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Written By: Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle
I was shocked!
I looked at her as she spoke and wondered why till the very moment she remained so strong!
With all that had happened to her, she was supposed to remain indisposed and weak but she was still able to talk very much- it was shocking!
She was just too strong!
“I want to be discharged!” She repeated again as if I had not heard what she said earlier but I wouldn’t discharge the stubborn girl!
She looked very fine on the outside but her inside was sickly raw! How could I discharge such individual? How?
“You don’t have anyone in here to sign for you Talitha. We have a process to follow in this hospital and you have to adhere by it. If any of your family members can come and sign the document, we shall have you discharged so we have no fault hanging down our necks if anything happens to you afterwards” I tried to explain in my own simple way but her face looked so determined
“Doctor, you are a woman just like me. I may be small though but you should understand that I do have my rights as well. I…”
“I am in no way stepping on your rights Talitha! I only insist that you bring a family mem…”
“I don’t have a family!” She exclaimed as she threw her hands in the air angrily. This made the line in her vein to fling out and blood popped out but she was undaunted.
I turned to look at the nurse beside me and she looked white out of fear too.
What could be wrong with this girl?
Is there something wrong with her skin?
“My mum is dead! My dad is very dead and my foster mum is dead too! I have nobody! Can’t you get that? Can’t you let that sink into your head doc?” She screamed and I was alarmed!
She was not like that the very first day I met her. She was still very cool headed and was not this insensitive and vulgar. She loved and respected me in her own way.
What could be wrong with this little girl?
I went closer to her and sat on the bed beside her. She was panting heavily and my eyes ran over her protuding tummy
“You want to be discharged dearie?” I asked and she looked deep into my face then. She didn’t say anything further. I smiled.
I ran my gloved hands over her leg but she looked deep into my eyes still without blinking.
Then, I pinched her!- I pinched her so much that my fingers turned red and the spot on her leg became rumpled as if I had chopped off a sizeable piece of dough from a larger one.
But she didn’t move!- she was looking so deep into my eyes!
“Give me half dosage of ambien please” I said while still smiling into Tally’s face
“Injection?” The nurse asked and I nodded.
“Talitha, you will be fine. Okay?” I asked her and she looked lost.
“Mum?” She asked and I smiled again. She shook her head and bent her head in confusion.
Did I look like her mum in anyway?
I picked her right hand and rubbed it gently but she didn’t raise her head still. I collected the injection and took the crook of her elbow, located her Median cubital vein and into it, the drug I poured.
She still didn’t flinch until I stood up. She raised her head with tears in her eyes.
“Mum?” She asked and my heart melted.
I was right!- Some other things were wrong with her!
She held my thigh and wouldn’t let me go, looking straight into my still smiling face until I saw the effect of ambien as her eyes dilated and little by little, she sank back into her bed- asleep!
I covered her with a cover cloth and looked at the nurse
“She is changing drastically by the day” She said and I nodded as I looked at her observantly, removing the gloves covering my hands.
“Take care of her wound and set another cannula for her please” I said and she nodded as she set to clean her up
I picked my phone from my pocket and pressed.
“Honey, are you in anyway near West Ward?…Oh, great! Please I am in private ward 4…You need to see something” I said and smiled a bit.
The nurse looked into my face and I smiled again.
My brain was calculating!
Like a rolling pin on an empty board, I moved restlessly on my bed!
I could not find sleep in any quarter! My head was banging and my back ached mercilessly!
What is wrong with me Lord?
Why must my family bear the sin of a poor, helpless girl somewhere?
I command peace into your spirit Bowen!
I sat up at once and stared into space. I picked my phone and scrolled through, dialled a number and it started ringing.
“Becca, how are you doing?”
“I am fine ma”
“Sorry for disturbing your peace this midnight”
“OK ma” she responded and I thought twice about the call.
Were they fighting or in some sort of disagreement?
“How is Lagos?”
“Are you hearing from your guy?” I asked and there was a pause
“Yes” she said after a while
“Becca, tell me. Are you both having issues?” I asked again. I was tensed.
Becca wouldn’t talk curtly to me on phone. She was always cheerful.
Or was it because I woke her from sleep?
“I am not having issues with him. I don’t know if he has any with me” She said and I was alarmed the more
“Why are you talking this way dear? Talk to your momma”
“Ma, I don’t know what I have done to Dove. He seems distracted these days and he is not picking my calls”
“I was in his office day before yesterday shortly after his afternoon programme but he was not around. I called to see him yesterday also and he was nowhere to be found.”
“I will talk to him. My daughter, the world’s best couples will have issues but the joy in it is the ability to quickly resolve matters. Do you understand?”
“Yes ma. Thank you ma but ma, why did you call?” She asked and that met me unawares.
I stammered for a while before I could answer
I had called to ask her to continue praying for her fiancee and also make sure he is not making some deadly decisions. I wanted to tell her that Dove was at home with me just because he said the Holy Spirit led her to one Talitha for what assignment I couldn’t seem to understand. I just wanted her to talk godly sense into him!
But I couldn’t say anything with all I met on ground!- It would only make matters worse
“I was just worried and very bothered deep in my heart and I sought to talk with you” I said
“Did he report me to you?” She asked
“Ah, not at all! He didn’t”
“Ok ma. Thanks and goodnight ma”
“Good night my dear” I said and couldn’t remove the phone from my ear for a while.
The way Becca talked with me was not the way she would have talked with me on a normal day!
She was my gist partner and I really loved her for my son but what could the problem be?
I jumped up from the bed and picked up my robe. I quickly wore it and moved towards the door.
I needed to talk to my son immediately! Why would he be in Lagos and his heart be in Anuja because of a girl that had gone promiscuous? He wanted her changed and we all wanted her changed too but why would he be carrying someone else’s heavy load on his small head why leaving his personal matter unattended to?
As I was about to turn the doorknob, my phone rang and I turned to look at the wall clock- 3am.
Who could be calling me at this early hour of the day?
I went back to the bed and picked my phone
It was Ebenezer my brother in law who was working in the NAIA, Abuja
“My sister, there is a flight for 4am. Will Dove be able to make it to the airport before then?” He asked and my heart rejoiced in me greatly. He had earlier told me there was no local flight for the early morning that day.
“Why not brother?”
“Should I book for him then?” He asked and I smiled happily
“Please book for him. He will settle you when he gets there. Thank you brother” I dropped the phone and jumped to the door.
I was at his door in the speed of light. My heart was over excited
It was as if his presence in Abuja spelt danger to me earlier! I hated the feeling that my son was being blown here and there like a weightless balloon
“Yes son. Good morning”
“There is a flight for 4 and Uncle Ebenezer has booked for you. Can you get yourself ready?”
“What! That’s interesting mum! I will be ready right away!” He said excitedly as I heard him jump down from his bed. He made a noise.
I smiled as I knew how relieved he was too.
“Congenital Analgesia!” My husband exclaimed as he looked into Dr. Brown, his colleague’s face.
My husband was the head consultant for the Gynae Section of the hospital and I knew he would be very interested in this very rare case.
“Are you sure?” Dr. Brown asked as he looked into my face and I nodded.
“She threw her hands up in the air and with force the cannula came off and she bled really badly yet she didn’t seem to feel it. I pinched her really hard, she didn’t feel it, I injected her body, she didn’t seem to feel it. I believe that if further investigations are conducted on her, you will realize that she can’t feel pain anymore!” I said and as much as I didn’t want to believe it, it was just the truth I could see at the moment!- the painful truth.
“Give me the torch” My husband said as he walked closer to her. Dr. Brown and I did the same too as the nurse gave him the torch.
He raised her head and forcefully opened her mouth. He switched on the torch and pointed it into her mouth
My husband looked into our faces subsequently, quite shocked
“Dr. Richards, it could be true! She’s been chewing on her tongue!” Dr. Brown exclaimed and though I was glad that my diagnosis was right, my heart dropped that a young girl was passing through hard times that much!
My husband checked through her body and found some bruises
“She cut herself?” I asked and he shook his head
“Looks more like she scratched and dugged into mosquito bites” He said and I looked into Dr. Brown’s face in shock.
My husband, Dr. Richards stood straight and looked really flabbergasted.
“Oh my!” He exclaimed and we sighed too
“That’s quite interesting. It’s just 20 cases of congenital analgesia that has been recorded in recent times and none from Nigeria. This would be the first!” My husband exclaimed and I looked into his eyes. He was excited
He so much loved research and if the case really was congenital analgesia, it would be a big plus to our team especially if we could find some solution.
“Mum?” I recalled as she called me and the pitiable look in her face when she did. I also remembered as she held my thigh so I wouldn’t leave her while I was attending to her and my heart rent into pieces.
If my husband should let the case get to the board, she might become a national specimen and experiment! Was she emotionally fit for such?
Many questions ran through my mind and my head did some calculations as to how to have her saved from further medical probings and dissections.
“I have to inform the board” Dr. Richards said and I was not too surprised!- I knew how ambitious my husband could be.
“I think otherwise” Dr. James said before I could object and I was glad.
“Why?” My husband asked as if his piece of bread had been snatched. I wanted to know why too.
“Is she pregnant?” He asked me and I nodded. My husband gasped in disappointment. Dr. James smiled as he faced him
“I will advise that we keep her under close observation till she is due for delivery. Her childbirth itself will make history as only a few of these cases have been able to deliver successfully to live babies” He proposed and it made sense
He was the only medical practitioner my husband could listen to and thank God he did before I could say anything further
“The drugs and antibiotics might even become dangerous to the foetus” My husband agreed and I smiled
“Will, not might!” Dr. James nodded and I was relieved!
She was saved!
“If you both will agree, I suggest that we move her to the consult!” Dr. James suggested again and we both turned to look into his face at that point
“The consult!” We said almost together and he nodded.
It made sense!
The knock on the door was very loud and I wondered if mum wanted to bring the house down!
The door flung open and my mum must have been very shocked to see me sitting on the floor without getting dressed for my journey.
“You have not had your bath?” She asked, very shocked. I shook my head, my eyes still very much shut..
“Why?” She asked again
“Its 3.30 already. Why are you like this?” She asked and I shook my head
My head hurt too much. My knees hurt too much and it seemed like every other thing in me hurt greatly. I kept my eyes closed, not because I didn’t want to see my mum but because it felt like if I opened all the pain in the whole wide world would descend on me.
I felt her hands on my head and I flinched
“Why are you eyes closed?” She asked but I shook my head slightly again.
“Ah ah, will you answer me?” She slapped my back and I screamed in pain as a dull sciatic ache settled on my head. I opened my eyes and it felt as if the earth was spinning. My mum looked so shocked
“What happened to you?” She asked again and that was when I found my voice. I spoke slowly feeling a searing pain in my shoulder.
“I fell down. As you called to tell me that the flight was fixed, I jumped with excitement and fell on my knees, almost cracking my skulls” I said and her eyes grew bigger
“Oh my God!” She made to touch me and the pain sheeted through me with a terrible intensity.
“I need to be on my way mum. Help me wear my clothes. I will make it to Lagos” I said with great determination but she shook her head
“I am not that desperate son! Please be fine before leaving” Mum said and I shook my head
“I am so desperate mum! I need to get out of here today! I have work to attend to” I said and my mum hissed silently as she slapped my back, obviously forgetting that I was in pains.
I let out a harsh half-stifled yell and she placed her hands on her head in guilt
“Why did you come in the first place and now desperate to leave, ehn? Why don’t you think before making decisions? Why?” She asked with a voice that had gone all emotional
“Mum, there is no time. Get my clothes and help me” I said and she was reluctant.
“I can’t let you go like this. Stand up and let me see how well you walk then I will be assured that you can go on your own” She said and I made a low growl again, straining to stand up to the pain as I stood up.
My knees creaked and the pain rang like a bell in my brain but I looked into my mum’s face and smiled pretentiously.
In a short while, she helped me with my trousers and I struggled with my shirt as she looked for my passport for me.
“Mum, it shouldn’t take you that long to get it” I said when it felt like ages and mum couldn’t confirm that my passport was in my bag.
“I can’t find it. I have checked the sides to the whole bag. It’s not there” She said.
“Check for yourself” She said as she dropped the bag into my legs and I checked- to no avail!
“Oh my! I kept it in here! Where could the passport be Lord?” I asked
Don’t travel yet!
I heard clearly again and regretted mentioning Lord in my last question. I was not ready for any further ‘Yes Lord’ matter!
“I will go with the public transport mum. I have to leave today!” I said and my mum sat beside me, looking so troubled.
“Could it be…” She was saying, then she stopped and walked to the window side. She shook her head numerous times and then stared into space.
“Bowen Adameji!” She called out and I knew she was going to talk from her heart- she did that anytime she called my full name
“Could it be God stopping you from…” She was saying when I raised my hand in objection.
“Mum, even if it is God, He understands!” I said as I struggled to stand.
“My son!…hmmm…” My mum was saying again when I cut in. I was not ready to listen to anything that supported going back to that girl!
“Mum, even if it was the faithful and most obedient patriarch Abraham that was sent on this cruel assignment, he wouldn’t mind remaining forever barren!” I said and looked into my mum’s face.
She looked as if I had made the most sacrilegious statement ever and she shook her head in disappointment. My eyes welled up and I fell to my knees again.
“I am tired Lord! I can’t do this! Forgive Lord and send someone else! I can’t, I really can’t!” I cried a little more, struggled to stand and picked my bag.
I started walking to the door as my mum watched, obviously confused as to which she should allow me do- force me to stay or help me to go!
I looked at the curly-haired girl whose head sat on my laps and I smiled painfully as I recounted how the nurse had explained to us that she had no family member check on her since she had been admitted safe a lady who had travelled back to the states with her mum and a guy who only came to donate blood and had gone back.
“Oh my!” I exclaimed as my head suddenly became hot.
I knew how pitiful it was to be an orphan!
“She is not awake yet?” My husband asked from the front seat and I shook my head.
After a while, I noticed a movement on my laps almost immediately and I looked down at her. She squinted a bit and I reduced the light at the middle seat.
“Water” She said weakly and my husband turned to look at us.
“I want water” She repeated again and my husband got me a bottle of water from the front seat. I opened and gave to her and she downed it in a gulp.
Dr. James’ head popped out from the back seat and my husband looked shocked as well. I knew I was missing out on something
“What’s that?” I asked and my husband gasped on, obviously amazed.
“That was saltier than a sea!” Dr. James exclaimed and I was shocked.
“Her taste bud is dead as well!” My husband exclaimed and I was shocked the more as I looked at her. She looked so oblivious to everything going on in the car.
She placed her head on my shoulder then and focused on the moving cars in the still dark morning.
“Mum” She called at me and my husband looked at me, looking horrified.
“Mum?” The two men exclaimed and I smiled as I tried to signal to them to keep quiet
“Where are we going to mum?” She asked again and I smiled as I rubbed her cheek- how I hoped she would feel it!
“We are going to a better hospital so you can be really fine” I said as if giving explanation to a child. She nodded, squeezed herself into the seat again and made my laps her pillow.
“Memories issues too?” My husband whispered, looking into Dr. James’ eyes who was at the far back seat.
“I think so” Dr. James replied
I sighed as I rubbed her curly hair.
Everything I could do in my power to ensure she would be fine, I vowed to do even if it would take me resignation so I could be beside her and love her like her mum!
“Lord, I don’t understand all that is happening! What exactly do you want this boy to do? Have I been dead to Your leading all these while? Talk to me Lord! It’s been a while my Father! I am so sorry for being blind for this long. Have mercy upon me. Have mercy upon my son Lord!” I cried as I knelt down beside my son’s bed.
The driver had just left the house with Bowen so he could follow the public transport to Lagos and as he left the house, I felt a jab at my chest and a bad sensation covered me up- I knew I had to pray!
Stop being selfish!
“Ah! Selfish! How Lord?” I was so happy that I could hear Him speak again. It had been a long while and I had not really taken to cognizance the fact that I could no longer hear him.
But the Voice was not too pleasing!
It sounded harsh!
Because it concerns your son and his life now, you are much concerned but when the life of Talitha could have been saved by your love and care, you were nowhere to be found and you even stopped the boy who could have helped, Pastor’s wife!
My heart dropped to my bottom!
“Oh Lord! I am so sorry. I was just confused and irritated at how Bowen went about it! He took it as if he was the Holy Spirit. As if his presence will change the promiscuity of the girl”
The girl was not promiscuous!
“What! Reports got to us that she became promiscuous in school and lived a pretentious life” I argued
Whose version will you believe? Theirs or mine?
“Yours, Lord! But she is pregnant! She is undeniably pregnant Lord” I continued adamantly. I needed to understand the Lord’s viewpoint
How many pregnancies did you abort before you met me and gave me your life?
That question met me unawares and it felt as if the dirty linen which I had hidden from the world was being presented to everyone!
I gave you a very nice husband despite the promiscuous life you lived!
I nodded in affirmation. I had been very foolish right? I had no more excuses! Not even one justification!
And miraculously, I gave you a son though the medical personnel believed you would never give birth!
At this juncture, my eyes gave way to tears and I pulled at the bed sheet in anguish! I was undone! How could I have forgotten my dirty past so much as to treat a little child so spitefully?
Have you forgotten as a leader that there is a tendency for the devil to deceive your children at the adolescent stages of their lives? So why were you not carefully on guard that you allowed Talitha to fall off your hands?
Why have you made her despise my Holy Name? Why have you dragged my name in the mud? Why?
“I am so sorry Lord! I am really so sorry Father! Have mercy Lord!” I cried on and on, my eyes totally shut!
I was so ashamed of myself! I had failed as a leader!
“I repent Lord! I will look for her and do the needful! I will show her love again! Forgive me Lord!”
Never you call whatever I have sanctified unclean! Never you write anyone off even if it is a bad drunkard you see on your way to church! Never you kill anyone I have made to live! Never take my place! You are not God!
I cried on as my chest made some whistling sounds. I was crushed!
“Mercy Lord! Have mercy Lord! Forgive me Lord! Forgive your church Lord! Forgive me for discouraging my child from doing your bidding! Forgive me for being blind to what you were saying. I surrender all to you Lord!” I cried on.
You were saved for such a time as this. You were removed from the miry clay so that you can know how demeaning and humiliating it is to be in there and to help others inside, out of it! Haven being washed, you were never supposed to look back at those in the mire and not only spit into their faces but also hinder others from helping them out!
I nodded as guilt oozed out of me!
Because of your pride and for taking my place and making Christianity tiring to willing souls, I am meant to deal with you!- but I won’t in my mercy
I pulled the blanket to myself and sniffed in the mucus that had gathered in my nose as I cried the more.
“Thank You Father! I am so sorry dear Lord! Thank You so much loving Saviour. Oh my!” I cried on as I opened my eyes.
Just then, right beside me, under the blanket, my eyes greeted a green purse. My head snapped up and then I saw it clearly- Bowen’s passport!
Stop him and give it to him!
“Ah Lord! I don’t want him to travel again! I am so sorry for my stubborn atti…”
He can now travel!
“Ah Lord! You said you will have mercy on those You will have mercy and compassion on those You will have compassion. Have mercy on Bowen, on Joe, on my husband and on this household Lord! Forgive Lord!” I cried on
Stop him and give it to him NOW!
The prompting was very urgent and with great reluctance and a broken heart, I picked it up, picked my phone and stood up.
“Hello Eric. Where are you?” I asked softly.
A realization had dawned on me just then that my life was not mine and so even the lives of my children belonged to God!
“Turn back and get his passport for him. I found it” I said and dropped the phone. I sighed there and then as I realized only then that I had been wrong!
“Lord, please don’t always let me go far in the wrong before correcting me and also give me a heart that loves the Lord’s correction and yields to it at all times whether it is easy or not!” I prayed as I walked down the stairs.
“Attention please. This is the final call for the rescheduled Overland Air flight 1511 to Lagos. Departing passengers should proceed to gate number 4 immediately”
It was my flight’s announcement!
I was just so excited when mum called that she had found my passport although I doubted that the plane would still be on ground but- It must have waited for me!
But do you really need the passport to travel from Abuja to Lagos when you have your ID?
Just then, my bottom dropped!- That was so true!
Why didn’t mummy or I think in that direction?
“Oh my God!” I exclaimed as I covered my eyes in shame. I needed to leave quickly.
As I limped into the departures, the picture of my mum flashed across my face.
“Why did she look that sad? Her eyes were swollen too!” It was only that I realized that I had not looked into her face well.
“I must call her immediately I get to Lagos” I said as I moved to the gate and sat down with the others who were already there.
As I sat down, my knees creaked and I jumped up a bit in pain. The man seated beside me looked into my face from the newspaper he was reading.
“Have you knees checked!” He said and I smiled, nodding. Just then, another man wearing a hat looked at me from beside him. He looked at me keenly
“He is too young to be battling with arthritis” He said and the first man nodded.
I couldn’t even tell them that I was so fine and there was no arthritis anywhere because they sounded like doctors and you can’t argue with them sometimes especially when you are off mood.
As the gate agent called my group number, I picked my bag and was about going to the gate when there was a noise and all eyes were turned at us on the bench.
“I am not going. I am not going. I want to stay” The lady close to them continued crying and I wondered if she was being forced. A woman was holding onto her tightly
“She is a case study!” The man that told me to have my knees checked said, nodding severally
“Its obvious” The other man replied as he looked towards the lady keenly.
I looked towards the lady also. The older woman pulled her close with a smile on her face and the lady seemed to look into her face. Her look seemed to be magiacl as the woman hugged her and they started moving towards the gate while the other two men followed, obviously embarrassed.
I smiled to myself
“Why does that remind me of…” I was asking myself when the words of the crying lady rang on in my ears.
“I am not going. I am not going. I want to stay”
That lady!- the voice sounds so familiar!
I racked my brain continuously as we boarded the plane.
TO BE CONTINUED
Sorry for the loooooooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg break. It was due to situations beyond my control. Thanks for reading and I hope you have learnt one or two things. I would love to hear from you at the comment section. God bless you as you do.
Watch out for 8
Thanks for staying tune.
Written By: Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle ~~~2017
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