HER LAST WISH Chapter 84
HER LAST WISH Chapter 84
Zeemah Writes 📝
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“Egbami oo(Help me oo)” Aunt Esther scream rang through the neighborhood, she slammed herself to the floor after receiving a call from Dan who told her about Layla’s condition.
Everyone rushed to her, trying to pick her up, at the same time demanding what went wrong.
She remained seated on the spot, clapping her palms together together and crying.
“You shouldn’t do this in this your condition o, mummy David. Stand up first and tell us what happened” Amina’s mother said, her face wrinkled with worry.
“She’s the only one I have left o! her parents are dead; her brother is dead. She doesn’t deserve this” Aunt Esther lamented. “They just called me now that she has cancer ooo and her chance of surviving is fifty-fifty! Yeeeeeh” She crossed her arms over her head crying uncontrollably.
“God, what did this girl’s family do to you. This is too much. What am I going to do? Ahhhh” She continued lamenting, banging the cold cement floor with her palms, all efforts to console her proved abortive.
“Chineke! Chai, is it not that nice oyinbo girl that visited not too long ago?” Chinedu’s mother, a woman from the other compound asked.
She continued when she got no answer. “And now she’s going to die? Hian!” Shaking her head in pity.
“She’s not going to die!” Emeka’s mother slammed. “Why you dey talk like that, yunno hear say she get chance to live, and me I sure say she go survive because oyinbo doctors get better medical instrument. God go help am. She no go die”
“Mummy David, you need to stand up let’s go inside, I don’t like the way people are watching you like this, even people from other compounds are here already. And you know how much their hypocrisy is. I understand how you’re feeling right now but you need to get up” Amina’s mum said, equally heartbroken about the news. She finally succeeded in pulling her up.
“Layla will be fine; you’re not going to lose her in Jesus name” Emeka’s mother said.
Dammy arrived from the market as Aunt Esther was being led inside, and immediately knew something was wrong.
“What happened?” She said, almost to herself but got response from Chinedu’s mum.
“Yunno that oyinbo girl wey visit not too long ago, dey talk say she get cancer and she go die” She sighed, making Dammy’s market purchase drop from her hand.
Emeka’s mother on overhearing Chinedu’s mum turned back immediately.
“This woman! Be like say something dey worry your head! When did you hear she’s going to die ehn! Didn’t I just correct you now. Na bad bad things una like to dey happen” Emeka’s mother looked irritated.
“Mummy Emeka, make we no lie, that girl go die. No be cancer? Make una just accept am say she go die. Nawa o” Chinedu’s mother shook her head, wearing fake pity.
“Oya come dey go your compound–” Emeka’s mother was interrupted when a sachet of water landed behind Chinedu’s mother’s neck, which ended up spilling over her wears. They turned, Chinedu’s mother looking really offended.
It was Iya Bode, one of Aunt Esther’s neighbors.
“Oloriburuku ni e (you’re an unfortunate human) Na me wan scatter that your shallow brain with pure water, oya, you wan fight?” Iya Bode asked, walking closer.
Chinedu’s mother, knowing she stands no chance against the huge woman figured it’d be better to say nothing as she had planned and it really pissed her off.
“If she was your child, will you pray for her to die because she has cancer ehn?” Iya Bode asked, facing her squarely.
“No be wetin I mean be—”
“Abegi! I heard everything you said. Na your type dey abandon children for hospital. You no even get shame at all, you come from another compound come do amebo, you still dey talk nonsense on top. They suppose squeeze that your mouth wey look like shovel”
Chinedu’s mother hissed in her mind, she felt like pouncing on Iya Bode and beating her to stupor.
“Na everything you dey put mouth for for this street, na other people family matter dey sweet you for belle, wetin dey happen for your own family no even concern you. You go carry people matter for head, con dey drag your own for hand. Where this thing go land you ehn, yunno go like am. If you no comot for here now, you no go like wetin I go do you. Amebo!” Iya Bode shouted after her.
Chinedu’s mother briskly walked away, hissing when she got to the gate.
She bumped into Amina and Emeka returning from school and hissed once again, walking past them without apologizing.
“What happened to Layla?” Dammy asked, she knew Chinedu’s mum probably exaggerated the whole thing but she still can’t help her racing heart.
“Mummy, what’s going on?” Emeka beat Amina to the question.
They both sensed the atmosphere and knew something was wrong.
She sighed before relaying the news to them.
“Layla, your surgery is scheduled on my birthday” Dan said.
“Really?” Layla raised a brow.
“I can’t believe it’s almost a year Layla joined us” Fel said.
“Yeah, I could remember Dan resumed Ocean High a few weeks after his birthday” Rylan said.
“I was looking really forward to Dan’s birthday and now it’s almost here, scheduled on the same day as my surgery. Is that a good thing?” She asked, almost solemnly. She looked and felt better now, compared to the past few days she was admitted into the hospital. She could now sit and walk around on her own and even starting to sound better.
“I think it’s a good thing” Anne commented, pausing whatever she was doing on her laptop.
“Mum is going to buy me my dream car and Dad is going to invest in whatever I decide to do—”
“That’s great” Layla smiled, sitting up.
“Yeah, but I don’t want none of that” He paused, staring at her. None of it would matter to him if Layla doesn’t survive the surgery.
“Huh, why?” She asked, knowing how much Dan wanted his dream car.
“You plan on giving me a birthday present, right?” He asked and she nodded.
“Whatever you planned on giving me, I do not want it. May I request something else instead?”
“Of course, anything for the birthday boy” Layla smiled.
“The best birthday gift I would ever receive is you surviving the surgery, nothing can quantify that, Layla. That’d be the only gift that’ll truly make me happy. I know I’m being selfish but that’s what I want from you”
“Dan, I would absolutely love to gift you that.” She sighed. She can’t remember ever giving Dan something solid to appreciate him for coming into her life and illuminating her world. The number of things he’s done for her is countless. Asides that, this is the first thing he would ever ask of her. She really wished she would not have to refuse him that. She wished he had asked for something she had more control over.
“But, I’m not in control of my life, I can’t decide to live or die whenever I want but you know what? I will try. If I end up coming out of the operating theatre dead, just know I fought till my last breath” If this is the one thing, she would do to appreciate an amazing soul like his, she would love to give it a hard try. Dan is worth it.
Dan nodded, giving her one of his sad smiles before pulling her into a hug. She wrapped her hands around him, smiling with the kind of happiness that accompanies his hugs.
Fel cleared her throat. “It’s not our birthday but we won’t mind that present as well”
“Exactly” Anne nodded.
“Layla, you should consider it our pre birthday present” Rylan added.
“Oh, so Dan isn’t the only one I’m owing that present”
“Apparently” Fel nodded.
“Alright, I’m going to try” Layla was fueled with more desire to survive. She was ready to give it her all.
“Shouldn’t you guys go home for a good sleep? It’s been days. I bet the beds here are not very comfortable” Layla expressed; her forehead knitted together with worry. She’s said this a couple of times and with each time, she hoped they would listen to her.
Her friends wouldn’t leave her, it felt as if they were admitted alongside her. She had been upgraded to a VVIP ward just so there could be more space for them. They sleep, eat and do everything together, she loved having them around but not at the expense of their own comfort. The only time they were fine with going home is to pick their needs.
“Even if you repeat that a thousand times, no one is going to change their mind, sorry” Fel said in a singsong voice, making them chuckle.
“You must be wondering why I’m yet to wish you a happy birthday. Well, I planned to do that after I’m done with my surgery” Layla smiled at Dan, even though her heart was racing, everyone was present, including the nurses who were about wheeling her to the operating theatre and she’s never been more scared even though they had prayed almost half of the night.
She felt like bolting out of the door, the thought that this might likely be the last time she would see these faces seemed to be tearing her apart. If staying admitted without having to perform surgery as long as she keeps seeing these faces was an option, she would most definitely go for it. Now, she’s going to face an unknown fate which outcome is either going to change things for good or worse.
This is such a big move for her and even though she had promised not to cry, she couldn’t help the tears that laced her eyes. Her hands trembled as she wiped her wet palms on her wear. Her anxiety, rising with each passing moment.
“I think I would appreciate your post-surgery wish more” Dan smiled, one of those smiles that never reaches the eyes. He was scared, sad, anxious. They all were.
This could be the last time they see her, and the thought is upending, it’s worse that no one knew her fate, it takes after the surgery to clear the fogged air which could change their lives forever.
They try holding onto their beliefs but a part of them couldn’t help but feel disorientated.
“So” Layla swallowed hard, staring at them as the nurses got ready to start wheeling her out.
Her fear was obvious in her eyes and she could see theirs as well even though everyone was trying to be strong.
They had planned not to cry, as that would only mean Layla was really going to die but that doesn’t seem to be working anymore, Layla knew it’s only a matter of time before torrent of tears start raining down their eyes.
“A hug” She stretched out her arms. She wasn’t taking any chances, if this was her last time with them, she wanted no regrets.
Perhaps, God had given her the chance to say a proper goodbye, she shouldn’t put it to waste.
They took turns in hugging her, whispering prayers in her ears until it got to her friends turn. By now, her tears were about pouring as she stared at them waiting for them to come to her.
“I’m not going to hug you until you come out of that operating theatre” Anne said, looking as though she was all put together but her trembling lips gave her away.
“Me neither” Fel said, her eyes had gone red like she started crying already.
Phil blew her nose into a handkerchief in a corner and Layla knew she was in tears, Aria didn’t bother hiding hers, she wailed. She had been really devastated since she was told.
Her friends parents’ looked all gloomy and the women were starting to wipe their eyes.
“I’m going to hug you once you wish me a happy birthday” Dan tried to keep his voice from breaking.
Rylan knew he was going to burst into tears if he should make any comment.
“I’m not going to die” she said and it only came out as a whisper.
She wanted to assure them but it felt like her tongue was tied to the bottom of her mouth.
The nurses started wheeling her out of the ward and they all followed.
Her heartbeat sped once they got to the door to the operating theatre and she was about to be wheeled in.
She wished one of her friends could be allowed to go in with her, her fear increased with each passing second and it was only a matter of time before her hands started trembling.
“You’ll be fine. I know that” Dan assured, kissing her cheeks and that seemed to calm her nerves a little bit.
His gaze lingered on hers for a minute and he released her hand when the nurses told them it was time.
“Remember you owe me a birthday present” he said, smiling but even the dumbest person could see through the façade.
Layla nodded “Of course and I’m going to try my best to give it to you”
The thought that this might really be their last moment together overtook their minds and they quickly took turns in hugging her again. Phil was crying really loudly now and was holding Layla too tight.
“Stop acting like she’s going to die, it’s annoying!” Anne said, even though she looked as though she would break down any moment from now.
“Okay” Phil blew her nose into her handkerchief. “Remember I don’t like cooking, if you do not come back to me, I’m going to starve myself to death and fight you really hard when we meet up there”
Layla chuckled, tears rolling down her cheeks and it was like her tears unleashed everyone else’s.
She was finally wheeled in and could still hear their cries at the back of her mind.
If not anything, she needs to try to survive for these people.
“They said the surgery is going to take four hours max, she has been wheeled in already” Aunt Esther relayed to Dammy, Amina and Emeka. Her voice was almost inaudible. They had to strain their ears to hear what she said.
No one made a sound, Aunt Esther’s sobbing was the only sound in the room.
“You need to stop crying” Her husband said to her, his face etched with worry. He couldn’t bear looking at her swollen eyes and tear-streaked face without his heart breaking. She’s lost weight over the couple of days and hasn’t had anything good to eat which really bothers him because it’s so unhealthy for her and the baby.
The news about Layla had come to him as a shock, she had looked really healthy for anyone to detect something was wrong with her. He hasn’t stopped trying to convince his wife to stop feeling bad, she kept insisting she had failed her niece for not detecting something was wrong with her.
Layla’s situation really saddens him, with everything her young mind has gone through, she doesn’t deserve this. He desperately hopes and prays she survives it. She means so much to him as she does to his wife and son.
David, alongside his mum has been so gloomy, one doesn’t need to be told to know something was wrong with him.
Amina walked out of Aunt Esther’s apartment and returned with her praying mat and Quran, she shifted the center table to a side, making room for herself.
“This is not the time to be crying. All those cry we’ve cried needs to be put aside. Layla needs our prayers now more than anything.” She said, setting herself in the right position on her praying mat.
Emeka and Dammy went on their knees beside the couch they were seated on.
“David, get me my Bible” Aunt Esther said.
She gave him a small smile, realizing he didn’t only come with her Bible but with his and his father’s.
As if in sync, they started praying and with each passing moment, the prayers got more intense.
Four hours and thirty minutes later, the call they’ve been expecting came in and at first no one moved, they felt like they could hear the thumping of each other’s heart.
“I’m going to take it” David’s dad offered but Aunt Esther literally snatched the phone from him and received the call without a second thought.
They watched her with apprehension which rose to the limit when she screamed, her eyes brimming with fresh tears.
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