The hospital was a beehive of activities as nurses moved about, preparing a room where the CS was to take place. The doctor got his equipment ready too.
At the waiting room, Otuke and Helen were restless. They paced the length of the small room, praying in their hearts that Edirin would be okay.
After she passed out earlier at the office and was rushed to the hospital, the doctors succeeded in reviving her but soon afterward, she went into labor. The doctor had made it clear that she isn’t supposed to be due until about two months time. This made everyone scared.
“This is all your fault!” Otuke yelled at Helen. “If you weren’t so bent on tearing us apart, all these wouldn’t be happening.”
“How in God’s name is it my fault? We saw a man who looked just like you. How were we supposed to know it was not you?”
“You should have listened to my own side of the story and then investigate to see who was right. Aren’t you a lawyer? Isn’t that what you were supposed to do? Investigate?”
“I admit I was wrong, but hey! Is that going to solve the present situation?”
“Hmmmm…” Otuke sighed. “Where are the divorce papers now?”
“Oh no! Please don’t go there.”
“Why shouldn’t I?”
“Because you still love your wife, and now that we know we were wrong, please give us a chance to make it up to you.”
“Just answer my question first. Where are the papers?”
“I left them on your table. I didn’t remember to take it back.”
“Well, better for me. I will decide, Helen. If I can’t go on with the marriage, I will sign the papers and hand them over.”
“Please Otuke, don’t do this. Look, if you want to blame me, go ahead. You have every right to.” Helen rubbed her temple as if rubbing away the pain and confusion she felt. “You have to believe me, Otuke, I didn’t know you still had a twin. The last we heard of him was that he died in a plane crash.”
“Yes, we thought he died,” Otuke confirmed. “We couldn’t identify the body that was given to us. I was surprised when he came over to the house last weekend. He said he had been in town. According to him, he missed his flight that day, that’s why he is alive.”
“A good thing he missed it,” Helen sighed, “If not, he wouldn’t be alive today.”
They sat down quietly for a while, staring into space.
Mama and Edward soon showed up at the hospital. Helen had called them earlier after Edirin had already been admitted.
“Is she okay? Is she okay?” Mama asked, running up to them.
“We don’t know yet, Mama,” Helen answered. “But the doctors are going to operate on her.”
“God forbid!” Mama said, making the sign of the cross on her head. “Why? Is she in bad shape?”
“Not really, mama,” Otuke answered. “She was revived, but then, she went into premature labor.”
“Oh my God! Oh my God!”
“Its okay mama, she will be fine,” Otuke assured, stepping forward and hugging her. He respected her and loved her even more because, although she initially kicked him away, she was still the only one who gave him a listening ear when everyone accused him of adultery.
Edward, on the other hand, was speechless. He sat quietly on the bench and held his head in his hands. Helen sat with him and did her best to comfort him.
While they were at it, Otuke’s twin came into the waiting area with his fiancee. Being that they hadn’t eaten anything since the morning, they went out to eat at a nearby restaurant. Mama frowned as soon as she set eyes on him and so did Edward. Seeing the silent questions in their eyes, Otuke went ahead to introduce them.
“Mama, meet my twin brother, Ochuko, and his wife to be, Regina.”
“Your twin brother?” Mama asked, looking up at him with wide eyes. “Was he the one Edirin saw?” She asked, in a whisper.
“Yes, Mama,” Helen answered, with her head bowed.
“Good afternoon madam.” Ochuko and Regina greeted.
“I was the one your daughter saw. You have to believe me, I was surprised too when she suddenly barged in on us and claimed to be my wife. It caused a big quarrel between me and my wife to be. It took a while for us to resolve the issue, but we did. This situation wouldn’t have been if I had gone straight to my brother’s house and told him I’m alive. That way, I would have been introduced to his family. I spent some time in town before finally asking for his home address from a relative. I didn’t even know he was already married.”
“You were the one based in Ghana, right?” Mama asked. “The one they said died in a plane crash?”
“Yes, Mama,” Otuke said. “It turns out that he missed his plane that day because he was in a serious motor accident on his way to the airport. He was in a coma for a very long time. The doctors almost gave up on him but, thanks to Regina, who was also a nurse at the hospital he was admitted. She agreed to continue paying his bills and taking care of him personally until he woke up.”
“My dear,” Mama said as she moved to take Ochuko’s hand in hers. “Welcome home. I’m glad you survived.”
“Thank you, ma.” Ochuko smiled.
“My dear,” Mama turned to Regina. “You are welcome here.”
“Thank you ma,” she smiled too and then hugged the elderly woman.
Mama turned to look at Helen. “You see now? You see? I was warning you and Edirin to take things easy, but no. Now see, my daughter is divorced for no reason whatsoever.”
“And she’s having CS too,” Edward concluded. “What exactly happened? Why is my sister here?”
Helen bent her head in shame, she knew everyone was going to be on her neck for a long time.
“She’s here because she passed out, after realizing the truth,” Otuke said.
For the next thirty minutes, Helen received one tongue lashing after the other. She was already contemplating running out of the hospital to save her battered pride when the doctor came up to them.
“How’s she? How’s my baby?” Otuke asked, rushing forward.
“Well, the baby is very okay.” the doctor announced happily. “It turns out we were the ones who miscalculated her due date. It was not a premature birth.”
“Hey!! Thank God oh!” Mama said. The others simply heaved a sigh of relief. They really thought the worst was going to happen because not all premature babies have a chance to survive.
“So what about my wife? How is she?” Otuke asked.
“I will be frank with you sir, she’s not too good.” The doctor admitted. “She’s not stable but we will do our best to make sure she is fine.”
“Doctor please do your best. Please.” Otuke pleaded.
“I’m begging you too,” Mama said, looking very sad.
“Please do your best to keep her alive.” Helen pleaded. She felt completely responsible for everything that was happening to her friend. “Please doctor, we can’t lose her.”
“I will do my best, don’t worry.” The doctor said. “All you have to do from here on is to pray for her quick recovery.”
“Yes doctor, we will,” Mama said. “So, can we see the baby now?”
“Yes! Why not? Come with me.”
Everyone followed the doctor to a room where so many babies were lying gently in their cot. The doctor led them to a particular cot and then gently picked up the baby.
“This is him.” He said.
“So its a boy?” Helen asked excitedly, temporarily forgetting her position and the fact that everyone was still angry with her.
“Yes, it’s a boy.” The doctor confirmed.
“Oh! This is so good.” Mama said happily.
Otuke took the baby from the doctor and carried him gently. “Hello, my little man.” He said, smiling at the baby. “You have an elder brother and sister who are going to take very good care of you.”
At the mention of brother and sister, Helen’s eyes widened. “Ese and Voke!” She cried out.
“What? What happened to the children?” Mama asked impatiently.
Otuke tore his eyes away from the little child in his arms and focused them on Helen. “What about them?” He asked. His expression serious.
“Well, nothing. It’s just that I totally forgot about them and it’s almost their closing time.” Helen replied. “Let me go and pick them up.”
She excused herself and left. The others remained at the hospital, watching the baby and waiting for any news about Edirin’s condition.
To be continued…
©Karo Oforofuo. All Rights Reserved
First published 2014 by Karo Oforofuo in my old blog
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