Tales from the clinic

THIS THING CALLED LOVE

As I sat back in bed I could still picture myself in my small sized bed in my little girly room, thriving in pink decorations back in my teens. It’s been years yet, seems like yesterday. I was that indoor young lady who would rather lock herself away from human relations while having a good time with her romance novels or movies as the case maybe.

The opposite was the case with my siblings. Soma, my elder brother was then in the University, studying Medicine and surgery while Nkiru, my younger sister, though still in junior secondary was a book worm. Whenever they weren’t engrossed in their numerous texts, one would always find them dilly dallying with friends or chatting at one corner of the house.

It fast became their thing as I never showed interest. I had no physical friend yet, lots of best friends from my favorite characters in my stories. I never left the house without at least a novel to keep myself company.

I didn’t just like love stories, I lived them. Even while completely detached from everyone I still hoped for an awesome young man, my prince charming to find me at due time and sweep me off my feet. It was an enchanting mission, one I was wholistically set out to accomplish.

The University was a bit challenging. It was nice but somewhat different. I had to live in the hostel. That meant by force roommates as I couldn’t get my wish of staying alone granted – The toughest moment of my life. Funny how it has become the most fulfilling: the friends I made, the first Friends I ever had! How fulfilling. Jessica and kelechi were Godsent. I would never forget the immeasurable sacrifices they underwent to drift my mindset hard enough to accommodate the least possible social life.

It had been during one of those Dilly dallies that I met Sochima. By my definition, the most handsome man on Earth! He was everything I wished for and more. Seeing him reminded me of the perfect picture I extracted from one of the numerous scenes I had read in my drama series. I had stood smiling and gaping at him for God knows how long. Even now, the thought of him still gets me longing for his touch. I had fallen in love with him the moment I saw him. Even after the ups and downs, the bitterness thwarted in agony. The misery of having him so close yet, too far. The anguish of having to let our brief union end in divorce, I still love him.

The marriage had only lasted five years. Loosing our only child to sickle cell anaemia was the worst nightmare for both of us. It’s the worst experience any parent would ever have. The sorrow, the bitterness… It was more than we could handle and it eventually led our marriage to its end.

We had known our genotypes before the wedding, we had known we weren’t a match. Everyone who heard of it, from the doctor to our distant relatives had warned us to cancel the wedding but we refused. We convinced ourselves that the first three children won’t be SS. We believed that if we only had three children, we won’t have to grace the burden, the emotional pain of raising a sickler. Little did we know that that 25% in the gene could choose to manifest itself whenever and however!

Sitting alone in my room with no one to call me mummy, sitting alone in the cofines of my room with my shirt soaked in tears, in agony, and in longing for all that I have lost; my first ever child, a bubbly little boy and my beloveth husband; I can’t help but ask myself why I stubbornly went ahead with that wedding. I know I would still have lost Sochima but at least, I wouldn’t have caused an innocent child to die prematurely for something he knew nothing about. Moreso, neither of us would have gone through the trauma the entire incident greeted us with!