THE PROMISE - Episode 7

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - hospital, a fatal bacterial strain, Doctor, lips, grandmother, phone, kiss, a global Biotechnology company, all antibiotics available, a seductive short skirt.

“How is he doing?” Lydia asked a nurse. “His condition is critical. We don’t know what is going to happen yet. The doctors are doing their best to find out what happened to him. It seems he had a heart attack. He is overweight, so that may have something to do with it. The doctors are running all sorts of test for now. Soon, I am sure they will find out what happened to him,” the nurse explained. “Can I see him now?” “I am afraid, no. Please come back tomorrow. He is still in coma.” “My goodness, is he going to die?” “We can’t answer that question for sure.” Lydia left the hospital. She walked home, went to the cupboard and took the rest of the powder and flushed it down the sink. She turned on the TV to distract herself and began to stare absentmindedly at it.

Shomaila got out of the bathtub and reached for her towel. She slipped and hit the edge of the tub hard with her belly. She felt a sharp pain in her belly. When she managed to get up, she saw a stream of blood following her. Fear engulfed her. She shouted as though she had seen a ghost. She managed to grab the towel and place it around her waist to drain some of the blood. Then, she put on her pajamas. Slowly, she made it to her phone and dialed for an ambulance. Minutes later, she was in a hospital bed in tears. She had a miscarriage. Doctors gave her blood to replenish the blood that she had lost. When Everest arrived at the hospital, Shomaila was not in a good mood. “I think my father’s curse is on me, Everest.” “You can’t believe things like that,” he replied. “But it is happening before our very eyes. You lost your job and I lost our baby. My grandmother said it would happen. I am afraid worse is yet to come. Maybe we should call off our relationship,” she suggested.

“You need time to recover from this, Shomaila. When you are okay, we will talk about it.” A day later, Shomalia’s wounds got infected, leaving her fighting for her life. She had contracted a fatal bacterial strain that was resistant to virtually all antibiotics available. “It is a race against time,” the doctor told Everest. If we don’t find a drug combination that works soon, she will die,” he added. His words echoed in Everest’s head. He would visit the hospital every day to check on Shomaila who was in coma. He was losing his mind. His job applications were not getting traction and his best friend and lover was on the thin line between life and death. The stress began to eat him up. Maybe, Shomaila was right, he began to think. Maybe her grandmother was right after all.

One evening, he walked tiredly out of the hospital when he bumped into Lydia, who was leaving the hospital as well. “What brings you here?” He asked. “Abhimanyu had a heart attack. He is in coma. I come in to check in on him,” she replied. “I am sorry to hear that. Shomaila is ill too. She…” Everest did not want to mention the pregnancy, so he hedged for a moment. “She contracted methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.” “What? That is a killer.” “I know. I am…I am really worried.” “I am sorry,” Lydia said, even though she did not mean it. “I will keep you and Abi in my prayers, Everest said as they parted ways.

A week later, neither Abi nor Shomaila was getting any better. Another week went by and things seemed worse. The doctors could not identify what triggered Abhimanyu’s heart attack and stroke. The substance that Lydia had picked up from the laboratory degraded rapidly in the human body that it was almost impossible to detect it in a test. At this point, the doctors were ascribing his condition to his body weight. One evening, Lydia got dressed and went over to see Everest. She waited at the entrance until she found someone entering the building, so she followed them. When she knocked on the door, Everest opened the door. He was surprised to see her.

“Is everything alright?” He asked her. She began to cry. “I am afraid. The doctors say he is going to die,” she said in tears. “Come in and sit down,” Everest offered. “Thanks. How is Shom doing?” “No good news yet.” Everest made tea for her. She took a sip and placed the cup in the table. She cried every few minutes, showing believable emotions for Abhimanyu. Then, Everest offered her tissue for her eyes; she took it, got to her feet and wrapped her arms around him. “I am so afraid. Please hold me. I need someone to console me, Everest.” “You are going to be alright,” he said, holding her. “Thank you. Thanks for your support.” Without warning, she reached for his lips with hers. He stepped back. “Please, I need a touch…Just a touch,” she pleaded. “We can’t do this,” he protested. “I am not looking for a relationship, Everest. I need your touch…some comfort to soothe me in such a difficult time.”

“My girlfriend is lying in the hospital. I cannot do this with you.” “I am not asking you to leave your girlfriend, Everest. Just this moment…only a kiss…a touch,” she pleaded vigorously reaching for him. He too carved a comforting touch, but he managed to step back again. “Please, you have to leave now. We should not be doing this,” he said vehemently. He walked to the door, and opened it gently. “Please Lydia; don’t make me throw you out. Please leave now.” As he opened the door, Hannah was just about to knock on the door. She looked at them for a moment. “Please Everest, don’t tell me you are sleeping with Lydia while Shomaila is lying in hospital,” she said matter-of-factly. “I did not sleep with Lydia, Hanna. You know me better than that.” “That is not what this looks like to me. What is she doing here anyway? She is not supposed to be here from what I recall. Lydia, you are crossing the line. You know Shomaila is seriously sick in hospital, so you decided to seduce Everest. I am ashamed of you both. I will tell Shomaila what I saw when she gets well,” Hannah said as she walked away, angrily.

“Hannah, you will do no such thing. I did not sleep with her,” Everest shouted. “Her boyfriend is sick in hospital too, so I was just consoling her.” “In your apartment? Why can’t the two of you meet elsewhere? I am not buying that cock and bull story!” Hannah stormed out. It was another three weeks before Shomaila showed signs of recovery. Everest had a job interview after which he was offered the job on the spot. It was a research job at a global Biotechnology company. He was excited. He went straight to the hospital. When he got there, Shomaila was much better. She was conversing with Hannah who had visited. “How could you?” Shomaila shouted as Everest entered. “I did not even touch her, honey. You have to believe me. “Believe what? What was she doing in your apartment again?” “She came over as usual!” “And why did you let her in. You were home alone with her and she was dressed like a slut. Honey, why did you do this to me? I was told that you would let me down, but I never knew it would be this bad. When I was on a sick Bed? You are a dog. Leave my room. I never want to see you again!” “Don’t say that honey.” “I am not your honey. Go back to her. I am through with you!!!”

“I got a job offer today, Baby. It is a very good one. We can’t split now. We have come a long way.” “I don’t care if you are going to work for Obama or David Cameron. Leave my room!” “You have made a grave mistake, Hanna,” Everest said as he left the room. “I never slept with her or anyone.” He walked home in anger. He cried himself to sleep when he got home. The next day, he barely got out of bed. He called in sick at work – It was a few days to his last day on the job, so he was not keen to go there anyway. He could not stop thinking of Shomaila. Meanwhile, Lydia would text him every now and again. She began to send him pictures of herself to try and entice him. Shomaila was out of the hospital in another week. Everest made frantic efforts to talk to her but she would not listen to him.

“Everything you had predicted has happened Grandma,” Shomaila said to her granny over the phone. “I can’t be with him if I don’t trust him. I have ended our relationship. I…think I still feel something for him, but I think it is time to walk away.” “With time, you will get your emotions straight. I am happy for you my child. You will be very happy eventually. You never want to hurt the dead!” “I have learned that the hard way.” “That is alright…we all learn every day. The promise you made your dad was a serious one. You must keep it…you really must.”

Several weeks later, Shomaila ran into an Indian guy from her State at home. They began to spend time together. One evening, Everest was sitting on the front porch waiting for Shomaila to return from work. He had started his new job and everything was going well. He missed her very much. When Shomaila finally arrived about 9:25PM, she was in the company of another guy; Priyesh. “Hey, is everything okay?” Shomaila asked him. She could not look him in the eye. She still had feelings for him. “Priyesh, this is a friend, Everest. Everest, this is Priyesh,” Shomaila introduced them. They both shook each other’s hands. “Why don’t you come in with us,” Shomaila offered not knowing how to deal with the situation. “No thanks. I was returning from work, so I wanted to stop by to say hi.” “How is your new job?” “Great. I am loving it. Thanks for asking. Anyways, I have to head off now,” Everest answered confidently. When he got home, he had some dots of tear around his eyes. He was fuming at Hannah. The thought of another guy with Shomaila made him sick to the stomach.

He rang up Hannah and yelled at her. “You put a sword to my heart and ripped it to pieces. I never slept with Lydia…I did not. I love Shomaila, Hannah. You need to know that and you need to let her know it too.” “Don’t make it look like it is all my fault. You were at home with her!” Hannah answered. The next day, Everest was so frustrated that he began to answer Lydia’s texts. She sent even more seductive pictures of herself to him. Abi was still lying in coma. Everest called her up. She was excited to get his call. They chatted about the weather and Abi for a while. “Why don’t you come over?” Lydia asked abruptly. “You come over,” he protested. A part of him pulled him backwards while another part urged him on. He wanted to say no, but he found himself asking her to come over. Lydia appeared at his door in a seductive short skirt and a tight-fitting blouse that accentuated her figure. The moment she stepped into his apartment, she planted a kiss on his lips and he responded positively!

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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THE PROMISE - Episode 7
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - hospital, a fatal bacterial strain, Doctor, lips, grandmother, phone, kiss, a global Biotechnology company, all antibiotics available, a seductive short skirt. An African Literary Blog
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