Mrs Onoriode stole a glance at him. She wasn’t surprised he immediately searched for her, she knew he would but didn’t think he would succeed. She couldn’t continue to turn a blind eye to the things that had happened around her. The reality was a simple one she accepted already, which was Fegor wasn’t going to get better. There wasn’t any hope for her. Tejiri was already waiting on his mother to gain consciousness, how could she tell him bout his wife? How would he cope with her?
It was okay to hope if there was something worth hoping for. Her daughter just wasn’t a hope she wanted Tejiri to have. It wasn’t a life she wanted for him. Fegor felt frightened and pushed Mrs Jite, she ended up in the hospital. She could do anything next especially if someone wasn’t around. She thought the best thing for him would be to help him get rid of the problem. She couldn’t look him in the eye. She felt sorry for him.
Mrs Onoriode lifted her eyes to look at him through the rearview mirror only to find him staring back at her. She quickly looked away. He would always remind her of how selfish she was and her decision to desert him. A mother shouldn’t be so heartless she would leave her child but she did, he had pointed it out to her. There was strength in numbers and he needed her to pull through. At the end of the day, she couldn’t say he had a wife but he could say he had another mother.
‘Aren’t you going to answer your call?’ Ruks asked without looking at him. ‘It has been ringing for a while now. It could be important’
Tejiri kept staring at his wife’s mother. She wasn’t comfortable. His eyes showed so much love and affection, she wished her daughter could give him all of them. Maybe it was her mind playing tricks on her. She turned her gaze to her quiet daughter beside her who had a distant look.
Fegor is better off without you. I hope you realize it and move on. Mrs Onoriode said inwardly, patting her daughter’s arm affectionately, before bringing her knuckles to her lips for a kiss.
‘You will be fine’ she whispered, though she knew it was a lie. Was she a bad mother for giving up on her daughter? Or was she being realistic? Fegor felt comfort in presence of a nurse not her mother which she couldn’t recognise. She made the right decision and didn’t regret it. When Tejiri’s mother is better, he wouldn’t have need for her to stay. She prayed it happened sooner.
Mrs Onoriode wipe a tear from the corner of her eye. She exhale silently and stared out the window. The nurse beside Fegor couldn’t help but notice her tear and how the man in front kept staring at her.
‘Please go to the hospital’ Tejiri requested looking behind to his wife.
‘Why?’ Ruks questioned.
‘She has to start treatment immediately’ T.J replied.
‘Alzheimer has no treatment or cure’ Mrs Onoriode replied sadly.
‘Al…alzhe…’ Ruks stuttered.
‘Fegor is sick like real sick. So you can drop us at the hospital. Thank you’ his voice cold stopped his struggle to comprehend the word.
Ruks turned sharply to him. What did he do now? The drive to the hospital was quiet.
Erica wasn’t able to get through to Tejiri after he left the hospital in a rush. She didn’t know where he went off but she guessed it was to find his wife. She sat on the cold ground. She dragged her feet until her knees reached her chest, wrapping her arms around it. She glanced around her studio, her eyes spot a picture frame. It was meant to be her gift for Ruks. She didn’t see any opportunity to give him before he abruptly cancelled their wedding.
She missed him. She still didn’t know why he cancelled their wedding. He hadn’t made any effort to reach out to her, it was just pure silence from him. If she could stop caring bout….
‘Have you seen my brother?’ A female voice jerked out of thoughts. Her face looked familiar.
‘I am Tejiri younger sister. Is he here? There is an emergency at the hospital’
Erica was instantly alarmed. ‘Is your mom okay? I haven’t been able to get through to him since I left the hospital hours ago’
‘If you get through to him, please tell him to come to the hospital’ She said before turning around and walked out. He wasn’t in his office. Mine had thought she would meet him at the studio he had been hanging out since Ruks wedding preparation started. She tried his calling him again but he didn’t answer. He
Mine growled in frustration. Where are you? She regretted not having his best friend’s contact. How does she contact him? He could be with him.
Tejiri sat on a bench in the corridor. His head in his hands. He hadn’t had a moment alone to process anything, he simply acted on impulse. His phone was rang, he reach it from his pants, it was Mine. He didn’t know why they had been calling him, he had no idea his mother’s condition was critical and he was needed. He simply assumed he would be nagged again.
He sighed tiredly, dropping it beside him. He didn’t want to hear rants bout his lack of concern for his mother or being blamed for her condition. He didn’t notice his friend beside him.
‘Not now please’ Tejiri pleaded.
Ruks was at lost. First he wanted to talk to him, now he didn’t want him speaking. He had informed him bout his mother in law leaving, the least he could…he abruptly stood up and walked away.
‘Ruks’ Tejiri called after him. He shouldn’t have spoken to him in that tone. Ruks ignored him. He clasped his face. He was tired. He needed to stay put till the doctor spoke to him bout his wife. He leaned back on his seat and dozed off almost immediately.
Mrs Onoriode watched him from a distance. He must be tired. She thought to herself. Juggling work and two hospitals. She sighed. She wanted to reduce his burden but he didn’t seem to notice it. She walked back to her seat beside Fegor’s nurse.
‘Where are you?’
‘Hello there. I am fine, thanks for asking’
‘I don’t have time for this, it’s an emergency. Is T.J with you? Do you know where he is?’ Erica questioned over the phone.
‘He is at the hospital.’
‘With Fegor?’ She paused briefly. Was he able to get through to her? ‘His sister came by my studio earlier, very worried. She couldn’t get hold of him’ she explained.
‘I will send you the address’
‘Thank you Rukevwe’ Erica said and hang up. He stared at his phone. He hadn’t seen her since she visited his office and his name….the only person beside his parents who called full name. He missed her. He miss talking to her, her smile, her company. The way her eyes lit up when she’s painting.
He entered his car. He didn’t feel like leaving. Erica would come by to see Tejiri, he would see her even from a distance. He wouldn’t be so far away if he had married her like he intended.
He sent her the address and waited. He was certain of her arrival. He could have told T.J the message but he wasn’t exactly talking to him. She had bounded with his best friend over the past weeks, it almost feel like she replaced him in his life. Ten minutes later, Erica hurriedly entered the hospital. He easily spotted his ex-fiancé.
‘Why did I cancel the wedding?’ Ruks muttered.
‘Why didn’t you take my call? There is an emergency at the hospital. We have to go now’ Erica said in a breath waking up Tejiri. He blinked blankly at her.
‘T.J! Emergency at the hospital’ all traces of sleep quickly disappeared. He became alarmed.
‘Mine came by my studio. No one knows where you are and you are not answering your phone.’ She explained.
Tejiri was bout to go find Mrs Onoriode when she appeared before him. ‘Go with her, I will update you’
She watched them ran out of the hospital.
Tejiri got to the hospital as quickly as he could. The atmosphere seemed heavy, his steps slowed as he got closer. He could sense something wrong. His family would sit beside the door of their mother’s ward but instead he found only Mine. His heart skipped a beat.
‘Where have you been?’ Mine asked angrily without lifting her head as she heard footsteps approach.
‘Where is dad-‘
‘Where…the hell….have you been?’ She groaned. ‘I…I searched for you. What’s in a call?’ She lifted her head to glare at him. He saw her tear steaked face. ‘A…a call Tejiri…a call…you should have…’ She stood up. ‘Where have you been?’
‘Is mom okay?’ Tejiri couldn’t help have feel scared. Why was she looking for him?
Mine continued to glare angrily at him. If she could choose, she would choose Tejiri to go in place of their mother. A son who wasn’t present when he’s mother needed him was of no use to her.
‘If you cared enough you would have been here’ she yelled at him.
‘Please calm down. This-‘.
A hot slap silenced her. Mine hit her right across her face. Erica smooth her cheek glaring back at her.
‘If it was your mother that was asking for her son over and over again, you wouldn’t open the trash to ask me to calm down’
‘You didn’t have to hit her. I am here now. If mom is asking for me, why de-‘
Tejiri was quick to see her hand advancing dangerously at his face. He grabbed her arm mid air. ‘What is your problem? You can’t just go bout slapping others’
Mine was furious. She yanked her hand from his grip.
‘Calm down please’ Erica pleaded. ‘I told him your message as quickly as I could’
‘You want a thank you?’ She questioned sarcastically. She turned to her brother. Tears gushing out, her heart in a throes of pain, her whole being shaken to the core. She muttered courage to answer his question because she knew it would be the last time she would ever speak to him. ‘Mom woke up.’ Her voice soften. ‘She asked for you. Where is T.J she asked in a weak voice. She asked us over and over….until she couldn’t wait for you any longer’