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The tension that Prisca was feeling was exceedingly high and Belina had lost ideas as to how to comfort and pacify her. Tony had grown considerably worse before she arrived the hospital, making her lose focus, nearly leading to accidents a number of times. Prisca hadn’t taken Tony to his own hospital because she trusted the better hands of Richard since he was known to be exceptionally good in the field, just like her own husband. The nurses had rushed to help Tony out, providing the stretcher when Tony could not muster the strength to walk on his own. Prisca was beside herself with fright, even though she had put up a bold front throughout the drive to encourage her husband.
Belina had rushed to the hospital immediately Prisca called. Belina had never envisioned a situation where her sister and best friend would be in such distress and seeing it actually happen was almost more that Belina could bear.
“It is going to be OK Pric” Belina tried to pacify again. “Why don’t you sit down for a minute?”
Prisca paced, her hands were flying in all directions. “What is happening in there Lina?” she asked, looking totally unlike her usual self. “Is my Tony still breathing?”
“What sort of ridiculous question is that? He is definitely breathing, why are you being negative?” Belina snapped. The nervous state was already rubbing off on her.
“He was having trouble breathing Lina, he was actually gasping” she gasped out. “Do you think you could check what is going on?” she held Belina’s cloth with unsettled eyes. “You are Richard’s wife, they would let you in, please”
Belina exhaled and pulled Prisca into her arms. “Calm down, He is going to be alright, let’s just have faith”.
Prisca cried bitterly and her tears soaked Belina’s clothes without notice. “I have prayed more prayers these past five days than I have done since I was born. Why did God choose to test me this way?” she cried out. “Have I not been a good enough person? If I haven’t, why does God have to take it out on Tony and not me?”
“Stop saying that” Belina said softly and held Prisca’s face in her two hands. No matter how hard she tried to contain her emotions, tears slipped from her eyes. It was terribly hard seeing her sister in pains; she definitely did not deserve this. “You are the sweetest and nicest person on the face of the earth, I am sure that this is just a test, it will pass.” She whispered. “C’mon, sit here, let me get you a cup of tea” Prisca shook her head.
“What is going on here?”
Prisca and Belina turned to see Pat standing close to them, looking very confused and alarmed. “What is going on?” she asked again. “Where is dad?”
Prisca hurriedly dried her face. “Baby, calm down. Dad is fine”
“Stop this mum, I am not a kid who needs to be pacified; tell me what is going on. I want to know what is going on with my dad” she breathed and her face transformed, looking more unreadable and tense. “Mummy B” she called, pleading. Her eyes went straight to the door at the far end of the room. She knew that her dad must be somewhere behind that door, if she could enter fast enough without being stopped…
Belina and Prisca read the look in her eyes before she could carry out her thought. “Calm down Pat” Prisca said.
“Your dad is receiving treatment, he would be fine” Belina said softly.
Patricia nodded several times. No, I am not the crying type so I won’t develop the habit now, she told herself. Michael’s words about her father came back like a flood and she had to shake her head to drive it away. She blinked severally and took a deep breath. “What happened?”
“Why don’t you both sit down” Belina whispered and thankfully, they both complied. She rushed off to get something for the two of them; they really needed to calm down. Belina blinked several times but tears continued to drop. She wiped off her face steadily. Tony is alive, so there is no reason why I should cry, she told herself.
Belina rushed back with steaming cups of tea but found neither of them. She dropped the tray instantly and started searching for them. After asking the staff, she discovered that they had stepped out of the hospital. She instantly went in search of them. Neither of their cars was taken so she presumed they went on foot. She rushed to the road and sighted the color of Prisca’s jacket afar off. She picked up her full gown and started running hastily. Of all days, she obviously chose a wrong time to put on a flowing gown. Trousers would be excellent at a time like this, she thought. She got a bit closer and was now certain that it was indeed Prisca and Pat. “Prisca” she shouted on top of her lungs but it was obviously not loud enough for Prisca or even Pat to hear. It was getting darker and Belina became very worried. She never should have left the two alone; a staff could have brought the tea. She breathed and started running again.
Belina got closer and closer and finally slowed down to be able to catch her breath. Prisca was holding on to Pat’s hand tight as they walked and Belina felt the bond between them. “We should tell Tina” she heard Pat whisper to Prisca. “It is unfair that she is completely in the dark”
Prisca exhaled shakily. “She should be able to focus in school. This is her final year and she has exams which begin in two weeks. This news would totally destabilize her” Prisca said.
Belina breathed. “Prisca” she called.
The two women turned sharply.
“What is this? You got me terribly worried. Where are you going off to”
Prisca swallowed. “We are looking for a church Lina. I need to tell God to save my husband for me” she breathed. “I have been saying this in the hospital but maybe God is focused on churches today, so my prayer would have a better chance if I also go to a church”
Pat looked away, struggling to keep her composure. Belina went to hold Pat’s hand. “Why don’t we all go together then” she smiled softly.
They sighted a church and they all entered. The church was really small but luckily, it was open, unlike all the closed ones that Pat and her mum had discovered earlier. They walked into the sanctuary and reached the alter in no time. Prisca knelt before the altar and was silent. Belina knelt beside her also and held her hand tight, linking their fingers. Pat stood behind them, looking at the pulpit like it was some sort of unknown creature.
“Father” Prisca began. “Do you remember the day I was joined with my husband? It is still fresh in my memory. There was so much happiness in my heart that day because Tony and I were able to keep your commandments. We were joined together in your presence, till death do us part. But Lord, you never told me that we would be parted this soon” she cried. Belina gripped her sister’s hand as fresh tears sprang to her eyes. “Remember God; that you promised to satisfy us with long life. I am not ready to be a widow, Lord. Look at me; I am not ready to lose my husband.” She cried. “He is going through too much pain” she cried. “Please make a way. Please Father”
This was definitely too much for Belina to bear. She gathered Prisca in her arms and rocked her. Pat ran her hands through her mum’s hair, trying to pacify her. Prisca suddenly raised her head. “Your dad may be fine now” she said to Pat. “Lina, should we go back now?” she asked and Belina nodded. Prisca wiped her face and got up. Patricia stayed back.
“I would join you there” she said.
Belina looked concerned. “Why? You are pretending to be strong Pat; it is alright to show your emotions. Are you sure I shouldn’t stay with you?”
Pat smiled. “I am sure. Mummy needs to be at the hospital for dad, I would just take some minutes. Please stay with her, Mummy B”
“Pat? Your dad would like to see you too, let’s go” Prisca said softly.
“I would be there, please”
Belina nodded and kissed Pat’s cheek before leading Prisca out.
Patricia stood for more than one minute, looking at the altar without saying a word. She absolutely believed in God, seeing the way her family members referenced God made her know that there must be something special about God. Although, Patricia was still somewhat unsure of where she stood in God’s heart. The only set of people who loved her in the world were her parents, her sister, Tina; her aunt and uncle Richard and Alexa. Apart from those people and a few minor friends whom Pat could not even vouch for, it seemed that no one else loved her. No one really cared about the soft personality behind the strong façade that she carried around. No one had made Pat feel like a girl.
She stared at the altar. What is to determine that it was any different with God? She wondered. If everyone does not love me, how do I know if God feels any differently? She swallowed the bitter thought. “God, I know you may not love me as much as you love others, I understand because frankly, I am not exactly loveable.” She said, pointing to herself. “Although, I love my parents a lot. I don’t want my father to die. My mum is suffering terribly and my sister in completely in the dark. If you won’t do this for me, please do it for my mum, I am sure you love her very much. She is hurting because of dad, please. Thank you sir” she nodded and looked around before turning and walking out of the church.
The breeze blew pat’s hair as she walked slowly out of the church and back on the road. She shivered as the breeze chilled her skin, giving her Goosebumps. She dreaded entering the hospital because she had no idea what news she would receive. Her mind flashed through all the times she had spent with her dad. The times they all went on vacation together, going on sea and paddling canoes. The times her dad had sat her down, talking about all the romantic times he had with her mum. Patricia hugged herself tightly and swallowed the lump that clung to her throat. She turned into the hospital and hesitated. Her eyes blurred with tears and she blinked severally. She cast away negative thoughts and entered the hospital with renewed strength.
Immediately she entered, the first person she saw was Marcel. She paused. What is he doing here? Marcel’s gaze shifted and collided with hers and she saw something change in his facial expression. Pat noticed Alexa immediately she started coming towards her.
Alexa hastened her steps, almost running. “Pat” she gasped out and enveloped Patricia in a warm embrace without even giving her a moment to think. Pat was the one who comforts others and it felt strange being comforted.
“Stop being a baby Alexa, dad is alive and he would be for a very long time” she said sharply, trying to dislodge Alexander’s arms.
Alexa’s hands only tightened. “He is definitely not dying till he is filled with grey hairs, Pat; I just want to hold you”
Marcel was now directly behind the duo. Pat feigned a cough. “Well, this is more or less like a murder case because you are choking me half to death with this hug”
Alexa pulled back and shook her head. “What would I do with you?”
Pat’s response only stayed in her brain. She stared at Marcel, wondering why he had come. Alexa apparently must have given him the gist. He opened his mouth and was about to say something but Pat’s attention was immediately diverted. She sighted her mum rushing towards her uncle, Dr Richard and she instantly raced there. She held her mum as she gazed up at Richard.
“Richard, how is Tony?” Prisca asked instantly, grabbing Richard’s hand.
“How is my dad sir?” Pat asked shakily.
Richard looked very weary and tired and Belina went to secure her arms around his waist comfortingly. Tony had been Richard’s best friend since forever and this was definitely hard for him. Alexander shook and Marcel wrapped his arms securely around her, wishing he could do the same for Pat who was determined on putting up a brave front.
“He is in a critical condition.” Richard managed. “He can’t leave here under any circumstance for the time being. He has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit, he would receive adequate care there”
“But when would he get better” Pat yelled and then realized that her voice had been too high. “I want to see my dad”
Prisca pulled Pat closer. “Richard, please I need to see Tony” she did not waste time cleaning the tears that dropped. She had dreaded this.
“Not now, please wait a few more minutes; I would inform you when you can see him. One person at a time. Prisca, please be strong, Tony is a fighter, he won’t leave us.” Richard said softly. He stared at Pat and went to meet her. Patricia felt shaken to her bones and she did not know when she hugged Richard. He was just like a father, just like her father, but yet, not her father. “He would be fine” Richard whispered and kissed her forehead. Carefully excusing himself, he went to his office, feeling like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Belina entered Richard’s office when she was finally able to leave Prisca and Pat, and met Richard sitting on his seat, leaning forward, with his head in his hands. He looked totally drained and Belina hastened towards him. Tony’s case had turned Richard to a workaholic, always studying to see if he could invent a new method of treatment, since it was taking forever to find a suitable donor. She reached him but he did not seem to notice her presence. Her heart bled. It was terrible enough that Tony was sick but it was even worse seeing how much it affected everyone. Belina stayed behind Richard and gently placed her hands on his shoulders. He did not seem shocked so she knew that he was aware of her presence. She massaged his shoulders slowly and softly, releasing the tight knots until she felt him relax beneath her fingers. “Honey?” she whispered softly.
Richard exhaled. “I have failed” he declared. “Tony is going through so much pain and there is nothing I can do about it”
Belina swallowed. “Don’t say that Richie, don’t do this to yourself. There is still hope; we can still find a donor”
“When? When the worst has happened?”
Belina froze. “Stop it Richard. Look at me” she said and forced his head up by herself. “Stop being negative, nothing would happen to Tony, he would be fine. Fine. God has been with Best Results Hospital, providing miracles even at the least expected times. We must not lose faith now, please” she pleaded.
Richard looked at her for a long time and finally exhaled, pulling Belina onto his laps. Belina curled against his chest, pushing her head against the curve of his neck. She felt completely at peace and protected with Richard’s arms around her. Richard put his nose in her hair and inhaled deeply, having the rich scent wash away his fears. Belina was always his medicine and he would forever be grateful to God that he married his own missing rib and not someone else’s. “I love you” he whispered and she smiled, cuddling closer.
Pat stayed with her mum till they were informed that one person could go in to see her dad. Prisca sprang up instantly and went inside. Patricia exhaled deeply, feeling this painful. heaviness deep within. Pat felt a presence and turned to see Marcel hovering over her. He smiled softly, one of those compassionate smiles and lowered himself beside her. He sat beside her quietly, and she felt the heat emanating from him. She fought the urge to touch him.
“Are you not going to say anything?” Pat asked.
Marcel shrugged. “I think you don’t want to feel my concern for you from my words since you did not accept it from Alexa, so I figured it would be better if I just sit with you”
Pat swallowed. “Why did you come?” She asked.
“You did not leave me when I needed you, I won’t do that now. You pretend not to need anyone but I know better”
Patricia turned her head and her eyes locked with his. Marcel pulled her side against his until her head lay stiffly on his shoulders. He rubbed her arm until the chill she felt was replaced by his warmth and she started to relax. “It would be alright” Marcel whispered and Pat surprisingly found herself believing the words.
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