My heart skipped. My knees shook. I felt goose pimples on me, and I had the feeling Judas had after he betrayed Jesus. I was destabilized, and almost fainted too. So what the maid said was true after all” I thought. Then I broke down in tears like a baby in the hospital. I cried out loud that the people’s attention was on me. I rolled on the floor and tore my shirt. Words of lament freely flowed from my mouth. Feelings or misery and regret almost crushed me. SHE DIDN’T DESERVE TO DIE! No, she didn’t. I wept till it became a thing of concern to the doctors and nurses, and they gathered to hold me up and put me to order.
“Don’t lose hope young man. She still has a chance” the doctor said.
“Doc, this is not two thousand years ago, and she definitely isn’t the Messiah. So stop insinuating the impossible, except you have one of the Apostles of Christ here to lay hands on her and bring her back to life. Besides that, let’s talk Cemetery.” I retorted and continued with my tears and laments. But then, the doctor said;
“Cemetery? Why would I talk about cemetery? She’s not dead!”
“She’s not what?” I asked.
“She’s not dead”
“Then what’s all these act of yours about?”
“She’s in a coma”
That truth brought quite some relief to me and the maids who I had freaked out by my over exaggerated emotional display. I thought the doctor was going to tell me Cynthia was dead because of the action that preceded the news. I had noticed that doctors act that way in Nigerian home videos when about to break the news of someone’s death, so I concluded that was the case here. It was a good thing Cynthia was still alive, or should I say 50% alive. Oh’, look what I caused a girl who showed me nothing but kindness. What if she doesn’t make it back alive? What excuse would I vindicate myself with? How would I live with my conscience? There was no way I would keep living if Cynthia didn’t come out of that coma alive.
I called Ogechi and told her the situation of things with Cynthia. She was so shocked on hearing it that her phone fell off her hand. She managed to pick it up after about three minutes to inform me that she was coming to Regina to join me. I was so glad because I really needed someone with me at that moment. I didn’t consider Cynthia’s maids worthy characters to play such a role, because their reason for not wanting to lose Cynthia was fear of returning to a village in Imo state where they were brought from to serve as maids in America. By evening the next day, Ogechi arrived with no one else but herself alone.
I have heard of people who had been in coma for three years and some others who never returned, but I was not leaving that hospital until Cynthia either returned or passed away. I sent the maids home while I and Ogechi remained at the hospital with Cynthia. Three days passed and Cynthia was still not awake. Ogechi hadn’t told anyone where she was going when she left Oklahoma. It was as though she was embarking on a journey she wasn’t sure to return. We refused to leave Cynthia alone in the room she was confined to as the doctors advised. We remained there with her, and after those three days, Ogechi suggested we pray and intercede for Cynthia’s life. We vowed not to eat anything food until Cynthia awakes from that coma. I agreed. I had always agreed with Ogechi anytime she suggested anything about prayer, and she always suggested it. She hadn’t changed after all. It had been two years now, and she was still doing the things she did on the very night I met her. Once an angel, always an angel.
We had our last meal that day and began fasting and praying the next day. The first day passed, same as the second, third, fourth and fifth day, yet, there was no sign of Cynthia returning to us. I and Ogechi were weak already and very hungry, but we had vowed not to eat until Cynthia awoke. We had hoped that our prayers will be answered before we became too weak to even speak words anymore, but after five days it began to dawn on us that we could as well be on our way to a destination far worse than where Cynthia was at the moment. It was a vow, and dared not be broken for any reason in the world. After all, we were not coaxed to enter into it. We did it willingly with knowledge of the possible outcome; be it positive or negative.
In the morning on the seventh day, we were completely weak and felt like our spirit would leave our bodies anytime soon. I and Ogechi drew near to each other and held onto each other in preparation to die in the arms of each other if it came to that. The guilt was too much on us that we couldn’t go about our own businesses normally with a clear conscience. If anyone was to blame for Cynthia’s condition, it would be me. But Ogechi had also taken the blame upon herself as part of the reason why Cynthia was where she was. We had prayed earnestly those past six days for Cynthia’s recovery but didn’t notice any development. Perhaps we had to pay with our lives for what we had done to Cynthia. We only hoped Cynthia wakes up to appreciate our sacrifice for her, and also know that there is a love that surpasses the love of a woman for a man, and vice versa.
I and Ogechi engaged in what we supposed would be our last conversation in case we never had the chance to do so again in this world. Indeed, I had heard her story when she shared it at the VIP during her house party, and I had also told her my story when she found me in the same VIP on the same night. But there were deeper details of our lives which we hadn’t shared with each other yet. Those were what we talked about. And even though those details hurt like the scratch of a cat’s claws, we felt no pain, for that was no time to count flaws. Then we went further back to our days in Enugu which this story has skipped and chooses to remain silent about, and we prayed again; but this time for ourselves.
After we prayed, we felt as pure as we were on the day of our birth and were convinced of a better future away from the earth. I hadn’t fulfilled my dreams of being a star singer, writer and actor. But that didn’t mean a thing to me anymore. Ogechi didn’t bother about the volume of wealth she was leaving behind. All we were concerned about was us, as we could not live without each other in this world; neither could we live together in this world at the expense of Cynthia’s life. But we didn’t mind giving our lives for Cynthia to wake up and also have the opportunity to love and be loved, as was the case of I and Ogechi. So we sat on the floor, leaned back on the wall and held onto each other firmly.
“What do you think heaven will look like?” Ogechi asked.
“The bible talks about the streets being made of gold, and about the glory of God being the only source of light. Every day and night, the saints and the angels won’t stop singing Hallelujah to the Lord. And they’ll be twelve angels at the twelve gates of the twelve tribes of Israel.”
“Yeah, that’s true. We’ll also get to see and commune with famous bible characters like the great King David and his son, King Solomon. And also New Testament heroes like the Apostle Paul.”
“Exactly. And not to forget the King of kings and the Lord of lords Himself. He shall welcome us to a life without end. It was such a great time living in this world. And the best of my experiences in this world remains the once I have you in it.”
I turned to my Ogechi for the last time and said; I LOVE YOU, to which she replied; I LOVE YOU TOO. Then we both closed our eyes in anticipation for what was to come. Soon enough, I heard Ogechi release a deep breath, as her all her weight rested on me. That made me weaker than I was, and I gradually heard the sound of loud silence approaching until everything came to a standstill.
I had expected to see angels come for me, or bright light shining on me. But all I could see was black darkness in a place that seemed as spacious as a wilderness. There was nothing to hold on to. I could only take an endless walk to nowhere. Then I asked myself; WHERE THE HELL AM I?”
TO BE CONTINUED…