Written By: Oyekunle Lizzy Oyebola
It’d been two weeks since Becca last picked my calls…
I poured hot water from the jug into my coffee mug and wafted in the aroma for a while if that could calm the small storm rising up in me.
I picked up my phone and dialed her number again- it was ringing but she wouldn’t pick up!
“What’s up with Becca Lord?” I exclaimed as I raised the mug to my mouth.
My phone beeped then and I picked it up- it was a message from Becca.
I placed the mug on the table and hurriedly checked my phone.
Bowen, please stop disturbing my phone!
It was as if three bullets were released into my heart!
She called me Bowen! Then she said my calls were disturbing her!
“Gracious Lord!” I exclaimed as I fought the tears that rose in my heart.
My phone beeped again and I picked it up.
I have actually lost my testimony as regards my commitment to you. The little love I thought I had for you has greatly diminished so much that I can’t continue with this relationship.
The tears wouldn’t stop flowing!
I guess I have been very selfish all along, Bowen! See, I had actually loved your love for God, your reputation, money and job while you had loved me with the whole of your heart. I thought I would grow to love you even without those things but my heart betrayed me Bowen.
I dropped my phone, poured more water into my mug, scooped two spoons of coffee in it and gulped the very hot content down my throat. My tongue was sore and tears ran down my face.
“I can’t cry for a lady. No! I can’t! I am a man!” I said to myself and tried to smile but the tears ran down in quick succession still.
“Oh, that coffee was hot! See me crying here. Damn you coffee!” I exclaimed and cried the more, my head bowed so low.
I think your heart too has found succor in your newly found love as my own heart has also done. Enjoy your Talitha while I enjoy my Desmond too. Let’s remain friends dear. Have a beautiful day.
What did she know about Talitha? Who told her about Talitha? Did she even care to know the hell I was going through because of the Talitha?
Why would someone in whose hands I placed the whole of my heart and trust, decide to not only march it under her feet but also poured lot of sand all over it?
I didn’t care that I had already worn my cloth and was set to go to work. I fell to the floor and rested my head on the chair and cried some more.
The heartbreak was real!
I had never felt that way before.
It looked as if I would die!
I checked my wristwatch and looked at the time. I knew I was already late for work and for the first time in my entire life, I hated my job!
I wanted to sleep!
I looked into my phone again and read the message over…
Who is Desmond?
Who was the man who had come to steal the heart I had been courting and cultivating for over 5 years?
I remained distraught!
I turned off the ignition key, reached in the pigeon-hole for my spec and wore it.
“My dear lovely Nigerians, it’s another session of hanging out with Dove and I am most certain that…” I was rehearsing as I looked into the rear mirror but my eyes were sore again.
I smiled faintly and cleared my throat.
“I will overcome! I will!” I unwrapped a piece of minty chewing gum and threw in my mouth. I reached for my bag at the back seat and sighed for the umpteenth time.
“Let’s go” I told my spirit, soul and body, opened the door, closed it and walked towards the office for the day’s work.
I could hear the wheezing sound as she spoke to me on phone and I knew that she was having another asthmatic attack.
“Can you hear me my prince?” She called at me again and I jolted to reality.
“Mum, you need to use your drugs. I got to Lagos safely so you don’t have to…”
“Bowen, listen to me!” She said firmly and there was silence indeed but for the continual wheezing sound coming from her.
“Whatever God asks you to do from now on, even without telling me, please do!” She said and I frowned slightly.
“What is the matter mum?” I inquired again
“Bowen, when God says go and I say come, who do you obey from now on?” She asked and my heart started racing as I had heard the stories of mothers who when they are about to die say some funny things to wrap up their lives on earth.
My mum can’t die!
My heart shrank in fear!
“Mum, why are you talking this way? You are scaring me!” I said and I heard her smile
“Falling into the wrath of God should scare you more my son. God is merciful, yet He is a consuming fire” She said and I sighed deeply.
“OK mum. I have heard you but kindly go and take your drugs. I don’t like the way you are sounding” I said and she smiled again
“My son, I don’t like the way God is also sounding as regards this issue. Take shield but only in His hands.” She said. I stood up and walked to the window.
“Ok mum” I could only say silently.
“I want you to take a minute at work now and say this prayer with all sincerity of heart. Are you there?”
“Yes mum. I am here ma”
“Lord, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, hence the fear of man is the beginning of foolishness! I have been so foolish in recent times when I listened to, feared and became scared of mere man. Forgive my foolishness Lord and take over my life!” she said and the heat that rose from my belly transmitted round my inside and flooded my lower limbs making me fall on my knees, trembling.
“Ok mum” I said in a shaky voice now.
I felt that God was dealing with my mum for my sins right then and it scared me!
As I dropped the call, I trembled more as tears welled up in my eyes.
“God, I was the one that sinned against Your command. Forgive my mum and deal with me oh Lord! Ah, I can’t bear the guilt if my mum leaves this world because of the sins I had committed my God!” I cried on inconsolably as if a substantial quantity of pepper had been smeared on the raw surface on my heart.
“You are fired, Bowen!” The General manager said and my eyes shone in disbelief.
He had told me to meet with him after the board meeting and I was really optimistic as I knew he loved me so much!
The first day I stood before him with my overqualified CV, he had looked into my eyes with great joy.
“You will be a great advantage to my team. Welcome on board!” He had said and I knew that through God’s grace, I was one of the pillars holding his organization and come rain, come sunshine, except I wanted to leave, he would never chase me away.
I was damn wrong!
“Sir, on what basis have I been…” I was asking when he raised his right hand.
“Check the letter given to you. Its inside! Lack of competence, straying mind at work and emotional interference at the place of work. Those three have reduced your productivity and we are done with you Bowen Adameji!” He said firmly and I smiled a bit.
I really didn’t feel the pain so much!
I needed to sleep earlier and it was just a great opportunity to go home and have a very nice sleep.
“So, you are given ten hours to vacate the company’s building and hand over every other document belonging to the company. Is that alright?” He asked and I nodded.
I didn’t realize that my house would go too!
And the car!
I didn’t have to knock before barging into my dad’s office.
The rumour like a burnt offering had risen up in the offices that Dove had been sacked and really couldn’t hold it anymore.
“Daddy, what’s all these that I am hearing?” I asked so impatiently and my dad looked into my face deeply.
“Don’t you like it?” He asked and I knew it was true.
“Daddy, I love Dove so much, don’t you get it? I asked you to help step into the situation and all you could do is send him far away from me, huh?” I was almost crying
“I thought he would beg for his position and I would use that opportunity to ask him to look at you for once but he didn’t even beg! What do you expect me to do?” He asked and I could read pain in his eyes too.
With the inclusion of Dove on the staff list, the organization had risen into greater limelight really! I knew he wouldn’t love to send him off that way.
“Daddy, call him back and tell him you are giving him a second chance” I said desperately.
“My princess, as much as I love you so much, you can’t be pushing me here and there like a fool. I am the boss in this place and I have my name to protect. I can’t drag my reputation in the mud” My dad said and the popping up of his neck vein showed me that he was very mad at me.
“Dad, can you…” I was saying when he walked to my side and held my hands. He smiled fakely and pulled me to the door.
After opening the door, he looked into my face and pushed me out gently. He closed the door afterwards and locked it.
“Daddy, please. Think twice about it dad. Dad!” I banged the door and until I realized that some of the junior staff that passed by were laughing at my foolishness did I leave the door with my heavy heart.
Bello had come to drop me some plastic boxes that I would use to pack some of my things from the office and he was terribly crying as he left my office.
Some of my colleagues had come with their commiseratory words and had gone so when I heard the knock at my door, I knew that another commiserator was at the door.
“Come in” I said and I when I heard the click clack sound of the obviously high-heeled shoes in my office, I knew Princess had entered.
“Hello Dove” She said as she came close to me, her eyes filled with seduction
“Hi” I said and looked away as I walked to the swivel chair. She sat in one of the recliner.
“You really will want to quit your job?” She asked and I looked at her angrily. I smiled a bit afterwards and nodded
“That’s not a big deal Princess. There are other better jobs calling for my touch out there. Watch out for me!” I said and at that point I knew I had just boasted
The job loss must have shocked me then! I was only trying to hide it so it wouldn’t be obvious.
But I could read the pain in her eyes- my words had gotten to her!
“Bowen Adameji, why are you so full of yourself? What do you have that other men don’t have? Why do you make people’s life miserable with your lackadaisical attitude?” She said and I could further read desperation in her voice
“Princess, though you and your father have sent me away from your organization and it seems that I am packing my boxes to leave right now, I am better off than you both! I am leaving with my shoulders raised high while you swim on in your dirty river of shamelessness and lack of honour!” I said with a raised voice and she looked so shocked
That was the first time I would hear the Holy Spirit speak in two weeks.
I had intentionally tuned off all spirituality although I knew it was to the detriment of my soul but life indeed made no sense to me anymore.
I loved God and feared Him; hearing from Him gave me joy and my life depended solely on HIm but if the spirituality I had so nurtured was depended on how best to get Talitha saved, I was definitely going to suspend spirituality for sometime until God got over the Talitha thing!
That was my thought and really, the past two weeks had been so tough for me!
“Bowen, you just spoke those words to me? I had always thought you were a good christian. How wrong I was! My candid advice is that you stop wasting your time declaring yourself as a child of God. The same hell that a fornicator is going to is the same hell someone with a bad temper is going to. Get it straight!” She said and stood up but those words literally killed me!
They were like little pebbles that rush into the eyes all at once!
The pain rose up in my head.
“My own crime is loving you so greatly! But you are proud, boastful, you have no conscience, you lack courtesy and you are hot-tempered! I wonder why I loved you from the start. I will get over you!” She said and started moving to the door.
I will get over you!
As much as I had never felt any commitment to Princess, I was hurt by those words!
Her confession was actually very true- I had changed overnight! I had become the exact opposite of God’s will for me!
“Before I go Mr Adameji. A young lady called Becca came here two weeks ago and I told her you were not around and that you had gone to Abuja to look for your Talitha.” She said and my mouth went dry.
I heard that again and I tried to swallow hard. I had to take few more deep breaths to make sure I would be heard over the pounding of my heart.
“Go!” I said with the remaining sanity in me but she wouldn’t obey!
She wanted to see me go mad! She wanted to see me tear her into pieces
“She came with a guy in her car. She was not so shocked when I told her about Talitha. She was simply led back into the car and drive n away”
With each word she spoke, my anger grew rapidly.
I didn’t know if I was angry at Becca, Princess, myself or God but I was mad nonetheless!
“Go!” I said again as my jaws danced terribly against each other.
“I guess she came with the break up letter. She wanted to drop it with me but the guy that came with her said there was no need. ‘You have done the needful. Just leave the rest sweerie’ That was what he said and they drove off.”
As much as I wanted to hear the details of what had transpired between them that day, I felt so pained at the revelation of the callous method in which she would have broken up with me!
She came to my office with a man!
I shook with contempt!
“You can go now Princess. Thanks for the information” I said, bracing up as if I was that courageous.
“You can go plead with my dad now so you can stay. I guess my love for you will start to diminish from today so there will be no interference again” She said but I was not convinced that I was ready.
“Keep the job and give me my privacy please!” I exclaimed and she shook her head, opened the door and looked back inside my office.
“I love you still Dove!” She said with so much obsession that when she shut the door, all I could do was place my head on the table and weep!
There was a knock at the door and I lifted my wet face to see who it was!
I knew I must have looked so pitiful as my immediate boss’ face turned red all of a sudden.
He came to my side and hit me severally before he stopped.
When he stopped, I looked into his face, tears running down my face.
“Hit me some more boss. It’s like a bone is stuck in my chest and when I cry hard, it will leave. Hit me more!” I cried and he started crying too.
“How did you find yourself in a one-sided love Dove? How? I wish I could see that Talitha and deal with her some more for not accepting your heart! For destroying your career!” He cried on and I buried my face in his cloth as I cried some more too.
I was not in the mood to explain to anyone that there was no Talitha in my life and if there was, I cursed the day I first heard her name and doubly curse the day I set my eyes on her.
“You should have pretended to love Princess. Ah! See, what they have done to you now! I know you will make it anyways! I know you will succeed son!” He sniffed wetly and pulled me off the seat. He hugged me then
I felt a bit relieved at that point!
It was magical but I really needed to sleep badly.
I smiled at him and moved to the cushion and fell on it- my throbbing head needed to calm down real fast!
I could hear the door open and I felt my boss walk to the door
“He is sleeping please. Let’s give him some more time to clear his head” I heard my boss whisper and I smiled slightly.
The sleep was really needed and I would have prayed never to wake up just that I was so sure I would not open my eyes to eternal joy if I really did die!
“Oh my God! That must have been a very hard blow on you son!” I could hear my husband say after Bowen had explained all that had transpired to him. I sighed too from one corner of the dining room where I was seated
“I just don’t know how to tell mummy. She might not be able to bear the shock” Bowen said and I smiled. Little did he know that I had heard his narration from the beginning to the end.
“It is well son. Your mum had already seen this in a vision about few days ago and we had both prayed against it. If this is eventually happening, God understands!” My husband explained and I nodded.
“God be praised in all circumstances!” I sighed as I moved to the freezer and brought out a large bottle of wine which I poured in a goblet and walked to the sitting room with it.
As I placed the goblet on the table, my son stood up and gave me a very warm hug.
“I am so sorry for disappointing you mum.” He said and I smiled slightly as I held his shoulders.
“I am so sorry for failing to encourage you even when the road was tough son” I said and he looked confused.
I pushed him to the chair, raised the goblet to his mouth and smiled as I watched him gulp the grape wine down his throat.
“Your baby’s throat must be a desert!” My husband teased and we laughed at the metaphor.
“Thank you mummy” He said as I put the empty goblet down.
“Your mum is still feeding you at this age Bowen! Shame on you!” My dad said and Bowen laughed hysterically at that!
I wondered when my husband became a clown
“Leave my son o” I said with a smile and my husband raised his hands in total surrender
“It’s so good to be back home. It’s so good, seeing my love birds once more” He said and I smiled as I held his hands.
“You are back in Abuja so you can redefine the purpose for your living again son” I said and my husband nodded while Bowen looked lost
“We are your parents and we have the responsibility of directing you in the right path so we will be joining you in redefining God’s purpose for your life” Dad said and Bowen sighed.
I rubbed his tender hands softly.
“We will all be going on a three days fast for you my son. The Lord has to find you!” I said and he started crying.
I was touched.
My husband came close, pulled both of his in his arms and looked up.
“No matter how far we as a family have gone on the wrong path, redirect out paths Lord!” He cried aloud and our prayers started in earnest.
Talitha had just finished a bowl of pap and milk although she didn’t touch the chicken moinmoin that I had painstakingly made for her.
“Open your mouth” I said and she obeyed as I poured some drugs into her mouth. I waited long before I handed her water.
I wanted to monitor her progress but though her baby seemed to be fine, the Congenital Analgesia seemed to still be dealing with her seriously.
I watched as she crushed the different capsules and bitter pills and swallowed without squeezing her face at the bitterness.
“Lord, restore her feelings! Please have mercy Lord!” I cried out as I placed a kiss on her cheeks and raised a cup of water to her mouth.
I had grown to love Talitha like my own very daughter since she was brought to Lagos and I had to apply for a terminal leave at work to stay with her so she would be under my watch.
The doorbell rang and I picked the land phone.
“Who is there?”
“Its Jack designs ma”
“Oh! I am coming please” I said and hurried to the door.
As I collected my delivery, I moved to Talitha with a huge smile on my face. She looked away.
She had not spoken since a month ago! She had been mute!
“Talk to me Talitha. I am your mother. You called me mother” I said as I felt discouraged again. I dropped the paper bag and moved close to her.
“I love you Talitha. I love you as my daughter” I said and she looked into my face and smiled briefly. My face lit up then. Her eyes lingered on my face and she smiled again as she placed a peck on my face. I jumped up excitedly like a new bride that had just missed her period.
She laughed then and wanted to jump up too. I ran to her quickly because I knew that since she couldn’t feel pain any longer, she could wound herself so badly.
“See, a baby is inside this place” I said as I rubbed her already big tummy and she smiled.
“Don’t jump up too much you hear?” I asked and she nodded
Oh my God! I covered my mouth in awe!
She was responding already!
I picked the paper bag and turned to look into her face.
“Close your eyes” I said and she shrugged shyly. I felt so glad as I could see that she was becoming responsive.
“It’s a surprise nah. Close your eyes….Please… please…. please” I continued saying, tickling her as I did. She started laughing hysterically and this made me to stop.
Thank You Jesus!
I smiled and waited her to come out of her laughter fit. I brought out some very nice gowns and overalls I had ordered to be made for her and her eyes shone in surprise.
“You love them?” I asked as I started showing them to her one after the other and she nodded.
“They are maternity gowns. You tummy is becoming like a big big big ball everyday” I said as I demonstrated and she covered her face. I could see a smile. I smiled too, so happy inside of me.
“Mum” She called and I jumped on the chair beside her.
“Yes daughter, talk to momma” I said excitedly and she smiled
“Dad?” She asked and my smile grew dim a bit.
“Dad? You want to see dad?” I asked and she nodded and smiled again. I was confused.
“Dad” she said again and started throwing the gowns on the floor, a little frown forming on her face.
“Let me get daddy for you huh? He is inside” I said and started moving inside to get my husband.
As I opened the door of the library where my husband was, I felt a hot breath on my neck. I turned back slowly and found Talitha right behind me.
“Erm…see dad!” I said and pointed at my hot-tempered husband.
“What!” He thundered and I sighed as the look on Talitha’s face grew from salty to peppery!
“Dad, no!” She exclaimed and fell flat on the floor- on her face!
My heart jumped into my mouth as tears rushed into my eyes without caution as I bent beside her.
She turned to look into my face then and she was not showing any sign of a feel of pain in her tummy. I shook my head at her as she wiped my tears like a child.
“Talitha, that was dangerous. You are pregnant.” I said and she looked pitiful as I rubbed her tummy again.
“Did I just hear her talk?” My husband asked. He was already at the door.
“Dad, no!” Talitha screamed all of a sudden, broke free from my arms and started running to the sitting room again.
“Dear, just leave me with her. Go inside” I said as I ran to catch my newly found child before she hit herself against the wall and incur wounds that she won’t even feel upon herself.
“Where is Talitha sir?” That was the first question Bowen, the pastor’s son asked as soon as the opening prayer was said.
I had gotten the pastor’s message early that morning that my attention was needed at the Pastor’s meeting and had prepared myself even though I was sick inside.
The question he threw at me shocked me as I heard it- I was not prepared!
“Pastor Bode-Davies. Where is the daughter that the Almighty God placed into your custody as your child?” He asked again, he was looking so fierce.
His words sounded heavy too.
Had I failed God?
“God called you, gave you a seed to plant. You moved to the garden to plant it but instead of the plant to grow up straight, it kept bending to the other side and that saddened you! Passers by tell you the plant was just not good and deserves to be uprooted and forgetting that it was God who gave you the seed, you uprooted it and threw it away for people to step under foot! Now, I am God’s representative Mr. Bode Davies! Where is that seed that my God in heaven gave you as a child?” Bowen asked again and I could not hold my tears again
I had promised God that I wouldn’t cry at all so I had been uptight since I sent Talitha packing but I couldn’t hold it anymore
“She erred and…” I was saying when he cut in again.
“No sir! I am a neighbor and I have a baby. I give you my baby everyday as I go out to work. The baby doesn’t give you problem at all, she doesn’t cry nor does she whine but on this fateful day, she messed her diaper up and you were shocked. Inside of washing and flushing the poo down the toilet, you angrily stuffed the baby into your closet and flushed her off! I am back as the owner of the child. Where is my child?” He asked again and I sniffed wetly as I saw Mrs. Adameji going on her knees too.
“Pastor Bode-Davies, have you ever had a headache before?” He asked again and I nodded
“Speak up sir”
“Yes” I felt so embarrassed
“When you were having the pain why didn’t you chop your head off? Why didn’t you cut it off so that the headache will stop?”
“Bowen, it’s not what you are thinking…” I started crying again
“Then, it’s what? Speak up, I want to hear”
“I am hurting too…I am in much pain as…”
“Of course sir! That is what unforgiveness causes! Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results into numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. I won’t be shocked if you have all these that I have started sir!” He exclaimed again and I nodded.
My heart had become so weak over the months and I had suddenly started aging!
“I have actually forgiven her but…”
“Stop that sir! Forgiveness is not just about saying the words. According to Swartz, “It is an active process in which you make a conscious decision to let go of negative feelings whether the person deserves it or not,” Have you let go sir? When last did you set your eyes on this daughter of yours? What month?”
“That is about five months now”
“Ah! Why can we christians so preach forgiveness but we find it hard to forgive? Why? Have we forgotten that when we release the anger, resentment and hostility, we begin to feel empathy, compassion and sometimes even affection for the person who wronged us? Why must we always have ourselves caged?”
I fell on my face as I cried the more.
“I loved Talitha too much! I trusted her so much! I brought her well in the way of the Lord! I wanted her to be a virtuous lady like her mother. I was shocked when I heard what she had done. Mrs. Tade told me of the life she was living in school and it sounded so terrible” I tried to defend myself
“Sir, all the pastors in this place are very very guilty and that is why I am the one speaking here today! No one here can correct you because it was all of them came together and unitedly helped in the throwing away of our little poo-stained baby! They have no right to correct you!”
There was perfect silence.
“Pastor (Mrs.) Tade, Pastor and Mrs Fakunle, Pastor and Mrs. Adameji, my very parents and coordinators of this church, you have all sinned! My Bible makes me to understand that If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them! So, you have all sinned! I am not left out of the mess anyways. We have all sinned! With our very own hands, we have pushed Talitha out of shelter into the heavy rain and she is now being washed off, at the verge of being drown! The Lord will ask us if we lose her! Her blood will be on our hands if we destroy that one soul!” He preached on and there were various exclamations from the whole office
“Lord have mercy on us. Ah Father!” Mrs. Adameji cried out
“Ah, koye mi bayi ni tele Oluwa!” Mrs. Fakunle cried too saying in Yoruba that she never understood her actions were that bad
“Pastor Bode Davies is not the first pastor nor would he be the last whose child decides to derail. Eli was a man of God but his children derailed because he never corrected them. Even Samuel’s children were not good children though he shouted at them- he corrected them! They remained bad still!”
“Ah, that is true oooooo Oluwa!” Mrs. Tade rolled on the floor with tears on her face
“All mighty David is not left out too. Amnon his son was a rapist, Absalom his second born usurped his throne and slept with his wives, Adonijah usurped his brother, Solomon married strange women. Never did we hear that they threw their children out! Never!”
“Lord!” My pastor groaned as he held the pillars in anguish.
I was too weak to cry anymore.
I thought I was only correcting my own daughter and that after a while, I will get over it but I never did! The more I wished to forgive her, the harder it was for me. I felt humiliated
“You were ashamed of her! You were thinking, what will others say? After preaching to many youths, why would my daughter choose to disgrace me? Why? You kept on thinking right?”
His words were from above as they shot right at my wrongs!
“And some other thought, I need to push her far away from my children. I can’t allow her make them corrupt. How sure are you that yours are not even worse? We have been wrong and the time to arise is now!”
The silence was impenetrable!
“Why are you crucifying her for the sin for which Christ had been crucified?” He asked again and it with so much authority, the question hung in the air.
“We have done enough damage and it is time to save our church! Correcting the child o, not correcting the child o, those are not the issues, those saints of old did those yet it didn’t work but never for once did I see the Bible tell me those saints prayed for their children! Right? Maybe they were as overconfident as many parents here also that their children are fine and doing just fine!”
“How I wish Christians would learn to talk less, judge lesser and pray more and more! How great this world would be that way!”
“Hmmmm” Someone whispered and another.
I sighed deeply with my head bowed so low
The charge continued and continued until the fire of revival broke out in our hearts and after being humbled, we were led into the presence of God once more for mercy and forgiveness!
“I hope she will like these slippers. Her mum loves to wear flat slippers when she was pregnant too” Pastor Bode-Davies said and I smiled as I examined the very beautiful pink slippers he was showing me.
“I know flat slippers are the best for heavily pregnant women. She will love it. I have seen pink on her in recent times.” I said and he smiled as he reached into his bag for more
“See this shawl too. It was what we used for her and her mum had kept it since we had her. I hope it is not out of vogue yet” He asked again and I smiled
“Even if it is out of vogue sir, I am sure she will love to use it for her baby” I said and he sighed. I pressed his shoulder then and smiled
“I know it feels weird that your child is with a child but it is well dad. It is well” I said and he smiled too as he nodded.
“I can’t wait to see her. I can’t wait to see my daughter” He said with excitement
“She has been through a lot!” I said and he sighed dejectedly.
“Will she ever forgive me?” He asked and I nodded
“You are her dad!” I said and patted him on the back the more.
I had gone to the hospital to inquire about Talitha and someone had confidentially given me the phone number of Dr. Richards in Lagos. I had made a call directly to her and she was the one who sent her driver to come pick us up from the airport.
“My son” Pastor Bode Davies called out at the driver
“Sir?” He replied and I was wondering if he needed something
“Can you give me the address of the house? This traffic is too much for me.”
“Don’t worry sir. We will soon be home” The driver said and I smiled.
“Daddy, don’t be too anxious. We will get home soon” I said and he shook his head
“My guiltiness wouldn’t let me sit in the comfort of a car while I don’t know what is happening to my daughter. If it is to get a bike so that I can suffer under the sun for a while, that will take the guilt from my heart a bit. I don’t want a cheap forgiveness. I deserve to be punished!”
“Daddy, please don’t do this! You don’t deserve to be punished!” I said and he looked at me pitifully.
“Don’t stop me son!” He said and I sighed at that.
“My guy, sorry I think we have to alight here. Give us the description” I said and as he described, I jotted down.
“My son, don’t let me be a bother…”
“Don’t stop me dad!” I replied in his own words and smiled at him. We alighted from the car and flagged down two motorcycles. His was in front, mine followed after.
I just felt the whole idea was crazy!
Pastor Bode-Davies was obviously growing old!
The last trimester of her pregnancy came back with more inconveniences.
At first, her baby wasn’t even moving anymore and we had to engage her in more exercises so the bay could come alive too- we feared that the baby had contracted the congenital analgesia from her but if that was true, we knew that future problem loomed.
She had some mosquito bites and scratched herself really deep until her flesh was out! She inflicted a whole lot of injuries on herself while I was not watching. I had to cut her nails low.
She fainted a couple of times as well while sweating and emitting hotness. Her brain was being overworked.
She had not been saying anything to anyone and even her smiles had reduced.
It had not only been tiring for her but I had been at the receiving end too. I wanted her to be very fine and so when I got a call that her dad was looking for her, I made sure I allowed it.
If by seeing her dad, she would stop overworking her brain, then, let the dad come!
“Benjamin” I called out as the light went off
“Put on the gen please” I said and soon, there was light again. Just then, Talitha stirred in bed and I rushed to her.
She had been sleeping for three days! I had been the one changing her positions and raising her up at some points so that she wouldn’t have bed sores.
“My baby!” I exclaimed and pecked her forehead. Her head was so hot it would bring water to the boiling point!
“Dad?” Her question popped up again.
“Dad will soon be here. Lets wait for daddy. Daddy where are you o, your baby is asking after you o” I said and she looked towards the door too.
My phone beeped and I picked it up.
“Hello Dr Richards” The voice came with so much urgency. I stood up and covered Talitha well in bed.
“Let me go and bring daddy. Be a good girl and stay in bed!” I said firmly and she nodded, tears gathering in her eyes.
She must have missed her dad so much!
I couldn’t just understand everything happening.
“Hello” I said as I moved to the porch
“Dr. Richards, Talitha’s dad won’t be able to come right away. He has been rushed to the hospital”
“What! Why? What happened?”
“He was in a hurry to reach his daughter and we got two bikes so we can get home quickly.”
“Ah, so what happened?”
“While the bike was on a high-speed, he slumped off the bike and an oncoming car ran into him”
“Oh my Saviour!” I exclaimed as I covered my mouth with my hands, my heart thumping so hard.
“So, where is he now? Where is he?” I asked as tears started rushing down my face
“He is in the hospital. Your driver brought us here”
“I will be there right away” I said and turned to go back inside. My husband was at the door, looking perturbed
“What happened again?” My husband asked and I sobbed some more
“Talitha’s father got into a terrible accident” I said as I rushed inside
“Is their family cursed or something?” He asked and I turned back to signal that he reduce his voice.
As I ran outside to my car, he followed me and shook his head
“That girl is a bad omen! I might kill her before you come back” He said and I turned to look into his face. He laughed then
“I was just joking. I am surprised to see you love a mere patient even more than your own children. I am so jealous” He said and I shook my head as I got into the car.
“Richie, you are growing old! You can still joke in this kind of situation! Oh my!” I exclaimed as I zoomed out of the compound as if I was being pursued!
“Its a major accident really and there are lots of stitches to be done on him. I just hope his spinal cord wasn’t tampered with” Mrs. Richards said and I nodded too as I placed the cup of cold water that I was drinking down.
“I pray so too doc! The way that car ran into him and it seemed as if his head was twisted to the back and oh my God! It was a gory sight!” I exclaimed and she shook her head
“Let’s stop talking about it and wait fo the doctor’s dianosis. Its terrible and quite unfortunate!” She said again and hid her face in her hands.
“Where is Talitha? Can I see her?” I asked and she looked at me sharply with a quite sad face.
“I am not sure if that is the right thing to do Mr. Bowen. She has fallen asleep now and the question she asks whenever she wakes up is ‘dad’! It makes her overwork her brain” She said dejectedly
“Has she beaten you before?” I asked, smiling. She was shocked
“Not at all! She is not mad! She is just sick!”
“She hasn’t vomited all over you; she hasn’t attempted striking you with a syringe, has she?” I asked again and then she sat straight again and shook her head
“Talitha wouldn’t do that. She is calm. She is very cool. She is not all you are saying” She fought back and I smiled
“If that is the case, let me see her please. I have faced a much more aggressive Talitha. Just let me see and pray for her” I said and she nodded
“If you say so” She said and moved inside
“Please come with me” She said and I stood up.
Lord, of my strength, I can do nothing!
“Are you ready?” Mrs. Richards asked me once more so I could make up my mind about the decision I wanted to make.
Bowen, so you haven’t learnt your lessons yet right?
Something asked me and I sighed deeply
Go, Bowen, go!
I sighed deeply again and smiled into Mrs. Richards’s face.
Lord, if you are the One really sending me, show Yourself strong in this situation! Save the day Lord!
“Let’s go ma’am” I said and she opened the door. She signaled for me to come inside with her and clutching my Bible in my hand like a sword which It really is, I muttered some words of prayer.
I looked at the well-lit pink bedroom and all the princess’ materials in it and I was awed. As my eyes traveled round the beautiful room, I saw the small Talitha on a side of the bed, folding herself like a fetus.
I wanted to see her tummy badly. It must have grown.
“She is still sleeping” Mrs. Richards said and I nodded. Just then, there was a sneeze from the bed and Mrs. Richards ran to the bed. She raised her head a bit and rubbed her back.
As she turned on the bed, I saw the small mountain that had formed in her and I smiled
God is great!
Just then, she opened her eyes and looked at Mrs Richards.
“What do you want to eat?” She asked and then I saw a smile lighten up her face.
My heart stirred then!
Talitha could smile again!
The phone in my pocket beeped and that made her to turn to look at my direction.
As our eyes met, her jaws dropped and my heart started racing.
What plan was she devising in her head again?
How fierce would she be?
She pointed at me and looked at Mrs. Richard’s face. The latter smiled faintly and I knew she must be disturbed a bit in her heart too, not knowing what to do.
Move close to her!
I walked close to her and she squinted as she looked at me as I approached her.
I sat on the bed and faced her. She bit her lower lip then and it started bleeding
“Oh my! She is bleeding!” I exclaimed and Mrs. Richards reached for the box beside her. She got a methylated cotton wool and made to mop her bleeding mouth.
“She can’t feel the pain so that is how she has been incurring wounds upon herself. This is an instance you have seen for yourself” Mrs. Richards said sadly as she mopped on
But Talitha wouldn’t stop looking into my face!
When Mrs. Richards was done, Talitha shifted close to me and took my hands. She examined it as if it was an exam paper before proceeding to my face again.
She grabbed my face in between her hands suddenly and tears welled up in her eyes. I was shocked
“What is the matter Tally?” I asked again and she looked lost in thought again as the tears streamed down her face. I held her shoulders and looked deeply into her face.
She looked like a wet puppy. Her face was filled with expectation.
“You don’t want to talk to me, queen Tally?” I asked and then, she smiled as tears rolled down her face the more.
Mrs. Richard and I exchanged looks.
“Dad!” She exclaimed as she smiled the more.
“My daddy has come!” She faced Mrs. Richards and said with glee. Mrs. Richards looked shocked
“Talitha is talking! Oh my!” She exclaimed.
Then, I was the only confused person.
“Dad?” I asked as I looked at her and suddenly, she jumped at me and gave me a very tight hug
“My daddy!” She screamed as she shook the whole bed. I could feel the movement in her tummy as she hugged me so tightly and the more I tried to take her off me, the more she got glued to me.
“My dad is here finally! I missed you so much” She said and started crying afresh.
I looked towards Mrs. Richard’s side and she was sniffing too as she wiped her teary face.
“Dad?” I asked myself again until finally, she disengaged from me and looked deeply into my face with a teary, smiling face.
“Daddy!” She exclaimed again.
Watch out for 9
Thanks for staying tune.
Written By: Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle ~~~2017
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