Previously on Don’t Dry;
“Mm… daddy… where…” a sweet innocent voice said from the back. He looked at the rear-view mirror and saw Barbara stir.
“Ssh… it’s alright, lovely. Looks like the game of hide and seek is over. We’re going to see mummy now.”
Little Barbara rubbed her eyes. “Good. I don’t want to play anymore, Uncle Mike.”
“I know precious. We won, so you don’t have to play anymore.”
#15 of 17
A & B
Segun tried Lara’s number for the fourth time, but she still didn’t pick up. He was getting very anxious. There was no point in ignoring the fact that he needed to head back home and figure out what was going on. It had been such a worrisome day, and a little part of his brain reminded him that he had hardly got any work done. There was a knock on the door and Chike stepped in.
“How you holding up, man? Police tell you anything yet?” Chike asked softly.
Segun sighed and gestured for Chike to take the seat in front of his desk. As soon as Chike sat down, Segun turned around his laptop for Chike to see the article online about Lara in her undies. Chike’s eye widened as he looked at Segun with shock. Segun only gestured for him to keep checking. Chike looked back at the screen and saw what Segun was asking him to look at. There were different tabs open, and each tab was a different blog and news site talking about the same thing. There had to be about seven of the open tabs with different pictures.
“Jesus… man… I’ve been with the board. I… I-I had no idea…” Chike whispered in shock.
Segun shook his head. “You have responsibilities, man. I get. I know you’d be here if the board didn’t require your presence.”
“Jesus, Segun. What the heck is going on? Has Lara said anything to you?”
Segun wanted to scoff but thought better of it. “Nothing. I’ve been calling her phone but she isn’t answering…”
“You should get to the house and meet her one on one, man. That’s the best approach at the moment. Figure out what’s going on, alright?” Chike advised. “I’ll cover for you, so get to it.”
Segun looked at his friend with gratitude in his eyes and sighed. “Thanks, man. I appreciate it.” He got up, picked his keys and moved to walk out the door.
“Fill me in on any updates o. Shey you hear?” Chike called from inside the office.
“I will, man!” Segun replied over his back as he made his way to exit the office building and get to his car.
Her phone buzzed again, but Lara just couldn’t bring herself to answer it. Segun had to have seen the story of her little show, and he would want an explanation. Of course, he deserved one, but she really didn’t have the strength to do so. She picked up her phone and saw six missed calls, all from Segun. She sighed and dropped the phone as she gazed around the room she had shared with her husband. She took a deep breath to inhale the fragrance.
Nothing was going to be the same again. Everything had changed. What about her daughter? Lara could only hope that Barbara was going to be alright. She had to believe that Barbara would be alright. And Segun would be as well. The two of them together would work… Barbara had always loved her father more than her mother. And Lara couldn’t blame her for that preference.
Foluso was dead. Lara prayed that Foluso was resting peacefully. She honestly didn’t deserve to go the way she did. Lara was a complete monster, taking out her frustrations like that. How would she face her daughter, teach her daughter things, knowing that she had taken the life of another human being? It wasn’t even in self-defence…
Lara felt tears threaten to spill from her eyes, but she closed them shut and took a deep breath. There was no use crying. It was pitiful even. Michael called her and said he was close, so she carried her bag and locked up the house.
Segun was minutes away from the house and tried to call Lara again. This time she answered.
“Lara? Lara! What the hell is going on?”
There was noise in the background… car honks and pedestrian sounds. It sounded like she was on the move.
“Lara? Are you there? Answer now!”
There was nothing, and Segun was wondering if she had answered without knowing. He was about to end the call and call back when he heard her speak.
“What did you say? I didn’t hear you.”
“I’m sorry. Segun… I’m so so… so sorry,” Lara sniffed on the other end.
“Lara, where are you? I’m almost home. We need to—”
“Segun… I know you can’t forgive me. But please know I’m sorry.”
“Lara what are you—” the call ended abruptly. Segun tried again, but the number was switched. He swore out loud as he slowed down, waiting for the lights to signal his lane to move.
X & C
Michael parked the car by the side of the road, waiting for Lara to call him and tell him that she was close by. He was still trying to figure out what he was going to do about Barbara. He could say that he saw Barbara wandering about. There was no reason for her not to believe him. And he was certain that the drugs would make Barbara’s recollection wonky, so she wouldn’t be able to tell precisely what had happened. Her uncertainty would be enough to let Lara believe his own side of things.
Plus, she was 5 years old. Lara wouldn’t be so inclined to believe her in the first place.
Michael smiled at his train of thought when Barbara said something that burst his bubble completely.
“Is that daddy?” the excitement was evident in her voice.
“Where?” Michael asked.
“Over there! He’s the one! It’s daddy! I want to see daddy!”
Barbara didn’t know how much she missed daddy until she saw him in his car waiting to pass. She knew that the lights told the people driving which way to go, and that daddy was currently waiting because his own light was red. Soon it would turn yellow and then green, and daddy would start moving. She didn’t want that to happen.
She wiggled the door’s handle and the door opened. She jumped out of the car screaming.
“Daddy daddy daddy!”
“Barbara wait! No!” Uncle Mike shouted behind her, but she didn’t pay attention.
Little Barbara realized too late that she should have.
Segun was fuming inside the car and impatiently waiting for the red light to turn to green when he suddenly heard a voice screaming out. Everyone’s attention turned towards the source of the noise, and Segun couldn’t help but look. The voice sounded familiar.
To his surprise, it was Barbara.
To his shock, it was Barbara.
Segun jumped out of his car to meet his beautiful little daughter as she bounced towards him, but then remembered where he was. He was about to tell her to be careful when everything suddenly happened in slow motion.
Barbara ran towards him, but it seemed like she couldn’t move fast enough. Segun looked to his right and saw that she was about to cross a side road not affected by the lights. He was about to tell her to watch out when it happened.
One moment, she was running towards him.
The next, she was tossed into the air by the car that hit her, landing with a loud smack on the asphalt.
Commotion ensured as people screamed, but Segun heard none of it.
There was only ringing in his ear as a blood curdling scream escaped his lips in one word.
**to be continued**
A/N: I’m sorry. 😭