Hi guys, i am deeply sorry we couldn’t publish Episode 5 last week. Please bear with us. Here it is today
Yvonne sighed as she read from the dailies. The media had now taken particular interest in her since she started accompanying Ade to his Chemotherapy sessions and they adorned their socialite pages. She was tired of it, but it would not stop. Her grand exit from the planet was only a day away, but she had not yet figured out how she would slip away from Ade. He was making progress with his treatment and was livelier whenever she was around him. Moreover, she was already into him. She had tried to convince her head not to use the word ‘love’…although she knew there were a few things she couldn’t hide from herself. Ade didn’t know much about her to worry about her like she did about him and she was sure about that. She was sure he didn’t even know her birthday was the next day. Maybe he adored her like every other person, or maybe he was just sensitive towards her because it was typical of him to be kind. She had different assumptions playing scripts in her mind…it took her on a more enthralling journey than her recent films had swayed her. She was paying Ade a visit in his rest period…hopefully her last. She had thought it would be wise not to show up at his place today and just slip away…but she really didn’t know how to say goodbye. The last number of days she had spent with Ade had given her some hope at finding a good reason to live, but when your reason to live is racing against life…you find reasons to think maybe it is not worth it after all.
She leaned against the door and straightened the paper out as she read. Her phone buzzed. Charles was on the Caller ID. Her manager had been trying to track her down to get her to do a photoshoot to no avail. A wry smile lurked around her lips as she prepared to answer his call.
CHARLES: Hey, what’s up?
She smiled faintly. “What is it, Charles?”
“Everything is set for the shoot. Where you at?” he asked.
Yvonne peeped outside her glass, listening to the howling of the dogs in the distance. She was parked outside Ade’s apartment. She would not bother telling the truth to Charles as he would make a fuss over how he had spent the ‘last days of his life trying to get all set for the party’. As far as Yvonne was concerned, she wasn’t having a birthday party. It was more like a send-forth.
“Yvonne?” Charles called.
She sighed. “Look, Charles, I am not coming for the photoshoot.”
“What? We start the party at midnight!” he argued.
She nodded as she took a deep breath. “I know. I have to show up for that.” She replied.
“So what do I do now?” he asked.
“Cancel the shoot.” She replied and hung up.
There was a light knock on the side glass. She turned to see Tunji brimming with smiles. “Hi.” He mouthed.
She opened the door. “I…I was just going to come in.” she started.
“Your car has been parked here for about thirty minutes now. So, except if you have been planning on coming in for about thirty minutes, I’ll say something is up.” He rambled.
She smiled faintly and held out the paper before him. “They won’t stop talking about your brother and I.”
“It’s a good thing. Ade is enjoying it.” He said with a soft chuckle.
Yvonne smiled, opening the door. “How is he today?”
“He has puked a few times. I guess he is pretty irritated.” He replied.
Her face fell. “Maybe he needs some rest. I could come back.”
“He already saw you from his window.” He replied, closing the door after Yvonne. “I don’t think anything brings him down when you are around.”
Yvonne flushed. She was flattered…not unusual for this situation. She followed as Tunji led the way.
Ade ran his hand over his scalp as he stood before the mirror. He stared at the reflection of the black suit on his bed through his mirror and then smiled faintly.
“Guess who I found.” Tunji announced as he pushed the door open with Yvonne following quickly.
Ade was startled.
She smiled. “Hi, Ade.”
“Hey. You…you didn’t tell me you were coming.” Ade mumbled as he gathered the suit from his bed and fixed it into the wardrobe.
Tunji winked mischievously at Yvonne.
“How do you feel today?” she asked.
Ade didn’t feel so well that day. He was unusually nauseated. His Dad and the other doctors had told about the side effects of Chemotherapy and signs to look out for in case he wasn’t feeling better. Right now, he didn’t feel better but Yvonne couldn’t know that.
“Ade…” Yvonne called as she watched him take a seat on the bed.
He managed a smile. “I am doing fine.”
“Okay…”Yvonne stressed, joining him on the bed. “Are you ready for the next cycle?”
Ade touched his scalp. “I don’t have much to lose…next cycle is in two days. I still have a rest day tomorrow…I’d like to enjoy it.”
Tunji cleared his throat. “I’ll go grab a bite in the kitchen.” He said and walked out.
“Yvonne, how are you doing?” Ade asked.
She smiled. “I am the one who looks fine.”
“But are you fine?” he asked.
Yvonne nodded with a smile. “Better than ever, Ade. Better than ever.”
“Really?” he asked.
She wore her smile proudly. “What could possibly be wrong with me? You ask this question every day you see me.” She said, chuckling.
“If I was psychic, I’d read your mind.” He replied. “Do you like my hair? No, my scalp.”
Yvonne smiled. “Would it count if I told you I did not like it?”
“Well, I don’t like it.” She said. “I love it.” She emphasized.
Ade smiled. “You have a way of making me feel good.”
“You do much more for me.” She replied.
Ade chuckled. “Do I?”
She nodded and then took a deep breath. “I have this very urgent trip to make.”
“Okay…” Ade slurred.
She nodded. “I leave tonight. Business is involved.”
“Okay…” he continued, staring at her. “Are you going to be back?”
Yvonne was silent. She didn’t know if a lie would be appropriate, but she really wanted some respite. She was already finding it here with him…but then, what if she wanted too much from him? What if he was this friendly with everyone…and she wasn’t so special after all? Her biggest fear was ‘what if he didn’t care about her enough’…what if he didn’t love her? She wasn’t going to risk it.
“You are not returning, right?” he asked.
Yvonne smiled. “I need to use the bathroom.”
“It’s down there.” Ade said.
She nodded and walked down the room.
Ade grabbed his beanie cap and fixed it over his head.
Yvonne returned almost immediately. “We should take a walk. You’ll need it.”
“Of course.” He replied and followed her.
YVONNE’S BIRTHDAY: HOUSE – 11:50PM
Yvonne slipped away from the crowd as the noise pulsed late into the night. She didn’t have much time left…she had ten minutes to go on her watch. It made her nervous.
“Yvonne!” Charles called, gripping her arm as she made for the stairs.
She sighed. “What do you want?”
“There is a party going on around you.” He replied, releasing her hand.
She nodded with a smile. “I can see that. I just want to use the bathroom.”
“Oh. Okay. I’ll get the cake.” He said. “We have less than ten minutes to go.” He confirmed from his wristwatch.
“Yeah…Goodbye.” Yvonne replied.
Charles chuckled and walked away.
As Yvonne closed the door behind her in the bathroom, her heart raced faster than normal. She was indeed scared. She stared at the revolver and it beckoned to her. She was tired of everything…her spotlight had turned into one loud silence and misery for her. Nothing else made sense…Ade was the only difference to her life.
She slipped into the tub, taking deep breaths. She looked through her journal for the last time and her most recent write up – she had dedicated it to Ade.
She stared at her wristwatch as the long hand looked to touch twelve and announce her birthday. She set her finger on the trigger and placed the gun to her head. Her hands did not tremble but her eyes were wet. “Three…two…One!” she said as she shut her eyes.
The gun dropped from her hand, clattering into the tub as she turned.
Ade knelt before her. “Yvonne…” he called, wiping her tears. “It’s okay…It’s alright, Yvonne.”
“What are you doing here?” she asked as she wrapped her arms around him.
“It’s your birthday, silly. I had to say hello.” He replied with a smile.
She sighed. “I don’t want to be here anymore.” She replied. “I have got nothing worth it here.”
Ade smiled faintly. “I care about you, Yvonne…and maybe a little too much.”
“You don’t understand, Ade…”
Ade stroked her hair. “I like your hair…it’s better than mine.”
“Stop it.” She replied as she pulled off his beanie cap.
Ade took a deep breath. “You have been here for me in the past two weeks, Yvonne and you mean a lot to me. I don’t know if it is too early, but I can’t get you out of my heart.”
“Don’t!” she said, abruptly.
Ade stared at her. “Don’t…”
“Don’t try to get me out of your heart.” She replied, with pleading eyes.
Ade smiled. “It’s not like I can…you already set your place in it.”
“Stay with me, Yvonne. You are worth it…you are worth it and you are so worth it…and I love you.” He said. “I can’t believe I just those words.”
“Did you mean them?” she asked.
Ade smiled and leaned over to kiss her.
The door opened and a crowd joined them. “Happy birthday!!!!” They cheered.
Ade placed a hand over the gun as he pulled away from the kiss.
Charles cleared his throat on seeing Yvonne and Ade. “Happy birthday, Yvonne…Happy birthday.”
Yvonne watched the looks that was cast on her and Ade by the other people in the room and smiled faintly. “Thank you all. We will be down shortly.” She announced.
They slowly departed the room leaving Charles in the room.
“Erm….Ade, you didn’t tell me you were coming up to take her away from the rest of us at midnight.” He joked.
“What better way to wish a beautiful woman a happy birthday than to be with her in private?” Ade asked.
“I guess you are right.” Charles said, grinning as he excused them.
Yvonne sighed as Ade picked the gun out of the tub. “Thank you.” She said.
“You might want to return this.” He said, handing her the gun.
She stared at him. “Maybe we could stay here forever?”
“I would love that, but we have a party to get to.” Ade replied, helping her out of the tub.
“I’d have to change my cloth.” She replied, leading Ade into the bedroom.
Ade smiled as she gaped at the gown laid out on her bed. “Happy birthday.”
“You got this for me?” she asked, feeling the dress.
He nodded. “I thought it would look good on you.”
“Thank you, Ade.” She replied.
“You are welcome.” Ade said. “Don’t fire Charles for letting me into the room. I wanted to surprise you.” He added.
She smiled. “I am glad he let you in.” She replied.
“Have you let me in?” Ade asked.
Yvonne smiled. “Yes.”
2 WEEKS GONE
Yvonne watched Ade as he read from a book during one of his chemotherapy cycles from the window blinds. She wasn’t sure if the Chemo was helping or hurting him as he looked pale after every treatment and had started spending his rest periods within the hospital’s walls. The Doctors had placed him under close watch due to his reaction to the side effects of the treatment. She had stared at him for about an hour but couldn’t muster the courage to go into the room. Every passing day seemed exhausting for Ade and she was running out of ideas on how to be there for him.
“You just need to go in.” Tunji said, nudging her in the waist as he joined her by the window blinds. “He still looks the same.”
Yvonne nodded. “He has been in there for about an hour, he hasn’t looked up from the Novel yet.”
“Maybe the Novel interests him.” He replied.
She sighed. “I just wish he could have his rest days at home. In the past two weeks, he has been holed up in here.”
“Perhaps it’s for the best.” He replied.
Dr Jones joined them at the window. “Don’t you want to go in there?” he asked them.
Tunji turned to Yvonne. “Yvonne…”
“He doesn’t look okay.” Yvonne protested.
Dr Jones shrugged. “We are all hoping for the best, right?”
Yvonne was more than hoping. She was expecting. She wanted the best with Ade. She was in love with him. She couldn’t watch him slip away. Without another word to the other men she walked into the room and took Ade’s hand.
Dr Jones smiled at Tunji. “Love, they say is an amazing therapy.”
“Love? What do you know about love, Dad?” He asked, almost bluntly.
The older man chuckled. “I thought we had made up.”
Tunji looked away.
“So, why are you still single? Your brother has got a good woman in there.” Dr Jones asked, leading Tunji away from the window.
Tunji leaned against the wall. “Right now, we should be more worried about Ade than about a woman he likes.”
“Yvonne is instrumental in his recovery stage. I’d be more worried about her than about him.” His father replied. “As long as Yvonne is here, all I see is Ade fighting for more.” He added.
Tunji nodded. “I guess you are right.”
“Of course, I am.” He replied.
Tunji blinked. “Dad, do you miss her?”
Dr Jones looked away. “Do we have to talk about this?”
“Yes. I miss her too…and I think Ade does too…you don’t always have to hurt alone. I know you shut us out and you have hurt alone for a long time, but we can do this together.”
Dr Jones managed a chuckle. “It’s been a long time, Tunji. I am fine.”
“But I am not.” Tunji replied.
Dr Jones sighed as he stared at his son. “Tunji…”
“I still I miss my mother…and I think about it all the time and I am scared that God wants to play us again. He wants to take Ade away from us.” Tunji said.
Dr Jones swallowed. “He has Mom already, right? He doesn’t need Ade. Too many people will hurt if he takes Ade away. He can have me. I am worthless. I am fat. Horrible and worthless.”
“Stop it!” Dr Jones cut in, pulling Tunji close to him. “You are worth it! You are my son and I love you…don’t ever forget that.”
“Dad, it’s so hard to feel appreciated.” He said, pulling away. “Look at Ade, all he has to do is smile and he captivates anyone. He doesn’t have to make efforts to be loved. He even got someone like Yvonne crazy about him.”
Dr Jones shook his head with pity. “Oh poor boy…you don’t even know what you have. You are so handsome. I just wish you’d see it.” He said as he wiped a tear drop from his eyes.
“You are only saying that to make me feel better.” Tunji replied.
Dr Jones took a deep breath. “I want to take you somewhere. It’s a place I go when it gets so loud inside my head.”
Tunji and sighed and walked with him.
Ade laid back in his chair and passed the Novel to Yvonne. “I hope you love it.”
Yvonne smiled as she took the book from him. She was glad he finally paid her some attention since she stepped into the room. She gaped as she looked through the pages of the Novel. “It’s in Spanish.”
Ade smiled. “I know.”
“Do you understand Spanish?” she asked.
He smiled ruefully. “No.”
“So what were you reading?” she asked, taking a seat.
He shrugged. “I was focusing.”
“Focusing?” she probed.
He nodded. “I tried to imagine what the author could be saying.”
“Why didn’t you just get the English version?” she asked.
“And spoil my excitement? No way.” He replied.
She ran her hand across his beanie cap. “I love you, Ade.”
“My Yvonne…” he stressed and pulled her close.
Yvonne gasped and tried to fight back her tears. “Are you going to feel better?” she asked.
Ade chuckled. “Remission is the goal, right?”
“I am scared.” She replied. “I don’t want to lose you.”
He smiled faintly. “I am sticking by you till the end.”
He nodded. “Of course. My end is uncertain, remember?” he said with a chuckle.
She nudged him slightly. “Stop kidding.”
“I love you, Yvonne. I love you so much it hurts…” he said, kissing her forehead.
Yvonne smiled. “Ade, please be fine.”
“I am trying my best.” He replied. “And as long as you are here, I stay fighting.” He replied.
She took a deep breath. He was reassuring and maybe that was enough for the moment, but she needed some real progression. She needed a miracle.
“Yvonne…would you marry me?” Ade asked.
She laughed. “Great joke!”
“It’s not a joke. I love you…you love me. What’s the problem?” he asked.
She smiled. “Love is not enough.”
“Don’t I know that?” he asked, taking deep breaths.
She blinked as she stared at him. “Ade…Ade…”
Ade was silent. His eyes popped as he panted heavily.
“Ade!!!” Yvonne yelled and leaped over to the emergency bell. She buzzed it and hurried over to him. “Ade.”
Ade burst into an awkward laugh.
Yvonne frowned. “Not funny!” she shouted.
“Oh babe, you were so scared.” He replied, cuddling her in his arms
The door flung open and Doctor Musa rushed in with two Nurses. He stopped on observing the atmosphere. “What is going on here? Is this the emergency?”
“I guess so…”Ade cooed.
Doctor Musa smiled and checked his wristwatch. “About thirty minutes more. You are looking better today, Ade.” He said and walked out with the nurses.
“I won’t forgive you for that, Ade.” She replied through clenched teeth.
He grinned. “Oh, you will!”
Yvonne sighed. She loved it here…it was peaceful even in the chaos that surrounded Ade’s health.
“I know what you are thinking…” Ade started. “How did I fall in love with this guy, right?” he asked.
Yvonne smiled. “Not exactly. I have stopped asking myself that question a long time ago.”
She nodded. “All I do now is enjoy the peace and tranquillity I find with you…all I do is revel in the fact that finding you meant I found a home. This is the only place I have felt like me.”
Ade took a deep breath. “I love you too.”
Dr Jones closed the door behind Tunji. “This is it.”
Tunji looked around him. “Church.”
“I know it’s not what you think, but all I have ever had to do is sit and talk about it to God.” Dr Jones replied.
Tunji stepped away from him. “What does this do for you?”
“I feel lighter.” He replied.
Tunji sighed. “It won’t make me weigh less.”
“Of course not. A good diet plan might do that for you.” Dr Jones replied.
“Take a moment, son.” He said as he watched Tunji. “I’ll be outside.” He added and stepped out.
Tunji sighed as he approached the altar. He had gone to church as a boy. He had prayed…maybe time drew him away from God. Or maybe he was just angry at everything. He was sure he had his fair share of life, but they were never the best part…maybe some other people had it worse. But all he wanted was good health for Ade and maybe he was asking for too much, but still he would.
He took a deep breath and knelt down to pray.