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  • Writer's pictureAbigael Ibikunle

A Short Story on Hope

By Junaid Anuoluwapo

Time stood still as she gazed lovingly at the two bundles of joy wrapped in swaddling clothes in her arms. It felt like they were the only people in the ward amidst the busy movement of nurses here and there.

She was brought back to reality by the gentle tug at her bosom; she looked at the first of her twin boys. He was the heavy eater of the two. His brother had dozed off while feeding, she held his fingers tightly in hers and he hung on to it even in his semi-awake state. She sat back on the reclining chair, a fulfilled woman with two lovely boys resting in the crook of her arms.

Rocking the first baby to sleep gently, the memories came in torrents. She couldn’t help the tears as they flowed uncontrollably; she then lifted her head up and mouthed a prayer of gratitude to God who is indeed the one who is indeed the one never disappoints.

It didn’t start this way though…

Alex gazed at Diane and she snuggled deeper into bed and he let out a hiss of disgust. He was so infuriated that Diane could sleep considering the issue on ground, he shouted at her to wake up. Rousing from sleep gently, Diane rubbed her eyes gently and her eyes reflexively darted to the bedside clock and it read 3a.m.

She just slept recently after her night prayers. She then faced her husband who had been nothing short of sweet to her until about two years ago when he became a total stranger.

Alex, maintaining a look of disgust on his face said, “You know people that should be so comfortable sleeping at night?” she looked at him without clue, “Of course you wouldn’t know”, Alex let out a sardonic laughter before he continued, “Anyways for the knowledge, barren women don’t snore away at night without finding solution to their predicament”.

Diane was shocked, tears welled up in her eyes and she said, “Alex I’m not barren we have Louisia”, Alex laughed out scornfully; “I’m surprised you view Louisia as a child, when other women also call their male kids children” He said and looked her over with disdain.

At that point, Diane braced herself for more insult. It wasn’t strange to her, Alex had become different from the man she married for some time, Few years into their marriage, Louisia was given birth to and he cherished her greatly, calling her daddy’s princess all the time. The change started after a friend of Alex threw a party to mark the arrival of his new child. And he invited Alex and his family to the party, on arrival, the party was in full swing.

As Alex sat to have a few drinks with his friends, one of his friends faced him and said, “Alex we hope we’ll be coming over soon to christen your BABY”. Femi, another friend in the group added, “And oh Alex, by baby we mean the real BABY”, placing emphasis on the word baby, the rest of his friends roared out in laughter.

Alex looked lost and then Femi continued, “Guy I’m sure you don’t expect me to be too direct, I mean a baby boy that will uphold your legacy”. Alex looking at his friends one after the other actually noticed that he was the only one without a male child. All his friends actually have at least two male kids.

On getting home that day, Diane noticed Alex’s cold attitude but interpreted it as fatigue. That day marked the beginning of Diane’s marital trouble. Alex who had once called her sweet names now called her names like, barren woman, infertile tree, desert, and so on. It was most painful that he completely turned away from Louisia and neglected her completely.

She was jolted back to reality by Alex’s thunderous voice, “enough is enough, if u can’t give me a male child, I am done with you”, he then moved out of the room with his pillow and blanket. She tried so hard to find sleep all to no avail. She was so surprised in the morning when Alex’s elder sister came on a surprise visit and told her to either follow her to a spiritualist’s house and get a male child or leave her brother alone. She yielded to the pressure and followed her eventually.

On getting there, the spiritualist told Diane to get Louisia far away from her as possible if she wants a male child, Diane stormed out angrily and refused that she’s never letting her daughter go and that God will answer her in due time. When she got home, she recounted all to Alex and for the first time, He responded with a slap. Diane, being so fragile as a result of starving herself a lot of times fell back face flat.

Alex was about to leave angrily when he noticed blood seeping out from her thighs. He was alarmed and carrying her in his arms, he rushed her out to the hospital. The doctor later told Alex that Diane suffered a miscarriage as a result of the fall; he was shocked and couldn’t utter a word. He never knew Diane was pregnant.

After her discharge, Alex pleaded for forgiveness repeatedly and Diane later forgave him. Prayerfully they took up the responsibility to pray for their family and in due time, Diane got pregnant again. This time she was rewarded with twin boys. She was indeed a fulfilled woman, the Lord had wiped away all her tears and rewarded with Hope and Joy (her two boys).

At first, it wasn’t easy to let go of the past but with the help of God she forgave Alex from the bottom of her heart; She heard her name and looked up to see Alex gazing lovingly at her with tears in his eyes. Louisia walked up to her to give her a kiss. A complete family.

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