Chapter 3:
Stought spent a few more hours at the hospital so Dr. Ugo could continue
showing him around. Meanwhile, Cordelia, Reggie, and Heathcliff went back to
their host family, the Gwanis.
Gwanis lived in a spacious condo in one of the high rises in Lagos. Geoffrey
and Cordelia had their own bedroom. And so did Reggie and Heathcliff. No
sleeping on couches or pull-out beds.
Reggie, and Heathcliff talked with the Gwanis for a bit. They sat in the living
room area for the conversation. The walls were white and it had a lot of
light-colored furniture.
shared details about their lives. And the Gwanis gave the Stoughts some advice
on what to do in the city.
Gwani worked as a manager at a corporation headquartered in Lagos. The
corporation operated mines throughout Nigeria and neighboring nations. Fatima,
his wife, maintained the home. They did not have any children.
market is a fine place to buy many things. You can get groceries, clothing, and
many other things there," Samuel told the Stoughts. "Of course, you can go to
shopping centers and supermarkets here too just like in America," he added.
market is a bit more unique to Lagos," Fatima said. "So if you want to
experience more of the city, it is more fun to go there."
be careful," Samuel said. "There are some dishonest folks who will take
advantage of you."
be careful," Cordelia told them. "We have dishonest folks in America too."
five of them laughed at that remark.
the market on the way to Dan Awi’s house?" Reggie asked.
it is. You go down the street south of the main street. It takes you right to
it," Samuel said.
had served them drinks for their talk. She saw that Cordelia’s glass was empty
and got up to refill it. "Would anyone else like more to drink?" Samuel handed
her his glass.
do you mind if Reggie and I go see Dan now?" Heathcliff asked.
asked the Gwanis if that would be okay. They said it would be. Cordelia made
sure the boys had their cell phones with them.
and Heathcliff politely said goodbye and then went out the door. They rode the
elevator down to the ground floor and soon were on the streets of Lagos.
was hot and humid, which was normal for this time of year. The city bordered
the ocean and there was a lot of other water around it. In fact, a lot of it
was built on swampy land. The boys each wore baseball caps with no logos on
them. They also wore buttoned short-sleeve shirts. The shirts were
light-colored and had no markings on them. The pants and shoes they wore were
also plain.
wish we could wear shorts," Reggie said.
but you know what mom and dad said. It’s best not to dress too casually when
you’re in someone else’s country," Heathcliff said.
quickly found the main street where the market started. Then they walked one
street south of it and continued walking west towards Dan Awi’s home.
they walked they got to see a lot of local culture. There were buildings of all
sorts and sizes along the sidewalks. Cars filled the streets. They honked and
moved around one another. And their drivers carefully avoided pedestrians.
were stores along the way but there were vendors in the streets too. Men and
women had carts or stands on the sidewalk for selling all sorts of colorful
food and goods. Some of the men and women cried out directly to Reggie and
Heathcliff. Some asked them to buy some of their food. Others showed them
worthless trinkets. The boys simply refused the offers with a smile. Most of
the street vendors smiled back.
the boys walked left the market section of the street. They now were in a new
neighborhood. This was a slightly less populated part of the city. And there
weren’t many businesses or vendors. Most of the buildings were houses or other
living spaces. The sidewalk became a bit more cracked and there were fewer cars
on the street.
and Heathcliff reached Dan Awi’s house. It was small and could use a few
repairs. But at the same time, it was neat. Dan came out the front door when he
saw the boys approaching on the sidewalk.
Reggie and Heathcliff," he said with a smile and a wave. The brothers returned
his greeting. They talked for a bit about how excited they were to meet one
another in person.
wore a baseball cap with a logo from an American professional team. "Do you
like playing baseball?" Reggie asked.
Dan replied. "It’s my favorite sport!"
too bad we don’t have a few more guys to play a game," Heathcliff said.
can’t we just make up a game of our own?" Dan asked.
mean like a game that’s sort of like baseball?" Heathcliff asked.
Dan said.
don’t we just do pickle?" Reggie said.
is ‘pickle’?" Dan asked.
explained the game to him. Two of the players acted as baseball fielders. Each
player had a glove and was at a base. The third player acted as the runner. He
would leave one base and try to reach the other base. The fielders threw the
ball to each other trying to get him out. The runner didn’t have to run directly
from one base to another. He could stop part way and go back to the base where
he started. The idea was to get the fielders to miss a throw, or to attempt to
chase him down. If they tried to chase him down and he thought he was fast
enough, he could attempt to outrun him to the opposing base.
liked the idea. He said he had two gloves and a baseball. He got those and
found an unused cardboard box. The boys ripped two of the flaps off and used
those as bases.
played for about an hour and loved it. Each boy had a chance to be a runner and
a fielder. Then they stopped for a break.
were at the Lagos Tranquility General Hospital earlier today," Reggie said.
"Our dad’s doing some work there. One of the doctors there, Dr. Ugo, said one
of the hospital employees rents a place from your uncle."
must mean Uncle Joe," Dan said. "He rents a building to a man named Rasheed
the name," Heathcliff said.
go see Uncle Joe. I want to introduce him to my new friends," Dan said.
be fun!" Heathcliff said.
a minute," Reggie said. "Is Uncle Joe’s place far away?"
said it was not. Reggie texted his mom to see if it was okay to make the trip.
She said it was after he told her where it was. Then the boys began walking to
Uncle Joe’s place.
was a short trip. It was only a few blocks away and less than a mile in walking
distance. Dan knocked on his uncle’s door but no one answered. After the third
knock, a man in a building next to Uncle Joe’s house came out and said hello to
Mr. Tikriti," Dan said to him. Dan made the introductions. Rasheed had a day
off working at the hospital.
he finished the introductions, Dan explained who the Stought brothers’ father
was. "Reggie and Heathcliff’s father is a doctor. He is visiting at the
Rasheed said with a smile. "That’s wonderful. I hope to get meet him."
soon said they had to go. Reggie and Heathcliff said they were happy to meet
Rasheed and then all three of the boys went back to Dan’s home.
walked back inside the building he rented for his home. He smiled again as he
sat down in a chair next to a fan. Not only would Al-Sayf be able to kill a lot
of people in the upcoming terrorist attack, but they would be able to kill at
least one American as well. Ahmed Al-Majid and his fellow terrorists would be
happy to hear this.