There are certain times when we come to the sudden realisation about who and what is important in our lives.
‘Can’t you go any faster?! I’m in a hurry.’
‘Oga, you know say na night and rain still dey fall small small. We go still reach. Don’t worry.’
Kosi grabbed his knees in an attempt to calm himself. An Uber to the hospital was his best bet since his car was at the mechanic. The five minutes he spent waiting for the ride felt like torture, moreso because he had to spend it with Hope in silence. One that was both strained and awkward. He was glad Hope hadn’t offered to join him, he couldn’t be with her right now.
‘Oh Eva. I’m so sorry about everything. I wish things never turned out this way.’ Kosi murmured to himself. ‘Please be ok.’
‘We don reach.’ The driver replied breaking Kosi from his thoughts.
Kosi blinked rapidly in an attempt to reduce the stinging in his eyes. He looked outside the window and realised the rain had stopped and they had arrived at the hospital.
‘N1000.’ The Uber driver said as he showed him the price on his phone.
Without thinking, Kosi brought out some money from his pocket and gave it to the Uber driver.
‘Ah! Oga, the money pass o!’ He screamed, his head sticking out of the window. Ignoring him, Kosi rushed into the hospital.
‘Excuse me, please, My wife. My wife is here. I need to know where she is. Eva. Evangeline Ogbonna.’
‘Sir, you need to calm down.’ The receptionist stated.
‘I can’t! My wife was in an accident and I…’
‘It’s fine. He’s with me.’
Even before turning to see the face, he could already place it.
‘This is all your fault!’ He shouted stomping towards Ebuka.
‘Sir…’ the receptionist said panicky as she moved around in an attempt to stop Kosi but Ebuka motioned to her to stop. Kosi landed a blow across Ebuka’s jaw causing him to stumble a bit. Kosi cradled his hand in pain.
‘That’s a freebie.’ said Ebuka as he rubbed his jaw. ‘The next time you think about hitting me just remember, I hit harder.’ Ebuka’s eyes were as cold as steel as he starred Kosi down.
Kosi rushed him but Ebuka grabbed his arms, halting his attack.
‘I get you’re angry, pained, frustrated even but this is not the time. Your wife is in the ICU barely clinging onto life and you’re here, doing what?’ He watched Kosi visibly calm down before letting him go. ‘She needs her husband. She needs you. Go.’
Without waiting for a reply, Ebuka walked out of the hospital. Realisation hit Kosi and he sprinted to the ICU, nearly colliding with the doctor.
‘I want to see my wife. Is she alright? Will she be alright?’ Kosi begged, desperate to hear something, anything reassuring about his sweet Eva.
‘Woah!’ The doctor exclaimed, steadying him. ‘Who’s your wife?’
‘Eva. Evangeline Ogbonna.’ Kosi replied. He was panting.
The doctor glanced behind him before turning to face Kosi. His expression was unreadable.
‘Have a seat. Please.’ The doctor added, pointing at a row of chairs when he noticed Kosi’s hesitation.
Kosi was about to protest when he noticed the tired look on the doctor’s face. It must have been a busy night for him too. Kosi thought.
‘I’m sorry. We did everything we could but there are some things that are beyond our power…’ the doctor began.
Kosi zoned out. What? Eva. His Eva was… ignoring the doctors’ protests, Kosi ran into the ICU and was stopped, shocked at what he saw.
There were multiple tubes running in and out of Eva. A breathing mask covered most of her face and the gentle beeping of the heart monitor made him collapse in relief.
‘Thank God.’ It came out as a silent whisper, a prayer of thanks as he dropped to his knees and huge drops of tears fell from his eyes.
‘Thank you!’ He screamed as the orderlies came in to lead him out of the ICU.
‘Calm down sir. You didn’t let me finish.’ The doctor said.
Hope surged through Kosi.
‘Doctor…?’ Kosi’s eyes quickly scanned the tag he saw pinned to the Doctor’s outfit. ‘…Audu. Thank you so much for keeping my wife alive. For saving her!’
He clung to the Doctor’s coat like he was a drowning man and the Doctor held his oxygen tank.
‘It was tough but we were able to stop the bleeding and stabilise her.’ Doctor Audu began as he carefully eased Kosi off of him and led him back to the seat he formerly occupied.
‘You need to understand, even though we were able to stabilise her, we can’t be sure of anything until she wakes up.’
Kosi wears a worried look on his face.
‘Does that mean there’s a chance she won’t… that she won’t wake up?’
‘Mr Ogbonna, we’ve done all that we can but the rest is up to her. Whether or not she wakes up, If she wakes up, it’s by her own will.’
The thought that there was a chance, no matter how small, that he would see Eva again, filled Kosi with so much hope. He needed to right all the wrongs, to clear his conscience, to show in whatever way that he was worthy of Eva’s love despite all that had happened. And he could only do that if she woke up.
‘As long as there’s a chance, I’ll take that over never seeing her happy and healthy again. Thank you doctor. Thank you.’
‘All in a day’s work.’
The doctor turned towards Eva’s room.
‘You can go see her now. No one will stop you… this time.’ He said with a wink and smile.
Kosi walked slowly into Eva’s room. The steady beeping of the heart monitor calmed him. There was a chair at the corner which he moved closer to the bed before finally taking a seat. With so much care, he held Eva’s hand in his. It seemed so pale and weak against his.
‘Hey Eva. I’m an idiot. I know I’ve said and done some really stupid and dumb shit. I’m so sorry. You can’t even imagine how sorry I am. If only I could turn back the hands of time… if only…’
He let out a deep sigh.
‘There’s so much we need to talk about. So much. I just… I just need you to wake up. Please Eva. Please. For me, for you, for us. I can’t go on without you. Please.’
The soft sound of the rain pelting the window helped muffle Kosi’s sobs as he sat on the chair, holding Eva’s hand.