©Author George Haman
*THE NEIGHBORHOOD SAGA*
*(Chrisham My Neighbor’s Wife)*
( This story Contains Adult Content (AC), Strong Graphic Language (SGL) which might be disturbing to minors and in some parts Graphic Violence (GV). Reader’s discretion is advised. Suitable for persons 18 years and above. )
“Are you Mr. Haman?” She asked.
“That’s me, he called me earlier today.” I replied.
“Please come with me.” She said as she led me towards the hallway.
She took me to the doctor’s office and left me there. Since the doctor was on a call, I sat there and waited for him to first finish with the call then attend to me.
“Mr. Haman, how are you?” He asked after hanging up his call.
“Am good doctor, why am I here?” I asked curiously.
“Straight to the point huh? Wow, I admire that….I am sorry to be the messenger
Haman and I wish I had a better way of doing this.” He replied then kept quiet for a while.
“Doing what?” I asked getting nervous.
“Giving you the bad news. Am sorry Sir but you arrived two hours late, all we can do is give you her ashes.” He replied calmly.
“I don’t understand doc, what ashes?.” I asked shocked.
“When I called you, Chrisham was in the ICU fighting for her life. We tried all we could to save her but it was too late. She wrote this will after she saw that her conditions got worse.” He replied giving me a well written document with Chrisham’s handwriting and signature.
According to the will, Chrisham had requested her body to be cremated. She had specified clearly that the incineration should be done not more than an hour after
her death, the hospital had granted her will. I just read through the will in disbelief as tears rolled out of my eyes; I could not believe that she was gone. The doctor showed me the footage of her on a ICU bed and I could see the doctors trying to save her life but it was all in vain
“She wanted you to have this.” The doctor said handing over a gold coated pot containing her ashes.
“What exactly happened to her?” I asked curiously.
“You mean she never told you that she had cancer? She used to come for chemotherapy every week!” He replied avoiding my eye contact.
I had no idea why Chrisham would hide such sensitive information from me even after proposing to marry her. All in all, I took what I believed was her remains and drove back to my house; I bought some fuel for my car on my way home. When I got home, I met Christine seated beside the pool on the basking bed with Mekhi seated on her laps; they were playing games and Mekhi seemed to enjoy it very much. I took the pot inside the house and locked it in my safe then switched on the TV.
To my surprise, I saw Chrisham’s death in the news; it was a news coverage of how the doctors at Laxsmart Hospital were trying to fight cancer and the developments they had made. It did not seem unusual to me seeing her being used as a sample of the victims of the ruthless disease since Chrisham had hidden so many secrets from me; I decided to join Christine and my son.
I began feeling guilty for hiding the truth from Christine but I was doing it for her own good; I consoled myself that Chrisham kept the truth from me for my own good as well. Christine and I began growing close to each other and my feelings for her began to grow stronger and stronger each new day.
We began hanging out more often and my son became the linking bond. Christine would come to my place and even spend a week; I would take them out on weekends and definitely I became an addict to her sweetness.
One morning, we were in bed after a tiresome night together. Christine jumped out of the bed all of a sudden and rushed to the washroom. I could hear her puke so I quickly got out of bed and went to check on her.
“Baby are you okay?” I asked her as I held her softly from behind.
“Yes hun, am fine.” She replied trying to force a smile.
“Are you pregnant?” I asked curiously.
From the tone I used to ask that question, she did not know what would be my reaction if she said that she was pregnant so she kept quiet. I slowly put my arms around her waist from behind then whispered to her ears;
“Don’t be afraid dear, I love babies.”
She smiled, turned and looked at me in the eyes and said;
“Yes, I am two months pregnant.”
That came as good news and a sweet surprise to me since I was already in love with her. I asked her to move in to my house so that I could take care of her as she looked after Mekhi; she agreed.
I did not want to make the same mistake I had made with Chrisham so I chose not to propose to marrying Christine until I was sure enough of our future together.
Writing could not be able to sustain two kids and give them the kind of life I wanted my children to have; I decided to open a business. I would go to work every morning and come back home in the evening to Christine and Mekhi.
The more we lived together, the more Christine proved to be a woman nothing like her mother. She was such a nice lady with all the qualities of a good wife. Her lifestyle away from her family taught me never to judge a book if I did not know the story.
One evening as I drove home from work, I found the gate wide open and that made my heart skip a beat. Usually, my gate would automatically close itself after one minute if left unclosed. The only thing that could make it to stay open until someone closed it was an emergency button inside the house.
I had told Christine about the button and when it was pressed, it would send an SOS message to the emergency response unit.
Just before I could drive towards the gate into the compound, an ambulance emerged in front of my car and drove into my compound at top speed. I followed the ambulance and drove into the compound. The door to my house was locked so the paramedics could not just walk in unless I opened for them.
“What is going on here?” I asked one of the paramedics.
“We received an emergency call from this place.” He replied.
Immediately it clicked to my head that Christine was in danger or if not her, my son was. I quickly unlocked the door and rushed into the house. When I opened the door, I could hear Mekhi crying; I followed his voice and headed to where he was.
I met him seated beside Christine who was lying unconscious on the floor, she had a small cut on her forehead. The paramedics were following me from behind, they began giving her first aid as I took Mekhi and placed him aside.
“We have to take her with us to the hospital Sir, her condition is not stable.” The guy in charge said.
“Then am coming with you and am not taking no for an answer.” I said as I picked up Mekhi from where I had placed him.
They took Christine to the ambulance and I sat in front beside the driver as I held Mekhi. In my head I was wondering what could have happened to Christine since in the morning before I left she was all jovial and happy.
It took us twenty minutes to get to the hospital and I was told to wait at the waiting bay as the nurses took Christine to the emergency room. I was so restless, I could not stay calm at one place. After seeing how restless I was, a nurse at the waiting bay offered to look after Mekhi and asked me to go and get some fresh air.
Since I could not focus and it would be so easy for me to lose Mekhi out there without me realizing he was gone, I just signed the required forms to show that I
had left him under the care of a nurse and walked out. According to the hospital policy, one had to register and sign the forms before leaving the baby with the nurses specifically employed to look after babies who are in company of distressed parents.
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One was required to sign two copies whereby one copy would go to the reception and the parent or guardian would keep the other copy. My head was spinning too fast, I needed something to calm it down; a drink would do. There was a drinking joint a few metres away from the hospital, I decided to go and have a few glasses so that I could calm down.
After taking three glasses of Whiskey, I turned to my right and saw a lady who looked just like Chrisham walking out through the exit door. At first I thought it was the alcohol kicking in since I was already feeling tipsy but I saw the lady clearly walk out of the pub into the streets.
I did not even finish my drink, I paid the bill and rushed towards the exit hoping to find the lady before she could disappear. I needed to be sure if it was a ghost I had seen or was I hallucinating. Having gotten tipsy, everything had tuned back to normal inside my head and this lady I had seen was the only thing inside my head at that particular moment.
I saw her cross the streets and I hurried to reach her so as to confirm if she was Chrisham or not. While in my rush, I forgot to check if the road was clear and what I heard last was tyres screeching then a huge bang and people screaming. I got hit by a oncoming car and I passed out.
Out of panic, the driver drove away and did not even stop to check if I was still alive. Some good Samaritans quickly rushed me to the hospital which was just a few metres away. I later woke up after a few hours and my head was aching so hard; I was in a room that was all white and blue lying on a soft bed.
I tried getting up but I experienced some sharp pain on my right hand. The door then opened just in time and a nurse walked into the room.
“If I were you I would not try getting up.” She said.
“What happened.” I asked.
“What happened? What kind of a father are you?” She replied sounding pissed.
That was when I recalled I was with my son and Christine was in the emergency room before I ended up on the hospital bed.
“Oh my goodness! Mekhi?! Where is my son?” I asked.
“Thanks to Gladys, your son is in the nursing home and he is safe there for now unlike he would be if he was with his father who has a drinking problem. How could you get so drunk in just a few minutes that you could not even see a oncoming car?” She asked bitterly.
“You don’t understand nurse, I saw someone whom I thought she looked like my fiancée and I got hit by the car trying to get to her.” I said.
“I really think you have a big problem Mr. Haman, the hospital will take custody of your son until his mother wakes from her comma since she is in a stable state now. As for you, I think you should see a psychiatrist.” She replied as she prepared my injection.
“The hospital is taking away my son from me?” I asked sounding pissed.
“Yes it is.” She replied.
“But it has no right to do that!” I said now getting angry.
“Am afraid Haman but as long as you signed those forms and the doctors feel that you are not in a position to take good care of your kid, the hospital has the right to take custody of the kid until the doctors are convinced that the kid has someone who can take care of him or her.” She replied injecting me with some yellow substance.
My heart began beating faster, if Christine did not wake up from her comma, I was on the verge of loosing Mekhi’s custody since he was not my biological son. Having stayed with him for all that long, I could not afford loosing him; the
hospital had no idea yet that he was adopted, otherwise they could have already suspended my adoption rights.
I had to find a way to get my son back. I decided to play nice with the nurse and use her as my ticket to getting my son back since I did not know what had happened to Christine and for how long she would be in a comma.
“Do you have kids?” I asked softly.
She pretended not to have heard my question and went on doing her things. I decided to ask again.
“Nurse, do you have kids?” I asked louder.
“Yes I have a small boy.” She replied.
“How would you feel if you got home one day and found his father lying on the floor and you are not sure if he is ever going to wake up? What would you do if you were in such a situation?” I asked targeting to win her empathy.
She was smart, she dodged my question and gathered her things getting ready to leave. I knew that her silence meant something and I had already made my first point.
“If I never cared about my son I would have not left him under the hospital’s care but since I trusted you and now you guys want to take my son away from me, I am not trusting you again; not with my life and not with Christine’s life.” I said as I cut off the drip on my hand and overcame all my pain and got up.
“Sir please calm down, you need that drip or else your condition will be worse.” She said sounding concerned.
“What’s the point of living if the place I gave my trust is now taking the one left treasure I have?” I asked.
She knew if my condition got worse, she would be answerable and the hospital always strived to keep a clean record; that meant that her job depended on my health.
“Sir, I know how you must be feeling right now but that boy needs his daddy so please get back to the bed.” She begged.
“You could have thought of that before you took him away from me. Unless I get to have my son back, I am leaving this place and I will make sure the whole world knows you guys are baby snatchers.” I said bitterly.
She decided to sedate me but I knew what she was up to so I grabbed her hand before she could inject me and shook it making the injection to fall.
“If you cannot get my son here in the next ten minutes, I am calling the press and believe me, I got contacts to every media company including the one that always fights this hospital.” I said.
There was a certain TV station whose CEO hated that hospital with all his heart, the station always broadcasted negative things about the hospital. The nurse knew if I was capable of getting in touch with that CEO then the hospital was just about to face a tornado; she had no choice but to convince the management to give me my son back.
She left the room and promised to be back so she begged me not to do anything stupid. I expected that the management would buy my bluff and give me my son back but they were more arrogant than I expected. After few minutes, the nurse came back with the Chief Executive who was in charge of the hospital; he was a tall dark guy.
“Mr Haman, right?” He asked.
“Yes, and you are?” I replied.
“I am Max, the guy who runs this place and I got your blackmail.” He said smiling sarcastically.
“Call it whatever you want but I believe you know a man will be willing to do anything for his son.” I replied.
“Do you know how many lives will be lost if this place gets closed?” He asked.
“I don’t care because that will not be on me, it will be on you and your arrogance.
Why do you want to take my son from me?” I asked angrily.
“Because you are a irresponsible father!” He replied harshly.
Continues in the next Episode.