© Kemiliz Aiyemo Omotayo
Just as she was about to knock on their door, she heard Ben and Ifemi’s voices concurrently
” Mummy please, you can’t do this to us. Don’t do this to us. Open your eyes please”
Esther stood motionless and confused. What was she supposed to do? It was apparent enough to know that the incident inside was an unpleasant one with what she was hearing.
” But it’s none of my business and what would even be my excuse for showing up in his place this early?” She thought and decided to return to her mother’s shop.
Just as much as she wanted to leave immediately, the inquisitive part of her wouldn’t let her use her legs as now she could clearly hear both Ben and Ifemi’s weeping.
Her hand found it’s way to the door, knocking it gently before she even had the chance to put together her reasons for being there peradventure she was asked.
She continued for some seconds waiting for a voice at least to usher her in if not either of the occupants to open up for her.
When nothing of such happened, she opened the door carefully and met Ifemi and Ben trying to resuscitate his mother.
They weren’t even aware she was there until she moved towards them.
” We need to take her to the hospital” Esther suggested and they both agreed.
” I mean now” Esther yelled when the two weren’t making any move to do as she had suggested.
The two were too weak for her liken and this was surprising. She had expected him to be strong enough to take the right step and not to be crying like an adult baby. And to even think the all mighty garrulous Ife who couldn’t let her mouth stop running on their first encounter couldn’t also proffer solution at a time like this even with all of her exposure and accent is quite unbelievable. When she saw that this two weren’t just only clueless but as well dumb, she began to gave instructions on how to get his mother to the hospital.
” Call Mr Joseph, the cab driver now.” Esther instructed
” I don’t have his number” Ben replied.
” Go get him in his house then” she yelled.
” I don’t know where he stays” Ben replied
” He lives just down the street. Ask around and you’ll be directed to his house. Let’s hope and pray he hasn’t left home already.” Esther instructed and he left once.
When Ben had left, Esther had the chance to ask Ife what really happened and she narrated.
” She was fine up until some minutes ago when she was already prepared to leave for the shop. I was in the sitting room with her then and she told me she was feeling tired and somehow.
Some minutes later, she called out to Ben in a shout and before he could come out of the room, she collapsed. Thank goodness I was closer and was able to reach out to her before she got to the floor” Ife explained
” Why is she all soaked?” Esther asked
“We were trying to make her become conscious” she replied.
As much as Esther hated her guts, she hated her accent as well. She wished she could just disappear and stop making her feel less a lady. She’s finding it extremely difficult to stay in a room for this long with her.
” It’s all for Ben, my Ben” she thought
Esther requested for her clothes to be changed and Ife made everything available.
Esther didn’t really know what to do but she was better than Ben and Ife put together.
The two ladies helped the unconscious older lady to change into a light and free gown. When they were done, Esther stood up and began to pray asking God for restoration and healing.
” You said in your words in Jeremiah 30:17 that you will restore her to health and heal her wounds, oh Lord my father, perfect your healing power on her.
You also said in 1John 5:4 that for every one born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. I stand on your word and declare her victory over sickness and diseases, over principalities and powers, and even over death.” Esther prayed fervently while Ifemi was watching Ben’s mom.
Ben soon arrived with Mr Joseph and they hurriedly took his mother to the hospital.
They all managed themselves in the cab; while Ife sat at the front, Ben, his mom and Esther sat behind, with his mother at the centre.
On their way to the hospital, Esther continued to pray and speak in tongues, this time silently.
Ben who was too weak to even say a word of prayer was saying Amen to Esther’s prayer.
He was glad she came even though he didn’t understand why. This wasn’t even the time for questioning. He kept stealing glances at Esther. She was indeed a strong lady who was doing everything morally and spiritually right at the moment. It was such a relief that she was there for him.
Ben’s mom was taken into one of the wards on a stretcher by the nurses where the doctor attended to her
Ben, Ifemi and Esther waited at the reception each hoping the doctor would come out soon to give a positive response.
As they all sat, Esther locked her hand with his and gave him reassuring look that all will be well.
He couldn’t remove his hand even when he felt her rubbing hers on his. Even if his enemy had offered a comforting hand at this point, he wouldn’t reject it. What was happening to his mom has made him become open.
The doctor called his father who had now arrived to his office and explain the health position of his wife.
He explained that his wife was suffering from Cerebral Malaria. He ensured she was responding to treatment.
Esther’s phone began to ring with her mother being the caller. She excused herself to speak with her.
She had already texted her mother that she was with Ben and told her about his mom’s health.
Her mother understood and assured her she’ll be praying for his mother as well.
While she was outside, Ifemi moved closer to Ben and ask if he had broken up with her.
” I have not, that’s the least of my worries right now” he said and looked away.
” But she will believe you’re dating and that would be bad. Just cut all the ties now so she wouldn’t hate you later for leading her on to nowhere” Ifemi adviced
” Really! Don’t you think it would be a bad idea if I tell her I’m no longer interested in her after everything she’s done in helping my mom? Wouldn’t that be callous of me?” Ben asked.
” You might think it is but it is not, at least she’ll get to know the truth and would hate you less than breakings up with her later or avoiding her as I’m sure that’s what you planned on doing” she said.
” I can’t leave her now, I just can’t. I don’t really know what would have happened if she had not showed up and helped mother. She comforted me, gave me a shoulder to cry and lean on. I can’t break up with her now” Ben confessed.
” So when are you going to?” Ifemi asked.
” I really don’t know. I can’t think straight now and I need her by my side” he replied.
” I just hope you wouldn’t be too engrossed in her to let go later. She isn’t good for you, I can feel it.” She implied.
“What if the table is turned, wouldn’t you be hurt?” He threw at her.
“Well, I’m real unlike her” she defended
” Just answer my question” he fired back.
” I would be, but would appreciate you for coming clear instead of deceiving me and wasting my time” she responded.
Just as she saw Esther returning, she added ” I know you think you love her, that’s because you’re seeing her for who she’s not, let her go now for your own good”
Esther heard her last statement but she pretended not to. She returned and sat this time more close to Ben and held him again.
She smiled mockingly at Ifemi who looked away.
” I hope you know I love you well, and I promise to be right here by your side no matter what” Esther whispered to him and he nodded weakly with a smile.
” Can things get more complicated than this?” He thought.
Ben’s dad finally came out and explained the outcome of things. He asked them to leave for home while he remained with his wife in the hospital.
Esther left for her mother’s shop as they were all returning home.
Ifemi wanted to start speaking against Esther as soon as she left, but Ben wouldn’t have that. He shushed her immediately.
Both of them walked home silently and retired to their rooms.
Ben left alone began to think about his love life. He became confused. He wasn’t even sure if he really wanted to end what was between them. He couldn’t let her go with the way she had cared for both his mom and himself today. He needed a strong woman and Esther has just proven to be one.
He concluded in his mind to continue with her, after all he had always loved her and shouldn’t condemn her just because of her weakness.
All through that day, he didn’t speak with Ifemi neither did she. He left the house later to see his mother at the hospital.
Esther related how things went to her mother and she was proud of her. Esther was delighted about being sure of Ben’s feelings for her, she hated Ifemi who was appearing as an impediment.
Esther left her mother’s shop towards the evening to go check on Ben.
On getting to his house, he was told by Ifemi that he had returned to the hospital.
” Thanks” Esther said and was walking out already when she heard Ifemi ask
” What do you really want from Ben?”
Esther turned around and viewed the whole place wanting to be sure the question was really for her.
” You know I’m talking to you” Ifemi added
” I’m really trying not to be rude with you as my sister in law, but sincerely you’re making it difficult for me” Esther replied
” That’s not my question but thank goodness you can now speak. Also, don’t you ever refer me as your in-law cause you are not and you’ll never be, I will make sure of that.” Ifemi warned.
Esther felt being pushed to the wall. She wanted to reply her rudely, thank God Ben isn’t here but she decided against it. She needed to find a seat in Ben’s heart before she finally decides on what to do with her.
” I seriously don’t know what I did to make you hate me this much. I know you love your cousin and you’re looking out for him, but hating me will be the exact opposite of what you feel for him. I love your cousin and would love to spend the rest of my life with him if God agrees. I hope you understand this” Esther submitted humbly.
” Stop acting all cool, stop the pretence, I can’t be fooled” Ife said rudely
“Then that’s your problem and not mine. You had better start learning on how to get used to me because Ben and I love each other and we’ll be together forever and always” Esther fired back.
She couldn’t take it anymore and damn the consequences, she isn’t going to take anymore nonsense from Ife.
” Exactly who I believed you are. Bring it on girl,I know your true colors cannot stay hidden forever.” Ifemi replied.
” Oh, what were you expecting? That I continue to watch you ridicule me? For what offense exactly? Just because Ben loves me right? Just get this straight that I will give you in return whatever you offer me in multiple folds” Esther yelled
” If you think Ben loves you for real, then you must be more gullible than I thought. He isn’t even sure of what he feels for you yet. And if you think you can trap him down with sex, then you’re wrong because the Lord will uphold him to stay true to his faith” Ife replied.
” I’m unlike you dear, I don’t and won’t indulge in sexual activities as my Bible didn’t teach me so. An unbeliever like you wouldn’t know that would you?” Esther asked.
” But at least I won’t force myself on a man few minutes into our relationship, in my father’s house and couch. I am not a virgin slut like you” Ifemi bragged.
” What did you just say?” Esther questioned
“You heard me loud and clear, you loosed virgin” Ifemi yelled
To be continued…