Gradually, I came into consciousness as I felt a hand gently tapping mine.
Then, I heard a silky-smooth voice whisper in my ear, “Honey, wake up.”
I fluttered my eyes open. The nightlight which was switched on enabled my eyes to meet his. I could see how Kelechi’s eyes glinted with happiness and glancing at his whole face, I didn’t miss the broad beam he had.
I turned over onto my back as he greeted, “Good morning, honey.”
Because I was still sleepy, I managed to reply his greeting.
Before I knew it, my mouth opened wide as a sound resembling that of a rhinoceros escaped my mouth. I smacked my lips before asking, “Why are you up so early? It’s Saturday.”
“I know. And, it isn’t that early – only a few minutes to six.”
I drowsily sighed. “Okay.” I yawned again. Then with my eyes half-open I said, “Why did you wake me up? Did you have a dream?”
He gently held my right arm. “I just wanted to hear your voice.”
Those words made to be wide awake, causing me to sit up. It was unusual for him to say such words.
As I stared at him, I noticed how uncomfortable he was. He also looked sad.
“Um…” I held his arm, and he jumped a little. “What’s wrong?”
His eyes kept switching from left to right. I also noticed the rate of his breathing increased gradually.
“Brownie, what’s wrong? Why are you so nervous?” I asked him.
He didn’t answer but leaned forward and aggressively placed his lips on mine.
I wanted to push him off me because I hadn’t brushed but didn’t when I remembered he wouldn’t mind. I, instead, placed one of my hands on his chest and the other tightly held his arm. Soon enough, I let my lips move in synchronization with his.
His tongue slipped into my mouth, making me taste his already minty tongue. I shouldn’t have let him kiss me. His hands soon found their way under my night garment and he began to caress my thighs. That caused me to groan in his mouth.
Right after that, he pulled himself away from me and pinned his forehead on mine. “I love you, Oluwafisayo,” he breathed, “and I want you to know I love Taiwo and Kehinde too.”
“Kelechi,” I whispered against his lips, “why are you talking like this? Why are you sounding this way?”
He removed his forehead from mine and intensely fixed his gaze on me. “Tell me you love me.” His words almost sounded as if he was pleading; it was the same with his eyes.
“I do, but –”
“Say the words, Fisayo,” he stated emphatically, his eyes getting teary.
“Kelechi,” I stated emphatically as I raised my hands and held his face, “I – love – you.”
I searched his eyes to see if I could have an idea of why he was talking as if it was the last time he would see me. Unfortunately, I could not find any as he was an expert at hiding his feelings. The only thing I could get was he was melancholic about something I had no clue of.
So I resulted to ask him again: “But why are you speaking like this?”
He pulled me into an embrace. “Everything will be fine,” he said as he stroked my back.
I put my arms around him, hoping that it could give him some comfort over whatever was bothering him.
“I promise you,” Kelechi whispered. It was almost inaudible, but I heard it anyway.
After he released the hug, he encouraged me to go back to sleep. He apologised for disturbing my sleep as we cuddled.
The fact that his arms were very comforting and sleep-inducing made it very easy for me to drift back to sleep. But before that, I recalled his words and thought on them. He hadn’t told me what was going on, and knowing that whenever he did that it had to be for a very reasonable reason. I knew he would tell me eventually, still I wished it would have been now to relieve me of the suspense. I simply hoped it wasn’t something tragic that was going on that made him say, “Everything will be fine.”
“Sister Fisayo! Sister Fisayo, wake up.” That was the voice of my younger sister, Feyisayo. Her voice was accompanied by the vigorous way my body was shook, and I assumed she was the one who shook me.
I groaned, annoyed that she woke me from my sleep. “What is it?”
“It’s Uncle Kelechi: he fell; he’s bleeding.”
My eyes shot open once I digested her words. “He’s bleeding? What happened?” I sat up.
“I don’t know. I entered the kitchen so I could make breakfast but found him on the floor with blood very close to his head. When I got closer, I saw there was some water spilled at where his leg was. Then I heard whistling like the way the kettle normally does. I looked at where the kettle is kept and saw steam coming out of it. He probably was trying to boil water. I don’t know. But I switched the kettle off though.”
I quickly jumped off the bed and ran out of the room, heading quickly for the kitchen and hoping that Kelechi hadn’t lost a lot of blood.
When I entered the kitchen, everything that my sister had described was bare before me. As I advanced towards him, careful not to step on the spilled water in case it still flowed, I urged Feyisayo to get my phone. I hadn’t noticed she followed me downstairs until she pointed me in his direction.
I knelt at his head, taking it into my hands and taking a look at it. The bruise at the back of his head left me uneasy. The amount of blood on the floor was alone to make me start wondering if he’d be able to get out of unconscious once taken to the hospital and attended to.
Thankfully, Feyisayo didn’t take time in getting my phone. Once she handed it to me, I unlocked it and went to my favourites list on my contacts. I dialled the number of the one person that could help me know what else to do other than to put pressure on his bruise, which I already was doing.
“Flo,” I said as soon as she picked the call, “Please send an ambulance to my house. Kelechi’s bleeding terribly.”
“Ah! Ah!” she replied. “What happened?”
“He fell down. There was water on the floor and he slipped.”
“Sorry, dear. I’ll call an ambulance to your house and head there too. Just put pressure on the injury to reduce bleeding, okay?”
“Okay. Thank you.” Right then, I cut the call.
I glanced at Feyisayo, telling her to grab a napkin in the kitchen and hold it against Kelechi’s head while I go to my room to change out of night clothes.
Once she did what I asked her, I left the kitchen rushing to the room. In my mind, I hoped that Kelechi’s accident wasn’t going to cause any severe damages to his health.
As I got into the room, I switched on the lights and headed to my dresser to search for a dashiki gown.
I was half-way down the stairs, after slipping the cloth on and heading out of the room, when I saw Ebuka at the bottom of the stairs with a frown on his face.
“What’s with all the noise?” he yelled, his voice sounding cold. “Can’t I sleep peacefully in my brother’s house again?”
“Sorry about the noise,” I said, once I was at the bottom.
I walked pass him heading for the kitchen but was pulled back by him.
“Come back here!” he said. “I’m talking to you.”
I stared at his arm on mine before glancing to his face, being disgusted at the way he held me. If it wasn’t that Kelechi was in the condition he was in presently I would have scolded him over his lack of respect.
“Listen, Ebuka,” I said, “I don’t have time for this nonsense.” I shrugged my hand out of his and walked away.
“I said come back here!” he said behind me.
“You brother’s right there” – I pointed towards the kitchen – “unconscious and bleeding. I don’t have to deal with your nonsense. Please. I want to tender my husband until a doctor can handle his situation.”
When I entered the kitchen, Feyisayo still had the napkin around Kelechi’s head. She looked frightened and unsure of what she was doing.
Just then, I heard the siren of an ambulance. I told the Feyisayo to head out so she could direct the paramedics on how they’d get into the house and pick up Kelechi.
As soon as Feyisayo left my side, I heard Ebuka say, “What happened!” He knelt beside Kelechi, touching his leg, thigh, and looking at him from head to toe. He began asking rhetorically in Igbo what had happened to Kelechi; he also asked why his enemies wanted to punish him by causing his brother – the one who took of care him, his sister, and their parents – to be in such a manner.
As I watched him get more frantic than a woman could, I sneered, surprised that he actually had a heart to care for his elder brother. I never knew Ebuka could show this much concern for Kelechi until now.
Deciding that I didn’t want to watch him act, I took my eyes off him and set them on Kelechi. He looked very still, making me wonder how deep in unconsciousness he had gotten. At that moment, I feared that he could die because of the amount of blood he’d lost. I didn’t know exactly how blood was measured but it looked as if he’d already lost a pint – according to my imagination – and that sounded terrible in my mind’s ears when I told myself.
I shook my head, trying to dismiss the negative thoughts of losing Kelechi. If I continued to think that way, then it could happen. Hope soon filled my mind that he would be fine, even if it would take a long time for such to happen.
Just then, someone dashed into the kitchen. When I looked up, there was my friend and doctor, Florence Ayomide, and behind her was Feyisayo.
“I couldn’t get the hospital,” Florence said. “We’ll have to use my car.”
I glanced at Ebuka, and thankfully he seemed to know what I wanted to ask of him as he stood up and picked Kelechi off the floor onto his shoulder.
As he and Florence headed out, I faced Feyisayo, saying, “When the kids wake up and they ask of me and their father, tell them we’ve gone to the hospital. Is that clear?”
She nodded quickly before I left the kitchen. As I got out of the house, I didn’t see her or Ebuka and Kelechi. Thinking that perhaps her vehicle was outside, I headed for the gate.
Just as I got to the little opening, Elijah, the gateman, approached from outside. He moved away, pointing out towards outside of the gate. “They’re outside, madam.”
I thanked him before stepping out.
As I got to the vehicle, Florence was done helping Ebuka lie Kelechi in the back seat. Then, Ebuka took shotgun as Florence took her seat: the driver’s seat. I took the back seat, sitting at Kelechi’s head, before Florence zoomed off to the hospital, the siren on the roof of her car wailing.
Hey, guys. I hope you enjoyed this chapter.
If you think I should put some of the dialog in Igbo and Yoruba, comment a yes or no on this line.
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