POSTED 02/19/2018 16:38:43
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"Where am I?... Where am I?" Dele jumped from the bed he found himself shouting and asking where he was.
"Please calm down Mr. Dele. You need more rest. You're in the hospital." The doctor tried to calm him down.
"Hospital? For what? But I'm fine." Dele yelled with a stern look at the man on white coverall.
"Just relax. The lady who brought you here shall see you later."
Later in the day Dele was discharged by the Doctor.
"Brother I hope you are fine?" Joy asked the brother. "Yes I am" he replied with a smile.
"Dele how are you doing?" the lady behind Joy asked.
"I'm okay" he replied.
"Dele, that is the lady who rushed you in" the Doctor said pointing to Jumoke. "I think she is the right person to ask what happened".
Dele and Jumoke exchanged greetings and some words with each other as they moved out of the hospital walking towards Jumoke's car.
"Please enter the car let’s get home" Jumoke said.
"Which home?" Joy asked.
"My house of course" Jumoke responded.
They all entered the car as Jumoke drove off.
"So Jumoke tell me, what happened? The Doctor said you were the one who rushed me to his hospital since yesterday", Dele asked.
"I came to visit my Aunty in a compound close to yours. When I saw people crying and shouting for help as if one was dead. When I drove close, I saw You lying like a corpse on the ground. I found a letter on you before I – with the help of some villagers rushed you into the car before I drove off to the hospital." Jumoke narrated the incident.
"Yes. When I came back from the errand you sent me, I was told you fainted with a paper in your hand before being rushed to the hospital." Joy added.
"Aisha!" Dele screamed.
After a long drive, they finally reached Jumoke’s abode.
Jumoke's house was a seven room flat built by her father's company.
"You stay here?" Dele asked looking at the house as if he had never seen such in his entire life.
"Yes My Father built it for me two years ago. I used to stay with my elder sister until she was married six months ago." Jumoke replied.
"Dele, I went through the letter that made you slump. Don't worry everything will be fine. Henceforth, you and your sister will be staying here. There are two lovely rooms for you two" Jumoke said pointing her finger to the inner rooms.
"What!" Dele exclaimed.
"That’s not all. Take Jumoke as your sister and as Aisha. Tomorrow we'll go meet Dad. You will start University next month if you pass all the examinations. After your university education you'll work in my father's company" Jumoke promised.
"Wonderful!" Dele was astonished. He couldn't hold himself any longer but fell to the ground to thank Jumoke.
"Please stand up. Just go in and take a shower. We'll go shopping for clothes tomorrow before seeing Dad" Jumoke spoke holding him to stand up.
Five years later, Dele became a graduate from the department of Civil Engineering and started to work as an intern before being fully employed to work as an architect and as an assistant in one of the departments in J and L Construction Company, Jumoke's father's company. By then, Joy was a final year student in law ready to defend her project.
February 12, 1965, it was on a sunny afternoon. As Jumoke and Dele were strolling out of a fast food restaurant, about entering Dele's new car a lady ran from nowhere towards them and fell to Dele's feet.
"Who are you?" a scared looking Dele asked.
"Dele, please it’s me Aisha. I know I'm not worthy to come close to you. Please just hear me out."
"Dear what is happening? Who is this lady kneeling before you?" Jumoke sparked.
"It’s Aisha o! Hahaha..." Dele laughed sarcastically.
"Dele please allow me talk." Aisha begged crying and sprawling.
"Talk what? O you want to tell me how the tortoise tricked the lion?" Dele ranted.
"Please... I was fooled by Jesse. He told me his father was the Secretary General of Columbia. He said he loved and will marry me. I never knew all these were lies for me to open my legs for him to swim in the river in between. After school, he left for his country telling me that all he said were lies. That his father died many years ago. He said he was married and that he had two children already. Dele please." Aisha explained everything.
"kpam, kpam, kpam kpam kpam kpam" Dele clapped. "Oh what a story! So you have come to kill me this time right? It seems you were sent by the devil himself to kill me but I tell you it won't work. Aisha my Father is nothing... In fact I’m an orphan. I heard your Father is now contesting for the Governorship of the State. Go and look for senator's children. Aisha leave me alone!" Dele ranted pointing his fingers on Aisha.
"Dear enter the car let’s leave. Enough of the scene. Let’s her just go and visit the lagoon." He kept talking while he drove off raising the dust on her. Aisha felt remorseful for all she did to Dele. She wished she could have him back. She wished Dele could forgive her.
On the following day, Jumoke called Dele to the living room to talk. "Dele I have something to tell you. Before I proceed, do you love me?"
This question got him startled because that was the first time such question was raised by her.
"Yes..." Dele nodded.
"If you do then you are going to do something for me. Remember the help I've offered to you and your family? This is your turn."
"Dear speak and stop keeping me in suspense" Dele said.
"I have two things to say. First, I shall be getting married in few months to come. Second, please forgive Aisha. I'm on my knees. She might kill herself. Please forgive her and accept her back. I know how difficult it seems but please... Forgive her" Jumoke begged kneeling before Dele. Dele couldn't utter a word. He still loved Aisha.
Joy who was peeping and listening to what was happening ran in and joined Jumoke in pleading on behalf of Aisha.
Dele was touched by the tears of Joy and that of Jumoke. "I've forgiven her" he replied holding them to stand up.
He took his phone, dialed Aisha's number and fixed an appointment of meeting each other the following day.
FRIDAY, 14TH FEBRUARY, 1965. APPLE PLUS RESTAURANT. 14:56PM
Dele strolled into the restaurant they both agreed to meet, fiddling with his Infinix hot note 6 trying to reach out to Aisha. As he moved forward, he saw a lady in a rose coloured gown.
"That must be her" he muttered.
Moving closer, she was the one. They shook hands, took seats, made their orders and began to talk. Aisha told Dele all her experiences in France and Dele told her of his in Nigeria, how the mother passed on after suffering in the hands of illness, how Jumoke became his saviour when he almost died, how the family of Jumoke sponsored his education.
"Wow!" Aisha was stunned.
"Dele, now I know that love is not all about wealth"
"It’s ok", Dele reached out for her hands.
"Aisha I understand how you feel. I still love you. What is love without forgiveness? I've forgiven You." Dele spoke looking her.
"Thank you. You love me? After all I did?" Aisha with a teary eyes asked.
"Yes", Dele answered nodding.
"Aisha I want to ask you a question. May I?
"Yes you can"
As they were talking, five guys walked up to the table where Dele and Aisha sat and stood before Aisha. When she lifted her face to see these guys on white t-shirt, she found some red colours words inscribed on each of their clothes saying, "Aisha will you marry me?" These words threw her off her seat to her feet with her hands trying to cover her mouth. This was so unbelievable to her.v
"Yes... Yes... I will" Aisha answered with tears of joy flowing from her eyes.
Many people took advantage by taking shots with their cameras and phones. Jumoke and Joy who stood with their men watching, walked close and hugged them.
"I love you! I love you! Not another”
“This kind love oh na serious love nwa tin tin" Omawumi's 'Serious Love' was played softly by the DJ.
To err is human, to forgive is divine. Love is a medicine that heals every wounded heart.
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