Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Survived the Shoah 08 Finale.



Anita heard a car pull over in her drive way, and she heard voices and footsteps approach her door. She dashed towards the window to check who it was. A part of her hoped it was Benjy. Or someone who knew something about Benjy. She was stuck and clueless in a strange land. Her hallway was filled with dozens of mails. The mails were majorly her bills, and letters from the Bank informing her of declined transactions on standing orders and direct debits. She hadn't even known that the house hadn't been fully paid off. It was on a mortgage. And that morning, another mail had come. It was a reminder letter from the Bank on the mortgage repayment.

It wasn't Benjy that came out of the car. Anita saw two Police men. And in few seconds she heard them knock on her door. She was scared. She didn't know what to do or say to them. She didn't really know if the system was different from her country, where the Police arrested whoever they found in the house, until the wanted suspect appeared at the Police station.

She climbed down the stairs, each knock scaring the very essence of her being. She planned to tell them that she wasn't his wife, but a cleaner. But they would ask her how she got access into the house, if truly the owners weren't home.

She hurried back upstairs and locked the bedroom door as though the Police would hunt her down to the bedroom. She hugged herself, shutting her eyes to the knocks...the knocks life had given her.


***


She grabbed her home phone in one hand, and scrolled through her Mobile phone in the other, checking for which number she could call for help. She couldn't call her parents. She just could not. How would she tell them that her marriage of less than two months was crumbling down to the sands? Because she was now oyinbo based, they saw her as a goddess and held her in very high esteem, and they had even told her that they wanted her to help out the youngest child of the family, and put him through University education in Canada. Even while back at the firm in Victoria Island, she had been the one sending money home from her not-enough salary. 
No. She couldn't ask them now. 

She called her cousin, the one who had caught the bouquet. She lied to her that Benjy had traveled out of the country on business and that she didn't have a Canadian bank account yet so he couldn't send money to her. She promised to return the money as soon as Benjy came back. Before she finished speaking, her cousin already started to explain that she was saving money for her Masters' degree as she was sponsoring herself, and that her house rent and other pending bills were due. 

Anita called another friend who had given excuses of being very broke at the moment and had also confessed that she had even been meaning to borrow some money from Anita. 

She ended the call, and then scrolled to see who she could call again. 

Derin. 

She knew Derin had her own financial problems. In fact, she felt terrible about how she had treated Derin. She had been cold to her and had purposely kept her distance after the wedding. She hadn't bothered to call her up or check on her health and how she was faring at the office. She hadn't even thought for one day about Derin, all the time she had been having the fun of her life with Benjy's money, until the problems started. 
Anita was ashamed. 

She would tell her she was sorry. She would tell her she had let her self get blinded by public pressure, and of course, a rich husband. Which girl didn't want a rich man based abroad for a husband? She would tell her she wished she had listened to her that day, right before the wedding; the official sealing into her tragedy. 

Anita punched Derin's digits into the phone which she held in the other hand. The call didn't connect because she had run out of airtime balance to place a call. She cursed and hissed and slammed the phone on the floor. She didn't need this now. The Internet data on her mobile phone had also run out and she didn't have any money to make any renewals.

She didn't know what to do anymore. 


...


Derin was bored at work. She had arrived early. Earlier than her other colleagues. So she decided to check through her favourite gossip blogs online. She had read news about Kim Kardashian's outfits. She sighed. The woman was, in her opinion, over celebrated. When and why did someone's outfit become news? She scrolled again and checked out stories about the terrorist boko haram sect, and their constant fatal mischief in the North, which was beginning to spread to the East. They had also recently bombed a public park in Abuja. As though the writer had planned the order of her posts, the following post was about the present President's intentions of running again in the coming elections. She shook her head and sighed. God really had to take control of the country.

The following post was about a Young African woman who had committed Suicide in Toronto. Derin had wanted to skip it but somehow, she found her self tapping the Headline to read the full story. 

They'd said the Police had been knocking the woman's door for many days, with no response. Her husband had been wanted by the Police and so, they were finally able to break into the property after knocking repeatedly without a response. 

They had identified the woman as Anita Benjy-Olayemi, a thirty three year old Nigerian. 


***



EIGHT MONTHS AFTER...


Derin still sort of blamed herself for Anita's suicide. She didn't know why this kept on happening with her friends. It seemed as though God just delighted in taking away every person that had meant something to her.

First, it had been Osas, her best friend. Osas had gone for a party with a group of friends, and she had been the only one that died in the car accident. Then, it was Mercy. She had met Mercy for only less than twenty four hours, and she had even acted rudely to the girl. She never had the chance to apologize to her because she died before the next day.

Tobi had been the love of her life. He had blown her away right to her feet, and literally, when she kissed him, one leg went up like was seen in Disney movies. But again, Tobi had been taken away from her. He had broken up with her and left her on the hospital bed, sick as she had been.

Kola Cole. Derin could never forget her father. She still had memories from when she was really little and how she looked up to him as her protector and hero, and her everything. Neigbours called her daddy's pet. She remembered his pet name for her was Angel. But the point came when he could no longer bear the stress, tension, and panick that accompanied the Sickle Cell package. And yes. He had left her and walked out on his very own Angel.

She'd dated a few guys in the University, and even if she had just been catching fun, she'd still felt the stigma. She couldn't forget one time when news started going round between the guys about her health status. One of those boys she had been intimate with some time ago actually came to ask her if SS was contagious through sex.

Derin couldn't understand it as much as she tried. Perhaps there was something God was punishing her for. Maybe it was her wayward life back in Uni. Maybe it was because of the sin of some fore fathers. Maybe it was just God's will to have mercy on whom he chose to have mercy. 

Anita's suicide made her afraid for Folu, her husband. She couldn't afford to lose him to this trend she was noticing in her life.


Folu and Derin had gotten married some months ago. His parents had found out about her genotype, and Derin had thought that was the end of the relationship. But she was overwhelmed with surprise when his parents started to call her often to encourage her and assure her that they were ready to provide her with financial support any time she needed it. She didn't want their pity. But she was surprised at their warmth. Which parents in their right minds would let their only son get married to a sickler? Perhaps Folu's parents were not in their right minds.  Perhaps it was all a dream, and then one day, she would wake up to the reality of them bringing in another wife for him.

She was scared. Since God was in the habit of taking away her loved ones, maybe He would take Folu too. She had been so scared all through Folu's flight to Abuja, until he called her to tell her he had landed safely. He had gone on a job retreat organized by the company he worked with. She remembered back when she had packed her things to relocate to Abuja for a new job, but the disappointment had ended up in saving her life. Derin couldn't bear it if anything happened to him. She just couldn't imagine a life without him. He was her true hero. Her Captain America. Her Thor and her Amazing spider man. He had shown her the true meaning of love and what it meant to stick through thick or thin. Sometimes she wondered what was in it for him. Did he have a hidden agenda? Did he want something? She had absolutely nothing to give him! Except her heart.


She glanced at the clock. It was 10.50 PM. Folu had traveled to Abuja so she was all by herself in the house. He had called her about ten times that night to be sure she was okay. He had suggested her mother came over to their house to stay with her. Derin knew it was because he was afraid for her, in case the crisis happened again. She hated being watched over like a helpless person. So she had asked her mother not to bother coming over.

She took a shower and changed into a sheer night dress; the exact one she'd worn on her wedding night. 
She wiped her face with her facial cleanser, and as she stood, she saw the book Folu had bought her on her last birthday. It was still where she had left it since then. It was titled Shoah based on a 1985 French documentary film. She hadn't touched it. She wasn't really into reading books about history. She preferred Romance or Crime. However, Folu had a very broad and curious mind, and that was why he was so drawn to reading everything his hands saw to pick up. And people called her the smart one...

Her phone rang again. She knew it was her husband. She could tell from the Oloo mi ringtone.

"What are you doing?" He asked.

"Folu you need to stop checking on me every ten minutes. You're supposed to be on a retreat." She replied.

"I miss you."

She smiled.

"I miss you too, but I will miss your money more if your boss got upset with you and didn't give you a good appraisal." She said.

Folu laughed then he kissed her muah and ended the call.

She tried to sleep but she couldn't. She opened the book. Maybe she could just read it to pass time before she went to bed.

She started reading at 11.05 PM. By 1.30 AM, she was still awake, reading. She had stopped working with the Oil firm. She couldn't bring herself to sit every day beside Anita's former desk. It was as though Anita's ghost laid claim to it, because no one else got hired to replace Anita since she left the company. She'd started thinking of applying to schools abroad that could offer her a scholarship for a Master's degree.

The book was intense. It was about the Holocaust. Jewish witnesses and survivors told their own stories of how it had played out, and how they had lost their loved ones to the very brutal Hitler period. She couldn't understand how the Jews were exterminated with mobile gas vans, or how someone's job was to burn the bodies of people killed from the gassings. There had been no hope for them. They could be with their loved ones one day, and in the next second, terrible things had started to roll out again. One survivor claimed that her three children and her husband had been killed, and she had been raped by five German soldiers.

Derin thought her life was the worst thing to ever happen to anyone...up until she began to read about the Holocaust. Quite alright, she knew Adolph Hitler's name since she was a child. But all she knew was that he was the most brutal leader of all time. 
Mass shootings and gassings was incomprehendible. People were treated like animals; burnt offerings; the very meaning of the word Holocaust itself. What stigma could be worse than that?

By the time she had finished reading, she found out she hadn't gotten any sleep. The time was about 4.40 AM. 
As she turned to the last page, she spotted Folu's handwriting. He had written a message to her.

By the time you would have finished reading this book, I want to have faith in you that you will begin to understand how much God loves you. If a few people could survive this extreme brutality of Adolph Hitler, where it seemed like there was no hope, then how much more you, Aderinsola? You are more than a conqueror. You will survive this Holocaust; this Shoah. We will tell the testimonies together in old age. 

I love you my darling. Happy birthday.

Yours today, tomorrow, and for always,

Folu...


***


Child bearing had been the last hurdle on her bucket list. When she crossed twenty one years of age, she had written out a list of things she hoped to survive, if she lived long enough. She knew pregnancy was another world war for SS mothers. She didn't know how she would carry a pregnancy with the natural stress and changes it brought, let alone with her health status.

When she had announced that she was pregnant, Folu had been so happy. But she had been scared to her nerves. She tried to have faith. She tried to hold on and trust God. If God could stop her from going to that party with Osas because her mother had been home, if God could save her from a plane crash, if God could give her a job, even if it didn't pay so much, if God could give her a wonderful husband, which even absolutely normal women rarely had the chance to find, and if God could spare her through all the many deaths of friends, and held her hand through age twenty one, to twenty five, to her husband's house...then another count down of the three trimesters in pregnancy, then was childbirth too difficult for Him?



That evening, March 22, as the nurses wheeled her into the labor room at the city hospital in Florida, USA, with Folu by her side, and her mother trying hard not to panick, Derin couldn't kick off that bug on her faith. She just couldn't brush away the reoccuring voice that told her she would not make it.

"Folu," She said, holding his hand.

Folu squeezed her hand. His lips were moving. He was praying, but she could see fear in his eyes. He was worried. He had those questions too. He knew this was a tedious experience even for healthy women, let alone her. But she was glad for one thing. She was going to fight her best to hang on and deliver the baby, so he could be a father. Even if she passed away, at least she would rest with the pleasure of giving him something in return for all the love he had shown her.

"Please tell mom to tell my dad that I forgive him. I just need to get that off my list..." She said.

"There's no list, Derin! Haven't you learnt anything from all I've been trying to teach you? Look, God has saved you so many times. Please give Him some credit. Stop being like this. Don't empty the cross of its power. You believe in Jesus right? Trust Him to hold your hands through this delivery. Babe, I'm not gonna loose you. Not now, not ever..."

He didn't complete his statement before her eyes went shut.


***


The child weighed a healthy 6.5 pounds. He cried his lungs out, as the doctor wrapped him up in a blue baby blanket and handed him over to Folu. Folu held the baby tight, cuddling him. But he couldn't get his eyes off his wife.

They had carried out a Caesarian section on her to get the baby out in time. But then, Derin had fallen into a state of numbness. She wasn't moving.

"Is she okay? Is...Doc..." Folu said, trying to maintain composure, which was now very difficult to do.


The doctor took the baby and led Folu into another room while the other doctors wheeled Derin away and started to operate on her.

...


Folu stared at the baby in the nursery, as he slept soundly. It had been hours since they had wheeled Derin away and he hadn't heard anything so far. His lips kept on moving. He kept on praying, hoping, loving, and faithing. He was responsible for putting Derin in that condition, and he couldn't live with the guilt if something fatal happened to her. He remembered the first time he had met Derin. He had bumped into her and her wig had fallen off her head, but he had caught it in time. He wasn't going to let the wig fall off. She had to stay robed! She had to hang on. She had to survive. 

Mrs Cole was the one who tapped his shoulder. He turned around to face her.

"She's awake. The doctor has been looking for you. Derin is awake." She said.

He heaved the greatest sigh of relief he ever had. And in his heart, as he held his mother-in-law's hand and they walked towards the room where his wife was, he knew she had survived the Shoah.





The end.

......................................................

*Thank you so much for your commitment to the blog, your patience, your comments, and even sharing this blog to increase the number of visitors. God bless you! I'm so thankful and I appreciate you totally. 

Survived the Shoah was intended to be a short series, simply focusing on the awareness and prevention of the Sickle cell. 
And for the amazing and strong people living with it, please live healthy and stressfree. The Shoah is survivable. 

God bless.





*fisayotalabi
*Survived the Shoah
simonateba.com

36 comments:

  1. Fisayo, well done. This is an interesting piece. U're going places by God's grace.

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    1. I was so certain you would kill Derin @ the end..lol
      Thanks for dissapointing me.
      Muahhh

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  2. Tank u fisayo.May we all survive our own personal "shoah". Kip it up

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  3. Great one there pastor Fisayo,learnt alot from Folu's person.I pray i stand strong and never disappoint God with my choices.God bless you greatly.keep the good work going

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  4. Fisayo well done. It was a beautiful write up. Thumbs up dear

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  5. A must read for all affected carries, family and friends. May the Lord bless you my dear for giving hope to the hopeless. Amen

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  6. Thanks Fisayo for this touching story. May all who need strength amidst struggles find their strength in God.

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  7. Fisayo... God bless and continually inspire you. Weldone

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  8. Anita commited suicide! Wow! She could just have found a way out. And that baby is cute.

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  9. That holocaust period men! Cant imagine

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  10. Very inspiring....

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  11. Wow!!! My award wining Fisayo. God bless you and increase you.

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  12. This is really an inspiring piece...you brought your pastoral work in play.keep the good work bae!

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  13. good one! thumps up... more grease to your elbow... more inspiration from above... well done sis...you are surely going places.

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  14. Fisayo you are so gifted.May God continue to bless you.This is so touching.your writing is so true like i am one of the characters.

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  15. I had tears formed in my eyes at the end of this story....well done girl friend...God will increase your knowledge.

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  16. With God, nothing shall be impossible. As you're giving hope to your world and generation, may you not be hopeless as well. Good work.

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  17. you are a wonderful writer,it never over until GOD says it over.

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  18. Beautiful story,it reminds me of my late friend who was SS,she died last year feb at the age of 31,it was one of the most painful experience. May she continue to rest in the bossom of the Lord.

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  19. You are a wonderful writer. Just shared your link on my FB page. Thumbs Up!!!

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  20. You are a wonderful writer. Just shared your link on my FB page. Thumbs Up!!!

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  21. Lovely...I cried sha! Dunno y..maybe dey wer tears of joy. God bless u fisayo.

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  22. Thanks Fissy...I loved this one...the message of hope!

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  23. Thanks for not killing Derin

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  24. Derin can even hv more than one child. I luv her son's pix. Fisayo but why didn't she hv a girl? Mama na boy !

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  25. Yea. I knw a woman who's ss and she has four children . This story is meaningful , thought provoking ,thoughtful , gives hope to d hopeless and spiritual. Excellent work !
    Bravo!

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  26. With gud management and awareness , ss sufferers live healthy and normal lives.
    SS is a Blackman 's disease
    Good job , Fisayo

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  27. Beautiful story Fisayo... God bless you for the great message in this story, I'm inspired...

    Precious A.

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  28. Nice! Really,really nice....

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  29. God bless you Fisayo and may he continue to increase you in knowledge and wisdom.Thank u for all the interesting stories

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  30. Weldone Fisayo, God bless you for this inspiring story!

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  31. Wow dis is my first time here and am very impressed. God bless u. Delacreme

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  32. Just read this touching story now n I must say u r a very talented writer. There r lots of lessons to learn from this n am glad I came across it. Thanks a lot

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  33. You are such an amazing story teller I loved it

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  34. nice piece, thumbs up dearie

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  35. Very refreshing and touching piece. The very lovely thing about your stories is that most of us can relate with it. You are an amazing writer.. Keep up the good work. From jennifer

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