Philly was worried. His mother was diagnosed with cancer and was scheduled for chemotherapy in some weeks. He desperately wanted to be back home to stay with her but it was almost impossible.
His exams were close and he couldn’t afford to travel. He spoke with her everyday on Skype but nothing compared to being there with her physically. Philly was weighed down and didn’t know what to do.
He needed to talk to a someone and Kamsi was the only friend he could think of. He wanted to tell her but he didn’t want to bother her with some sad news especially now that she had a lot on her hands. But Kamsi noticed he was dull and sad the last time they spoke. She kept asking how he was doing till he finally opened up. He left her a message:
“Kamsi, my mother is sick and it’s getting to me. She was diagnosed with cancer and you know what that means. I wanted to tell you the other day but I didn’t want to spoil the good news about your business. The worst part is I can’t travel to see her.”
“OMG Philly, I am so sorry about that. How is she doing? Is she getting better, hope she is responding to treatment?” Kamsi was worried.
“Everyone tells me she’s fine but I am afraid. The last time I spoke with her on Skype, her voice was faint and she looked pale and weak.”
“Don’t worry Philly, she will be alright. Which Hospital is she at? I could pay her a visit as soon as possible.”
“Really? But I didn’t meant to bother you. I know you are very busy.”
“Just me text the address and your brother’s contact so I can reach him in case I need directions.”
“Thank you so much. This means a lot to me and I appreciate you.”
“It’s okay dear. I will be there this weekend. Don’t worry, she will be fine.”
“Oh K-girl, you don’t know what you have done for me.”
“Come on! What are friends for?”
That was what Kamsi always said. “Philly is my friend” even when she knew there was more to their friendship. They were both too blind to admit it.
Kamsi hooked up with Desmond, Philly’s younger brother that Saturday afternoon. He waited for her at a popular bus stop and they headed to the hospital which was about twenty-five minutes drive from town. It was a special cancer treatment centre in Obalanre area.
Kamsi worried about what she would say on getting there. Who would she say she was? Philly’s girlfriend? Or just a friend? What if Philly’s mom asked her questions? What had he told his mom about her?
For a moment, she reconsidered the decision to visit but deep in her heart, she knew she was doing the right thing. She knew she was not just going because it was Philly, this was something she could do for a good friend and Philly was one.
When they got to the hospital, Philly’s mom was not on her bed. Desmond was scared. He rushed to the nursing station to ask about his mom but there was no nurse on seat, the health record attendant told him the nurse had stepped out into the ward few minutes before he came.
“Where is my mother?” The tears were gathering. Desmond was shaking. Was his mother dead? “No, Never!” He had seen her in the morning and she was full of life. She was doing much better than the previous days. She laughed and talked with him and even ate well.
Kamsi was scared too. She didn’t know what to do or say. She wished she had come earlier to see Phillys mom.
Desmond picked up his phone to call his mother. Just then the nurse walked in.
“Where is my mother?” Desmond was getting impatient.
“Good evening Desmond. Your mother just stepped out, She went for a walk with Akinwale, the Physiotherapy intern. They left some minutes before I went into the ward. You can check them at the backyard.”
Desmond was relieved and so was Kamsi. She heaved a deep sigh letting out the hot air that was already choking her throat.
They both raced to the back door and saw Philly’s mother strolling and chatting with the intern. Desmond reached out to her and gave her a big hug.
“Mummy, you scared me! I came and I didn’t see you on the bed.”
His mother smiled and held him so lovingly that Kamsi fought back tears. This was the first time she was seeing Philly’s mom.
She was tall and slender and probably in her late fifties. She was a beautiful woman and still looked strong at her age.
“I came to receive fresh air, I was tired of staying in bed all day.” Mrs. George replied her son.
Genuflecting, Kamsi greeted her.
“Good evening Ma.”
“Good evening my daughter. Are you Philly’s friend?”
“Yes mummy.” Kamsi and Desmond echoed.
“This is Kamsi, Philly’s friend. Desmond spoke up. “She came to see you and know how you are doing.”
“Yes ma.” Kamsi said.
“You are welcome my daughter. Philly told me you were coming. You did well my daughter. Thank you my dear. Let’s go inside.”
They walked into the side ward where she was admitted. Kamsi was a bit nervous. What had she just been called? “My daughter”. She cringed.
“You are more beautiful than my son described. I have heard so much about you, thank God I have finally met you. You are welcome.” Philly’s mom said as she sat on the bed and motioned for them to join her.
Desmond looked at Kamsi and they both smiled.
Kamsi was wearing a blue dress, a comfortable black flat sandals and no make up. All she had on was a thin line of lipstick because she didn’t want to look over dressed. She preferred to keep it very simple and she was glad she did. She took a a mental look at herself again before replying.
“Thank you ma.” Kamsi said shyly.
“Mummy, Kamsi brought these fruits and some beverages for you.” Desmond quickly added, pushing the big bag he was carrying towards his mother.
“Thank you my daughter. God bless you. God will surprise you and grant all your heart desires. You will marry a good husband that will take good care of you and your children.”
“Amen. Thank you ma.” Kamsi replied.
Desmond was already grinning from ear to ear.
“Ma, how are you doing? Hope you are getting stronger.” Kamsi was determined to change the topic.
“My daughter, God has been faithful. I am much better now. By this time last week, I wasn’t able to move around, I was on this bed throughout but now, I can stand up and walk around. That’s a big miracle.”
“Wow, thank God.” Kamsi nodded.
Desmond and Akinwale excused themselves to the lounge to catch up with the champions league match that evening and Kamsi was left alone with Philly’s mother.
Mrs. George was a very outspoken person. She asked Kamsi a lot a questions about herself and her family.
“My daughter, now that you are here, I want to tell you something.”
“You see, this life is very short. You must make the most of it. I remember when I was young like you, I thought I had a lot of time and many years to live but time flew so fast. I got married, had children and grew old.”
They both laughed.
“Growing up was very rough and tough for me. My parents didn’t have much and had to pay through their nose to send me to the university. As the first child, I had three of my siblings to cater for and it wasn’t easy.”
“I grew up too fast and shouldered responsibilities none of my mates could imagine. I did all sorts of businesses just to make ends meet. On many occasions, I would cry and wonder why God allowed me grow up in the first place. Like every young lady, I wanted someone to take care of me, to make decisions for me and take all the responsibilities. But that never happened. I had to learn to be responsible and mature and stand on my own. That is the secret to a successful life. Don’t depend on anybody, work hard now and you will enjoy it later.”
“Wow! I can totally relate.” Kamsi smiled.
“Don’t allow anybody to deceive you that life will be easy, no my dear. Life is tough and challenging. Things will not always go the way you want or planned. But your duty is to give your best to whatever you are doing and trust God.”
Kamsi nodded in agreement.
“My daughter, you are a very beautiful girl and I know a lot of guys will be falling on top of each other just to get you. Be wise in your choice of a husband, don’t rush but pray and follow God’s leading. Let nobody pressure you or lure you into marriage. Follow God and you will never get it wrong.”
“Thank you so much ma. I am grateful.”
“Making out time to come see me is a very kind gesture and I really appreciate you.” Mrs George was very excited.
“Thank you ma. Please get well soon. Philly is worried about you.”
“Yes o, I miss him too. He calls me everyday and wishes he was here. Philly is my first son and he is very responsible. I will live to carry his children and all my grand children in Jesus name.”
“Amen.” Kamsi echoed. “Thank you so much ma.”
They chatted some more about work and life. It was a beautiful evening for them and Kamsi was greatly inspired.
After Kamsi left, Mrs. George picked up her phone and called her son.
“Philly my dear”. She sounded so excited.
“Yes mummy. Good evening. You sound much better today.”
“That’s because I am much better, in fact today is my best day since I came to this hospital.”
“Wow! Pease tell me about it, what happened?”
“When are you coming back to marry her?”
“You say? Marry who?”
“She came today and from the moment I saw her, I knew she will make a good wife. She is very homely and respectful just like you. Please don’t allow those oyinbo girls lure you o and don’t hesitate before all these Igbo men take what belongs to you.”
“Hmmmm. Mummy we are still friends o. The last time I tried to talk to her about marriage, she didn’t seem ready.”
“That’s not how to go about it my son. Kamsi is a strong woman, she needs to be wooed wisely not chased around like every other girl on the street. She is a rare kind and won’t fall for just any guy. Don’t worry we will talk about this later, the nurse is here to for my evening medications. I will call you back.”
“Okay mom, bye.”
“Ehen… I forgot to tell you that she brought many things for me. My room is filled with all the things she bought. Oranges, carrot, cucumber, watermelon, pineapple, milk and Milo, bread… Sooo many things. In fact I will snap them and send to you. That girl is wonderful.”
“Osheyyy Mama d mama! I am so happy to hear this. Enjoy yourself o and be strong for me okay?”
“Alright my son. Do and come back o, a woman has her time. Bye, bye.”
Philly burst into laughter.