We certainly are not quitters.
It’s a relaxed atmosphere when I walk in. My dad is lying in a bed with just a drip connected to him and he is saying something which is obviously funny because my brother and his girlfriend are laughing. Sigh. Thank God. As if a magmet pull, his gaze drifts to mine.
“What happened?” I ask.
“Awww, sweetheart. Don’t mind them. It was just a minor thing.”
“Excuse me?” Someone says behind me and we all turn towards the voice. “The doctor wants to see his children?”
“Okay, lead the way.” Jamal says and I follow. Soon, I hear footsteps behind me. “Yere, be a dear and keep father company.” I say with a forced smile and pat her shoulder.
“You know she sees right through you, right and all these your little behaviours is just going to make me want her more.”
“I am glad you find joy in my distaste.” I reply my dear brother.
We get to the doctor’s office and it’s a pretty lady behind the desk.
“Hello. Lt General’s children?”
“Yes.” Jamal and I answer in unison.
“Please, sit down.” She says and gestures to the seats in front of her.
“Thank you.” I say.
“Thanks a lot, ma’am. I was near losing my mind. He means a lot to us.”
“I can see that and you don’t have to thank me. I was only doing my job.”
He smiles in reply and I nearly choke on my eyeballs.
“So, what’s the situation now?”
“The short story is that your dad has a unilateral kidney evidenced by these scans we took earlier” She passes black films to Jamal and I and points at something with her pen. We nod, so, she can get to the point. Or I guess I do… I’m antsy. “The problem is that this only one is failing.”
“Wait, you mean dad has just one kidney and it is failing?” I guess Jamal understood.
“Wait, you mean dad has just one kidney and it is failing?!” I repeat after Idris but scream this time as the whole situation dawns on me. “Dad’s going to die?!”
“I didn’t say that. However, this is a matter of urgency. We stabilized him but he will still need further management. I just wanted to inform you.”
“How does he have one? I thought we all were supposed to have two.” I am still recuperating.
“Yes, we are but some people come with one from birth. However, we noticed a scar or him which suggests a nephrectomy had been done. Whether therapeutically or not, we can’t say.” The doctor is droning on but I can’t focus. All I see is death…
“Is that why he was literally breathless too?”
“Yeah, the kidney has started to produce some fluid which has collected in the lungs”
“So, what about that now? Is he going to be on a medication for it? That really scared me.” Idris says.
“We are going to have to remove it but I don’t want to bore you with the details now. Let’s just stabilize him first and we do that.”
“Okay, thank you” I say.
“You can go.” She says and smile.
We take our leave wondering where our dad’s missing kidney is.
It’s a great day and everything is right with the universe. At thirty, I’m living my best life. I have everything I could ever hope for. All the money I could spend in the bank, a family that loves me and a smart and beautiful woman on my arms.
I had quite a shock today and I’ve not gotten over it. In all of my years, never been so afraid. My father is one of the most important persons in my life and the only conflict we ever had was when he wanted me to join the airforce. So, it amazes when I notice Florence’s beauty in the midst of such chaos and how it dazzles me. Not even when Chinyere came over, did the intensity reduce. I’ve noticed her from the first day but common, she is uneducated and there is nothing to her name. So, if there is something, I squash it.