I looked into Lara’s face but I couldn’t decipher what was on her mind.
She looked so sad and far away.
She sighed intermittently, picked up her daughter’s weak, almost lifeless hands and sighed again. She hadn’t even eaten! No matter what I said to convince her to eat, she wouldn’t bulge.
By the time I got to the General Hospital, I learnt they had been referred to an Indian Hospital in Victoria Island after an x-ray had detected a big issue in Jemmy’s skull. I had to go down to the hospital.
As soon as the Chief consultant at the Indian Hospital saw the report from the General Hospital, he immediately ordered for a CT scan to be done. He afterwards took it to a medical conference so it would be interpreted. He said he would be joining us after the conference to know the next step to take.
That made her so tensed and she wouldn’t even look into my face no matter how ha-rd I tried.
She jumped up immediately the door creaked. The doctor entered with two nurses behind him. He held a white file in his right hand.
“Are you sure it was simply a shoe that was used to hit Jemmy’s head?” He asked and Lara nodded. The doctor shook his head. “Why is the effect that de-ep then? Like a whole mortal was used against her head”
“Ah, doctor!” Lara exclaimed, her eyes wi-dening. She pu-ll-ed her go-wn in between her legs and started some uneasy dancing on a sp©t. “What are we going to do, now?”
“We will nee-d the intervention of a traumatic br@in injury specialist to see Jemmy.” He said and I jumped up at once, holding my che-st in utmost shock. “If you agree and sign this form, we will s£nd the CT scan result to him so we can know what to do”
“But doctor, talk to me. I am a medical doctor too. What exactly is wrong?” I asked and he smiled.
“Well, for now, she will nee-d an intracranial pressure monitoring”
“What! Is her br@in swollen?”
“Obviously! That is what the CT Scan says” He replied.
“Jesuuuuuus!” Lara screamed, stamping her legs against the floor.
“plea-se sign this form so we can employ the help of the specialist.” He said and handed the form over to her. “It is going to be very costly but it is necessary”
“3 million naira?” Lara asked and the doctor nodded. “No problem. I will sign it right away” She said but I collected the form from her and smiled at the doctor.
“We will get back to you sir, as soon as we have consulted with other members of our family” I said and he nodded, smiling too.
“Be fast about it because obviously, if the br@in is too pressured, there can be a damage to it” He said and I nodded. “Here is another letter you nee-d to help me fill, plea-se” He said and handed a typed letter to me. “I reported the as-sault to the police alre-ady” He said and my eyes wi-de-ned.
“Yeah! It will be a criminal offense to administer treatment to an as-saulted person, especially kids without ma-king the proper reports” He explained. Lara walked up to me and collected the form.
“Give me your pen, doctor” She said and the doctor extended a pen to her. “Asake… what is her surname, mummy?” She asked and I stood there, glued to a sp©t.
“My daughter, we have to take this issu…” I was explaining when she faced me squarely.
“When this same woman poisoned your son years back, mum, didn’t your report to the police?” She asked and I nodded. “This is me being a mother too! This is me being the only parent Jemmy has! We nee-d to st©p this woman from perpetrating evil” She said and I nodded, smiling shortly and ruefully.
“Adeniran is her surname” I said and she quic-kly filled the name on the letter, signed and handed it over to the doctor.
“Thank you. Kindly inform me as soon as you are re-ady for the specialist” He said and I nodded. “And be fast!” He added.
He moved to Jemmy’s be-d, adjusted the oxygen cap on her nose, check the IV flow, pe-cked Jemmy’s forehead and started walking out of the room.
As soon as he had left with the two nurses, Lara ran to my side.
“Mummy, why didn’t you allow me sign the form? I nee-d to do the nee-df…” She was saying when I smiled.
“One, we have to inform your husband, no matter how sick he is. Two, we shouldn’t be too hasty when we have not even prayed about this issue” I said and she stood up, walked to the wall beside us and started hitting it severally like a bo-xer. She kept b!owing, hitting and punching until her knuckles were bleeding.
I was shocked! I was more shocked when she started walking to me with her two hands bleeding. She had a sad smile on her face as she looked me in the eyes with tears.
“You see how my hands are bleeding, mummy?” She asked and started laughing in a very sad way. She would laugh and cry and laugh and cry again. I nodded, quite scared. “That is how I will destroy the whole of Bode’s b©dy if anything happens to my daughter” She said as tears strolled down her face. She snatched the form from my hand, signed it and stamped it with her two blood-stained hands.
“I want to go and submit this to the doctor as a deed of agreement.” She said and started moving to the door. I ran after her and knelt before her.
“Lara, plea-se, let us…” I was saying when she pe-cked my forehead, staining it with tears and sweat from her h0t, dripping b©dy.
“This is how I will k!ssyour forehead the day I get my daughter back hale and hearty” She said, smiling. “But it would be a goodbye k!ssbecause I would be done with your son, finally by then!” She said with a finality, went out of the ward and ban-ged the door behind her.
I held my che-st in shock.
“Oh Lord, Jesus! plea-se intervene! plea-se Father, take charge of everything! Lord, plea-se take charge of everything” I cried as I walked to Jemmy’s side. I picked my Bible from my bag, knelt beside her be-d and picked her hand.
I wanted to pray but seeing her weak face and her shut eyes, I could only weep!
“My son, I really love your house. You are doing a very good job taking care of your family” I said as Bode drove us back home. He smiled and looked into my face.
“But my wife would never see that o, daddy. I am taking a very good care of her but she’s an ingrate!” He replied.
“Why do you say so? She doesn’t thank you?” I asked and he shook his head.
“She does, actually”
“So, why is she an ingrate?” I asked, gently.
“Why wouldn’t she want my family member in our house?” He asked and I smiled.
“But did you inform her before bringing the woman home?”
“No, I didn’t”
“Why? She doesn’t inform you when she wants to bring her own people around?”
“She does, I do too actually but on this case, I decided to keep it from everyb©dy. I wanted it to be a surprise, reuniting with my long lost aunt” He said and I smiled.
“Your aunt told you to do it that way? To keep it from us all?”
“Yes. And my wife also loves surprises, so I agreed but if you see the way she attacked me the day she saw Mama, ah, she looked like a fierce lion” He said and I started laughing.
“Bode, my son!” I hailed him.
“Daddy, daddy!” He hailed too. I turned to look at the back seat where Jeddy lay, slee-ping peacefully.
I had entered the house and was almost asking the young indecently dressed lady who had entered Bode’s house where she was from when my wife’s call c@m£ in. She asked me to come over to the hospital to pick Jeddy up as Jemmy had been transferred to another hospital.
I was about going to do the bidding when the Holy Spirit instructed me to ask Bode to tag along. He refused at first but after a while, he obliged, promising his ‘visitor’ that he would be back soon. Immediately I got to the car, I started to fill the whole place with the Blood of Jesus. I prayed silently as we joked and drove to the hospital. As soon as we had picked Jeddy up and I realized that she was asleep, I knew it was time to fire on.
“But has she done that to any of your family members before?”
“So, did you ask her why she did so to this aunt?” I asked, still smiling peacefully. He shook his head.
“No I didn’t. I was really furious that she would even question my authority” He said and I nodded.
“You could have asked her, my dear. You see, Lara prays a lot right?”
“A whole lot, dad. She seems like a soldier when she starts praying.” He laughed. “Lara!” He exclaimed and laughed some more. “But I love her for that o. I really do” He added.
“That is it, my dear son. Generally speaking, women are more spiritually s-en-sitive than men. This awareness that something is happening spiritually brings them to pray. That is why, if a man can be humble enough to listen to them as regards some issues before ma-king a final decision, they will never be led astray.”
“Yes!” I said and placed my hand prayerfully on his shoulder.
“Hmmm…well, I actually do that. I listen to her. I hear what she has to say before ma-king decisions but on this my aunt’s case, I wasn’t just re-ady to…”
“Why?” I asked. “Have you thought about it? Why?” I asked and I shook his head.
“No, I don’t even know. We just must have a de-ep connection, that’s all” He said and I shook my head.
“Do you know what Proverbs 16:28 says? ‘It is honesty and love that build a marriage, not the recommendations of outsiders…and a gossip separates close friends’”
“Oh wow!” He exclaimed.
“Bose has told you so much about your marriage, right?”
“That your wife is rude and spoilt and too proud?” I asked and he looked into my eyes, shocked.
“How do you know that, dad?” He asked and I smiled.
“That she is barren because she has just two kids for you?” I asked and he brou-ght the car to a halt suddenly, looking into my calm face with a lot of shock and questions on his face.
“Yes, dad! She said that!” He exclaimed. I smiled.
“That you nee-d a new wife to give you more children and teach Lara how to be submissive” I added and he scratched at his head suddenly.
“Yes, dad! You are so correct! But, how do you know that?”
“She did the same thing to me when my marriage was five and you were four”
“What? Did what? Told you that mum is proud and spoilt and barren and that you nee-d a new wife to give you children and teach mum a lesson?”
“Yes my son!”
“But why would she do that? Mum is her cousin!”
“My son!” I smiled, really grateful to God that the Holy Spirit was having serious control over the conversation. “She even poisoned you and was s£nt to prison for ten years for that” I concluded and sweat broke out on his face.
“It is a lie! Dad, that is a lie!” He exclaimed, holding my knee. “But how am I not able to discern that? Why did I agree to…”
“Son, it is hypnosis! It’s not normal, it’s fetish. Once one is a target for these wicked influence and they fire some hypnotic arrows, it would work!”
“Did you eat anything from her?”
“Yes dad. She brou-ght vegetables from home as she was com…”
“That is one of the ways they attack. One must watch exactly what one eats. You must sanctify it with the Blood of Jesus! And you must be on guard spiritually every time!”
“Oh my God! So, dad, you were hypnotized too?”
“No, she c@m£ with the hypnosis on her ton-gue to tell me negative things about my wife but I was spiritually alert so I spoke against her with the Word of God on my own ton-gue.”
“Oh my goodness! And she got me! She got me!”
“Yes, she got you! You who loved Lara like anything! You almost hit her because of your aunt, the aunt you know nothing about!”
“Oh my God!” He broke down into tears. I brou-ght out my phone and pla-yed a short WhatsApp video.
“See the video you s£nt to me last Friday” He collected it, started seeing it and wept louder. “You made that video for your wife, singing a very loving song for her. You loved her…”
“I love her! Oh my! Laraaaaa…” He wept on, holding the phone to his che-st.
“Of course, so, now, can you see that fine, we all nee-d close friends in whom we can confide and who confide in us. But if that drives us away from our spouse, we certainly stepped over the line.”
“Your beloved Jemmy is in the hospital suffering from a head injury from the impact of the shoe she had used to hit her head. Now, her br@in is being monito-red so it doesn’t get damaged!” I said and he held my hands suddenly.
“Dad, you said what???”
“I am telling you! Son, until we know that life is war, we won’t know what prayer is for. Prayer involves battle against spiritual f0rç£s in the heavenlies. We are men, so we feel the bulk of prayers should fall on our wife’s shoulders. How wrong we are!”
“Oh my God!”
“How do you feel about s£nding your mother or wife out to do battle while you sit at home?”
“Yeah! But isn’t that what we’ve been doing when we have looked at prayer as women’s work? It’s time to take the place of the warrior, alongside the women, as we do battle together in the Lord’s strength and victory as a people of prayer.”
“Hmmmm…Oh Lord, God!” He broke down further into tears.
“The Lord expects Christian men to be the spiritual leaders of their homes. And the truth is, spiritual leaders pray! If a man is not praying, he is not a spiritual leader. Prayerless men have abdicated their place of spiritual authority and left their families open to attack.”
“Oh gracious Father! He raised his hands, shaking with obvious pain and sadness.
“Couples that pray together are forging strong bonds that will not easily break.”
“Hmmm! Hmmm!” He sighed over and over again.
Just as he wept on, Jeddy screamed at once.
“No dad, don’t go!” She screamed, throwing her legs and hands up as she did. “See the dogs, don’t go!” She screamed again, her eyes firmly shut with tears strolling down her face.
Bode turned to look into my face with fear written all over his face. I sighed as I la-id my hands on her head, praying as I did. She bec@m£ calm.
“Dad, am I safe? I’m scared! Can you pray for me too?” He asked…
TO BE CONTINUED…