Life gives us not so rosy days but also gives rosy days. Not so rosy days tend to over stay it’s welcome to perhaps help us appreciate rosy days. Maybe our strength comes from fight against life and it’s odd, in between losing a piece of ourselves we don’t recover. Love simply makes it easier to live with. The voids are eventually filled with new memories, making you almost forget a void once existed.
Nobody can explain why certain things happen, if any can, I will need detailed explanation. I never envision my life playing out this way. Maybe I miss the right turn signpost somewhere along living, but it shouldn’t have led me to this point where it all seems….blank.
I have learned life won’t give problems without solution but it also won’t give you happiness without pain. Memory lane is such a tedious task that a one sentence summary is easier. I lost my family and my desire turned around to be selfish of me. While grieving my loss, my wife battled a brain disease along with her pregnancy, which took it’s toil on her.
Up till now, I haven’t accepted what lies ahead. In a matter of time, my wife Fegor, love of my life would die. How does one accept that? It’s like looking at the one you love and telling yourself it’s time to let go, which only happen after…
‘Mr Jite?’ Ada interrupted my line of thoughts. Tejiri glared at her.
‘Hello there, Ada. How is my wife…nah…wife doesn’t suit her’ he flashed a smile at his pregnant wife who was seat on a pile of clothes. ‘Mother of my child’
Ada almost chuckled expect the situation wasn’t nice. ‘She doesn’t want to wear any of her clothes, she says she is fat’
He gasped in mock horror. ‘Nurse Ada, that is rude. My Fegor isn’t fat’ he kneeled in front of his wife. Lifting her face up till their eyes met. ‘You don’t want to wear these clothes?’
‘I am too fat for these clothes’
Tejiri turned to Ada and asked. ‘How long is she?’
‘It’s my big stomach’ she said sadly drawing his attention.
‘I like my woman big’ he winked at her.
She shyly hid her smile away from him. He tilted her face back to him. ‘I did a good job right? You fat and you look beautiful. I won’t get tired of looking at you…geez! these curvy body…hmm…’
‘Stop’ Fegor drawled.
‘It doesn’t matter how you look, my eyes will only be for you’ he cupped her face with his hands and leaned forward, gently placing his forehead on hers. ‘I don’t mind if you get fat, I would still want you.’ He whispered and placed a kiss on her forehead.
Ada watched him tease her, while calming her. Her tantrum were manageable with him around. He would somehow divert her mind and pacify her. Her lousy memory made it easy for her to fall for him all over again and he didn’t hold back his charm.
It was hard taking care of her but Tejiri refuse to keep her in a nursing home. Days when she didn’t recognise him, he smooth talk his way to her heart again.
She left the couple alone. She went to the kitchen to prepare dinner. It was friday night and they would arrive any time soon to spend the weekend with the couple.
‘C’mon Ruks’ Erica said getting out of the car. They were a bit late. They had to stop by her studio to get a surprise gift for Tejiri’s birthday. She couldn’t wait to see his reaction.
‘Ruks’ she drawled as she knocked on the door.
‘Try carrying these paintings’ he whined, balancing the framed painting in his arms.
‘Ada!’ She squealed when Ada opened the door. ‘Where is he?’
‘With his wife’ she said stepping out to help him with the frames.
Erica hurriedly went inside to find him but stopped by the door, listening to him cajole his wife. So much time had passed and though he seemed to be in a good place, but it still felt overwhelming. In a short pace of time, so much happened.
She leaned against the wall and closed her eyes. If she could make the pain stop, she would. A wet trickles soon soiled her face. Ruks who had gone in search of his friend, found her. Using his thumbs, he wiped her tears.
He gave her a full bear’s hug, enveloping her in his arms. He pulled her away, it wouldn’t be a nice sight if he emerged from the room and met her in tears.
‘Where do you want to place the frames?’ Ruks asked diverting her attention.
‘On his wall of memories’ she said picking up a frame. Removing the wrapper from it, she showed it to Ada.
‘Oh my God!’ Ada exclaimed. ‘It’s so beautiful’
‘My fiancée is a talented painter’ Ruks cooed with a sweet smile.
She ignored him. Who didn’t know her talent? ‘He will flip out when he sees it’
Flaunting her dental, she said. ‘That is the idea my dear’
They heard footsteps approach. They turned to the direction of it, to find them dressed in matching outfits. One would think they wouldn’t be so munchy given her ill health but they still serve couple and romantic goals.
‘Happy birthday’ Erica told him stepping forward, with outstretched arms for a hug.
Tejiri knew his friends would spend the weekend in his house like they always did. He was grateful for their care.
‘Everything will be alright T.J, you stay strong for all of us.’ She whispered in his ear. She gave him a tight squeeze before letting him go. She stole a glance at Fegor who was behind him, before returning her gaze to him.
Tejiri shook his head. She sighed.
‘Happy birthday’ Ruks stepped forward, giving him a quick hug.
Erica led them to the dinning where Ada was setting the table. After helping her out, she called the guys for dinner.
Scooping food into her plate, Ruks asked. ‘Have you seen her gift?’
‘You brought a gift? You know you shouldn’t have, your presence-‘ Erica interrupted him.
‘Are you going to see my gift or not?’
Chuckling, he nodded. ‘Where is it?’
‘Wall of memento’ Ruks answered for her.
He quickly checked on Fegor who was staring into space, with Ada by her side before going to check out the gift.
‘Wow’ he exclaimed. He didn’t think she would recall his small talks, draw and paint them out. It was a frame of his wife and his mother. Exactly at their favourite spot like he had told her during their conversation.
Tejiri trailed his fingers on the frame. He missed his mother and his family. Earlier during the day, presents were delivered from his father and mother in law. Maybe not right now, but eventually, his father and siblings would come around.
He returned to the dinning and gave her a peck on her temple. ‘Thank you’
Ruks stole glances of his friend who was bickering with his fiancée. It had been five months already but it wasn’t so long ago he saw his friend got crushed by life. He found a way to keep living.
Though her attention was on the television, Ada looked at Fegor at intervals. She wasn’t so good at expressing herself without a tantrum while other times when she space out, she wouldn’t feel anything. Alzheimer and pregnancy shouldn’t go together.
She didn’t know how long she sat there, but the trio joined her in the living room. She was bout to say her goodbyes when she left a wet sensation.
Looking down on the couch, she felt around, noticing it’s source from Fegor whose gown was wet from her waist.
‘Tejiri… are you prepared for your child’s birth?’
‘She isn’t due till-‘
‘Her water just broke’
All eyes flung to Fegor immediately. Within a nanosecond, Tejiri scoop his wife in his arms while Ruks grabbed the car keys and Erica went to fetch her bag.
They knew the drill for her delivery. They couldn’t afford to waste any time and her failing health was of great implication.
Ada accompanied them to the hospital. On their way, Erica called Mrs Onoriode. They paced the corridor while waiting, with a fear gripped heart. After hours of waiting, the doctor came out with Ada.
Their faces were downcast. Tejiri didn’t need to be told, the day was expected but still he wished it wasn’t soon. He sat on a nearby chair and zoomed out, lost in thoughts. He didn’t want to hear anything.
‘Tejiri’ Erica called softly, sitting beside him. ‘It’s a girl’ she paused. ‘Fegor doesn’t look good after the caesarian operation’
Ruks occupied the space on the other side of his friend. He placed his hand on his back, calming him. It was inevitable for his wife but losing her through the birth of his child might be more than losing her to alzheimer. Or maybe it was the opposite.
After a while, Ada resurfaced, asking Tejiri to follow her to see his daughter. He didn’t know how but he found himself following her. The birth of their child Fegor had once spoken bout with enthusiasm wasn’t aware of her birth.
At that moment, he realized he never got used to her lousy memory and it hurt just as much each time. To be with the one you love and not being recognized was a sanity deal breaker.
‘Please be quiet’ Ada said holding the door open for him to go in. He would need time alone with them.
He took a deep breathe and walk towards the bed and crib beside it. Sitting down, he looked at his daughter with a coy smile.
‘Hi there. I’m so elated you finally here. You still had a week or two but I guess you couldn’t wait to meet me, I love you so much’ he turned his attention to his unconscious wife. ‘I can’t raise her alone Fegor. She needs you and I still need you, I don’t think I will ever be able to let you go. You’re my wife, I love you always. We have been through….’ His croak voice trailed off. He stood up and went out to get his friends who was with Mrs Onoriode. He was glad she could make it.
He ushered them in. The smile on their faces was satisfying. They spoke in hushed voices bout the baby.
‘What’s her name?’ Ruks mouthed
‘Fegor?’ Erica answered.
‘Rachel’ Mrs Onoriode spoke. She was so confident he would name her after his mother.
‘Ruby Jite. Fegor loved the name’ Tejiri told them looking affectionately at his wife.
She might not wake up and it would be okay eventually. She fought hard but lost. On bonus days, she knew and loved her husband. Other days, she fell in love with him all over again. He could not get used to her ill health but if she couldn’t hold on anymore, he would be alright….eventually. He would give Ruby so much love she doesn’t miss her mother. They both had Ruks, Erica and Mrs Onoriode to hold their hands on days they would feel too weak to move.
Tejiri planted a kiss on her forehead. ‘Thank you for giving me Ruby. Everyday, I will tell her all bout you. You will always be in our hearts, we all love you’ he whispered in her ear.
Fegor may not wake up today but she might tomorrow.