disappear

Echoes and Mirages

Kelvin!!!

I stopped myself from practically jumping out of my skin.

Kelvin!!!

This time I did jump out of my skin and was about to let some harsh words jump out of my mouth, before I looked behind me to see her clinging to the wall with all the strength she had left. With my heart in my mouth, I raced to the bedroom to get the baby stuff and grabbed my car keys from the bedside stool. I wrapped my arm round her waist and helped her to the door, enduring the pain searing through me as she clawed up and down my shoulder.

We got to the hospital in one piece and I was grateful for the miracle. From all the screaming and barking, a part of me had thought we were both going to end up wrapped round a tree. With a silent prayer of gratitude I alighted and raced to the other end of the car to help her. Thankfully, the Nurses must have caught sight of us through the glass doors; so they came to our aid, leaving me to carry the bags and scurry after them.

I said different prayers in my heart over and over again as I watched her being wheeled away, beyond the swinging double doors – with most of it mumbled up, because for the life of me I couldn’t remember the last time I prayed. This was an important moment though and I figured God would be gracious to me and answer my pleas. We had been married for five years and this was our first child, so it was really important that things went well. A part of me however felt confident, because all through the pregnancy period; she had had no problems at all – still one had to pray.

She was taken into the delivery room, while I dealt with documentation and the countless emotions raging through me. It occurred to me thirty minutes later to call her parents and mine, then I found out I had forgotten both our phones at home. For a moment I considered going back home, but I discarded that thought. I reasoned it couldn’t be that long and no one would have the time to be mad at me for not calling them immediately, when they eventually heard the good news.

It’s been two hours already, and I was beginning to get impatient and scared too. Finally the doctor appeared to tell me that there was no cause for alarm.

“She is primi (a medical term used to describe first timers) and as such prolonged dilations such as hers are not unusual” – those were his words. I watched his back as he retreated and I felt more at peace having told him to extend my love to her.

Another two hours passed and I was told her cervix was not yet fully dilated… ‘How dilated does she have to be’ I wondered, oblivious that I had actually voiced my thought. The man sitting next to me chuckled and urged me to relax.

“They usually say they have to be about 10cm wide… I have been in your shoes before and I am sure everything would be fine”. His words were kind and comforting; they were all that I needed to relax.

************************************************************************************************************************************************

“Mama Tayo, there is someone at the door”

Very typical of my husband to call me from the kitchen to come attend to a door that stood mere meters away from him, sometimes I wondered how we had survived these long thirty years.

“I am on my way” I responded, as I made my way to the living room. The person must be really impatient I thought, going by the persistent sound of the doorbell. I urged my legs to carry me faster, until I finally reached the door – pausing briefly to catch my breath, I opened.

“Mama”… the sight of my daughter and her ungraceful attempts to kneel in greeting, with a near full term pregnancy greeted my eyes when I opened the door.

“Ha ah… get up my child…Asake ogo, omo ago ma go de nu…omooba l’oja iwoye (eulogies)… You are welcome”.

The sight of his child was all Papa Tayo needed to tear his eyes off the soccer game he had been so enthralled in.

“ Wouldn’t you save any of the greetings for your father?” he jokingly beckoned with arms wide opened, as they both met in a warm embrace.

It was no news that we still treated our twenty nine year old daughter like a baby, but we were not ashamed of it – she was all we had.

Interrupting the father-daughter show of affection, I gently grabbed Tayo by the arm and nudged her towards a seat.

“You should not be going around like this you know?” I mildly scolded her

“Mama you worry too much, I just needed to see you both. Besides we had earlier planned that I was going to come spend time with you and Papa”

“After your delivery” I added with a glare, making it obvious that she had cleverly omitted that important part of the plan

“Before or after the delivery, all that matters is that I see you Mama”

“Let the poor girl be, she just dragged herself and three other people along to come see you” her father interjected

“Three? Papa no o” Tayo exclaimed and we all burst out laughing.

It was always a pleasure to have her around, and truth be told we had missed her so much – after all it used to be just the three of us for a very long while.

“Let me get you something to drink my dear” I went to kitchen and returned later with drinks for the three of us.

“I hope your husband knows you are here Tayo, because I would not put it beyond you to sneak here without his knowledge

“Mama Haba…I honestly think you need to stop worrying so much”

“That does not answer the question still”

“You women have started again; please stop all this bickering. By the way when are you due?” that was Papa Tayo’s way of effectively changing the subject

“Any moment from now Papa”

“It’s okay my dear, we continually pray for your safe delivery”

“Thank you Papa”

With that, we settled down to catching up on everything happening to each of us; most especially Tayo, the baby and her husband. She laughed a lot and seemed really happy; so much that at more instances than one, I felt tears well up behind my eyes – tears of joy.

The next time we paused from all the talking, I thought it was time to actually prepare something for us to eat. To my surprise, Tayo also got up and announced she had to be on her way back home…only then did I realize that we had talked for about three hours straight without any thought for the time. How time flies?

We hugged and hugged reluctant to part ways, and arguing briefly over whether her father should drop her off and her insistence that she was fine. Finally, I and her father bade her goodbye. For the next five minutes, I sat curled up next to my husband silently watching the T.V – I sure knew we were both reminiscing the moment spent with Tayo. I was content to stay there for as long as I could, but then the phone rang.

**********************************************************************************************************************************************

It was a mild tap that woke me, leaving me a little embarrassed about having fallen asleep. I looked to my side to find that the man who had earlier been there, was nowhere in sight – ‘he probably left already’ I thought. I then turned my attention to the doctor before me, hoping for some good news.

Like a possessed animal, I seized him by the throat; he had to pay for this. Who or what gave him the right to just walk up to me and calmly announce to me that my wife was dead. How could she be dead? Just a little while ago, he had told me all was fine with no cause for alarm. So how could she be dead?

It had to be a joke. “Tayo! Tayo!” screaming her name, I ran down the hall in the direction I had seen them take her. I don’t know why I stopped; I don’t know why that room, but I turned the knob and there she was. My legs felt terribly heavy as I walked towards the bed she laid on… She could not be dead, she was still as pretty as ever; she still felt warm and had that resigned yet peaceful look on her face.

Calling her name and urging her to open her eyes and look at me, my initial whisper inadvertently turned into frantic cries. Dropping to my knees beside her, severe sobs racked through my body.

“What would I do now?” I asked myself over and over again right there on the ground weeping like a distraught child – until I felt the Nurses’ arms lift me up and pull me out of the room…

I don’t know how I got home, I don’t even know how I found my way…but I was home and the only person I could think to call was her mother. The line rang its full length with no response the first time, but I tried again. This time Mama Tayo picked it at the first ring.

“Tunde Omo mi (My Son), how are you”

Silent I stood at the other line. How was I to tell her that her child, her only child had just died trying to have my baby. How was I to tell her that Temitayo my best friend and pillar had just left me without warning?

“Tunde, hello…can you hear me”

“I… I am here Mama”

“What is wrong, you don’t sound too good, or are you angry that Ta…”

“Mama I am sorry… I am really sorry, really sorry” I crumbled to the floor cradling the phone to my ears and weeping like a baby.

“Tunde what is it? Are you home? Is Tayo home yet? Did something happen?”

I could tell she was scared and confused and I felt terrible knowing I was the cause.

“Tayo is dead Mama, just now when she was trying to have our baby”

First there was nothing but silence…dead silence; I was scared something had happened to her. Then I heard a sob, a very soft one you almost couldn’t hear it….then she started going on and on about something. I couldn’t hear her well, partly because I was so distraught and partly because of bad network. Still I held the phone and listened, hoping I would somehow make sense of what Mama was talking about.

Just when I began to think probably Mama had gone delirious as a result of the news, I heard her clearly say “She just left here” then the line went dead…

Comments

comments


28 thoughts on “Echoes and Mirages” by teewah (@teewah)

  1. Profile photo of Salliness
    Salliness (@Salliness): Writer - 6550 pts

    This is a really nice story. I can not pick out something I did not like.
    Careful on spelling though…”stuffs” and then there was a switch in narration from present to past tense…”It’s been two hours already, and I was beginning to get impatient and scared too.”
    Oh and I love the gif you used for the imagery.

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      thank you @Salliness. I really aprc8 u dropping a comment, and also for the things you pointed out.

  2. Profile photo of Myne
    Myne (@Myne): Senior Scribe - 29189 pts

    Nice one, teewah.

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      Thank you @Myne

  3. Profile photo of Basit-Jamiu
    Basit-Jamiu (@basittjamiu): Senior Scribe - 23042 pts

    Great

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      thank you much. I’m glad you liked it.

  4. Profile photo of sylvia
    sylvia (@sylvia): Scribe - 11540 pts

    she just left here?
    Lovely piece…..though am a lil confused

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      hey thanks!.
      The ‘she just left here’ statement is the piece trying to explore the ‘myth’ that some people die but still show themselves to their loved ones to probably say goodbye…

  5. Profile photo of topazo
    topazo (@topazo): Head Wordsmith - 59051 pts

    nice… though a bit confused abt d ending

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      thank you @topazo.
      i explained the concept above.

  6. Profile photo of Tola Odejayi
    Tola Odejayi (@TolaO): Wordsmith - 37132 pts

    Well written story, @teewah. The POV switch threw me – maybe this story would have been better if it had consistently been written from the third person point of view, but the ‘final goodbye’ theme was very touching indeed. Well done.

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      @TolaO i’m glad you dropped a comment. Thank you and your point is well taken.

  7. Profile photo of howyoudey
    howyoudey (@howyoudey): Head Wordsmith - 97822 pts

    @teewah, the last retort “She just left here” nailed it. Well done. The POV switch didn’t throw me. Piece was a little stingy with info, however. On rewrite, I’d give the reader a bit more without being too expository.

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      hey @howyoudey thank you very much, glad you liked it!

      And I appreciate the point stated too.

  8. Profile photo of lawore olufemi
    lawore olufemi (@laworemike): Senior Scribe - 24378 pts

    good composition…good job teewah.

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      Aww thank you @laworemike

  9. Profile photo of Perfecta Bassey
    Perfecta Bassey (@basseyperfecta): Junior Writer - 4792 pts

    wow! this story is so wonderfully written! I love it.

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      @basseyperfecta thanks alot,

  10. Profile photo of shadiat
    shadiat (@shadiat): Writer - 8702 pts

    The POV switch did confuse me, especially as the 2nd person was used in both cases, and am not sure whether or not that’s a good thing.
    Its an interesting way to write sha.

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      @shadiat eeya wulda luved if u were not confused, but i’m glad u still think its interesting. Thanks!

  11. Profile photo of zee zee
    zee zee (@sannizainab): Newbie - 145 pts

    ehhhhm………..ehhhhhm*coughing* dat was beautiful and u scored hundreds of points with that last line.

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      @sannizainab *smiles* thank you very much!

  12. Profile photo of ash the dream
    ash the dream (@ash04): Junior Writer - 1921 pts

    Great writing. I enjoyed it all the way.

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      @ash04 thank you….i’m glad u enjoyed!

  13. Profile photo of davoice
    davoice (@nenafavour): Beginner - 540 pts

    i enjoyed d art all d way

    1. Profile photo of teewah
      teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

      thank you @nenafavour

  14. Profile photo of elovepoetry
    elovepoetry (@elovepoetry): Wordsmith - 34180 pts

    nothing short of nice one

  15. Profile photo of teewah
    teewah (@teewah): Scribe - 12879 pts

    thank you @elovepoetry …been a while!

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