The next day, Adanna’s mother didn’t go to the hospital, she just lay in her room crying; blaming herself and God. It was torture and she barely came out not even for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Claire simply just took it up to her. Her husband got them a few clothes and even some for Adanna on his way back form the hospital that day.
Her nightmares had started and they were frequent too and her husband knew even though she kept quiet about it. Her death was really hunting her and very soon it will catch up and tear her to pieces, that was his fear.
The weekend drew nearer with each passing day. It was Friday already. Herself and her husband had told their organization about the incident and they were both given a month emergency leave with full pay. Friends and colleagues also sympathized with them in cash and in kind.
Mrs Moses was still bent on proving to her husband that Condolesa died in the fire. She asked for an autopsy to be done but the pathologists said they couldn’t because her body was severely burnt and the report might not be accurate. Her husband told her to let it go and just move on. But could she?. He knew the answer already.
Saturday came and Mr Moses picked up Adanna from the hospital. She was on crutches. The doctor told her the crutches would help her until her feet was fully back. And it shouldn’t be for more than a month at most. When she got home, she was welcomed by everyone and Claire showed her to her room, it was just beside hers.
Adanna stepped into the room with Claire and she looked round. A heavy banner that beared a ‘welcome home Adanna’ was boldly written and it span across the room, there were balloons everywhere on the bed and as some fell on the tiles, they burst and both girls chuckled. Adanna was excited that she began crying. She moved closer and she saw a whole cake just by the bedside lamb. “Oh my goodness. You did this?. Oh my” She asked surprised and clearly speechless as she spun around carefully in her crutches and hugged her best friend. Adanna loves cakes a lot but not just any type, her favorites were red velvet, chocolate and Ice cream. She sat down in awe and muttered “thank you” as she looked up. She never expected it. She cut a slice. It was a taste she knew too well, -Cakes and Cream red velvet cake. It tasted like pure honey mixed with waffles. Whenever she ate it, she felt like she was in heaven and the host of angels were singing to her and swinging her amongst themselves.
“Thank you” Adanna said as they walked downstairs for dinner.
“Anything for you dear” she replied happily.
They all had dinner together that night and even though Mr and Mrs Rice tried to make a conversation at the table, it was obvious the atmosphere was strained, dinner was over quickly and everyone went to bed, each with their own grief.
They all went to church the next day which was a Sunday as the two families attend the same church. As they entered the church and even whilst in service; friends and others who had heard the news offered their condolences and prayed that such will not occur again for them.
A few people prayed also for restoration in double folds. It was overwhelming for them both and when Claire observed that Adanna was about to break down, she gave her a little nudge to be strong. Then came Isabel to sit beside them “Is it true? did your house really burn down and your sister in it” she asked hiding her mockery beneath the fake display of pity. She hated Adanna in church and in school before now so this was her own way to getting at her. Such pettiness. Whether it was jealousy or ignorance, it was not known.
Her words stung Adanna like a bee and she didn’t know how to respond. Claire stepped just as Isabel was about to continue “oh no, it was just a newsflash.” she pissed out and continued “You are just so soft in the head.”
Isabel angry just stood up and took another seat at the back.
“Thank you” Adanna said to Claire. She didn’t reply only smiled back at her.
Adanna barely heard pastor Niyi’s teaching. He was the assistant pastor, her second favorite but before the teaching started, precisely after the episode earlier, she had shut down, completely oblivious to her surrounding and just anticipated the end of the service.
Fortunately for her, time passed by so fast and she snapped back into the church when everyone chorused the grace. She quickly stood and joined them towards the end, her voice louder than those beside her and Claire just smiled when she heard
“and we shall enjoy in the presence of the Lord
forever and ever Amen.”
Walking out of church took time as they had to follow a queue. They both walked out in quietness up until Claire broke the silence when she asked laughing “Adanna, are you okay. You slept off immediately with your mouth open after the offering was collected.”
Adanna sighed “no. not really. I wasn’t asleep just lost in my thoughts.”
“ohh, are you okay? You want to talk about it?” Claire asked concerned.
“nah, I am fine.” she said as she smiled dryly and Claire knew there was more, but just let it go.
They finally got to the entrance of the church and they both let out a deep breath, they had missed their parents who sat a few rows opposite them while coming out so they opted to go wait for them at the car pack, after all they knew where the car was parked.
As they headed towards the car, Adanna and David sighted each other and while Adanna blushed and quickly looked away, David walked up to them and said hi to Claire and then faced Adanna. He pulled her close and hugged her “It is well. I heard about what happened. I am so sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you” somehow, his hug felt homely but she wasn’t too pleased with him. He never came to the hospital not once to see her.
Noticing her withdrawal, he held her two hands in his palms and said “I am also sorry for not coming to the hospital. I couldn’t bear seeing you like that” then he placed a soft kiss on the back of her hands.
Immediately the thought of her not being pleased with him vanished. He had never done such to her even though she had imagined it a few times and she didn’t even think they were at that stage yet. For those few seconds, she felt goose bumps and grew a little shy as she blushed and replied “Its fine, I understand”.
Understand what? her mind asked her but she threw the thought away.
“I’m sorry to have to break ‘this’ up but C’mon we have to go. Dad and mum would be waiting already.” Claire said out loud to them.
“oh sure. I will see you later.” David said and watched them both walk away.
He let out a deep sigh and asked himself what exactly he felt for Adanna and if it was just a fling. He liked her but then he had just asked Isabel out.He couldn’t exactly be with them both.