*CAN’T HOLD MY TEARS*
*EPISODE 28 (finale)*
The waiting room was filled with people seated in different places but waiting obviously for one person and thinking about that one person. Mr. and Mrs. Peters were there and Mrs. Peters was almost out of her mind with worry. She had paced the waiting room until she started becoming dizzy. She felt pained that she had hurt her daughter so much by keeping the truth from her when all she wanted by keeping Amara’s birth a secret was to prevent her from getting hurt. She regretted what she did but knew that regrets and being sorry was not enough to write off the damage that the secret has caused in her daughter’s life. If only Amara could find a place in her heart to forgive her…
Mr. Peters, on the other hand was angry. He felt sorry that Amara had gone through all these – ending up married to her brother and all – but most especially, he was angry that she was no longer on their side. Why did everything have to crumble just when Amara started bringing home some cash? Despite his numerous threats to his wife that he would reveal the mystery behind Amara’s parentage, he knew that he would never have gone through with the threat; not when he knew what he could lose. He knew he could always get cash from Alex through Amara if she was on their side, but now that everything was in shambles, that possibility was totally out of the question. He had no idea what he was doing in the hospital, seated like a jobless man. Even though Amara had been a great daughter, she had made the mistake herself; she should pay for it herself. But still, it wouldn’t hurt to be seen with the Senator’s family, would it?
Mr. Bello snr sat some distance away from the rest, with his head resting heavily against the backrest. He had a lot of things to do at the office but he just could not turn a deaf ear when he heard that Amara had gone into labor prematurely. Normally, he should despise Amara for being the product of his wife’s betrayal but he was never one to transfer aggression. He does not think and act like other men. He liked Amara a lot. She had a fierce fighting spirit which he admired. He had instantly liked her and that feeling only grew when he saw the way she was handling her odd relationship with Alex. It was not the girl’s fault that she was not conceived in a respectable way. Actually, he could not begin to imagine the level of pain and sadness Amara must be feeling, all because of the stupid actions of the woman he married. No wonder the child in the womb was reacting to the extreme tension. Even though the Senator was so worried about Amara, he hadn’t been prepared to meet the culprit who got his wife pregnant. His former employee was seated in the waiting room when he arrived and right there and then, Mr. Bello wanted to forget his position in the society and break Habeeb’s bones with his fists but he strictly had to put his anger under control. There would always be another place and time for that, he told himself, even though he continued to clench his fists.
Mr. Habeeb Sinja felt like his brain had contacted deadly virus. He could not process any thought normally anymore. His daughter was just behind that closed door ahead of him, struggling between life and death. His daughter! That sounded so weird even to his own inner ears. His life had been a disaster for as long as he could even remember. When Kate had pushed him out of her life and out of his livelihood, his life had crumbled. He hadn’t expected to fall in love with Katherine but then, she had dumped him like a piece of trash. It had been expected though; who wouldn’t see that coming when she was obviously married with a child. He should have been wise enough to avoid any dealings with her; or even wise enough to keep his heart under lock and key. But then, he had fallen for her and had paid dearly for it. He hadn’t been able to love again. After many years of staying alone, his family had forced a woman on him. He had married her and even though he did not love her, he respect her and treated her well until he was able to see her as a friend. But then, tragedy struck again and she died in an accident, along with their three years old son. Destroyed beyond redemption, he had joined the police force, not even considering another marriage. And now, he had a daughter? He could not lose his daughter when he just found her. He just couldn’t. Not even the presence of his ex-boss could stop him from praying for his daughter’s wellbeing.
Alex carried a bottle of hot wine in his hand but he was not drinking it. Ever since he found out his true relationship Amara, he had been drinking, just hoping that he would forget everything. But after drinking himself to stupor and the haze cleared, he was left with his problems looming over him, looking bigger than it was the last time. He had instantly got a lawyer to process their divorce, but that still did not change the fact that he had been married to his sister, did it? It did not change the fact that he had treated his sister like a piece of trash to be used and trampled on at every given point in time. She was there right now, laboring to birth the child that he had put in her, but what could he do? He could not do anything but wait helplessly. He turned to look at the woman he called mother and moved farther away from her. She was still crying, biting her fingers occasionally but Alex could not feel anything but anger towards her. She had been the originator of this mess; she effectively destroyed everyone because of her selfish desires.
Kelvin could not keep still, he was either seated or standing or pacing. His thoughts were in complete disarray. He tried to come up with clues of what Amara was going through in there but had no idea. He had never been in the labor room with anyone but experienced women always said that a woman in labor was a handshake away from death. They had explained the pain that they go through until Kelvin almost could boast of a mental picture of the entire process, but waiting in the waiting room was giving him too much tension. Tola and Tina were also as agitated as kelvin, pacing the hall with their mouths murmuring inaudible prayers.
The door opened and a doctor walked out. Everyone ran to him, firing different questions which, at the same time, had the same meaning. The doctor, looking completely strained, shook his head. “I am sorry…”
Hushed silence fell on everyone at once. “Sorry for what?” Tina cried…
Pain was the only word I knew. Pain! That throbbing feeling that spreads through the body, soul and spirit until you can’t think about anything other than pain. I squirmed, screamed, pushed and pushed until my lower body felt like it was on fire. The word ‘Push’ was repeated over and over again until the word became permanently stamped in my head. I screamed in extreme pain and tears rolled down from my eyes as I gripped the sheets on the bed. I bit down on my lips to stop myself from screaming helplessly in pain but it was not enough to prevent my unconscious exclamations.
Then, the pain subsided and vanished altogether. Complete silence reigned. Even the ticking of my heartbeat was silenced and I could hear nothing at all. It was a complete contrast to the noise and screams that reigned barely seconds ago. Surprisingly, the silence was more scary than the noise. I wanted that noise again. It was like everyone had vanished from the earth and I was left all alone. I don’t want to be alone! I don’t want to be left all by myself! But then, I remembered. I have always been alone! The people who wanted me did not belong to me, yet, the people I belonged to did not want me. What a dilemma. How could a person want to return to that? How can I even want to return to that?
But I am a fighter, I don’t give up. I have things to prove to myself and the people who rejected and abused me. That alone is a reason to live.
I felt a hand brush shakily against my cheeks. The soft caress almost made me sigh but then, as I slipped back to a conscious state, I felt that overwhelming pain again. It was not as worse as I last remembered, but it was there nonetheless. I opened my eyes slowly and felt a form looming over me. I raised my eyes and caught Kelvin’s extremely worried look. As our eyes held, relief washed over him but his worried look was still there. “Hey” he whispered with a soft smile. He bent over and kissed my forehead, lingering longer than he ought. He sat carefully at the edge of the bed and I noticed his heavy eyes which showed that he hadn’t slept for a while. My hand felt weak but I raised it to his face.
“You shouldn’t be so worried about me” I croaked out weakly.
He smiled and kissed the inside of my palm. “I can’t help myself honey” he said softly. “How are you feeling?”
Truthfully, I wasn’t feeling anything but pain, but how could I tell him that when he was so worried about me. “I am fine” I said.
His eyes flashed with something I could not recognize and he bent to kiss my cheeks. “I really want you to be fine sweetheart” he whispered. “Be fine for me” he scent enveloped my senses. That scent that was always clinging to him.
I noticed something different about me, and then stiffened. “Kel, where is my baby?” I asked and he froze.
“Fine. Your baby is fine” he answered hurriedly.
I stiffened. “You are a poor liar Kelvin, where is my baby?” Fear gripped me as I saw Kelvin struggle. Raising my voice was causing incredible pains but I endured it. “Where is my son Kelvin? I know he is a boy. Where is he?” I cried, trying to sit up, to look around.
“Calm down Ara. Please…” he forced me on my back. “Lie still Ara, please. You are not strong enough”. He pressed a bell closed to my bed, using one hand to keep me glued to the bed.
I tried to relax. “I am calm now Kelvin, tell me where my child is. I need to see him” I begged.
“You need to get better first, then I would take you honey, please” he begged.
“Something is wrong, right? Something is wrong with him?” I asked with pale face.
The doctor and two nurses entered then and Kelvin moved away. I was held down firmly by the nurses and I saw the doctor holding an injection. I turned my eyes to the nurses. “Please tell me where my baby is… my baby boy… please tell me…”
“He is fine ma. Please calm down” one nurse said and then, I felt the piercing pain of the injection. My eyes became fuzzy and I blinked as my eye lids closed of their own volition. Before I passed into the state of unconsciousness, I caught Kelvin’s pained expression and got my answer.
Kelvin held onto my hand tightly and I gazed up at him. “I told you I can walk on my own” I murmured. I was already discharged and free to go home but how can I feel happy about going home when I wasn’t carrying a child with me. Stillbirth!!! The word rang over and over and I steeled myself against crying. I have cried enough tears to last a lifetime. Tina and Tola had visited, trying to encourage me by making me see the positive side of the situation but I still felt shattered. Even though my child was a product of an abominable act, I still wanted him, because, at least, I would know that I have something or someone who was truly mine. I would know that I have my child to encourage me, but then, I have to face the harsh realities of knowing that I am always alone. Kelvin’s hand tightened and I smiled. At least, there is someone who would not leave me; or some people, I thought, thinking of Tola and Tina.
Kelvin paused as he was about to open a door. I looked at him and he smiled down at me. He kissed my forehead and opened the door, and then I saw them. All of them! Everyone that helped in destroying my life! I stood still and turned my eyes to Kelvin. “I prevented them from seeing you throughout your stay here honey, but I could not prevent this” he explained.
I sighed and faced them. I had no feelings left. I could not even feel anger, hatred or dismay; I just wanted this to be the last time I ever saw them or most of them at least.
“Amara… My baby… Amara… How are you…? I am sorry……” different things were thrown hurriedly by everyone; I did not even bother to know who was asking what. I just wanted to leave this place. But a few last words were in order.
“Please listen to me” I said, raising my voice. “I am fine. You all do not have to worry falsely about me. It is too late to worry about what I might be feeling.” I said with a vague amused look. “I am happy that I am seeing you all now, because I might not see you anymore, and I would be extremely happy if I never see most of you again.” Silence fell over everyone and I turned to Alex coolval stories.
I raised my amused brows at him. “So you can really be worried about me now Corper? It is funny right? Men do things to women that they would not want to happen to their own sisters. When you were mocking me and dishonoring me behind my back, you never knew you were doing those things against your own sister. Well, I am sure you would be a lesson to all men. Before you do things to women because you can, think of how you would feel if the same is done to your own sister.”
I shook my head and turned to Mr. Sinja. The police officer who just happened to be my father. “Sir, I am sure you would forgive me if I can’t call you dad now” I said and he nodded vigorously.
“Of course my dear…” he said.
“I was right in thinking that you had seen so many things in your life. I don’t know half of your story and I am sorry if I would not have enough time to learn them. You look like a good man and I am pretty sure that you would have been a very good father if you had been given a chance.” I said.
I turned to the parents I have known all my life. “Papa, mama… I know that I have overemphasized my anger towards you and I am sorry. Even though I know that Papa never really loved me and accepted me, I still am eternally grateful to you. When I was rejected and tossed into the trash like a messed up diaper, you took me, welcomed me into your home and provided shelter for me. You took care of me for years and provided for me even though you had next to nothing. I would remain grateful to you for as long as I live, and you would never stop being my parents” I hugged my dad briefly and hugged my mum who held me tightly.
“I love you my baby… I love you so much… I am sorry.” she whispered in tears.
I saw the senator and turned to him. “Sir” I bowed my head in respect. “I instantly developed respect for you the minute I saw you. I have never seen a man as principled as you are. Even though I was not in a happy marriage, I saw you as the best father-in-law. You should hate me for what I stand for in your family but then; you are here, worried about me. I respect you sir. I really hope you find happiness because you deserve it more than anyone.”
I really wanted to leave but there was one person left. I turned to Mrs. Bello. I just could not smile at her. She stood shakily, looking at me. “I hated you the instant I saw you” I began without preamble. “You were a terrible mother-in-law but as a mother, you were worse. If there is one person I never want to set my eyes on, it is you”
“Pleeeaaaase… I am sorry…” she pleaded.
“You are not my mother; I can never accept you as my mother. You rejected me then, now, I am rejecting you… You hated me, now; I hate you beyond measure… You did not want me then, now I tell you, I do not and would not have any cause to need you in my life. You have caused so many people sadness” I shook my head. “You are not worthy to be called a mother. Please don’t look for me. You won’t find me” I said and turned to face kelvin, who was standing with Tina and Tola now. “I need to leave now”
Despite the protests of those in the room, I hastily walked out of the hospital with the only people who really mattered to me. Who says blood is thicker than water?
I stood with my luggage in the sitting room, waiting for Kelvin to enter. The door opened and he came inside. Immediately he saw me, his legs stopped moving and he stood still, looking at everything before him. “Where are you going to Ara?” he asked as his face grew pale.
I sighed, wondering how I was going to handle this. “I am leaving Kel, I am going away.”
He marched towards me in an instant. “What are you talking about? Where are you going?”
“Anywhere. I am going anywhere, I want to rebuild my life, on my own, putting all my garbage behind me” I was now legally divorced from Alex. All I needed was a totally new environment to begin my life from the scratch.
“B… But… but you can’t go” he lamented as his arms fisted beside him. “I won’t let you” he said on raised voice. He looked as if his life had just snapped.
This was becoming harder. I could not quite look into his eyes. It was hard to see him struggling for composure. “I have to do this Kelvin” I said as my eyes watered. “Staying here would make me fade out Kel. I have nothing but bad memories now and no matter how much I try, you have also been linked with those memories. I want to go far away, to a place where I can build new memories and forget all that has happened. You understand me Kelvin, I know you do” I held his face, forcing myself to gaze into his eyes. “I need to start all over again Kel, please don’t stop me… please” I pleaded. Of everyone in the world, I really wanted him to understand me.
“But… But…” he sighed and walked over to the window. I stood behind him, tense and confused. His muscles vibrated with tension. I just wanted him to hold me. Tell me he understand me… tell me… “I love you Amara”
I froze and swallowed as his words sank in, creating a terrible ache in my chest. Alex turned to face me. “I love you”
“Please… please don’t do this…” I murmured.
He smiled painfully and pulled me into his arms. My heat raced as kelvin kissed my forehead lingeringly. I have never stood this close to him before and the effect was scary. He lowered his head and kissed my eyes. “Kelvin” I gasped as my legs threatened to give way.
Before I could think of protesting, his mouth closed over mine. My heart threatened to break through my chest as his mouth moved from gentle to insistent. I held onto his neck as we kissed and I was alarmed, just thinking of the effect of what was going on. Kelvin stopped suddenly and gazed at me with blazing, unreadable eyes. I was pretty sure my face mirrored his. “Go” he said suddenly. “Be happy” he said and swallowed, moving away from me. He raked his fingers through his hair and exhaled audibly.
I swallowed hard, dragging in much needed air. “Kelvin…” I called questioningly, not sure I even wanted to leave anymore.
“Pleasse promise me you would be fine Ara” he asked breathlessly.
I nodded. “I would take care of myself Kelvin”
He nodded. “I would take you anywhere you want”
I shook my head. “I want to do this on my own Kelvin; you have done more than enough.” He nodded again, running his fingers through his hair again. “I would see you again, I promise. But I would have achieved my dreams by then, so you can be proud of what I have become”.
He smiled. “I would move heaven and hell to see you again honey”.
I nodded and quickly wiped the tears that slipped off my eyes. I bent to pick up my two bags. I walked to the door with my heart feeling heavier than the bags. I turned to see Kelvin standing where he was, with his hands buried deep in his trousers. “Goodbye Kelvin”
He nodded. “Take care of yourself”
I nodded and wiped at my tears again. “I will. Take care of yourself” I said. He nodded and I quickly opened the door, lifted my bags and walked out. Breaking through your walls of pain can be very difficult, but when you finally succeed, you emerge stronger and better. I go to make a better person of myself; to pursue my dreams and gain back everything life took away from me because of my mistakes. Falling down in life is expected but how you get back up is what matters. A mistake that does not kill you makes you wiser. I turned to look back at the house, knowing that Kelvin was there, probably looking at me through the window. I would achieve my goals this time; I would do it for the one person who loves me wholeheartedly – Kelvin