have been in dark concerning him if not for my war trauma.
During the war I was in military intelligence. Enemy forces caught me one day and I was tortured. Electrodes were attached to my head and I was tortured electronically. I was saved through assault on the enemy’s headquarters where I was held.The torture, however, had affected my brain.The effects came after the war. After post war treatment and counselling I was well and did not have any sign that the electric torture had affected my brain or mental capacity. Almost three years after the war, I felt dizzy in the office, became catatonic and lost my memory for almost three hours. For three hours I could not remember who I am or any other information. Luckily I collapsed in the office and was rushed to the military hospital where I was diagnosed as suffering from secondary amnesia arising from post-traumatic stress. I was to be discharged from the army but I was on an important assignment for military intelligence and it was of utmost importance since I was like indispensable, and needed to complete the job I was on even if I was to be discharged.I was treated and retained.The dizziness and amnesia then stopped and I did not suffer them again until some years after. By the time they started again, I had been redeployed from the strategic position I was and transferred to another unit. This led to my coming to the university for studies where we met.After my studies,I was back in the army where I was promoted after a coup d’état I played a major role in. The dizziness came with work pressure. I was back from my overseas journey and was in the middle of negotiation for the army when it happened. I was lucky it was not in the office and it was on a weekend. I was on a visit to Fred my friend at the Central Bank when I lost consciousness and blacked out. Fred in panic rushed me to a hospital in Festac owned by my twin brother’s wife. I opened my eyes to find her in distress and claiming I was her husband. It was after seeing my identity card that she believed I was not her husband.
She informed me about an identical twin brother, her husband. Before relating how I found myself in London, let me explain how I was unable to locate my relations or members of my family for a long time. I grew up an orphan believing that I had nobody except the man who put me in the military school and myself. The mentor I did not grow up to know. He died when I was nine and the year I entered the military school. I was an adopted son of his and his death as an army Colonel gave me a scholarship. As a result of my brilliance and the fact that Colonel and Major (Mrs) Bantale died on their way to their new posting in Command and Staff College, Jaji. I would have been in the car but I flew to Zaria from Lagos for the military school interview.They were coming by road to Jaji with the intention of my meeting them later at Jaji after the interview.We never met.A trailer lost its brake and crushed them to death at Tegina. That was how I became an orphan.The army authorities took over and since the Bantales had no other child, the army sponsored my education and I ended in military intelligence.When I came of age, I was paid their entitlements and informed about my background.They were, however, not my real parents. My real father was a Catholic reverend father named Sebastiano D’Almeida a black Brazilian who came to work in Nigeria.
Banke looked at her husband’s twin brother. He also , looked at her. They embraced and Banke started crying. Though now she is not sure again but something keeps telling her; your husband is alive. She wanted to ask a question from Mrs D’Almeilda when the door to the room opened and a staff nurse rushed in breathless and gently excited.
“Madam your husband is downstairs” she said panting
“Ehn”, Banji’s twin brother turned towards the girl
“Who?”, he asked.
The girl was surprised. She became confused. She never expected an identical man to her boss’ husband.
“It must have been your twin sir”, she stammered when finally she found her voice.
“It must be Taye”, he replied.