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WRITTEN BY: LIZZY OYEBOLA YAKUBU
“Oh my princess!” My dad hailed as he entered. I smiled at him as I tried to sit down. I had suddenly become stronger over the days.
“Good morning dad” I greeted with a warm smile. I turned to look at the wall clock and realized it was already 7am.
“You sure had a good sleep, yeah?” Mum asked as she entered. I nodded as daddy helped me to sit down, raising my bed and supporting my back with three huge pillows.
“Yes mum. I must have slept like a baby”
“Oh yes! Because we have come here two consecutive times and you were still sleeping. We were so glad” Dad said and I looked at both of them intimately.
“You two lovers, though!” I said and they chuckled.
“Why are you bringing us in all of a sudden?” Mum asked with a large smile on her face.
“I am beginning to heal, mum and dad. I am becoming mentally and emotionally healed. I really do not understand but I feel healed” I said with all excitement.
They both pulled a recliner each to my side and settled in them.
“Tell us about it” Dad said.
“You know, I have been listening to this tale about Blossom”
“Sure, we all know” Mum said.
“I listened to a very sad one yesterday about an unreturned love. You know, I am supposed to feel so bad and all but I am feeling so hopeful again. I want to give God a chance again. I want to love again. I want to marry again but mum, dad, I have a fear” I said and they nodded almost together.
“Tell us what it is” Mum said, very eagerly.
“Who is going to marry me? Who is going to accept me legless? You know, as much as I do not want to be negative and things like that, I am so worried that with this child in me and with this leg that I have lost, I might not be able to find love again. It’s been really bothering me. I feel so regretful. I seem to have lost everything. I wish I had met Dr. Zee earlier in life. I wish I had listened to Blossom’s story earlier in life. I don’t know, but the whole thing is igniting a hope in me, yet I am so scared and I feel so inadequate” I said, my heart really throbbing. Dad smiled and held my hand.
“Do you know what you will do for me, princess?” He asked.
“Keep the hope alive and keep the fear away. In actual fact, do us a favour of looking away from tomorrow for now. Look at today and today alone! Will you do that for dad?”
“Yeah, I’d try” I said, smiling half-heartedly.
“Baby, please do that for us, okay? Finish listening to Blossom’s story, give birth to Donatella, start physiotherapy and watch every other thing unfold” Mum said.
“But this physiotherapy thingy, I am not ready for it. I appreciate your efforts, mum and dad but how can I be wearing some metals and screws in my leg? How can I raise my baby with that? I have seen videos online and though the people say that prosthetic devices are reformative, their walking steps would never just remain the same again! They still walk like ducks! I would rather be in a wheelchair and stay home than go out walking as if I have something eating me up under” I said and I saw both of them exchange uncomfortable looks.
“No problem, dear princess. I know you have been so scared of physiotherapy. Yeah, I understand. You’ve been through a lot and I am so happy that you are getting stronger by the day. Mum and I would stop talking about physio then. Since it makes you feel uncomfortable, we would wait till you make a choice of your own to start physio. Alright?” Dad asked and I nodded.
“Thanks a great deal for getting my point, mum and dad. I am so grateful” I said and they smiled, looking more comfortable.
I could see it on their faces that they did not want to offend me at all. I felt so sorry for making them feel that way but I knew that I just was still scared and indecisive about the prosthetic devices.
“Baby, you have been discharged by all the departments managing you.” Mum started and I looked up, my face lightening up.
“Infectious diseases department has certified you fine now. The necrotizing fasciitis has totally disappeared!” Dad explained and I raised my hand to my mouth.
“Seriously!” I exclaimed and they nodded. “So, no more amputation or something like that?”
“No! You can check it now. The stump is as good as new” Mum said as she pulled the blanket off me to reveal the remains of my amputated leg.
“Wow!” I exclaimed, tears gathering in my eyes. “The wounds are all gone!” I said and they both moved close to me and hugged me tight. We all cried for a few minutes before mum broke the embrace free and started talking as though she was not the one who had just finished weeping.
“The cardiology department has certified your discharge also. Your heart is now fine and needs no more surgery after the catheterization has been done” Dad said.
“Wow! Thank You Jesus!” I exclaimed.
“And Donatella is growing so beautifully. We shall get to meet her next month by His Grace. So, Gynae and Obst has also discharged you!” Mum said and I burst out crying.
“I wish I could kneel down right now. I wish I could carry you both in the air and show how much of a hero you both are. I apologize for being a liability to you instead of being a great support and caretaker. I am so sorry for making your old age so unpalatable I am…”
“Stop that! Don’t you know we need some sort of exercise too at old age?” Dad asked, obviously trying to make me feel better. I smiled tearfully, dabbing my face with a handkerchief.
“We are so happy that you are our own daughter. We are so grateful to God that we can actually be busy worrying over you. If we didn’t have you, it would have been dead boring” Mum said and I laughed.
“You both should stop trying to make me feel better, c’mon!” I said and they laughed.
“We want you to be fine. Stay positive. Pray and study God’s Word and trust Him for every single thing! We will be right beside you all year long in good health and long life” Dad said and I quickly said an ‘amen!’
“So, are you still talking about going to Nigeria?” Mum asked.
“Yes mum. I would love to go to Nigeria and meet Blossom after fully listening to her story” I said and they nodded.
“Good! If that is what you want, then, so be it. When would you love to leave?” Dad asked.
“Erm….I guess I am almost done with Blossom’s story. Immediately I am done, let’s say 2 days, I should be getting set to leave” I said and they nodded.
“I guess we should leave you to listen to the story now. Should we send breakfast over now?” Mum asked.
“Donatella kept asking for midnight snacks so I really took a lot at midnight before I finally slept. I still feel bloated now. When I am ready to eat, I will ring the kitchen” I said and they nodded again, standing up.
“Do you need to poop?” Dad asked and we ladies laughed.
“No dad. The bloating will go away after a cup of warm water, I guess.” I said and dad started walking into the kitchen section of the room.
“You want to make me warm water?” I asked and he chuckled.
“Is it not just warm water? I am going to fetch from the dispenser. Stop making it feel like a big job” He said and we laughed again. “Do you mind some lemon squeezes?” He asked.
“No dad. I will gladly enjoy it all” I said and soon, a warm cup of lemon water was presented to me. I took it at a go and dropped it on the tray near me. I belched loudly afterwards and the duo clapped as if I had just won an award.
As they left the ward, I felt a warm breeze rush into my face at once and I felt like weeping. I had been an ingrate! I had everything at my disposal but I thought it was too much instead of thanking God for them all!
“Father, thank You for my parents’ love for me. No, I have been a source of joy to them from the very beginning. Thank You for making them smile through me. I am sorry for hurting and disappointing them.” I said and sighed.
I picked up my Bible, jotter and pen and had my devotion, singing joyfully and praying before picking up the remote control to start the TV.
“Why am I feeling so funny, Lord? Is something bad going to happen to Blossom? Oh my!” I cringed as I played the audio.
“Hey friends, this is Dola and I am going to be telling you my own part of the incidence that happened in the last episode. Thank you, Blossom for inviting me to be a part of this.”
“You are welcome bestie” Blossom replied.
As I watched Blossom going on the bike that day, it felt as if a part of me had gone. For the records, I loved Blossom as a sister, a best friend and a colleague. I felt so responsible for her whenever her dad was not around.
It took me quite a long time to realize that I was beginning to love my Blossom as a woman. When I realized that, I was so disappointed in myself.
“No, Dola, you can’t love Blossom that way! Blossom trusts you! She sees you as a brother, you cannot disappoint her this way!” My reasoning told me on several occasions.
I struggled with this feeling for quite a long time before I decided to call my mum and tell her. She burst out laughing after she heard my full gist.
“So, you just realized that you love her?” She asked and I was dumbfounded. “Your dad and I knew a long time ago. We have prayed for you and you should definitely pray to God to hear more from Him about the matter” She said and you know, I was so overwhelmed. I dropped the call when we were done and I couldn’t but stare into space.
I love Blossom!
Oh my goodness!
How did that even happen?
I started to pray about it. I asked God to forgive me if my undue closeness with Blossom had caused the attraction I was feeling towards her. I asked God to have mercy upon me and take Blossom away from my heart if she was not the one.
Lord, who would You want me to marry?
Is it really Blossom?
Days rolled upon days and years upon years. I was finally sure that it was Blossom after series of revelations and understanding in my spirit.
Two years after my discussion with my mum, I called her about the matter again.
“Mum, it’s Blossom!” I blurted out and she started laughing.
“After how many years?” She asked and I smiled.
“Mum, you know I was always telling you that I would never want to marry Blossom because of our friendship. I wanted to test the attractions and love. I wanted to know if it was God indeed. And yes mum, I love Blossom! I would love to marry her!” I said.
“Go for her, guy! The land is yours!” Mum teased and we both laughed. “Blossom is such a beautiful, godly soul! She is amazing and well cultured. I had been praying about her for a long time and by the time I got my confirmation, you know, I discussed it with your dad and shockingly, you know, he had seen it too!” Mum explained and I was so flustered.
“Wow, mum, this looks so surreal! So, what do I do? Should I propose?” I asked and she started laughing again.
“You really know nothing about love matters, do you?”
“Mum, stop teasing me. My heart is thumping right now. I am so flustered”
“My boy, it’s a year to your internship. After that, you people will start studying for your residency again. I know how ambitious you both are. You need to take this calmly and not overwhelm her. Then, you need to start working on yourself. You are no longer the Dola boy. You are not the Dola man. Blossom would never want to marry a boy, you know?”
“So, what should I do?”
“Okay, you both need to cut down on your communication. Then, let there be an upgrade in your dress sense. I know you’ve got my dressing skills in you, bring it out, baby!”
“Oh mum, I never knew you have this thing in you!” I teased and we both laughed again.
“Then, start saving now! Invest in different stuff. I love your dad, he has been saving all your award fees in different accounts for you. Ask for them now and start to invest in so many things. Estate management is my best ideal for you. You need to start making money now or what will you feed Blossom? What money will you use to host a fine wedding ceremony? You understand?”
And that was what I had been doing. I had saved and oversaved! I had gotten four 10 units of apartments on Lagos Island. I had stepped up my game on looking more manly. I reduced my daily discussion with her and I patiently waited for the day when my dreams would come to reality.
I had planned that immediately after we both graduated into the senior residency, I would propose to her. I felt that we could have a beautiful courtship, write our final professional exams, become specialists and then get married.
I knew how much we were aging but I felt that since we both had the specialist dream in mind, we could as well achieve it before getting married.
Many brothers had proposed to Blossom and she would always tell me about them. She would pray about them and say ‘No’. It wasn’t until recently that Jerry, our colleague proposed to her and I was so disappointed that she told me she wanted to pray about it too.
Jerry was a womanizer!
We all knew that!
He was a ladies man and he would always date every lady he suddenly developed interest in.
I knew he did not love Blossom and he wanted to only use her. I told Blossom about it but she told me that I was thinking too far about him.
Is Blossom loving Jerry?
No way, Lord!
I was in my room one of these days when I heard Jerry’s voice behind my window.
“I am definitely going to get her and show you all. What, you mean there is a girl in our college that I cannot ram into? I will prove to you all that Blossom is also just one of dem girls!” He boasted.
I went outside that day to meet him where he was making the call. He quickly ended it and looked into my face.
“Presido, good morning sir” He greeted and I smiled at him, sitting on the pavement beside him.
“Good morning, Dr. Jerry. Sorry, I was eavesdropping” I said bluntly. He avoided my face, guilt written all over his face.
“Blossom is my bestie. I would never want you to hurt her, Dr. Jerry. Focus on Paediatrics and be good at it. Leave Blossom alone”
“Okay, presido!” He said and stood up. “But sir, Blossom will be the one to make the choice between her bestie and her man. Whoever she chooses wins” He said and started bouncing away.
I knew that Dr. Jerry was not my match but I wasn’t sure that he was not being diabolical in his approach to young female doctors. To me, he appeared to be using some charms on them and they suddenly would just fall.
As much as I trusted Blossom, her telling me she would pray about Jerry’s proposal scared me. I had to sincerely start praying for her. I did not want anything to touch her at all.
Three years after his claim, he was still pursuing Blossom and she did not know. I told her about it but she told me to calm down.
I was so shocked however that she got angry with me over a little argument that we had settled and then deciding to meet with Jerry over staying with me.
A few days before, I woke up with a terrible dream. I saw Blossom in the pool of her blood, her two legs chopped off. Then, I saw a stretcher carrying her away with her stomach suddenly protruded.
I was so scared when I saw that. It was not the first time I would see such kinds of visions about her, since I saw myself as her guardian and would always pray for her- so, I asked my mum to join in fasting and prayers against the vision.
That night, she called to tell me that the principal wanted to see her, since her health was deteriorating. I knew immediately that I should not allow her to go. I knew that danger was looping. Not that the principal was bad, never but it was as if the coast was just not clear.
I explained to her that I wouldn’t want her to travel at that point. She explained to me how Mrs. Makinde (Our principal) was her guardian and mum since her dad travelled abroad for his health issues. I told her I understood but I would want her to delay it and not go.
It was not for my selfish benefit!
I was not in any way trying to control her as she saw it. I was only trying to protect the one I love! The vision looked too real to be true.
She agreed after some convictions from me and a call from my mum but I was so shocked however when she brought it up again over our lunch, the lunch that was meant to be our proposal lunch!
And then she even walked out on me to meet Jerry!
The Jerry that was a cankerworm!
I walked inside the cafe again and smiled ruefully at the waiters and some friends that were already lurking around in there, waiting to be a part of my surprise team.
“I guess we would have to do this another time. I am so sorry.” I apologized. They expressed their concerns and understanding also. I appreciated them, and walked out into my car.
Blossom’s words started rushing into my ears as I locked the door and turned on the air conditioner.
“Jerry asked me to meet him at a cafeteria so I need the space in my tummy right now to accommodate all the food he would get us”
Tears started to form in my eyes.
“You are wrong! Dr. Jerry is a child of God and you are only skeptical about him because you are jealous of him!
Tears rolled down my cheeks at that.
“What is your business if I do?”
That was her reply when I asked if she would still be going to Abuja. We had never had such a heated argument in our entire life!
I tried to judge the whole situation to see the psychology behind her words but I just couldn’t find any!
Did she not like me?
Did Princess say anything negative to her during their discussion?
Is she so in love with Jerry?
I picked up my phone, wiped my tears and dialled Princess’ number. I wanted to find out if she discussed anything with Blossom about me.
It rang three times- she did not pick up. I sighed, anxiously.
I was about dialling Blossom’s line when my phone rang. It was Dr. Mary. I picked it up.
“Hello, Dr. Mary. I am so sorry, we cannot meet again today. Something urgent came up”
“Oh, alright, doc. But is everything alright? You voice sounds dull”
“No no no, I am very okay. Thanks”
“You just met with Dr. Blossom, right?” She asked.
“Yeah, is anything the problem?”
“Nothing, presido. I just saw her going to her room now and I was wondering why she is crying”
“Crying?” I asked, quite troubled at once.
“Yes, presido. I asked her but she said you were waiting for me at the chapel. That was why I called” She explained.
Blossom told Dr. Mary that I was waiting for her at the chapel?
She was crying?
What is the matter?
Wouldn’t she go meet Jerry again?
Why was she crying?
“Presido, I think I know what the matter is. You know, I really don’t know how your friendship is but Dr. Blossom likes you. She likes you so much. If you are led to her, please propose to her very quickly” She said and my eyes widened.
“Why? What is the matter? I don’t understand”
“I knew she liked you but I liked you too. So, I have confronted her a number of time to leave you for me.” She said and started sniffing.
“What!” I exclaimed, my heart racing.
“I was so foolish, presido. Forgive me. I had a deep moment of reflection over it all and realized that I had been unwise. That was why I wanted to meet with you today to confess and apologize” She explained and I sighed.
“Wow! I didn’t know anything about this.”
“Yes. She probably kept it to herself. Since you told her you were meeting with me, she must have been hurt. Maybe that was why she was crying. She was so embarrassed that I saw her tears. I apologize, presido. Your love is meant to be! God has confirmed it, go for it sir!” She explained and dropped the call.
I was stunned!
I never knew that Blossom liked me!
I never did!
My phone rang just then and it was Princess.
“Hello my Dokita. How far? I missed your call. Sorry ehn, I was potty-training my baby”
“Oh good, wonderful!” I said. “Ermmm…Princess, did you have a talk about me with Blossom today?” I asked and there was silence.
“Why? Did something happen? Is she acting up? What is the matter?” She asked and I sighed.
“Talk to me. Feel free, please Princess.”
“Of course, when you both will be deceiving each other with the ‘bestie’ name nko? I asked her if she loves you and obviously she does! This girl is 32. She is a lady! There’s not much time! I know you both love each other, so why all these bestie-zoning each other? I asked her and obviously, she still supported you. I told her to wisen up and get away from the bestie-trap if she wants to ever get married”
“Oh my, Princess! I wish you had spoken to me first. Oh my! I was meant to propose to her today. Everything is ruined!’’
“What! My goodness! It’s a lie! Oh my, why?” She was asking when I dropped the call. Tears rolled down my face as I started trying Blossom’s line over and over again.
“Jesus, I am confused. What do I do?”
The phone rang over and over again but she wouldn’t pick.
After like the hundredth time, the line was no longer reachable.
I started to try text messages:
Blossom, please pick up, I am so sorry!
Blossom, I love you!
Blossom, I will never want to hurt you!
My messages were not delivering so I tried Facebook and WhatsApp!
My messages were not going through.
I called Dr. Mary.
“Hello Doc, could you check Blossom in her room please? I am not able to reach her” I said.
“Okay, doc. I will go upstairs now. Stay on the line.”
After some creakings of the doors, footsteps, background talking, her voice became distinct again.
“Presido, her roommate said Blossom just travelled now, sir”
I was alarmed.
“She said ‘Abuja’”
My heart missed a skip.
“Please give the phone to the roommate, doc”
“Hello, is that Dr. Joy?”
“Yes, presido. Is everything alright? Didn’t she tell you she was travelling?”
“Do you know the park she went to?” I asked, avoiding all her questions.
“I think she uses the park close to UI. The PMT, or something like that” She said and I nodded.
“Thanks a bunch.” I dropped the call and started racing towards UI.
I must stop her from going to Abuja!
I just must!
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