Continued from here
The car started becoming unstable and it sped up through the other side. Impulse kicked in and Jane slammed the brakes, swerving it to the left side – not that she consciously thought to do so, her hand was just moving the steering any which way. All she could think at that point was that the car should just stop its movement.
The car skidded and came to a stop on the other side of the road, rolling over and manoeuvring through uneven terrain, lying on the roof and having all sides cave in, blocking the doors and complicating the exit for the Peters’.
There was silence, at least were the arguing was concerned. Every other thing was loud, the deploying of the airbags, the sound the skidding made was almost deafening, the annoying alarm that Mandy insisted on turning on – to keep her safe and have people alerted to her whereabouts at all times, at least when she was with the car.
Finally, those on the outside were alerted to them, leaving their random and mundane happenstances, at least it seemed random and mundane compared to the massive accident that just occurred.
The commotion and drama surrounding the car at that moment became a very different and emergent one. There and then, as chaos was happening all around them, as the life was leaving them slowly, all they could think about was WHAT WAS THE POINT?
Jane was struggling with consciousness, her hand still fitted on the steering wheel and her body was held in place tightly by the seatbelt. She tried to look around to her sister and mother, but she couldn’t, everything she had read and seen in movies said to keep her neck stiff in case of a spinal trauma.
All she could hear was the loud voices of panicking people which was accurate as she was panicking as well. So she whispered a short word of prayer before she drifted off.
Ironically, the shoes that constituted a mess were the first things to crack and break the glass which fell around making it easy for people to help pull them out while others were still breaking all the other windows.
A few weeks later, when her boyfriend was holding her hand as she opened her eyes, Jane couldn’t help but feel an immense joy and love for this man. Gratitude seeped in when she later learnt how he took care of everything, making sure they all got the best possible care.
The accident happened in a very populated area so people quickly alerted the police. The police through investigative work got in touch with him and he came in like a sweeping breeze and took over everything. Getting them to a good hospital and making sure they were all transferred to the same room, sending their car to the mechanic’s. He alerted Aunty Ify about what was going on as well as Jane and Mandy’s bosses, requesting for time off which was readily granted giving the seriousness of the matter.
When the issue of the medical bill arose, he used Jane’s ATM which he had access to, to pay off some of the fees. The Peters family were iffy about collecting financial help from people, he realised this at first when Jane took a while before she started getting comfortable letting him pay for some things when they went out and later as he started spending a lot of time around them. The quickest way to offend one of the women was to offer financial aid, the look alone would send chills through the person making the offer.
Mandy was the most affected as the collision happened at her side of the car, so he made sure she was the priority patient, he was very sure that Jane would need her sister when she woke. Especially giving the gravity of Jane’s own injuries, she was told that an object stabbed her in the leg around the hip – she didn’t know what that meant or did she care to know – all she knew was that it punctured her nerves and vessels or something like that, she had to have surgery to fix it, Jane had been scared as anyone would if they had destroyed their nerves and vessels.
She didn’t exactly know what that meant but the doctor had sounded so serious and had a straight face to rival all straight faces, her mother also being critical and crying for her girls had not helped her state of mind. The surgery was a rounding success but she still had to stay in the hospital and she had been drifting in and out of consciousness since then.
The faith he had in the fact that they would all recover even when she was not sure she would even survive – she had prayed for God to forgive them their sins and accept them into the heavenly abode – basically evaporated all the doubt she had about their relationship. Gone were all the reasons they had for not getting married sooner, it didn’t seem to matter anymore to the two of them, living their lives together to the fullest extent was what mattered.
They set the date for the wedding, it was going to be exactly one year from that day, he was going to get her a ring and propose properly, he said to her but she didn’t care about that, she was extremely happy, even the nurse who was on shift then said such good news was exactly what they needed.
Mandy of course was going to the chief bride’s maid, there was no contest there. As for her, a high speed collision and near death experience was enough to remind her that she didn’t have to live her life in service to anyone. She believed in God wholeheartedly and she also didn’t have a defined answer for everything. Her ideology was different situations called for different solutions. She was a rule breaker, if she wanted to go out and fun she would, but she was also a goody two shoes who would respect her mother and her house. Everything in moderation as Jane had implored on many occasions before.
Mandy was lying on her bed looking at her little sister as she was animatedly talking to a friend about her ring. She was so excited and Mandy was excited for her as well and for what was going to be a very good wedding.
Mandy had teased Jane about wearing a white gown and Jane had teased Mandy about the irony of injuring her liver. Mandy laughed too, in her mind all this while as she was ‘finding herself’ she had not really thought of the potential damage she could have caused to her liver by her guzzling down copious amounts of alcohol.
The doctor had assured her that it had nothing to do with the injuries, she was relieved at that but that didn’t stop her from wondering what could have been. She had the most injuries in the accident; the car had been impacted at first on her side with a great force, causing her to have a serious head trauma. Serious as in massive internal bleeding in the head, she was even thought to have damaged her cerebrum – the part of the brain responsible for movement – they couldn’t confirm if it had been affected seeing as she was in a coma for the longest time. She didn’t know any of this was happening of course, but the matching relieved looks on the faces of Jane and her mum when she woke up was enough to let her know the seriousness of the condition.
When her mother shifted her bed to Mandy’s to hold her hand and softly tell her all that happened she couldn’t believe it, her mum was crying so hard, when she got to the part of how her liver was pierced by a large glass, Mandy looked down in shame, her mother had told her on numerous occasions that she could get a liver infection, she had always screamed back at her mother telling her the internet was not for old people.
She was afraid of what she would see on her mother’s face, but Mrs Peters kind of sensed that this was happening in Mandy’s head with her famed mother’s intuition, she touched her fingers to Mandy’s jaw and lifted up her head to look in her eyes. Mandy was shocked at what she saw; love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness. It broke Mandy’s heart to see this, she expected harsh judgements and I-told-you-so. Mrs Peters quickly shot down that idea by stating that Mandy was her child, her first child no less, no matter what happens, she will still be her child and she will still love her and support her wholeheartedly.
Mandy’s tears were now about something else, for the longest time, she felt distant from her mother, forming all kinds of conclusion in her head for the cause of that but now looking at her mother, how could she not feel it, the beautiful feeling of forgiveness and of renewed grace. She had not hated anything more than she hated that hospital bed at that moment; the tubes, the wires, the restraints, she had a love hate relationship with them like the one she had with her lawyer robes, on the one hand they are unflattering and not at all stylish but on the other hand it is a staple of honour proving that she was in fact a barrister.
Just like the tubes that were making her better was preventing her from hugging her mother properly, although that may have to do with the blinding pain she felt at any single movement she made due to her injuries. The binding light from the camera’s flash broke the moment, apparently Jane was now into flash photography or she was just being the annoying little last born that must be included in every conversation.
Mandy had gone back and forth about the ordeal and she had had a lot of time to do so as she was mostly confined to the bed, while others could walk about and her mother had been discharged a long time ago – she was not going to leave her babies in the hospital. She still wasn’t sure about a lot of things but one thing was for sure, the all night every night outing had to stop. She wasn’t reverting back to being a goody two shoes nun, but everything in moderation.
She was also going to try to be closer to her mum as they navigate their evolving relationship. Mandy was still the voltron of her family, defender of all, that was why when a certain unwanted visitor that they may or may not be related to them came to the room, luckily her mum and Jane had been sleeping, so she closed her eyes and scrunched her eyebrows feigning more pain than she actually had so the woman can leave and the woman did feeling uncomfortable. Mandy had been pleased with her work that fateful afternoon.
Jane drew Mandy from her spacing out by showing her pretty pictures of pretty wedding items and for the first time in a long while, the argument was between Jane and their mother regarding wedding expenses.
Mrs. Peters looked at her daughters and the fine young women they had become, Mandy’s boss personally stopping by the hospital with a large card and a gift basket ‘from everyone’ to tell her to take as much time as she needed to recover and be with her family was an eye opener for her. Mandy was not squandering her life, at least in the part that really mattered, all she ever wanted for her girls was for them to be able to support themselves on their own terms and they can. When people start talking about her daughters she would just ignore them because her girls were amazing people and they were going to be fine. She had done a good job of raising them as upstanding citizens; she just wished her husband was there to see it for himself.
The hallucination that her drug hazed brain had concocted was enough to tide her over till she met him again in the world beyond. Between the antibiotics and the strong pain killers, her concoction of drugs had been intense. It had to be, septicaemia was no joke, she knew because the name sounded exotic and she had Googled it in her free time with her good hand.
The doctor said she had been lucky they caught it on time, another thing she won’t have thought would happen, she was grateful for an arm fracture – she was told it was a proximal humerus fracture – all she knew was she had a cast on her right hand and it helped them diagnose the septicaemia since she was already receiving treatment in the hospital. The doctor said something about primary or secondary infection but she was just lucky to be alive.
She thanked God that her children still had a parent and she could be there for them, even though her help would be limited, she still had a ton of motherly advice to give them, especially Mandy who was going through a lot with realising the error of her ways as of late. She might have been angry at her, but at that point all she could see was the little girl who kept on leaving the back door open, insistent in her defiance of trying to prevent a fire hazard, until some goods were stolen from their house then she looked down and started crying saying her mother was going to beat her, she hadn’t then and she wouldn’t now, Mandy needed love and support for whatever she was going through not punishment, something Mrs Peters had wished she realised before now, it could have saved them a lot of headache.
Jane on the other hand had spent the better part of her hospital stay crying and praying next to Mandy’s unconscious self, she had refused to go home even though she had been discharged prior, but so had Mrs Peters, Jane had also refused to heed the nurses’ warnings about her incision site and severity of the surgery. Her best friend was in a coma and might not walk again.
The day Mandy woke up could go down in Peters’ family history as one of the best days of their lives. Her eyes fluttered open and Mrs Peters saw it from afar and alerted the others. Sam was quick to go and call a nurse, soon the room was full of all kinds of medical personnel performing all kinds of exams; blood tests, checking her blood pressure etc. They all had one good news or the other, the most serious exam was saved for last, the neurological exam to determine her state and if she was paralysed.
Mrs Peters held her daughter Jane’s hands and they waited with bated breath for the outcome. The grazing of the fingertips and the toes and the thighs all lasted a couple minutes but it seemed like hours to them, Mandy responded positively to the stimuli and Mrs Peters was overjoyed.
When Jane’s boyfriend, Sam came one day with his family and beautiful flowers to adorn the entire room, they had been confused. The confusion was cleared up the minute he dropped down on one knee and gave a beautiful heart wrenching speech to Jane, followed by the usual ‘Jane Peters, will you marry me?’ Jane was speechless for about a beat, then she turned to Mandy who was smiling so wide and was nodding frantically.
Jane and Mandy went back and forth; Jane didn’t have a manicure, Mandy was indifferent to her problem, they were in the hospital room, even better at least everyone is seeing Jane look her worst. The poor guy was still on his one knee when Jane accepted. Everyone erupted in cheers and claps and whistles. Mrs. Peters hugged her soon to be in-laws. Even the nurses and some orderlies came to join in on the celebration. Jane released her newly minted fiancée from the hug and went to Mandy’s bed, they oohed and aahed over the sophisticated ring which was stunning in its simplicity.
The Peters’ family was going to be fine and the wedding was going to be what they needed to heal and properly move on. Mrs. Peters had been a caterer for a number of years now so she knew a lot of people in the wedding industry, the wedding is going to basically plan itself.
The only thing was that they seem to be going back and forth over inviting the rest of the family, but that would be a problem for another day. Will their epic arguments end? They were so sure they would fine some other topic to argue about, the upcoming wedding already bringing disagreements in their definition of a budget, but for right now in their hospital room, they were extremely grateful and incredibly happy.