STRANDS OF LOVE - EPISODE 3

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Image Source: hdwallpaperslovely.com  “Ndukaku Emenike!” The nurse hollered in the lobby. Th...



Image Source: hdwallpaperslovely.com 


“Ndukaku Emenike!” The nurse hollered in the lobby. There was a fair number of people who had slept in the lobby in desperate need of word from their sick loved ones. Ndukaku had fought off the urge to disclose to his father and foster father the previous night that he was privy to the reason behind Ngozika’s attempt to take her own life. He did manage to talk them both into going home though. Chidubem agreed to go home and fix something for breakfast. When they reached home, Bola told him not to worry. “I will have the maids take care of breakfast. Sleep if you can. I am sure I won’t, not with my daughter and your wife on the corridors of death,” he philosophized. Ndukaku paced the floor of the lobby waiting for answers from the doctors. After a long wait, he lay down and drifted into slumber. “Yes, that is me!” He replied hastily, wiping remnants of sleep off his eyes. “Come with me. Dr. Osuji wants to have a word with you.” Ndukaku followed her. It about 5:00AM when Dr. Osuji appeared. “You?” He asked. “What is going on in your family? Are you related to that girl?” Yes, sort of.” “And this other woman?” “She is my mother.” “Something is definitely wrong in your family. Your mother drank large quantities of liquid fuel. She is in a dire situation, but we are trying our best. I will have news for you later in the morning.” “Please save her life doctor. Whatever you can do, please do it to save her life. If she dies, I will probably take my life too.” It seems this runs in your family. There will be no need for that young man. Hope and pray…suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Look on the bright side,” Dr. Osuji admonished. “I am trying, but it is not easy at the moment.”

Miraculously, it was Ngozika who awoke from her self-inflicted near-death experience first. Around 4:45PM, she opened her eyes. She looked frazzled. “Mama, you are alive. Thanks be to God. I didn’t think I would see you again. Mama why did you want to do this to me?” Ndukaku who had been watching her from her bedside moved closer, placing his hand on her shoulder. “I love you so much mama. Everything will be alright.” He assured her. Bola and Chidubem who had been a few doors away in Fumi’s room appeared. “Thanks be to God,” Chidubem shouted. “Is she alive?” Shouted Ikenga, Chidubem’s brother who had arrived earlier from Badagry asked. He was standing in the hallway when he heard Chidubem praising God. “Yes, she is alive,” Bola answered. “I am here my love. I am here. We are all here for you.” Chidubem assured her. “I would suggest you give us a few minutes with her please,” the nurse in charge of Ngozika requested. She heard the commotion and rushed in to see if Ngozika had come around. “I need to be with my wife!” Chidubem shouted. “Please don’t ask us to leave. We have been waiting since last night for her to open her eyes,” Ndukaku pleaded. “It won’t take long. I was directed by the doctor to administer a medication whenever she wakes up. I am afraid, we have to do that for her own health.”  “How long?” Bola asked. “No more than ten minutes.” “It is okay, let’s wait outside. Ten minutes is not too much,” Bola suggested. Grudgingly, they acceded.

By the time they returned, Ngozika was seated up on the bed. Shame was doodled all over her face. She made efforts not to stare anyone in the eye. Ndukaku and Chidubem were seated on either side of her, with their arms on her shoulders. Chidubem rubbed her back gently. “You are going to be alright sweetheart. We can get through this together okay,” He assured her. No one wanted to ask her any difficult questions. They were thrilled to have her back. “I am really sorry Chidubem my beloved husband,” she managed to say without raising her face. “You don’t have to worry, just take some time to fully recuperate,” Ndukaku encouraged her. “I have to say this now. I owe this to you Chidubem.” She raised her face, stared him in the eye and said, “You are a good husband. A good man. I never deserved you. I made some mistakes in the past. I was young, inexperienced and foolish. I did not understand what love…true love is. Despite my mistakes, well the ones you knew of, you have loved me the same. You never remind me of my past. You don’t rob them all over my face as a constant reminder of my unworthiness. No, not you Chidubem. You are a rare breed. I don’t deserve you, which is the reason I wanted to take my life, but I guess God wanted me to face my mistakes here on earth and right my wrongs. Please forgive me Chidubem.” “I forgave you long ago honey. You don’t have to bring that up again, let alone try to take your life over that.”

“Your best friend Kennedy is Ndukaku’s father,” Ngozika said abruptly. There was pin drop silence in the room. More tears surged to the corners of her eyes. As if she was overcome by some form of power, she raised her face and looked up. Perhaps, the relief of having said the truth gave her more courage. “Whatever happened between Mr. Bola and I was a big mistake, but about the same time, I was involved with Kennedy too. You see why I feel I don’t deserve you Chidubem. In my youthful exuberance and ignorance, I jumped into bed with him too. I was foolish and blind. Ndukaku found out. He ran some tests with a lab, which confirmed that Mr. Bola is not his father, as we had all thought. Before he could tell Fumi the good news, she had already tried to take her own life. I was not sure she would make it. I could not bear the thought that she took her life for my own mistakes. I had to end my life too. Please tell me she made it.” “She is in coma, but the doctors believe she will make it.” Ndukaku answered. “God please save her,” Ngozika prayed. Tiny drops of tears had formed around Chidubem’s eyes by now. “It is okay my wife. I hold nothing against you. It all happened long ago. There is no need to continue punishing yourself. I forgive you with all my heart. It hurts, but I trust this is the right thing to do as Christian.” There was another pin-drop silence in the room. Bola had been a passive Christian since his wife passing. He kept throngs of girlfriends; as a result, he never quite settled with a single woman. He felt a pang of guilt for seducing Ngozika. More so, he was moved that Chidubem could still forgive his wife after everything she had done. He knew Kennedy, Chidubem’s best friend, so, he realized that Chidubem truly lived out his faith. He stepped outside with a handkerchief over his eyes as he tried to stem the tide of tears gushing out.

He found a seat in the lobby and wiped his face. “God forgive me for my selfish and arrogant ways over the years,” he prayed quietly. After a few quiet reflective minutes, he rejoined the others. “You are my hero dad!” Ndukaku said to his father. “I did not mean to trouble mom. I was just trying to find a way to show that Fumi and I were not related. I love her so much! I would not have confronted mom if I knew it would come to this.” “It is okay my son. There was no way for you to know.” “It does not matter what the DNA test says, you are my father and you will always be my father.” “I am proud of you Ndukaku.” “Mr. Ndukaku, Miss Fimulayo is awake and she is asking for you,” a nurse walked in and announced. Chidubem and his brother remained behind to look after Ngozika while Ndukaku and Bola raced to Fumi’s room. “I love you so much Fumi!” He yelled as he entered the room. He put his arms around her and held her tightly to himself. “I will never leave you again. You and I will be together forever, from this day on Fumi.” Bemused, she looked at her father and then at Ndukaku. “You are not brother and sister sweetheart,” her father said reassuringly. “Really!” Like a young bird that had just learned how to fly, her eyes were filled with life and her voice with sheer delight. They told her of the DNA test and the results. “After overhearing my mom and Mr. Kennedy, I devised a means to take samples from you, me, my parents, Mr. Kennedy and your dad. I had the samples analyzed and matched against each other. In the end, it happens Mr. Kennedy is my biological father, and there is not a chance that you and I are related. The ties between us are not woven by strands of DNA, but by strands of love,” Ndukaku explained with excitement. “I will let you two talk for a moment,” Bola said, delighted to have his daughter back.

“God, I will serve you from this day on,” Bola declared quietly as he left the room. Fumi and Nduka kissed like there was no tomorrow. Their hearts were beating like a steam engine, shunting with effervescent energy as they wrapped their arms around each other. “There is one more thing I have not told anyone else though,” Ndukaku said when they finally let go of each other. “I don’t care as far as I am with you,” Fumi replied. “Mr. Bola is not your father.” “Really?” “Yes.” Ndukaku brought out the test summary from his pocket and handed it to Fumi.” Interesting,” she said. “He will always be my father. I mean he is the father I know.” “Just as Kennedy will never be my father per se, Mr. Chidubem is my father and that will never change.” “Please kiss me again. I can’t be bothered about who is my father right now. The most important thing is that I am with you now and we can be with each other without inhibitions. I have craved you all these years. Sometimes it was as if I was choking, gasping for air because I could not hold you like this,” she put her hands one his shoulders and kissed him passionately.       STORY CONTINUES…


This story was written by:

Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: STRANDS OF LOVE - EPISODE 3
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