This episode is dedicated to Singer Nomoreloss who passed on earlier today. He sang one of my favorite Highlife remixes (I could listen to it for days!) in early 2000s, Iyawo Asiko, and two months ago, I downloaded the song again (cos I had missed it!), marveling at how good he was and wondering vaguely why I never listened to anything else he did.
I don’t know any of Nomoreloss’ original songs but again, I’m like the hundreds of people who only today remembered how amazing a Singer he was. We remembered after he passed.
Please remember Nomoreloss’ family in your prayers tonight and remember to always stay kind to everyone around you. Life is after all a journey, sometimes so short we arrive at our destination earlier than we could have ever imagined.
Oyin felt something was not right with Vanessa.
It was a very recent feeling, the one where she felt something was awfully wrong, but it also felt like it had always been there.
She wished she could just shake it off like a pesky fly but the truth was, the more she tried to imagine it was not there, the harder it stuck.
And so she told herself she would allow her instincts prevail.
“I need to smoke” she said to her when she strolled in to check on Segun for the third time that morning.
It had become one of her routines; come to work early, check up on Segun, do ward rounds or anything else that needed to be tended to and then, return to sitting by Segun’s unconscious side.
“There is no smoking area in the premises” she said without looking at her. She knew she was frustrated, coming there every day to see him, only to realize the situation was still the same as the day before.
Oyin could see it in the way she looked at Segun, lying lifeless on the bed, an oxygen mask covering half his face.
And she wanted so badly, to throw her out of the room and tell her to return to wherever she had come to invade their lives from.
“But I need to smoke” she insisted and Oyin fought the urge to shove her skinny body out of the door and throw her into a dustbin somewhere.
She was almost certain she would fit perfectly into a trashcan without being bent.
“Vanessa, I have told you that you can’t smoke here.” She said firmly and adjusted the cloth covering Segun. Two of his sisters had slept over the night before. Because he was the only son and the last child, they had all been worried sick.
It had taken a lot for his sisters to drag his mother away from the Hospital two days before.
“Mummy, you need to sleep and freshen up. When he wakes up, you think he would be happy if he sees you in this state?”
His mother had insisted on sleeping there another night, until his sisters had dragged her out of the Hospital and made their father promise she would not be there in a few days at least.
“We’re having a baby you know” Vanessa said to her, standing by the door, her arms tightly folded across her chest.
She was wearing an old sweatshirt of Segun’s, a grey colored sweat that had the face of John Lennon boldly printed on it.
Oyin knew that shirt well, she had slept in it many times in the past. Mostly when she and Segun just met.
“And family is everything” Vanessa was saying now.
“I’m not sure I understand where you are trying to go with this” Oyin said to her, unwilling to travel down whatever bitter road Vanessa was headed with her.
“You should respect our family and leave him be.”
Oyin stifled a yawn, of course, this was about some speech about why she deserved Segun.
She hissed, “I think it’s time for you to get that smoke.” She could not take it, she could not take the retorts, the cheeky statements, the whatever silly words she had coming out of her mouth.
She was currently exhausted, spent out, worn out from sitting by the side of the man she loved, wondering if he would ever be alright.
She was tired of being tired.
Vanessa was by her side now, dragging her face towards her, “Oyin what do you stand to gain in taking a man away from his family?”
Slapping Vanessa’s hand away, she pointed a finger in her face, “Don’t you ever touch me like that again. Understood?”
But Vanessa was not backing down, covering the little space in between them, she stood only inches away from Oyin.
She was so close Oyin could hear her heart beat and she could feel her breath on her skin.
“You left him when he needed you the most. I was the one who was there. I was the one who helped him heal when shit got real. And now you want to play the love thing and own his heart? I own his heart, baby girl. I leased it out to you but now you gotta pack and fucking leave. Rent is finished!”
“You cannot say you were there simply because you opened your dirty legs for him every night he could not reach me” Oyin said calmly, goodness, it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep her cool.
“But I at least opened something for him unlike you who would not pick calls.”
Oyin tried not to remember the time Vanessa was referring to but the memories pushed through and came rushing in anyway.
It had been a few years before, Segun had been abducted because the Kidnappers believed he was the son to a wealthy politician from Nigeria.
Truth was, he was not the one they wanted, but they did not know at the time and he had almost been killed before they figured he was not their guy.
When Segun had returned, he had gone through an emotional trauma and he had wanted to talk to her as often as possible.
She would never understand why he wanted to talk to her more than anyone else but he had somehow needed her so desperately and she had refused to be there for him.
It was not like she refused, she could not be there for him.
She had been writing her final papers at the time and she’d barely had time for anyone.
He had refused to forgive her for a long time but he eventually did.
And that was why she was angry that his ex-girlfriend felt the need to rub that period in her face.
“You can feel the need to battle this one out, Vanessa but I already won. I’m not even sure what you’re still doing here. Get the hell out, nobody needs you”
She was tired and Vanessa needed to know.
Suddenly aware of being watched, she found Kolapo at the entrance, staring at both of them in utmost shock.
“Ladies” he said when he could find his words, “I understand you’re both worked up but you need to calm down” he said and then pulled Oyin away. “Please.”
Oyin snatched her hands from him and returned to where she previously sat, near Segun.
Vanessa, stormed out, immediately followed by Kolapo.
Placing a kiss on Segun’s forehead, Oyin stood and left the room. He needed to come back to her. She could not go another day with him that way, she knew.
She was losing it.
She went in search of Kolapo and found him arguing with Vanessa outside. And normally, she would have simply turned and returned into the house but somehow, she found herself standing, listening to them argue hotly about something.
Since when did they know each other enough to argue about anything this seriously anyway?
But when the words that hit her next came from Vanessa, she knew she had been an idiot for a while.
“So you think standing by his side, hoping he would wake up soon would make you feel better about trying to pin a pregnancy on him? What are you still doing with that baby anyway? I thought I gave you a number to call and terminate it?”
Oyin held the wall for support. This had to be a movie. There was no way this was real.
“Stop telling me what to do and what you think is right. You’re the one who was cheating behind your girlfriend’s back with her best friend’s girlfriend so you’re not exactly Bible for anything” she said and then made to leave.
“I am not telling you what is right or wrong, I am saying leave them alone and go away.”
“Sorry but I would not leave your precious Oyin alone with her boo. He was, is and would remain mine. So stay out of this”
Oyin retreated into the Hospital, dumbstruck.
How did that happen?
When did Kolapo sleep with Vanessa and make a baby with her?
Why did they think it was okay to do that and then, carry along like all was well with the world?
And that Vanessa woman, was she a devil or what?
Unable to get it all in, she found her way back to Segun’s ward.
She was going to sit there and ponder everything before she could get back to her Office.
That was a lot to handle. A whole lot.
Stepping into the ward, she found the Doctor who was currently handling Segun’s case attending to him, a Nurse in tow.
Rushing to his side, she realized he was awake and he was looking at her.
“Thank goodness babe” she said and fought the urge to kiss him like they were alone. “My baby is awake” she said, a wide smile on her face.
Since he slipped into a coma, she had constantly prayed that everything went well whenever he woke up.
She had seen too many cases in the past, where a Patient woke from a coma and had to deal with permanent issues for the rest of his/her life.
And because of that, she had prayed every single time she got, hoping Segun was not going to be part of that statistics.
However, that morning, when the Doctor had called in his Parents for a little meeting, she had strongly sensed that something was wrong.
Pacing the corridor that led to the Doctor’s office, she had waited for his parents, her eyes on her wristwatch, counting each second of the five minutes they spent inside there.
And when the two of them had stepped out, she had waited breathlessly while they revealed to her that her Segun had amnesia.
“He said it is not so serious that it is just some few things he will not remember and that it is not permanent” his mother said and while she searched for the name of the type of Amnesia he had, Oyin had dashed all the way to his ward.
She did not want to wait long enough to hear them put a medical name to a condition the man she loved had.
Her prayers had gone unanswered and she needed to see him, hold him and assure herself that she would not lose it.
Watching him lie there lifeless had been torture to her. Knowing that his bitch of an ex wanted to trick him into playing Daddy to another man’s child had thrown her off balance but she knew this condition, was something that could kill her.
His eyes found hers when she stepped into the ward.
Vanessa was sitting near him, smiling at something he had said before she stepped in and somehow, that made her relieved.
If he remembered Vanessa, then he surely remembered her and he probably remembered the new heights they had taken their relationship to.
However, as she inched closer, his name on her lips, she realized he was staring at her coldly.
“What are you doing here, Oyin?” he asked
“I work here and I came to see you…”
But he did not let her finish, “I called you, you refused to pick. They kidnapped me and tortured me but you, my friend refused to be there… like just get out abeg.”
The pain was unexplainable but so was the embarrassment she felt, standing near Vanessa and having to listen to that.
“Segun, please listen…”
“To what? Thank God for my girlfriend here… she does not even know me as much as you do, yet she is more sensitive to my feelings…”
“Just go Oyin”
And she left.
She did not walk, she ran out of the hospital ward and went in search of Kolapo.
He was discussing something with another colleague of theirs when she found him. Dragging his hand without warning, she pulled him to a corner and said to him as tears made its way down her face, “Fix this! Tell him the baby is yours, fix it somehow!”
“Oyin, I don’t understand what you’re saying”
“He has dissociative amnesia and he cannot remember we’re in love. So he is going to think that bitch is in love with him and the baby in her uterus is his! But it is yours and you would fix this. I don’t care what you do or how you do it, just do it!”
Then she marched towards her office.
God, when would her heart stop breaking?