A once passionate love and marriage was shattered by the loss of their only daughter to Leukemia. They drifted apart till he was made to walk out never to set eye on her till she walked into his new home as a nanny nurse.
Is their any love left between these hearts? Will any new spark ever survive? What is with the little white flowers?
More of these you will find in “LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS”, an intriguing love story you won’t be able to wait for every new episodes. Written by Oyinda Dosumu. Coming every Mondays and Fridays here on lifegiva2.com.
She walked hurriedly past the busy corridor to ward 6 where she heard her daughter, Madina, lay helpless on the bed.
Worry and fear washed through her as she moved hurriedly approaching her husband who backed the entrance door for visitors. His back was tense with anxiety and slow killing patience. She could guess he was biting his fingers; he did that when he was anxious.
Her husband turned round to face her, biting his finger, the look he gave her was not good news. Nike looked at his handsome pain filled face and a strange, uncomfortable feeling gripped her already fragile heart.
“I saw the message; she began worriedly, “Can I see…”
He cut her shut gently “The doctor, Mr Salami is attending to her”. He pulled her into his warm embrace giving her soothing whispers.
Nike looked up at his dark worried face. “What is actually wrong?” She asked softly, daring to find out.
Segun sighed, wishing to hold back the terrible familiar news. “She has to do a surgery”
She put a hand over her quivering lips to stop her from wailing out. Silence was the only way she could absorb the shock which was later replaced by tears and fear for her 5 year old daughter.
“Thankfully” Segun continued gently, “The surgery has to be postponed”
“I don’t understand, ” she said, wiping the tears from her eyes. Maybe, just maybe it was a dream. Maybe she could just pinch herself to wake up…
Nike looked at Segun as he returned the questioning gaze. She sensed there was more to it that met the eye.
“The situation is as critical as the doctor said, but I’m sure it’s just like the others, we’ll get through this…”
“Critical?” She asked, turning round to face him as she allowed the tears stream out of her beautiful eyes. “I can’t get used to this; it’s my daughter we are talking about here. My baby has been living her life in and out of this hospital”
“Nike, I promise this will be over as soon as it begun. We should all just pray fervently to God”
She looked around her at the busy staff bustling to and from all corners in the corridor and the anxious visitors attending to their sick family members. Anger rose within her threaten to burst out, but for Madina’s sake, she had to be strong, her daughter needed her, now more than ever. Nike looked at her husband beneath her long eyelashes. “Just tell me how serious this all is, she asked, trying to control calmness.
Segun expelled a ragged breath, looking very worried as he turned to feign coolness.
“Nike, just let me handle it. Madina is going to be alright. I don’t want you worrying over….”
“For heaven’s sake, just tell me how bad it is, tell me how her condition is!” Nike shouted, making heads turn along the corridor. She lowered her voice with an effort. “I’m her mother and I have the right to know everything that is wrong with my daughter”.
Segun thinned his lips as if battling within himself and she pressurized more.
“Please I beg you Segun”
Nike’s gaze was his final undoing as he looked straight into her anxious eyes, swearing to him as he began.
“Madina’s leukemia has grown worse. How bad it is the doctors are yet to find out, but she needs a kidney transplant.”
She put her hand over her mouth “What did the school say?”
“They said she complained about chest pain and fainted, they rushed her to the hospital and since then she has been in a coma”
“Oh my God. I don’t know why this is happening, ” she wailed “She’s just a child… she’s just a child” she repeated numbly. Fear pushed her further away from him. The doctor then came out of the room with two nurses who scuttled off to other duties.
Nike moved to the serious looking man and with growing anxiety she forgot salutations.
“Doctor, how is my daughter?”
“Good afternoon, Mrs Peters”
“Good afternoon, ” she replied hurriedly “How is my daughter?”
The doctor shifted in his coat. “Why don’t we go into my office?”
It was not an offer; he began leading the way past the rooms in the ward greeting some nurses as he made his way into an office.
Finally, they were all settled in an air conditioned room full of neatly stacked files in a corner and shelves filled with loads of clinical books as he sat behind the desk and clearing his throat he began.
“I have to find out if she’s allergic to anything first”
“No, ” answered Nike her patience slipping out.
It was her husband who opened the topic wide “So Mr Salami how is my daughter doing?”
The doctor sighed tiredly, “Well, we’ve been under observation for a few days”.
Nike sat up sharply “A few days?”
“Yes, Mrs Peters” answered the doctor “Your daughter is in a… well; let’s just say a critical condition for now. She’s in a stage where her vital organs stop functioning periodically”
“I don’t understand; she’s too young for that to be happening” Segun cut in.
Mr Salami sighed “I’m afraid that is the situation, he failed a small reassuring smile as he looked at the anxious mother. “First, we need a reassuring okay for both parents, ” he brought out a form from the desk drawer and handed it over to the father.
“The leukemia can affect her heart anytime soon if quick action isn’t taken.”
Nike buried her face in her husband’s arm, soaking his sleeve with fresh tears.
“Madam, you could go out to take some fresh air if you like” His heart bled for the woman, the pretty young mother.
She ignored the doctor and looked at her anguished husband through her blurry eyes, he too was fighting the urge to cry.
“So” Segun let out a ragged breath “when will you do this…this surgery?”
“As soon as you give your consent, at the moment we are searching for a good kidney donor”.
“You can take mine”, Nike offered.
Mr Salami managed a little smile understanding how she wanted her daughter to live. He thought of his children at home. “I’m afraid they don’t match so we’d have to be patient and pray to God”
Nike looked at the dark, stocky doctor still in shock “Madina’s too young to be going through this kind of thing”. She murmured loudly “what is the chance that she’d…she’d…” she couldn’t bring herself to say it.
“That she’d survive…It’s a 50/50 chance if all goes well, which by God’s grace it would”
Her husband put his hand on her’s trying to make it easier for the both of them. “Is there any other way?”
The doctor shook his head “she’s in a very critical stage now.”
Nike got up finding it suddenly very hard to sit.
“I’m sorry madam, take it easy. I understand what you are going through…”
She made a small shaky laugh full of anguish “No you don’t understand, ” she cut in sadly “Nothing must happen to my daughter”.
“We are trying our very best Mrs Peters.”
A WEEK LATER…
He walked up to the chair behind his document clad desk and slammed into it expelling a heavy breath.
His thoughts strayed towards his 5 year old daughter, the pretty Madina whom everyone was charmed by her natural grace and extraordinary beauty was lying helpless waiting patiently for her surgery.
Segun looked up at the wall clock, 10”o clock, he had to go to the hospital to be with her and her mother at least before she was carried into the theatre at 10; 30. He let out an exceeding sigh and leaned back, closing his weary eyes.
… The sound of the door shutting interrupted him from his troubled thoughts as Segun snapped his eyes to see his best friend and assistant Bunmi peering down at him.
“Come, tell me what’s wrong” Bunmi asked, studying his half concealed face.
“Nothing I’m fine. I just need to rest”.
Bunmi twisted her lips in disbelief, her pretty face, making a funny sight “On another day I would have to believe you.”
Segun smiled at her shortly “You really are a piece of work Bunmi”
She looked up from her point of attention “it’s about Madina isn’t it?”
He sighed gravely and nodded, not trusting himself to speak.
“How is Nike taking it? Is she coping?” The sober questions made him look up to catch her sympathetic glance. “Don’t look at me like that; I’m just concerned about everyone”.
“She’s going to the theatre in about thirty minutes. I can’t yet bring myself to go there”. He sighed, checking his wristwatch for the time. Bunmi gasped “We need to hurry then!”
He sighed effortlessly, worry written all over his handsome face. Segun got up drag his suit along with him. “Nike’s not so good, but she’s handling herself better than I expected. We are trusting God” he concluded, picking up his car keys.
“Should I come with you?”
Segun paused on reaching the wooden door, turning round to face his best friend. He knew it was a family affair, but the look in her eyes told him she was determined to follow him. It didn’t matter right now. He shrugged.
“Good, I’ll get my bag”.
Nike paced back and forth the waiting room fighting back threatening tears. She was very scared and she prayed fervently to God for a very smooth surgery for her daughter.
At least she Madina and her father had prayed had been wheeled into the bathroom to take her bath in early in the morning. The operation would last for one hour, the doctor had said. It was 20 minutes past one hour and still no surgeon had come out of the theatre. Fear washed over her as she thought of the inevitable. Her mind raced as sweat broke out of her cold face.
Nike turned round to face her husband approaching her, she looked behind him to see his friend, Bunmi Alakeko, and she nodded towards the lady paying little concern on her part.
“I thought Madina should have come out by now?”
“Where have you been since?”
“Sorry, ” he replied, his tone apologetic “I had some things to take care of at the office”
She resumed her pacing and stopped at short intervals to look at the theatre door anytime a noise seemed to come from it.
“I don’t know what is happening, ” she whispered to herself impatiently. She looked at her husband and he pulled her into his embrace whispering soothing words into her ears. She murmured into his chest “Why is she here?”
Segun cast a glance at Bunmi, “Her?” Nike nodded.
“Nike now is not the time for your jealous tantrums. She’s just concerned for our daughter”
She nodded, not willing to let the subject be on the ground. “I called my mother and Mr Kola, they are on their way”.
“Okay, but how long has Madina been there now?”
Nike looked at the theatre door, fear washed over her anew again.
“Oh Segun, it’s close to 12 0”clock now and no one is out.” Tears slid gracefully down her cheeks and he wiped them gently kissing the top of her head, each praying silently.
They stood there like that for a while until Bunmi coughed and they heard anxious footsteps approaching them. Nike looked up to see her mother and uncle Kola, Segun’s uncle.
“Good afternoon, sir,” she pulled away from her husband, “Mummy”
“Nike how long have they been inside?” Asked her mother with a gloomy expression on her face.
“It’s been 2 hours now”
Mr Kola looked at her in shock as her mother shook her head in discomfort “2 hours, my goodness, hasn’t the doctor come out?”
She shook her head sideways, “not even a Nurse”
“Why don’t we sit down, my dear? You’ve had quite a morning, ” said her mother understanding her worries.
She nodded and sat down with her mother and Bunmi while they all spoke, leaving the two men in their own company.
Mr Kola cleared the silent tension between them “The rest of the family would have been here, they send their love anyway. Maybe she’s just resting under intensive care” He said comfortingly.
Segun’s lips twisted with irony “2 hours? Haba?”
“You never know Segun. Remember when your parents died, we…”
He managed a shaky laugh “now is not a good time to talk about death, Uncle”
The sounds of the theatre door opening made them all rush towards the surgeon who was sweating profusely. He whispered something to Mr Salami who was behind him and left hurriedly.
“Doctor, how is my daughter? What took you so long? …”
The doctor made a little smile at her and turned towards Segun. “Mr Peters, can you please come with me to my office?” He said already walking towards the open waiting room and down the hall.
Segun looked up at his wife who looked back at him with rising fear. Steadily he walked hurriedly behind the man holding his breath with his uncle by his side. Each step he took reminded him of when his parents died, bile rose up his throat. The men hurriedly followed and he suddenly stopped half way and entered the personnel cafeteria. They followed behind; the room was empty and cool with only the cafeteria staff sitting idly behind the counter.
“Mr Salami is my daughter alright?” He couldn’t contain his fear any longer.
The doctor looked calmly at the concerned father not sure what to do.
“Please gentlemen sit down, ” he moved towards a seat in the corner and they all sat round the small table. “Why don’t you…”
“God, I don’t know how to say this…” the doctor murmured softly to himself. He cleared his already tight throat, “I’m so sorry, Mr Peters,” begun the doctor and then he hesitated “your daughter, ” he continued in a small still voice “didn’t make it… “
Segun let out a loud wounded cry and put his trembling hands over his mouth. His uncle sat very still with emotion, he let out another cry with tears in his eyes.” She was just a child, ” he kept repeating to himself, “she was just a child”.
“I’m sorry, we tried all we could” the doctor said in a shaky voice. His uncle then backed him up
“I’m very sorry Segun“ he paused for a minute and then added, “I guess that’s just the way life is” said his uncle solemnly.
Segun stood up leaning his head on the wall and weeping silently. His daughter Madina was gone, gone. His angel, his Madina was gone, gone with the wind, just like that without saying goodbye. Oh life could be so wicked. So cruel!
“I’m very sorry, Mr…”
“Will sorry bring her back?” He asked, interrupting the doctor angry with grief “my daughter is dead and you keep going on and on about how sorry you are. She was all her mother and I got…and now she’s gone…” his uncle and Mr Salami got up to him.
“Trust me, Mr Peters I know how it feels to lose a loved one. I don’t enjoy breaking such news so please be strong at least for your wife’s sake”. He gave him a small sigh and left them in the cafeteria.
“Segun you need to be strong at least for Nike’s sake”
He looked at his uncle morosely and wiping his eyes he nodded. With a deep breath, he left the cafeteria with his uncle thinking of so many memories at once.
The sight of her husband was all she needed to run to him anxiously with the other two women following behind.
“What is it Segun?” Asked Nike anxiously “they’ve not yet carried her out of that room. I have a bad feeling about this Segun, what did the doctor say?” She asked, looking at him intently.
The urge to lay to her hit him so hard he wanted to run away. He looked at the man behind him and he burst into tears hugging her tightly. He felt her heart beat very fast in hope that maybe the truth was gradually dawning on her.
“What is it Segun? Please tell us, ” said his mother-in-law anxiously.
He looked at Bunmi who looked back at him, as the truth must have dawned on her, her eyes were watery and he looked at his in-law who looked back at him.
“Madina didn’t make it alive”
He felt Nike’s body go tight in the reaction of the news. She stilled momentarily and she pulled away from him looking at him disbelievingly.
“You’re lying right?” She laughed uneasily praying it wasn’t the blunt truth. She turned to his uncle “He’s lying right?” She sniffed, feeling tears rack through her body.
Uncle Kola’s silence confirmed it as she moved back, shaking her head slowly from side to side “No, no, it’s not true, ” she ran towards the theatre doors hearing the people behind her calling her back. Nike flung open the doors seeing the nurses cover a small body with a small sheet, she moved slowly with sadness shaking her head.
“Madam, you are not supposed to be in here…” started one of the nurses.
She turned a deaf ear to the outside world as Nike opened the sheet to stare at the lifeless body of her daughter, Madina.
The confirmation and the look of loss, and obvious pain on her daughter’s face made her heart turn with tears gushing out of her eyes. She put a hand on her mouth crying and wrapped the other round her slender waist. The pain was too much to bear as her heart ached.
Her husband came up beside her in agony not touching her; she needed time to herself, the others stood by the doorway. The nurses had filled up the room and some workers stood in agony as she cried and cried slowly filling the emptiness in her heart.
She screamed when one of the nurses pulled the sheet back over Madina’s lifeless body, letting go of all the hurt and bewilderment and raw grief.
Segun gripped her hand firmly pulling her out of the room, even as she gave way to hysteria.
She could see Madina laughing, Madina weeping, Madina waving…her eyes sparkling with mischief. Her lips gave no words as she moved further and further into the strange light. Her black long glossy hair was looking natural, she looked natural, and she looked perfect, so happy Nike was almost convinced she was alive. She heard someone yelling about sedating her and she protested wildly, she didn’t want to lose sight of her daughter until Madina left her alone taking all her happiness and joy with her.
A YEAR LATER…
Normally at the sound of the door she would have gone out of their room to meet him but instead she sat back on her bed stretching her legs out in front of her.
Nike hissed unconsciously to herself, imagine, a woman, their neighbour’s wife telling her she sees Segun constantly running around with Bunmi.
“Ah of all people” murmured Nike, biting her finger gingering “of all people, Segun ah…”
…to be continued (on Monday 24TH MARCH.
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