This is the conclusion of the story. Hope you liked it. Do write to tell me what you thought.
“Ikedi, help me lift her. Let’s take her to the hospital”, she turned to Ikedi. He was silent. “Ikedi! Ikedi!, can’t you hear me?” she shouted. Ikedi roused himself. Standing, he came to Nonye to assist Matron to lift her but she pushed him away.
“Don’t touch me! Wicked man!”, she sceamed.
He left the room. Running to the roadside he flagged down a taxi. The driver parked before his door and got down to help him carry Nonye into the cab. She still would not let him touch her. They drove in silence to the hospital. The matron was cradling Nonye’s head on her lap, while she lay on the back seat. Ikedi sat in front. At the hospital, she was examined by Dr. Matthew. He was very compassionate, refusing to let Ikedi stay, though he begged. When he had placed her on sedatives and analgesics, he bid her goodnight.
Matron stayed the night. At 2 am, Nonye screamed and woke up. She had had a nightmare that Ikedi was pursuing her with a stick. Matron stroked her head while she sobbed. The whole story came tumbling out, how she met and fell in love with Ikedi, their quarrels, fights, and more. Matron listened quietly.
“What of my baby, doc did not check my baby?” she suddenly cried. Matron sighed.
“It’s because you said Ikedi should not touch you. He should have done the ultrasound scan. The guy on duty fell ill and had to go home before we got here. Dr. Matthew said there may be no cause for alarm, since you are not bleeding”
Nonye was confused. “What does Ikedi have to do with scans? Do laboratory scientists also do scans?” she asked.
“You don’t know?” Matron asked.
Nonye sat up in bed. “Know what? What is going on?”
“I can see that this must be the reason for his frustration. No wonder he’s taking it out on you” she mused.
“Tell me what you mean in plain language. I don’t understand”
Matron settled in to deliver the story. It happened that Ikedi had failed so many courses as a student, that he was asked to leave the department of Laboratory Science. Afraid to tell his parents the truth, he remained in school, hanging out with other students like he was one of them. His parents had wanted him to be a doctor, but settled with the course he gained admission to study after someone else took the examination for him. He managed to forge a result after his peers graduated, and started working. Two weeks before his wedding, he disclosed the fact that his certificate was a forgery, while drunk. One of those present told the hospital manager about it and he was fired. Fortunately, he had been under studying the sonologist . He pleaded to be employed as a technician. Though he was paid peanuts, he was glad to have an income.
Nonye was dumbfounded. “Do you mean he is not even a graduate?”
“Chei!” she exclaimed and snapped her fingers in surprise. “Nobody will ever believe this story. Me, Nonye, married to a drop out! Kai!” . She snapped her fingers again.
Ikedi stood at the door of the ward, watching Nonye in her hospital bed. She had seen him but turned her back on him. He stepped into the room since she did not ask him to leave.
“Baby, how was your night?” he asked. She hissed and moved further away. “I’m sorry. It will never happen again He knelt by her side apologizing profusely.
She let him go on for a while. “Why didn’t you tell me that you are a mere drop out?” she asked suddenly.
He wilted. Rising from her side, he went over to the window, as if standing far from her would sheild him from her scorn. After some minutes of silence, he asked her “Who told you?”
“Does it matter?” she replied.”I know how many men I rejected for your sake, only to find that I have been living with a liar!”
Ikedi sat in the chair Matron had sat in all night. She had left an hour before he came in, to freshen up. He held his head in his hands.
“I have been too ashamed to tell you” he began. “I could have made it despite the number of carry overs I had but, this lecturer whose girlfriend was making a pass at me, victimised me. He convinced the Senate to throw me out. I know many students who had worse grades, but were allowed to make them up”
“Listen to yourself, just listen to yourself, Ikedi!” Nonye railed. “You are making excuses! That’s why you wanted to kill me? After I caught you in bed with a harlot!”
“I was not with anyone” he defended. ” I was taking a nap”
“You’re lying!” she screamed. “You’re a liar! I hate you! God will judge you!”
The nurse came in because of how loud her voice was. Assessing the situation quickly, she escorted Ikedi out of the room. Only then did Nonye calm down. She was discharged the next day, but she refused to leave. Going back to his house was unthinkable. When Matron heard that she refused to leave, she came in to speak to her.
“Matron, what do I do? How did I get myself into this mess?” she mourned. ” Now I am 5 months pregnant, and I have no source of income, no savings. Who do I turn to? My parents are struggling to care for my siblings? How will they feed a baby and I?”
“Do you know anyone here in Warri? Is there someone you could stay with for some time? At least, till things cool off”
“No, I don’t know anyone”
“Which church do you attend? Do you have a relationship with anyone there? The pastor? His wife? Anyone?” She shook her head.
Matron sighed, mentally weighing her options. “I would ask you to stay with me, but I live alone. Since my husband died, I took this job to enable me fund my children’s education. They are both in the university. I don’t want you to need anything, or go into labour when you are alone”
Nonye was silent for some minutes. “Why is my own always different? Am I the worst sinner?” she complained. “I know many girls who lived terrible lives, partying and drinking, and carrying out abortions. God still blessed them with good husbands. Look at the buffoon I married. Though he was the poorest of my suitors, I chose him thinking he was more refined than the others, I thought he was gentle. See how he has messed me up!” She burst into tears.
Matron held her while she cried. She got her a plate of food later, and fed her when she refused to eat. Hours later, she was calmer. Matron had left her to doze while she attended to patients. She returned to find her sitting up, watching a movie.
“Nonye nwam, how are you feeling?” Matron took a seat. She replied that she was feeling better.
“I want to share my heart with you”, she began. “You made some statements today, that I think I should not leave unreplied” she went on. “Let me paint a scenario. Mr. X is a law student. After registering in the university, going through the admission formalities, he absconds. He refuses to attend lectures, do assignments, do court attachment, or any of the things required to be certified as a lawyer. After some years, he has a law suit, and decides to represent himself. Not only does he not have the certificate, he does not have the language, comportment, confidence, or oratory skill.Should he expect the judge to rule in his favour when his opponent has a superior argument?”
Nonye shook her head.
“So are we in this world. Many of us make a commitment to live for Christ, then jump ship tolive as we like. When challenges come, we try to blame him for not coming to our rescue. The bible says you are a slave to whoever you obey. If you obey God, you are his, and he will not leave you defenseless”. Matron cleared her throat. “In your case, you were carried away with all you believed Ikedi had to offer. You thought sleeping with him would seal the deal, and perhaps it did. Turns out you got the short end of the stick. If you were walking with the Lord, He would have revealed his character to you. God’s secrets are for his own, not outsiders. Did you ever believe Ikedi to have any commitment to Christ?”
“He told me he attends church regularly, and takes the word of God seriously”, she replied.
“Well, you saw the evidence indeed! A man who cracks under pressure, and takes out his frustrations on his wife? I believe it was God who led me to your house that day. Ordinarily, I would have left that flask for him to pick up the next day. I believe that God has a plan for your life” she ended.
“What do I do now?” Nonye asked, tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Would you like to pray and make a fresh decision to serve Jesus? Subsequently, I think you should go back to your parents. If Ikedi is willing, he should see his pastor or any qualified counselor. Together, you both have to be guided in making the decision on your future. Also, I think your child will benefit from growing up close to your family. I know Ikedi has done things that are difficult to forgive but, if he shows signs if genuine repentance, you will do well to give him a second chance. I’ll leave you to think about all I said. Let me prepare the theatre. We have a ceasarian section in 2 hours”
Nonye had much to think about. She bowed her head in thought. Rubbing her abdomen, she thought of her baby, who she had just found out would he a daughter. It was obvious to her what she had to do.