Stanley drove to the hospital, with his mind clouded by worry. He kept seeing the longing in his wife’s eyes. She wanted to be a mother. He only hoped the result will be better than it was. It hurts him that the one thing that he alone can give to Ngozi, he cannot. Sometimes he saw himself as being less than a man. On getting there, he walked into the hospital, and went straight to Dr Kunle’s office, where he was waiting for him.
‘Good afternoon doctor.’ Good afternoon Stanley, please sit down.’
‘Thank you.’ Stanley sat down, but he felt like pacing. He was worried.
‘What if… ‘
‘Please hold on let me call for your result’ Dr Kunle said, interrupting his thoughts. Stanley nodded, leaving Kunle to make the call, and went back to his thoughts,
‘what if it’s still bad?’ Suddenly, he couldn’t wait for the result, and drummed his fingers on the table unconsciously, the low sounds filling the otherwise silent office. Just then, a nurse walked in and after handing over an envelope to the Dr, walked out. Stanley held his breath, his gaze fixed on the envelope. The envelope that will either raise his hope or dash them. Presently, he felt neither hopeful nor hopeless. He felt nothing. He was okay with however God wanted to use him, but he only wished he could make Ngozi happy. At least happier than she presently is.
‘Stanley’ Dr Kunle’s voice drew him back to the moment.
‘Yes, sorry. My mind drifted.’
‘No problem. What made you come for this medical test?’
‘Err… Nothing, I just wanted to…’ he stopped midway, seeing the look of disbelief in the doctor’s eyes.
‘Stanley, you and I know that this is not a kind of test that a man just stands up take. So…’ After taking a deep breath, Stanley revealed the truth.
‘It’s been almost eleven years since I and my wife got married. We have been trying for a child.’
‘Why do you think you are at fault? The average African man tends to blame the woman.’ Stanley looked away. This was the part he was ashamed of.
‘I blamed her until some months ago, when she showed me a test we took together. I was at fault, but she hid the truth for eight years, taking all the blame until she slipped during an outburst.’ Stanley felt close to tears. He pinched his nose and waited. After a while, he continued. ‘I just want to make her happy. She suffered the blame for what was my fault. She was obviously protecting me.’ Kunle looked at Stanley for a while.
‘Stanley I am a medical doctor, and I know that health challenges are real, but I want you to know that it doesn’t depend on what a report says, it depends on what God says. So you know what we are going to do?’ He waited a while, after Stanley shook his head, before he continued. He wanted to prepare Stanley’s mind. ‘You are going to go back home, and come back to tell me the good news in four months time’
‘What good news?’ Stanley asked, turning to look directly at the doctor.
‘You will have to tell me yourself. I will not give you the result. I want you to come and tell me in four months time. At most four months time.’ Stanley didn’t know what to do or say. It sounded like a challenge, and it also sounded like a trick request.
‘I really don’t understand.’ He finally told Kunle. Kunle smiled.
‘Let me make it easier for you. What do you want the result to be?’ He asked Stanley.
‘I want the infertility to be reversed. I want my sperm count to be normal’ Stanley replied, vehemently.
‘Good. You know what you want. Now go back home, and in four months time, you will come and tell me the result. I have the result, you and I can see it is closed. When you come back, you will tell me the result before we open it.’
‘Okay, I hear you.’ Stanley stood up. ‘See you in four months’ time.’
‘Okay, see you then.’ Dr. Kunle sat down, took in a deep breath and bowing his head said ‘Dear Lord, please give him a testimony that he will come and tell me. Amen.’ Then opening the last level drawer put the sealed envelope containing the result which he knew was still saying “low sperm count” He wanted to watch God do His thing. Looking at his wrist watch, he picked up his stethoscope, and wore his coat. It was time to make his rounds.
Uchenna watched Stephen’s facial expression as he gave him his first salary.
‘You have shown yourself to be a man. I am proud to have you as a son.’ He watched as his son’s smile got sunnier, and knew he said the right words. True words. Stephen has show attributes which made Uchenna proud to be his father. Uchenna always kept Rita abreast of how Stephen was doing, telling her that the attributes came from her. Rita in turn pushed it to him, and congratulated her son. Today he got his first salary.
‘So what is the first thing you will do with the money?’ He asked Stephen, hoping the recent training he and Rita tried to instill in their children was been grasped.
‘I will first take out my tithe and offering, then save some.’ Stephen replied.
‘Good. I am glad you know that taking away God’s part means you trust Him, and the Bible says
“Those that trust in the Lord…”‘
‘Shall not be put to shame’ Stephen concluded Uchenna smiled
‘Yes, he shall not be put to shame. Go and take your bath and sleep. You have to go to school in the morning. Make sure you pray before sleeping.’
‘Yes Sir.’ Stephen stood up and walked towards the bedroom, getting to the door, he turned back
‘daddy, thank you’
‘No, thank you.’ Uche replied Stephen nodded and went inside. Stephen stayed up for a while, studying his Bible until Rita came out to meet him.
‘How long do you plan on staying here? You know you have to go out early in the morning.’ She sat down by his side.
‘I’m almost done with the chapter, I will be with you soon.’ Uchenna said, absent mindedly pulling her closer to him. She stayed quiet, reading the passages he opened, but not saying a word. When he was done, they prayed together, and went to bed.
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‘Hello, my name is Deji, am I speaking with Olanma?’
‘Yes you are. How may I help you?’
‘I’m calling to ask if you will be able to cater for a small class, for five days?’
‘I’m guessing you are in Lagos. Right?’
‘What dates are we talking about, how many people are in the class, and what do you intend to be served?…’ By the end of the call, Olanma had another job. In Lagos. Again. Since her first job in Lagos, more and more bookings were coming up. It was in her plan to work with her madam for a while, then resign and start her own catering company. But things were happening faster than she had envisioned.
She was coming back from church, and had just switched on her phone when the call came in. She had to ask God the next move for her life. She spent a long part of the night praying. By morning, she knew what to do. She called up her mother early, and after talking for a long time with her, her decision became final. She wrote her resignation letter, and made a call to Chidinma, informing her of her latest decision. Asking her to begin apartment hunting for her. She was moving to Lagos with her mother.
The story continues…