Continued from Chapter 1…
“Alheri, have you been able to speak to all the vendors?” she strained her voice to be audible enough for her wedding concierge to hear her over the phone. Her lost voice made it obvious she hadn’t slept well since she got the most shocking news five days ago.
“Yes, they all send their love but half of them are not sure they would give you a 100% refund,” replied Alheri.
“Are you serious?” Vanessa exploded, her voice sounding more like a high-pitched squeak. “Do they have any idea what I’m going through? Isn’t my pain enough for them to even consider? My wedding is off, for God’s sake!”
“No, it’s not,” the voice was soft and familiar but it wasn’t Alheri’s. She turned around to see him struggling to sit up in the bed that he’d been unconscious in for so long. What she saw shocked her, she didn’t know when her phone slipped to the floor.
“KJ! Oh my God!” She screamed, rushing to his side. She wanted to hug him but he winced as she tried, reminding her of the pain from his wound. She took his hand and he held hers. The warmth that shot through her body was confirmation that he was definitely alive and well.
“Nurse! Doctor! Anyone! He’s awake!” She was trying to shout but her voice won’t let her. She quickly kissed his hand and let it go, running towards to the door to get anyone’s attention. She picked her phone on the floor, confirming Alheri had dropped off as she exited the room. Trying not to slip into a fall, she walked briskly towards the nurses’ station. She grabbed the first nurse she saw in the long hallway and pointing to his ward, she gasped, “He’s awake! My KJ is awake!”
“Oh good. Let me get the doctor,” the startled nurse replied. She didn’t seem to share her excitement but Vanessa was too happy to notice.
She ran back to his room to find him laying still looking the opposite direction, out the window. His calmness brought her run to cautious walk as she moved towards him. The setting sun cast a lovely ray of orange on his face. It was like the Creator of the magnificent fireball was smiling down on him. She saw him close his eyes, as if taking it all in, and a single tear slid down both their faces in a sync she only saw in romance movies.
She walked over to his other side, careful not to block that ray and reached for his hand and she felt it again. The warmth she only had faith for was her reality again as he held hers tightly. At that moment, all she could say was, “Thank You!” It was whisper, but He who deserved it, heard it loud and clear.
A knock on the door interrupted the serene moment but not their grasp.
“I see someone didn’t want to miss his wedding,” the doctor came in with his fullest smile.
Vanessa let out a slight laugh, wiping her face with her other hand. “Ah doctor, it’s not like you’ll discharge him in time for the traditional wedding tomorrow.”
“I don’t have to be discharged to get married to you, Vee.” She wasn’t expecting that but all she could do was smile back at the welcoming face that was pale and still few minutes ago.
“Well, Mr. Kolade, let’s see about that.” He smiled at both of them while he unwrapped his stethoscope to check his vitals and take a few notes. As he continued, he took the liberty of recounting the events of the last few days.
“Mr. Kolade, you were shot in the chest Saturday evening and brought in just in time to take out the bullet and replenish the blood you were losing fast. The bullet narrowly missed your heart but damaged the main artery, which is the aorta, cutting down both blood and oxygen supply to your heart. Thankfully, the bullet didn’t get to your spine causing more damage and the surgery was successful. We waited for you to wake up from the anesthetic but, about that time, you seemed to have a terrible nightmare, we’re guessing it was of the incident because of what you were saying. This sent you into a shock that has kept you unconscious till now.”
As Kolade listened intently to what the doctor was saying, Vanessa was staring into her his face seeking clues to how he must be feeling. She remembered the last five days very differently but it didn’t matter now that he was back…back to her.
“Many cases stay in this state for weeks or months but you’re indeed a walking miracle. You make the likes of us wonder why we study medicine for at least a decade.” He laughed.
“We’ve kept a close eye on the injury to ensure it heals perfectly,” the doctor continued, “but we have to still keep you for a few days to ensure you are fine and we dress the wound daily.”
“Great! So, we can get married!” Kolade replied.
Vanessa couldn’t help laughing her disbelief. He must be joking.
The doctor laughed heartily again, it almost shook the room. “I wouldn’t advise rapid movements but, that’s up to this strong lady you have here.”
“KJ, how is that the only thing you can think of when I almost lost you?” her voice still slightly more than a whisper.
“Exactly!” She could see he was trying to bring back the gusto in his voice. “Babe, events of that night went by too fast but I remember the last thing I saw. It was you…your face. And, before I lost consciousness, I could only hope I wouldn’t cause you pain.”
Vanessa’s tears resumed.
“Babe, I almost lost you too and I’m not ready to live another day without you. So, will you marry me? We can call our pastor let him know the goodnews and tell him the ceremony will go as planned but just with family.” He paused to give a courteous wave to his doctor sneaking out to give them privacy and quickly returned his gaze to her.
“I know,” he continued wrapping her hand with his other hand, “It’s smaller than you wanted…”
“I don’t care anymore,” Vanessa interjected, “You being alive with me is more than I hoped for five days ago. I’m too happy I could get married right now!”
He laughed. “Oh yeah?! Let’s see if pastor is available. Call him now.”
They both laughed as she brought out her phone from her back pocket. It had definitely seen better days. She was about to call their pastor alright, but it wasn’t for a wedding that day.
👉 Not satisfied with this ending? Lol, me too! Read Epilogue now.
Thank you for reading the second chapter of this short story. It was birthed in and inspired by one of the toughest but most revolutionary times we’ve ever known in Nigeria’s history. #EndSARS #EndPoliceBrutality #LekkiMassacre #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria.
You can head on to read the Epilogue but don’t forget to comment below with your thoughts…it would mean so much to me.
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Till next time, speak up for what you believe in!