The Eneanyas slept in the hospital that night and the next morning when they woke up at 8;45am, they went to check up on Adanna who was still asleep. They deliberated whether to wake her or not but concluded to let her rest. Meanwhile, Mr Moses suggested they go and get breakfast. As they got to the reception they met Claire and her parents by the entrance. They were glad to see them and they all hugged one another. They had urgently travelled that sunday evening and only just returned at dawn today and they drove straight for their house only to hear the awful bits of news from neighbors after which they headed straight for the hospital.
“I am so sorry” Mr Rice said as he hugged his friend again and led him away from the entrance so a woman and her child could pass.
“This is so awful” Mrs Rice added as she embraced her friend.
“hmmm you have no idea” Mami sighed.
“It is well my dear, God knows best.”
“Oh, I’m sure He does” She muttered under her breath.
Mrs Rice waved off her comment and pretended not to hear it.
“I am so sorry for your loss.” Claire whispered aloud as she stepped forward and hugged her best friend’s parents. “Where is Adanna, is she okay?” She asked in a cracking voice.
“Thank you dear. Yes, she will be. She is in room 42” Adanna’s father replied her as gracefully as he could and pointed her towards the direction.
Claire then left them and ran inside to see Adanna but stopped right by her door. Her eyes were moist now and she was a little shaky. She was nervous, scared and prayed what she met at the other side of the door will be good news and then boldly let the door open.
She saw Adanna lying on the bed facing the opposite direction. She crawled up beside her and hugged her “hey best girl” she whispered in her ear wobbly.
Adanna turned excitedly recognizing the voice to face her and sulked into her embrace. She had missed her so much these few days and had wondered why she hadn’t showed up. She still held on to her and embraced here more firmly even when Claire was about to break it off like her life depended on it. They both cried for close to thirty minutes without saying much of anything concrete before Adanna finally spoke up.
“Where have you been since” She asked in a cracking voice as she broke up the hug finally and quailed.
“I am so sorry, we travelled that night and only got back today. I didn’t know we were going to until you left my house that evening.” Claire replied tearfully. “I am so glad you are okay” she said as she placed her hands in Adanna’s.
“No, I am no okay. Not at all” Adanna shot back angrily.
For a short minute, Claire viewed the room, it was normal though bland and it had the ‘hospital redolence’. The curtains draped down to protect her from the scorching of the sun and it had a window air conditioner just opposite the toilet. She also saw a drip stand beside Adanna’s bed and a small table where a few provisions and a plate of food covered lay.
Then she turned to Adanna and looked at her. Her face was pale and dark. Her hands lokked frail and she looked a lot thinner, her beautiful smile wasn’t there instead it was replaced by a cold stare and an emptiness. Oh God no. This isn’t the lively and beautiful Adanna she knew; this person was different more like a wounded dog trying to get its footing. When the minute of silence was over and the atmosphere a little more receptive, she spoke
“I am so sorry about Condolesa. May her soul rest in perfect peace”
The mere mention of the name Condolesa brought back a sensation in Adanna’s bones that made her body shiver. She flinched and let out a deep breath. Claire could tell she was hurting very bad but she too was confused, she didn’t know of any other way to help her best friend other than console her. She felt guilty for having not been around these past few days for her when she really needed her. She didn’t want to ask what happened exactly as her and her parents had heard funny rumors on their way here. Now wasn’t the time. It was better to let sleeping dogs lie for this moment. She reasoned.
“What happened exactly” Mrs Rice asked as they walked down the corridor of the hospital.
For forty-five minutes, they all cried together as the Eneanya’s explained ‘that night’ but left out the part where she blamed Adanna for Condolesa’s death. The Rice tried to console them and make them feel better, assuring them that God was still with them and they should not loose hope. Mami gave them both strange side eye as they mentioned ‘God.’ Was He sleeping then?. She scoffed.
“You can stay with us, as long as you need. There is enough room for us all” Mrs. Rice said as she smiled at the couple.
“Thank you, that would be great” They replied as they hugged and shook hands.
“Okay then, can we go inside and see Adanna?” Mr Rice asked.
“Oh yes, she would be awake by now” Her father answered as he led the way interlocking his wife’s hand with his.
Claire’s parent entered first followed by Adanna’s. They walked up to her, hugged her and offered their condolences. Her father came close too and asked if she was alright which she replied an affirmative. Her mother on the other hand took her time to walk up to her and just gave her a gentle squeeze that had a pinch in it. Adanna let out a soft moan and smiled bleakly.
“you are a strong woman my dear and you have to continue being such. May the Lord be with you and grant you quick recovery” Mrs Rice said with a brief smile as she studied Adanna.
“thank you.” She responded as she wiped a tear off her cheek with her left hand hand.
Mr Rice also mentioned that they would be staying with them. Claire was happy to hear that. Her and Adanna were almost the same size though a little bustier so clothes wouldn’t be a problem neither would shoes. Also, they would talk, lick and heal their wounds.
The doctor entered briefly after to examine Adanna. From his look, one could tell he was satisfied. “Her responses are good; she will be free to go home this weekend” He said happily to her parents.
“That’s great. That’s just in two days” Claire said heartily.
“Thank you Dr.” Both families chorused.
“okay Adanna, lets leave you to rest. We will bring you something to eat and watch when we come by later this evening.” Mr Rice said as he
“Okay sir. That would be great, thank you.”
“Were you going somewhere, before we met you?” Mr Rice asked Adanna’s parents
“Not exactly, we were just going to get breakfast.” Adanna’s father replied
“Okay then, lets go home and get us all settled and cleaned.” He said lightly as he wiped the sweat that had builded on his palm on his black jeans.
Adanna’s father was glad to hear that as he hadn’t showered since he was at the airport the evening before and he felt really uneasy. He placed his suitcase in the car and they all left the hospital to the rice’s house. Their house was big no doubt, it was a mansion with nine bedrooms so definitely, there was enough space for them. Claire showed them to a room and left to prepare her friend’s room for her home coming that weekend.
As they entered their room, they both sank into the bed for a minute and starred drably at the decorative PVC ceiling and the cream painted wall. She beat her husband to it as stood up and stepped into the shower. She hadn’t had one in days too and as the cold water through the shower poured down on her skin, she felt a little relief. She sat there on the floor of the shower, ran her fingers back her dark colored hair with her head bowed and started crying all over again, the water was soothing and refreshing but brought back memories. She sat there for long minutes until her husband decided to join her in there fully clothed though without his shoes. He sat by her as different thoughts ran though their minds but the thought of starting all over and not knowing how to was really disturbing. They had to start preparations for the burial, but Adanna had to be back home first. Mr Jack thought as he rested his back against bathroom wall. His original intent of going in there was to assuage her but instead they both cried, cried and cried and sought comfort in each other.
Mr Jack cradled his wife gently as they both sought comfort in each other as water poured round about them as if washing away their pain.