Six years Later…
“Jade, why don’t you let him come spend his summer with us? It would be fun for him spending time with his cousins, you know?” Teni said, holding the phone between her head and shoulder, and at the same time changing her daughter’s diaper. Her husband was knotting his tie at the hallway.
“Yeah I know that, but…I don’t really know if Henry’s good with the idea.” Jade lied. She knew Henry was not going to have any reservations about their son spending summer with Teni and her family. She was the one who had her reservations.
“Tunde is saying hello. Let me put the phone on speaker. It’s a lot easier considering I’m doing twenty things at the same time right now.” Teni chuckled.
“Hi, Jadesola!” Tunde had walked into the living room. He was wearing his suit jacket. Teni dusted lint off his shoulders.
“Hi, Tunde. Been a while. How’s work and everything?” Jade said.
“Yeah, everything’s good. Thank you. You really should let Timothy come spend summer with his cousins. They are eager to meet him.”
“Fola will you drop the TV control and eat your cereal!” Teni raised her voice at her four year old son. The little boy sulked, as he walked away from the TV where he was glued to Ben10.
“Let me call you back, Jade. I have so much to do, and still get ready for work. Say hi to Henry for me and give Timothy a kiss for me. Love you!” Teni said.
Jade cut the call after she had said her byes and sat in the sofa. She looked at her wallpaper. It was a picture of Henry and Timothy when he was born. Timothy was her five year old son.
She was worried. She didn’t know if she was ready to show him to the world again. She was so protective of him, and she was also ashamed of what people might say; not particularly about her, but about the innocent child. That’s why she had taken him out of kindergarten, and resigned to be a stay at home mom, and to try to home school him. He had been bullied by the other kids in school, and he came home crying every day. Her heart fell into so many pieces each time she looked at him, because she saw a child who wanted to do what his mates did, but was restricted by reason of his physical condition.
Timothy had first begun to show signs of Cerebral Palsy at about eight months old. Her mother had told her to wait and that not all kids developed at the same time. They had waited. Timothy grew older and he tried to walk, but they had noticed more than frequent imbalances and incoordination. He fell so many times, hurting himself, and breaking his mother’s heart with each fall.
As he grew older, his speech was slurred. She had taken him to the hospital and the doctors had told her he had Cerebral Palsy, and that he needed the aid of crutches. She had disagreed, but then his case got worse. He couldn’t hold utensils and even his toys, he couldn’t sleep well half of the time, and he was frequently in pain.
Henry had gotten frustrated and one time, he had even started drinking heavily again. He stayed out late and she knew he was having affairs with other women. She had cried when she remembered how they had suffered and borne his impotence six years ago and how she had done everything possible to make sure he got help. He came around after some time, and apologized for abandoning her and making her face Timothy’s situation alone. He had suggested they tried for another baby but Jade did not want another child…just yet. She wanted to focus all her attention on this one child who had come innocently into the world. Maybe she felt guilty. Maybe this happened because she had jilted Femi, or because of how she had hurt Isioma. She couldn't place it on anything. She just knew the child was innocent and didn't deserve this.
She had cried and wept so many nights. Her mother had come around to help her take care of her son, but then, her father had fallen ill with a stroke and the woman had needed to go back home to take care of him.
Teni’s heart was broken too, whenever she spoke to her sister over the phone. She always wished she was still close by in Nigeria, where she could just drive down, and lay hands on the child. But she had gotten married to an Investment banker in Birmingham, and she had her family now, to cater to. That was why she wanted him to come over. She wanted to take care of him, and pray with him. She wanted to take him away from Jade’s sight, so that Jade could once again enjoy some relaxation…the first in six years.
Jade was jolted back to reality from her thoughts when she heard her son’s voice. He was standing beside her, pulling her dress.
“What is it sweetheart?” She asked, adjusting the wrinkled collar of his shirt.
“I…iyaaaam huu…hungwy moo…moommy.” He struggled to say.
Henry walked in. He had been taking a nap upstairs.
“Hey dear. What’s for lunch?” He said, avoiding Timothy.
"Daddy Daddy...Daa..daady." The child said, but Henry ignored.
Jade noticed it. She knew Henry was dealing with this in his own way, but she hated the way he looked at their son…like he was an imbecile.
“Henry, look at him, for once. Why do you always ignore him?” Jade said.
“Is there lunch or there is no lunch?” He replied. His phone began to ring. He looked at the phone and then put it on silent, then excused himself and went outside.
She suspected he was beginning to have an affair again. He had started sneaking around the house to receive and make phone calls and he always deleted his text messages. She wished she had the strength to confront him, but she didn’t even mind. All her focus was on the child that was struggling to make a sensible speech requesting for food.
“You want noodles?” She said, lifting him up in her arms. He winced as he nodded.
“Okay Love. Do you want to stay with me in the kitchen or do you want to watch cartoon?”
Henry had walked back into the living room.
“Jade, what’s the point? His IQ is low. He won’t understand the cartoon. Just pet him back to bed.” He said.
“Don’t even start, okay! Why do you act like he’s not your son too?!” She yelled.
“I’m sorry.” He said, and went back upstairs.
Tola Olayemi wheeled her brother into the Recreation and Therapy Facility building at Lekki phase 1. She had to do a lot of pleading before he agreed to take the physiotherapy sessions. He had been involved in an accident which had confined him to a wheel chair which the doctors had said had a high probability of being permanent.
She pushed his chair and searched for the right room with her eyes as she walked in the hall way. She found it. Room 7. She walked in and saw other people waiting for the instructor to come. But first, someone was addressing the people waiting. Maybe it was an instruction or something. She wheeled her brother then went to take a seat at the back.
After the speech, the man who had given the speech walked over to her.
“Hi. Are you here for the therapy sessions too or to volunteer?” He asked.
“Volunteer?” She asked.
“Yeah. We are having a fund raiser for patients who can’t afford their surgical procedures. We just concluded the awareness session.” He said.
“Oh. I’m sorry. I just brought my brother for physiotherapy.” She said.
He nodded, smiling, then went to take a seat beside her.
“But can I still write a cheque…maybe? I’d like to donate something too. After all, we are getting this physiotherapy for free.” Tola said.
“I’m Tola. Adetola Olayemi.” She added.
“Femi Adeyemi. I run this NGO in partnership with Phillips Hospital.” He smiled.
They had exchanged numbers after a long talk while the patients went through with the physiotherapy session. Femi liked her. She kind of reminded him of Jadesola. She was really smart and highly intelligent. She was prettier though. He couldn’t stop staring at her face with every laughter, or smile, or facial expression.
In that short while, she had told him about her brother’s accident and how his fiancé had left him. Similar story. But he didn’t think he needed to share too much info on a first meeting. Besides he had moved past Jadesola, even if it had taken him such a long time to do so.
“It was really good to meet you, Tola. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you here more often.” Femi said, after the session was over.
“Same here. And this is a really nice thing you’re doing. God bless you for this.” She smiled, as they shook hands.
At the end of the day, as Femi drove back home, all he was thinking of was her well manicured fingers, especially the fourth one on her left hand, which had no ring on it.
*Please read, enjoy and drop a COMMENT AND PLS SHAREEEEE!!!