Thursday, 20 February 2014

Beauty for Ashes - A sneak preview for a limited time only

As promised here is a sneak preview of my upcoming book. This is an unedited version - grammatical errors most likely. If you would like to give me your feedback, please feel free.


Year 2020

The sound of ringing woke Tola up. Stretching her arms, she reached out for the cellphone on the table beside her. “Hello, who is this please?” She whispered.
“Hello. This is Sergeant Blake from the Greenwich Police department. Am I speaking to Mrs. Joseph?”
“Yes, speaking?” She replied, glancing at her watch. It's nearly midnight, her husband AJ is not home yet. She wondered where he was as this was so unlike him.
“Mrs. Joseph, are you there? Hello?”
“Yes, I am here. How may I help you?” She responded, still deep in thought.
“Ma’am, I'm really sorry to be the bearer of sad news, but a man with an identity card with the name Abiola Joseph on it, was involved in an accident this evening and has been rushed to the St. Stephens hospital in Greenwich. We found your name and telephone number as the next of kin on the ID card. He is alive, but has sustained severe injuries. Would you be able to make it down to the hospital?”
“Ma’am, are you still there?”
Tola could not believe what she was hearing. “Yes, I’m… I’m here officer. Is he alive?”
“Yes, he is. Do you have someone who could bring you down to the hospital?” He asked.
“I will come to the hospital immediately.” She replied. Oh my God, let him be alright. What will I do without him?
“Ok, ma’am. Mind how you go. I’m still at the hospital. Your husband will be taken into surgery soon. I will wait so I can speak to the doctor before I leave. Hopefully, I will still be around by the time you get here.”
“Yes, thank you officer. I will see you soon”, she said, realizing that the man was still talking on the other end. She hung up the phone, jumped up from where she was sitting and ran into the bedroom. As she got there, she collapsed on her knees and started crying. “Why is this happening God? You promised me double honor for my shame. Do not let him die, oh God. We still have more work to do for you, my God!” Tola cried as if her heart was bleeding. She stayed like that for ten minutes and then got onto her feet. She walked to the bedside table, grabbed her car keys, picked her handbag from the living room floor and as she walked towards the front door, started dialing her eldest daughter’s number.
“Hello mummy, how are you?” “I’m well Abi. Your Dad had an accident. He is in the hospital and I’m on my way there now.”
“My God! Mum, what happened?” Abi exclaimed. “I don't know the full details, but I will give you a call as soon as I get to the hospital. I understand he is going into surgery soon. I hope I will get there before they start the operation.”
“Do you want me to call everyone, mum?”
“No.” Tola replied. There was no point getting everyone worried until she was sure about what was happening. The twins were in Bible School in Texas, Bibi and Bola were away at University in Liverpool and Abi herself lived in Paris. Telling the others would get them all worried and planning to come home. “Ok, mum. Call me as soon as you get there and know what is happening. I will be praying for him.”
Tola got into her car and steadied herself. She sat for a few minutes with her head on the steering wheel and prayed again. She feels at peace every time she prays. She drove slowly onto the main road.
As soon as she arrived at the hospital, she walked briskly to the reception and introduced herself to the nurse at the reception desk. “I understand my husband, Abiola Joseph, was brought to the hospital earlier this evening.”
“Yes madam”, the nurse responded. What a beautiful and elegant woman, the nurse thought to herself. She looks so calm and composed. She has no idea about the extent of the injury her husband sustained in the accident; it’s only a miracle that can save him now.
“Please go to the emergency ward, straight down on your right and take the first door to the left. Your husband is in room A2. He is currently being prepared for surgery.”Tola thanked her and rush down to the emergency ward.
She met a police man standing by the door of the room, talking to a doctor. They both turned towards her as she walked up to them. “I'm Mrs. Joseph. Where is my husband, please? “The police man introduced himself as Sergeant Blake, who spoke with her earlier. The doctor introduced himself as Dr. Craig, “your husband suffered a massive head injury and might be bleeding internally. We are taking him into surgery in the next twenty minutes. We need to stop any bleeding and reduce the swelling in his brain.”
“Will he be alright after the surgery?” Tola asked Dr. Craig. “I’m afraid we would only be able to know after the surgery. The important thing right now is to stop the bleeding”, he explained as he gently led her into the room.
She stopped herself from crying aloud when she saw her beloved husband on the hospital bed, with countless tubes attached to him, looking lifeless. She stood quietly beside the bed just staring at him. She took his hands; they were warm, but lifeless. She remembered him leaving the house this morning laughing and full of joy. He gave her a sweet kiss as he always does before he stepped out of the door. She looked at him; the love of her life, the bone of her bone and flesh of her flesh. They had gone through so much over the years. She sat down on the chair beside the bed. She held his hands, tears running down her face. She stared at his beloved face, one that had not changed much since the time they met, so many years ago…
Dr. Craig came back into the room a few minutes later. “Mrs. Joseph, we need to prepare your husband for surgery now, would you mind just stepping out while we do that please.”
“Yes, of course.” Tola walked out of the room and stayed by the window looking into the room, watching the nurses as they prepared her husband for surgery. She felt she really needed to call her pastor. She needed her faith strengthened as her beloved AJ fought for his life. But she stayed because she wanted to watch them wheel him out into the theatre.
Within minutes, the two nurses had disconnected all the tubes attached to AJ, leaving only the drip. They pushed the bed trolley from the room followed by the doctor. She accompanied them down the corridor, all the while praying silently. As they pushed the bed into the operating room, Dr. Craig turned to her, “Mrs. Joseph is there someone you can call to come and stay with you?”
“Yes, there is. I will call my Pastor and my family as soon as you start the operation.”
“That is good. Please wait in the family room and I will let you know the outcome of the surgery as soon as possible,” the doctor gently turned her away from the operating room, closing the door firmly behind him.
Tola called her pastor and told him what had happened. “I’m so sorry to hear that Sister Tola. I will be there in the next twenty minutes. Please remember God’s promises for you and Brother Abiola. It is not yet time for him to go home. I will see you soon.”
“Don’t worry about coming all the way here Pastor. He will be going into surgery now and there is no point just waiting around. I will update you as things progress. What I would ask for though are your prayers.”
“Is there someone there with you, Sister Tola?”
“No, but it’s okay for now. I would prefer to be alone for the time being. Thank you Pastor.” They spoke for a few more minutes. As Tola finished her conversation with her pastor, her phone rang.
It was Abi, “How is he, Mum?”
“He is in Surgery now.”
“Oh Mum, is he going to be alright?” Abi started crying. She had been trying to call her mum for the last thirty minutes, but her phone had been switched off. Abi had made a flight reservation and was on her way to the airport when she decided to try her mum again. Although her mum had told her not to bother coming, she couldn’t just stay in Paris while her Dad fought for his life. They had already missed having a father-daughter relationship for over twenty years of her life, and nothing could keep her away now.
“Abi, don’t cry. We have to keep our faith and trust in God.”
“I know. How are you doing though mum?” She felt as worried about her mum as she is about her Dad. The two of them had been in separable for the past ten years, she could not imagine how her mum would be feeling now – which is why she must be there with her.
“I am holding up. Can I call you later Abi?” Tola wanted to focus her energy on praying rather than talking. As she hung up, she sat down in one of the cushioned sofas in the family room. Thank goodness she was the only one there. She feel so numb, she fell on her knees and started praying. She thanked God for everything she could remember about her life with AJ, their years together when they first met, the years apart and their reconciliation.
Tola did not know how long she had been on her knees, when she felt a gentle tap on her shoulders. She looked up, only to see Dr. Craig by her side. She got up quickly trying to read the outcome of the surgery from his expression, but his face was not giving anything away.
“The surgery went well; your husband suffered brain oedema causing him to show signs of raised intracranial pressure. In order to prevent further damage to the brain tissue, we performed a hemicraniectomy, which is basically the removal of a portion of the skull in order to allow the brain to expand.”
“Is he going to be alright, doctor?”
“It is too early to tell. He is still in a coma and it is a 50-50 situation. There is still a bit of swelling on the brain. If the swelling goes down, he would have a chance of a full recovery.”
Dr. Craig took her arm and led her to the sofa, sitting beside her. “The only thing we can do now, is pray.”
The End
Will AJ survive?
What caused their separation?
How did they reconcile?
Stay tuned!

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