Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 15
UNITED STATE OF AMERICA
“Arike!” I heard a familiar voice that didn’t call my name the right way.
I whipped around in the airport,a smile spreading across my face as I saw aunty Sade and Daniel waving at me.
Daniel was the designated driver working at the Foster Home. I have known him for four years now and he was pretty close to my uncle.
“I missed you so much!” Aunty Sade said with an half smile.
“I missed you too!” I hugged her.
I exchanged pleasantries with Daniel who was about my age.
“Good to see you again,Arike!” Daniel grinned as he collected my boxes.
“Likewise Daniel.” I replied.
We made it out of the airport to the car. I hopped into the back seat with Aunty Sade while Daniel loaded the boxes in the booth.
“You must be really tired.” Aunty Sade said.
“Not really ma,I am okay.”
I am more concerned about my uncle who was still unconscious in the hospital.
“What about Busayomi?” She asked
“Oh she’s good! And she sent her greetings too.”
“I am sure she won’t be happy about you coming over.”
I shook my head. “She promised to visit soon.” I responded.
Daniel started the car. “What about Adedayo?”
My heartbeat accelerated at the mention of his name. I fiddled with my fingers trying to keep calm.
“I heard he got married.” She added.
I nodded. “It’s a good thing and I am happy for him.”
My hands were shaking. “He’s gonna miss you too!” She let out a soft laugh. “Ah! Dayo the troublesome boy! Playful Dayo is now a married man!”
She called him troublesome Dayo when we were little. Whenever he comes over to say hi at our home,he was always everywhere, talking to my uncle and his wife, keeping their company while I spend my time doing our homeworks or helping him with his notes. Those moments came crashing into my mind – Days I had spent with him as a best friend.
I reopened my eyes when I felt a touch on my hand.
“Are you alright?” She asked.
“Me? Yes! Yes…I am fine.” I withdrew from her.
“You don’t look too well. Are you sick?” She examined my palms with a worried look on her face.
“I am okay…let just worry about dad.” I said
“He’s going to be fine.” She gave me a reassuring smile.
Aunty Sade doesn’t know that I wasn’t returning back to Nigeria. She thought I was here for a vacation like I used to. But sooner she would find out because I have to tell her I am pregnant.
“Is there something bothering you?!”
We exchanged glances. I know I looked distracted and disturbed and distant. I was lost in thought.
“Talk to me…” She smiled.
“Actually…a lot of things happened back home.” I mumbled.
“What is it?” She asked looking straight in my eyes as if she was starting into my soul.
I broke the eye contact and looked out the window. No! I wasn’t ready to tell her about it. She already had so much to handle. Definitely not with Daniel here…maybe later I’ll summon the courage.
“I will tell you everything when we get home.”
I noticed Daniel looking at me through the mirror but I didn’t pay attention to him.
“You look tired.” He said.
“I will like to visit daddy before going home.” I said ignoring Daniel.
“No,you need to rest we can check in tomorrow.”
I shook my head in agreement. “You need to rest too.” I pointed to the dark circles beneath her eyes.
No doubt,she hasn’t had a good rest since Uncle Badejo got admitted.
Finally we reached the house. The children rushed towards me, screaming my name. “Miss Arike!!”
“Hello Babies!” I laughed, hugging each one of them.
I noticed new faces amongst the children and was ready to get to know them.
“Miss Arike,it’s good to have you back here again! The children really missed you!” Isabella,one of the workers around said excitedly.
“I missed you all too!”
Aunty Sade Introduced the children and two new staffs to me.
“Miss Arike,what about your best friend?” A five years old girl named Daniella asked. “What’s her name?” She tried to remember.
“The one that was here last year!” Steven clapped his hands.
“Miss Bu-Bu-” Daniella stopped with a sigh. I decided to help her out after seeing the look of frustration on her face.
“My friend,Busayomi is doing okay!”
“Is she coming tomorrow?” Another girl asked.
“No but she promised to visit us soon!” I replied.
The children screamed, excitement on their faces.
“You should rest now.” Aunty Sade whispered to me after I have spent a good time with the children. I nodded in agreement. I was tired.
She beckoned to two staffs to help me with my boxes into my room.
“Take a shower while I ask someone to prepare something for you.”
“Thank you ma”
I went into my room,searched for the line I always switch into whenever I was here. It was still intact as I had kept it in the drawer. I would change the number so that Dayo won’t be able to reach me. And I had warned Busayomi to never share it with him.
It is so sad that I didn’t get to see Bamidele before leaving Nigeria. He must be really angry at me for using him.
I slipped out of my clothes after fixing the line into the phone. I deleted Dayo’s number, promising myself that I would never call him even though I know his number by heart.
I sent a text to Busayomi to let her know I was home. I went into the bathroom to shower and did my thing.
As soon as I finished wearing my nightie, knock sounded on the door.
“Come in,” I said.
Aunty Sade walked in with a tray in her hand.
“Dinner,” she said
I went to collect the tray from her. “Thank you ma.”
“You’re welcome.” Then she walked away.
I woke up to feeling nauseous and sick. I managed to get out of bed before I messed up the whole place. I threw up in the toilet. God! This feeling is sickening! Tears pooled up in my eyes.
“Arike! Arike! Are you in the bathroom?!” I heard Aunty Sade’s voice in the room.
“Yes Ma!” I responded.
I rinsed my face and flushed the toilet before moving out to meet her.
“Good morning ma,” I greeted.
“Bawo ni? Se o sun dada?” She asked in our native language.
How are you? Did you slept well?
“Breakfast is rea -” she was interrupted by a beeping sound. I looked around.
“Oh sorry…it’s my phone.” She reached for her apron where she kept her phone.
“Hello…yeah..I am Mrs Sade….” She looked at me. “I am his wife..is everything okay?”
I moved closer to her,my heart pounding hard against my chat. It must be a call from the hospital.
“Please…how…is my husband?” She asked shakily.
Soon a smile broke out on her face. “He is awake!” She said.
Relief rushed through me. “Yes…I will be on my way!”
Then she disconnected the call. “Your dad is awake!” She said, tear dropped down her cheek.
“Thank God!” We said in unison as we hugged each other.
“I am coming with you.” I said when she pulled away from me.
“Yes…I am sure your dad would be happy to see you. Get dressed while I change too.”
“Yes Ma.” She rushed out of my room.
I had the quickest bathe, feeling excited to see my uncle and thankful that he had made it through. I could see the smiles on everyone faces when I stepped out of my room. They are definitely happy the boss was awake.
“Let’s go..” she gestured to me.
“Isabella,take care of the kids. We won’t stay too long okay?”
“I understand ma’am.” She replied.
We got into the car and made the trip to the hospital.
Aunty Sade hurried to the reception desk. “Please,I am here to see my husband who has been in ICU for some days now.”
“What’s the patient name?” The lady asked.
“Mr Badejo Thompson.”
“Oh! He has been moved to ward 206. Just go down the corridor and look -”
Aunty Sade didn’t wait for the receptionist to finish giving directions. I tried to keep up with her but she was moving too fast.
“Walk fast Arike.”
Finally we got to the ward where the doctor was just stepping out. “Excuse me, doctor.” Aunty Sade stopped him. He stopped to look at us.
“Oh ma’am…” A look of recognition registered on his face. “Your husband is awake.”
“How is he doing now?” I asked.
The doctor gave me a who-are-you look.
“She’s my daughter.” Aunty Sade said.
“Oh! Miss! Your dad is doing just fine.”
“Oh..thank goodness.” I mumbled.
“He should be discharged In few days time.”
“Thank you doctor. Can we go in to see him?” She asked.
“Yes…you can go in.”
We both thanked the doctor again before he walked away.
I was relief by the doctor’s words. I was thankful to God for giving my uncle a chance to live again.
“I am so happy he made it. ” She said happily.
I looked at the face of the woman who treated me like her own child. I don’t have a memory of her maltreating me when I was little. I could remember the day she said that I was the child she never had. And I don’t know if I would ever be able to repay them for their kindness.