It is funny how the female gender always has tears up her sleeves; you make them happy or hurt them the tears just find their way down. They could watch a movie and get mushy, even football matches could make them cry.
Jamal and Mark weren’t letting Vivian off so easy. Jamal had called Mark’s attention to her during the Carol at Martha’s school. “Your sister sang so well” she pouted in defense as Mark made maneuvered the car towards to the BRT station.
“You can drop us here” Jamal said
“Mark it’s so nice to meet you”, Vivian said as she shook his hands. The evening was windy as though rain could fall at any moment. But of course it was Harmattan season and the promise of rain would only be fulfilled in about three months
“The pleasure is totally mine, Jams here always has something new to tell me about you” Mark smiled “Please keep him on his toes.” He winked at Jamal who stood at her side.
“Sure I’d do just that, I hope you can find time to visit Tamar Mission Seminars when we invite you” she replied.
“I will love to be there” he assured as he drove off. They made their way into a bus, her phone rang; it was her grandmother. She explained that she was almost home and she would get the cucumbers and lettuce on her way home. The call ended and she looked out the window and saw the Christmas decoration vendors all hawking their wares, she loved the holidays, and the serenity it afforded her.
“And she is thinking about?” Jamal broke the silence
She sighed, “Not much, just random stuff… Er, you said Mark has another sister?”
“Yes he does, she is Mikhail”
“Hum really nice name, sounds Russian?”
“It is…you remind me of her; you both seem to have certain similarities”
“Seriously! Like?” she exclaimed
“Well she is stubborn, fierce but really soft and of course, she has an attitude” he smirked
That earned him a soft punch,” I don’t have an attitude”
“You did when I first met you and you still do, Vi”
“Yeah right, so what’s up with you and Mark? You could pass for brothers” Vivian asked
“We are brothers” he stuck a tongue out. “And why is you interested in him and his sisters?” he winked at her.
“What interests you interests me?” She stuck her tongue out back “I have gist for you sef “she said switching to Pidgin English
“About? Who is he?”
Vivian rolled her eyes, “He ko, it ni…I’d be travelling for the holidays to Ivory Coast…there is a 10days Guidance and Counseling training taking place and the package is awesome.” She dug her bag for the brochure and gave him. He scanned it and made a sad face
“You leave me no choice but to give thee a farewell hug.”
Two weeks later
“Mark listen attentively to me, your mother’s doctors came yesterday with new reports after her check up and said she has to undergo another surgery as the cancer had spread to some part of her lungs. They call it Secondary Lung Cancer” He sniffed as he talked; Mark held his breath hoping for the best “The thing is that she has refused to go through with the operation if she doesn’t see you all”
Mark tried to think, Lungs? “We could Skype from here that will make it quite effective”
“She has refused that option; she wants you all in India. You know how she is when she has made up her mind. She won’t even sign for the operation to be carried out. She either believes that this could be her last time of seeing us all or she needs to see you all to motivate her. Either way, the doctors have given her till Wednesday evening” he paused “My sister Temitope and her husband will handle your travelling arrangements.”
“Ok sir” Mark dried his eyes
“Mikhail has her last paper on Tuesday morning?” his Dad asked
“Yes she said so” Mark said
“I told her that we’d spend the holidays together as a family. After her paper on Tuesday, I will tell her the news.” His dad said “Mark, we really have to be ready for possibilities i.e. the side effects of the surgery. The doctors don’t sound too hopeful due to the exponential rate of the spread. Take the passports to your aunt this afternoon.” He walked back into the ward,” Your mom will speak to you now”
“Hey mom” from the screen what he saw was a shadow of his mother, she was assisted by the nurse to seat up, she tried to lift her hand.
“Sweetheart, I miss you all”
“I know, we will be with you soon” Mark paused “You will come out fine mom, I am certain” he sounded confident
She tried to smile, a tear slide down her cheek. She nodded.
“I am tired Biyi” she sounded breathless; her husband nodded and kissed her forehead. You can lean on me. Deep down in her, she knew he didn’t mean physically, but she was too tired to make even the spiritual move.
“Does death have to be this slow and painful?” she asked no one in particular
“Shhh, don’t say that. That’s not you talking, it the drugs…you have no agreement with death” Biyi reassured and took her hand. “Mark, she needs to rest, we will talk later. “
He nodded. “Mom we love you, try to be strong and you too, dad.”
Mark ended the call he crumbled in to a ball and the tears came as a rain…for so long he had tried to be strong, but this was just way out of his league, he screamed as he beat and punched his pillows
“No! No! Make all these go away” he screamed
An image came to his mind of him wrapping weed in brown papers and drinking beer with Supo and Bepo, he seemed to hear Supo mocking him, take these and end your sorrows. Where did that come from; he wondered, the tears poured out some more. The image came again with him taking a swig at the beer. Maybe it was not totally a bad idea if it could make all this pain go away.
He took his phone to dial Supo‘s number as the phone rang, he thought “I can’t do this; I have been clean for four years. Before Supo could receive his call, his aunt’s call came in, reminding him to get to her office as soon as possible. he dried his eyes and texted his Pastor.
“Good day sir, please I am in dire need of your prayers for myself and my family. I should be at your office tomorrow morning”
Then hit the send button.
Mikhail knew something was wrong but her dad and brother refused to talk much. Even Martha was oblivious of what was going on. But seeing Aunt Temitope, her husband, Mark and Martha after her paper on Tuesday morning told there was something she was not aware of. After greeting her visitors, she asked “What’s going on?”
“We have to get you all to the airport now your flight is scheduled for 1:30pm” Aunt Temi answered. Mark who was on call came to give her the phone. “Dad” he said
“Hi Princess, Your mom has asked that all of us be with her before she goes in for another surgery tomorrow evening” he paused “when you all arrive proper explanation will be done”
Mikhail was stunned, too stunned to think straight. She felt her knees buckle. “Ok dad”
As we draw the curtain on 2015, I sincerely appreciate you for your kindness. For me Oblivion has been a journey, I have some tears too as I write. Shout out to Okunrounmu Jolaoluwa (She is a very loyal sister and a great help to me), Alayande Olaide (A True Jamal), one young man that probably loves Oblivion to the marrow Aluko Temitope (God sent who kept pushing for something Fragrancish),Adedeji Sarah, Ishola Bunmi, Ayandeyi Kunle, Richard Adediji, Femi Ariyo, Moji Oni, Moses Adetule, Fatile DEJI, Aderounmu Tolulope, Louisa and several others I am unable list out.
I hope to bring more inspiring reads your way in year 2016.
May all Grace abound towards you in 2016. Do not depart from the Word of GOD, that your way may be prosperous and you’d have good success.
It’s all about Jesus; he only is our MESSAGE.
OBLIVION CONTINUES NEXT YEAR.
With love from,
Lutomi Modesola Okunrounmu.