Didi woke up suddenly. She couldn’t breathe. She felt as if she was been suffocated. What was happening to her?
God please help me!
Enobong rushed in. She found her husband watching a soccer match with Imabong.
“The doctor has just called.”
Edet glanced at his wife. The fear in her eyes made his heart beat to sky-rock. Imabong reduced the volume of the T.V set. He was worried about his elder sister.
“She can’t breathe. Our daughter can’t breathe,” she collapsed in his arms.
“Oh God help us. Oh God…”
“They have placed her on the life machine… they are hoping that she will be able to breathe on her own soon enough.”
“Get my car keys,” he looked at his son.
The young man jumped up and ran out of the room. He returned with a set of keys.
“Call Uwa. Tell him to meet us at the hospital,” Edet helped his wife to her feet and led her out of the room.
Imabong picked up his phone on the floor and dialed the number of his sister’s fiancé.
The male doctor glanced from the weeping elderly woman to her husband who was comforting her.
“She is slipping into a coma. We cannot stop it.”
“Why haven’t you people been able to identify what her body is reacting to?”
He looked at the dark young man. He felt sorry for him. He had heard that he was supposed to be getting married to his patient in less than
“These things take time. The poison is messing up her body system.”
“Then act fast!”
Edet patted him on the shoulder. He leaned back on the plastic chair and frowned.
“Please help us.”
“Sir, we need to pray for her. It is only God that can save her now.”
Someone knocked. The door opened. A nurse walked in.
“Doctor, we are losing the patient.”
He got to his feet, “I have to go now,” he dashed out of the room, the nurse hurried after him.
Enobong placed her hands on her head. She wasn’t ready to lose her only daughter.
“I am going after them,” Uwa got up and walked out of the room.
Edet reached out for her hands, “Let us call on our father, the giver of life.”
She stopped crying and bowed her head.
Uwa stood outside the theatre. He leaned on the wall, awaiting a favourable news.
“Not a second, or another minute, not an hour, or another day, but at this moment, with my arms outstretched, I need you to make a way,
as you’ve done so many times before, through a window or an open door, I stretch my hands to you, come rescue me, I need you right away, I need you now, I need you now, I need you now, I need you now, not another second, or another minute, not another hour, or another day, but Lord, I need you right away…” he lifted his hands in worship, with tears in his eyes, he sang a song titled ‘I Need You Now’ by Smokie Norful.
God I know that you can do it. Show up for us Lord Jesus. You are all we’ve got. Defeat our enemies. Let them fall into the pit they have dug for your daughter.
He prayed out loud, tears streaming down his dark face.
Mara returned home from work and met Shalewa washing her clothes outside her flat.
She headed for the stairway.
“Madam come back.”
She halted and turned around.
“Why haven’t you gone to check up on your friend?”
She sighed, “I will go during the weekend.”
She hissed, “Do you know that your friend has been placed on a life support machine? She has drifted into a coma!?”
She folded her arms across her chest. Why was she pestering her? Was she a doctor?
“I don’t know what happened between you two, but, at least, out of courtesy, go and see her.”
“I believe Uwa and her parents are with her right now. I will visit her on Saturday or Sunday. I am very tired right now,” she turned around
and ran up the stairs.
Shalewa shook her head.
Uwa returned home that weekend to pick up a few things and return to the hospital. Didi had been stabilized on the life support machine. All they needed to do was to watch and pray. He believed that God had answered their prayers. His fiancée would survive. He bumped into Mara on his way out of the flat.
He eyed her. He had not seen her in a while. What was she doing at his place?
“I am so glad to see you. I have been here several times during the week, but it seemed you went on a short vacation.”
“I have been camping at the hospital.”
“Oh… how is she?”
“Come to the hospital and find out,” he started to walk away.
“Okay. I will come with you,” she ran after him.
Mara followed him into the female ward. He sat on the bed beside his fiancée and held her by the hand. She stood behind him and stared at her friend in amazement. She had never seen anyone in that kind of state except in movies. She doesn’t know how long she had to live. She would help her to pass on faster. A single dose of the poison would send her six feet beneath. Uwa would be finally free and single again and he would be hers for keeps.
“It hurts me to see her this way,” his voice was hoarse. She patted him on the shoulder. She wished she could wrap her arms around him.
“I want to go and see the doctor. I will be right back,” he got to his feet and headed out.
Mara sat on the bed and fished out the syringe containing the poison from her hand bag. She looked around her. The other patients in the large room were asleep. Although some were awake and staring into space. She reached out for the drip and injected the syringe into the bag.
“Hey! What are you doing?”
She got up immediately and turned around. The syringe fell on the tiled floor. A male doctor and Uwa approached her.
“Who are you?”
She glanced back at him.
“She is … a family friend,” he sat at the bedside.
“What were you doing?”
She shook her head.
“I saw you holding the drip.”
“I was just…”
The doctor sighted the syringe under the bed. He bent down and picked it up.
“What is this?” He glared at her.
Uwa stared at the syringe then back at Mara.
“I can bet on my life that this is the toxic poison we have been trying to identify for days,” he glanced at him.
He got to his feet and faced her.
“I am going to call the security. Don’t let her out of your sight. I need to get this tested right away,” he dashed out.
She avoided his gaze. She had been caught red handed.
He tried to wrap his mind around what the doctor had implied. If the substance in the syringe turned out to be the same poison that had wrecked havoc to his fiancée’s system, it would mean that Mara had been responsible for Didi’s constant ailment. She had almost eliminated
her friend from the face of the earth. Was it possible? Was she responsible?
“Is the doctor right?”
She raised her head. His face was wet. He was crying.
“Why Mara? Why?”
“I love you. I wanted you for myself.”
“Love? What kind of love seeks to harm another? You… you tried to kill her!” he pointed at Didi’s motionless body.
The doctor returned with two security guards.
“She took you away from me.”
“No, she didn’t. I was never yours. I chose her. I love her. I will always love her and no one else.”
“I had no choice,” she clenched her teeth.
The guards took her away.
“We are analyzing the substance in the syringe. I believe that we can come up with an antidote as soon as possible. Don’t stop praying.”
“I won’t doctor. Thank you.”
He nodded and glanced at the body on the bed. He was relieved that they were finally making progress. He had been scared that they would lose a patient.
Edet and Uwa sat under the mango tree.
“I am completely amazed that Amarachi tried to kill my daughter, her childhood friend.”
“She confessed to the police that she poisoned Didi on several occasions.”
“So, she was responsible for her constant illness.”
“And that her ex-boyfriend?”
“Yes. He was also responsible for the death of the baby she was expecting. Why didn’t you both tell us that she was pregnant?”
“I am sorry sir.”
“You children of nowadays. Now Mara and Bankole are been tried in court for attempted murder and other things.”
“I am just glad that is all over.”
“Thank you for standing by us. Other men will have abandoned us.”
“I am not other men sir. I am a man who loves your daughter unconditionally.”
They both started to laugh. Enobong came out of the house and joined them under the tree.
“The doctor has just called.”
Both men got to their feet.
“She has opened her eyes.”
“Praise the lord!” he leapt.
“Thank you Jesus,” Edet clasped his hands together and exhaled.
“I can’t wait to see my baby.”
He reached out to her and embraced her.
Uwa watched them. He could imagine growing old with Didi. They were going to live happily ever after.