There is something quite peculiar about hospital food, Sade thought. She remembered when her mom was admitted at the hospital for three days because she was very ill. Her mom despised the food they gave her almost all the time. She had to run a quick errand to a cafeteria outside the hospital to get something her mom would like. Now it was her turn to be admitted at the hospital, and to be served the same bland food, but there was no one she could tell to run any errands for her. The doctor had once again told her to relax after she tried to eat before they brought her mom in. Sade could also sense that something was not right, but the drugs and her constant headaches were a serious barrier for her to think it through.

“It is clear that Sade has partial amnesia which explains why she can remember certain people and events” The head doctor, Mrs. Esan, said to Túnmikẹ and Collins while in her office “She also recalls a number of things about herself which is a good sign and a strong indication that she could recover the rest of her memory.” “Praise God” Túnmikẹ interrupted. Mrs. Esan smiled and continued “As I said, it is merely an indication. It is possible she remembers nothing at all which is why you are going to help her. The period of recovery is unascertainable so it could last for as long as a year – maybe more, or as short as six months – maybe less. It really all depends on how strong the triggers can be for her.” Collins and Túnmikẹ exchanged a look.

“Are you the only family member she has? She has been asking for her mom a lot.”

“Our mom is dead. It’s been about two years now since she passed. I can’t imagine Sade having to relive the death of our mother again. Our mother’s death always had a huge toll on her.” Túnmikẹ said.

“In fact…” Collins continued “…it was hard for her to move on until recently, when she made the decision to do so.” He said.

“But Ma, why couldn’t she remember me? I am her sister. We have practically been together all our lives. I don’t understand.” Mrs. Esan tried to explain the complexities of retrograde amnesia. How remote memories are more easily accessible than events occurring just prior to the trauma. “Most times, a recurring memory or one that the victim subconsciously always longs for is what the victim remembers, and a traumatic memory or one the victim wants to forget is what eludes the memory. This doesn’t mean your sister wanted to forget you, it may mean that you were associated with a memory she wanted to forget at that point in time.” Túnmikẹ’s heart broke. What could she have done that would make Sade want to forget. Then she remembered her phone that had gone missing and was later found in Sade’s bag. That means Sade had taken her phone. She didn’t have the password, so she was sure she couldn’t access it, or could she? They left the doctor’s office and Túnmikẹ sighted a familiar face at the waiting room of the hospital.

“Aunt Rose!” Túnmikẹ ran to hug her aunt.

“My daughter.” She returned the embrace. “Ah, you’ve grown so much. You are now a big girl o. How about Sade? Let me go and see her.”

“Thank you for coming Aunty. Sade is fine, at least responding to treatment. The doctor just gave us good news that there is a huge chance she recovers her memory. I was so scared.” Túnmi said.

“The God I serve would not let any daughter of mine forget her memory. As soon as you called me last night and told me all that happened. I had to leave Abeokuta very early in the morning so I could make it here on time.”

“I hope I didn’t stress you ma. I just couldn’t….”

“No, no, no. In fact, I was very happy you called for my help. And I am here to help ehn?” She chuckled.  “How about your father? I can’t see him anywhere.” She asked.

“That’s because he is not here. I don’t think Sade would like that. She still has an enmity towards him since the divorce.”

“Ah-ah.  Which divorce? You can’t be serious. So how have you girls been coping?” Túnmikẹ explained how Sade got a well-paying job and how they had to sell the former house to get an affordable place elsewhere. She also confessed that she had been keeping in touch with their father, and he’s been helping financially but Sade dared not find out. She told her aunt that she was hoping that with time, Sade would get over the hatred she had towards Dúrójaiye but as time passed, it seemed more impossible and she couldn’t really blame her because of the way he estranged himself after the divorce.

Aunt Rose couldn’t believe all that she just heard. Had time really passed that fast? She was shocked that Abimbola had failed to carry her along – she didn’t even know they had gone through with the divorce eventually. In that instant, Aunt Rose took out her phone from her bag, and made a call to Dúrójaiye ignoring all of Túnmikẹ’s protest. She scolded him like a child and told him all that had happened to Sade. She gave him the address of the hospital and insisted she wanted him there as soon as possible.

Túnmikẹ started to worry. As far as she was concerned, Aunty Rose was the only family they had left. Their mother had no siblings they knew of, it was just Aunty Rose and her husband who took care of her mom after her parents had died in a car accident. Their mother had always kept Aunt Rose at a distance since she moved to Abeokuta. The sisters thought it was so as not to stress her with travelling at her age, or worry her with bad news. Túnmikẹ however felt like she had no choice after what she had read about amnesia online and how family played a strong role in recovering one’s memory. At that moment, she had panicked and called Aunty Rose to come to the hospital. Now, she wasn’t sure if that was a good idea.

<to be continued.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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  1. Aunty Rose is a typical Nigerian “Aunty” character. The line “The God that I serve will not let any of my family members lose their memory” got me.

    Nice episode. Well-done.

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