© The Klever Magg
Maya got out of the car before it completely came to a halt.
She dashed to the reception like lightning. She’d been on edge since the call.
There was no one at the Reception Desk.
“Where’s everyone when you need them?” Maya asked, very frustrated.
Maya could simply not stay still.
She was not ready to lose anyone anymore.
She’s had enough of losing the people very close to her heart.
Not her Prince, especially after meeting his father again. He had to live to meet his Dad.
Maya wondered what might have happened for him to lose consciousness. Ever since her Dad died, she always believed people who lost consciousness for one reason or the other never made it.
Her nerves were really running short. She needed answers. She needed to see her son, her one and only shining armour.
Justin emerged from a corner and saw her.
Maya saw him too and rushed to him. He led her to the room where Junior was being held.
There was a doctor and a nurse with him.
“Prince, are you okay” she asked tearfully.
“My head hurts. It hurts really bad!”
The doctor assured her Prince would be fine. He had a concussion on his head when he fell. The swelling suppressed the brain and starved it of air that was why he lost consciousness.
“The swelling has gone down drastically and I can assure you he is not in any danger. There’s no hemorrhage, so he will recover fully.”
“Can he go home then?” Maya asked.
“Not so fast, Ma’am. I’ve ordered further tests just for clearance. As soon as they are ready and are ascertain he’s completely out of the woods, you can have him. But right now, I suggest you go grab a coffee or something to calm your nerves.”
Prince Snr. left little Maya at the waiting room in the care of the attendant and moved from ward to ward until he located Maya. He entered the ward and the nurse, doctor and Prince Jnr gazed at him. Prince Jnr. was the one who was shocked the most.
The Doctor had gathered from an earlier interrogation that Prince never knew his father so he was very confused to see the man looking so much like his patient.
Prince Jnr. thought he was hallucinating. He feared he was losing his mind or something.
“Am I imagining it or that man looks like me? No, let me put it correctly. Do I look like that man?”
“You must be Prince’s father, pleased to meet you, sir,” the doctor said.
“No, I think there’s a misunderstanding here. I am…”
“You know what, I think the poor boy should sleep now. Why don’t you come with me? You and I need to clear up a few things,” Maya said, kissed her son and headed for the door.
“No, Mom. I need to know and the time is now. Is he my Dad?”
Maya’s back was against the wall. She had wished Junior would have met his Dad in a more formal setting. It looked like she had no choice but spill the beans.
Prince Snr. quickly did the math. He was convinced more than ever that he was the father of the boy who lay across from him reminding him so much of his youthful days.
“How old are you, boy?” he asked
“Sixteen. Does that mean anything?”
“Oh my God! Maya, is it what I am thinking? Did we…?”
Maya told the truth.
Both father and son were overwhelmed with joy.
Prince Snr’s face said it all. He was shocked at first and then his expression melted into love, the kind only a father felt for a son. He never imagined even in his wildest dreams that something that beautiful had happened. He was both happy and sad. Sad Maya had to raise the boy without him.
He was also confused. Confused because Maya’s aunt, her Uncle’s wife, swore she was dead and buried in Sekondi.
He turned to Maya who was obviously overwhelmed with the turn of events. She had tears in her eyes.
He understood without being told she had suffered to have his child, their love child. Prince remembered they were both very young then and wondered how she had coped till now.
He took her in his arms and time was suspended. He just held her, feeling her pain, the anguish and the hopelessness that Maya had locked up inside for a long time.
The Doctor cleared his throat.
The two had blocked the doorway and he and the nurse needed to step out.
“I think the boy needs a little rest too. You guys can talk in the cafeteria.”
Prince Snr and Maya stepped aside for the doctor and nurse to pass.
He went to Junior.
The boy was drowsy from the medication he had just received but his joy and extreme elation were written all over his face.
Prince Snr. took his hand in his. He could not hide his joy and pride.
“My son, oh I’m so glad to meet you. Today is the happiest day of my life.”
“Pleased to meet you too.”
Prince carried out his own interrogation to ensure everything was well with his son. They stayed with him until the medication knocked him out completely.
“Would you like a cup of coffee? I think you need it,” Prince said politely.
Maya was touched. It had been a long time since anyone showed any interest in her affairs. Her son was always there for her but that was different. She had missed being the center of someone’s world. She had missed being treated as a woman by a man who loved her.
But Maya knew her place. She did not want to be carried away. Prince was married. Although he wore no bands, she knew he was taken. The little girl was his daughter and she was sure her mother was out there somewhere waiting for him to come home to her.
She was not going to give him any hope that something could happen between them. The last thing she wanted was to be the other woman in a married man’s life. She knew she had to draw the line right from the beginning or things would get out of hand.
Prince, reading her thoughts, explained that he only wanted to share a cup of coffee with her because he had questions he needed answers to. He told her he needed to clear a couple of things with her.
“You have no idea what I’ve been through. I’ve lived with the guilt that I had killed you all these years. The only time I stopped looking was when I was told you had died of an abortion.”
“Died of an abortion? What are you talking about?” Maya asked at her sixes and sevens.
Prince convinced her to come with him to the cafeteria and talk over a cup of coffee. They walked to the cafeteria virtually in silence.
Prince drew out a chair for her and left to get two cups of coffee after finding out how she wanted hers.
Maya was enjoying the attention, even though she was aware it was just temporary.
Prince was back with two cups of coffee in no time.
He pulled out a chair and sat facing her. They both took a long sip and set the cups on the table.
“I looked for you everywhere, Maya. I realized too late I was in love with you. I went overseas with my folks right after the exams. I went to medical school but came back for you. You had totally eclipsed my very being. I couldn’t do anything. I thought of you constantly. Three years into medical school I came back. I stopped by the friendship tree and it looked like we were the last people who wrote anything on it. So I updated it the second time I went there and hoped you would see it someday. For some reason, I believed you would come to the gardens. Then I went searching for you. It was not that difficult to locate you because of your Uncle. I went to the church looking for him and I was told he had been transferred to the Northern part of Ghana. I took the address and left for the North. It was the longest journey by road I had taken my entire life. I went by road just to have a feel of the beautiful landscape. When I finally located your Uncle’s residence, he was out to the next town for an event. His wife, after acting all up, told me you died shortly after school after an abortion. You could imagine my pain. I cried all the way back to Accra. I stayed for a week and then left for the states. I was really shattered. My school work began to suffer. There was this girl in my class, she was nice to me. She helped me cope. Then we became intimate. She took seed and we were married. Unfortunately, she miscarried but we stayed together. What I don’t understand is why your aunt will lie about something like that. Why did she tell me you died?”
“Well, that’s a question only her could answer. She was always a bitter woman.”
By the time Maya finished telling her story, they both had tears in their eyes.
“Anyway, none of all that matters anymore. I’m glad you got to meet your son. But I don’t want you to feel you owe me anything. You can see the boy any time you want. You have a family to go to and I have a son who needs me. Where is the little girl anyway?”
“Left her with the attendant at the waiting room.”
“I think you should go and get her. She must be worried by now.”
“Don’t worry about that. She’s used to that kind of life. She follows me everywhere. She’s like my third leg. She usually spends hours in the waiting room when I’m in surgery.”
“You are not in surgery now. I insist we call it a day. I need to check on Junior and get back to the restaurant.”
“Well if you say so. You have to promise me one thing, though.”
“And what will that be?”
“You will have lunch with me. I still have a lot to talk about. We need to talk about our son too.”
Maya suddenly felt like leaving.
Talking about the past had brought back painful memories. She was also getting too attached to Prince for her liking. She was deeply touched by the fact that he went all the way to the Northern part of Ghana in search of her. She knew for a fact that he was still in love with her. She also knew she still loved him but they could not live that love. He was now forbidden. He was married and the last thing she needed was a scandal.
She got to her feet and thanked him for staying with her. He settled the bill and went to the ward with her to check on their son. He was still out cold.
The doctor advised they leave and come in the morning since it was getting late. He was sure the boy would be good to go home the next day.