I should be used to people running out of my life the second they hear of my condition, but as I looked through the window for the umpteenth time, hoping for a miracle, I realize I am not. I wiped the tears coercing down my cheeks as my molded heart broke into tiny little pieces. Tunde is not the first, second or third man to run out my life, actually, he is the fifth. Five times, I have watched hopes shatter before my very eyes. Five times, I have believed in what seems impossible and five times, I have regretted it. I looked through the window again, scanning the environment with teary eyes, still no sign of Tunde. I grabbed the windowpanes as I cried my eyes out. How would I be able to bear losing Tunde?
Tunde had been given a glimpse of what it felt like to be a woman. Not even Bayo – my first love – had given me that. With Tunde, I never had to try hard to feel beautiful, he would just look at me and I would know that I am. He always looked at me like I am the most important person in the world. He wooed me the old-fashioned way; took me out dancing, sent me flowers, sent me love letters even at work and practically was the man of my dreams. I got so caught up in our love that I could not tell him the one secret that I knew would have him running, the same way others had. I wanted to enjoy being loved a little bit more, to feel that extreme happiness just a little while longer; but then he had showed up tonight. He had stunned me by kneeling before me and producing the most startlingly beautiful ring, asking me to marry him.
It was the moment I have always hoped for; was the dream I never thought could see the light of day. But finally presented with the promise of ‘forever’, I realized I could not accept him; not without telling him that the woman he is in love with is a sickle-cell patient. I cried harder, leaving the window and slipping to the floor as I remembered the horrified look on his face. He had been so destroyed as he stormed out of my house with the ring jammed fiercely in the pocket of his khaki trouser. I buried my hands in my thick hair as I cried harder. My head seemed to swim as a heavy wave of dizziness took over me and a fine sheen of sweat broke over my already damp body. Pain shot through me as I made for the drawer to take my pills, slowing down my movement. I clutched at the edge of the table as pain engulfed me. I couldn’t determine which was more painful – the painful seizure which had me crumbling breathlessly to the floor or the painful exit of Tunde. I have come to accept that Sickle Cell Anaemia is my forever! I would forever live in pain and misery, a regular face at clinics and hospitals until my last breath. But have I been wrong to think I could have a normal life like every other person out there?
Struggling, I dragged myself on all four, moving towards the drawer when suddenly, the door flew open. I turned my head to see Tunde standing there, his chest heaving like someone who had just run a hundred metres race.
“Janet! What is wrong?” he hurriedly asked, noticing me on the floor.
“My… my… drugs” I managed to gasp, pointing at the drawer. He hurriedly dashed forward, opened the drawer and pulled out the tiny bottle. He filled a cup with water and held it to my lips. He rocked me gently on the floor. I couldn’t understand it! What was he doing here? Minutes passed by and the pain slowly eased. “What are you doing here Tunde?” I dared to ask.
“I still want to marry you” he dropped.
I gasped. “What?”
“Yes. I don’t care what sickness you have Janet, all I know is that I want to spend my life loving you, taking care of you. We would make every second of every day memorable and special. I love you so much Jane; that hasn’t changed. Please… please be my wife”
I cried harder unable to believe what was happening as he ran his thumb against my cheek and kissed my forehead. “Please… don’t play with me Tunde” I cried. Could I give hope one last chance?
He pulled me more firmly against himself. “There is no other woman I would rather be with Jane. Please marry me Janet, please”
My tears ran endlessly. “Yes… God, Yes”
He exhaled and slipped the ring onto my shaking finger. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He kissed me softly and held me in a firm hug. “I love you Janet”
“I love you Tunde.”
My forever no longer looks gloomy. Sickle Cell might be the bane of my existence, but with Tunde, my forever doesn’t seem like a life sentence anymore. Happiness is in store for me, love also is in store for me. And with love, even the most turbulent journey can be made pleasurable!
***MARRIED EBOOK WOULD BE LANDING SOON. Do share using the hashtag #MARRIEDbyNissi on all platforms. Thanks***