Richard: “Your mum is in the hospital, that’s why she wouldn’t be able to come back today”
Sammy: “Hospital? Is she okay? Is it time for her to get delivered of my sister? But she told me it will be due in two months’ time?” he said with eyes blazing with tears.
Richard: “She suddenly fell ill. But she will be fine, doctor said she will be fine”
Sammy: “When do I see her? Tomorrow right?
Richard: “Yeah sure! I will take you to her tomorrow. Go back to sleep now okay? And don’t worry, your mother will be fine”
Sammy: “How about you? Will you be fine? Just know that if anything happens to my mum, it will be your fault. Your fault” he said and ran off while his dad watched from where he stood with mouth agape. He could not believe he was aware of all the happenings in the house. He raked his fingers through his neatly kept afro hair and sighed heavily.
He walked slowly to the room he had shared with her for years, the room that had both good and bad, happy and sad memories they shared together in it. He looked around and saw the huge mirror at the side of room, the place she sat first thing in the morning to tend to her face and every night to do same. The wardrobe still had some of his things in it, he saw a bag at one corner of the closet, opened it and saw it contained baby things. Cute little girl cloths and he realised how much he had missed out. How much he had neglected her despite her apologies to him. At that moment he knew he had to make things right, he knew he had to make amends if she will forgive him. He still loved her.
That night he slept in the main bedroom, pretending to have her wrapped in his arms and whispering sweet somethings into her ears. His sleep was filled with dreams of her.
At the hospital the next morning, Sammy watched as the doctor and his nurses ran to and fro his mum’s ward. He knew something was definitely amiss. He looked at his dad and noticed he was pacing up and down the hospital hallway restlessly.
Sammy: “Daddy what is happening to mum?”
Richard: “Sammy I am not in the mood to answer any of your numerous questions now. I am really really tired so pardon me for now please?” he replied and continued pacing around.
Sammy: “He could have just answered the question rather that all those he just said. What a waste” he muttered to himself.
The doctor appeared at the hallway and beckoned for Richard to follow him.
Richard: “Wait for me here. Don’t move from that spot okay?” he said to his son.
Sammy: “Okay daddy” he admired the retreating figure of the doctor with his labcoat flying in the air behind him till they disappeared into another hallway leading to the consulting rooms.
Dr Wilson: “I am very disappointed in you Richard. There’s no way id lie to you about this. I have known you guys for quite some time now and I can’t say you don’t have your own faults in the conflicts between you and your wife. She made a mistake and she apologised to you with the last drop of her blood but this is how you paid her back?” he said as soon as he entered his consulting room and shut the door behind them. There were mirage of people in the hallway.
Richard: “What is going on? What are you talking about?”
Dr Wilson: “To cut the whole story short, your wife is suffering from a heart disorder called peripartum cardiomyopathy. I am sure you have heard of it before since she didn’t just develop it?”
Richard: “Shit! Shit!! Shit!!! I am damned. She did not fucking tell me all these while?”
Dr Wilson: “She said she tried telling you countless times but you kept shutting her out. Saying you don’t wanna hear anything about her and the baby. What kind of a man, husband and father says such to his pregnant wife?”
Richard: “Oh my God! I had no idea. I really had no idea. Wow!” he paced around the office aggressively.
Dr Wilson: “We have to operate her in order to at least save the baby. The baby is in danger as we talk, your wife’s heartbeat is already too faint, it can cease anytime. So I need your permission to carry out the CS?”
Richard: “’What do you mean by that? Can’t you go on and treat her of the illness? Why are you giving up on a woman who is not dead yet?”
Dr Wilson: “Her heart has shrunk beyond measure. It was already in its late stage, the only person who could have been able to keep her alive longer was you but you decided to neglect her, cast her away”
Richard: “Please you have to do something to save her life. For the sake of Sammy. Please doctor. I will pay any amount you want just don’t give up on her, please” he pleaded desperately clasping the doctors hand in his two hands and kneeling before him.
Dr Wilson: “I guess I have your permission to carry out the operation then? Hopefully, she will live. Be rest assured that I will try my best” he said pushing a paper to him to sign on which he did with a shaking hand.
Richard: “it’s a promise right? That you will save her” he said tearfully but the doctor said nothing and just walked out hurriedly, urging him to follow suite.
Ophelia laid on her bed thinking of what to do. She had been trying to reach Richard through phone calls but he kept missing her calls. She kept thinking of what he could be up to, where he was at the moment. “I just wish he isn’t putting the whole blames on me. That woman is looking for whom to implicate, who asked her to get married in the first place when she knew she wasn’t going to keep her home well? I can’t believe I am wishing she never recovers. Shit! God forgive me but I just can’t wait to have Richard all to myself”
Different thoughts kept running through her mind at the same time. She did not know when her mum stepped into her room and sat on the bed beside her, watching her daydream quietly.
Obiageli: “Ophelia nwam”she called softly. She lifted her long dark lashes slowly but quickly sat up when she saw it was her mum.
Ophelia: “Yes mum? Hope there is no problem? This one you are here all of a sudden like this, was just trying to take a nap”
Obiageli: “Am I the one you are trying to deceive? I know when you are sleeping and when you are just feigning it. So what were you thinking about?” she said smiling amusingly.
Ophelia: “I am not thinking about anything mum ah!”
Obiageli: “Okay if you say so. I brought a message from your dad”
Ophelia: “So I presumed. What bad news did you come bearing this time o” she shifted uneasily on the bed.
Obiageli:”I am not sure if it can be called ill news. Infact I also support him, we only want what’s best for you and it high time you did right by yourself”
Ophelia: “Just come straight to the point, don’t beat around the bush, you know I hate it”
Obiageli: “Your ill temper is without measure. Well, your dad asked me to tell you to bring your husband home since you have decided to reject all the eligible bachelors he had introduced to you”
Ophelia: “well I rejected them because I don’t have feelings for any of them…”
Obiageli: “Just allow me to land first”
Opehlia: “Okay go ahead”
Obiageli: “He said that he is giving you till next year to get married because you will be leaving this house on your 29th birthday”
Ophelia: “Mum! How can you agree to something like that? That is the most unfair thing a parent will ever say to his only child. Only child! Mama I don’t like this o, if its joke stop it!” she ranted on and on while her mum watched her in awe.
Obiageli: “Do you think you are still a small girl? Well he has said it and its final! I am only a messenger” she said and started walking out.
Ophelia: “Mama so you are trying to tell me you cannot stand up for me for this last time? Mama please don’t let him do this” she ran to her mum and held her forearm preventing her from leaving.
Obiageli: “I have been standing up for you and that’s why you are still in this house living a fairy tale life. I have talked and talked to you, why on earth don’t you want to get married? Why? You have made us an object of ridicule in this whole country, isn’t it enough yet?”
Four hours later, the doctor emerged from the operating theatre and headed straight for where Richard sat with Sammy sleeping on his laps.
Richard: “Doctor…how is she? How is my wife?” he jerked up immediately he saw the doctor startling Sammy.
Dr Wilson: “There is good news and there’s also bad news Richard! Anyways, Congratulations…
…WATCH OUT FOR PART 9