Life could be funny, right? It gives you something so beautiful like love and then it tells you, you can’t have it. That’s a tease. And in reality, that’s not even funny, that’s annoying. Why bring us together if you really didn’t want to give us a ‘forever’? Or is it actually true that life doesn’t give you anything? Maybe you just take it. Ade is laying in there and I am out here staring at his ring on my finger and I am wondering what we are doing. It all seems like one big joke and no one is willing to stop. Ade asked me to marry him and I said ‘yes’. I couldn’t have said ‘no’ to the only man I have ever imagined my life with since the day I met him. We have not been allowed to see him for three days now as the cycle has been intensified in the last days. Difficult times…difficult days. I have been praying for the days to come easy and the moments to pass slowly. None is happening. It is one big rush and it doesn’t seem like it’ll stop. I am scared…the last days are the desperate days.
“Yvonne!” Tunji said, tapping her.
She stared at him dumbly. “Yeah?!”
He chuckled. “I have been calling you forever.”
She exhaled. She couldn’t have heard him. She was lost in her thoughts and wishes. “I am sorry.”
“It’s fine. Want something to eat?” he asked, settling down beside her.
She shook her head.
He nodded and took a bite of his chocolate. “So, when are they going to let us in?” he asked.
Yvonne was surprised. “Shouldn’t you know that?”
“I don’t. Father is not telling me anything. I thought he’d at least talk to you. It’s been three days already.” Tunji replied.
Yvonne panicked. She had not heard anything about Ade’s health or seen him in the last three days. “Shouldn’t we talk to your father?”
“I haven’t seen him and I think they moved Ade from that room already.” Tunji replied. “I was tired searching for him so I came to sit and that’s when I found you here.”
“Is there something they are not telling us?” she asked.
Tunji stared at her. “Is it what I am thinking?”
Yvonne couldn’t dwell on the negative thoughts that clouded her mind. They seemed real too. That part scared her.
Doctor Jones approached them. “Hello.”
Yvonne hurried over to him. “Where is Ade?”
“Erm…we had to change his room for close monitoring.” He replied.
“Can we see him yet?” Tunji asked.
Doctor Jones stared at them. “Right now, I…I don’t think he can actually see you.”
“Why not?” Yvonne asked.
He blinked. “Ade is…he is quite critical.”
Yvonne looked away as tears welled up in her eyes. “I thought you were going to save him.”
“We are trying, Yvonne. It’s…it’s not so easy for me either. But these are really crucial days.” He replied.
“Are we hopeful, Dad?” Tunji asked.
Doctor Jones stared at them. “I can’t tell you not to hope.” He replied with a nod. “I am hoping too.”
“Doctor Jones! O.R!!!” A nurse called to him.
Doctor Jones exhaled. “I have to go now.” He said and walked away.
Yvonne slid into her seat. “Ade says he is going to marry me. He says we are going to have three kids.” She said with a soft chuckle. “We are not decided on the gender yet, but I’d love two boys and a girl. She’d be their little princess. That’d be lovely, right?” she concluded, turning to Tunji.
Tunji took a deep breath. “Yeah…it would.” He replied.
Yvonne managed a smile. “He’ll make it. You’ll see.”
Tunji blinked as he looked away.
“Hey, Yvonne.” Charles said, joining them.
Yvonne stared at him.
“How is Ade?” he asked.
She shrugged. “They aren’t letting us see him.”
Charles sighed before taking a seat. “I have to talk to you about something, Yvonne.”
She stared at him. “I really don’t have listening ears at the moment.”
“How does an endorsement deal of two hundred million sound to your ear?” he asked.
Tunji smiled. “Bro, what is that?”
Yvonne chuckled. “What are you doing?”
“Trying to get you to smile.” He replied with a smile. “I see it worked.”
Yvonne shrugged. “You tried.”
“Ade’s trick. He told me to try that on you whenever you feel sad.” He replied.
Yvonne sighed. “I don’t get this new partnership between you and Ade. First the engagement and now, silly jokes.”
“Actually he is preparing me as a stand-in for when he is gone.” Charles replied looking serious.
Yvonne’s smile faded. “Was that meant to be a joke? It is not funny.”
“I actually thought I would do a better job as a stand in guy for Ade.” Tunji started. “I am his brother. I know how to crack you up.”
Yvonne turned to Tunji sharply. “What is this?”
“Chill…it’s not that serious.” Charles said, laughing.
Yvonne hit him in the waist. “Don’t play with me like that.”
“I am not sorry. You are smiling. That’s good enough.” He replied.
Yvonne smiled. She had not found a genuine smile in a while and even though the scenario around her smile wasn’t the best, she was glad she had found a reason to smile.
“Ade will be fine.” Charles said. “He is fighting. He wants to marry you.” He added.
Yvonne smiled. “He will marry me.”
“Anyway, the endorsement deal is real!” Charles added.
Tunji clapped. “Money time.”
“We need to sign the deal this evening.” He said. “I set up the meeting not too far from here, you’ll get a change of clothes and we can come back here.” He concluded.
Yvonne nodded. “I can use the distraction.”
“AND A LOT OF MONEY!” Tunji chipped in playfully.
They all laughed and then locked in an embrace.
Ade pulled his window blinds back and stared into the darkness of the city. He was no longer counting the days that went by. He just wanted to see Yvonne but they won’t let him. He felt his dose had been increased as he felt more tired as the sessions came. He had missed his podcasts and his audience. He felt to record once more…a pressing urge to say something.
The door opened and his father walked in. “Ade.”
Doctor Jones took his seat. “You’ve got a session soon.”
“Is this some unorthodox method because I feel really tired and I don’t want to spend my last days like this?” he asked, taking his seat.
Doctor Jones rubbed his palms against the surface of his trousesr. They were sweaty as he felt nervous. “Stop talking about your last days.”
“I can’t help it.” Ade replied. “Why isn’t Yvonne here?” he asked. “I really want to see her. I appreciate the fact that this whole treatment has bought me more time with her, but I really don’t want to go without seeing her. I’ll never forgive you, Dad.”
“Stop blackmailing me, son. Yvonne will be here in the morning. She left to attend to some matters.” He replied.
Ade took a deep breath. “Am I getting better?”
“Do you feel better?” Doctor Jones asked.
Ade hated this. “Dad, you guys know better. Just let me know already. I told Yvonne I was going to marry her. I want to marry her.”
“Then marry her.” He replied.
Ade groaned. “I won’t be doing it here.”
Doctor Jones chuckled. “Doing what?!”
“Oh….Dad!” Ade gaped. “I meant marrying her in here, not what you were thinking!”
Doctor Jones laughed. “How do you know what I was thinking if you weren’t in the same vein of thoughts.”
“Ugh!” Ade scoffed. “Dad.”
Doctor Jones smiled. “You are going to be fine, Son. I believe.”
“It’s your duty to say that to me. You are my father. If I wasn’t your son, you’d have been blunt with me.” Ade replied.
Doctor Jones swallowed. Part of it was true. But, he believed so strongly that God was going to do something. Maybe he’d have mercy and just help them out. They were running out ideas.
“Am I right?” Ade asked.
Doctor Jones rose to his feet. “The nurses will soon be here for you. Do you need a book?”
Ade shook his head. “I am fine.”
Doctor Jones and made it to the exit.
Ade clenched his teeth. “What if I don’t make it to remission?” he asked, stopping his father in his tracks.
Doctor Jones took a deep breath and turned to him. “What if you do?” His father asked.
Yvonne was a lot richer than last night. On a normal day, that was enough reason for her to grin at the breaking of a new day, but you really can’t smile when all is really not well. She picked her wristwatch from her bedside and sighed. Ten in the morning. She had to return to the hospital and hope that maybe today, she’d be able to see Ade.
Her phone buzzed. It was Charles.
“Hi, Charles.” She started.
CHARLES: “Hey…how are you?”
“I don’t know.”
CHARLES: “Please be fine.”
“Thanks. I am off to the hospital later on. See you there?”
CHARLES: “Sure. I’ve got you.”
Yvonne hung up and buried her head in her hands. She prayed in her heart. That was all she could afford, she was too weak to cry and too frail to talk. Her heart did all the crying out loud and that was where her strength did lie. God had to listen to her.
Tunji ran into his father in the lobby. “Dad, what’s going on? I just saw Ade being moved back to his room in a stretcher.”
“Really? I…I haven’t been in the hospital. I went out.” He replied.
Tunji ran his hand across his forehead. “Something must have happened.”
“Tunji, please calm down. I’ll go find out.” The older man replied and turned to leave.
Tunji held him back. “Dad, I…I just wanted to say that I hold nothing against you even if Ade goes…but I just feel, I think you should let him have some normal days with Yvonne. Maybe it is time to let go, Dad. I don’t blame you for anything. I…I don’t want him to be a lab rat who never makes it out.” Tunji stuttered.
Doctor Jones exhaled. “Ade is not my experiment.”
“I know, but I am scared. I…I know Ade would love to go down well.” He replied.
Doctor Jones stared at his son. “Try to be optimistic, Son. I could use your strength too.”
“I am trying.” Tunji protested.
His Father nodded. “Try harder. I have to go now.” He replied and walked away.
Tunji gripped his head as he thought hard of the maybes and what ifs that clouded him.
He turned to see Yvonne. “Yeah?”
“What’s going on?”
He shook his head. “I don’t know.”
“What do you mean by you don’t know.”
Tunji blinked. “I just saw them take Ade back into his room in stretcher. I am confused.”
Yvonne’s heart skipped. “Where’s your Dad?”
“He went to find out.” He replied. “There is something going on and I don’t know if this is the end.” He said.
Yvonne was silent. There were no words.
Doctor Musa shut the door after Doctor Jones. “Please, sit.”
“Why do I have to sit? You can talk to me!” An agitated Doctor Jones replied.
Doctor Musa exhaled. “Fine.” He said and stepped back.
“Musa! Talk, man!” Doctor Jones yelled.
Doctor Musa handed him a chart. “Have a look.” He said and walked over to the monitor. “You’d be amazed what we found.”
“What’s in it?” he asked.
Doctor Musa turned to him. “The cells…the movement of the cells.”
Doctor Jones stared at the chart. “It’s empty, Musa.”
“My point exactly, Jones.” He replied with a smile. “Remission.”
Doctor Jones stared at the chart again. “What are you saying?”
“That is the most recent MRI. It was conducted a few hours ago. I just sent him back to his room after confirming it.”
Doctor Jones eyes went wet in an instant as he struggled to find traces of a mass on the chart. “Remission.” He whispered. “Remission.”
Doctor Musa joined him. “Ade is going home. No more Chemo. Ade is in remission, Jones. He made it. Of course, we have to do the routine check-ups, but heck! This is good news!”
Doctor Jones felt chills run down his spine and a trickle of tear beads on his cheeks. “Are you serious?”
“Congratulations.” He replied with smiles.
Doctor Jones couldn’t hold back his tears as they flowed in excitement.
“It’s okay.” His counterpart said, hugging him. “Go break the news to him.”
Ade turned to the door as it opened. “Yvonne?”
Yvonne shut the door after her and joined him on the bed.
“How did you get in here?” he asked.
She smiled faintly. “It’s not a prison, Ade.”
“It was starting to feel like one.” He replied.
She nodded. “I understand how you must have felt.”
“How I feel.” He corrected.
She managed a smile. “So, we never actually concluded on how many kids we are going to have when we get married.”
Ade stared at her. He didn’t want to give her any hopes. “I…I really-”
“Pick a number.” She said, cutting him short. “I’d love three anyways…so pick three.”
He smiled. “Three.”
“That’s a step in the right direction.” She replied. “So, where are we going to live? What kind of apartment?”
Ade sighed. It was high time he played along with her. If this was going to make her happy, he wasn’t going to stop the flow. “I’d like a house with a creek beside it, where I could actually teach our kids to fish.”
“Well, that’s a dream…I don’t know if that’s going to happen yet.” She replied, smiling. “Maybe when we are old and rusty, we could actually buy one of those homes and catch fishes together.
Ade stared at her. “Yvonne-”
“Okay, let’s talk about tomorrow. What are we doing tomorrow?” she asked.
He swallowed. “Stop it.” He said.
She stared at him. “Why?”
“Don’t do this. Don’t start talking about the best things when we are not sure of them.” He said.
She smiled. “Oh my darling.”
Ade clenched his teeth. “Don’t do that.”
“What?!” she asked, almost laughing.
He sniffed. “Don’t call me nice names that won’t last forever.”
She smiled. “This is forever, Ade.”
She smiled. “There’s a place called home. It finds you.”
“I found you?” he asked.
She nodded. “This is our forever, Ade.”
He looked away.
“You are in remission.” She said.
Ade’s heart skipped. He turned to her in an instant.
“Ade, you are going home.” She said, wiping the tears in her eyes.
He shook his head, unable to believe her. “No…No…you are joking.”
“We are going home.” She replied.
The door opened and Doctor Jones walked in with Tunji. Ade knew it was true. They were smiling. He turned to Yvonne. “I want five kids.” He said, with his voice breaking.
She laughed as they hugged.
Doctor Jones turned to Tunji. “Are you going to wait in line for your own hug?”
Tunji wrapped his hand round his father. “Dad, I am sorry.”
“I love you, son.” His Father replied.
Ade stared at Yvonne. “I love you, Yvonne.”
“And I love you.” She replied as she kissed his forehead.
I took a peek through the window as I cleaned the plates. The boys were back.
“I really would like to go out with them sometime, Mom.”
I turned to my little girl. “You’ll have your moment, little girl.”
“Girls play football too, you know?” she said as she read from a book.
“George thinks he is a better player than I am.” She protested, closing the book. “I don’t believe him. He hasn’t even seen me play, so how does he know he is better than I am?” she asked.
I smiled at her. “You don’t even play.”
“If you let me, I will.” She replied.
Ade chuckled as he walked in with George. “Is she still talking about football?”
“Dad, we both know Derin can’t play.” George replied. “Mom, I scored against Dad…twice.” He added, staring at me with a smile.
Ade turned to Derin. “We are going to the mall, ladies.”
“Dad…but you said we were doing that together.” George replied.
I turned to George. “It’s time for your homework. You chose football over your homework.” I said, taking off my gloves. “Derin, go get your bag.”
She hurried out of the kitchen.
“Can we do the assignment when we all get back?” Ade pleaded.
I rolled my eyes. “Well, he has got to make a choice. You either stay back and do his homework or forfeit our family vacation.”
“I’ll do my homework.” He replied, leaving the kitchen.
Ade stared at me with a smile. “That was an interesting suggestion, considering we’d never leave him at home for vacation.”
“A mother knows this things.” I replied as I ran my hand through his shirt.
He smiled. “You do know you still owe me some children?” he asked, chuckling. “We just have two.”
I bit my lips. “Compromise.” I replied and walked out of the kitchen.
“Seriously?!” Ade groaned after me.
“Once you choose hope, anything is possible – Christopher Reeve.”