“Modele, please you need to come over to the Cedar Sinai Hospital, the one at Ikoyi” he cuts in
“What for? Is everything alright?” I asked
“It’s urgent, please, I am with Debola. Do you know the place?”
“Okay, I’m on my way, yeah I know the Hospital,” I hung up, trying to figure out what the problem was.
The drive down to the hospital was kind of bumpy; the traffic was heavy. Monday mornings are always like that; everyone rushing to get to work on time. So I took a shorter route, through some rough roads.
When I got there, it was already past 8am, I met some of Debola’s colleagues outside. I greeted and walked past them, not stopping to ask anyone anything because I was still embarrassed from what happened the night before.
The Hospital reception was a little depressing, filled with people with different kinds of ailments, waiting for a doctor or nurse who would attend to them. I spotted Dayo sitting close to an old man. He quickly stood up as he saw me and came to meet me.
“What’s the problem? Why’s everyone here and where’s Debola? I asked him.
“Modele, you need to calm down now. Hmmm…Debola was involved in an accident last night and was rushed here. The hospital saw his complimentary card and called the office, that’s why you can see many of our colleagues around. I have not seen him yet but the doctor said that he is responding to treatment”
For a few seconds, I stared at Dayo, like a deer caught in the headlights. What was he saying? I know he had had an accident but he came home afterwards not the hospital.
“Modele?” Dayo brought me back from wherever I had gone to.
“This is a kind of joke right? You must be playing me because my husband was home last night, right after the accident, he had no injuries, only minor cuts and…”I couldn’t continue anymore as I burst into tears.
“He was Home? We were told that he was brought here in the early hours of this morning, around 1am I think…”
Just as he was about finishing his sentence, a young bespectacled doctor approached us.
“Please have you been able to contact any of his family members?”He asked Dayo
“Yes, this is his wife” Dayo answered him.
Turning to me, he cleared his throat and gave me a kind of sober look.
“Good morning madam, I am Doctor Ifeanyi”
“Mrs. Folorunsho, pleased to meet you doctor” I answered. “Where is my husband? How is he doing?” I asked.
“Your husband is fine, please I would like to see both of you in my office” he answered.
As we walk to his office, my mind raced back to that morning, when I was with my husband. Was it all a dream or what? Definitely cannot be, it was so real. But what are this people telling me? Why are they saying he was rushed to the hospital? I hoped it was all a joke or something.
As we entered the office, the smell of antiseptics and medicine filled my nostrils, making me feel like puking.
“You can have your seat” he motioned to us.
He removed his glasses as we sat down, and gazed steadily and intently at a file on his table. After awhile, he looked at me and cleared his throat,
“Mrs. Folorunsho, your husband was brought here this morning around 1am, unconscious. He was involved in a very terrible highway accident…”
“He suffered some minor cuts and was badly injured internally; he had a severe internal bleeding.”
He took a deep sigh and continued,
“We discovered that he has a record of hemophilia and all we did to ….” he stopped for a moment and then continued slowly, “We tried our best, but by the time they brought him here, it was too late. We tried everything we could do but…..I am so sorry Mrs. Folorunsho, we lost him”.
The doctor’s words echoed in my ears over and over again. I didn’t know what happened afterwards but I was later told that I blacked out and woke up the following morning.
A knock on my door startle me and jolts me back to reality. What’s that knocking? Are they building my coffin? Because am just as much as dead.
The sun is already out now, bright and brilliant.
I come out of the bath tub, dry myself and tie the towel round my body. I tie another towel round my head to dry my hair as I walk to check who is at the door, I trip and fall. The floor is slippery.
“Why are all these happening to me?” I groan while getting back on my feet.
It is Kike, my younger sister at the door. She had been with me since the incidence. My other family members; my mum, dad, and my older brother came around two days ago. My in-laws too; Debola’s mum, dad, younger sister and some of the relatives, got here last night. The house is full.
“Sorry” I slur, feeling disoriented as I open the door. “Have you been here for long?”
“She gives a hapless shrug.
“Come in,” I beckon.
“Whoa, you should be in bed” she says, picking up a hair brush that must have drop from my dressing table. “You look so terrible”.
“Well, I was about going back to bed before you knocked…..” I trail off, limping back to my bed.
“I am sorry, Modele. You need to get ready now, you know the program starts 9 am and…” she pause to check the time, “this is almost 8 o’clock”
“Thanks kike, I’ll be ready in ten minutes.” I answer her, placing my head on the pillow.
“The food is ready, mama said you must come and eat, you know you haven’t really eaten anything since the past two days.”
I didn’t answer her.
“Here is your dress.” Do you want me to help you with any other thing?” She ask, placing the dress on my bed.
“No, don’t worry, you can go get ready, I’ll be fine. “Tell mama that I don’t have any appetite now, I will eat when we come back.” I answer.
She leaves the room and my eyes go straight to our wedding picture hanging right above our bed.
Tears began to form in my eyes again. I pick up the frame and I remember that morning when he came to meet me, after the accident. He came to say good bye and He told me that it was not my fault and I shouldn’t blame myself for his death but no, It’s my entire fault. I killed him. If I had not acted that way, maybe he wouldn’t have driven off speeding, leading him to his death. How I wish I can turn back the hands of time now.
How am I supposed to live without you, Debola? How am I supposed to carry on? Where do I start from now? This is such a bitter pill to swallow, I will have to live with the regrets and bear the brunt.
“I am so sorry, Debola, can you forgive me?” I said softly. And for a moment, I imagine he can somehow hear me, because everywhere suddenly become still and it is as if he is sitting beside me, holding my hands. I stare at the picture again, tears running down my face. How I wish this is just a dream.
“Debola, my one and only, I will always love you. I know you are not gone forever. I know you are in good hands, standing with God, so I am not saying good bye, but goodnight because I know that we will still meet again. Yes at His feet, where we will meet to part no more, where we will not have to cry again. I wish I can still hold you in my hands, I wish I can still pin myself to your chest; I wish I can just say to you for the last time, ‘I love you’. Thank you for loving me the way I am, thank you for the memories I will always cherish forever and thank you for being the Grace of my life”
I drop the frame and pick up the black velvet dress that my sister ironed for me. Without applying any make up on my face, I put on the dress, tie a black scarf on my head and pick up my black purse.
It is Debola’s Funeral.
( The End)