©️Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde

That was how the Lord won my battle and I was about to celebrate, when I was given the worst news of my life… The school had called me that Gold was terribly sick. At first, I thought it was her normal crisis. As someone with the SS genotype, Gold usually had her crisis, but the school they were attending was a top notch school where they had a standby Doctor and qualified Nurses who took care of children with Special medical cases.

Besides , one of the things Gold and I had agreed on was to never dwell on her genotype as a big deal. She was just like every other person. I made her know this right from childhood and she bought into it. That is why she knew how well to manage her pains….

But it seem like Gold’s crisis this time was beyond what the school could handle. When I got to the school, the school doctor was so furious when he heard the pregnancy was as a result of rape.

“ Madam, you should have informed us, We would have done a thorough investigation on her and given her an Emergency medication for the prevention of unwanted pregnancy, and provide prevention of and screening for STDs….” the doctor said bitterly….

“ We were all so busy after the birth of my brother and I didn’t want to be a joy spoiler, so I just let the whole incident fade away like it never happened “ Gold said trying to defend me again

“You don’t hide rape from your doctor, especially you Gold, you have a medical history…..Madam, I suggest we terminate this pregnancy, because of her health condition, she is too fragile and more importantly too young to bare the pain of carrying a baby as a sickler”

“No, I will carry the baby”…Gold objected

I didn’t know what to say, I was speechless and weeping….

“Gold, this is to save your life and besides you don’t even know the father of the child” the doctor said

Gold turned to me instead, she was no longer listening to the doctor, she held me by the shoulders and said…

“Mum, I know what you are afraid of and I have told you times and times again, that I am not afraid of death, I am more afraid of life after death, if I die, I want to die doing the righteous thing, that way I know I will meet God and not the devil”…She said with so much courage in her voice

“You were raped, it was an evil committed again you” I managed to say

“And I don’t intend joining the association of evil doers by also terminating the pregnancy”… Gold said

“ Mum, you have always taught me that abortion was murder and God hates murder, is the standard of God changing now because I am pregnant?” She asked me a question I had no answer to give

Gold did not listen to us, She didn’t listen to her father, her faith was so strong but when her pregnancy was about 5 months, I Lost my Gold….

I lost my friend….

I lost my adviser…..

I lost my daughter who acted like my mother….

I lost an angel God blessed with me…

Guilt of knowing that if I didn’t go to Mr Gbesan’s house, maybe Gold would have still been alive, would have made me commit suicide , but before Gold passed on , she asked to see me privately and these were her last words I still hold so dear….

“Mum, You once told me that it’s not the number of years we spend on earth that matters , but it is the number of great things we do on earth while we are here that matters. Mum,amongst all the fantastic things I did the most important one to me is the one I did in my last moments…. That is, making sure you got back your home…I am happy knowing I achieved that.
Mum, You were a good mother,, despite the trouble I came with at birth as a sick baby, You moulded me into this strong girl through your words, belief , love, and commitment to me….I thank God for the Prrivilege of being your daughter…

Mum, please live everyday like it’s your last… That has always been my secret….

Please Make Dad happy, and please make sure Emerald marries a good man….It’s a pity I won’t be around to see her get married…”

I didn’t have the will power to tell her to stop saying all those negative words… I knew it in my spirit, her time was up, She came for just a short time… For the first time I saw Gold’s sickle cell that day differently, I felt she was an angel God had sent , when he sensed my marriage was going to be in problem. He sent her to me in form of a sick baby, he hid a gem in a sick baby…..He hid an angel in a sickly child so the world wouldn’t take notice…

Gold continued as her breathing got harder. “ And most importantly Mum, be very close to God. He owns the whole world….Wow, mum…I can see the Angels, they are so huge and beautiful….”

I saw a new twinkle in her eyes, as I looked into her eyeballs I could see lights flashing like a reflection of light,but I looked towards the direction she was looking I saw nothing…

I was crying, asking God not to take my friend away, not to take my sister, not to take my Gold away, not to take my daughter away, I wanted my angel to stay with me, I didn’t want the angels to take my confidant away….but I knew she had to leave…Angels don’t stay long…They were messengers of good news….

“Mum, don’t cry… I will be happier with God, I will be looking forward to seeing you, just Make sure you don’t miss heaven…and remember this was not your fault in anyway, My time was up….” She said indicating I give her a hug and finally she whispered in my ears

“Don’t forget to get Margaret her own home and take care of Diamond, he will be your consolation ”… She breathe her last breath as her hands dropped from the hug…

And I must tell you, I knew when her Spirit ascended, I knew when her spirit left her body on that hospital bed as I hugged her body tightly….

What was life? Nothing….Why then all the hate?Why all the envy and bitterness? Life was to short to make others unhappy…

I made up my mind, to live like Gold, to love my family more, live everyday like it was the last and take Margaret as a sister who I had to get a bed for….

The day after Gold’s death, something unexpected happened

Written by Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde

The day after Gold’s death, we had a lot of visitors including reporters. How the journalist knew, no one could tell. Mr. Gbesan also came around. People expected us to shed tears but we were all smiles. Even Henry was smiling, Emerald was smiling. That was because Gold spoke to each of us individually before she passed on. Henry told me she had told him, he was the best dad in the world and that she forgave him, but he should please not let the mistake repeat itself….He said, they had played scrabble together….

Emerald said, Gold had told her she was the best sister in the world. She had told Emerald to always have her inhaler with her always. She told Emerald, God wanted her to come home to rest and she even made a joke about going to heaven to tell God about Emerald’s Asthma… They had danced together for the last time…..

I was told Margaret was waiting outside to see me, I was told she was scared to come in as I may see her as the cause of Gold’s death…I remembered Gold’s words about living life with no hatred in my heart. I asked myself “What would Gold do if she was here”. I knew Gold would have accommodated Margaret to listen to what she had to say… I told them to let Margaret in….

As she walked in, I saw a woman who regretted her actions…. I swallowed hard, because the moment I saw her, I missed Gold the more… everyone was in the living room including Mr. Gbesan, Isokene and Ibidolo, and few ministerial friends.

“I know you don’t want to see me but I have to do this…. You raised an angel named Gold, the world saw her as a sickler, but she was a healer… I am sure she didn’t tell you, the day before she died, she called me begging to see me at the hospital and these were her words to me… She said…

“I don’t blame you for what you did, Aunty Margaret, I blame the death that took away your husband… No right thinking person wants to cause another person pain, but sometimes out of desperation we find ourselves doing that… I don’t blame God for being a sickler, rather I thank God for the limited time he gave me to speedily fulfil my destiny… Do you know Geniuses finish their exam on time…i guess I am a spiritual Genius and that’s why I had to finish my exam on time and I think I will get an A, but what about you Aunty Margaret, what score do you have now on your score sheet, will marrying my father be a plus or a minus for you?”

The whole room was quiet as we all listened to Margaret as she narrated her encounter with Gold and unexpectedly she did something strange….She said

“Gold and Diamonds are precious materials, although Gold may be more valuable but overtime if well worked on, Diamond can also become more valuable… Mama, I took away your Gold through my selfish action, now I am giving you my Diamond. I know you are a great miner, you brought out something great from Gold, and I know you can bring out something more beautiful and spectacular from Diamond. Have your SON… I will never ask you for him… with this I hope to get a pass on my score sheet just like Gold said “Margaret said

Margaret placed Diamond in my hand and I remembered Gold’s words loud and clear…

“I am not angry at the baby, in fact I have always wanted a baby brother too, she is only helping you to carry the baby”

I looked towards where Gold’s portrait was and it felt like I saw her smiling….

I gently sat on the chair, still dazed and guess who spoke…

Mr. Gbesan, the business man in him spoke…

“Are you ready to put that into writing with a lawyer present and we all as witnesses?” he asked… “It is going to be stated that you gave the baby Diamond willingly to the family, and no matter what the child becomes in future, you will never try to claim being his mother…

Margaret nodded, and at that point I realized God doesn’t make mistakes, we as humans just need to be patient to find out why certain people came into our lives…Thank God for Mr. Gbesan who was around to make things official. I saw Henry crying so hard. Mr. Gbesan went close to him and gave him a manly hug…

Isokene had read law in school but was not practicing because of Ibidolo her husband….I just heard her say

“Maybe this was the only reason why I spent all those years studying law so I can be useful on a day like this… Madam Margaret, if I prepare the necessary documents now, are you ready to sign?. Plus we will need someone from your end who will be your witness”

“My friend is outside”

My tears kept flowing with no limit….Gold was gone, but God was giving me a second chance to start a new journey with Diamond……

All papers were signed in less than two hours, pictures were taken as proofs of the official handing over to Henry and I, with all the witnesses present.

Henry, Emerald, Diamond and I started a new life and life became sweeter than what we had before. I could end this book here, but it will make the story incomplete, I am yet to tell you how I got Margaret her own bed…..

Isokene had invited me to a celebration party…..