Based loosely on true events.
There was an oxygen mask across my face as I slowly opened my eyes.
Where was I?
There was a bitter taste in my mouth.
The way it would taste if you hadn’t spoken or opened your mouth for hours.
I scanned from left to right, there were bodies around me, leaning over me. I could hear someone talking but I wasn’t sure if they were talking to me.
I couldn’t hear them anyways.
The voices were all too oud and the way the truck moved, I wasn’t going to make out the words.
As my eyes got clearer, I noticed that Cynthia was seated to my right.
She smiled at me and mouthed something I thought to be
“You’re gonna be okay Kola”
I tried to force a smile but I only had enough energy to bat my eye lashes and my lids closed.
I could still hear them, talking and I felt Cynthia place her hand on mine.
It was cold.
I opened my eyes just as the van came to a halt.
The noise level rose again as they worked to lift me out and on to another gurney.
Into the hospital we went, they were moving really fast and then I heard new voices. There were more people touching me now and saying things to me.
My head was spinning and I just wanted it to stop.
I heard someone ask me a question. I didn’t answer.
The person leaned in closer and asked again, I nodded.
A few seconds later, I felt a pinch in my arm. I had been injected with something.
Just a few more puffs and my eyes went shut again.
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I had a huge headache as I woke up.
My body felt sore. Maybe from all the moving around but somehow I felt better than before.
There was an intravenous line passed through my left forearm. There was some food on my tray to my right.
I was looking at the food when I heard someone say from behind it
“Hey handsome, you up.”
I tried to make out who it was and then they said
“You can sleep sha!
Just be over there snoring all the time.
How did you sleep?”
I forced a smile back.
It was Cynthia.
In a quiet and raspy tone, I responded
“How long was I out for?”
She smiled, now standing right by the bed. She said
They really knocked you out”
Immediately my mind flashed to Taiwo. I’m sure she would have been blowing up my phone.
As I tried to figure it all in my head, Cynthia said
“Don’t worry, I already told her what happened. She was here earlier and she will be back soon”
Puzzled as to who she could have been talking about.
“Who do you think I’m talking about?”
She smiled as she turned around and headed back to her seat. She sat down, reached for her phone and said
“You little girlfriend Taiwo or whatever her name was.”
I rolled my eyes and said
“She’s not my girlfriend”
Her response was a cheeky
“Mhmm…whatever you say daddy”
I frowned and said
“I told you not to call me that anymore”
She got up and walked towards me as she smiled and said
“You’re telling me that you don’t want me to call you daddy?
Be acting like you don’t like it”
She ran her fingers up my right thigh and stopped right beneath my aroused member. I tried to keep it down but it only rose more and she smiled harder.
“Have I ever told you that I hate you?”
I said with a smile.
She smiled too and said
“Don’t make me get crazy and sit on it right in this hospital because you know I’ll do it”
I knew she would.
That’s how she was. That’s who I am.
So it made sense that she would but I couldn’t.
I didn’t want to and that was telling. But I teased back and said
“You wouldn’t even be able to handle it”
She grabbed it in her hands and said
I would ride this shit right now… Boy don’t play yourself.. you know I can put it o…..”
The doctor walked in and cut her off.
But Cynthia didn’t let go off my hardened member in her hand.
He looked down awkwardly at my lower regions and then at me and then at Cynthia.
It was only then Cynthia let me out of her grip with a huge smile on her face.
I was so on.
But I was more interested in what the doctor had to say.
He looked at me and said
Completely butchering my name.
“I’m pretty sure I just butchered your name…I’m sorry.
Do you think we discuss some of the details of your results in private?”
I sat up in the bed and looked at the doctor
“It’s okay doc. You can say whatever in front of her.”
He nodded in approval and said
“Well, we did some extensive tests and we discovered that you had elevated levels of arsenic in your system”
I frowned and asked
“So what does that mean doc?
Am I okay?”
He looked a bit serious now as he said
“Yes, you are okay. What usually comes with this condition is internal bleeding, vomiting and such but your bleeding from your nostrils was unusual.
I think your body failed to display the other symptoms because you were soon unconscious. Your levels were off the chart, which leads me to believe one thing…you were poisoned”
I heard Cynthia gasp as my face dropped.
By who? Why? What could I have done that was that bad?
Now before you start to judge me, some of you may think
“Oh, he’s Yoruba. He’s a demon.”
I had always made myself very clear to the women I date.
No lies, just true feelings and vibes.
So who could have wanted to hurt me or better yet, dead.
My eyes began to water as I mustered the strength to ask
“So you mean someone tried to kill me?… I couldn’t *sniff*
I couldn’t have ingested something bad”
He seriousness seemed to be replaced with compassion now as he said
“Unfortunately, these levels we saw were too high.
You would need to have ingested a full bag of coal to have reached those levels. The thing that surprises people the most is it’s slow effect before kicking in. It can take a few hours to a day before it toxic impact is felt.
I’m sorry… the good news is that you got to us early enough for us to pump a lot of it out.
Some of your organs are lightly damaged and in recovery, we will just keep you here for observation but you should be set to head home within a few days.
So rest up and try to eat as much as you can”
He excused himself, I thanked him and he left.
I was stunned and playing detective in my mind. I wanted to cry but Cynthia being close wasn’t making that easy.
Who could have poisoned me?
The last meal I ate was at Taiwo’s and before that, I had eaten with Annie but even that was more than 3days ago.
So was it Taiwo?
But why would Taiwo want to harm me? We had just spoken about relationships and how she wanted me.
I looked over to Cynthia.
There was concern written over her face and anger but more importantly love.
She still loved me.
You see, Cynthia and I were engaged to be married.
I was sure that i wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
We met during her Master’s program while I was working with the research team at her school.
She made me work to get her.
I truly put in work. The late night calls, always being present for her and all that was in between.
So I proposed, my family thought I was high off the fumes of love but I felt like she was the one until one day when I came home and walked in on her and her ex.
Everything changed that day.
Her family tried and begged but I called off the engagement and she moved.
I know she loves me and I still love her but I could never come back from that.
And maybe that affected my trust in allowing other women in but ultimately, I felt like I was hurting again.
I had let one in, and somehow, they had tried to take my life.
Tears trickled down the side of my right cheek as I cried with the door behind me.
Whenever I am overwhelmed, I would try to force myself to sleep, so I didn’t have to think.
I was trying to sleep when I heard Cynthia say in a harsh tone
“What do you want?”
I immediately opened my eyes and saw her standing, my eyes shifted with my body as I heard a reply in Cynthia’s direction
“What do you mean?
I told you I was coming back”
as I arrived on my back, I saw Taiwo with her furrowed brows looking angry at Cynthia for that question.
“Cynthia, chill… Can you give us a moment to talk?”
She looked at me surprised. She rolled her eyes, turned, unplugged her phone and then headed out of the hospital room.
Taiwo approached the bed and said
“Kola, what was all that about?”
“Shut the door, please”
She walked to the door and closed it.
As she walked back towards me, I said
“Taiwo, what did I do to deserve this?”
She looked confused and said
What are you talking about Kola?”
she placed her hand on me, as if to display her harmlessness.
I shrugged her off and said,
“You know exactly what I’m talking about!”
with my voice raised.
She took a step back and replied
“I don’t know who you think you’re yelling at or why but you need to calm the fuck down.
I’m the one that needs answers. Like why you never told me that you were engaged before or why you felt like I shouldn’t know that your ex fiancee was in your house.
So you give me answers instead of expecting me to read your mind”
I dismissed what she said and charged back
“You poisoned me Taiwo!”
Her eyes grew big and she looked hurt by my accusation
“The doctor came back with the test and he said I had been poisoned. The last thing I ate was from you”
Taiwo was already in tears.
She wiped her tears with her right sleeve and sniffled before saying
“Kola, you really just accused me of poisoning you?
I felt something.
There was something there.
But I had to try to fight what I felt and go for the facts as I said
“I’m not trying to accuse you.
but you are the last person I ate from. So where would I say that I ate that from?
I’m just going off what the doctor said”
“Well the doctor is wrong and you are so fucking wrong.
After everything. After picking people over me.
After years of waiting, you’re here accusing me?!
Of trying to kill you?
nah, you’re a fucking bitch and you’re fucking up!…. this is why you are alone. Because you sit here and push people away….
She snarled right back at me.
I was trying to keep my voice down and hers as I said
“You know I find it hard to trust people and it’s all been very ha…”
“Fuck your trust issues Kola!
That shit is a cop out!
Like nigga I love you! I have fucking loved you!
Yet you want to treat me like one of your side pieces. You’re going to regret ever saying those words to me Kola.
She picked up her purse and left the containers that had food she brought. As she started to bolt out the door, I jumped out of the bed, forgetting the IV was still under my flesh.
I screamed as I felt my flesh rip.
She stopped as her right hand held the door knob.
I looked at her back as she refused to turn around and said
“Taiwo, I am sorry.
I shouldn’t have said that. I know you would never try to hurt me.
I was just scared and I lashed out.. I’m sorry babe”
She turned around and looked me square in the eye and said
“Kola, you think I’m not scared?.. you think it’s not scary to get a call that the man you love, nearly died?
You think it’s not scary loving you with your entire fan club of women wanting a piece of you?
What part of that do you think is easy Kola?”
I placed my hands on tear filled face and said
“Taiwo, I’m scared but I feel safe with you.
Please let us try.
Don’t walk out on me. I need you”
I could feel her knees buckle under my words.
She sheepishly smiled and said
“You are annoying but you are lucky I love you”
I smiled back and led her to the bed.
As I climbed in, she placed her purse back next to the food and said
“Are you hungry?
Or do you think I poisoned this one too?”
I jokingly glared at her and replied
“Too soon. Too soon.
Just come here”
I motioned to her to climb into the bed.
“When, shift now. You don’t know your butt is big. Abi should sit on the railing.”
I moved over as she climbed into the bed with her iPad.
And turned it to some Nigerian movie on Iroko TV. I was about to make a joke about it when she said
“You better not say anything or you will go back to watching your hospital cable”
She continued and said
“So what else did the doctor say?”
I started speaking and then I heard a knock on the door.
The door opened and a nurse walked in with Cynthia closely behind.
She greeted me and told me she was there to check on me.
As she walked around the bed to my right side, I thought she was about to chastise me for letting the IV drop out of my arm but she said
“Sir, it looks like you’re bleeding again”
I looked down at the pillow case and there were droplets of blood.
It was about to be another rollercoaster ride.
There were doctors circling me and nurses coming in and out.
I was on the high priority list.
Taiwo did not leave my side except for the time when I had to get an MRI done and even then, she was right outside the room.
Everyone was trying to figure out what was going on.
My mother was flying in from Nigeria shortly as my whole family and friends, wrapped around me.
The next morning, as I slowly woke.
I remember feeling a sense of calm.
Like answers were to be had and things would sort itself out.
I remember cracking jokes with Cynthia and Taiwo as we tried to take our minds off the situation while awaited the results from the doctors.
I remember Cynthia was talking about how men don’t appreciate the lengths women go to look good or something along those lines.
As she was demonstrating her points, the doctor knocked and let himself in.
He greeted me and asked some simple questions about my well being and proceeded to ask if he could talk to me about the results they found in front of Taiwo and Cynthia.
I gave my approval.
He closed the door and approached the bed.
With a folder in hand, he opened it up and held up some X-ray sheets as he said
“So we did a full body scan and located what we believe to be the problem.
Here, is a copy of the brain scan and there *he pointed to the picture*, there is a brain aneurysm right here.
Due to the size and it’s closeness to sensitive areas of your brain, we actually cannot advise to operate on it.”
There was a tension in the room.
Shock on both of their faces as I said
So how long do I have doc?”
He looked at me and said
“In my professional judgement, I would say about 4-5 months give or take”
Cynthia held strong as she comforted a sobbing Taiwo.
The doctor shook my hand and excused himself.
I stayed silent for a second as it all hit me.
Then Cynthia looked at me and said
I couldn’t hold the tears anymore.
They began to flow down my sullen cheeks as I replied
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