It was two years of bliss and then the story changed.
Brenda groaned silently, opened her eyes and tried to focus on her surrounding. Some of the wounds on her body hurt as she tried to shift so she just laid still. She turned her head and saw Sean sitting in the chair beside the bed, fast asleep with his head on the hospital locker.
She turned her gaze away from him and tears filled her eyes. She wished she would not cry so much, she wished so much that the tears would stay inside but it just kept pouring out uncontrollably. A sharp pain came through her spine and she groaned loudly. The sound stirred the sleeping Sean and he lifted his head and stretched before looking at Brenda. He saw the tears and moved closer to his wife’s side.
Brenda looked away but Sean turned her face back to face him. He took out his handkerchief and wiped the tears, Brenda continued staring at him with another array of tears threatening to come out. Sean shook his head and held her hand as tightly as he could without hurting her wound. Brenda smiled slowly and nodded amidst sniffles.
After giving a soft knock on the door, I entered the room with Marvin right behind me. Brenda’s face lifted, she smiled at us and tried to sit up but the pain became accelerated that she had to fall back helplessly against her pillow and she shut her eyes in the agony. Sean looked at her, then at me before looking out of the window. He didn’t want Brenda to see the concern and fear in his eyes.
He had promised to be strong for her for as long as it took for her to take her last breath. So, he was going to hold on till it lasted. Simisola came in and sat beside Brenda; Sean stood up and walked over to the window.
“How are you?” Simisola asked Brenda as she examined some of her wounds.
“Not…very…well,” Brenda managed to reply in a silent whisper. Sean held his face and continued looking out of the window.
It was becoming unbearable for him and he wasn’t sure how long he could hold up to see his beloved in so much pain. The eight months after their son turned one, Brenda had grown weaker and weaker until she fell sick and had to be brought to the hospital. She had fought strongly but they had no choice but to bring her there.
Simisola examined Brenda and said some comforting and encouraging words to her. There had been no relative of hers that had come over to see her. They had remained adamant in spite of the years that had gone by. Brenda laid there on the bed in all the pain and wished her mum was there.
Sean had told her family he would marry her in spite of her status. He had hoped it would make good news to them but he was more than surprised that they just turned their back and banned her from contacting any of them. They said, to them, Brenda was dead. Sean was not happy about it at first because Brenda had pleaded with him not to tell her family that she had HIV and they actually reacted the way she claimed they would react. She only made a small mistake, why was that unforgivable?
“Sean…Sean…,” Brenda called softly. I touched Sean lightly on his shoulder and he moved to Brenda’s side.
Simisola adjusted her pillow and gave room for Sean to talk to her. Sola stretched his neck when he heard his mum’s voice. He was sitting quietly on Paullina’s legs, he tapped Paullina and pointed in Brendaa’s direction. Paullina nodded and smiled lovingly at him, the two had become five and six.
“Thank…you…very…much..,” Brenda whispered, “For everything…take care…of …Sola…Sister Alice…Thank…” she didn’t finish the sentence before she started to gasp for air.
Simisola hurried back to her side but it was over as soon as it started. Sean closed her eyes and his eyes filled with tears. Sola struggled to get down but Paullina held onto him. It was as if the little boy had felt that something was not right. Sean took him from her when he started crying for his mummy.
Sean held tightly to him. He was glad that it was over. The pain Brenda was going through was too much and Sean felt happier that it was over. I went to his side and held his head to my bosom. Simisola went outside and came in with two nurses. They wrapped the body up and wheeled the bed out of the room. Sean looked on as they rolled the bed out and the tears started to flow.
He wished she had been lucky like many others like her that lived very old but she was not. Sola started crying for them to bring her mummy back. I hugged Sean and Marvin hugged us both. The cry escaped from me before I could hold it back. The disease had taken people’s life, people I had come to know and love. I shook my head and cried freely.