Beautiful Stranger. Episode 10

Featured

Good wet morning Guys! It’s August, so…lets enjoy the downpour yes? Remember to get free eBooks on African Stories Here and if you are a writer or authored a book, Kindly mail us your articles, books and series to post here. It is free service but works must be edited….although we will go through it, it seems only fair that you make our job easier….you are afterall a writer, are you not? hehehe….#ThursayJokes…send it to mailafricanstories@gmail.com and we will take it from there.

Now, your episode for today
Beautiful Stranger. Episode Ten

Read All Previous Episodes of Beautiful Stranger Here

“Come on, man. Think like a Surgeon. Let’s cut!” Jerry said as he dropped an envelope on the table. He bent over and flipped a Surgical Textbook open.
Emeka took a deep breath. He had never seen Jerry so enthusiastic about something and maybe that was a good sign but at the same time, someone had to be reasonable here. Jerry had just stepped out of Toni’s room with the ‘get me on my feet’ rule and he didn’t seem to be thinking straight here. All he wanted was to get her on her feet in its literary context, but that was not going to give a lasting solution. He sighed as he watched Jerry look through a book. “Bro, I think we should talk about this” Emeka said.
Jerry was engrossed in the textbook he was looking through. “Not now.”
“Jerry, I know you feel you can go all Ben Carson on her right now, but we have to be logical here. She has had epileptic seizures from her history and I don’t think we should take that chance again.” Emeka started.
Jerry closed the book. “You are not getting the point. We can cut through and remove the mass of the tumour, do you know what that will do for her?”
“That will buy her more time and in the end, you will still lose her.” Emeka replied. “I think she should start the treatment as soon as possible. Besides, it is the patient and her sister’s wish that she does Chemo and since we know it is the brain we are focusing on, we can switch to Radiotherapy for effectiveness. Don’t start putting your emotions into this thing.”
“You and I know how Radiotherapy works…I can’t watch her go through it. It is so much pain.” Jerry retorted.
“You don’t have to watch. You just have to be there for her, man. I think we shouldn’t waste any more time with these decisions. It is obvious the tumour is escalating to other parts of the system and if we keep dilly dallying about it, we would get nothing done.” Emeka replied.
Jerry shook his head. “The Director asked me what I think we should do and I think surgery is fine, I would go over to him and tell him about my decision and I would try to make Toni and Nora see reason. Besides, AEDs can be given for the seizures.”
“Jerry, you and I know that cytoreduction of the tumour is the best we would get out of this. You have seen the neoplasm, it is better to let her do radiotherapy. Besides, I think we are going to have problems gaining access to the tumour because of the size and location. It is at the skull base, man. Think. There are many possible outcomes of the surgery, we could tamper with her brain tissues, she could suffer memory loss or something worse, are you willing to take that chance?” Emeka asked.
Jerry took a deep breath and leaned against the table. Emeka was right, but he still believed he could remove as many tumour cells as possible, but he had a very slim chance because of the size and location of the tumour. He fumed as he sank into a chair. His eyes were soon wet. “I am out of ideas, bro.”
“Look, Jerry, radiation therapy will kill the tumours but won’t harm her brain tissues. Let’s take a chance on this.” Emeka replied as he took a seat beside him. “Toni is trusting you to get her back on her feet, but not for a month or two. She wants it to be forever.”
Jerry nodded. “This isn’t going to be easy for her.”
“Well, we both know it is not going to be, but she is a fighter. Let’s believe.” Emeka replied.
The door opened and the Director walked in. “What would it be?” he asked as he picked up a copy of the scan that was lying on the table. “Hmm…this is big.” He said and replaced the scan on the table. “Jerry, do you think we can cut?”
Jerry blinked. “Err…Sir, I…I was thinking-”
“-We are thinking radiotherapy would work.” Emeka said, staring at Jerry. “We can’t cut this.” He said through clenched teeth.
The Director nodded as he stared at Jerry. “I hope you know that you would be off most of her treatment.”
“No way!” Jerry objected.
Emeka took Jerry’s hand. “Man.”
Jerry blinked. “Sir, I can’t afford to be kicked off her case. You know what she means to me.”
“And it is exactly for that reason that you have to sit out of this one. I would get you tonnes of cases-”
“-I don’t want anything. I just want her.” Jerry replied, cutting in.
Emeka cleared his throat. “Sir, I think Jerry can be on the team for the Radiotherapy since we won’t be doing surgery.”
“No. I won’t bend the rule even a bit. There is a surgery in about an hour. He is the lead surgeon.”
Jerry fumed. “Sir! Don’t do this.”
“I can’t have you mixing emotions with this.” The Director replied.
Jerry clasped his hands together. “Sir, I have put my emotions aside. I am just a surgeon and her Doctor.”
“It is not so easy, Son. Sit out of this one, we’ve got it.” The Director replied and stared at Emeka. “Come with me, we need to go and prep the patient.” He said and walked out.
Jerry pulled Emeka back. “He can’t do this to me. Please beg him. Toni wants me to do this.”
Emeka blinked. “Jerry, you know how it is. You can’t. You need a right frame of mind.”
“Don’t give me that crap! You can convince him. It is not surgery.” Jerry replied angrily.
“This is why he won’t let you in on it. Cool off, man.” Emeka said and walked out.
Jerry fumed as he kicked the door.
***
Toni brushed Nora’s hair. “So, I want to draw up my will.”
Nora flipped her head over her shoulder. “What is that?”
“A will. Legal statement showing who I give my share of our family’s fortune to.” Toni replied with a smug smile.
Nora frowned. “I know what a will is, I just don’t know what you need it for right now.”
“Oh come on, Nora. You and I know that it is only necessary I do this now, besides, amendments can be carried out in the nearest future should events change.” Toni replied.
Nora took a seat opposite her. “Are we being less optimistic now? Jerry is doing everything he can and you are here throwing it all away with wanting to draw up a will.”
Toni sighed. “Nora, why are you talking like this? I want to live, but in case I don’t, I want to leaveve something behind for my foundation and stuff.”
“Are you saying I am going to collapse your foundation in the event of your death? Give me some credit, Toni.” Nora said, standing up.
Toni sighed. “I didn’t mean it that way, sis.”
“I don’t care how you meant it, but it hurts.” Nora replied.
Toni nodded. “I am sorry.”
“Yeah. I have got to take a walk.” Nora replied.
Toni sighed. “Are you for real? I said I am sorry.”
“I know you are. I just didn’t expect you to have that sort of opinion of me.” Nora replied.
Toni smiled. “Are you trying to pick up a fight with me? I promise I will be dead before you are back from your walk and you are going to carry the feeling that you fought with your sister before her death to your grave.” She concluded with a wide grin.
Nora rolled her eyes. “Don’t start guilt tripping me.”
“Oh yeah…it worked. I am sorry.” Toni said with a smile.
Nora sighed and took her seat. “Don’t start scaring me, Toni. You have to be in the right frame of mind for any treatment to be effective on you.”
“Trust me, I am motivated to live.” Toni replied.
Nora smiled. “James would be here to see you in the evening. He left early this morning.”
Toni nodded. “Hmm…that’s cool. I need to have a talk with him anyway.”
“What talk could that be?” Nora asked.
Toni shrugged. “It’s personal.”
Nora folded her arms. “Personal?”
Toni nodded. “It is important I talk to him, that’s all. Don’t be scared.”
The door opened and the Director walked in with Emeka. “Good morning, ladies.”
“Good morning, Director.” Nora greeted.
Toni stared at the door expecting it to open but it didn’t. She stared at Emeka looking for an answer.
Emeka cleared his throat. “Jerry is not coming.”
The Director stared at her. “As you understand, Doctor Jerry can’t be let in on this due to his emotional attachment to the patient.”
Nora nodded and took Toni’s hand. “Okay, so, what’s going to happen now?”
“We are going to start the radiotherapy by tomorrow. We can’t have any more surgeries as the tumour is in a delicate position of the brain. So, are you ready?” The Director asked.
Nora stared at Toni. “You ready?”
Toni nodded. “Yes. I have always been.”
Emeka smiled. “Okay. So, we would move you into a new room tonight and we can start off from there.”
“Can I see Jerry?” Toni asked.
Emeka nodded. “I’ll tell him to come.”
“No. I want to go to him.” Toni said.
The Director shrugged. “We’ll get a chair for you.” He said and walked out.
“I’ll go with him.” Nora said and walked out.
Emeka took a deep breath as he sat beside her. “I have heard a lot about you and I…I am honoured to finally meet you.”
Toni smiled. “Trust me, I am more beautiful than this. I am just allergic to Hospitals.” She said with a smile.
“Of course, you are.” Emeka said with a soft chuckle.
Toni stared at him. “Jerry is a good guy.”
Emeka nodded. “I know. He is one of the best men around. I am glad he found you.”
“Me too…”
Emeka took her hand. “Would you please not leave him?” he asked as a teardrop rolled down his eyes.
Toni gasped. “Oh…I think you are also emotional. You can’t be on this case too.” She said as she laughed.
Emeka laughed as he wiped his eyes. “You have a good laugh.”
“I know. I can’t help being a diva.” She replied.
He nodded. “You stay alive, okay?”
“I am alive.” She replied.
Nora returned with a wheelchair. “Let’s go, baby.”
Toni smiled as she got on the wheelchair.
***
Jerry sipped his cup of coffee as he stared at his wristwatch. He had a surgery in about thirty minutes. “Make this count, Jerry.”
The door opened and Toni wheeled in.
“Toni?” he gaped as he went over to her. “How did you…?”
Toni smiled. “Never mind…not like you don’t know how I got here.”
“Emeka.” He replied.
She nodded. “So…you won’t be my Doctor?”
He nodded. “Yes. I…I am sorry. I wanted to be there, but the Director won’t let me.”
“Neither would I.” she replied.
He knelt before her. “The session starts tomorrow. I will be by your side every step of the way. I promise to hold your hand throughout.”
Toni rolled her eyes. “Don’t get all mushy okay. Besides, it means you would hold one hand while Nora holds the other. How am I going to cope with two of you professing love?” she asked with a smile.
“I love you.” Jerry said.
She shrugged. “The question is, who doesn’t love me?”
“Are you going to class me with the majority?” Jerry asked with a smile.
She shook her head. “No. You make up the vast minority.”
“Vast? Minority?” Jerry asked.
She grinned. “You are everything…and much more than I wanted.”
“Oh my…I am honoured.” Jerry said as he kissed her hand.
She nodded. “You should be.”
“I have a patient who is due for surgery now.” He said, staring at his wristwatch.
She smiled. “Oh really?”
He nodded.
“Come here.” She said as she kissed his forehead. “Go save a life.”
Jerry smiled. “You got it.” He said and walked out with a smile.
Tears rolled down Toni’s eyes as the door closed after him. “God please…allow me love this man.”
***
JERRY
Who knew surgery could be fun? Tearing…sewing…tearing…sewing…fixing…smiling. I didn’t understand that it could bring me so much joy…until today. Being a surgeon is everything I have always wanted and I forgot what it was to have that dream until today. They say love can do a lot for you…much more than a lot for you. It gives life. It gives light. It gives hope. It gives much more than you have ever expected.
As I walked into the theatre with optimism, my team lit up. I had never seen them smile. It was as though I was ready to lead an army into battle and they were willing to fight with me…for the first time. Toni. It all came from her. Maybe Magic…maybe a fairy tale, but Toni is pure and true. I couldn’t ask for anything more, the gift of Toni to my life was something I couldn’t question.
And yes, my patient lived.
***
“Hey…”
Toni rolled over to see Jerry. “Hi. How was it?” she asked.
He smiled as he took his seat beside her on the bed. “Patient is fine. I am fine.”
“That’s good to know.” She replied. “I am nervous about radiotherapy. At first, I thought it was going to be chemo…but now it has a different name.” she said with a soft chuckle.
Jerry nodded. “Yeah. Radiotherapy is more effective and it is a better option.”
“So I heard.” Toni replied. “I pray I survive this.”
“You will survive it. I know that you are strong and you can go through this. I am here for you…every step of the way.”
Toni stared at him. “Would you?”
He nodded. “I am not going anywhere…you just have to promise me that you will stay.”
“That is not in my power, is it?” she asked.
He looked away.
“Do you love God, Jerry?”
Jerry shrugged. “He created us, right?”
“That’s not the question. Do you love God?” she asked.
He turned in her direction. “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?” she asked.
He nodded. “He doesn’t have much love for me either.”
“Why would you say so?” Toni asked as she sat up.
He stared at her. “Frankly, I have never had the best things of life except for good grades.”
“Good grades are something.” She said, cutting in.
“They didn’t save my first patient.” He replied.
She smiled. “You lose some, you win some.”
“Not your first. It is unforgivable.” He replied.
“By who?” she asked.
He stared at her. “I don’t understand.”
“By whose standard is losing your first patient unforgivable?” she asked.
He was silent.
“I know the pain hurts so much, but, we tend to take ourselves too serious and important that we forget the essence of being human.” She started. “Would saving your first patient have mattered if you went on a failure streak afterwards?”
He stared at her. “You don’t understand.”
“Make me.” She said with a smile. “Look, Jerry, we are allowed to lose, but the only thing you are not allowed to do is give up. You saved a life today because God was with you.”
“Why didn’t he save my first patient? Why did he let you have Cancer? Isn’t he God?” Jerry asked. “You talk so much about him, and it is obvious you love him…why did he let that happen to you? Why?”
Toni sniffled. “I am writing a novel. I don’t know if I would have all the time in the world to tell you who Toni was before I got Cancer…but I want you to know that there isn’t so much of a difference. I am still happy. I am still alive. I just have Cancer…and oh, I quit drinking.”
“You used to drink?” he asked.
Toni smiled. “Heavy boozer!”
He smiled faintly. “Toni, I want to understand God the way you have come to understand him, but he has to keep you alive for me to like him.” He said.
“Giving God conditions, are we?” she asked with a smile.
He shrugged. “I don’t know. Let him keep you alive, then, we have a deal.”
“Ever heard of Job in the Bible?” she asked.
He nodded. “Sort of.”
“Try to read the Book of Job in the Bible. I am in no way comparing this situation to his, but that is a man that never stopped loving God. I am living proof that God cares about you and I. Talk to him. He listens, Jerry.”
Jerry blinked. “I don’t know about that…what am I going say to him?”
“First, you ask him to forgive you of your sins and give him your life. Let him be in charge of it all.” She said.
He smiled. “I think you should rest, Toni.” He said as he rose to his feet. “I have to go home to get a change of clothes and then I would be back for the night. Nora is outside. I would tell her to come in.”
Toni smiled. “You can run, but you can’t hide.”
He blew her a kiss and walked out.
***
“So, you ran away because she was telling you about God?” Mrs Aiyenugba asked as they ate.
Jerry shrugged. “Not exactly. But, I don’t understand why she is so passionate about him when clearly he isn’t about her.”
Mrs Aiyenugba dropped her spoon. “Jerry???”
“Yes! You don’t let Cancer come near someone you love…I know he is God and he can do everything. Why can’t he take it away?” he shouted.
She sat back as she watched Jerry rant.
“All I want is for her to be fine…he should know that.” He shouted as tears rolled down his face. “He doesn’t have to take her away from me. I thank him for bringing her my way, but I want to have her.” He shouted as he broke down in tears.
Mrs Aiyenugba nodded and walked over to him. “When I lost my husband, I felt God was unfair too…he knew I loved him, but God loves him more and I had to understand that.”
“Just like that? No disrespect, but you have had the best days with your husband, but God isn’t even giving me a chance with her…” He protested.
She smiled. “The best days are yet to come. As long as you live, you make the most of each day and every moment and who told you that Toni has not had the best of her days with you already?”
“Don’t try to patronize me.” He replied.
She nodded. “Not my plan to do that, but I feel you should give yourself some credit already. Every man has his purpose and duty to fulfil, and when we are done, we are done.”
“Toni can’t be done.” He replied.
She stared at him. “Jerry, talk to God. He listens.” She said and dug her spoon into the food.
***
“So James, what are your plans for Nora?” Toni asked.
James stared at her. “I like her a lot. I know we can make it work.”
“Really?” she asked.
He nodded with a smile. “Am I on the hot seat here?”
She nodded. “Yes. I love my sister and I want to be sure that I am leaving her in the right hands.”
“You are not suggesting that you are going to die, are you?” he asked.
She shrugged. “We would all die someday…or face rapture.”
“Look Toni, I know it seems I hit on you the first day we met, but-”
She raised a finger. “I don’t care about that. I want to know your intents.”
“I want to be there for Nora. I want to love her, protect her, and take care of her. I know I can do it and I want you to trust me to be able to.” He said.
“James, I have nothing against you…Nora would do this to Jerry if she were in my shoes. I wish you guys the best.” She said.
“Are you saying goodbye already?” he asked.
She sighed. “I don’t know…but for as long as I am here, I am here.”
***
“God, I know I am not a good guy. I have not been to church in a long time. I have been drinking too much and maybe a little more than too much. But, I have found a good girl and I can’t let you take her away from me. The Director already said I won’t be treating her, but I don’t believe we even treat anyone, I think you do. Please, God, can you treat Toni for me? God, I…I won’t be able to go on without her…If you knew that you won’t keep her alive, why did you bring her my way? Were you trying to tease me? God, please…I can’t do this on my own…Teach me your ways, help me to understand you and everything that happens around me. Let me love you and help me to be a better man.” Jerry said as he knelt down in his room.
“God, forgive me for all the wrong things I have said to you, but I am hurting so much and I want you to fix me. I want you to take care of Toni. I can’t do this on my own…God, please.” He cried as he slid into the floor.

****
Beautiful Stranger is written by @tomi_adesina; Author of Dear Future Husband available for Free on African Stories. Follow @tomi_adesina on twitter for more thrilling stories. Her new book “All Fun and Games” also available for FREE on African Stories

Advertisements

Life of a Barack Boy. Episode 5

Featured

Episode 5: Bail Ya Goat
Read all Episodes of Life of a Barack Boy by Ojay Aito Here

There are many advantages of living in the barracks; or let me say, growing up in the barracks. One was the fact that it was a perfect representation of what the country is. That is you have
people from every part of the nation in one single community. So it was easy to come across diverse culture, language, religion, and belief system. It was one of the best things that happened to us as children. Even though we never traveled to many parts of the country, we knew how someone from any part of country would act or react to things. It afforded us the luxury of understanding the very commonly used words of most languages. And if you easily ‘slide into the matter’, you already know what I meant when I say ‘commonly used words’. Unfortunately, this episode is not about words, or most used slangs in the barracks. It’s about the relationships and fun we had together as not just children, but barrack shildren.
Leggo, our closest neighbor who was the Chief Medical Officer of the division had (and still has, I think) two wives. We sometimes called him Doctor. The two women did not live under the same roof, or the same city for that matter, but all his children lived in the same house with him. So, ‘many’ wasn’t a word that was used to say the number of children that lived in that three
bedroom duplex of our neighbor’s house. We used ‘plenty’ and sometimes ‘numerous’, though the only difference between them and us was that they were all siblings, and we were a mixture
of siblings, cousins, nephews, and house helps. And because we shared a very large compound we had many things in common.
We shared two hectares of cassava and maize farm; we shared security; we shared a plot of green lawn turned soccer pitch, plus a few other luxuries. And responsibilities.
Because of what we got from farm and vegetable gardens, we didn’t visit the market everyday just to prepare a pot of soup. Remember we had a poultry. But with all these came a huge challenge: securing the farm.
We were on holidays at the time and we took on the
task of building bamboo fence around the farm. As soon as Doctor saw our little initiative, he made it a law. A rule. So with the help of a few friends and tenants, we drove the stakes deeper,
and raised the fence higher. What we intended to do as fun became work as soon as Doctor got involved. All our effort though didn’t stop the goats and other ruminants from breaking in and destroying
the cassava and maize stems. So we thought of what to do: we set traps, and built cells to keep any goat and sheep caught within our farm.
So once again we had some fun to wake up to, apart from the morning and evening sessions of playing football. We took shifts at the ‘gate house’- the entrance of the farm; we patrolled
round to check for any break-in of some sort. Even our dogs, Whiskey and Motty had some chasing to do. Trust me, we caught many goats. Many-many goats. That made Doctor feel good
that we were busy doing something worthwhile during the holiday. Soon, our cells were full, which resulted in another problem. We hadn’t really thought of what to do with the goats except to
starve them to death. But after a little over a week, we had over fifty goats, and of course an awesome idea.
People started coming to our house to beg for the release of their goats. After our parents were gone to work, we would host and receive a number of pleas from the barrack
men and women alike. “Come back when Doctor is back from work,” was always our respond. It was just fun seeing people come to our balcony every morning and afternoon. Some begged, some cursed, some cried, and some just stood there looking straight into our eyes like they wanted to hypnotize us. Of course, we were afraid that some of those women were witches, but my cousin Mudiaga and one of our neighbor’s son, Ochuko gave the rest of us the boldness to continue with our mission.
To create more fun we asked some of them to write guarantor’s letter promising that their goats would never stray to this part of the barrack again. It was a whole load of fun reading requests
and appeals from these wonderful women. We would laugh over grammatical blunders, and ask them to come back later in the evening when Doctor was back. Although many of them swore
to come back, but we never saw anyone come around when our neighbor’s father was home. We were sure their husbands warned them not to.
I can’t remember exactly, but I think it was Mudiaga, my cousin who brought up the idea that we released the goats on bail. Four days down the line, we had made a little fortune for ourselves,
our parents not knowing exactly the details of what we did. As long as we told them that we were simply trying to guard our precious farm, they didn’t push for any major detail.
To spice the fun, we would take on ‘flogging sessions’, where we spend time beating the goats to the point of coma. Ochuko was particular with breaking the horns, or one of the legs of
the animals. It was a brutally enjoyable experience for us. Sometimes, we would deliberately release one of the goats and let it run around the compound, then we would chase it as a form
game – The Arena? Anyone?.
In the space of three weeks our notoriety had spread around the barrack, and we were beginning to have enemies and fans alike. After the fourth week, the little group had become a
club where membership was extended to other ‘quarters’ boys and privileged fine barrack babes. Our effort at chasing and stopping the goats from entering into our farm was hugely appreciated by Doctor, who one day bought everyone of us catapults. But even the few goats that remained in the barracks had stopped coming anywhere close to a fifty metre radius of our compound. Soon splinter groups came out, and before we knew it there were no more goats in the barrack again.
But the game had to continue, the rave dared not cease. At this point, we resulted to go hunting for goats wherever the goats hid and brought them into our compound. We marked their bodies with paint so that should the goats find their way to the hands of the opposition, we would have a just cause to embark on an invasion of our opponent’s territory. It all got to the stage where we organized goat-fighting competitions within the barrack. There
were the feather weight, middle weight, and heavy weight categories; which resulted in us giving the goats names like Idiamin, Babangida, Maradona, Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, etc.
But it all came crashing down when schools started resuming from the long holidays, and our siblings and friends who attended federal schools started returning one after the other. I remember vividly the face of our special goat, Otegi, which got to the semi-finals of the competition… That was the first and only time I ever saw a goat smile.
It was a holiday well spent but one which did not make it to the pages of our English Language notebooks. Hehehe

****
Ojay Aito blogs weekly at ojayaito.com and he is @1ojay on twitter.

Other Posts on African Stories
Love on the 25th by Uneñ Ameji
Beautiful Stranger by Tomi Adesina
All Fun and Games by Tomi Adesina
Life of a Barack Boy by Ojay Aito

Love on the 25th. Episode 16

Featured

Love on the 25th. Episode 16
Read Previous Episodes of Love on the 25th by Uneñ Ameji Here

****
Debbie
It was a dark. It was raining. It was midnight. The quaint white bungalow sitting heavily like an obese woman in our large compound was quiet as usual and as I lay my head on my soft feathery pillow, I waited for their voices to create the ruckus I knew would start very soon…that was the norm. They waited for the world to sleep before they woke them up with shouts so loud, the echoes stayed within the walls throughout the day until they made new ones the very next day. I counted in confusion as I stared at my ceiling; I didn’t need to wait long.
“I am the man of the house and you and your dead father cannot tell me what to do” it was his voice, loud and authoritative as ever.
“Nobody is contesting that you are a man and so cannot keep his pants up! I want you out of my house and out of the company. It was my father’s and I won’t stand by and watch you cheat with your indigenous breed and work in an honest man’s office. God knew my father warned me! You silly goat” it was mother in her usual abusive fashion. I didn’t understand the word indigenous and breed at the time and I made the mental note to check the big Oxford dictionary in the library when they had both gone to work. I was learning new words these days and they weren’t good words. Perhaps I was too smart, perhaps too pampered but as an only child, I had all I wanted – until the day mother discovered daddy was a “lying bastard frolicking with a whore who he spent all her father’s money on”.
“I have worked in that company for ten years! Ten good years and you think you can command me to leave my life’s work just because it was your father’s? I am the managing director for a good reason, and nothing is going to stop me from sitting on that chair till I say otherwise. Get that? And you better get used to having an indigenous breed as your mate. I won’t give her up. Never!” and the door to their bedroom was slammed shut; the vibrations reaching the earth core.
It was not over yet. I waited for mother to follow and follow she did.
“Ben! Ben! Come back here. You won’t have the last word and for your information, the board is ready to vote me back in. You will lose everything and you will go back to the dishonest hole you vermin crawled out from. I swear Ben, I will destroy you and take my daughter from you” she said as she followed him past the hallway and down to the guest room where he always slept after their nightly ritual. But that night, something happened that changed our lives forever.
A loud slap, a high-pitched shout and the sound of crashing glasses, I was out of my bed and was running out of my room in complete shock and fear. The sight before me had me rooted in the hallway, afraid to move. The shelf with glass decor and plates had fallen and there were shattered glass particles all over the floor. Then I saw him, holding her up against the wall in strong grip as he snuffed the life out of her, her toes barely touching the floor and her hands reaching to unclasp his hands from her neck, struggling.
There was a little tear at her mouth and a spill of blood running down her mouth. I inched closer and felt a piece of glass sink into my right foot. I saw finger marks across her cheeks, light-skinned, mother bore the evidence of his slap and her eyes red with blood clot. He was determined to shut up her, I could see that.
“Daddy!” I shouted as I stood, too scared to move, afraid of him, afraid for her. This was the first time I had witnessed anything like this and I knew our lives had changed forever. He looked at me intensely for few seconds before relaxing his hold on her neck. She coughed loudly as his hands left her neck that bore more red welts from his grip. She slumped, rapidly feeding her starved lungs with fresh oxygen as she stretched out her hands for me.
“You will not take my life from me. You won’t take Alama from me” he said quietly as he dragged me back to my room despite the shout of mother to let me be.
“Daddy, please leave mummy alone’’ I said as he lifted me up with one hand.
“Shut up your mouth and don’t ever leave your room when adults are fighting. Like mother, like daughter” he said as he yanked my door and flung me inside. I landed on the bed with my hand hitting my wooden bedside locker.
That was my first fracture. That was the beginning of my hatred for the man whose DNA runs in my blood. That was the end of my family.
The clicks, flashes and steadily increasing looks from the crowded hotel lobby as they pointed and confirmed their suspicion about who I was brought me back to the present. The tears ran up my tear duct and I pasted a wide happy smile as I hugged my long-lost mother some more. She seemed to take the cue knowing we were in a delicate position. She smiled and gave me a princess perk on the forehead as we took our hands and tried walking away from the crowd that was beginning to irritate me. Thanks to the security at the hotel, we were ushered to the closest elevator but a persistent busybody followed in determined pursuit.
“Is this your mother? Why are you both crying? When is the wedding? Is the public invited or just Invites only?” all these questions spilling from the lips of the thin girl who I was sure was uploading the pictures to some sorry gossip site or her instagram. A word was not said as we walked into the elevator holding our hands, not letting go.
“My God! You are so beautiful” mother whispered as we got off the elevator with the security man and a manager escorting us to her room.
“Thank you” I said to the duo who looked like they wanted to wait around. I waited for the door to close before flying into my mother’s arms in relief and tears.
“I thought you were dead, I thought you left me….”I cried, as I hiccuped, trying to keep it all in but I couldn’t. The last time I had seen her was at Christmas. I had just turned 7 and several months after the night father broke my hand and nearly suffocated mum. I was little but I remembered the commotion that followed afterward; the fights were rough and deadly from then on. I heard of schemes and abuses. Mother took over the company and father nearly had her head for it – until Inspector Sunday, a friend of father’s had mother detained for few hours to “maintain the peace”. That was all father needed to put his plan into action.
He ran away with me and from what I heard years later, I wasn’t the only thing he took from mother. He had already sold properties left to mother by her father and taken a huge chunk from the joint account after he forged her signature.
Mother came just as the truck loaded with some boxes pulled out of the driveway. I remember her chasing the truck as I struggled with my hands and head out of the window….tears flowing down our faces as he sped on, her distraught image was reduced to nothingness after few meters but I could never forget as she collapsed on the tarred road right before I lost her.
I cried for weeks refusing to say a word, barely leaving the room I occupied alone in where I came to know as Benin – Nigeria and in few years, I became an object of abuse. Dad was never around, his wife slapped me around any chance she got, John the old guard found a way to sexually abuse me on the pretext of consoling me and the little devil of a bastard, Oman raped me repeatedly much to the amusement of my father’s wife….she knew, Dad knew but I was all alone. I was without a mother. He had his ultimate revenge against ‘the woman’, his sole enemy, who he repeatedly said was responsible for his downfall. I hated him and waited patiently for my mother to come rescue me. She was in Ghana and I hoped for the day she’d find out we were now in Nigeria but the day couldn’t come fast enough and that was when I decided I was going to look for her. I was 16 years.
“Your mother is dead” he had said without looking up from his Sunday newspaper after I announced boldly I was leaving to go find my mother. Oman had forced his little snake into me the night before and when I had beaten off a huge chunk of flesh from his shoulders, his wife had flogged me and called me a witch like my mother. I was ready to leave and I was not going back on the decision.
“I know you are lying. You are lying. When? When?” I shouted as tears formed in my eyes. He continued reading without as much as a look in my direction.
“She died five years ago on her way to America, you were too young and I decided to spare you the grief” he announced without lifting his eyes from the newspaper he was reading. When I demanded to know how, he stood up and left the sitting room. I felt myself go weak, the hope of rescue turning into smoke and heated pain traveled up my chest.
“See this fly” it was the devilish woman laughing at my predicament.
I ran away that night without a thought to where I was going. That night I met Caleb. My first husband. My heart lurched at the name; the last conversation with Vince and follow-up picture made me hold her more, sniffing in her scent.
“I am here….I am so sorry” she said as we sat on the bed as I cried and she did too. We stayed there for hours. Looking up to her and we’d stare, a sad smile and we’d cry again.
“We have to stop crying baby” she said, patting my hair as I blew my nose.
“I can’t ….” I struggled to speak, sniffing thick gobs of mucus in. I was a mess and I didn’t care. I just wanted to curl inside her arms and never get up. I remembered the smell, the pecks and little gifts she gave me every day.
“I know…I know” she said planting a thick kiss on my head.
“I thought you were dead, he told me you were dead and I believed him, I stopped searching, I was lost mum, I was lost……” I cried some more and she joined.
“I killed him” she said in strange voice and I turned to look at her.
“When?” was all I could say.
“I finally found you, him in Benin and when I asked of you, he said you ran away. I searched everywhere, the street boys helped with your poster. The police wasn’t any good. I got so mad I emptied bullets on him and his wretched wife and I left Nigeria. I was heartbroken and I had failed you. If only I had searched hard enough…” she was saying ashamed of what she had done. I knew the guilt she was feeling. It was the guilt of taking a life, of keeping secrets buried and the wish that things were different.
“Did you kill the guard and the boy?” I asked in hope, relishing in the knowledge that I had been avenged. I took her hands as she tried to get up. I was dried eyed now and she looked at me strangely.
“I must have…..I didn’t leave a witness” she said with an evil grin and we smiled for the first time since we hugged at the reception.
“Thank you” I said and hugged her as I contemplated telling her that I had also murdered a man in cold blood. That was my secret I decided and until it absolutely had to come out, I wasn’t going to ruin the evening any more than necessary.
“My baby is getting married” she gushed as she planted a loud kiss at the center of my head and I giggled, forgetting the schemes and lies involved. The thought of having her at my wedding made the lie inconsequential. I was going ahead with the wedding – even if it was for just three months.
“I missed you” she said and hugged me.
“Let me show you my pictures” I said for a lack of a better thing to say. I switched on my phone just in time to have flood of messages and calls fighting over themselves to reach me. A call came in.
It was Kole.
“Where are you?” he sounded miffed.
“Ikeja” I answered.
“You didn’t take my driver” he accused. I knew what he was thinking – that I was with Vince.
“I didn’t”
“You do realize that we are getting married in two weeks” he sounded terse.
“I know”
“Goddamit Debbie! I can’t have your affairs making headlines before the wedding. You know what is at stake here” he sounded desperate and for a moment I wanted to believe he liked women and wanted me. A happy part of me wanted the lies to be real but then Vince ….
“I am not with him”
“Are you sure?” he said releasing his pent up lungs.
“Yes”
“Please Debbie, just come back home let’s talk about all these” he said with a touch of a British accent and I could see imagine him running his hand through his head.
“I am with my mother Kole, can we do this tomorrow?” I said as I noticed her eyes now smiling.
“Your mother? You have a mother?” he asked, shock lacing his doubtful voice. I handed over the phone to mother.
“He doubts you exist” I said as I gave her the phone and went to get myself a bottle of water. The knowledge that she had killed the people who tormented me brought me strength and joy. I felt vindicated but I wondered how she must be handling the guilt knowing she murdered them in cold blood. What else was she capable of? I didn’t dwell on it.
“I take you think me non-existent” she started and I watched her with awe. My mother as I remembered her…smiling and nodding her head to whatever Kole was saying.
“Yes, I know. She just told me about it and I flew in last night.” She answered the questions that followed.
“Yes, we have a lot to catch up on, she is staying the night. But of course. I need to meet my son-in-law soon” she said as she looked at me and I smiled. She gave back the phone after few lines.
“So I hear mummy loud and clear. I will see you tomorrow. We should talk Deb…and I am sorry about Alex. I do want you. You should know that” and he dragged the last line and was gone.
“Trouble before the vows not a good sign baby. I am sure you know that” was all she said and I nodded. She already knew.
“We are working out few details” I braved.
“He doesn’t trust you before marriage, he won’t trust you after either and from what I think, it seems there is another young man in the picture… huhmm?” she said coming to take my hands and I laughed, shy and shaking my head in the affirmative. If only she knew there were two young men in the picture.
“Come tell me all about him, we have all night” she said as we headed out to the balcony but not before I rang for a plate of fruit salad.
I had 25 years to make up for.
****
Vince
I waited for her. I knew she was going to come. There was no alternative. The apartment was on a short lease, felt empty and impersonal. Two weeks after I had sent her Caleb’s picture and she was yet to get back to me. My calls were rejected, text messages went ignored. I was out of my wit and tomorrow was the wedding. I had to stop it. I had to.
I took the first flight to Lagos on Friday morning against father’s directive to host a government official. Over the weeks past, I had barely functioned at work and planned tirelessly on how to stop the wedding without making it headline news. There was only one way and I was going to need Caleb.
At 9:15am I was in Lagos, at 11:15 am, I had showered and shaved, brushed twice and changed my shirt thrice. I was excited because it was more than four weeks since the last time I saw her and was in her bed. In that time, I thought about her constantly, wished she would just stop the madness and call off the wedding. I had dreamt about her with my baby, I had thrown cups at my wall and was constantly moody and snappy. She had to call it off or I was going to disrupt the wedding publicly I had threatened in a message – that too had gone unanswered. With the arrival of her mother on scene, the wedding fever had gone higher and it was the constant rave everywhere. It was time to put my plan in motion.
‘I have your husband with me.
Doesn’t look good.
Tomorrow could be your big day, ….or not
We need to see.
C21, Block F, Boston Apartments, Alvan Ikoku, V.I’

I sent the message. Barely two minutes later, she replied.
‘See you in one hour’
Now I waited. Half expectant and half-tensed. What if she was truly married to him, what was their history? Who was she? Debbie or Alama?…..I heard a small knock on the door and knew instinctively she was the one. A deep breath, I went to open the door.
She stood there, a little frazzled, a little bold, her eyes already darting past my shoulders and licking her lips as she held her dark glasses.
“Where is he?” she asked as I stood aside to let her pass.
“He couldn’t make it today” I answered as she turned to face me.
“You said…”
“I know what I said”
“Why did you bring me here?” she asked, getting angry.
“Because I wanted to meet Alama” I said piercing her with a heated look.
“You don’t need to know her. I am getting married in less than 24 hours Vince. I can’t afford this kind of meetings” she said almost in a plea. I frowned.
“You can’t get married when you are already married to another” I said almost in a thought.
“Vince, I was married but we are no longer together”
“But not divorced” I pressed.
“It was a long time ago, I was under aged. I was 16 years. That is contestable”
“That is not what he said. I am pretty sure he said you were 20” I said looking at her mouth, tracing it to her chest and back to her face. All I could see was her naked underneath me and I found her avoiding my gaze as she swallowed self-consciously.
“He lied, we lied in court” she said suddenly looking at her hands and finding a seat. I walked over to her.
“I had a feeling he wasn’t telling the real story but he will, soon enough” I said taking the opposite sofa.
“What did he tell you?” she asked looking at me, tensed.
“You were supposedly in a fire and he thought you were dead”
“That is true”
“Why didn’t you find him after the fire?”
“I didn’t want to be married to him anymore. I had enough of men”
“But you are getting married to Kole”
“Yes. I am. It has been a long time”
“Why?” I pressed.
“Because it is the right thing to do. Career-wise, and we are compatible”
“Do you love him?” I asked jealous, unable to remain objective and unattached. Here she was and the only thing I could think of was making love to her till her wedding day was over.
“I am comfortable with him” she answered licking her lips.
“What happens to us?”
“There was no Us” she corrected.
“I don’t think so”
“Vince, don’t make this about you…” she shook her head.
“You could be with my child. Are you?” I asked, serious.
“Vince! I am not with a child”
“It has been over a month. Have you seen….”
“My God Vince! I can’t believe you called me here to talk of a nonexistent baby” she said standing up and pacing the space.
“What if you were with my baby, would you still marry Kole?”
“Well, I am not with your child” she defended, her hands going over her stomach in a possessive stance.
“That doesn’t answer my question”
“What question?”
“Will you go ahead with the wedding?”
“Vince…”
“Will you?” I shouted as I stood facing her.
“No!”
“Good” I said firmly as we stared at ourselves.
“You have a lot to answer for” I said, my head and all the questions I wanted answers too forgotten.
“I know”
“God! How I have missed you” I said tracing her lips with my fingers
“Vince….” She didn’t move.
“I want you, I don’t care if you are Alama or Debbie, I don’t care if you were married…to Caleb, to Kole, I really don’t care what your past is Debbie. I am not letting you go, I’m in love with you” I said as I placed strands of hair behind the back of her ear.
“Vince, we can’t” she said, her breath fanning my hand, she was aroused. I could tell.
“I know” and with that I hooked my hand to her waist, pulling her close. All thoughts of finding out who she was, why she changed her name and what led to marrying a misfit like Caleb was lost as I found her lips. She gasped as I teased her open.
“Vince…” she called, trying to resist.
“Don’t fight it love” and I pressed. She responded slowly as I found her willing tongue and sucked on it. She moaned, her hands finding their way to my neck. Pressing closer, I found her aching nipples underneath the silk blouse she was wearing. She arched her back and without second thoughts swept her up her feet and was soon carrying her to the bedroom without a protest. If she wasn’t pregnant before, I was going to make sure she left with me inside her, the thought tightening my already stiffened groin and my heart leaping with joy.
I couldn’t wait for tomorrow.
There was no way I was letting her get married.
Not on my watch.
****
Love on the 25th is written by Uneñ Ameji; Author of Memoirs of a Justified Gold Digger. Get a copy. She is @UnenAmeji

Download: Copy of Final Draft Report Adopted by Delegates. National Conference Nigeria

So after months of bickering, quarreling, slumping and scheming diligent overview, the delegates have arrived at the final draft of report. Recall that the National Conference, which began on March 17, 2014 came to an end on Thursday 14th August, 2014.

See copies for download
Copy of Final Draft Report Adopted by Delegates. National Conference Nigeria (1)
Copy of Final Draft Report Adopted by Delegates. National Conference Nigeria (2)
Copy of Final Draft Report Adopted by Delegates. National Conference Nigeria (3)

The issues within the purview of the National Conference were structural defects of the country, devolution of powers, national security, wealth allocation and sharing formula (fiscal federalism), among others. Some noted that Nigerians have always described the amalgamation of 1914 as a contraption, a forced marriage and one which must be annulled because of perceptions ranging from the monopoly of power by the Northerners and intellectual dominance by the Southerners.
It was revealed that “”like the federal legislators who play truancy. Delegates now abandon their job, junketing from one part of the country, or world to another, pursuing their personal businesses. Those who had raised the alarm that the motivation of many of the delegates was the huge allowance not service to the nation were not wrong after all. It is said that it is likely going to end without anything positive coming out of it”
The National Conference was supposed to be a unique opportunity to discuss the modalities for the continued co-existence of all Nigerians irrespective of religion and ethnic leanings.

Beautiful Stranger. Episode 9

Featured

Hi guys,

TGIF! TGIF!! TGIF!!!
A good weekend and you should have a book to go with it……….
Get free eBooks on African Stories Here
Beautiful Stranger. Episode Nine
Read All Previous Episodes of Beautiful Stranger Here

****

Emeka pulled Jerry. “Come on, man. Emergency.”
Jerry stood stoned. “That is Toni.”
“Toni?”
Jerry nodded. “My Toni.”
Emeka blinked. “Oh my God! Busted.”
“What could be wrong with her?” Jerry asked.
Emeka swallowed. “I don’t know, man. Let’s go find out.”
“Oh God.”
A Nurse approached them. “The Director is asking for you both.”
“What’s going on?” Emeka asked.
The Nurse stared at them. “We are trying to stabilize the patient.”
Emeka nodded and pulled Jerry along. “I know you are scared of going in there right now, but, you have to know what’s going on.”
“No, man. I will wait here. You can tell me.” Jerry said, backing out.
Emeka nodded and hurried into the theatre. Jerry took a deep breath as he buried his head in his hands.
“Jerry?”
He looked up as Nora stood before him. She was in tears. He took a deep breath and allowed her crash into his arms. “She-just-crashed.” She struggled to say. “She was singing and then I didn’t hear it anything anymore. She just went down.”
Jerry gasped as he felt Nora’s heartbeat pound heavily. It seemed serious. He looked at Nora. “It’s going to be alright.”
She shook her head. “It won’t be. Toni is sick.”
“She is here with us now. She is going to be fine. We would take care of her. I promise you.” He assured.
She took a seat. “You don’t have an idea, do you?”
“What?” he asked.
Nora sniffled. “Toni would kill me if I told you, but, what the heck? You are going to find out anyway.” She said as she cried.
Jerry knelt before her as he wiped her eyes. “ What is going on, Nora?”
Nora stared at the stethoscope on his white overall. “You are a Doctor?”
Jerry took a deep breath. “Nora…I…I can explain.”
“You lied to her…to us.” She said.
He nodded. “I…I just wanted to protect her.”
“Protect? From what? From who?” she asked.
He swallowed. “The other part of me that I didn’t want her to see. It is a long story, I swear and I can’t start explaining it now. But, what is wrong with Toni?”
Nora sighed. “You think changing the topic will change things?”
“No, it won’t. I would come back to the issue. I would explain it to you…to her. But, what is wrong with her?” he asked.
She shrugged. “Why don’t you go in and find out for yourself?”
“Nora, I can’t show up there. I…I can’t let her find out this way. I swear that I will come down to the house and explain everything to you and to her when she is better. But, I need you to tell me what the problem is.”
Nora shook her head. “It might take a while before you visit both of us in the house. We actually would be your visitors here.”
“What do you mean? Stop it!” He cut in, feeling offended.
Nora stood up. “Don’t raise your voice at me.”
He took a deep breath. “I am sorry, but, please tell me what is wrong with her. I can’t go in there and you know it, it might upset things. She can’t find out about me like this. You have to help me.”
“It is all about you, right?” she asked.
Jerry sighed. “I just don’t want to upset her right now. She didn’t look good and since Emeka is not here to brief me on the happenings, I just want you to…”
Nora forced back her tears. “I…I can’t.”
“Please. I care about Toni. You can’t lock me out.”
Emeka approached them. Jerry hurried to him. “What’s up?”
Emeka took his hand. “Let’s talk inside.”
“What is going on?” Jerry shouted.
“Dude, you have to calm down.” Emeka replied.
Jerry yanked out of his grip. “I don’t want to calm down. Tell me. Now!”
Emeka took a deep breath. “Jerry, you don’t want to do this here. Let’s go inside and I will tell you all you need to know.”
“I don’t want to go inside! Just spill it!” He shouted back at Emeka.
“She has cancer.” Emeka replied.

***
JERRY
Cancer? Cancer? Right? Not sure I heard it right but it sounded like Cancer. Cancer at this moment seemed like a zodiac sign and not the disease I knew it to be. I am not sure why my trousers are wet but think I have been laying on the grass outside the Hospital for over three hours now. Now I know why the grass is wet, it should have been sprinkled. I have been here staring into the sky. It is really blue.
Emeka said she has Cancer. Nah…Toni can’t have Cancer. Sleeping on the left side of your bed can give you bad dreams. I would sleep again and by the time I wake up, this would all be a bad dream. Emeka would run out to me from the ward and say ‘she has malaria’. Yeah. Malaria. That’s more like it.
All my life, my wits and guts have been put to test…for the larger part of it, I have failed. As far as this field is concerned, I have tried and failed. I have never counted those failures as one that might pierce through my heart even though it did prick it. But when you face a test that is bigger than you…when you see someone you love on that surgical table and you fail, then, you have really failed. This is Toni. My life. She had come into my life and changed everything for me.
Call me ‘deep’ as the society might want to term it, but her smile and laughter were artistic. It had a pure reflection, one that took me forever to fathom. I was enchanted from the first day I set my eyes on her. Maybe Magic. Maybe Love. Maybe Life. All I know is that I felt something pure and true, and it was Toni.
I had every reason not to show up before Toni. One, my lies had found me out. It would be a total shame for her to find out about me under the circumstance and two, I have nothing to offer her. Of what use would it be if I showed up before her and still didn’t save her life? Pointless. It is time to go home…maybe travel…maybe run away…maybe nothing. Maybe I would just watch her from the side-line.
Why did she never tell me? Or had she tried to tell me? It must be the day we went to the movies…that day, we had seen a movie on Cancer. It had to be that day. Yeah, Cancer is a bitch. She wasn’t wrong. It is a bitch!
***
“Sir, he has been here like this for the past three hours. He won’t let anyone come near him.” Emeka complained to the Director.
The Director stared at a lukewarm Jerry and then back at Emeka. “I can’t have him like this. Get security to bring him in.”
“He has rebuffed them, Sir.” Emeka replied.
The Director stared at him. “Why do we pay them if they can’t bring one man inside?”
“Sir, he is related to Toni. Our patient.” Emeka replied.
The Director sighed. “Well, if we don’t get him out of this state, we are going to be treating a depressed Surgeon soon. Tell them to use whatever force in the universe that they can to bring him in.” he said and returned into the Hospital.
Emeka approached Jerry. “Hey.”
Jerry ignored him.
“Dude, I…I know this is all a shock for you, but, Toni doesn’t need this from you.” Emeka said.
Jerry didn’t say a word. He just stared.
“I am not going to lie by saying I know how you feel because no one knows how you feel right now, but, I am going to tell you the same thing that you are going to tell any man who is torn right now, you can’t afford to pull away.”
Jerry stared at him and sighed.
“Look, Jerry, I know you are breaking up inside. I know everything about now seems senseless, but trust me, man, you would pull through. Toni needs you. We have stabilized her and she might start Chemo soon. Are you going to be the guy who runs away when she needs you most or the guy who sits her through this one?” Emeka asked.
Jerry took a deep breath.
“Bro, I love you…and I would be here for you every step of the way…we would fight for Toni. We won’t let her go. Are you with me?” Emeka asked.
Jerry wiped his tears and rose to his feet.
Emeka stretched out his hand to him. “Let’s go in.”
“I can’t.” Jerry replied and walked away into the streets.
***
Nora hurried to Emeka as he approached her from Toni’s room. “How is she?”
“Stable.”
Nora sighed. “Don’t you have another term? This is all you have been saying in the last few hours. Can I see her? Talk to her? Just say hi?”
Emeka nodded. “She is…”
“-Please. I beg you. She is all I have. There must be something you can do.” Nora begged.
He nodded. “You can’t be in there for a long time.”
She nodded. “Thank you.” She said and hurried into Toni’s room.
Toni turned as Nora took a seat. “You’ve been crying.” She said as she managed a chuckle.
Nora burst into tears as she kissed Toni’s forehead. “Toni…”
“Don’t cry on me.” She replied.
Nora sniffled as she stared at her. “I am sorry.”
“About what?” Toni asked. “You have nothing to be sorry for.”
Nora drew her chair closer. “Toni…I…I don’t know what to do or what to say.”
“Say nothing, Sis. You panic too much.” Toni replied. “I am going to be fine.”
Nora took a deep breath
“Has Jerry called?” Toni asked.
“Uh?” Nora asked.
Toni smiled faintly. “Jerry…Mr Nice outfit. Have you suddenly forgotten who he is?”
Nora shook her head. “No, I haven’t. There is a lot of work at the Bank. He has been busy.”
“Okay. Don’t tell him anything.” Toni said.
Nora blinked. “Oh.”
“Have you?” Toni asked, looking concerned. “I…I want to be the one to tell him.”
Nora nodded. “I didn’t tell him anything, Toni. I swear I didn’t.”
Toni swallowed. “Thank you.”
“Do you want me to call him?” Nora asked.
Toni shook her head. “Chemo starts tomorrow. I am going to look really horrible. Just tell him I travelled or something. What’s the time now?”
Nora checked her wristwatch. “Ten pm.”
“It’s late. You should go home.” Toni said.
Nora shook her head. “No. I am staying right here.”
“Come on, Nora. What could possibly happen to me?” Toni asked. “Nora, go home and rest.”
Nora sighed. “You know I am not going. Quit trying.”
Toni nodded. “I know. I just thought I could try harder. So, what are you going to eat?”
“James is on his way. He would bring me some food and a change of clothes.” Nora replied.
Toni smiled. “That’s good.”
“Are you sure you don’t want Jerry around?” Nora asked.
Toni blinked. “I can’t deny I want to see him, but not here, and certainly not like this. So, just stop bugging me about it.”
“I don’t want to bug you about it. I…I just want to do the right thing.” Nora replied.
Toni stared at her. “Right thing? What do you mean?”
“I don’t mean anything in particular. I am just concerned about keeping Jerry in the loop on this matter.” Nora replied.
Toni sighed. “Look Nora, I know this seems wrong but, I…I can’t let him know that I am sick. If he finds out, he would be broken. I can’t do that to him.”
Nora nodded. “I know how you feel and if that is what you want, I respect it.”
“Thank you.” Toni replied. “I want to rest.”
Nora nodded. “Take care. I would be outside.” She replied and walked out.
***
Jerry smashed another bottle into the wall. “Let me see if you can top that.”
Mrs Aiyenugba hurled her bottle into the wall. “I did fine.” She said with a chuckle.
“Tell me…what’s the point if you are going to lose the one you love? Nothing.” He said and laughed. “I deserve another bottle.” He said and opened his drink.
Mrs Aiyenugba watched him drink another bottle of alcohol. “You have had too many to drink, Jerry.”
“Too many? She made me quit…and what for? She has Cancer, she didn’t even tell me a word. She let me fall in love with her. She is selfish. Just like every woman, self-centred and -”
Mrs Aiyenugba silenced him with a slap.
“What did you do that for?” he asked as he nursed his cheek.
She stared at him. “One, Feminist. I can’t watch you talk about the female gender like that. And Two, How dare you say she is selfish? She loves you.”
“I am hurting here. Where is she? She is there. Sick. Tired. I can’t even look at her!” he yelled.
She sighed. “Jerry, you left her in the Hospital. She needs you. You can’t run away right now.”
“But I don’t know what to do. She is dying. I can’t help her. What use am I to her?” he shouted amidst tears. “I want her to stand up from there and not be sick. I want her to be fine.”
She nodded. “Jerry, do you think she wants to be there?”
Jerry drank more from the bottle and threw it into the wall. “I want to drink more.”
“Come on, Jerry. It’s late into the midnight and we have been drinking forever. I think you should rest so that you can go to the Hospital tomorrow to see her.” She replied.
Jerry stared at the door as the key hole rattled and the door knob turned. “Emeka is here.”
Emeka walked in. “Dude.”
Jerry wiped his tears. “Hey, man.”
“How are you?” he asked as he collected the bottle from him.
Jerry stared at him. “I want to die, Emeka. I want to die.”
Emeka sighed and hugged him. “It’s going to be alright. It is going to be.”
Mrs Aiyenugba smiled. “There are no drinks for you, Emeka.”
“I know ma’am.” Emeka replied and then focused on Jerry. “Toni is stable. I think you should come and see her.”
Jerry sniffled. “You know I can’t. I am just useless to her.”
“Jerry, you are not useless to her. You are the man she loves. She would always want to be with you.” He replied.
Jerry shook his head. “How do I tell her? I can’t look her in the face and say, ‘I have been lying about being a Banker’.”
“Jerry, right now what matters is not that you are a Surgeon. What matters is that you do what is right and love this woman.”
“I love her. Are you blind?” Jerry shouted.
Emeka nodded. “I know…but love is not shown when you are here tearing apart. You have to be by her side. Fighting. Working. You can’t be here doing this to yourself, Jerry.”
Jerry nodded. “Fine. How do I talk to her?”
“Just talk. You don’t have to worry about anything right now. You just have to be there for her. Fight for her. Let her know that you won’t leave her.” Emeka replied.
Jerry sighed. “I am so tired. I just want it all to go away. It’s just like a nightmare. I love her so much, I don’t want to lose her.”
“You won’t lose her.” Emeka replied.
Jerry shrugged. “I don’t know about that, Emeka. I am scared.”
“She is a fighter. I met her. She is lovely. Go to her, don’t leave her alone.” Emeka replied.
Jerry nodded. “I’ll go there tomorrow.”
***
“I still can’t believe that someone like Toni could have Cancer.” James said as he stroked Nora’s hair.
“We don’t choose these things, James.” She replied.
James nodded. “Yeah. I…I just don’t understand. She is so beautiful, so special, and so kind. Why her?”
“I ask myself those questions every time. But, I have never found the answers to them. I just want to see her okay.” She replied.
He nodded. “Maybe Chemo would do fine.”
“She believes in surgeries, but the problem with the surgeries is the seizures she gets. She had a relapse yesterday in Church. I never saw it coming, the drugs had been working well.” She replied.
“Nora, I want you to know that I would be here with you forever, okay?” James said. “And we are going to be strong for Toni too, because she needs us right now.”
Nora nodded. “I don’t know how to tell her that Jerry is not who she thinks he is.”
“Jerry? The guy with the Pyjamas?” he asked.
She sighed. “He is a Doctor here at the Hospital, but he has made us believe that he is a Banker.”
“Really? Why would anyone lie about their profession? Especially being a Doctor? It’s a noble profession…anyone would be proud of it.” He replied.
Nora nodded. “My sentiments exactly. I am shocked he deceived us all. I can’t get my head around why he would do such a thing. I am too tired thinking about my sister to worry about him.”
“It’s okay. We’ll get through this…all of us.” James replied.
Nora nodded.
***
“Good morning, Toni.” Nora said as she drew the curtains back.
Toni smiled. “How are you doing?”
“Fine. Did you sleep well?” Nora asked.
Toni nodded. “Yes. I didn’t have you staring at me all night. That made my life a lot easier.” She said with a smile.
Nora chuckled. “Interesting observation.”
“You do know that you can be really boring, Nora?” Toni said as she rolled over. “The Nurses will soon be here to prep me for my first session.”
“How do you feel about it?” Nora asked.
Toni sighed. “Enthusiastic.”
“You don’t sound it.” Nora replied.
Toni nodded. “Correct. How can you ask such a question?” she asked with a chuckle. “How does anyone feel about Chemo? Hair loss? It’s a good thing I have prepped myself for it by cutting this hair.”
Nora smiled. “How many hours to go?”
“I don’t know.” Toni replied.
The door opened and Jerry walked in.
“What are you doing here?” Nora asked, staring at him in his overall.
Jerry swallowed. “I want to see Toni.”
Toni stared at him confusingly. “Nice outfit, Jerry.”
He smiled. “Hi.”
“Hey…” she said.
Nora clenched her teeth as Jerry came closer. “What are you doing?”
Jerry stopped as he got to her. “I want to make things right.” He replied.
Nora shook her head. “I’ll excuse you both.” She said and walked out.
Jerry walked over to Toni and took her hand. “Hi,”
“So…Nora told you?” she asked.
He shook his head. “No. My friend did.”
“Your friend?” she asked.
Jerry nodded. “Doctor Emeka is my best friend.”
“Oh? He is a really nice man.” She replied. “I am guessing he gave you his overall so you could feel like a Doctor?”
“I am a Doctor.” Jerry replied.
Toni smiled. “Nice try, Jerry.”
“I lied to you all this while about being a Banker.” He replied.
She sat up. “Jerry…what are you saying?”
He took a deep breath. “Toni, I am sorry. When that kid saw us at the mall and called me Doctor, it was because he had been my patient here at the Hospital. I…”
“Go on.” She said as she stared at him.
Jerry nodded. “Being a Doctor has been a nightmare for me. I would do anything to avoid being called Doctor Jerry. I am a failure in this field, a lot of people die under my watch. I…I don’t get to keep people alive. I am scared, I am nervous and I fail a lot. I also drink badly and I…I know I would have sounded irresponsible if that day when you met me at the bar, I said I am a Doctor. I would have disappointed from the start.”
“But you did disappoint me from the start.” She said with a smile. “But, it doesn’t matter, Jerry. You are a good person, you don’t have to lie about who you are or what you do.”
“Or that you have cancer?” Jerry said as tears rolled down his eyes.
Toni smiled. “I never lied. You never asked.”
“Was I supposed to ask you, do you have cancer?” he asked.
Toni shrugged. “I just didn’t tell you and yes, Jerry, I am sorry.”
“Toni, you don’t understand. This is too much for me, why you? You are so…so…beautiful, so full of life, so nice, everything right. Why you?”
Toni smiled. “Why not me?”
“Just stop it.” He said as he took his seat beside her on the bed. “My record of success here is zero. I don’t do well. I have never done well.” He said.
“What happened?”
Jerry cleared his throat. “I…I lost my first patient. I just came off fresh into the theatre and they placed a dying woman in my hand. I was scared, I didn’t know what to do. I lost her. I disappointed her family and…and I never made it through it. I don’t think I ever will.”
Toni took his hand. Jerry took a deep breath and released himself from her grip as he rose to his feet. “I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, Toni. Forget it.” He said.
She took his hand again. “I don’t care if you are a Doctor or a Banker. I don’t care if you have tried hard and failed in the past. All I want you to know is that I love you so much and I would be there for you until our dying day. And I also want you to know that this lady on this bed is desperate to live and afraid to die and so, I want you to get me on my feet, Doctor Jerry.”

****
Beautiful Stranger is written by @tomi_adesina; Author of Dear Future Husband available for Free on African Stories. Follow @tomi_adesina on twitter for more thrilling stories. Her new book “All Fun and Games” also available for FREE on African Stories

Other Posts on African Stories
Love on the 25th by Uneñ Ameji
Beautiful Stranger by Tomi Adesina
All Fun and Games by Tomi Adesina
Life of a Barack Boy by Ojay Aito

Beautiful Stranger. Episode 8

Featured

Beautiful Stranger. Episode Eight
Read All Previous Episodes of Beautiful Stranger Here

****

Jerry pushed the door open as he put the bags in. “It is not too large, but, you are going to like staying here.”
Mrs Aiyenugba looked round. “Petite. I like it.”
“Thank you. So, you can stay here while I talk to your children on your behalf.” He replied as he closed the door.
She smiled as she took a seat. “I don’t need you to talk to them on my behalf. If they don’t think I am needed there, it would be unfair of you to force me on them.”
Jerry nodded. “Fair enough. I have enough room for two here.”
“Does she stay with you?” Mrs Aiyenugba asked.
Jerry smiled. “No. She won’t…at least, not yet.”
She nodded. “Good. When do I get to meet her?”
“Ah…I don’t know. I am going over to her place in an hour.” He replied.
“Don’t worry, this Old woman won’t be here to bore you for too long. I might kiss my grave soon or maybe I would just check into the home and make new friends there. Come to think of it, I don’t think there would be boring women there. They would all have tales to tell.”
“And men too…Old men too! Who knows…you might fall in love.” Jerry said with a sneer.
Mrs Aiyenugba smiled. “I love the fact that you know there are no boundaries to love.”
“Of course, there are no boundaries to love.” Jerry echoed.
She chuckled. “I know. I just said that.” She replied with a smirk.
“I like your sense of humour.” He said.
She smiled. “I try. But sometimes, my jokes get really flat and maybe that’s why my children and grandkids don’t want me around. But who cares? I am person first before I am their family.”
He stared at her. He was in awe of her. She had a full depth of knowledge about life. She knew she was a person before having a family, hence, she owed it to herself to be happy. She took his mind to Toni. Toni amazed him. She lived one step at a time, full of life and beauty. He’d be damned if he didn’t spend the rest of his life with Toni.
“Have you called your Mother?” Mrs Aiyenugba asked.
He shook his head. “No. I…I should call her today.”
“No, you are not going to call her anytime soon. Hmm…what happened?”
Jerry relaxed in his seat. “I haven’t saved a life yet.”
“I don’t understand.” She said as she sat up.
He took a deep breath. “My career has been a huge mess.”
She smiled. “They dread you at the Hospital.”
“I am the worst. No one gets to live when assigned to me.” He replied.
She shook her head. “I am alive.”
Jerry chuckled. “Well, you know what I mean. Critical conditions.”
She nodded. “You always have a special relationship with your patients.”
“But I always let them down in the end, the patients that need me always get disappointed in the end.” He replied.
“Do you believe in yourself?” she asked.
“No.” he replied, bluntly.
She smiled. “That’s honest.”
“And trust me, there is nothing to believe in. This is a bare case of a man who has failed at everything that he thought he had loved.” He blurted.
“I beg to disagree, I am a happy woman because of you…and that girl is lucky to have you.” She replied.
Jerry smiled. “No. I am lucky to have her.”
“Do you think you are handsome?” she asked.
He shrugged. “People say so.”
“Do you own a mirror?” she asked.
He nodded. “Yes, I do. Where are you going with this?”
“I would like you to check the mirror and answer that question again.” She said.
Jerry walked in and returned almost immediately. “I have checked it.”
“Now, are you handsome?” she asked.
He nodded. “Yes, I am.”
“You don’t always need everyone to make you feel good about you. If you don’t love you for who you are, no one can make you feel loved.” She replied. “So, I think that lady is lucky to have you and you have to learn to understand that.”
Jerry took a deep breath and then smiled. “Thank you.”
“One more thing, you are going to save a life. Then, you would save lives. You just have to believe in yourself and trust God. He gives life.” She said and yawned. “Now, you have made me talk much more than I bargained. I am tired.” She said with a smile.
Jerry smiled. “I have to get ready to go out now and prepare for my evening shift. What would you have for dinner?”
“Are you going to cook for me?” she asked.
He nodded. “Yes.” He replied, standing up.
“I am coming with you.” She replied.

***
“So, what’s the plan? The Doctor wants to see you this evening, right?” Nora asked.
Toni smiled. “Yeah…I should head out to the Hospital for some examinations. He has the results from my last scans so I guess I won’t be out for long.”
“You know what I mean, Toni. When are you telling Jerry?”
Toni took a deep breath. “I don’t think I ever want to.”
“What! That’s wickedness, Toni.” Nora protested.
Toni relaxed in her seat. “You don’t understand. It won’t change anything.”
“It changes everything.” Nora retorted. “Besides, I thought you didn’t like getting attached to people. This seems to be overdoing it.”
Toni was silent.
“Don’t go quiet on me, Toni. We have to face this now or never. You are going into Chemo and you can’t be quiet about it to him.”
“I want to be quiet about it. Please, respect it.” Toni replied.
Nora hissed. “Toni, I don’t like this.”
“Well, you are my sister and you owe it to me.” Toni replied. “Besides, the Doctor said I have to see him today so we can know the stage of the cancer before Chemo starts.”
Nora nodded. “That is normal. But, I am not in support of you hiding this from Jerry.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Toni replied. “Have you thought of the possibility that I might just survive it and he doesn’t need to even know that I once had cancer?” She asked with a smile. “Let’s see the positivity in everything.”
“I am trying to see that with you. You just have to stay alive…for me.” Nora said, quietly.
Toni grinned. “I am not going anywhere.”
Nora smiled as she hugged her sister.
“Enough!” Toni said, wriggling out of the hug.
Nora sighed. “You can be really boring, Toni,”
Toni nodded. “So, James, right?”
“Yeah. He asked me out, I told you, remember?” Nora said with a smile as she sprawled out on the couch.
Toni crawled up to her sister. “And you are really cool with him, right?”
Nora popped her eyes at Toni. “Get on with it, Toni. What is it?”
“I don’t know. I…I just have my reservations.” Toni replied and took a seat.
Nora stared at her. “I know how you feel, someone is coming in between the both of us, but I think-”
Toni started to chuckle and eventually burst into a horrid laugh.
“You think it is funny?” Nora asked.
Toni nodded. “Yes. You are sounding as though you were my single mother.”
“I am your mother, Toni, Deal with it. Now, as I was saying, I know you are jealous of James’ presence in our life, but I want you to understand that nothing and no one would ever come in between us.” Nora concluded with a smile.
“Except death.” Toni chipped in quickly
Nora frowned. “Do you always have to ruin the moment? That was the closest thing I had to being romantic and you just had to ruin it.”
“I chipped in reality.” Toni said with a smile.
Nora stared at her with a grimace. “I don’t like reality.”
“Who does?” Toni asked, standing up. As she rose to her feet, she slumped to the floor.
Nora hurried over her. “Toni!”
Toni took a deep breath. “I am fine. I…I must have hit the table or something.”
“There is no table here! Oh my God! Toni!” Nora gaped as she helped her up to a seat. She stared at Toni hands. “Oh my God! I have to get the Doctor. Have you stopped your drugs?”
Toni rolled her eyes. “How can I stop the drugs that you feed me with every day?”
“You are looking pale.” Nora said.
Toni shrugged. “I will see the Doctor this evening. Nothing to worry about.”
Nora sighed as she watched Toni sit up. “What time is your appointment?”
“7pm. Besides, it might have just been a spasm. Nothing to worry about.” She said with a smile.
The doorbell went. Nora rose to her feet. “I’ll get it.” She said and hurried to the door.
Toni looked over her shoulder as she watched Nora usher Jerry in. She immediately faked a smile. “Hey!!!”
Jerry smiled. “Hi, how are you doing?”
“Amazing!” she replied.
Jerry took a seat. “That’s smooth.”
“I would be in the kitchen.” Nora said as she walked away.
Jerry took a seat beside Toni. “You don’t look as good as you sound today.”
Toni raised an eyebrow. “Really? I am fine.”
Jerry lifted his hand to her forehead and she immediately gripped his hand. “Hey…I…I am just checking.”
“You are not a Doctor…and please don’t tell me that service as a paramedic passes for that.” She said with a smile.
He nodded as he returned his hand to his lap. “Fever?”
Toni nodded. “Yeah. But it would pass. I already have some drugs for it.”
“That’s good. So, I have a new housemate.” He started. “She is very lovely.”
Toni smiled. “She? That’s something.”
He nodded. “Yeah, she was kicked out of the Hospital with no place to go.”
“Oh? What about her family?” Toni asked.
“They don’t want her home. Her children are sending her to Victoria’s Homes. She doesn’t want to go there.”
Toni tried not to smile. She was glad he was talking about an elderly female. She cleared her throat. “So…so, is she comfortable at your place?”
“Sure. It’s not as big as this place, but, it is very spacious.” He replied. “Do you want to take a walk?”
She checked her wristwatch. “I have to be back before 6:30pm.”
He nodded. “I got you.” He said as he stretched out his hand.
She smiled as she took the hand. “Nora!” she called. “I will be back in about an hour.”
“Be careful!” Nora called back from the kitchen.
“Okay, Mom.” Toni said with a grin as she pushed the door open.
***
Nora couldn’t take her mind off Toni and what she had called a spasm. She knew it wasn’t. It was a good thing that they had to see a Doctor soon. Nora knew it would be unfair of Toni not to tell Jerry what was going on. She had to tell him even though it would hurt her sister…or maybe she would just keep quiet and honour her sister? She sighed as she battled with her thoughts. She wanted to cry. She needed their parents now. When their parents had died, she didn’t think she was alone because she had Toni with her. But now, Toni seemed to be fading away. She didn’t want to let her go. It was not right to let Toni go. But then, how was she going to keep Toni alive? Who would fight for Toni?
Tears started to roll down her cheeks as she sliced the onions. It had to be the onions that brought the tears. But then her heart ached as she tried not to cry out. The onions couldn’t have touched her heart. She couldn’t hold it in anymore as she broke down in tears. The maid in the kitchen stared at her boss as she cried freely. She wasn’t shocked. Nora cried almost every time. She walked over to Nora and put her hands around her.
***
“Chocolate flavour for me.” Jerry said as he handed Toni her ice-cream.
Toni took a seat as she started to scoop. Jerry joined her almost immediately. “So, what do you want to talk about?”
“You.” She said, quietly.
He smiled. “Okay…here I am.”
“Is there a difference between lying and not telling someone what they ought to know?” she asked.
Jerry choked on his ice-cream. Could she have found out about him already? He knew he’d be damned if she found out before he told her. He coughed.
“I am so sorry. What happened?” she asked.
He cleared his throat. “I guess the ice-cream went wrong. Anyway, what were you trying to say?”
“I want to know if there is a difference between lying to someone and not telling them what you think they ought to know.” She said.
Jerry took a deep breath. He didn’t know what his next word should be.
“I don’t know really, that’s why I want to know. Would be right if I was to tell you something and I didn’t?” she asked.
Jerry sighed. This question made it easier for him. “Erm…I think it would better if you did, that way, no one holds something against the other.”
“No. This is not about holding something against you or me, let’s say more like hiding important information. If the information was going to hurt you, would you want to know?”
Jerry took a deep breath. “I am not sure. It sort of depends on the kind of information, you know?”
Toni smiled. “Just forget it. Been enjoying quizzing you.”
“Really?”
She nodded. “I like seeing a serious mood sometimes…you fared fine.”
He smiled. “So, what if I was hiding something from you? Or…what if I have lied to you?”
“All is forgiven.” She replied.
He stared at her. “Really?”
“As long as you have not lied about your name.” she said with a smile.
He nodded. “I am Jerry.”
“Good.” She stared at her wristwatch. “I have to head home.” She said.
Jerry mouthed.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Toni, I…I like you so much and I…I want to know if you would go out with me.” He asked, squinting his eyes.
Toni smiled. “Is that a rehearsed speech?”
“No. But…I can try again.” He said.
She smiled. “I like you too…so…that’s life made easy.”
“Is that a yes?” he asked.
“Don’t make it sound like a proposal. You are too formal.”
Jerry smiled. “Wow! Cool! So, we are official.”
“Now, that’s formal.” She said with a smile.
Jerry knew he couldn’t do anything to jeopardize their relationship. He watched her as she checked her wristwatch again and rose to her feet. “Toni, I have something to tell you.”
“Now? I am very late.” She replied, without looking at him. “We could attend to it later…if you don’t mind.” She said as she gathered her bag. She was feeling weak and didn’t want to have to pass out before him.
He nodded. “Let me take you home.”
***
“So you lied to her?” Mrs Aiyenugba asked as she sipped her drink. “What were you thinking?”
Jerry sighed. “I didn’t feel proud about it, it was pointless to tell her the sort of Doctor I am.”
Emeka laughed. “Still she would find out…and when that happens, your life would be over. This new thing you think you have going on would be cut short.”
“Don’t be such a killjoy.” Mrs Aiyenugba shot in Emeka’s direction. She then turned towards Jerry. “If I had known when you came in last night, I would have tossed you back to go and tell the truth.”
“It is not too late.” Emeka cooed.
Mrs Aiyenugba stared at Emeka. “You are such a good friend.”
“I really did try to tell him the truth, ma. Jerry is just a born liar.”
She nodded. “And he has a worthy accomplice in you.”
“Well, I try to be a friend.” Emeka replied.
Jerry smiled at him. “I love you, bro.”
“Mutual feeling.” Emeka replied, coldly.
Jerry grinned. “Would it kill you to say you love me too?”
“No. It might just hurt my ego a little bit.” Emeka replied.
Mrs Aiyenugba smiled. “Don’t you guys go to church?”
“I am going to the Hospital.” Jerry replied, standing up.
Emeka nodded. “Me too.”
“What is wrong with you both?”
Jerry smiled as he approached the door. “Later ma’am. There is enough food.”
***
Nora stared at Toni. “We can leave now.”
Toni shook her head. “The choir is about to minister.”
“I should have forced you to see the Doctor yesterday, I don’t know what made me weak.” Nora said angrily as she stared at Toni’s face.
An Usher walked past them.
“Service in session.” Toni said as she turned to Nora with a smile.
Nora frowned. Toni had returned from her outing with Jerry yesterday and gone straight to bed, so she missed the appointment with the Doctor. Nora had to accompany her to the church because of her sister’s frail look.
The choir rose as it was time for their ministration. Nora watched Toni as she smiled. She loved God. Nora didn’t understand why everything bad was happening to Toni. She had seen herself as the perfect alternative if anyone was meant to suffer. She was the one angry at life and at herself. Toni on the other hand, loved life. She lived every moment of it.
The church rose to sing and dance. Nora was the only one sitting. Toni was dancing, swaying from left to right. Nora swallowed painfully as she stared at the Altar. She didn’t understand where Toni got her joy from. Nora was angry. All she wanted was for her sister to live, was that too hard? Tears started to stream down her eyes as she thought hard.
Nora lifted her head up as she watched Toni. She was no more dancing, her eyes were shut. Toni dropped to the floor.
***
“Emergency Unit!” The announcement went off in the Hospital.
The door flew open as the paramedics rushed Toni in on a stretcher. Nora cried as she ran after them.
Jerry and Emeka ran towards the Hospital Entrance.
“Toni! Stay with me!” Nora cried as they wheeled her in.
“Out of the way, people.” A paramedic shouted.
Jerry paused in his track as he watched Toni being rushed in. “Toni?”
Nora cast a glance at him and then ran on with the paramedics.

****
Beautiful Stranger is written by @tomi_adesina; Author of Dear Future Husband available for Free on African Stories. Follow @tomi_adesina on twitter for more thrilling stories. Her new book “All Fun and Games” also available for FREE on African Stories

Other Posts on African Stories
Love on the 25th by Uneñ Ameji
Beautiful Stranger by Tomi Adesina
All Fun and Games by Tomi Adesina
Life of a Barack Boy by Ojay Aito