Through the Eye of Faith (21)
Patience opened her eyes slowly and tried to adjust them to the dazzling light that shone into them. The images were blurry and looked like balloons floating mid-air. She closed her eyes and opened them again and this time, things took a clearer shape. Familiar faces looked down at her and she smiled at them.
“Good morning, daughter.”
She turned her head to the left and beamed at her step-father. “Good morning. You are still here.”
“Yes I am. Everyone is too. They came this morning to see your pretty face again.”
“We are so happy.” Mama expressed gladly. “God answered our prayers and brought you back.”
“This is a big testimony. You should share it in church as soon as you are back.” Pastor Mark winked at Patience. “Everyone will be excited to hear about your journey into the unknown and back.”
Patience replied weakly. “It was a journey indeed, but I thank God I am alive.” She turned to face the youngest of them. “Faith, you are here too.”
Faith spoke shyly. “Yes, I never stopped praying for you. I am happy you are back for me and for Daniel.”
“Who is Daniel?”
“Your baby.” Faith spoke confidently.
Mama cut in before her daughter continued. “That will be the baby she saw in her dreams. You know the way children speak…”
“I’m serious.” Faith was assertive.
Patience squeezed her little hands. “I believe I will have a baby soon and of course, you will be his big aunt.” How could she tell the little girl that would be impossible? A woman without a womb can never have a baby.
Patience looked around the room and wished she could see one more face, but he was nowhere in sight. Not that she deserved his presence after rejecting his offer. She recalled how fast her heartbeat was when he popped the question and while she considered it too abrupt, refusing him was a difficult decision she made. How she wanted to love and be loved! But that would never be. She would rather die single than be a burden to another.
“Good morning. How is she?”
That voice made Patience jolt upright on the bed and everyone was amazed at her reaction. He came! She didn’t believe he would be here.
He stood at the entrance of the room with a bouquet on one hand and a pack of food on the other. He looked disheveled and deep worry creased his forehead. When he saw she was okay, he became ecstatic.
“Good morning.” Dapo greeted with mixed emotions. “I brought you some flowers and food. I hope you like them.”
All eyes turned to Patience, who was very embarrassed at how she had reacted upon his arrival. She saw the amusement in the eyes and their anticipation of what next would happen was apparent. Only one of them didn’t share the same sentiment. He frowned at the younger man and without warning, grabbed the items from his hands.
“I will keep these with me. Thank you.” His voice was chipped as he cast a silent warning at Dapo. How dare he bring flowers for his daughter? Who was he really anyway?
Dapo seemed oblivious of the older man’s feelings. His eyes were fixed on the lady on the bed. Though she looked a bit pale, she looked very beautiful and the sight of her coupled with the confirmation that she was alright overwhelmed him. Although she had refused his proposal, he realized he could never stop loving her. It would almost be same as not breathing.
“Thank you.” Patience smiled timidly at him. Then she rested her back on the bed, while she tried to control the flutter of butterflies in her stomach.
“I need to do my final check-up, please, so if you all will kindly excuse us.” Dr. Simeon walked into the room, looking every inch a professional doctor. “If all is well, she should be out of here latest tomorrow evening.”
“That’s wonderful!” Mama remarked. “I do believe God has healed her completely.”
“Yes, he has.” Faith re-affirmed.
Dr. Simeon smiled at the girl. “Of course, I believe that too. I just want to confirm that.”
The visitors went out of the room one after the other. Once outside, a firm hand dragged Dapo to a corner.
“Who are you? What’s your name?”
Dapo stared at the old man and didn’t know whether to be angry or not. When he didn’t respond on time, the man rapped impatiently.
“I am Chief Okonkwo, Patience’s Father and you are?”
“Ha! And you are not Yoruba again. Are you my daughter’s friend or …?” Chief didn’t complete the question, but it was clear enough for Dapo to know what he meant.
“I am her friend.”
“Good. Let’s leave it at that. Nothing more.”
“Sir, if I may ask, is there a reason why you are quizzing me?”
“Why shouldn’t I question you? You brought flowers and food! As a father, I am protective of my daughter against wolves. Don’t get me wrong. I do not mean you are a wolf.”
Dapo was offended, but he decided not to retort. “I have Patience’s best interests at heart just like you do and will never do anything to hurt her.”
“You dare not. My eyes are on you and trust me, you do not want to be on the opposing side. She’s all I have got.”
A little cough interrupted their conversation and Pastor Mark stood directly in front of them. He faced Dapo. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Why not?” Dapo was not ready to spend an extra second with his attacker. Chief appeared not to care as he had achieved his aim.
When they were alone, Dapo thanked Pastor Mark. “Wow! That man is difficult. Thank you for rescuing me from his claws.”
“I know. He has not been very easy on any of us. About what happened in the ward, is there something you want to tell me?”
Dapo smiled. “There is a lot I have to tell you, Pastor. How about we start with the testimony of how I gave my life to Christ?”
Pastor Mark gasped. “Really? That’s fantastic! Tell me everything.”
“It started with a dream…”
Dr. Simeon adjusted his glasses and looked closely at the monitor in front of him. This was impossible! The last time he ran some tests and scans, he made a startling discovery. This lady had no womb and he had kept that secret to himself, waiting for her to be in the right frame of mind before telling her, but here he was, staring at the opposite of what he had earlier discovered.
Patience jerked up from the bed. “What is it, Doctor?”
“A miracle is all I can say.”
A confused Patience tried to stand but fell back into the bed. “Am I going to be okay? What miracle are you talking about?” She was a bit frantic.
“A part of you has been missing for some time. You know that, don’t you?”
Realization dawned sharply on Patience. “I did an abortion a long time ago and lost my womb in the process. Is there more damage now?”
“NO. No damage at all. Let me show you something. Lie down again.”
Patience lay down and wondered what all this was about.
“Look closely at the monitor.” Dr. Simeon advised as he did another ultrasound. “Tell me what you see.”
Patience stared at the screen. It was filled with unfamiliar shapes. “I can’t really describe.”
“What you can see now is what I can confidently say is a womb. How it got there I don’t know. But my dear, you have a well-formed womb.”
Patience was shocked and lay numb for several minutes. Then she started laughing. “You are joking, doctor. That is completely impossible.” But when she saw the doctor’s serious face, she became more perplexed. “Are you sure, doctor?”
“Never been more confident of what I can see now.”
Patience stood up now, not knowing where the strength came from. The tears flowed uncontrollably as she walked toward the window looking out to the sky. She remembered the word Faith spoke earlier about her having a baby. God, is this really you? Why me, Lord? Why give me a second chance?