HELLO PEOPLE. HERE IS THE CONCLUDING PART OF BOY OR GIRL, A STORY BY OMODOLAPO KASALI (@kaygeegal). PLEASE ENJOY, COMMENT AND SHARE IF IT APPEALS TO YOU. THANKS FOR DROPPING BY
See Boy or Girl (1) here https://oscarpoems.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/boy-or-girl-1-by-omodolapo-kasali/
“I know about her. Gbenga, just so you know, your mother came to our house with Titi. She came to boast to me that you got her pregnant and she will give you the bouncing baby boy I have been unable to give you”.
“What!”, he exclaimed.
He sighed and sat on the bed, obviously defeated. I had him in my throes. I had been holding in it in me for a long time, refusing to voice out so as not to destroy my home with the potential reaction that comes with such an occurrence. The time to talk had however come.
“Unfortunately she gave birth to a girl, another girl for you just a fortnight ago, Gbenga”, I said, finally betraying emotions and allowing the tears to stream freely, as I revealed a lot of things he thought were not known to me.
He made a move towards me, his voice a total shadow of its rich uniqueness, “Baby, I am sorry. I fell victim of persuasion. She is my mother, what could I have possibly done? I couldn’t disobey her. The whole thing was a planned work between Mama and Titi. Please.” he pleaded.
Something stirred inside of me. A combination of resentment, anger and hatred, and then love and compassion. I wanted to be rid of him that very minute but I wanted to get up and hold him close at the same time. Talk of contrasting emotions. I felt like having the strength to move away from him with the children but I wanted to have a family hang out with him and the kids at the same time.
The mini strength I had started to fail me. I felt dizzy, thirsty and hungry at the same time, everyone became double and the next thing I saw was bare, neither black nor white, just colourless.
I continued seeing and hearing all what was happening around me but it all felt very far away. My husband was talking, he kept talking. All of a sudden he stopped, stood up and shook my body. I wanted to shake his hands off but I had no control over myself. I screamed but my voice was stuck in my throat. I saw him panic and rush out. He came in afterwards with the doctor and two nurses.
They all had this worried look I could not place on their faces. The two nurses rushed out and back in, everyone was running helter skelter. I just stood watching, wondering why they were all giving themselves problems. Something felt wrong in that room. I was fine, just resting in me, hearing their inaudible noises and their actions however made me feel everything was wrong.
They brought in a stretcher and moved me onto it. I was telling these people nothing was wrong with me, that I only needed rest. They did not answer me, maybe they did not hear, “Maybe they are also turning against me like Gbenga”, I thought.
I tried to hit the mean nurse to leave my head but she did not feel my blows. They put oxygen mask on my nose. “Are you mad? I don’t need this thing. I am not dying”, I screamed but they all ignored my screams and shouts, more like they were not hearing. After exhausting myself, I saw the chair at the entrance of the new room where I was taken, and I sat. Gbenga was all over me, I started hearing his voice a bit clearer
“Don’t do this now. You can’t leave me. Who’ll take care of the kids, my beautiful daughters? Wait and hand over the twins to me baby. No one has ever had twins in my lineage. Wait and be the mother of your kids”, he was just talking and saying all sorts. He was disturbing my peace. The medics were all over me.
Gbenga was weeping, in a kind of way I had never seen before. I was not comfortable in my sleep and I wanted to just reach out to him to tell him to stop. I wanted him to know I was just resting. Resting should not make him cry. I actually stood beside him and touched his shoulder but he also did not feel my touch. He was taken away from my side by the fair skinned, plumpy nurse who I saw when I was about to be taken to the labour room.
“Aunty will be fine”, she said and I smiled thankfully at her but she did not see me either.
“What is wrong? Why can they not see me?”, I thought and then got up from the chair on which I sat. Questions were more than answers and there was none to tell me anything.
Scene was changing, the hospital was becoming somewhere else. I wanted to see my twins before everything ended. I could not understand what was happening. I only knew I was different from the rest of them. I only discovered that I found myself staring into the eyes of the new borns. I saw nothing apart from the face of Iya Gbenga on the babies. “How did this happen?”, I queried again. The babies were sleeping peacefully, oblivious of the battles that lay ahead in the journey through life. I smiled and shook my head.
All of a sudden, a well illuminated, neatly paved way was in front of me. Without any command, I just started running. Eager to complete the road on time, I ran faster, pushed myself on. I just wanted the race to be over. The harder I tried, the longer the road. The longer the road seemed, the more motivated I was to run the race to the end.
I kept running, I was tiring out but I was not ready to give up. All of a sudden, my energy level dropped. Hard as I tried, I could not run again. I fell on the floor hoping to feel pain as a result of the impact of my fall. It was however baffling because I felt nothing at all. That gave me a cause for concern again.
As I was wondering what all the events I could not explain were about, everything became black, pitch black. I had lost sense of time but it looked like forever before it changed to grey and then white. That white was like I had never seen. Everything just plain, and white in a kind of way that cannot be explained. The white was like a fluorescent and it penetrated into my eyes.
I closed the eyes till the whiteness started reducing in sharpness. Managing to open the eyes, everything came out in a blur, then became clearer and I saw the white overall of the doctor. I wanted to move but I could not. It took all of my effort and then I felt the sheets on my skin. I could finally feel something again. Gradually, I opened my eyes fully.
“She’s stirred”, were the first words I heard, and it was the nurse’s voice.
Something was strange however. Everything felt different and I felt as if a load was lifted off my shoulders. I felt light and full of strength and managed a smiled.
Gbenga looked into my eyes, concern etched on his features and he said “baby don’t leave me. Boy or girl, just stay with me”.
Very early the next morning, I woke up to find Gbenga by my side. He looked sleep deprived and I felt pity for him. I would however do anything to keep him beside me for as long as I can. Tiredness was written all over him. Despite it all he smiled, flashing his full set of teeth.
“Good morning baby. I am glad to see you so full of life”, he said.
I responded with a bigger smile. Only after that did it dawn on me that I had not seen my real babies, not Gbenga, for long. The nurse walked in briskly, all smiles too. I even started thinking they had all inhaled ‘smiling gas’.
“Aunty Bola, the boys need your attention”, she said, her expression a mixture of smile and grin.
Gbenga was lost. I am sure he did not know when he voiced out, “boys?”.
“The babies. I mean the babies need to be suckled”, she replied, with a bigger smile.
I managed to sit up. Confusion was my closest ally at that point in time.
“What is this nurse saying? The boys, the babies, the kids. Is she normal at all?”, the voice in my head said. Gbenga looked at me as if trying to get an explanation, one to which I had no answer.
My bundles of joy were brought to me by the nurse a few minutes later and the newly resumed doctor gave my husband a smile as he stretched forth his hands.
“Congrats sir. Your boys are finally here”, he said.
Gbenga got up and looked from me to the nurse and the doctor before finally resting his eyes on me.
“No, it can’t be true. I … I just …” he stammered as he tried to string his words together. I let silence reign too. I did not know what to say.
My husband kept staring as he struggled to come to terms with the news. He looked at me and said “Bola, tell me she is joking, please”. I shrugged and he went on
“Why Bola? Why did you lie to me?” he said breathlessly.
“I didn’t lie dear”, I replied
“You did. You told me you have given birth to twin girls” he was trying to convince me to remember what I told him.
“I didn’t say that. I told you that I have given birth to twins and you should come quickly. I said nothing about their gender as I was too scared to ask. I wanted you to see them first”, I explained.
He paced and murmured to no one in particular “oh God. Somebody did, somebody told me” he stopped abruptly. “Maami did, she called before you”.
“Mama was disturbing after I informed her you had given birth. The only question she was asking was about the gender and when I did not answer her, she assumed they are girls”.
“Oh my. Oh my. Oh my good God”, he said in quick succession as he proceeded to kneel down by the bed side, shedding tears.
The nurse smiled, shook her head and left us both, alone.
I did not want to cry but I could taste the tears in my mouth. “No! I won’t cry, it is his turn now, let him cry. I had my share earlier. He gave my kids a half sister. No! I won’t tell him to stop. I wept when his mother told me about Titi, I wept when she got pregnant, I wept when I needed my husband and he was not there, I wept when she gave birth to another girl, I wept when my husband refused to see the twins because he was particular about their gender. I wept earlier, it is his turn, let him weep for as long as he wants”, I thought to myself.
I helped him shed the tears a bit more. As he put his head on my laps, I adjusted my back with a pillow and watched him cry as I rubbed the back of his head with my hands, the way I always love to do.