Life is a bundle of thin lines; a thin line between white and black, right and wrong, falling asleep and the first seconds of waking up. Kofoworola Martins knew one too many thin lines, but this was reality, she was on a thin line between life and death. Since the results came in she had made a conscious decision to fight Cancer with all of her. Yes she knew it; she listened carefully to what the doctors had to say and the options given her, which was what medical science could provide. That’s science, she believed in something stronger, someone truer; The Man Christ Jesus.
“A penny for your thoughts, Mrs. Socrates” Biyi asked
Kofo looked up from drying the dishes; it gave her something to do rather than sitting down and being babied. “Mark seems to be taking the situation as a man; we talked at length this afternoon and prayed too” she smiled and continued “his determination reminds me of you, he believes I will be fine in a little while”
“Of course you will be” he moved close and hugged placing a peck on her forehead
“Mikhail will be home this weekend” Kofo said
“Mikhail, I have a confession” Dotun said
“Tell me” she prepared herself to be shocked
“I have seen the Moonquake movie before” he said, awh he is so charming she thought to herself
“Hun”, she made a sound like she didn’t care a bit.
“I find the movie boring and unrealistic, watching you devour up my cakes was the scene I loved the most”
“Devour?” she feigned a pout
She had pretended to busy watching the movie by giggling and making small talk while in the cinema hall it gave her the opportunity to not talk so much. But now, as they strolled on the street, she knew she’d have to talk. “I dint devour, I only did what any person with a sweet tooth will do” she smiled
“Right, Mikhail” he continued, he took her hand as they crossed to the other side of the road. “I like you Mikhail, and wouldn’t mind if we made these dates official” he said it so casually
“Dotun we had an agreement, this is not a date…” she remarked
“That’s one of the side effects of walking so close to a pretty girl, one’s thinking and vocabulary just gets scrambled up. I would like to date you, Mikhail”
“I’d think about it, Tell me about Dusk&Dawn” she tried to change the subject hoping he would yield.
Apparently, she asked the right question for he launched into details of his company and his aspirations.
Later that night as she about sleeping, she brought out a well-worn pink book. She began writing on a fresh page
I have read much about butterflies and how they find their way into the human anatomy; fluttering across the tummy. I must confess that it’s not as I read, its real as though my heart skips a beat…literally, my breathe is taken away…
You remember that guy I told you about, the one from Dad’s birthday party; the one Momo asked me to Google…well He is the reason for the butterflies. His name is Dotun though I like to call him Bosun, he has such piercing eyes…
Our outing tonight was fun, he asked officially to date me, of course I said I’d think about it…then again what is there to think about I am almost nineteen…I think I like him…
“Let me help you with that mom”, Mikhail said as she took the cup coconut oil from Kofo and used it to massage her mom’s scalp…
“What’s up at school these days?”
Mikhail was home to for the weekend, “It is alright ,I have been studying so much my results will show” she gladly said
“Ehen en” her mum smiled.
“In fact before the results come in, my neck is already giving you signs”. She stretched her neck as an ostrich, her mom busted into a throaty laughter
“What about the boys?” He mom asked with a teasing smile
“Mom, what boys?”
“You tell me… Isn’t there anyone you want to tell me about?”
“Hum, no one yet Mom, only made a new friend kind of”
“What does new-friend-kind-of mean?” Her mom leaned in and asked in a sister to sister fashion.
“Friend sha, I will update you, ma if anything pops up” she continued “On a serious note mom, my neck is a summary of what I have been doing this semester”
She did the funny neck action all over, as he mom busted into another round of laughter, “you think I’d let you off that easy”… as Biyi and Mark entered the room
“We have raised a comedienne” Kofo said to Mikhail’s father Biyi, “I have been laughing so much since she got back”
“Mom, what are you saying? I make you laugh, a lot Mark” he purred like cat
“You make me smile a lot. Martha also does both” she sighed as Biyi took the space beside her. Mikhail knew something was different like they wanted to make an announcement. She looked at Mark and wondered all the more about what was going on.
Her father cleared his throat and said “Mikhail, sit a while; there is something we want to tell you”
“Ok?” She said and took her seat, Mark sat beside her
“Well” Kofo took Biyi’s hands “as a woman grows older, her body begins to change. Of these changes, I noticed some abnormalities hence we, i.e. your dad and I went to the hospital and where some tests were done and further confirmatory tests were done”
It was obvious that her mom had gathered a lot of strength to do this so she looked at her mother, she tried to smile at least to encourage her,
Kofo took a deep breath” well the reports say that there are cancerous cells in my body…Stage 2 Breast Cancer”
Oh my God, Mikhail thought though not as an exclamation, she thought several things at once my mother must not die, how bad could it be, what does this mean?
She looked up and asked “What are the doctors saying? What exactly does that mean?”
“Well it means that it has spread especially under arm but I am still alight and require proper medical attention as soon as possible. I have been given some options mastectomy, Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy” Kofo patiently explained
“Ok, which are we going for?” Mikhail asked her mother
“We” She looked up at Biyi and smiled “that so sweet of you”
Her mom turned to her and said, “I will be have been scheduled for a total mastectomy that is total removal of the breast and we are also considering Radiation therapy after the surgery” Mikhail stood up and hugged her mother. The tears she was holding had made their way out of her eyes.
Her father continued, “we are leaving for India tomorrow as your mom is to see her oncologist on Monday, for now we don’t know how long we would be away, we leave all in Mark’s care.” Mark was unusually quiet, Kofo spoke up, “Mark, Mikhail” looking them both in the eye “I’d be back we still have a lot to do together.”
Jamal was uneasy, his heart was heavy yet he blamed it on the beans he ate that night he tossed and turned. He stretched his hand to pick his phone from the top of his drawer. He unlocked his phone by drawing its pattern.
A missed call from Mark and a message from Phillip… he called Mark, he picked at the third ring
Jamal: Hey Mark! What’s up? I missed you call
Jamal noted that he sounded dull
Mark: Just checking on you
Jamal: Oh I am good and you?
Mark: I am ok…just sorting out some things
Jamal : ok? Like?
Mark: my mom, she is sick…breast cancer, man
Jamal: oh, I am sorry, how bad has it spread?
Jamal heard his friend sniff…his voice sounded quiet…
Mark: stage2, really bad but can still be continued, we are hopeful
Jamal: And your sisters? How are they taking it?
Mark: Martha is still at school, she was just told that mom was sick and would be out of the country for a while…I just left Mikhail, she has been crying much. You know they are so close
Jamal: Yeah, it is all working out for good bro… I am praying for you all. I hope we can see vry soon
Mark: I hope, thanks brov…much love
He hung up
Mikhail’s head hurt so much from crying, she had to process the last six hours. She sat up and wrote
Life just threw me a nasty punch, the annoying part is that life continues…
It continues like its innocent, like nothing just happened, but the truth is something just happened…life just happened. I can’t deny it… my mother is floating; she is here but is she really?, whether I’d see her again I can never answer for myself, if she can ever be the same again if she recovers? I can’t tell about my family also and there is Bosun…
I think there is a thin line in fact it’s so thin I just crossed It without knowing… the thin line between what is and what will be; the present and the future.
A little thought as we bring out our Christmas decorations and go about all the traditions…bear this in mind Wise Men Still Seek God.
GOD BLESS YOU.
Lutomi Modesola Okunrounmu