“You told him about the baby?!” Kamiye screamed. This was perhaps the angriest I had ever seen her and I took no offense in this as I was indeed wrong. I should have allowed her the honor of sharing that detail with her husband.
“I’m sorry, I thought it would help.”
“Are you kidding me?! I told you my husband left the house because he thinks I am cheating on him and then you go ahead to tell him I am pregnant!” She shouted, glaring at me like I had suddenly grown ten heads.
Pfew! I had really messed up this time, I admitted as I crossed the room to catch up with the pacing woman who had begun to cry. Tentatively, I reached for her, braced for an assault, and I was thankful when she allowed me to hold her, I sighed in relief.
Kamiye was shaking, and it was indeed the most frightful I had ever seen her, not to mention the shadows in her eyes.
“Look Kamiye, I am sorry, I really am. I just wanted to fix things but things got out of hand.”
“No.” She sniffed shaking her head in despair and my heart broke. But I was glad she didn’t push me away, and after long moments of deep pondering, I blurted.
“Can I ask a question?”
“Did you travel to Ghana with Dimeji anytime this year?”
Her head shot up with a frown, clearly taken aback by my question, and she started to ask how I had known about it, when a rap suddenly sounded at the door, and we all turned to Tobi, surprised at his presence. Kamiye suddenly broke away as she glared at her husband in what was obviously the first time both were meeting since Tobi left the house a week ago. I watched them. In her eyes was a calm and clear dote for her husband, a proof that she’d missed him. Far gone was the fury she’d promised to vent on him when they met. If anything she appeared accepting and forgiving, with a quiet plea in her eyes.
“Good evening.” She finally said to Tobi who responded with an indifferent one, barely casting her a glance as he turned to me.
“I need to talk to you.” He started lazily. “Father is sick. He was rushed here earlier in the day. He was diagnosed with cancer.”
The sharp intake from the room reminded me of Kamiye’s presence.
“It’s Lung cancer, and the Doctor says it’s widespread; very likely, we may lose him. Just thought I should let you know.”
“Can I see him?” Kamiye asked, drawing both our attention. For a moment, I thought Tobi would refuse, but stiffly he agreed. “If you want to.” And with that, he walked out of the door, leaving us both following mutely behind as we made it to Father’s ward.
Life really was beginning to seem like a roller-coaster ride, I numbly wondered as we passed the security manning Father’s door post, the reality of his condition further dawning. Father was smaller, I realized as we neared his bed. The man on the bed was unrecognizable. How he had deteriorated to this point that the prison service had never noticed, I wondered, watching the slow rise and fall of his chest, the only indication of life as it dawned on me that he was indeed dying.
How come no one had discovered his ailment until now? Had he known all the while, and if he had, why had he kept it a secret? All of this passed through my mind when his fingers suddenly twitched. I blinked unsure of reality and as I turned to Kamiye I realized she had seen it too. And for the first time since entering the room, I wondered what to say to him if he awoke. Thankfully, he didn’t for the rest of the visit.
Moments later, we decided we would return to see him and left his room with Tobi leading the way again and Kamiye quietly following behind me. I paused a moment to allow her to catch up with me when I nudged her to seize the opportunity with her husband as times like this were rare. She agreed without hesitation for she immediately walked up to him catching up with him. I could barely hear their dialogue, but when Tobi firmly shook his head and strutted away with a taut form, I knew he’d dismissed her. My heart slumped as I looked to the woman utterly dejected and broken, that even now, I was beginning to believe that they were indeed a lost cause.