Túnmikẹ might have been diagnosed with bradycardia, but she could feel the rise in the tempo of her heart beat. It was close to midnight; Sade wasn’t back home and she was still not picking her calls. “Will you try her again?”
“Was just about to.” Collins dialed her number again putting the phone on speaker so they could both hear the operator saying ‘the number you have called is not answering’ for the umpteenth time. But that wasn’t the case this time.
“Hello?” Túnmikẹ jumped. That didn’t sound like her sister’s voice. By impulse Collins removed the audio from speaker and started to communicate with the person on the other side of the phone. Túnmikẹ moved closer to hear a bit of what the conversation was about. Hopefully she could get an idea from Collins’ facial expression. He went to the desk to write some things down before hanging up the call.
“So?” she asked. “What’s up? Who was on the other end of the call?”
“Sade just got admitted into the Emergency Room of this hospital.” He said lifting up the paper he had just scribbled something on. “She was hit by a drunk driver on her way back, and suffered a head injury.”
“What?” Túnmikẹ could barely get that out in a whisper. “What?” she said again looking hard at Collins. “What?!” she started to cry. Her heart beat became unusually fast, she was starting to feel dizzy.
“We have to get to the hospital first thing tomorrow morning.” Collins said.
“Tomorrow morning? I am going to the hospital n-n-o-o-w-w. M-my sis-s-s-ter needs me.” Túnmikẹ managed to say before fainting.
The cold air and the beeping sound of the heart monitor machine was what woke Túnmikẹ up in the morning. ‘What am I doing here?’ She looked around for a familiar face just when Collins came into the ward with a disposable large cup of coffee and hot chocolate. “You’re awake.” He said. He handed her the hot chocolate before sitting on the chair by her bed. “This should help you relax.”
“Where is Sade? I want to see my sister.”
“And you will, after you relax.” He sighed. “I brought you over to the hospital Sade was brought to after you fainted last night. The head doctor told me Sade has been responding to treatment. She was brought out of the ER not too long ago, so she still needs to relax.” Túnmikẹ could tell there was something Collins wasn’t saying. “Any buts…?” She pressed further. Collins sighed again. “Well…it’s not certain, but the head doctor thinks there is a possibility Sade wakes up with a partial or full amnesia which may not last long at all. She says the head injury might have caused a trauma to the brain but we’d never know for sure until she wakes up. So, for now we have to pray and keep our hopes up. They are keeping her under close watch.”
Túnmikẹ was beginning to feel dizzy, she took a sip of her hot chocolate. She knew she had to be strong for her sister. Sade had always tried to be the backbone of the house for as long as she could remember, especially after the death of their mom. It was her turn to be strong. “I want to see her.”
“Yes, you will, once she wakes up. You also need to rest.”
“I will rest once I am by her side. I want to be there when she wakes up. She is going to be scared, and I want her to see me. I need to be there, Collins.” After so much persistence from Túnmikẹ, the head doctor finally agreed for Túnmikẹ to be transferred to her sister’s ward. And that was where she stayed till the evening when Sade finally woke up. Túnmikẹ was the first to hear Sade struggling to speak. She hurriedly gave her a cup of water. “Where am I?” Sade asked groggily.
“You are at the hospital.”
“There was an accident Sade. I was so scared and worried about you; thank God you are fine now” Túnmikẹ hugged her sister.
“Wow.” She looked around. Collins had stepped out to use the bathroom so there was no one else in the room. “But…” She swallowed. “Where is my mom? Who are you?” Túnmikẹ was shocked. “What?” it was her turn to look around the room, but she also saw no one. “What are you talking about, Sade?” Túnmikẹ asked frightened.
“Are you the nurse?” Sade asked. “Can you please call my mom? I need to see her. I feel like there is something urgent I have to tell her” She rubbed her temple. “Even though I can hardly remember right now…” That was when Túnmikẹ remembered what Collins had told her about the amnesia. She held her breath for a second. Amnesia? This only happened in movies, she thought. “Sade…” She started unsure of what to say next. “I need you to relax for me. I would get your mom, but after I tell you this short true-life story. It could probably help you remember what you have to tell your mom.”
“Oh…okay.” Sade agreed.
“Great. So, I remember one time when I was a child, our teacher had asked us to write a letter to someone we admire.” She started. “While everyone was busy writing a letter to the President, Nelson Mandela, Dangote and Bill Gates, I wrote a letter to my sister.”
“Aww” Sade chipped in. Túnmikẹ continued “Our dad was a fearful man. At a very early age we were exposed to domestic violence and emotional trauma. Every night when he came home, we didn’t know what kind of punishment or kindness to expect from him. Depended on his mood. My dad would say my sister was the weakest of us all, but I really always thought she was the strongest. She hid her pain and went all out to make us feel better, safer and at rest.” She laughed. “She was my hero. She still is. We only had each other, really. And well, our mom until…” She broke into tears.
Túnmikẹ lunged herself forward when she heard Sade say her name “Yes, Sade. It is me, Túnmikẹ.” But it wasn’t Sade that called her, it was Collins. He had just arrived from the bathroom and placed his hands on her shoulder. “What is going on? Is Sade awake?”
“Oh Collins.” Túnmikẹ narrated everything to Collins in tears. It was hard to believe her sister did not remember her. It felt almost impossible after all they had been through together. Collins excused himself to call the doctor and Sade just furrowed her eyebrows in confusion with respect to what had just unraveled in front of her. It felt frustrating especially when the migraine began to develop.
Just then, the head doctor walked right in. “Oh, thank God.” Sade said in relief. “These two were beginning to drive me nuts. I need to see my mom.” “Don’t worry Sade” she said “I would get these people out of your ward now. In the meantime, you need to rest well before you see anyone. I am sure you are feeling some pangs of headache?” Sade nodded. “It is expected. I would administer something to you that can help with that so that when you wake up next time, you will be all right.” She injected Sade who started to feel drowsy before shutting her eyes and drifting off to sleep.
Meanwhile, Túnmikẹ excused herself. She left the ward to make a call to an anonymous person. “…please you have to come around.” She cried “I need you and I can’t handle all of this on my own.” She begged. “It is just too much for me to handle alone, I need you please.”
<to be continued 🙂
Thanks for reading! 😀