Marie woke up feeling like something was wrong somewhere. Apart from the fact that her parents have been apart for sometimes, which they termed ‘taking a little break’ she still felt something was wrong somewhere. She went to school and everything was normal. “I have this feeling that something is going to happen today” she said to her friends.
“Something good or bad” Lilly asked
“It’s a bad omen” she replied “It’s just the same way I felt the day my parents decided to take a break” she added
“Or maybe they’re planning to divorce” Louise said
“Are you crazy? Don’t say a thing like that” Lilly scolded “her parents are not divorcing. Something else might be wrong somewhere, or maybe it’s just a feeling and nothing else”
“Come on girls, let’s go inside. Whatever it is, it’ll reveal itself sooner or later” Marie said
The three got into class and everything was normal, Marie looked around to see if she’d see her friend Caleb, so she could tell him about her weird feelings, but to her dismay, he was not in class. She thought within herself that she’d call him after the first period, to find out why he didn’t come to school. She really wants to hear what he will say about her feelings this morning. Before she became close to Caleb, he was hardly in school. He came to school whenever he felt like. But with her as his friend, she started making him come to school unfailingly.
Throughout classes that day, Marie wondered why she had that strange feeling. Half way during the class, Miss Lara had received a call which made her look pale.
“I’m sorry class, one of us is hospitalized, and is currently unconscious, as you go home, pray that he gets better” she said “Caleb has been hospitalized”. She concluded after a long pause
“Caleb is hospitalized?” Johnny said, laughing “what has he done this time that made him unconscious miss?”
“Are you crazy Johnny? She just said the boy is unconscious and you take it like it’s a joke or something? What are you, an asshole?” Lilly said irritably
“He’s a big fool” Louise concurred
“Language you two, don’t use such language in or outside class” Miss Lara said
“But he’s making fun of the situation” Zane said, to her teacher
“Johnny, I want you to leave this class, and go straight to the hospital. I want you to be the first person from this class to see Caleb. If you don’t, I’ll make sure you get the worst punishment this school has ever given to a pupil.” Miss Lara said to Johnny, looking like a mother who caught her son stealing from her just prepared pot of soup.
“What happened to him, did he just fall down and became unconscious or he was sick” Zane asked
“His grand mum said he was knocked down on his way to school” Miss Lara replied “okay now, you could go see him at the hospital if want to, but I suggest you all go see him” she said to the rest of the class.
“Are you ok, Aura?” Louise asked
“I guess I am” she replied, teary.
“Oh no sweetie you’re not fine, we need to get out of here and go see that boy in the hospital” Lilly said
“But why, why would he be so careless to let a car hit him, why would God allow such a thing to happen to him” Marie said finally, this time in tears
“Come on Aura, God has nothing to do with this, he might have been a little carless, or maybe the driver was the one that drove carelessly. Let’s just go and see how he’s doing” Louise said, trying to console her friend.
“he doesn’t have anybody, his mum is nowhere around him right now, only his grand mum, and the poor woman only feeds when his mum sends money, or when she decides to show up” Marie said, with her face covered on her palm.
Over the months, Marie had lived to like Caleb, not just as a friend, but was developing feelings for him. He happens to be the only guy she has ever felt anything for, and she wouldn’t want to see anything bad happen to Caleb, because she has always fantasized about the day he will tell her he liked her, or maybe use the ‘L’ word.
Now he’s unconscious, she’s scared that it might lead to something else.
She called her dad who she has not set eyes on for sometimes now because her mum wouldn’t let her, she told him about her very good friend that needs help, and she needs his help in order for her to be able to help him.
On reaching the hospital, they found his 68 year old grand mum sitting all alone in the reception, with her head placed on the table before her.
Marie introduced herself and her friends to her and was surprised to find out that Caleb has been talking about her to his grand mum a lot.
They got to where he was and found him laying there helplessly with his head covered with bandage, his body filled with blood, and his right leg also covered with bandage. Marie couldn’t help but start crying as soon as she saw her fried and the first guy she has ever had feelings for lying there like a corpse.
The doctor told them that they could not start working on him because there was no money, and that he needs a lot of blood and the hospital cannot provide that for him without money, except they’re bringing a donor.
“We will get a donor doc, but first I want him transferred from this hospital” Marie heard her dad’s voice from behind.
“Daddy” she shouted as she ran to him, crying “he’s dying daddy, he’s dying. He needs help daddy, please help him” she said with her face buried on her dad’s arms
“It’s ok princess, daddy will do anything to help your friend” her dad said “I’ve missed you my princess” he added.
“I’ve missed you too daddy, I thought you were coming with aunt Mirabel”
“She’s on her way princess. Now let’s make sure your friend is fine first”
Caleb got transferred to doctor Dick’s hospital, there Dick everything possible to keep him alive. He did the necessary tests on him, and the person who was supposed to give him blood, his mum, was still on her way coming. Dick said he could survive with what he has, till his mum comes. When asked the possibilities of him surviving, he assured them that the young man will survive and there was no course for them to be afraid. Meanwhile, he requested to talk to Tom in his office.
“Dude, who has that kid” Dick asked
“I don’t know bro; I’m seeing him for the first time. Marie called me and sounded very worried, had to rush here and see for myself. I suppose he’s her classmate or something”
“Well, there’s bad news” the doc said
“Bad news you say? What’s it, is he not going to survive?”
“No he’s going to survive, but the scan we did shows that he has Osteosarcoma Cancer”
“Ok, now can you break it to a layman’s term, because I don’t know what you’re talking about?”
“It’s a bone tumor, commonly found in children and young adults”
“Holy cow! How deadly is that?”
“Depends on what and how did you find out?”
“Tom, don’t forget I’m a doctor”
“Oh yea, I do forget about that sometimes”
“It’s not time for joke my brother, this boy is in danger. I found it in his scan result; if he survives the accident, we’ll have to face tackling that bone tumor”
“Damnit man, how can a kid like him have something as deadly as that?”
“It’s transferred through genes; I suppose someone in his family has it, maybe his mum, dad or something”
“This is big bro, so what’s going to happen now?”
“Let’s wait for the mum to come; we’ll try to find out more about him”
“What about the old woman out there?”
“You mean the guys’ grand mum?”
“Oh no Tom, I better let his mum come first”
“If you say so, I’m really scared”
Tom left the office and went to see his daughter, but found his daughter clinched to Caleb’s bed, with his hand on hers
“I hope you’ll be fine Caleb”
“I’m sorry I was not there when this happened to you, if you can hear me, please wake up, I don’t want to lose you. You’re the only male friend I have”
“Don’t leave me and your grand mum please, we need you more than ever, especially now that my parents are not together. You’re the only person who understands how it feels like not to have a united family, and you’re the only person that understands me.”
“I love you Caleb, please don’t die”
“Love, did she say love?” Tom who was listening from the door said to himself “love at 12?”
He picked his phone and made a call
“You should come to Dick’s hospital, our daughter needs us” he said on phone, to Celina “Celina, your daughter is in love at 12, and the boy in question is lying here unconscious, this is not the time for questions please” he said, and dropped the call.
He left and tried to find out from Louise and Lilly who Caleb was, and they told him he’s just their classmate, and is very close with Marie.
Just then Caleb’s mum came in, looking wishy-washy like someone who partied all night.
“Where’s my son?” she said as she approached Tom and the girls “is he dead? Where is he?” she kept screaming
“Calm down woman, your son is fine, he’s only unconscious he’ll be fine” Tom said to her
“Tom? What are you doing here?” she asked Tom, shocked to see him
“You know me?” Tom asked
“Yes. We met twice at Don Chippu’s residence” she answered
“Oh yea, you’re the boys mum?” he asked, not really convinced if he recognized her, because he had seen Don Chippu with different women, he didn’t just know which of them she was.
“Yes I am, and what are you doing here yourself?”
“He’s my daughter’s friend and classmate” Tom said “small world isn’t it?”
“It is indeed” she replied “can I see the doctor?”
She was invited into Dick’s office; there Mirabel joined them as they talked about the boy’s health. Caleb’s mum said she was not going to donate her blood, with reasons that she has not eaten anything strong for a week, that donating her blood might just kill her.
Pressure came from everywhere that she should donate blood for her kid, but all to no avail. When asked if she’d ever had Osteosarcoma cancer, she said she had no such thing growing up, and her parents didn’t have such growing up either.
“Maybe his dad did, but I’ve not set eyes on the bastard since Caleb turned two” she said
Dick and Tom wondered where the man would be, because they really needed to find out how he survived the cancer, if he had it, or if anyone in his family had it. Tom volunteered to give his blood to Caleb so he’ll be strong enough to wake up.
“The doctor didn’t make mention of bone tumor, he said the boy had brain tumor, and since then, I’d feared he’d die at anytime” Caleb’s mum said, crying
“Brain tumor? Hell no! Which doctor and what hospital diagnosed that?” Dick asked, angry
“Royal Medicare center” she said
“ma’am, your son has no such thing as brain tumor, he only has bone tumor. Hospitals like that should not be given accreditation for God’s sake” Dick said
“Bone tumor; Brain tumor. Don’t you think you mistook bone tumor for brain tumor?” Mirabel said
“No, he said brain tumor. He never made mention of bone tumor. Calebs’s hospital documents says its brain tumor” Caleb’s mum said “for the past how many years, I’ve lived in fear, I’ve lived ninety percent of motherhood out of his life because I was scared he might just fall sick one day and die, I’ve been a bad mother, only to find out he has no such thing as brain tumor?” she added, in heavy tears.
The day Caleb and Marie became close, he had told her he has brain tumor, and that he had a very little time to live, which made Marie cry all night because the thought that she might just wake up one day and hear that Caleb died made her nervous and scared, that’s why she made use of every little opportunity she had with Caleb.
I remember I promised you guys I was going to tell you what Caleb had told Marie that day, well I just did, though I got to hear about it from a third party (Caleb’s mum). But all the same, my promise kept was kept.
“I know who to contact to get his bastard father” Caleb’s mum said
She gave the phone number of Caleb’s dads’ best friend, and when they called they were told that he (Caleb’s dad) had died two years back, from a ghastly motor accident that killed him instantly. Doctor Dick introduced himself as a family doctor, and that he wanted to know if he knew any member of the deceased family, and if he knew of any cancer record on the family. The man told them he knew Caleb’s dad since childhood until the day he died, and no such case as cancer ever hit the family.
“So why exactly did he leave his son and his wife, if you don’t mind me asking sir” doctor Dick said
“well he couldn’t stand having another man’s child in his life when he wasn’t capable of impregnating his wife, when she found the child, he didn’t want her to bring him home but she insisted and adopted the child” the man on phone said
“Is that a good reason for a man to abandon a child he would have loved as his own?” Dick asked
“Look, I told you he didn’t want to have someone else’s child when he could not produce one of his own. Besides after the child was brought to the house, everything started falling apart. He lost his job, lost everything he had. He had to leave. Now let the poor man rest in peace and stop asking me questions. Since you said you are the family doctor, I guess you should know his wife. If you have any further questions, ask her directly and don’t call me again” the man said and dropped the call.
“He dropped the call on me” Dick said.
“You have a lot of explaining to do ma’am” he said as he dropped the phone”
“The child in question isn’t yours, is he?” he asked as he turned to Caleb’s mum
“What? Not hers?” Tom asked
“What do you mean not hers, she just said he’s hers” Mirabel said
“The man said the child isn’t his late friend’s child, and that he as a matter of fact left because he didn’t want to have another man’s child” Dick said
“If he didn’t want to have another man’s child, it means she got the child with some order man. So why would you ask if the child is hers” Tom said
“Can we please hear from her?” Dick said
It took Caleb’s mum a while to talk, as she was shading tears. Her tears includes the fact that people now know the child is not hers, and the fact that the husband she was married to for 10 years before he left her is dead and she’s just getting to know about it after two years. After much sobbing from her and after the others had patiently waited for her to stop crying and give them answers to their questions, she finally spoke up.
“Yes he’s not mine. I picked him under the rain near a dumpster” she said. “I was married for 8 years with no child, and I gladly welcomed him into our home after I found him lying there and crying helplessly, but it just wasn’t the same for my husband. It’s a complicated story” she added
“So if he’s not your child, who then is his parents?” Tom asked
Tom’s question left everyone and everywhere quite, trying to figure out what next.