Akwasi Dapaah came in and found Doctor Twumasi Dei sitting on the floor and weeping.
The young man was taken aback, and listened with increasing disbelief as the doctor and Julie told him about the strange man who had waltzed into the ward and turned their lives upside down.
If Julie hadn’t confirmed the story, Akwasi would have thought there was something wrong with the doctor. However, he knew what an unshakeable atheist Julie was, and hearing her speaking so wondrously of the stranger convinced Akwasi that indeed, God might have moved in a really strange way in the lives of the two people.
He stayed with them for a while, and then he left with Doctor Twumasi Dei, who wanted to know more about salvation.
And so, by the time Doctor Dei apologized to Julie for trying to murder her, two months had already passed, and he was a born again Christian.
And, by that time, Julie’s condition had not changed. Her wounds – sustained from the accident – had healed well, yes, but she was still paralyzed from the waist down, a condition Doctor Dei said was permanent.
Her visitors dropped until Akwasi was basically the only one who came to visit her.
Jacob came once, with a cheque approved by the Company for her medical bills.
“What is this, Jake?” Julie asked softly as tears washed down her face. “This barely covers half of the treatment costs, and you know it! I have a full medical package as a top-level executive!”
Jacob, leaning against the wall, smiled uneasily at her.
“Not anymore, Julie,” he said, striving to be gentle. “Sandra and Abednego have taken over the running of the Company. They’ve reviewed your appointment, just as they said they would. Officially, they’ve laid you off, made you redundant by your incapacitation.”
“My incapacitation, Jake?” Julie whispered, her voice tearing apart. “Is that how you refer to and see me now? Incapacitated?”
He sighed and passed a hand across his face.
“Things are getting worse, Julie,” he said in a rush. “They’ve even thrown you out of the mansion! I had to find a place to keep your things! They don’t even want you at the funeral! They don’t want you anywhere near the Company!”
“Jake!” Julie screamed in anguish. “How can you allow this to happen to me? You saw how these people got rid of Dad’s Will and took over everything! Where’s the love you promised? You should be by my side, even if I have to fight this in court, but you’ve rather thrown yourself into Sandra’s arms! I gave myself to you, Jake! My body and my soul, my time and my energy! I love you, Jake! Don’t do this to me, in my time of great need…I beg of you!”
His jaws worked hard, and his face seemed haunted for a while, and then he sighed dejectedly.
“I wish there was something I could do, Julie,” he said desperately. “But, frankly, there’s nothing I can do. Even if I testify in court that I saw Abednego burning the original Will, who will believe it? They’ll say you’re my fiancée, and so I’m lying for you. This issue has attained very unpalatable proportions.”
“What unpalatable proportions, Jake?” Julie cried as she struggled to a sitting position. “We planned our lives! We’re building our future together! Almost all the money I made, I gave to you…to invest in our future! I forgive you for not telling me about your affair with Sandra, but Jake, I beg of you! Please have mercy on me. I’ve not been a saint, I know, but ever since I fell in love with you I’ve been faithful to only you! You’ll kill me if you leave me! Please, for the love of God, have mercy on me! Don’t abandon me like this!”
He came off the wall with a grunt, his face suddenly harsh as he took a step toward the bed.
“Jesus, Julie, be realistic!” he said, almost in a bark. “Sandra is vicious and vindictive! She told me in no uncertain ways that I either throw in with her and marry her, or she casts me out of the Company too! I’ve given my life to the company! If I stay with you, damn, you’re paralyzed permanently, Julie! You can’t work! You’re virtually a cripple with escalating medical bills! How can I take care of you? Can’t carry you on my back every day, can I?”
“Jaaaaake!” Julie screamed, her heart broken, and she reached out blindly for him as tears drenched her, unable to take the torture of the pain any longer.
She held him by the hand, trying desperately to wrap her arms around him, but he struggled, trying to get away from her.
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“Damn it, Julie, don’t do this!” he said, fighting hard and taking steps backward. “Let me go, Julie!”
And because Julie was still holding on, her body came off the bed, but her legs remained on it.
“Wait, Jake, please!” Julie cried with agony. “I’m going to fall! Jake, my love, please, help me back on the bed…you’re going to hurt me!”
But Jacob was in a frenzy, and barely heard her.
He tugged violently at his arm, wrenching it from her grasp, and Julie’s body fell from the bed.
She crashed her head on the floor, and remained like that, dazed and light-headed as she felt a severe pain ripping through her back!
Her legs were still trapped uselessly on the bed, and the rest of her body was skewed on the floor as she looked at him upside down.
“Help me up, Jake,” Julie said feebly, weakly.
Jacob glared at her with reckless fury.
“Jeez, Julie!” he said in anguish. “We had a moment, yes, but it’s over now! You’re a damn invalid! It is not as if you’re going to get well! You need to be under constant care! It’s over, and I’m marrying Sandra! Do you hear me, Julie? It is damn over!”
He turned round in a rush, and left the ward.
Julie was hanging with her head upside down on the floor.
She tried to move, but every move brought only excruciating pain to her back. She was absolutely helpless, and very scared too thinking that maybe she had done irreparable damage to herself, and could be getting the dreaded quadriplegia, which was the total loss of movements in both legs and arms.
At that moment in her life, lying on the floor, abandoned by the love of her life, betrayed by people she had called family, totally lost and unable to even lift herself off the floor, Julie knew that she had hit a bottom so low that she needed more help than any human could give her.
Her heart was shattering with her pain, dejection and with emotional distress.
The tears formed a pool around her head, and her whole body began to go very numb.
And then the door opened…and he came in.
Akwasi Dapaah, her sworn enemy, her beloved friend.
She saw the way his face cut up instantly into lines of fear and compassion, and how he dropped the bundle of shopping he was holding. He rushed toward her, grabbed her in his strong arms and lifted her up onto the bed.
His arms were strong and dependable, arms that seemed to promise never to leave her.
“Ohenewaa!” he groaned with passion. “What happened to you?”
But Julie could not speak; she just held him and cried passionately.
Her heart, her poor heart, was completely shattered!
To be continued