Millions of thoughts raced through Kelani’s head as if in an Olympic bout as she stood beside her window staring into open space. the giant turf momentarily caught her attention as they were becoming less green with each passing day, it seemed as though winter always had a way of announcing its impending arrival. She watched still as the gentle wind tossed the fallen leaves of the guava tree beside her flat. One of the reasons why she loved Saturdays was that they afforded her time enough to appreciate nature and also to waste on idle thoughts. one needed such breaks at the very least to hold on to some sanity after an endless stream of weekly activities which included; work, work and more work.
As if on impulse, she smiled into open space, the sort of smile that reflected inner peace and satisfaction. Happiness, she discovered was a choice that not even her many mighty problems could rob her of. She had come to understand nature as a cunning phenomenon to strike a bargain with as it would strike from the back even immediately after an embracing caress. it was one’s duty, however not to get fed up with it.
Well, top on her list of problems was that her marriage to Abayomi, her college sweetheart was crashing fast, though not the kind of crash one would associate with discord, which was of course a specimen in such marriages but one which nature had carefully orchestrated and planned, leaving her helpless. She smiled again, this time allowing her lips to give way to a suppressed chuckle, it was a pinch she got from nostalgic feelings. She remembered how her marriage to Abayomi was well talked of, she remembered her grand exit from spinsterhood, the endless prayers and well wishes, the all round excitement and buzz.
The joy wasn’t just that two rookies were being welcomed into marriage life but that the couple had enormous potential. She the head of the accounts department of NOKA WORLD, the largest automobile firm in the country and Abayomi who had duly been called to the Nigerian Bar Association and was working with a top law firm in Lagos. So the world was definitely their oyster.
She recalled how Abayomi had insisted they spend their honeymoon on the beaches of Hawaii, and how she had longed for that moment not to end. One thing that attracted her to Abayomi was his enormous drive for success. After graduating top of his class, he had the dream of managing the largest law firm in the country, and perhaps Africa. This was a dream Kelani had grown to share believe in, she sighed and slowly jolted back to reality, those dreams were fading fast and were being torn to shreds and grinded to dust by that little twist in the fairytale like story.
May 25th was a date she would never forget in a hurry, for that beautiful morning, she woke up tired and exhausted, though there were several other reasons that could have accounted for her tiredness like accumulated fatigue, the extremely choked up weekend she had, but she suspected the day carried a particular bad omen. She confirmed this when the cup of tea she wanted to serve breakfast to Abayomi with fell from her hands just like that.
Her fears however, should have abated when Abayomi flashed her a bright smile and added a beautiful,
good morning honey,
as his smile was ever so reassuring, but it was not to be so as she still felt like telling him how she felt that day. She knew he’d probably dismiss her feelings as mere superstition, just like Julius Caesar dismissed his wife’s dreams about the ides of March, but wasn’t she getting herself worked up over nothing? Kelani, she chided herself, stop being superstitious, this is the 21st century for Gods sake. Maybe it was one of those feelings one got once in a while, or was she pregnant, she made a mental note to see a doctor when coming home from work.
And see a doctor she did, for hours later she received a phone call that Abayomi had an accident en route to a court case and had been rushed to the metro city hospital. The news hit her the way a tsunami would a beach house. She sped off to the hospital only to see her Abayomi lying helplessly and stretchered off to the intensive care unit.
Usain bolt couldn’t have run faster than the numerous thoughts racing in her head, for through her mental transport system, she had travelled many miles to meet different people asking them different questions of how, why, and when. She now understood the reservations she held that morning. It wasn’t until after four hours in which all Kelani did was to pace about the hospital reception that their relatives began to pop in one after the other. It didn’t even occur to her to call anybody. Her mom came over to her and locked her in a soothing and reassuring embrace while other members of the family were yet to recover from the shock of the news. Just every hospital staff walking along the reception was questioned warder, nurse or doctor. It wasn’t until after five more hours of waiting that the someone came to see them. The doctor, Dr Radvon, was a middle aged skinny looking Australian of about forty five, he was quite tall and had a face which looked like a straightened O and exuded the sort of confidence that one would think he had been in medical practice since he was born. He carefully took his time to explain to the entire family, the need to calm down, and also to assure them that Abayomi was past danger. He then requested only the presence of Kelani in his office, much to the amusement of some menfolk there, they expected sensitive information to be passed first to a man, who naturally was more capable of handling situations, they were shocked with the ignorance of the white man.
After all, this was still Africa, where the womenfolk were still regarded a little bit lesser than their male counterparts.
The bombshell was dropped right in Dr Radvon’s office, that Abayomi’s injury was so severe that he would likely no longer retain the use of his legs. Yet what was even more imperative was that a benign tumor had been discovered in Abayomi’s brain and he Would urgently require surgery. Kelani made an effort to respond to the doctor but no sound came out of her mouth. She felt like screaming at the top of her voice while secretly hoping that the screams do her a favour by taking away her sanity. She however could no longer remember if she did scream but could hear the doctor’s voice as in a blur, and wondered why everything was becoming so slow.
Kelani woke up to discover herself on a hospital bed. How this swift transition occurred, she could not tell as she could hear her mother’s screams of
Doctor! She’s back.
She wanted to ask her mother where she had been but realized she was too weak to talk.
Weeks later, Abayomi was discharged and brought home as his surgery was successful, so there was Abayomi, an upcoming star in the legal world handicapped for life. This sparked an instant trouble with Kelani as Abayomi hated dependence, he had to be there for his family, himself and wasn’t just cut out for the whole disability thing, So generally he became difficult to live with as he would reject meals for no reason, insist on doing things he knew were now impossible to do own his own, but what was even more worrying to Kelani was their now frequent visits to the hospital due to the reoccurrences of the tumor, Kelani made an extra effort to research on brain tumors and was now in dread of the ultimate possibility.
It wasn’t a shock to her months later when the Doctor confirmed her fears, there was no longer anything they could do for Abayomi, as she was advised to try to make things comfortable for him. These were the literal words of Dr Radvon, but all Kelani thought she heard was
Your husband is going to die, die, and die. Her whole world was crashing so fast.
She that was the reality she was confronted with. As she stood on that beautiful Saturday smiling into open space. She refused to think of what would have been had it not been for that gruesome accident.
She smiled again when she thought about the numerous Advice she had received during the troubled times, though not that she couldn’t have done with some, but nothing else made sense to her except the reality of the current situation.
Just why couldn’t her life be perfect? Why did fate program that accident as if to shatter her world just for the fun of it? Who would answer her questions now? She chuckled hysterically, even the wisest men would sometimes have to surrender to intellectual impotence.
Well, at least, she could console herself with the good old sermon of being a diligent wife even now that her husband needed her more than ever, but sometimes, she felt she needed a break from life itself, a break from her troubles, maybe a trip to an island where all she’d do would be was watch the ocean rise and fall. She resolved to try to be happy, though it wasn’t a popular thing with wives in her current situation. But happiness was a choice, she smiled again, as if she had made a recent discovery, happiness is a choice she repeated, this Time aloud, she smiled again, however allowing the smile, this time to grow into a full blown laughter.
Damilola is a content curator and creator, he writes for the passion and the thrill. He has been published on Tuck Magazine, SGNT, VivaNaija and also shares some of his stories on jonathanoladeji.com. He has an eye for juicy content and loves to make brand ideas sell.