“Did you hear that?” I heard mummy asked softly.
We had already settled down to sleep an hour before, but like every night for the past seven days, sleep has been hard to come by.
“Like what” I whispered.
“Sounds like groaning or something”
“I didn’t hear anything, are you sure it was from here?” I asked
She adjusted on our makeshift foldable bed “Forget it, I’m not so sure anymore”
“Okay. Good night Mum” I said turning to continue my attempt at sleeping.
“Mum?” I whispered a few minutes later, “I think I hear something”
I stood up suddenly and turn on the light switch. “Mummy, it’s Tara, it sounds like she’s in pain”
Mummy stood up hurriedly and said “Call the doctor Ireti, or the nurse, anyone you can find.”
I rushed out of the room and ran towards the Nurses’ station calling on the nurses and doctors, and whoever was available. “I think she’s in pain” I shouted tears running down my eyes. “My sister, I think she’s in pain, come with me.”
Nurse Ade touched me as she rushed past me with the doctor “Ireti, calm down, just come with us”
As I entered the room, I heard the doctor telling mummy that her groaning is a positive sign that she is waking up. “Speak to her, let her hear your voice”
Mummy moved closer “Omotara, baby girl, it’s okay. We are here. Wake up, baby. Wake up”
“Your sister is here too” she stretched her hands signalling me to move closer.
“Tara” I called as she continued groaning softly. I looked up at the doctor, and he nodded at me to continue.
“It’s me, Ireti. Please wake up. We need you to wake up. I need you. I miss you sis… I love you.”
I saw Omotara's eyelid fluttered and just as I started to think I imagined it, her fingers twitched “Doctor, her hand just moved, check her” I said urgently.
“Just keep speaking to her,” The doctor said calmly.
“Sis…” I called calmly as her eyes flutter opened and for a few minutes, she seemed disoriented. “Omotara, it’s me, can you see me?” I asked.
Her eyes fluttered open, then she closed them again. Fear suddenly gripped me as I remember the possibility of her not remembering who we are. “Give her time, it will take a few minutes for her to become fully conscious” I heard the doctor say, abating my fear.
“Ireti?” Omotara called in a cracked voice that sounded nothing like hers.
“Yes, it’s me,” I said touching her left thigh as tears ran down my eyes uncontrollably. I looked at mummy, her hands were held together in front of her face, her eyes filled with tears and I heard her whispering repeatedly ‘Thank you, God’.
Omotara's eyes didn’t leave us as she sipped from the cup of water Nurse Ade had pushed into her hands.
“Do you have a headache? Or pain anywhere?” The Doctor asked as he examined her. “No headache. I just feel really tired” She responded softly. The Doctor nodded his satisfaction “That’s to be expected. You will get your strength back, just give it a little time”.
“Why do I feel like I was run down by a trailer?” She asked in her now clearer voice, , with her eyes gazing to and fro mummy and I.
I felt my whole face break into a grin as I hugged her tight. I looked over at mummy finding her face mirroring mine. We were just happy to have our Omotara back.
“It’s good to finally meet you with your eyes open Omotara,” The doctor said smiling. Nodding at us, he walked out of the room with Nurse Ade.
Now tired of my incessant hug “What happened” She asked into the hollow of my neck as she struggled to get out of the hug.
“You were in an accident, my dear. Your Uber was hit by a trailer” mummy answered. “It has been a terrible seven days, the worst of my life. See, I’m just glad we got you back just as Christmas is ending.”
“Christmas?” Omotara gasped “Don’t tell me I missed Christmas. I did, didn’t I?” her eyes went from mine to Mummy.
“I had this amazing plan, it was supposed to be an unforgettable one,” she said looking downcast.
“Well, it’s just 11:50 pm,” I said looking at the clock hanging on the wall opposite her bed. “10 minutes before Christmas ends, so you didn’t really miss it” I grinned cheekily.
“And try not to plan any other unforgettable Christmas, this one is unforgettable enough as it is” I added laughing as she pushed me off the bed.
“Zero sympathies” Omotara sulked. “Do you realize I just fought death and won? You should respect me more” She added and I laughed harder.
“Ireti! Ireti!!” I opened my eyes to see Mummy hovering over me.
“You were talking and laughing. Sit up please” she said with her voice laced with worry. “Are you okay?”
Confused, I sat up. “I’m okay mummy” I responded, wondering when I fell asleep.
Then, I saw, Omotara lying on her back in the same position she had been for days.
“She woke up” I whispered, my voice choked with tears. “It was so real”
Looking up at her face “We were all so happy Mummy” I said resigned, finally accepting the reality I woke up into.
Her face lit up in understanding, she sat beside me and hugged me to her side “Your dream will come to pass, Ireti. It will. Let's just keep the faith. We will be happy” she assured me.
I lay my head on her shoulder, taking the comfort she was giving. I wanted to escape so badly from the reality I had just woken up to.
I sat staring straight at Omotara, willing her to wake up.
“She missed Christmas, yet she somehow managed to make it unforgettable.” I thought just as I drifted off to sleep again.
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