April 19th, 2013
Today, I found out why they coined that saying ‘Slept like a pregnant woman’.
After all the drama and stress of the last two days, I slept for 14 hours straight! Following the bombshell that Phillip dropped last night, he and Vou retreated to a corner to talk about it, whilst Ebika and I made our way back to our flat. We didn’t get home till almost midnight. And I was asleep even before my head hit the pillow…
And that was how I slept till 2pm!
“Na wa for you oh!” Ebika teased, as I stirred. “That is what they call the sleep of life!!!”
I hissed and shook my head. Even after sleeping like that, I was still exhausted, and my body was aching in places I didn’t know existed. My baby was obviously not happy with me.
On a plus note, I was too grateful to see the wonderful feast Ebika had made for brunch; pancakes, sausages, eggs, bacon, onion rings, and baked potatoes. I ate like I hadn’t eaten in a year.
“Yesterday was really something, wasn’t it?” I remarked, through a mouthful of food.
Ebika nodded, but she had a faraway look in her eyes. I noticed, and touched her arm.
“Babe…are you okay?”
“I saw myself in her…” she answered. “It was like looking in a mirror. For the first time, I saw what it is everyone has seen…what everyone has been trying to caution me about…” she laughed sadly. “I too have been waiting…waiting for 15 years…but my own case is even worse, as the man is already married…with kids.”
My heart sank as she spoke. I truly didn’t know what to say to her…because, the cold hard truth was that she was right.
“I think I need to smell the coffee. Demola will never be mine. If he wanted me, he would have chosen me…regardless of what his family said,” she continued. “But he chose to stay with Oyinkan. Oyinkan is his Diana.”
I put my arm around her, and we sat in silence, our meal forgotten. As transparently as I could see Idara’s pain last night, Ebika’s heartbreak was laid in front of us, in Technicolor.
“I might have cancer…” Ebika said, her voice barely a whisper.
For the first few seconds, it didn’t register. It almost felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, like the voice had come from far, far away. When it finally dawned on me that, truly, the words had come from her, I spun around to look at her in shock.
“Cancer??!” I shrieked.
“I’d been having some pains…especially after my last termination. So, last week, I went to see my doctor in Nigeria…and he discovered a ‘suspicious mass’ on my left ovary.” Ebika explained.
I felt the blood drain from my face. “Is that why you came to London?” I asked, my voice barely a croak.
She nodded. “I wanted a second opinion. So, I saw a doctor on Wednesday morning…the day you arrived.”
“What did he say?”
“Well, the scan confirmed that there is a suspicious growth there. But he won’t know for sure that it’s cancer until they do a biopsy of the tumour,” she answered, her voice surprisingly calm.
Tumour?! The word alone was sending chills down my spine.
“So, there’s a chance it might not be cancer?” I asked, my voice full of hope.
She smiled sadly. “A very slim chance. The statistics I found on Google, about tumours that size and location, weren’t great.”
“Does Demola know?” I asked, trying not to allow the tears welling in my eyes spill.
“I was going to call him…but every time I pick up the phone, I just can’t bring myself to dial,” she answered bleakly. “And after seeing what happened with Phillip and Idara yesterday…I’m not sure I will.”
“When are they doing the biopsy?” I asked, unable to control the tremble in my voice.
“On Monday,” she answered, before adding with a nervous laugh. “And then I will know my fate!”
“I’ll be with you. I’m going to the hospital with you!” I said, squeezing her hand.
She nodded, and squeezed back…and then we both dissolved into tears. We stayed there, holding each other and crying, the delicious meal now cold and forgotten. We might have stayed in that position for hours, if we hadn’t been interrupted by my phone ringing.
“You need to get that.” Ebika said, pulling away and wiping her tears. “See how you’ve turned me into a cry baby, ehn Faith!”
I reluctantly reached for my phone. It was Phillip.
“You!!!” came his voice, which sounded less sour and angry than it had the last few days. “If I didn’t love you so much, I would have probably disowned you after that stunt you pulled!”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Well, hello to you too!”
“Are you okay? Your voice sounds a little…”
“Just a little cold, that’s all.” I answered, sniffing. “London weather.”
“Anyway, we’re on for Sunday!” he declared.
I was blank for a minute, before it finally dawned on me. “Oh, the wedding?!”
“Yep.” I could hear the smile in his voice. “Diana spoke with her family Pastor, and he’s more than happy to do it!”
Awww. I could really use that kind of good news right now.
“I thought Vou was supposed to take care of that.” I said, rather inanely.
“Well, their Pastor has a softer spot for my wife, what can I say.”
“So, I take it Diana is fully on board with this then?”
“Faith, she melted when I asked her last night,” he answered, his voice tender with emotion. “It restored the light in her eyes. I don’t know why we didn’t think about this earlier. This has always been the obvious thing for us to do.”
“I’m happy for you both, Phillip.” I said, the tears threatening to start flowing again.
“Please keep your tomorrow open,” he added. “I’m going to need a Wingman for a few last minute preps.”
I agreed, and we ended the conversation.
“The wedding is happening?” Ebika asked, having picked up enough from my side of the conversation.
I smiled. “Sunday.”
“That’s wonderful. Lucky Diana!” Ebika remarked, with a sad smile. “Faith, I know it’s going to be a family affair…but will it be okay for me to be there as well? I really need to be around love…real love…before my appointment on Monday.”
“Do you even need to ask! After all we’ve been through these last few days, you’re more than family to me!” I answered, embracing her.
For everything she has done for me, it’s the absolute least I could do.