He sprinted down to the ICU like a mad man on the trail of nothing in the faded pair of cut-offs that accentuated his lean muscular thighs which he had worn to work that morning and hadn’t had the time to take off before the ladies arrived. As he approached the ICU, his mind was having different torrents of conflicting emotions. He thought of staying away from her, if he’d be able to keep his cool after seeing her or not. He didn’t even have the luxury of guilt, he needed his mind free from it so he could think of his next line of action.
The doctor had told him she was in shock and therefore in a coma which they still didn’t know when she’d come out of it. He wished he was the one on that bed and not she. He promised himself he was going to stand by her not matter what happens, he was going to make sure she doesn’t slip fully into oblivion, he needed her, their baby needed her.
He stood outside the ICU, watching her through the glass window. She was as still as a sleeping mummy. There were several machines and drips connected to her, she was breathing through a ventilator and had her head bandaged.
“This is what I did to you Bola. I am so sorry I didn’t meant to do this, I am so confused, so helpless as to what to do. What can I do to speed up your waking up? What can I do to make things better? I cannot take care of the baby alone I need you” he whispered to her when at last he gathered the courage to walk into the ICU. He stood by her bedside taking in all the equipment that was sustaining her and shook his head helplessly. He reached for her right hand which had two drips connected to it and squeezed it gently. It felt a little cold and he bent down to blow hot air into it from his mouth.
A nurse stepped in…
Nurse: “Mr Ifeoluwa, don’t you want to see your daughter at all? She is out of danger and is being transferred to the nursery as we speak”
Ifeoluwa: “Oh sure! I definitely want to see her” he replied primly,
Nurse: “and please anytime you talk to her, say something nice to her, encouraging stuffs cos she is not far, she can hear you, and she can feel pains and sadness too. Don’t say stuffs that will make her sad in anyway or she might stay like that longer than usual” she said as she led the way to the nursery.
Ifeoluwa: “Thanks for letting me know” he said and started thinking of all the nice things he should be telling her.
When she got home from the market that day, she just couldn’t brush off the ominous feeling that something was amiss somewhere. She began to quiver frightfully when she remembered her daughter whom she hadn’t even seen or heard from for six months. She refused to pick her calls or reply to her text messages. She was still harbouring bitterness in her heart towards her daughter. She picked up her phone and dialled her number but no one picked it, she tried again and again but it still remained unpicked.
“Could something have happened to my daughter? My only child in this world?” she thought and let out a hiss of annoyance at herself. “Nothing could have happened to her, she probably went out and left her phone at home or she is having her bathe how can I be thinking ill of my own daughter?” she chided herself and then went about her normal routine of balancing her account for the day’s sale, having her bathe and then reading the bible. She never hesitated to remember her daughter in her prayers even though she still didn’t forgive her. That night, she also prayed for her and slept off while praying.
She suddenly woke up panting and sweating profusely. She quickly went on her knees to rebuke the dream she had had. She had dreamt that she saw her daughter hanging in limbo, a white light stood in front of her and a black gulf at her back. She was confused as to which to go through- enter the white light or the black gulf. Adunni had stood by the side, screaming her lungs out…
Adunni: “Bolatito look at me here, pass this way, there is a way by your side. Come to me through that path okay?” she said desperately.
Bolatito: “I cannot. I cannot move forward, neither can I move backward. I cannot see this path by my side you are talking about. I cannot even see you I can only hear your voice. Mum where are you? Please help me, let me out of here. I want to come back home” she wept loudly.
Adunni: “Wait! I will come for you” she tried taking a step forward but there was a barricade between her and the path. She was unable to take even one step forward no matter how much she struggled to. Her daughter soon started disappearing into nothingness and that was when she woke up. No matter how much she prayed and rebuked the dream, she felt she was praying enough or praying loud enough, she felt she wasn’t aggressive enough and therefore her prayers was not going to be answered. She intensified it but still felt that emptiness within like no one was listening to her cries and pleas.
She had wept all day after her dad left. She couldn’t in anyway understand what was wrong with her dad. She had a golden opportunity, such a rare opportunity presented to her on a platter of gold but her dad tossed it to the swine. She started thinking of what a miserable life she was living, how hopeless and unlucky she had become just because she had a father.
Mmesoma watched her like an eagle watching its prey from afar waiting for the best time to strike.
Charles could not believe what he was hearing that Nneka was nowhere to be found. How could she have suddenly disappeared from the house and why? He saw her as being very happy in the house and not just that, his wife had been treating her very well and even wanting to sponsor her education so why will she run away from the house? He took up his phone and quickly called his brother asking if she was at home or anywhere close to home but his question was met with a negative reply. In just 10 minutes, Sunday was there fuming from the ears.
Sunday: “Where is my daughter? Have you used her to do ogwu ego (money ritual) like you always do with all those little girls that come to this house? Why do they all keep running away and even my daughter? No way! You must produce my daughter today” he pointed his index finger at his brother angrily.
Mmesoma came out of the room when she heard his voice.’
Mmesoma: “What is happening in this house?” she queried, strutting into the sitting room lazily.
Sunday: “A lot is happening or don’t you know? where is my daughter? What have you done with my daughter?” he screamed on top of his lungs.
Mmesoma: “You must be out of your mind to accuse us like that. You know I think this is a plot you have brewed because you want to extort money from us. After accusing us this way what is the next thing you will demand for? Is it not money?” she hitched her body forward at him defiantly with her hands on her waist.
Sunday: “How dare you” he lunged for her but Charles stopped him midway.
Charles: “What are you trying to do? Beat my wife in my presence?” he shoved him off and he landed on his buttocks.
Sunday: “You will regret this, you two will definitely regret this. Produce my daughter or I’d destroy you and everything you have ever prided yourselves in” he threatened weakly.
Mmesoma: “You know what? I think her running away was nothing but your fault. You refused her education, what girl do you think will still be in her right mind after being betrayed by her father like that? You want to marry her off like a cheap commodity to the highest bidder right? I have watched her and she never remained the same since that day. You caused it and should hold yourself responsible not trying to put the blame on others. I wanted the best for your daughter but you tossed it back at me like a piece of rag and now we are all paying the price for your ignorance. Please go and look for your daughter anyhow you can, we will also try our best from this end and don’t think we have a dime to offer you”
She heaped accusations upon accusations on him in a way that tied his tongue. He also started thinking it was actually his fault, he left the house with a sense of guilt that threatened to engulf his whole being.
“When did I become alright? The last time I checked, I was unable to move even a tiny limb. Even when Ife was with me, when I wanted to stand up so much and embrace him, all I could do was think and act in my head and now I am on my feet and looking at Ife?”
Bola said aloud as she stood at the entrance of the nursery watching Ife rock their baby in his arms fondly. His back was turned to her and so he still wasn’t going to notice her. She walked happily towards him in a bid to give him the surprise of his life…
Question: Is Sunday really the cause of his daughter’s disappearance? Is Bola Okay now or someone is dreaming?
Stay tuned for Episode 10 (You don’t wanna miss this!)…AdeLove Stories…Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!
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