Didi and Shalewa checked out the different lace fabric in the store. It was the fifth shop they had been to that day. Didi was searching for the perfect fabric to use on her traditional wedding day. They had already picked out and paid for the woodin fabric for the aso ebi. As the maid of honour, Shalewa wanted to look different from everyone else. The owner of the store was enthusiastic. She wanted them to patronize her. Didi began to feel dizzy. She drained the half empty bottle of malt in her hand but she didn’t feel better. She sat down on a plastic chair and took in a long deep breath.
“Are you okay?” she noticed her flushed face.
She shook her head and exhaled.
“Are you hungry again?”
She pulled a chair to her side and sat down.
“I have been feeling this way for the past three days.”
Her heart missed a beat. She hoped she wasn’t falling sick again. The wedding was in less than two weeks.
“Can you get me Paracetamol tablets?”
“Yes. Maybe it is the wedding preparation stress,” she got up.
“And something to chew.”
She eyed her, “This your eating habit, I hope you aren’t pregnant.”
“Of course not,” she looked up at her.
“Okay. I will be right back,” she headed out.
She looked towards the window and sighed. She had not heard from Uwa all day. He was probably tied up at work. His business was
expanding. He had done well for himself. Her vision became blurry. She began to feel light-headed. What was happening to her? She tried to get up, lost her stamina and fell. Darkness engulfed her.
The continual ringing of the phone woke him up. He turned on his side and opened his eyes. Where was his phone? He yawned and stretched out his body. He felt very tired. It had been a busy week for him. He had decided to stay indoors that day. His traditional wedding was coming up pretty soon; it wouldn’t be funny if he broke down. He sat up and checked under the pillows. It wasn’t there. He looked around him and saw it on the bedside table. He reached out for the phone and picked the call.
“Hello,” his voice sounded hoarse. He cleared his throat and swallowed.
“Uwa, Uwa where are you?”
“I am at home,” he recognized Shalewa’s voice. She sounded agitated. He hoped she was all right.
“I am scared. I don’t know what is wrong with Didi.”
His eyes cleared, “What do you mean?”
“She complained of dizziness at the market…”
“Dizziness? What market?” he jumped down from the bed.
“Eko market. She just fainted.”
He closed his eyes.
Oh God. Not again. What now?
“She is at the hospital now. I am scared.”
“Take a deep breath. Relax and text me the address of the hospital,” he opened his eyes.
She sniffled, “Okay, okay. Please come now.”
“I will be there as fast as I can.”
She hung up. He threw the phone on the bed and scratched a spot on his head.
What is the meaning of this?
He felt completely helpless.
Enobong and her husband followed the doctor into her office. They all sat down.
“Mr. and Mrs. Ovat, we have run several tests on your daughter. She is reacting to some toxic substance in her body. We don’t know what it is yet.”
Edet and his wife exchanged glances.
“We cannot administer anything until we know what we are up against.”
Enobong began to cry. He reached out to her and comforted her.
“She is gradually slipping into unconsciousness. It can lead to a coma. She might not be able to come out of it.”
“I reject it in Jesus name!” he frowned at the doctor.
She sighed and leaned back on the leather chair, “She needs your prayers.”
Edet nodded. They had been praying since they were informed that their daughter had been admitted in the hospital again.
Uwa arrived at Shalom hospital that evening. He got out of the car and saw Shalewa at the gate. Was she waiting for him? He locked the car and approached her. He noticed that her eyes were red.
“Didi’s parents are in the waiting room.”
“Okay,” he followed her into the two storey building. He greeted them but they didn’t respond. He sat on the bench beside Didi’s father.
“How is she?”
“Can I see her?”
He followed the elderly man down the long hallway.
“What did the doctor say?”
“They found some toxic substance in her body.”
“She cannot be treated if the substance is not identified.”
“Are they going to leave her like that?” he was getting upset.
“They are at their wits end. They said she might slip into a coma and never…”
“No! That is not her portion.”
He led him into the female ward. They walked to her bed and found her asleep.
“We are planning to move her to a hospital in Ikorodu.”
“Okay,” he sat at the bedside and took her right hand.
“We are going home. We will be back tomorrow.”
“Okay,” his full attention was concentrated on her face.
He shook his head and walked out.
Uwa couldn’t understand why or how she kept on falling sick. Was she a sickler? But her genotype was ‘AA’. Why does she fall ill regularly? He would have to speak with her doctor and suggest that they do an all round test so that they could determine the main cause of her incessant illness. The nightmare he had about her several weeks ago flashed through his mind eye. He had seen her in a pit which got bigger and deeper. He had forgotten all about it. Was someone trying to harm her? Who was it? He reached out for her right hand and began to pray. It was only God that could deliver his fiancée.
Mara ran into her neighbor on her way to work. They exchanged pleasantries.
“Have you gone to the hospital to see your friend?”
“Who else?” she eyed her.
“Is she sick again?”
“So you don’t know.”
She shook her head and glanced at her Police wrist-watch.
“What happened between you two? She moved out and asked me to replace you as the maid of honour.”
“Why don’t you ask her? I have to get to work. I don’t have time to chit-chat.”
“No wahala,” she walked away.
Her face lit up. The tablets she had replaced her friend’s multivitamins with were working. She would be gone before the doctors discovered
the exact poison that was making her sick. No one would be able to save her. She started to laugh.