HER LAST WISH Chapter 82
HER LAST WISH Chapter 82
Zeemah Writes 📝
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“Did you see Dammy’s message? She has been granted the scholarship!” Layla’s voice was filled with excitement as she talked to Dan over the phone.
“I saw it! I was about calling you. I’m so happy for her!”
“I’m more than happy for her. I gave her a call immediately, she sounded so elated.”
“I expected nothing less. Her uncle got sentenced yesterday and today she’s awarded a scholarship. Who wouldn’t feel more than elated? I should give her a call as well. Will ring you right back”
“Alright” Layla smiled, dropping her phone on the counter as she resumed assisting Lydia.
“Shouldn’t you put your phone away. I don’t think it’s safe there” Lydia mentioned, wiping the coffee machine with a clean towel.
“Oh thanks” Layla dropped her phone in her bag. Her face still full of smiles.
Aria has stopped coming to the Cafe. Few days ago, she found out she was carrying a baby again.
Layla enjoys Lydia’s company but not as much as Aria’s. She couldn’t help but miss Aria even though she has been visiting her house frequently since the past few days.
The last time she visited was yesterday and she made Nigeria jollof rice and fried chicken for her after she complained to be fed up of eating the meals she’s used to.
Aria loved the meal, including her husband and daughter and she even joked that the baby seemed to love it as well because it giggled after she swallowed the first spoonful.
“Do not employ anyone else! Didn’t I take up Aria’s space already?” Layla asked, her voice slightly raised at Phil who wouldn’t stop mentioning she’s going to hire another person.
“I can’t allow you to keep working in this health condition! It’d be unfair of me” Phil replied, and resumed slicing the onions. She assists Layla in the kitchen now.
“It’d be unfair of you only if you were forcing me. You’re not forcing me! I’m doing this on my freewill”
“I do not care. You’re going to stop working at the Cafe. I’m going to hire someone else tomorrow, I received some applications already”
“Phil!” Layla’s eyebrows were pulled together.
“Get offended all you want. It’s my Cafe and I have the final say. I’ll choose the people to work there and dismiss people I do not want to.”
“Do you want me to just sit home and watch movies all day? I hate doing that!”
“You’ll get to like it once you’re used to it and you could hang out with your friends” Phil poured the sliced onions into the beef that was starting to simmer on fire. They were making beef stew and rice for dinner.
“For real? You’re really serious about this?” Layla paused measuring rice into a bowl.
“Do I look like I’m joking. You’re not allowed to overwork yourself anymore, no!” Phil’s voice was firm.
“I’m going to let go of the fact that you resumed the cafe even when I told you not to. You did what you wanted but this time you’re going to do what I want”
“For months, you knew my health condition was bad and you didn’t stop me from going to the Cafe until now? What changed?” Layla asked, so calmly like she wasn’t the one raising her voice earlier.
Phil hesitated before replying “I have my reasons… All I know is you’re going to stop working”
“You think now that my symptoms are now frequent; I might suddenly collapse in your Cafe? You simply don’t want me to die in your Cafe” Layla squinted her eyes.
“That’s what you mean Phil! You didn’t stop me from working in your Cafe all along. Why now?”
“That is not my reason!”
Things were almost getting kind of heated now and Phil sighed, not wanting things to go out of hand.
“Layla, I’ve wanted to stop you long ago. Since I started thinking back on the terrible ways, I’ve treated you”
“And why didn’t you do that then? Why now?” Layla dropped the rice bowl in the sink.
“I also didn’t know why I held back. But I’m not holding back any longer. I’m doing this for you Layla. Overworking yourself might worsen your condition, you need all the rest you can get” Phil sighed.
“I’m not complaining Phil. At least wait till I’m dead before hiring another person” Layla said, halting Phil’s next move.
“You’re not going to die!” Phil shouted in her face.
“You think I’m going to die! That’s the reason you’re not allowing me work in your Cafe anymore. And yeah, I’m going to die. It’s fact but allow me do what I want, at least until that time comes” Layla’s voice almost shook. She’s yet to completely come to terms with the possibility of her death.
Phil swallowed hard. “Layla, you’re not going to die”
“Stop this.” Layla paused. “Stop with this your annoying act of giving me baseless hope. Let’s face it. Let’s just accept it that I’m going to die. Don’t fucking tell me otherwise because that hurts even more!” Layla shrieked, stomping out of the kitchen.
“Saturdays are crazy as hell” Lydia sighed, when they finally got to rest.
Layla nodded. “I even feel Saturdays are now getting less crazy in the cafe now. Then, Aria and I barely rest. We’re up and running every minute”
“I wonder why Saturdays are like this though. Isn’t it supposed to be the opposite? Saturday is a weekend and I feel the Cafe shouldn’t be this filled up on a work-free day. Care for some cookies?” Lydia asked, peeling the foil off the cookies.
“No, thanks. I’m not surprised the Cafe gets this filled on a Saturday though. It’s a work-free day for some people and it’s not for others. In fact, some people’s work days are weekends.”
“You’re right though. Lydia nodded, starting to munch on her cookies. “I’m going to visit Aria tomorrow”
“Oh, you definitely should” Layla smiled. Lydia hasn’t gotten the chance to visit Aria since she stopped working.
“Are you going to be visiting as well?”
“No, I plan to hang out with my friends tomorrow”
“Okay, have fun. Boss told me someone else would be resuming today, I wonder why the person isn’t here yet”
“The person won’t be resuming anymore, she changed her mind” Layla responded. Phil had finally given in to allow her continue working after countless back and forth.
“Layla, just hear me out!” Phil shouted. “I don’t think you have leukemia”
“You think by saying that, I’ll have my hopes high? If only you know all you’ve been saying is only crushing me more. I don’t need this from you Phil” Layla’s voice was the opposite of how she felt.
“Believe me, I’m not trying to lift your hopes high! But your symptoms have been so different for someone with leukemia. I’ve been thinking about it and I finally did some research–”
“So, you thought to do some research, months after I was diagnosed and you’re basically saying the doctor’s diagnosis might be wrong?” Layla chuckled.
“It can be! Doctors aren’t perfect. they are humans, they make mistakes. Come to think of it; we didn’t even go to other hospitals for confirmation. Damn” Phil sighed in regret.
“You’re looking like you’re certain I don’t have leukemia. Wherever that belief came from, you should make it go back and stop this! It’s really starting to get annoying Phil! You keep sprouting unfounded words because you probably can’t bear to lose me. Let’s face the fact. My grandma, mum and brother died of leukemia, I do not even need the doctor’s diagnosis to know I might be infected as well, but the doctor confirmed it after running tests. I have the tests result in my room Phil! What the hell are you saying!” Layla’s anger was profound now.
“All you just mentioned doesn’t mean you have leukemia, there might be mistakes in the test result, the doctor’s diagnosis might be wrong. I don’t think It’s in the history that leukemia is associated with having strange stretchmarks all over the body! I nursed my mother for months while she awaited her death and no strange stretchmark was on her body, I don’t remember seeing any on your mother’s body as well”
“People are different Phil, so do symptoms”
“Agreed, but I don’t think stretchmarks is recorded in the history of leukemia patients”
“I’m losing my hair! That’s a symptom!”
“Leukemia isn’t the only cancer that makes one lose hair or causes fatigue. We need to go for a confirmation test…”
“And then the doctor again confirms I have leukemia and we come back home looking like frogs?” Layla cut her short.
“Layla, it’s very likely you do not have leukemia–”
“Oh, you mean these symptoms I’ve been having means nothing? It’s normal to be healthy and have these symptoms?”
“No, but it might just be another thing entirely and not leukemia”
“So what’s the difference? The fact still remains that I’m living with a disease and I’m going to die soon”
“Stop saying that!” Phil scolded, “It might be another thing and if we’re lucky, it might have a solution. Let’s give this a try please”
“You know what? You’ve been brainwashed with whatever damn belief stuck in your head! I’m done here” Layla walked out of the kitchen, ignoring Phil’s calls.
“Let’s play board game one more time” Layla said to her friends, she wondered why it seemed their facial expression changed until Fel pointed out what she just said to her.
“What do you mean by one more time?”
“It’s not like we’ve played board game today” Rylan added.
“Lately, I’ve observed you seem to be speaking…” Fel paused, staring pointedly at Layla.
“I don’t know how to put the words. I just hope there’s nothing wrong.” She added, sighing.
“I only made use of the wrong choice of words. C’mon” Layla smiled.
“It seems you’ve been making use of too much wrong choice of words lately.” Dan said and Layla shrugged in response.
No one spoke again and the pies Anne made for them was starting to get cold.
“Is anything wrong?” Layla asked, her friends were not usually this quiet and moody and definitely not all of them at the same time.
“We feel you’re hiding something from us” Rylan spoke first.
“Oh” Layla sighed, moment after going silent, thinking of what best to say. She must be a fool to think they wouldn’t notice. She shifted on the couch, uncomfortable. “Is it that obvious?”
“I’m glad you admitted it, because if you had lied, I would have been more hurt” Fel said.
“I know the reason you’re hiding whatever it is from us is because you probably do not want us to bother. If that’s truly the reason then I would be hurt. We’re your best friends and we should share your problem when the need arises. If you’re feeling that way then it means you do not consider us your best friends like you do say” Dan stated.
He’s known for long that something is off but he had waited, thinking she would tell them when she was ready but it now seemed she’s never going to and he’s goddamn worried because a part of him keep telling him it had something to do with her health.
“I’m hiding something but I’m not ready to spill it. I promise you’ll get to know when it’s time” Layla said, the tone of her voice reduced. She adjusted the scarf on her head which she’s been putting on more often now, especially whenever she meets up with her friends.
She’s afraid they might notice her hair is now getting sparse and Fel who’s capable of pulling her hair randomly might know something is wrong if she pulls her hair and a huge chunk of it falls into her palm.
“We’re going to respect whatever you want Layla but you should know that whatever the issue is, we would stick with you and make sure it’s resolved” Rylan said.
Layla smiled, nodding.
“I don’t know why I feel it’s something that’s going to change everything.” Fel looked worried. “I hope it’s just a feeling though”
“Why don’t you tell us whatever it is. I know we should respect your decision but… It’s just so hard to keep going about every day like everything is fine, knowing there’s something wrong with our friend” Dan said.
“It’s nothing serious, do not be so bothered about it. I’m not that bothered about it as well. I promise you’ll know when it’s time” Layla assured.
“I really hope it’s nothing serious” Rylan sighed.
“It’s not, c’mon guys” Layla smiled. “Let’s play the game!”
Layla hugged her friends bye when she was ready to leave. She had won the game twice but she didn’t feel that excited about it because it felt as though her friends deliberately allowed her win.
Their moods weren’t completely lifted but it was better than earlier…
“Are you sure you do not want me to drop you?” Dan asked for the umptieth time.
They were outside the gate now, waiting for a cab.
“Nah, I have to go somewhere else” Layla responded.
She kissed their cheeks, swinging their hands gently as they waited for a cab.
She’s been barely letting go of her friends, she now touches them more than usual whenever they meet up because she doesn’t know when her last time with them would be, it might be anytime and she doesn’t want to have any regret.
They hailed an approaching cab, which stopped right in front of them.
Dan opened the cab door for her.
“Bye” She smiled.
“I can’t count the amount of times Layla said bye already” Fel groaned.
Layla chuckled. “Well, bye”
She kissed their cheeks again and held onto Dan a bit longer than usual before getting into the cab.
They both exchanged a look and Dan didn’t know where the sudden strange feeling came from.
Layla’s eyes seemed distant and her gaze almost made him cold.
She parted her lips, looking as though she wanted to say something but smiled and waved at them before the cab drove off.
They knew something was wrong when Paul barged into the house, breathing heavily, his eyes filled with horror.
“What?” Dan asked, getting to his feet with Fel and Rylan.
“Layla…” He swallowed hard. “She’s outside”
“She left in a cab not too long, how come she’s outside?” Dan couldn’t stop his voice from being unstable. If Layla was just outside, Paul wouldn’t run in looking this way, something was wrong and his mind was in disarray already.
“Did she come back?” Rylan asked.
Paul nodded. “She collapsed as soon as I opened the gate and…” he paused, looking like he wished he didn’t have to say this to them. “I checked her pulse…”
He didn’t get to complete his statement before he was shoved out of the way.
“She stopped breathing” He muttered to himself, still completely stunned. He feels so damn sure it’s just a dream and he stood there, waiting till whenever he wakes up.
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