”Choice” according to the dictionary is “an option, a decision, an opportunity to choose or select something”. The one million dollars question here is “do we really have choice in life?” We talk of destiny, fate and purpose, yet we talk of choice; are they not contradicting? If our destiny is fixed, then do we have choice? I read our destiny is in our hands, does that mean we can reshape it? Or are we permitted to only hold it?
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Situations, circumstances happen to us either by fate or by our decisions. Of course nobody choose the bad circumstances but our little actions and inactions contribute to how our destiny displayed. They can make or mare us.
Life is also funny and unpredictable, because the same hot water that soften yam, hardened egg. We live, we aspire, we try, and keep trying till we have no control of our ciliary muscle, but we don’t entirely control our circumstances, God does. And it’s as He likes. The good thing about it is, He knows the best from the beginning of time, and He will to the end of time.
The ceiling was white and walls alike. Different set of flowers collection pitched at the visible corners of the room. Directly in front was a rectangular wall paper with cloud background having the inscription “You are not alone, I am with you, your first love, Jesus”.
“He’s awake” was the voice I heard from the right side of the mattress I was on. I turned my head in response to the voice to see excited face of Funmi holding my right hand as water rolls out of her eyes. I tried to lift my head but was limited by the respiratory tube across my nose. “Don’t remove it!” She said as I felt a little hitch on my chest. What did happened or how I ended up where I was is an answer eluding my imagination.
After Funmi’s exclamation, a nurse and eventually the doctor came in into room. He felt me, did some snap test and smile facing the nurse.
Doctor: At last, we have a successful case.
Nurse: This called for celebration, well done doctor, your hand work has eventually paid off.
Doctor: I give glory to God. Please call his mother and tell her the good news.
Funmi: I’ve done that, she’s coming already.
Doctor: (Facing me) You are a strong personality and your will to live is very high. You are a very big result and today will never be forgotten in the history of this hospital. Please don’t force anything, lay down there and take it easy. We’ll have to conduct some test on you.
Me: (I nodded to say okay) What happened?
Funmi: Baby just cool, I’ll tell you everything later.
After some minutes, my mum, Debby and Dan entered into the room as my mum started crying singing. In no time, the room has turned into a worship center as everybody, including the doctor were in praise mood, led by my mother. I could see they were happy as Debby lied on the mattress with me, placing her head on my left shoulder while Funmi would not let go of my right hand.
I tried to remember the events that occurred earlier, maybe I’ll understand their deep happiness. I remembered a gun was pointed to me in that hotel room and the last thing I heard was Victoria saying don’t shoot him. My guess was I was indeed shot and that explain the hitch on the chest. I remembered vividly the guy that shot me and who was behind him giving command but I’m going to keep it to myself till I regain my strength.
The doctor conducted series of test on me and came back later to talk with my mum and me.
Doctor: The test shows you are strong enough. It’ll take some weeks before you can start to walk depending on how quickly your body and mind recuperates.
Mum: You mean he can’t walk now?
Doctor: Presently he can’t. he fell on something after the gun shot and it affected his spinal cord. It wasn’t totally damaged, so he’ll walk, but it will take time.
Mum: (Sobs) God why?
Doctor: You can’t be crying in his presence, he needs motivation now, not discouragement. He’ll be on wheel till he can walk, and will need your help.
Mum: Thank you doctor
Doctor: One more thing. He might not be able to reproduce again. When he starts to walk, he can have proper s-x, but reproducing is a great doubt.
Mum: Oh my God! (Crying) Is there nothing we can do?
Doctor: Well, you can fly him abroad if you can afford it. His case is minor but we don’t have necessary equipment to help him here. Even with that, I still doubt if he will be able to reproduce, but you can try.
Mum: Thank you doctor. We’ll surely try, I don’t mind what I’ll have to sell. Seeing him alive is a miracle in itself.
Doctor: But you can’t fly him anytime soon. His body cannot withstand such thing for now.
Mum: Till when?
Doctor: At least sixteen weeks. He’ll also be coming for check up every four weeks.
Mum: Alright, we can wait but how do we go about the checkups because our side is very far from here.
Doctor: Maybe I’ll send you letter you can take over with you to any good hospital at your side if you can’t be making it here. But you must come here at least once in two months.
Mum: Thank you doctor. God bless you.
I acted as if all what he said did not get to me, all I wanted is to be on my feet back. Being on wheel chair will limit how much I can pursue my goals. It might even force change my goals. I decided to build appositive mind and believe I will walk again.
A week after I woke up, I was discharged from the hospital as the hospital was filled by my fellow corps members in the same local government, clothed in NYSC outfits. They were led by Temmy and our LI.
Temmy: Happy passing out my brother. We came together and you almost left me alone.
Me: Passing out? How?
Temmy: Hmm, you were out for four months bro.
Me: Four months? Like I was in coma?
Temmy: Yes, I thought I’ve lost you.
Me: And I survive? In Nigeria? For four months?
Temmy: It’s a miracle, I’m sure God answered our prayers.
Me: Coma, four months, in Nigeria, ALIVE!!!? There is something you are not telling me.
Temmy: Don’t worry bro, we’ll talk about everything later. LI is here.
Me: I’m still confused
Temmy: Just chill. We’ll be going home tomorrow. I’ve brought your phone for you (He handed me the phone has a little crack on the screen). The crack was when you fell down from the shot.
Me: Thanks bro. What of Funmi?
Temmy: She has gone back to Lagos for her POP
Me: She did not tell me
Temmy: We asked her not to, because we were not sure you are ready to know how long you were asleep. It’s the reason we did not bring your phone to you. Let’s just enjoy the moment, we’ll talk about what happened later. Thank God Dan is around, so there is no dulling moment.
Our LI and some corps members came into the room as we all laughed, joke and enjoy the moment together. I’m happy to be alive and to see that people love and care about me. The greatest joy man can have is to know people really care about you. Although I still can’t phantom what happened in-between the lost four months.
We left the hospital and went back to the lodge I had swear in anger not to ever enter again. My stuffs has already been packed as we were only waiting for the night to pass before we head back to our home town. Going back will be easier as Dan will go with his car while Temmy will drive mine. One thing I noticed was that Uncle Ben did not show up to even say hi that evening as he has not showed us since I woke up. Neither did I see Aunty Joy; well I think I’ve passed thinking about them.
While we were inside the sitting room discussing stuffs that had happened while I was in coma, Aunty Joy did come in, but was rejected by my mum. This might probably means, mum has been the one stopping them from visiting and I’ll not blame her for that. She needs to protect her son after all.
Mum: What did you want? You are here to finish the work right?
Joy: Cool down ma
Mum: Please leave, I’ve told you we’ll leave your house tomorrow and if you want us to leave tonight, we will.
Me: Mum, let her come in
Mum: No, they were the one trying to kill you. I don’t trust her or any of them
Me: Mum please, I’ll like to speak with her in pivate
Mum: What’s wrong with you Opeyemi? God just delivered me from one and you want to create another one?
Me: Mum, nothing will happen.
Mum: No problem, talk to her, but you are not going to court with anybody. Let them pay for their crimes.
Mum: Just talk to her, but I’ll be watching.
Me: Thanks mum
I wheeled outside the sitting room as she sat beside me on a chair. We stayed there for like five minutes just looking. As I was about to break the silence, she stood up and hugged me on the chair as she starts to sob. I stylishly pushed her back but she held on to my hand and that was how I noticed she was wearing a different ring.
Me: You are married now?
Joy: Yes, I’m sorry you were not there
Me: Wao! A lot has really happen in these four months. Congratulations!
Joy: Thanks dear
Me: (Chucks) Dear? You are calling me dear? Well, I did not lose my memory, I still remembered everything that happened that day.
Joy: That day was a day to forget in our lives. It was an unfortunate day.
Me: Not for me. It’s a day I’ll never forget. Is there anything you want to tell me?
Joy: I’m just happy you are alive. I’ve missed you a lot. We all thought we’ve lost you but your determination to live is stronger than our thoughts. It’s really a miracle you are here talking, considering how we met you at the hotel room that day.
Me: Yeah, I’ve been hearing that from many people. Glory is to God. Don’t worry, by tomorrow, I’ll be out of your lives totally.
Joy: No, I don’t want you out of my life. Ben doesn’t want it either, he loves you so much.
Me: Wao! That’s the best thing I’ve heard all day. Uncle Ben loves me? I’ll rather believe the devil has accepted Christ and be born again.
Joy: Don’t judge with what happened that day. He really loves you, he was only confused and angry that day.
Me: Yeah, I was too. But it doesn’t matter anymore
Joy: Leaving his life will break him totally, he’ll be hopeless.
Me: Staying in his life will kill me totally, I’ll be hopelessly hopeless. Common look at me, I’m on wheels! Is that right to you? All because someone was confused and angry, anyway I’ll take my own fault, everybody should answer his father’s name.
Joy: Cool down Will
Me: I nearly died Aunty Joy. Oh! I mean I died, I’m only having a second chance. I was shot because of him. Maybe by his commands, who knows? Where is he anyway?
Joy: He’s in prison
Me: Prison, why?
Joy: He was arrested last month for attempting to kill you and one other lady, since he was the one they met there.
Me: That’s ridiculous, except if he was the one that sent them.
Joy: He didn’t send them but the other lady found at the scene and the hotel manager gave witness against him in the court.
Me: Victoria is alive?
Joy: Who is victoria?
Me: The other lady you mentioned. He did not attempt to kill me, at least he wasn’t there physically.
Joy: Will please, will you testify for him?