When Kamsi got to the hospital, Mrs. George was fast asleep. She looked very peaceful and in deep sleep. Kamsi sat down on the couch beside her bed and grabbed Ted Dekker’s “Piercing the darkness”, the book she began reading two days ago. She carried it around in her bag and always sank into the pages whenever she got any spare time.
Ted Dekker was one writer who could hold Kamsi spell bound and glued to his book and she loved every one of them. This was her fifth and she couldn’t get enough.
She was determined to wait till Mrs. George was up and this book was going to be a great company. She had learnt from several movies that sick people felt loved when they woke up to find someone sitting by their bed side. “Mrs. George will surely be glad to wake up to me.” She thought and smiled to herself.
Yesterday, Philly’s younger brother Desmond had called to tell her that his mother had requested to see her today and she wondered why. It was really strange for Mrs George to ask to see her, she hoped all was well. She had come three days ago to check on her and she didn’t mention that she wanted to see her. She wondered what it was about.
Did she do anything wrong? Did it have anything to do with Philly and her? Or was she going to die soon? Kamsi feared. She quickly brushed the thought away and tried to focus on her novel.
Mrs. George looked very much alive and better the last time she saw her. Kamsi knew she wasn’t going to die soon because she had kept her in prayers. But she was disturbed, she needed to be sure everything was fine. She picked her phone and buzzed Philly on whatsapp. He wasn’t online.
Just then, a nurse came in to check on Philly’s mom and when she saw that she was sleeping, she asked Kamsi to call her once she wakes up. The nurse left her with a suspicious smile as she returned to the nursing station.
Kamsi knew there was something nobody was telling her.
Philly and Lee arrived in good time and landed safely. Their plan was in top gear and they were in high spirits. Cheta who was already waiting at the airport picked them up and they headed to the hospital.
Philly quickly called Desmond on whatsapp to confirm if Kamsi was in the hospital and he answered in the affirmative.
Desmond was completely oblivious to all that was going on and didn’t know his brother was in the country. All he did was carry out instructions dished out to him by his big brother. Philly didn’t want to take any chances.
All the while, he hadn’t spoken to Kamsi at length except for their usual pleasantries. Though they chatted every other day, Philly left her with no clues as to his whereabouts.
Just then, Philly’s phone buzzed, it was Kamsi. His heart sank.
She sent him a message on whatsapp.
“Hey, Philly, wassup?”
“I’m good and you?” He replied.
“How’s the weather over there? And classes?” Kamsi asked.
“Very well dear, everything is fine?” Philly cringed.
“Heard from your mom lately?”
“Yeah, I spoke with her two days ago and she was doing good. Anything?”
“No, not at all. Desmond said she wanted to see me and I came around to the hospital. I was hoping you could give me a clue. Hope all is well and hope I am safe?”
“Lol. I bet you have never been safer.”
“Hehehe. Right now, she’s sound asleep so I will just wait and find out. Just wanted to be sure everything was fine.”
“Alright. I will talk to you later.”
Philly smiled and showed Lee the chat.
“Seriously?” Lee screamed. “That was close!” Lee was a hyper active person. He couldn’t keep his calm. “OMG, I can’t wait for this drama to drop. It’s gonna be a bomb.”
He turned to Cheta.
“Please how many more minutes do we have?”
“Well, the hospital is not too far from here. We are just about 20 minutes away, but that’s if there’s no traffic at the major round about down the road.” Cheta answered.
“Man, are you okay? How do you feel?” Lee asked Philly.
Philly took a deep breath.
“Nervous! I just hope this goes well.”
“Goes well? Come on man, I wouldn’t have come all the way if I didn’t know it would.” Lee said confidently.
The way Lee talked, Philly couldn’t help but wonder where his courage and faith came from. Lee sounded like someone who knew something and wasn’t telling him. If not that he knew Lee well, he would have thought he was a socerer or fortune teller.
“Don’t worry Phil, we got you covered. We are just few minutes away from the moment you have been waiting for.” Cheta added.
Lee and Cheta spent the rest of the ride gisting with each other. Lee who was so excited to be in Nigeria did all the talking and Cheta laughed as he drove. Philly just nodded and smiled intermittently.
Cheta’s car pulled into the parking lot and the trio came out. Cheta led the way into the ward. He had come to see Philly’s mom some weeks ago as Philly requested. They greeted the nurses and asked to see Mrs. George.
Cheta had pre-informed the nurse on duty and arranged with her. Coincidentally, they were friends during his housemanship days and that made it a lot easier.
Everywhere was quiet except for few patient relatives who talked at the other side of the corridor. Cheta and Philly stood at the door as planned and Lee was the first walk into the room.
Mrs George was still asleep. Kamsi was sitted and engrossed in the book she was reading.
Lee cleared his throat.
Kamsi looked up and saw an unfamiliar face. He was a white guy, she assumed he was a new Doctor and stood to greet him.
“Good evening sir.”
“You must be Kemsy I suppose.” Lee smiled.
“Yes, I am Kamsi. And you are Dr…?” Kamsi tried to hide her surprise.
“Lee, Dr. Lee.” Lee smiled and played along.
He stretched out his hand for a handshake and asked her to sit.
“It’s so nice to meet you.” Lee said.
“Same here. Hope she is fine? She has been sleeping since I came and I didn’t want to bother her. So I decided to wait till she’s up.” Kamsi explained without being asked.
“Its fine. There’s no problem at all. I..”
“How did you know my name?” Kamsi cut in.
Just then Cheta walked in. Kamsi recognized him and tried to remember his name. She had met him once with Philly sometime ago. They greeted and she welcomed him.
As she stood to offer him her seat, Philly walked in.
Kamsi screamed and lost her balance. She was heading for the floor when Philly reached out and she sank into his arms. He held her tightly and she let him. She was breathing so fast he could hear her.
Mrs. George was almost awoken by the noise, she turned slightly and caught a glimpse of the room but didn’t recognize who the people were. Her eyes were weak and though they opened dimly, they closed back gradually. She was on sleep pills and the effect hadn’t waned off. She turned and continued sleeping.
Kamsi was stunned. She tried to fight back the tears but as Philly spoke softly to her, she let them flow freely. For what seemed like ages they held each other, sobbed gently and Philly said things only Kamsi could hear.
Kamsi couldn’t believe it. Philly loved her so much he came all the way to tell her so. He missed her so much he couldn’t bear it. He was sorry for not pursing her all these while as he should have. He was ready to be her man if she let him.
Kamsi thought she was dreaming. Did she sleep off while reading and see Philly in her dream? She hugged him more tightly to be sure he was real and for the first time in a long time, she felt so much peace, love and comfort. She knew she was safe where she was – in his arms.
She wanted to say something but she couldn’t find the words. She wanted to tell him how she loved him too. How she missed him and dreamt about him. She wanted to tell him how lonely and empty she felt when he left.
There were no words enough to describe all her bottled emotions. She regretted every minute she spent with Emeka and felt terrible she fell so cheap. She knew she just wanted to fill the void in her heart and even that wasn’t happening. This was the man she truly loved and wanted to be with.
A tinge of emotions welled up within Philly. First was hope and then pride. He was hopeful that Kamsi would say “Yes” to him. And then he was proud he had faced his greatest fear.
Now, he feared less about whatever answer he would get, he cared more that he followed his heart and God favored him by making a way for him to be with her.
He tried to reach for his pocket as his eyes caught Lee’s who was filming all along. Lee was grinning from ear to ear with a “go ahead and do it” look written all over his face. He was proud to be a part of this love story.
Cheta was beside him “wowwing” and “awwwing.”
Finally, Kamsi found the words “I love you Philly. I have always loved you, I just didn’t know how to say it.”
Philly withdrew, held her hand and looked straight into her eyes. “I want to be your man. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Kamsiyochukwu Nnaji, please marry me and together, we will have a beautiful life. I have been meaning to tell you all these while, I can’t keep it to myself anymore.”
He got down on one knee and brought out a ring “Will you make me a happy man and say “Yes” to me?”
Kamsi screamed, this time waking Philly’s mother and drawing the attention of some nurses on duty as they heard noise coming from the room. Everyone was amazed and excited. They brought out their phones to capture the moment.
Mrs. George was now fully awake. As she leaned forward, she couldn’t believe her eyes. At first she thought it was a dream. “Is that Philly, my son?” She thought.
“Philadelphia? Philly, my son?” She called out.
“Yes…Yes Philly, I will marry you. Yes mummy, he is the one, I can’t believe it myself.” Kamsi stammered.
Philly turned to his mother, his face bathed in tears. He slid the ring into Kamsi’s middle finger and took her to his mother.
This was the moment she had been waiting for, she had prayed and hoped not knowing when and how it would happen.
Philly hugged his mother so much it hurt.
“Mummy, it’s me. I didn’t want to tell you, I wanted it to be a surprise.”
“How come? How did it happen? When did you come? You didn’t tell me you were coming. Oh Philly, I love you.” Mrs George cried.
“Mummy, it’s a long story. Like I said, I wanted it to be a surprise. I was worried about you and I missed home. I should have been here with you all these months. I promise, you will be fine.” Philly said.
“Oh my son, I am so proud of you. Look at you! You are now a man and you have found a good woman. Come here.” She motioned for Kamsi to lean closer and she gave her a big hug. “Welcome to the family. From the day I saw you, I knew you were meant for my son. I am the happiest woman on earth to witness today, what a beautiful way to wake up from my sleep!”
“Yes Mummy, I have found my wife. I have been a coward all along. You encouraged me to man up. Now, I am ready to live my dreams. Kamsiyochukwu Nnaji is the woman of my dreams, I want her to be my wife and we need your blessings.” Philly said as he knelt down before his mother.
Kamsi joined beside Philly with her hands still locked in his.
“Philadelphia Tekena George! My beloved son! You have made me proud today. My God has already blessed you and you have my blessings. Kamsi my daughter, you are welcome to the family.” Mrs. George said.
“Amen. Thank you mummy.” Philly and Kamsi said echoed.
Philly was elated. As they both stood up, he introduced Lee to his mother.
“Mummy, I came all the way to see you and make this day a reality. My friend here Lee came with me and made this journey possible. Everything happening here today was made possible by him.”
He motioned for Lee to come meet his mother.
“Oh, Oyibo! Welcome to our home, my son. God bless you abundantly. He will give you your own wife very soon. You have brought joy to our home, joy and laughter will never cease from you.”
“Amen. Thank you ma.” Lee said shyly.
Philly and Kamsi spent the next couple of minutes catching up. Mrs George was not left out. She was so happy she stood on her feet and danced round the room praising God.
It’s been two weeks, Kamsi hadn’t heard from Emeka. She tried his line severally but it always rang out. She left him a message on whatsapp, he didn’t reply.
Late one night Dorcas called Kamsi.
“Nne, check your whatsapp, I sent you a message.You will not believe what I saw on facebook.”
“Okay, let me check.”
Kamsi turned on her data and opened her chats. She couldn’t believe her eyes. It was Emeka’s pre-wedding pictures and wedding invitation card. He was getting married to Uche, his ex-girlfriend.