FOOTPRINTS - Episode 1

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - a procession of pains, abundance of love, immeasurable kindness, my sweet husband, my spirit will watch over you, blood that runs through your veins, boyfriend had just ditched me.

“I have to say this now, Bagamba,” Gonza said. “In case I don’t make it, I need you to know some things.” “Don’t talk like that Gonza,” Bagamba protested. He held her hand and placed it to his chest. Her palm was cold. He placed his palm over hers as it lay on his chest in an attempt to warm her up. She looked frail as she lay on the hospital bed. Despite her pains, she still wore a smile on her face. Gonza was not the type to place too much burden on anyone. She wanted her husband to be at ease, but below her smile, Bagamba could see a procession of pains that marched relentlessly across her body with ‘ebullient fervor’.  “I don’t know what tomorrow holds my love. Whatever God brings our way, you must listen to me now. You must follow my words to the core of my heart where I have built a home for you. Cancer ravages my body with malicious impunity, but it cannot destroy my soul. There, I have built a castle for you Bagamba. You are my hero…You are my friend. You are my lover, my strength and my help. Truly, God sent you into my life on that faithful sunny day when I walked past you in Kampala. I smelt your perfume and it tickled my nostrils. I looked back to sneak another quick look at you, and there you were, staring at me too, smiling. Your smile was golden, warm and welcoming. I could not help but smile as you walked toward me and said ‘hi.’

“My life changed for good from that beautiful moment. I froze that moment and locked it away in the core of my soul. I knew right there and then that you were the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Through your smile I could see the pristine stream of love that ran quietly but steadily through your beautiful heart. You never let me down Bagamba.” She paused to catch her breath. Her eyes closed momentarily as she fought to regain some strength. “I am here for you Gonza. You will survive this evil sickness. You and I will raise our daughter together and live to a ripe old age,” Bagamba tried to encourage her. She smiled weakly. “I would love to do all that my beloved husband, but I feel compelled to say these to you…I have to say this. Please listen.” “I am listening, my sweetheart,” Bagamba replied, staring her in the eye. He wanted to reach out to her cells and blood and rip the cancer out of her. A flurry of tear threatened to break the barriers of his eyes and burst onto the scene, but he fought them back. Crying now would wreck Gonza even further.

“If there was some way to come back to this world should I die, I would lobby God to have you as my husband again. If I could speak to angels, I would do anything to strike a deal with them to place you in my path or me in yours in another life…if only that were possible. Very few people get the opportunity to find their soulmate. I am one of those very few people. The day I found you, I became whole…fully complete. I smile in my dreams because you love me. You know exactly how to love me Bagamba. When I am angry, you whip up the best of your humor to put a smile on my face…and it always works. When I am troubled, you abandon everything you are working on to lend me those strong, giving hands of yours. When I am sad, all I need to do is to remember you…to sit beside you and feel the blood that runs through your veins. You energize me…you fill me with flame and fire to live each day to the fullest. When I make mistakes, of which there have been numerous of them, you overlook my flaws and errors with a genuine and sincere smile and an understanding heart. In my previous relationships, I tried to stitch and button myself up to look good…to look perfect.

“With you, I have learned to lay my weakness on the table and be me. No matter how many times I have failed, your love is ever so willing to accept me and look beyond my faults. With you, I have grown into a confident woman. I have come to understand what it means to love someone unconditionally…that is what I have received from you every single day. In the past, with other men that I dated before I met you, I would lie in bed at night and wonder, ‘does he really love me? Do I really make him happy? Am I truly happy?’ Not with you Bagamba!!! When I sleep, I smile and dream peacefully in my dreams. I can tell when you walk into the room, even in my sleep. My soul is meshed with yours. I can sense when you are happy, sad, troubled or stressed. One look in your face I see through your heart, because you hide nothing from me. Your beautiful heart glows with an abundance of love and immeasurable kindness, my sweet husband. My body has been weakened by cancer, but my will remains strong. If I die, I will die a happy girl…largely because in the past nine years, I have had a great life…I have felt ‘a completeness’ in me and enjoyed life every single step of the way, simply because of you. I want to live by all means because every single extra second with you is like a picture of heaven that I am lucky to be a part of. However, if God calls me home, I will be heading home with thankfulness that after a life that was initially littered with suffering and pain, He brought you into my life.

“He used you to show me that our world may be a tough and difficult place, but it is not all lost. People like you restore the confidence of people like me in our common humanity. That day that I met you Bagamba, I was…I was thinking of going home to take my life. There was little more to live for. My parents died before I was old enough to know them. The men that I knew made sure they used me every step of the way. In my bid to find love, I was too eager to please everyone and anyone. They all made sure they used me to the fullest. That day, I was a walking ghost. My boyfriend had just ditched me for my best friend. They were the last people I had to fall back on in life, and when they stabbed me to the chest, I resolved to end it all. I was walking around, but I was dead on the inside. Then, like the sun glowing down on mother earth, God sent that beaming smile of yours to my path and my life changed for good. Don’t mind the tears that deluge my eyes, honey. They are tears of joy despite my pains, physically. In my spirit, I am joyous. I am thankful. I want to live by all means, Bagamba, but I cannot say what tomorrow holds. The doctors say I may not survive the surgery, so if I don’t, please know this; you have given me a wonderful life in the years that I have known you. I will be crossing over to the other side with a smile…the type that adorns your handsome face and dwells in your golden heart every day.”

She paused again. She could no longer keep the tears at bay. They were raining bountifully at this point. Bagamba sniffed as his eyes turned wet under the grip of tears. “You are not going anywhere Gonza,” he said through tears. “I hope not honey, but if I have to, I am ready!” Gonza answered. “What am I supposed to do without you?” Bagamba asked. “I wish I could answer that. I hope that somehow, my spirit will watch over you and our daughter, Najja. You must tell her that I love her very deeply. If I don’t make it, please never forget to tell her every day that mommy loves her more than she will ever understand. Take this,” she thrust a few envelopes into Bagamba’s hands. “What are these darling?” “They are letters I have written for Najja and you. For yours, please do not open it until after three months. I have written some dates on Najja’s. You should give her the letters on the indicated dates when she turns twelve, fifteen, eighteen and twenty. Promise me you will do this for me.” “You are going to make it Gonza,” Bagamba insisted. He could not stand the thought of losing her. He placed the envelopes on the side and lay beside her. He placed his arm around her and they held each other tightly, afraid that tomorrow might be the end.   STORY CONTINUES...

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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FOOTPRINTS - Episode 1
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - a procession of pains, abundance of love, immeasurable kindness, my sweet husband, my spirit will watch over you, blood that runs through your veins, boyfriend had just ditched me. An African Literary Blog
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