Dr Wilson: “We have to operate her in order to at least save the baby. The baby is in danger as we talk, your wife’s heartbeat is already too faint, it can cease anytime. So I need your permission to carry out the CS?”

Richard: “’What do you mean by that? Can’t you go on and treat her of the illness? Why are you giving up on a woman who is not dead yet?”

Dr Wilson: “Her heart has shrunk beyond measure. It was already in its late stage, the only person who could have been able to keep her alive longer was you but you decided to neglect her, cast her away”

Richard: “Please you have to do something to save her life. For the sake of Sammy. Please doctor. I will pay any amount you want just don’t give up on her, please” he pleaded desperately clasping the doctors hand in his two hands and kneeling before him.

Dr Wilson: “I guess I have your permission to carry out the operation then? Hopefully, she will live. Be rest assured that I will try my best” he said pushing a paper to him to sign on which he did with a shaking hand.

Richard: “it’s a promise right? That you will save her” he said tearfully but the doctor said nothing and just walked out hurriedly, urging him to follow suite.
Ophelia laid on her bed thinking of what to do. She had been trying to reach Richard through phone calls but he kept missing her calls. She kept thinking of what he could be up to, where he was at the moment. “I just wish he isn’t putting the whole blames on me. That woman is looking for whom to implicate, who asked her to get married in the first place when she knew she wasn’t going to keep her home well? I can’t believe I am wishing she never recovers. Shit! God forgive me but I just can’t wait to have Richard all to myself”
Different thoughts kept running through her mind at the same time. She did not know when her mum stepped into her room and sat on the bed beside her, watching her daydream quietly.

Obiageli: “Ophelia nwam”she called softly. She lifted her long dark lashes slowly but quickly sat up when she saw it was her mum.

Ophelia: “Yes mum? Hope there is no problem? This one you are here all of a sudden like this, was just trying to take a nap”

Obiageli: “Am I the one you are trying to deceive? I know when you are sleeping and when you are just feigning it. So what were you thinking about?” she said smiling amusingly.

Ophelia: “I am not thinking about anything mum ah!”

Obiageli: “Okay if you say so. I brought a message from your dad”

Ophelia: “So I presumed. What bad news did you come bearing this time o” she shifted uneasily on the bed.

Obiageli:”I am not sure if it can be called ill news. Infact I also support him, we only want what’s best for you and it high time you did right by yourself”

Ophelia: “Just come straight to the point, don’t beat around the bush, you know I hate it”

Obiageli: “Your ill temper is without measure. Well, your dad asked me to tell you to bring your husband home since you have decided to reject all the eligible bachelors he had introduced to you”

Ophelia: “well I rejected them because I don’t have feelings for any of them…”

Obiageli: “Just allow me to land first”

Opehlia: “Okay go ahead”

Obiageli: “He said that he is giving you till next year to get married because you will be leaving this house on your 29th birthday”

Ophelia: “Mum! How can you agree to something like that? That is the most unfair thing a parent will ever say to his only child. Only child! Mama I don’t like this o, if its joke stop it!” she ranted on and on while her mum watched her in awe.

Obiageli: “Do you think you are still a small girl? Well he has said it and its final! I am only a messenger” she said and started walking out.

Ophelia: “Mama so you are trying to tell me you cannot stand up for me for this last time? Mama please don’t let him do this” she ran to her mum and held her forearm preventing her from leaving.

Obiageli: “I have been standing up for you and that’s why you are still in this house living a fairy tale life. I have talked and talked to you, why on earth don’t you want to get married? Why? You have made us an object of ridicule in this whole country, isn’t it enough yet?”

Four hours later, the doctor emerged from the operating theatre and headed straight for where Richard sat with Sammy sleeping on his laps.

Richard: “Doctor…how is she? How is my wife?” he jerked up immediately he saw the doctor startling Sammy.

Dr Wilson: “There is good news and there’s also bad news Richard! Anyways, Congratulations…

Richard: What do you mean good news and bad news Doctor?

Dr Wilson: Your wife has been delivered of a bouncing baby girl but she has to be placed under our care for now because she was born premature” he said extending his hand for a handshake which Richard ignored.

Richard: “So how is my wife? Is she alright?”

Dr Wilson: “She is alright for now”

Richard: “What do you mean by for now?” he sounded so desperate.

Dr Wilson: “We were unable to stabilize her heart. I will advise you to see her now, before it’s too late” he said and walked away.
He walked hand in hand with Sammy to his wife’s ward. The sight that greeted him was a pitiful one. She looked so lean and cold without all the pregnancy exaggerated fats. Sammy wanted to run to her but he held him back.

Richard: “Shhhhhh! She is resting, let’s not make a raucous here okay? Come now! Let’s go back to the reception and wait for her to wake up”

Sammy: “Dad but…” before he could say something else, his mum turned slowly facing them.

Rebecca: “Baby you are here? I have been waiting for you. Come here!” she said trying to sit up a bit but couldn’t.

Richard: “You shouldn’t stress yourself honey, go back to sleep, we will wait outside till you have woken up” he said not daring to move any closer to her unlike Sammy who was already sitting on the edge of her bed.

Rebecca: “Sammy do you remember all I told you? How I might be going on a long journey and will need you to take care of your kid sister?”

Sammy: “Yes mum I remember but you are no longer going anywhere right?”
Richard assisted her sitting on the bed with cover sheet. Her hands swiped through the fibres of the long hair. It was rumpled. She exhaled…

Rebecca: “Oh Sammy! I might still be going because I am feeling so weak, I feel like…” he grabbed her lips before she could finish the statement.

Richard: “Honey stop saying stuffs like that, you are not going anywhere, you will stay and we will all live happily together” he went closer together at last. Richard was in the room with headache; tears seeped down his cheeks met by phlegm that found its way out of the nostrils. He was crying like a baby. He felt he failed his Wife not being there especially when needed most.

Rebecca: “It’s too late for that already, I guess since you are here that you have forgiven me at last?” She said with tears streaming down the side of her face and soaking the pillow.

Richard: “It’s I who need to as
for your forgiveness, I did wrong honey. I cannot tell you how sorry I am enough but don’t worry, I will make it up to you, I will love you now with all I have got. I will no longer cause you any heartache, just recover fast so we can have the fun of our lives” he felt like he was trying to persuade himself that she was gonna live.
Rebecca: “Help me take care of my children, take care of Anita too. I will continue loving you all, I am feeling sleepy now and I feel talking drains my energy. You may check on me later. “I love you Sammy. I love you very very much” she said tenderly. She drifted off to sleep.

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