I entered the room calling out to her “Fay, what is wrong with you?” Seating next to her, I touched her arm around the muscles and then her neck. Her temperature was on the high side.
“My God! Fay, you are seriously sick!” I said as she then turned towards me grabbing my hand. Looking at her face I saw tears running down the sides of her eyes.
“Baby, what’s wrong with you?” I asked, worried as I held her hand.
“Fury!” she paused, heaved a deep sigh and continued calmly, “I’m pregnant.”
To say I was scared is an understatement. A million thoughts ran through my head as I tried to come to terms with what she had just said. What would Frank think of me? Their parents? Mine? The strain I had just put on the beautiful relationship that had existed between us, her fiance.
But then again, my mom right from my childhood had always told us to take responsibility for all our actions. And again, I’ve always told myself that for a lady to get pregnant for me meant I have no problem getting married to her in that I slept with her without protection and should expect anything.
Shaking my hand lightly, she brought me out of my trance saying, “What do we do?”
I don’t know where I found my voice but taking her hand in both of my hands, I started calmly, bending towards her, “Fay, come what may, I’ll be with you through this. But right now, your temperature ain’t looking too good. You need medical attention.”
I saw the tears flow even more and I made to clean them with my hand as she asked “Are you sure? Promise me you’ll stand by me,” still sobbing.
“I promise.” I said, meaning every single word of it. “But firstly, we need to take you to the hospital or something. Lemme go call mom,” I said, standing up to leave the room as she held on to my hand and whispered, “Don’t say anything to anyone about it yet.” I guessed she meant the pregnancy part.
Stepping out, I heard frank flushing the WC. I waited for him to come out. “Why are you standing here?” he asked, rubbing his stomach.
“Favour is sick. Her temperature is something else,” I said calmly, avoiding his eyes while trying to stay composed. “I just saw her now and wanted to go call mom.”
“Ha! dis her malaria don start again,” he responded and entered her room. I followed closely behind him and stood close as he nursed her. Then, standing up to go call his mom he said, “She has a phobia for drugs and injections and usually prefers to lock herself when she feels sick, hoping to get better when she wakes up.”
I said nothing as he left the room and then moved closer to her knowing this wasn’t one of her ‘malaria’ this time around. Minutes later, mom entered the room followed by Frank and dad.
Frank turned on the brighter light as mom sat next to her, surprisingly scolding her in their local dialect. All I noticed was she kept shedding tears. Dad was rather calm as I noticed him dial a number. He also spoke in their local dialect for some seconds before ending it with, “Okay, they’re on their way.”
Turning to Frank, dad said, “Go and get the car keys and take her to XYZ Clinic. Fury, help mom take her out. Mom wanted her to walk while we both supported her but I just put an arm around her waist and the other around her neck and lifted her up. I took her out of the room while I noticed dad return to their own room. Mom walked behind us as we went outside. Frank opened the back door and I placed her in the back seat and got in next to her. I was expecting mom to get in the passenger seat in front but she instead held the gate open as Frank drove out.
“Is she not coming?” I asked him, referring to mom to which he answered in the negative, saying it wasn’t something we couldn’t handle. Fay then rested her head on my lap. We got to the clinic a few minutes to 9pm and Frank asked me to wait while he went in. All the while as we made our way to the private clinic, I ran my hand through her hair as I was deep in thoughts wondering why things always happen when one least expected.
When Frank left the car, I gently bent down and gave her a peck while also reassuring her I was gonna be with her till the end. It wasn’t love, I just knew living up to my responsibility was the right thing to do. She in turn just squeezed my hand in approval. Minutes later, Frank returned with a nurse and then I helped Fay get out of the car before lifting her up as the nurse led the way to a private ward and room.
A young doctor came in with an elderly matron who began to speak their local dialect with Frank and Fay. Minutes later, she was already placed on drip because of how weak she looked in just a matter of minutes from the house to the clinic.
In all these, I just stood aside buried in my own thoughts of possible scenarios and whether to open up to Frank on our way home or just relax. I decided I’ll wait since she asked me not to tell anyone anything yet. We left the hospital after about 40 minutes there. She was already asleep when we left.
On our way back Frank started, “Whenever she just starts thinking, she becomes depressed and fever kicks in.”
“What does she think about?” I asked, pretending to be interested in the fact that he might know why she’s feverish. Deep down I knew what was happening.
“Her parents and siblings,” he said as he angrily honked for a pedestrian who was walking on the road.
“So, what about them?” I asked, showing genuine interest this time around.
“They died in an accident when she was 10. Her dad, mom and twin brothers aged 3. She was here on holidays and was about to begin secondary school. Her mom was mom’s younger sister. And since then, none of her dad’s siblings have ever bothered to know where she is, if she went to school, or if she’s still alive. Sharing his few belongings was all they did. So, once in a while when she starts thinking about the fact that for over 15 years none of them have looked for her, she becomes sick.”
“Wow!” I thought to myself. So, all I thought I knew about her was wrong? Example being that she was a distant relative (I began to wonder where I even got that from again). Then it began to bother me all the more. Truly, despite all what Frank’s parents had done for her, she disappointed them by being pregnant for someone. Worst still not her fiance.
“So, what will happen now? How long is she gonna stay at the clinic?” I asked, not sure of what to say as I was deep in my own thoughts.
“She’ll return tomorrow. The matron is our aunt. That is, she’s my mom’s youngest sister. The last born of my grandma.” he said as we continued the journey home.
“So, what about her fiance?” I asked when we got to the gate.
It was at this point I saw Frank smile ever since I notified him of her fever earlier in the evening. “Don’t mind her, she doesn’t have a fiancé. She broke up with her boyfriend from uni during service and she’s been single since then. That’s the excuse she gives so as not to be bothered by guys.”
“I don die!” I thought to myself as I alighted to open the gate for him to drive in.
To be continued…