Jide held the test result his doctor handed over to him, looking at the doctor in disbelief. His mouth was wide opened as if he wanted to say something but no word could come out. He sat down for about five minutes, lost. Despite the air conditioner in the office, sweat dripped down his body. His legs were so heavy that he could not lift them up. Doctor kunle stood up, walked up to Jide , and sat on his table in front of him. “Jide, you and I have known each other since we were kids and I have always admired the way you handled difficult situations. I have always wished I could be like you. I strongly believe you can handle this too.” He said
Stuttering, Jide said, “Bu…but this is di…di…ferent. No I’m dead. My wife, my kids, my family! What do I tell them? How would they feel to know that I’m going to die soon?” He couldn’t talk anymore. He just sat down sobbing uncontrollably.
Dr. Kunle tried to console his friend. He tried to assure him that this was not the end of his life, as he still has a chance to live. He then referred him to somebody who is a trained counselor on HIV/AIDS cases.
Jide made kunle promise him he would not say anything to his wife or anyone. He drove down to his favourite relaxation spot in town.
Jide was brought up by parents who were religiously conscious. Although his parents were disciplinarians, they were not rigid in their approach to his upbringing. They showed him love and he got the best of education they could afford. He grew up loving the religion of his parents, not just because of them but based on self conviction. He would always tell his friends who were fond of ridiculing him because of his religion that nothing would make him change his mind because he has found the truth. Jide was noted for his responsible life style while in the university he attended. He kept a neutral relationship with both males and females alike. During his final year, Jide met Natasha whom he dated out of pressure from friends who were beginning to suspect he was gay and were using it to taunt him.
For the whole of that year, he felt guilty that he gave away his virginity out of pressure. He felt bad that he had broken his vow to God to maintain his virginity until he was married. Jide ended his relationship with Natasha immediately after his final exams despite her objections.
He met Onajite who was later to become his wife during his NYSC programme, at the orientation camp in Akwa Ibom State. Jite started admiring Jide during the last week of their camping. They had never really noticed each other even though they belonged to the same platoon. The week was full of social activities meant to get the corps members relaxed after about three weeks of paramilitary training. During the cooking competition and camp fire night, Jide was very resourceful to his platoon as he took the lead in breaking firewood and fetching water for the female corps members. Onajite was so impressed by his sense of humility that she couldn’t help but commend him.
‘I guess you must be a mummy’s boy” She said
Jide laughed and replied, “Yeah. And you know what? I loved food so much that to eat more, I had to help my mum in the kitchen. At least that will make her not to complain when I ask for extra.”
The last weekend at the camp happened to be the Mr. Macho and Miss NYSC competition and variety night. Jide was not interested in coming out for the show that night because of a malaria attack from which he was recuperating from. When Onajite noticed his absence from the hall, she dashed to his residential hall and persuaded him to show up at the event as she was feeling lonely. Jide obliged so as not to offend her.
When it was time to dance, Onajite invited Jide to the dance floor; Jide followed her reluctantly, but was soon to be carried away when his favourite Naija music was played.
As their eyes met, Jide felt a sudden emotion run through his spines. This made him feel uneasy and had to excuse her and left for his room. Jide could not sleep that night as his thoughts were focused on Onajite. He couldn’t stop thinking of her and suddenly felt lonely and wished she was by his side at that moment. He wanted to hold and feel her warm embrace. He wished he could be bold to tell her to her face what he feels for her. He had hoped and prayed that they’ll be sent to the same area of primary assignment, but to his greatest disappointment, she was posted to Eket zone, while he was posted to Ikot Ekpene zone. He helped her carry her luggage to the bus that was to take Corps members to Eket. He wanted to follow them but was told that Eket is over 40km from Ikot Ekpene. Besides, it was necessary he goes along with those of his zone so as to report early the next day to his employer. He got disheartened and was overwhelmed with anxiety. He promised to visit her over the weekend. He promised to call her every day. In fact he wanted to promise her everything on earth. He wanted to tell her how much he was in love with her, but was not sure how to say it. He stood there confused as the bus moved away from the camp. She waved to him but his hands were too heavy to respond. It was as if he was in shock. Suddenly cold tears flowed from his eyes.
Three months later, Jide proposed to Onajite and a year after they passed out from NYSC, they got married. Their marriage was blessed with three children, identical twins; Taiwo and Kehinde, and a girl Ruby. Jide was a successful structural engineer in a multinational construction company in Lagos. Onajite was a classroom teacher with a reputable private school in the state.
AUTHOR’S NOTE/WARNING: ‘Deepest Wound’ is an unpublished novel of the Founder/Blogger of NaijaSpleen. I will publish the first three chapters in parts here over the next four weeks for your reading pleasure.
Please you are not allowed to make a print out or download and reblogging of the publication. DO NOT save any part of it.
I will be most grateful to you if you respect this.