By Emmanuel Adebayo:
Anita was trying really hard to mask her unhappiness; it was supposed to be a happy day for both of them, a dream – come true. They had waited for this day with great anticipation. David could see right through her; he stopped what he was doing and moved close to her, hugged her from behind in a way that said 'we'll be fine!'
Anita fought the tears as she turned and held the only man in her life; he was her son, husband, brother, father and in fact her pastor, he was all she had. None of them said a word to each other, but they both understood their emotions, their silence pregnant with a million unsaid words.
Anita broke the silence, “I only wish to be there with you till the last minute, I just want you to feel me close and know that I care”. David smiled kindly, “you've always been there for me; I perfectly understand why you can't be today”.
Anita had lost her husband exactly a week after David was born to a road crash. David was all she had. Watching him go now, was both joyful and painful, and she wished she could keep him to herself always. David had won a scholarship to further his education in the UK. He graduated with the best result in his department at the University of Abuja, and won the best Corp member award Batch 'B' 2011; he was really her hero. She was so proud of him.
She was very unhappy when her boss had called her early that morning that she had to be at work for an important meeting even though she was on leave. She tried to excuse herself but her boss wouldn't listen. As her thoughts reeled, her hug became tighter David had to wince saying, “mum, I'm choking”.
“Oh…sorry,” she said. “I think we should be on our way to the airport now so that you don't miss your flight to Lagos.”
At the office, Anita could hardly hear anything, she was waiting for her son to call and tell her he was safely in Lagos. Just as she was beginning to get worried, her phone chimed, it was David! She excused herself from the meeting, explaining that the call was important and couldn't wait.
“Mum,” it was David's voice.
“Sweetheart, how was your trip?” Anita was too excited to realize that he sounded weak and tired.
David did not return the pleasantries, “Mum, please I need you to do me a favor.”
“Sweetheart, what's wrong? Why are you sounding so weak?” Now she noticed!
“Mum please, sing with me,”
'I still have joy; I still have joy
After all I have been through; I still have joy!'
She sang it with him 5 times, but all the while wondering why he was singing this particular song and why he was sounding so weak.
“Mum, promise me you will not despair; please do not stop living, God has the best plan for all of us, and here's where my journey ends…”
Now Anita was pressed for some answers, wondering why on earth David would be talking like this: “David stop this right now, it's not funny if this is meant to be a joke. What's wrong with you? Are you okay?”
“I will be!” was David's response. Then he continued to tell his mum how much he appreciated her love and care for him. Anita was dumb founded.
David continued to speak kind and loving words to his mother. Anita couldn't think straight.
After few more statements, Anita heard a loud and sharp cry of pain from David, then in a muffled tone his final words were “Mum, legs are beginning to burn…” then there was dead silence on the other end. She tried to call back but the line wasn't reachable. She became temporarily mad, she couldn't think straight. She ran into the visitor's lounge and turned on the TV. She began to flick through the channels, she wasn't sure what she was looking for – there it is!
A plane had crashed in Lagos! She felt light headed. A cold breeze blew through her. Her legs gave way, and she hugged herself tight, bent over. Her lungs burned, she wanted to cry but she couldn't. She wished she could scream, but she couldn't find her voice. The receptionist had been watching her from the reception; she walked up to her and asked “Excuse me ma'am, I hope all is well”. Anita turned, her face was flushed and pale, then she found her voice, she screamed at the top of her lungs “Daaaaaaaaaaavid!!!”
That was the last thing she said.
She passed out!
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