ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED 21: Make My Heart II

ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED 21: Make My Heart II

Mofe made his way back towards Abbey’s hospital room after his call to Andrew. Voices floated toward him but the words didn’t register. He had let Abbey down. He hadn’t seen this coming. This had to be Jafar’s doing. No one else could possibly want to make Abbey or Tari suffer like this. Mofe hadn’t expected Abbey’s father to carry out his threats after their altercation that night he took Abbey home. Until the news of his death that morning, Jafar had been a walking time bomb who was ready to destroy anything and everything in his path; even his own daughter. And now, even from the grave, the man had still managed to torment Abbey.

With the full brunt of his guilt at not preventing this from happening to Abbey, Mofe’s stomach turned into a churning, boiling pit of hate for Jafar and the man who’d attacked his fiancée, and rage threatened to overwhelm him.

When he got to Abbey’s hospital room, Mofe walked to the seat beside the bed and dropped into it, turning to stare at Abbey as she slept.

“You have to get better baby,” he whispered. “I need you. We have a lot of talking and figuring out to do about our future, our kids, and our life together. There’s so much I want to say but none of that matters now. The bottom line is that I love you, Abbey, and I’ll be damned if I lose you.”

Soon, the doctor was in to check Abbey’s vitals. Mofe sat quietly and held her hand while the doctor made his notes on Abbey’s progress report sheet. After he left, Mofe remained where he was, holding her hand and watching her sleep. He willed with all his heart that his strength would flow through his grasp of her hand into her.

Take it, he whispered inwardly. Take everything baby. Take all the strength and time you need. Just don’t leave me. Don’t you dare die on me. I’d never recover from losing you.

As if hearing his wordless admonitions to her, Abbey slowly opened her eyes. She saw the man beside her and almost smiled. In a voice that was impossibly small, she said, “Mofe, thank God you are okay.”

Here she was, lying weak and helpless in a hospital bed… And she was worried about him? Mofe thought as he fought back the tears that threatened to come crashing down. “Baby… Oh my darling,” he said. He wanted to say something calm and comforting but all that came out was, “I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect you. Don’t you dare die. Don’t you dare leave me. I can’t make it without you.”

She smiled weakly and said, “I love you too. My mother… is she…”

“Don’t talk babe,” Mofe interrupted gently, caressing her palm as he spoke. “Just try to rest.”

“So much blood…” Abbey shook her head and tears came to her eyes. “She may be dying. I have to find her.” She began to rise, to sit up, but Mofe gently kept her down on the bed.

“She’s going to be fine,” he said. He didn’t know that. He hadn’t even asked anyone yet about Tari but he sure as hell wasn’t about to tell Abbey otherwise. Mofe had a sudden flash of what the scene must have looked like. Images Abbey would have forever in her memory, courtesy of her father. His hand tightened into a fist on the hospital bed. His stomach rolled and he tasted bile. “Please baby, just rest,” he urged some more.

Abbey reluctantly remained lying on the bed and soon slipped back into unconsciousness. Mofe kissed her forehead and hurried out of the room to find her doctor. He approached the man in the hospital corridor at the same time Andrew and Jiro walked up. Too focused on his objective to acknowledge their presence, Mofe addressed the doctor, “Um, doctor, Abbey was awake for a few seconds just now…”

“Oh thank God…” he heard Jiro mutter.

The doctor smiled. “That’s a good sign. There’s progress.”

“Yes, but I just wanted to know…” He hesitated. Then he went on, “Was she…” His voice faltered again. He didn’t want to ask this question but he had to know the answer. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Was she raped?”

“No, no,” the doctor said. “Thankfully, she was not raped.”

More questions from Mofe revealed that Abbey had received fifty-two stitches in her hands and arms because of her defense wounds. From the location of her injuries, the doctor had presumed that Abbey covered her face with her hands while she was attacked. None of her internal organs had been damaged but she had severe bruises on her thighs, stomach, and left breast. The blood clots around the regions were still fresh but a total recovery was very much expected. “Unfortunately,” the doctor continued, “her left index finger was badly severed when she fell. I have to be honest with you, there is a fifty percent chance that she may never regain full function of that finger. That said, you should bear in mind that the other fifty percent means that she may have limited motion on that finger when it heals; that is if it ever heals completely.”

Mofe couldn’t stand upright. He bent over and put his head in his hands. Andrew quickly walked over to him and patted his back gently.

The doctor added, “You should be glad, sir. Not many people go through what Abbey went through and live to tell the tale. Let’s thank God for her life and pray for speedy recovery.”

Mofe straightened his posture, took a deep inhalation, and gave out a sigh. Then, he thanked the doctor before the man left their presence to carry on with his work. Then, Mofe turned to face Andrew and Jiro. “Thank you guys for coming,” he said. “It means a lot to me and I’m sure it’ll mean a lot to Abbey too.”

“Anything for you Mofe,” Andrew said. “Tell us everything that happened.”

Mofe filled them in on the events and let out a shaky sigh when he finished. “I love her so much. I don’t know what I’d do if anything happens to her. I don’t know if I would be able to take it.”

“She’ll be fine,” Andrew reassured him. “Abbey is a fighter. She’ll get through this. You both will.”

“Thanks cousin.” Mofe attempted a smile. He failed miserably.

“How’s her mum?” Jiro asked.

“Oh shit!” Mofe exclaimed. “I don’t know. I haven’t asked. I hope she’s okay. I promised Abbey she was okay. I have to find her.”

“We’ll come with you,” Andrew said.

Together, all three men walked off in search of news on Tari.

***

Mofe found the nurse’s station on the second floor. He stopped one of the nurses and asked for Tari but she gave him that look of distrust that all nurses seemed to have toward intrusive people in the hospital. They must have practiced in front of mirrors in nursing school.

“Are you a family member?” she queried.

“Yes,” he lied without blinking.

The nurse appeared unconvinced. However, she looked overworked and stressed out. That probably was what worked in Mofe’s favour, because she obliged him with a response. “Ms. Tari lost a lot of blood and was barely alive when she was brought in. She is still in surgery. I’d expect it to be another hour or so before we can provide any more information on her status.”

“You must know more than that surely,” Mofe said, “even if it’s off the record. Please tell me. I can take it. Just how bad is she?”

“Bad,” the nurse said softly. “But I believe she got here just in time.” She motioned to a small waiting room down the hall. “You can wait there with her husband if you like.”

Husband? Mofe was startled by that. He turned to face Andrew and Jiro. “I thought Jafar was dead. It was on the news. If he isn’t, I swear I will drag that bastard outside and kill him myself for what he’s done to Abbey.”

“Calm down,” Andrew said as he stepped in front of Mofe to block his advance toward the waiting room.

“If someone hurt Jiro the way that bastard hurt Abbey, would you calm down?” Mofe fired at him. He watched Andre stiffen and said, “Exactly. So get out of my way, Drew.”

Andrew stepped back and let his cousin go. Both Andrew and Jiro went after him. The three men strode down into the waiting room, and Mofe swept a glance about. There was just one man in the room. He turned to face them when he heard the sound of footfalls coming into the room. The man looked surprised when he saw them. Both Mofe and Andrew gave a start when they saw him.

“Uncle Tee?!” the two younger men said it in unison.

“Mofe? Andrew? What are you boys doing here?” the man asked.

“We came to see Mofe’s girlfriend,” Andrew replied.

“What are you doing here?” Mofe asked in turn.

Tunde suddenly looked uneasy. “I’m here to see my…uhm…lady friend, Tari.”

“Oh my God,” Mofe said. “You are the mysterious Tunde? Uncle Tee – you? No wonder the house where I picked Abbey up looked very familiar.”

“Wait,” Jiro said to Mofe as he shook his head, trying to understand the situation. “He’s your uncle?”

Mofe and Andrew nodded.

“And you are all related by blood?” Jiro asked again, dividing a look between the three men.

They nodded.

“So,” Jiro continued, “Tari and Abbey are dating different men who happen to be members of the same extended family? Oh boy, it’s almost incestuous.” He shook his head as he chuckled. To think he and his ex-fiancée were dating two cousins from the same family. Now, Abbey’s mother was in the mix too.

The three other men laughed. There was something indulgent about their mirth, and Jiro suddenly felt like it was at his expense. “What…” he began.

“Jiro, we were joking,” Andrew said. “We are not related to Uncle Tunde by blood. He’s just Mofe’s dad’s best friend, and basically a family friend. We grew up regarding him as an uncle.”

Jiro gave a small laugh as he said, “Good to know.”

Mofe sat in the chair closest to Tunde and said, “But the nurse said Tari’s husband was here.”

Tunde offered a hint of a smile. “Abbey asked one of the nurses to call me before they sedated her. I guess the nurse assumed I was Tari’s husband. I didn’t correct her because I figured she wouldn’t let me see Tari otherwise. Stupid hospital rules.”

“I hear you loud and clear, Uncle Tee,” Mofe said. “I also did the same thing, claimed I am family.”

“How’s Abbey?” Tunde asked concernedly.

“Lots of stitches and a broken pinkie, but no internal damage,” Mofe answered. “She’ll be okay.”

“Thank God.”

“Just how bad is Tari?” Mofe asked.

“They said she’s suffered quite an amount of internal and external damage. That’s all I know.”

All four men sat together in silence for another hour until the doctor came out of the theatre to announce the success of the surgery. “Tari should be okay,” he said. “We managed to contain the internal bleeding, but we will have to monitor her progress and proceed from there. I’m optimistic she’ll make it though.”

“Thank you, doctor,” the waiting men chorused.

***

Eighteen Months Later

Due to the number of weddings booked for the day, the church service was short and precise. When it came to the time for vows, the pastor officiating stressed the need to go strictly by the church’s way of doing things. Personal vows were frowned upon, so only the traditional vows were said. After that, the couple was asked to shake on their promise as a sign of trust and fidelity.

By the time Abbey and Mofe left the church premises in their wedding car two hours later, they’d already been pronounced husband and wife.

***

The parking lot at the rented hall was jammed. Abbey was surprised when they pulled in. For some reason, she’d assumed this would be a small gathering. “Who are all these people?” she asked Mofe. “Are all these people here for our wedding reception?”

“You are a popular lady,” Mofe teased.

As Abbey got down from the car, she spotted Edirin coming from the front entrance of the hall toward her. In her arms was her ten-month-old son. Abbey’s face lit up as she waved at her. “I was hoping I’d get a chance to see you before all the crazy begins,” she said as Edirin approached.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the church this morning,” Edirin said. “I had to feed Abdul before we came. Congratulations darling! You finally got married.”

“Thanks, Edirin. Wow. I can’t believe it’s been eighteen months since all the drama about your pregnancy broke out.”

“You are one to talk,” Edirin teased. “I still can’t believe it’s been eighteen months since you were attacked. I’m glad all your injuries are healed and your scars gone.”

“I know, right?” Abbey beamed. “I was just lucky.”  Looking down at Abdul, Abbey reached her arms out to take the baby in her arms. “My godson sure looks like the most handsome of them all.”

“Be careful,” Edirin warned. “Don’t let him get any stains on your dress or pull out your sequins. The boy is turning into quite the destructive menace.”

Abbey smiled as the baby gurgled at her. “He’s my little prince. I don’t mind getting my wedding dress stained for him. The most important part of the wedding has already happened. Now I just want to get my groove on.”

Another car pulled up into the parking lot. Bukunmi stepped out of it. “As the maid of honour, I really should have ridden in the same car with you two,” she said protestingly as she feigned a frown at Abbey.

“And ruin the first alone time I wanted to have with my husband? Hell no,” Abbey countered with a light laugh.

“How alone could it get with the driver in the car?” Bukunmi shot back.

“Oh you have no idea,” Abbey returned with a cheeky grin.

Bukunmi had gotten over to them and hugged Edirin. Behind her and clad in tuxedos, Andrew and Jiro were alighting from the car she’d just exited.

“Don’t leave us alone with Bukunmi anymore,” Andrew said to Abbey as they approached. “She can talk for Africa – Kai!

Bukunmi gave him a slight punch and he feigned hurt. Jiro stepped closer to Abbey and gave her a side hug, careful not to squash little Abdul in her arms. He kissed her forehead and said, “You look beautiful as always, my darling.”

Abbey beamed up at him. “Thanks, Jiro.”

Andrew had walked off to the corner of the parking lot where Mofe was talking to a wedding guest, when Jiro, with a glance at Abdul in Abbey’s arms, said, “The boy looks right at home where he is, proof that you’ll be an awesome mother.”

“As would you, an awesome father and husband too,” Abbey said. “And speaking of husbands” – she threw a quick glance at Andrew who had joined Mofe’s conversation, before returning her focus to Jiro – “when are you going to pop the question to Andrew? It’s been three days since I helped you pick out that perfect engagement ring for him. He’s not wearing it yet, so I can only assume that you haven’t proposed to him yet. Why haven’t you? It’s time, Jiro. Ask him already. He’s an awesome man and you both deserve to be happy.”

Jiro turned to stare at Andrew. He watched Mofe say something to him and his heart did a little skip as he watched Andrew laugh heartily. He couldn’t help the grin that came on to his face then.

“We are happy,” he said to Abbey. “And yeah, he’s pretty awesome. We have our leave vacations approved for the same time. We’ll leave for London in four days. I’ll propose to him then. And we are considering looking for a surrogate mother to carry my baby or Andrew’s. I know it will seem weird to the people we know, but I’d rather be happy with Andrew and build a life with him than hurt another woman the way I hurt you by not telling you how I felt about Andrew when I found out. Either way, I’m in it for the long haul with him.”

Abbey gave his hand a squeeze and asked the question she knew had been bugging Jiro ever since he opened up to her about his trip to his parents’ house. “And how are your parents taking all of this – you being with Andrew. I mean I know they know he’s been your best friend for so long. How are they warming up to the idea of you being with a man?”

“They aren’t,” Jiro said simply. “We’ve not been able to win them over. They seem to have decided to simply ignore our relationship’s true status. As long as my parents are concerned, Andrew and my alternate lifestyle, as my father once called it, do not exist. And it bothered me once upon a time. But Andrew is the one they are pretending doesn’t exist, and he’s fine with their distance. So I made myself fine with it too. I’ll get over it… As long as I have Drew, I’m good.”

“That’s good!” Abbey said with warmth. “Don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t do it. Relocate to another country if you have to, but stick to the love you want.”

“Thanks, Abbey.”

“Babe,” Bukunmi left her conversation with Edirin to interject, “it must be show time, because your oga at the top is on his way over.”

Abbey turned her head around to see Mofe walking over to them, with Andrew by his side. An involuntary smile lit up her face and her heart became full with emotions as she watched the man she’d be spending the rest of her life with approach.

“Here comes my husband,” she said. My husband, she repeated to herself. I doubt I’ll ever get tired of saying those words.

“Wife,” Mofe said when he drew up to her.

“Husband,” Abbey replied, linking her hand into the crook he presented her with. “Are you ready?”

“I’m always ready, always with you till the very end,” Mofe pledged. roulette2

Written by The Controvert

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16 Comments

  1. Mandy
    February 13, 08:33 Reply

    Oh no! This series has ended too? Chai. Such a sweet sweet finish to a delightful story. Thank you, Controvert.

  2. shuga chocolata
    February 13, 08:40 Reply

    Yeaaaaaaa

    lovely read as always. kudos.
    please come up with another series soon enough inugo?

  3. PETROVICH
    February 13, 10:11 Reply

    A round of Applause for Controvert…..It’s a pity this series had to end….Pls start up something new oooo…..
    Signed: Chairman Loyal Fans Association

  4. Dredsh_Maliq
    February 13, 10:27 Reply

    Awwn! Thanks Controvert.
    This episode has so so made my day.
    😂😂😂

    Umm… should we expect more?

  5. sucrescalada
    February 13, 10:35 Reply

    I want to fall in love oooo, I need a ring too any takers???

  6. Dumdum
    March 04, 22:33 Reply

    Just had to go through all the episodes here again and i’m left wanting more.
    *sobbing/quarter to wail*

    Please,tell me there’s more
    Pp and Controvert bikonu…
    #BringBackRouletteOfTheDamned

  7. Bells
    October 28, 19:25 Reply

    What a piece!!!!! Kisses and hugs from me to the writer, good job

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