For ‘Labi, you inspire me…
Dayo jumped out of bed at the sound of his wife’s screams. He stood by helplessly as two nurses held her down and injected her. She was soon calm and as usual, he waited for her to fall asleep so he could retreat to his room.
Dayo and Funmi had met in London on one of his vacations. She was a friend of his cousin’s and she lived just next door to them. She was vivacious and full of life. He had never met anyone as funny as Funmi. That was why he was shocked when he heard she was a sickler.
Funmi had never had a crisis. It was a medical mystery, the doctors had said. She was a special child. However, her parents had taken the necessary precautions and done their best to keep her out of harm’s way. They sent her on regular vacations and that was why she was in the U.K at the time.
Quite inadvertently, Dayo found himself being drawn to her. The mixture of strength and vulnerability she embodied was an attraction he couldn’t explain or resist. Before long, they were spending every available moment together. ” You better not fall in love with me” Funmi warned Dayo. To which he replied “Too late”.
Everyone thought Dayo was mad when he proposed to Funmi a year later. “She’ll never be a real wife” they said. Dayo responded “She’s everything I could ever need”. They sealed their union with their song “Endless love” playing in the background.
It was agreed by the couple and their parents that Funmi could not work or be exposed to any kind of stress. Thus, they got domestic help for every task necessary. They needed to do everything possible to ensure that Funmi continued her crisis free life.
Five years later, Funmi and Dayo were still a picture perfect couple. They had 2 beautiful children and there had been no complications with Funmi’s health. All those who had condemned their marriage at first were singing a different song. It truly seemed like Funmi was Dayo’s special miracle.
One evening, Funmi was coming down the stairs with their baby in her arms when suddenly she fell screaming. A confused Dayo carried his wife into the car while the nanny held the baby as they rushed to the hospital.
The doctor came out after a while and assured Dayo that the baby was fine. She had only suffered minor bruises. “What about my wife?” Dayo asked “How’s Funmi?” The doctor sighed and said “You’ll need to sit down for this”
“Funmi had a crisis” the doctor said when Dayo was seated. “What?!” Dayo shouted “But she’s never had one before!”. “I know” the doctor said, “We thought it was a blessing” he continued “but it has turned out to be a curse.”
“Funmi has late onset sickle cell crisis. From now on, the crises will be frequent and very severe. This kind of crisis also defies treatment. She’s going to deteriorate rapidly. All we can do is keep her sedated to ease her pain till the end. I’m very sorry Dayo.”
Every night since then, it had been the same thing. Funmi would wake up screaming and Dayo would run to her side. When she’d slept, he’d cry. Cry for their children. Cry for his wife. Cry for the love they could no longer share.
He’d gotten live-in nurses and taken the children to live with Funmi’s parents. They had asked him to let Funmi move back in with them. “She’s our child” They’d said “Our responsibility”. “No” Dayo replied, “She stopped being your responsibility the day she became my wife. I’m not abandoning her.”
Now however, Dayo had had enough. He couldn’t take it anymore. Seeing his wife disappearing before his very eyes was too much for him to bear. He had reached the end of his rope.
Just as he turned his back to leave the room, he heard Funmi singing, “Your eyes… They tell me how much you care…” It was their song! He turned around and cradled her in his arms as they finished together, “Oh, yes, you will always be, my endless love.”
It was moments like this that Dayo lived for. Those brief periods of clarity just before she drifted off into a heavily medicated sleep. Sometimes she’d smile, sometimes she’d laugh and now she was singing. His Funmi was singing for him!
Dayo felt his strength renewed. He had promised the love of his life an “endless love” and he was going to keep that promise. He couldn’t give up. As she fell asleep, he kissed her and whispered softly into her ear,”You will always be my endless love.”