The sound of his voice was as refreshing and relieving as that feeling of cold water being poured benevolently on the head! She felt calm and set free from the bondage of worry. It had been a week and she had still not heard from Femi. She had begun to almost loose her senses. One week was too long a time for him to get through, if he was still alive. She knew despite her parents’ prayers, somehow, they tried to defeat the obvious thought that he was dead. She had called Femi’s father and the old man was calmer than she had imagined. He had even been the one asking her to calm down and take it easy. Yemi had called as soon as she heard too. However the next time she called, she sounded a lot more different than the last time.
Did they know something she didn’t? Had they found his body? She found hope nowhere except with Teni who carried on about the matter as though she knew Femi was alive.
She saw a call from an unknown number and immediately dashed to pick up her phone.
“Jade, it’s me…” He started.
“Oh my God, Femi!” She burst into uncontrollable tears as she recognized her fiance's voice. She wanted to be there with him that moment, to hug him and hold him close, to relieve him from whatever pain he was feeling. She didn’t know how hurt he was but she was most grateful she could hear his deep baritone one more time.
“Babe, it’s okay. Thank God I survived. I’m still so shocked…”
“Why didn’t you call me since? Wendy’s phone has also been off! And when I got through, she didn’t return my calls! I have been crazy and sick here with thoughts! Where are you? How are you? Have you called Dad? What’s going on? Talk to me…”
“Calm down Jadesola. Just hold on, please. I’m sorry…”
He paused for a while. She heard a voice at the background.
“I have to go now, dear. I’ll call you back again. I love you.”
He cut the call before she could say anything.
Teni looked at her sister’s face for any hope but she saw a confused young woman.
“Something is wrong somewhere Teni. There’s something Femi isn’t telling me! I have been mad with worry for a week and all he has to tell me is Calm down?” She said as irate as she could be.
“I think we should talk to Yemi, or his dad. What do you think?” Teni replied.
Jadesola dialed Yemi’s number.
She picked up after two beeps.
“Yemi, please what’s going on? Is Femi back home or in a hospital? I need to see him.”
Yemi sighed, then began to speak.
“We are in India. He had to come for…for medical attention.” Yemi said.
“Huh?” Jade finally spoke.
“I really can’t talk now. Everyone is here. Me, dad and Femi. Let me call you later please.”
Yemi scrolled through her phone and saw other missed calls from her co-workers and some family members. Perhaps she should not have roamed her sim and should have bought a new one in India. She was in no mood to speak to anyone. Her brother was about to go in for a major operation that would change his entire life. fighting gathering tears, she walked back into the ward where Femi lay in the hospital bed. He smiled at her but she knew he was in so much pain…not just physical but absolute emotional and mental torture. Their dad sat next to him, trying to be a man and not to break down and cry. In a few minutes Dr. Gaur came back into the ward accompanied by two nurses.
“We should go into the theater now, Femi.” He said, pronouncing Femi in an absolutely remixed version. "I hope you're ready."
Femi nodded and looked at his dad.
“Let’s pray one more time.” Mr. Adewale said, holding his son’s hand and beckoning on his daughter, Yemi to come closer. They prayed and then, it was time to go in for the operation.
He was scared but he had strong faith he would come out physically better. But what he wasn’t sure of was if he would come out emotionally treated. He knew his life would never remain the same. Thoughts of Jadesola kept flashing through his mind. He had said “I love you” and the usual thing was for her to say it too. But he cut the call before she said it. He didn’t know if she would still be able to love him.
Never mind I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best…
Her ringtone filled the living room. She dashed for the phone, hoping it was Femi. It was a Nigerian number. She ignored it but then it kept ringing.
“Hello…” She said dryly.
“Sweetie! My one and only Jadosky!”
She smiled, clearing her throat. It was only one person that called her that. Henry Nwosu.
They had been a clique of three friends back at Dundee; Her, Henry and Tokunbo. Theirs was like the cast of the Indian movie Newyork. She liked Tokunbo, but Henry liked her. She always told Henry how she felt about Tokunbo and how she wished above everything else that he as much as asked her out. Henry always gave a listening ear. When Tokunbo broke the news of being in love with another girl, it had been Henry’s shoulder she had cried on. Henry out of anger insulted Tokunbo on how stupid he was being as not to know Jadesola was in love with him. Tokunbo let the cat out of the bag that Henry loved Jadesola, and Jadesola was dumbfounded but upset that she might lose the friendship she shared with both guys.
Tokunbo came back later to apologize to Jadesola and told her he loved her like a sister and as such, couldn’t be in a relationship with her. She had been hurt, and also humiliated but then decided it was better they stayed friends. Henry was still her friend, even if she now knew he really did like her. He did the nicest things for her and was always there whenever she needed him. Sometimes, she had thought about dating him. They say if you can't be with the one you love, love the one who loves you. But then, she felt they were much too close as friends, and the boyfriend-girlfriend thing just wouldn't work. Besides, who would she be kidding? Her parents would not support her relationship with the Ibo boy.
One night, Tokunbo called her phone and pleaded with her to come over. He had been drinking because he found out his girlfriend had been cheating on him. She had been studying with Henry that night. The minute he called her phone, she dashed off like it was an emergency, leaving Henry to study for two. That was the night Henry knew Jadesola's heart belonged with Tokunbo.
She had thrown out all the bottles of alcohol he was consuming and ran him a bath. He had actually broken down in tears. Thank God he wasn't drunk. She had never seen him like that and she felt so heartbroken that he was heartbroken. She held him close and rocked him like he was a baby, patting him as he cried. One thing led to the other, and she woke up naked beside him on the sofa in his flat the next morning.
That was the end of the friendship.
He tried to speak with her and apologize for what happened, but Jadesola was too ashamed and embarrassed to even look Tokunbo in the eye. Henry noticed the sudden change too, and putting two and two together, he knew something had happened between his two best friends. The day he confronted Jade, she burst into tears, ashamed of herself. She couldn’t lie to Henry. They just knew each other too well.
Even if Henry told her it was okay and it was a mistake, she knew she had lost the part of him that was in love with her. She knew in a way she had badly hurt him, but above all, she was mad that she had ruined everything between her and Tokunbo, and her and Henry.
“Henry! I can’t believe it. When did you come back to Nigeria?” She said, happy to hear from him again.
“Not quite long, dear. I got your digits from Helen your friend.” Henry said.
“Oh, great. How’s it going with you?” She flipped her weave that was getting into her face. She was sitting directly under the ceiling fan.
“We need to see. Send me your address and I’ll find you. I have missed you, hun!”
She smiled weakly.
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