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Right from the day Sophia opened her eyes to the world, she
knew she was sent for a purpose. And as she lay on the hospital bed looking at
the white ceiling and at the drip that poured into her bloodstream, she knew
she wasn’t ready to die yet, it wasn’t her time. She heard the voices in the
hospital room but kept her eyes closed.
“How is she? Is she going to get better?” A female voice
asked.
“Let’s hope.” The doctor said. “We can only do our best but
this problem of hers began long before now….”

“I can’t believe my sister left my name on her form…how
could she do that?” The female voice asked.
“All I know is, she’s been ill for a while and was brought
here by the missionary foundation where she was left by her mother.” The doctor
said “But, how come your sister didn’t say anything….to you…I mean…” The
doctor asked with interest.
“It’s a long story but to cut it short, we are
half-sisters…we only share the same dad.” The female voice said.
“I really appreciate your coming because err…the bills had
become too much for the missionary to pay, you know they take care of other
children as well.”
“I’ll settle the bills, not to worry.” The female voice said.
Then, Sophia felt footsteps approach her bed and stop.
“Is she awake?” The female voice asked the doctor.
“She has been sleeping for a long while…but I think she’s
quite awake.” The doctor said.
“Can I have a moment with her? Please…”
“Yes…” The doctor said and left the room.
There was silence for quite a while and Sophia felt the
weight on her bed indicating that the woman had sat beside her.
“Sophia…” She called out.
Sophia opened her eyes and stared at the most beautiful
woman she’d ever met. Her mother had told her that her sister was fancy and
classy but nothing had prepared the seven year old for this beauty.
“Good morning…” Sophia squeaked.
“My name is Lillian and your mother is my sister.”
Sophia nodded and swallowed.
“How are you feeling?” Lillian asked.
“Are you going to take me with you?” Sophia asked.
“Well, I can’t really say, I could speak to the missionary
and provide all your needs. You can continue staying there and wait till your
mother comes to pick you.”
“She won’t come back, she says I give her a lot of headache
and that I’m too expensive.” Sophia said.
Lillian could only imagine, her sister, Ruby was too eccentric
to be a mother! She wondered why God had blessed her with a child when she
couldn’t even take good care of her.
“But she’s your mom, whether you like it or not.”
“She dropped me off at an orphanage, pending when you’d come
and I have stayed there a whole year…” Sophia said with tears in her eyes.
Lillian rubbed her eyes with the back of her palms and
sighed deeply. She couldn’t take Sophia to live with her in Abuja. Her family
wasn’t really ideal for a young child, she thought. Lillian and her husband Geoffrey
had been married for nine years without any children, and they both silently
blamed each other for their inability to have kids. Slowly, their love had
faded and had eased into some sort of flaccid affair. They didn’t speak to each
other anymore and they lived their separate lives like total strangers under
the same roof. It was as though they had gotten so used to the notion that they
would never have children and just lived together to fulfil all righteousness.
“What if I give the orphanage a lot of money to take good
care of you?” Lillian bribed.
“Money cannot buy love can it?” Sophia said with a small
smile.
“I…I could…” Lillian started but Sophia placed her small
hand on hers.
“I have a lung problem and I have had this problem for as
long as I remember. Back then, the doctors said I won’t live till I was five
and now, I am seven. I know that I don’t have much time that’s why I’d rather
spend my last days with a real family than at the orphanage. Do you understand?”
Sophia said and held Lillian’s eyes for a moment. “But if you’re not
interested, don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”
The words from the little girl broke Lillian’s heart and
even though she knew that bringing her into her home without her husband’s
knowledge and consent will brew a bigger war for the both of them, she didn’t
have the heart to say no to her request.
“Okay…I’ll speak to the directors at the orphanage.” Lillian
said.
“It shouldn’t be a problem, your name is written on my form
as my guardian so…” Sophia said.
Lillian nodded and stood up from her bedside.
“I’ll err…get to the err…doctor first and err…see what
can be done.”
She literally raced out of the room and when she shut the
door behind her, she couldn’t believe what was happening to her. What would she
tell her mother? She knew her mother hated everything about Ruby’s mother and
the fact that she had gotten pregnant for her father and that had been the
problem that had almost led to her parents’ separation years ago. With her back
to the door of the room where the little girl lay, she recalled the look on her
siblings faces when years ago, Ruby had come to live with them as a teenager.
She had been so rebellious, insultive and very rude that her mother had wasted
no time, sending her back to her mother who was as uncouth as her daughter. While
Ruby stayed with their family, the only person who ever spoke to her or tried
to be her friend was Lillian and even after she left their home, they still
kept in touch, at first, the spoke frequently over the phone and after she got
married, the communication fizzled out. Ruby had contacted her about three
years ago, telling her that she was living in a rural area and she had a
daughter. Lillian had sent her some money to help with her upkeep and the
feeding of her child and had also given her contact details just in case.  She knew her siblings would tell her that she
was making a big mistake and was only opening a window for her seductress of a
half-sister to gain access into her home. She buried her face in her palms and
slapped her cheeks lightly as though to chide herself.
“Lillian, you are going to regret this!” She said to herself
as she set out in search of the doctor.
Inside the hospital room, Sophia lifted up her hands and
clasped them together.
“Thank you Lord Jesus.” She prayed. “Now I’ve found my purpose.”

To be continued on Thursday…..

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