Choices And Chances – Episode 6
A Story by Lydia Jonathan
“Honey, you’re home early” I went ahead to greet him but there wasn’t a reply. I made to take the briefcase from his hand but he didn’t let me. The smile with which I came to him faltered and from the corner of my eyes, I saw his jaw clench as I he’s fighting something on the inside but it turned stoic almost immediately
I sat on the couch, and he did same too but giving us a reasonable amount of space setting his briefcase down
I averted my gaze, unable to look at him. So many thoughts were running through my mind. What does he want to talk about? It’s about the divorce issue no doubt but I wanted to avoid it since I replied him out of anger the day before. I didn’t want a divorce, I want to work through this with him. If only he’d do same and just talk to me
“Regina” he started and my heart was thumping in my chest.
“We… he continued, but I cut him off
“I prepared something. I know you’d be hungry, you didn’t eat before leaving the house. I made to get up but his voice stopped me
“Regina” he called again
“Did something happen at work, why are you home early? I tried covering up once more all the while avoiding his gaze
“Regina!” he yelled this time and I swallowed whatever I had I mind to say and turned to look at him
“About yesterday” he looked sternly at me. “We need to….
“I got a job” I spoke out suddenly, not knowing why that came out
“What?” his head whipped up to me immediately, his look intense on me. “What did you say?”
“I got a job”, I repeated “That’s what you want, isn’t it? He continued staring at me, not saying a word. “Isn’t it?” I repeated “You wanted me to do something right? To make something out of myself? That is want I’m trying to do. I want to make us work Daniel, I want the man I fell in love with back” I scooted closer to where he was and he didn’t make any sign to object. I went ahead to place my palm on his cheek, caressing his cheek gently with my thumb
“I want my Daniel back” I said, my voice breaking a little and he unconsciously leaned his face on my palm, his eyes closed like he was really fighting something and he looked so vulnerable. But suddenly, his jaw clenched and his eyes snapped open and he pried my hand away from his face once more spotting the stern look
“I’ll be in my room” he got up and left the living room, and I felt my heart feeling constricted in my chest, as I fought the tears.
After few minutes of staring blankly at the living room floor, since Daniel got up and left a while ago, and the sound of his door banging shut loudly. I heaved up, taking in a deep breath as I made my way to my room and laid gently on my bed, as I stared blankly at the ceiling. I pulled out my phone from my pocket and dialled Mary’s number and she picked up after the second ring
“What’s wrong? Did something happen?
“No, no, I’m fine
“Are you sure?
“Yes, I’m fine Mary
“So what’s going on?
“I got a job”
“Really? That’s great. But why do I feel like you are not happy about it
“I am happy. I guess I just didn’t think I’d get it
“Well you did, and you should be proud. You deserve it
“Well enough of that, you know what this means?
“We’re going shopping for corporate work clothes
I could feel her grinning
“Have you told Daniel?
“Yes” I said after much hesitation, thinking back to what happened
“What did he say?
“I’ll tell you when we meet. Bye
I hung up and sighed. Few minutes later, I felt my lids heavy and I was soon asleep. I felt the bed dip beside me and someone gently caressing my cheek but felt it was a dream, when I woke up to find the space beside me empty. I checked the time and it was evening already, I got up immediately and headed to the kitchen to make dinner. After I was done, I went to his room to call him to eat. I knocked but there wasn’t a reply. I pushed the door open gently, peering inside.
“Daniel?” I called in a hushed tone not to wake him up if he was sleeping, but he didn’t reply. I opened the door widely before it dawned on me. He isn’t home.
I rushed back to my room, picked up my phone and dialled his number. My mind was going haywire, many thoughts running through them. It rang but I hung up immediately. What he’s fine and I’m just overreacting, and then I call him and he gets mad at me? But he has never gone out in the evening without being angry, or maybe if we fought. We didn’t fight, we talked but that was in the morning, so what made him leave just like that
I paced up and down my room before deciding to call again. What’s the worse that can happen right? I sighed and pressed the phone close to my ear. It rang a while before going to voicemail. What’s going on? I was beginning to panic and left my room, walking the hallways of the house, the phone still pressed to my ear as I continued calling. I was walking past his room door when I heard ringing. I paused and turned to enter his room, and lo, the phone was on his table.
He left the phone home? I questioned, my heart beating out of my chest. I ran out to ask John if he knows where he went, but John said “No” only that he just requested the gate be opened, in a rushed manner, and then he drove out
I rushed back inside and dialled Mary’s number
“Mary, he’s left home and I don’t know where he is”
“He just left, do you think something’s wrong?”
“Okay Regina, just calm down and tell me what’s going on”
“He was in his room, so I went in and slept, and now this evening I went to call him to eat dinner but he’s not there”
“Maybe he went out”
“Without his phone? And now I can’t get to him
“I’m coming over Gina”
“No, don’t, maybe I’m just overreacting”
“Yes, you are, you need to calm down, he’ll be back. Did you guys fight?
“Exactly, so just be calm, and call me if he still isn’t back”
“Okay” I took a deep breath and hung up, though still thinking about various scenarios happening
I finally sat in the living room couch, my eyes fixed on the front door, waiting for him. After over an hour of staring and no sign of him coming through, I got up and began pacing once more. The sound of my phone ringing snapped me off my thoughts. I grabbed it immediately without even checking for the caller ID and pressed it to my ear
“Hello” I breathed out
“Regina, you need to come to the hospital right now”
“What? Doctor Jeremiah, what’s going on?”
I asked our family doctor, not knowing why he was sounding like that, and why he wants me in the hospital, or why he was calling by this hour
“Just come to the hospital right now” and he hung up
Without been told twice, I grabbed my car keys, sprinting out the front door like a mad woman and made straight for my car, yelling for John to open the gate. I know I probably owe him an apology for yelling at him, but that could wait. My husband’s not home, and our family doctor is calling for me to be at the hospital, which could only mean one thing
I reached the hospital parking lot, and parked my car, jumping out of it, not even sure if I locked it or not as I made my way into the hospital. I ran straight ahead looking for Dr Jeremiah and thankfully he met me halfway to his office
“What’s going on doctor? I asked catching me breath”
“Calm down Regina and just come with me”
I nodded and followed him as he took me to a private ward. He opened the door and there laid my husband in the hospital bed,a drip going through him, and he was out cold.
My hands flung to my mouth as I released a muffled gasp. My feet suddenly felt heavy as I dragged them towards my husband’s bedside.
“What? How did this, what happened?” I turned to Dr jeremiah who was also now staring at Daniel
“Regina” the doctor raised his hand to comfort me seeing as the tears were brimming in my lids, but I shook my head and his hand fell to his side
“What happened? Why is here?”
He made to answer but was cut short when Daniel frame shook, and his eyes fluttered open
“Honey” I held his free hand as I sniffled. “Are you okay, how are you feeling? I squeezed his hand gently, holding it up to place a kiss on his knuckles, but he was quiet
“Regina, he needs to rest some more. So he can’t answer you for now”
“Right” I nodded and turned briefly to the doctor before turning my gaze back to Daniel, as I gently caressed his cheek and his eyes shut close once more as his breaths had a steady rhythm
“What’s going on doctor?”
“It’s…it’s just malaria, he let it get out of hands that’s all. He just needs rest and he’ll be fine, he reassured then turned to leave. I saw something in is eyes I couldn’t quite place what it was as he turned to leave, so I shook it off. I turned back to Daniel’s sleeping figure still holding down his hand
I suddenly woke up not knowing when I slept off my hand still on Daniel’s and my head on his bed. I raised my head and my gaze was suddenly fixed on his as he was looking back at me, like he has been awake a while
“Hi” I smiled at him, but he didn’t answer nor did he avert his gaze which I was happy for.
“How are you feeling?”
“What are you doing here?” he finally spoke out
“I was really worried, you left, and your phone was left home, and then Dr Jeremiah called….
“Go home” he cut me off
“Go home, I’m fine”
“No you’re not, you’re in a hospital bed for Góds sake Daniel. So I’m not hearing any of it, and the doctor said you have malaria and let it get out of hand. Why would you do that? just cause you can’t stand me anymore doesn’t mean you should neglect your own body
His jaw clenched and he gritted out “Leave”
“I’m not going anywhere. So I don’t care if you don’t want to see me right now, you have to suck it up cause we’ll be here a while. I’m going to go get you something to eat
And with that I got up and let his room hearing his faint grunt, but didn’t care.
…To be continued
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