Túnmikẹ was still unable to sleep. She needed to sleep badly. Her head hurt, and she knew she had some explanation to give Sade by morning for why she went to see their father. Túnmi had always been a daddy’s girl. The sisters had tried everything they could to make their father change his mind about the divorce, but he was unbending. That was why Sade made her promise to have nothing to do with him again. ‘Let’s abandon him like he abandoned us. ’Sade had said, but Túnmikẹ had made a broken promise she knew she could never fulfill. Her dad was a tough and stubborn man, and his only flaw was not knowing how to express his love toward those he deeply cared about. Túnmi was somehow able to see past that flaw all the time. Her mind played back to the conversation she had with her father whom she had gone to see earlier that day.
The fairly old man who was now a retired doctor, was sitting very comfortably in his well-furnished living room when Túnmi walked in. She had always thought the interior decoration was phenomenal with the rich blend of orange, grey and black colours that suited her father’s personality perfectly. “I didn’t know you were coming today?”
“Yes dad, it was quite urgent and on such short notice.”
“Urgent?” He laughed. “The only urgent I know Túnmikẹ for, is when she needs cash. I could have easily transferred it to you, you know? No need to come all the way here for that. I see you are one of these covidiots loitering around. You should know better; you are no longer a child.” He said contemptuously.
Túnmikẹ was really getting tired of people calling her a child. She ignored all he had just said and went straight to the reason why she came. She told him about her recent episode that landed her in the hospital and how she had been doing some research on her own about the condition. “Mom had arrythmia, didn’t she?” Dúrójaiye hesitated.
“Yes, she did, but she never had to go to the hospital for anything. In fact, she was very healthy. It is often times triggered by certain circumstances…”
“Like the divorce? Emotional stress? You left us dad, and Sade and I did everything we could think of to make you stay, but you still left.”
“It wasn’t that easy Túnmikẹ and besides, it was a mutual decision.”
“If it was mutual, then why did it affect mom so much so to cause her a heart attack?”
“Cardiac arrest.” He corrected. Túnmikẹ bit her tongue and swallowed her words. She knew better than to say the exact words lingering in her mind at that moment. He might be old, but he still had the power to exert his dominance when he wanted to be respected. He valued respect like gold and did anything to get it. Even if that meant allowing his family to live in a constant state of fear all those years, because they didn’t know what he might do next in anger. They felt choked almost all the time until they got used to it. Túnmikẹ could always see it in his eyes, as she could see now at that very instant, that he had loved their mother dearly.
Dúrójaiye was on the verge of telling his daughter the whole truth behind the divorce, so she could see that Abimbola, their mother, had brought all her pain and stress upon herself. But he didn’t want to cause any weight on the girl who had just been released from the hospital because of a heart condition. He knew that the arrythmia must have gotten to a critical stage if it had caused her to faint like that.
“Do you know anyone who goes by the name Kunle Lawson?” Túnmikẹ asked, moving on to the next thing she had on her mind to discuss with him, in a bid to clear the awkward silence that the living room now wore like a cloak.
“Kunle Lawson? Am I supposed to know such a person? What is his title, and what does he do?”
She almost burst out laughing. “He’s our neighbour back at home. I am not sure where he works though, but I know he is a Veterinarian.”
“Why do you think I would know such a nobody?”
“Dad! He is a person, and I am asking because he asked me to greet you and tell you to stay safe. I don’t know how he knew about you or that you were a doctor. I was going to ask though but he scrambled off before I could. I guess I would just ask him when I get back home then.” She got up, getting ready to leave.
“I want to meet with the doctor that attended to you while at the hospital. He must have told you about the dangers of arrythmia when you start to experience such episodes like the one you just told me.”
“Oh? I don’t know. He spoke to Sade about everything though and she told me everything was fine. I just need to do some check-ups and consultations every now and then until I am completely cleared.”
“Is that all?” She nodded. “Fix an appointment with him for your next check-up, and revert back with the date and time along with the hospital address. Okay?”
“But…” He gave her a look that clearly meant to say end of discussion. Túnmikẹ was unsettled and it was not because her father just demanded to be at the next doctors appointment. It was because she didn’t know how to break it to Sade that the father whom she thought had become estranged to both of them, was not estranged to her at all. That she had been communicating with their father long before their mother’s death and now, he suddenly wants to show up at her next doctor’s appointment.
And that was what kept Túnmikẹ awake until sleep found her at 4 o’clock in the morning.
<to be continued.
Thank you for reading 🙂
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