Written by Mofoluwake Jackson.
Lara’s uncle insisted, even though she had tried to play around the subject of bringing her husband in to see her uncle’s gynecologist friend.
Kola had pleaded with tears that she didn’t get her uncle involved with their issues, she’d assumed he just didn’t want a third party meddling in their personal business. But her uncle wouldn’t relent and after a while threw caution to the wind and confronted Kola.
“Because it is not your business, sir. I will appreciate if you keep off, or else…”
“Or else what?”
“Or else I will send you back to where you came from. This is my house, I am the man of this house and I won’t have you running it for me,” kola snapped back.
“Man of which house? Are you a man?
There was a grinding silence for seconds. That was the moment Lara chose to arrive from her visit to a friend. “Hi, Uncle; hi honey,” she said boisterously, but stopped in her tracks as no one answered her. One look at both men with red eyes, and she knew there was trouble.
“I want this disrespectful uncle of yours out of this house by the time I return. If not, I will prove to this dead wood I am a younger and stronger man when I return,” Kola barked at her.
“Just shut up, and do as I say! You bring your uncle, and I accept him in, but this man who can’t impregnate his wife for 23 years until the graceful woman passed on questions my own virility after just three years. If I come back and he is still here, then I will leave the two of you to procreate and live for ever after. Nonsense!” Kola said as he bounded out of the house.
Her uncle, Demola, ‘Uncle Dede’ as she fondly called him was a widower. He’d lost his wife to depression in their twenty third year of marriage, they had no children, it was very sad.
He’d always loved Lara, his younger brother’s daughter like his and had been like a second father to her. In fact he and her father had simultaneously walked her down the aisle on her wedding day.
He’d been on the phone talking with Lara when he sensed a strain in her voice and had promised to come over to make sure that she and her husband were doing everything right.
In the three years since he lost his wife he had studied all the options they had missed because no one had told them, he had studied with regret but then he had thought of Lara and felt like she would be his redemption, so he was going to help her to whatever length she needed his health.
Knowing that Kola was the reason for their predicament had caused an agitation in him. Having been married in older times the tests had only been carried out on his wife and when nothing was found they had been sent home with the advice to ‘keep trying’.
They had kept trying and praying and after a while they had lost really close friends, hid behind ‘religion’ and before long they had given up trying and just lived ghostly lives until his wife truly faded before his eyes. But what if it had been his fault all along, they hadn’t even thought of the possibility.
After Kola left them, she burst into tears , but her uncle managed his own emotions and calmly told her he was at fault, admitting that he overstepped his bounds. He apologised to her, and pleaded with her to apologise to Kola.
He brought out his phone, sat down, and typed for a while before calling for a taxi. He went to get his things and ignored her pleas to stay back.
As soon as the taxi came, Uncle Dede left, leaving her an emotional wreck.
Within a space of five minutes, Kola came in panting and asking, “where is he?”
“Where is he? he asked, as he shook her almost violently. She just increased the tempo of her weeping as he stood there. He was also weeping.
“I was mean to a good man,” he said and handed her the phone to read her uncle’s message. She wept the more as he cuddled her. They both slept off on the floor of the sitting room until the next Saturday morning.
Lara did not know how he did it, but he left the house in his sportswear, only to return two hours later with Uncle Dede. She just wondered how men managed to be so uncomplicated. No one told her what happened, and she did not bother to ask. It even seemed as if they were both getting closer together, and were always off to the balcony discussing one thing or the other.
He asked why Kola would not go for the test, but he answered that he was busy. She overheard Uncle Dede say he would have to get other family members involved. Her husband said there was no need.
“I will handle it,” he added. She slipped back quickly before her husband turned around to see if she was eavesdropping.
It was another three weeks plus before Kola finally found the time.
Lara yearned silently and sent up quick prayers that there be a miracle and her husband would be fine, or at least a tested cure be offered for his predicament.
More rounds of tests were done, thoroughly, and again they waited for the results.
Kola’s face hadn’t been readable but Lara was sure hers was all shades of hopeful.
The results were the same and although the doctor said he had more to say, it had to wait because Kola had grown moody and she knew from experience that his next mood would be hysterical crying, so she moved that they come back another time to discuss the doctor’s recommendations.
Her uncle had choice words for Kola when they got home and Kola just recoiled into himself some more and kept apologising over and over again.
Lara herself was getting fed up after two months, since there was just lots of talking and no acting being done. She wanted a baby, and knowing her husband was the cause and was trying to avoid the subject frustrated her.
Her uncle’s response to Kola was a shade aggressive. it wasn’t hate or a bid at making Kola feel bad, he just saw himself in Kola’s shoes and was beating himself up through Kola.
Lara asked her uncle to be patient with her husband rather than pressuring him because it wasn’t helping the situation. They all needed to think logically and fast because time wasn’t waiting for them. Her words had got him thinking and when he realised what he was doing to Kola he eased up a bit and two weeks after Kola began to respond to them better.
Her uncle told them that the doctor had said he had some suggestions they should think about and that he thought Kola and his wife should go back to the doctor and hear him out.
They agreed together to look for help, and finally they chose to start by hearing and considering the doctor’s suggestions so they called him.
When the day of the appointment came and they went in to see the doctor, the look he had was sly and it made Lara stiff.
After all the pleasantries and play at small talk, he cleared his throat and proceeded to drop an atomic bomb!