It was sunny and bright with bright blue clear skies. Adaobi is wheeled to the elevator after she takes a last look at the room that had been her home for the past six months. She smiled in anticipation. She couldn’t wait to be out in the open again. The sweet breeze, feeling the heat of the sun on her uplifted face; her stay in the hospital had given her a new appreciation of simple things she had always taken for granted. Never again she vowed within herself will she take anything for granted. Her walking might not yet be perfect, she was going home with a walking stick but she could walk! One thing she had not really valued until now.
Chichi held her bags while Nnamdi and her parents had already gone down to settle the bills and get the car ready. As she sat in the wheelchair, the orderly wheeled her down to the entrance and waited for the car to park directly in front of them. Nnamdi reversed the car and came around to open the passenger side after opening the boot for Chichi to put the bags and the walking stick in. Together, he and their mother assisted her into the car while their father held the door open. After ensuring she was well positioned in the car, her parents moved to their own car where their driver was waiting. Nnamdi prepared to shut the door as Chichi entered the car from the other side. Ada stopped him and he looked at her and answered her unasked question with a shake of his head. No. He had not seen Bayo. She sighed sadly and nodded. Deep within her, she had hoped to see him once again before she left. About shutting the door, he glanced up across the top of the car and smiled. Nodding, he walked away leaving the door open. She opened her mouth to berate him when a shadow fell across her face. She looked up and her breath caught. It was Bayo! Stooping to her level he smiled. “I thought I had missed you. We had an emergency in Ward 3. Sorry, I couldn’t make it earlier than this”. She just smiled, short of words. He smiled back at her. Staring into her beautiful eyes, he asked, “No words for me? Or don’t tell me you were not going to miss me?”
Emotions flashed across her face as she struggled to make a coherent sentence. He stretched out his hand and held hers and her heartbeat raced. “I was wondering if I would see you before we left.” she whispered. To both of them the world had dissolved into nothingness. He looked at her deeply. “You are no longer my patient. I want to see you again outside this hospital not as a patient but as a friend and much more.” She grasped his hand tightly which was enough reply for him.
Seven years have rolled by since that fateful day. Times and seasons have come and gone. The tendrils of love that spurted from the ashes of a dead unrequited love had grown and was still growing. Tola, her unrequited love, the scars and pains had receded to a blur just as the limp from the accident had become less noticeable. The joy and new life coming had beautifully and elegantly sprouted to the forefront.
She was nudged back to the present by the bickering of the three-year-old twins playing near her feet in the living room. She looked at them fondly- her gifts and a testimony of the deep love shared between her and Bayo. Standing up to settle their toy building-blocks dispute, she smiled. This was the third time today that they had sibling’s row. It made her laugh when she heard them argue for little things. It reminded her of her twin, Nnamdi who was now in Australia with his family, and the mischievous deeds they did. Her kids were so delightfully chubby and cute…her pride and joy.
The sudden horn blaring sent all building blocks flying as the twins, Taiye and Kehinde flew to the door with shouts of “Daddy is back”. Laughing, she walked slowly behind them. It was evident that she was walking unaided and gracefully.
As he dropped his bag to hug his children laughingly, Bayo’s eyes searched for hers. He walked slowly to her and lowered the children to the ground. Stretching his hands towards her with that special light burning in his eyes, he wrapped her in a tender embrace. She returned the embrace. “Ololufemi eni ti okan mi yan ekabo (My love, the one my heart chose, welcome).”