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The Beautiful Stranger Part 06b

He nodded and took her hand. “Let’s go.”
“Tell me about your childhood.” Toni said breaking the silence between her and Jerry as he drove. She was tired of wishing she had told him she had Cancer and she was now afraid of losing him to the silence.
Jerry stared at her with a smile. “What is there to tell?”
“I had a lovely childhood.” Toni started. “I never got the best grades from my High School, but I was the school diva. I had this group of girls, we went everywhere and terrorized other girls in school.”
Jerry stared at her. “Seriously? You don’t seem that type of girl to me.”
“Everything is never as it seems and oh, that was High school. It was crazy, man. I had fun! We bullied girls. Pitch girls of a sort.” She replied. “What kind of guy were you in High School?”
“Regular guy. The nerd.” He replied. “Guys called me a freak. I knew the Multiplication tables off heart.”
“You are a freak!” she replied laughing.
He nodded. “I enjoyed it, I must say. I got a lot of awards and teachers definitely loved me. I carried on the feat to my university. Class guru! Top of the class…straight A’s.” he sighed.
“Wow! So, what happened?” she asked.
Jerry stared at her. “What do you mean?”
“Microfinance Bank?” she asked.
He smiled. “Life happened.”
“I think you should quit.” She replied. “Try to chase a better future, Jerry. I am not saying that Microfinance banks are not good, but this one in our hood is really obsolete. No one patronizes them.” She added.
He sighed. “I would work on it.”
“You should.” She replied.
Nora read from a novel as she watched the time. She had given Jerry up until midnight to return her sister and she wasn’t kidding. She had the phone number of the Estate police on speed dial. If she didn’t see Toni at midnight, she was going to create a scene in the neighbourhood. She had also hoped that Toni would have cleared up her emotions with Jerry by now and that her sister could now face a new life and possibly, a relocation.
She heard a car drive in. Toni was back. She smiled and closed her eyes as she pretended to be asleep. She was in the mood to play with her sister.
The door opened and Toni walked in with Jerry. Toni sighted Nora on the chair and bent over her. She then stared at Jerry. “You are lucky you made it here before twelve.”
“I am fifteen minutes early.” He replied.
Toni nodded with a smile. “I have the herculean task of carrying her upstairs, but never mind, I am capable.”
“I could help you.” He replied.
Toni smiled. “No. Thank you. You should be on your way home now. Thank you for today.”
“We would see Alien World next time.” He replied. “You made us see that depressing movie.” He said with a smile.
Toni shrugged. “Maybe next time, we don’t see a movie.”

“Hmmm…good idea. We should do something spontaneous. Something more fun than the movies. Horseback riding?” he suggested.
Toni stepped away from Nora. “I don’t want us to wake her, you should go now. Horseback riding sounds like fun anyway, I might consider it.”
He nodded and walked away. He stopped at the door and stared at her. “You were right.”
“About?” she asked.
“I didn’t say it the right way.” He replied.
Toni stared at him. “Say what?”
He blinked and clenched his fists together. “I love you.”
Toni’s shoulders fell. Nora’s eyes popped out.
“Yes, Toni. I love you.” He affirmed. “That’s it. Goodnight.”
Toni watched him as he closed the door and she took a deep breath.
“Would it have killed you to tell him that you loved him too?” Nora asked.
Toni stared at her sister. “I thought you were faking to be asleep.”
“Well, now you know.” Nora replied. “Why didn’t you tell him how you feel?”
Toni stared at her. “How would you know how I feel?”
Nora shrugged.
“Did you go through my diary, Nora?”
Nora nodded. “I don’t have to lie. So, what are you going to do about this? You possibly can’t fight it.”
Toni took a deep breath and took a seat. “I don’t know.”
“Did you tell him?” Nora asked.
Toni shook her head.

“Come on, Toni. You were supposed to. That would have created the gap.” Nora replied.
Toni shrugged. “I…I just couldn’t.”
“Well, you have to find a way to.” Nora replied.
Toni relaxed in her seat. “He is a really good guy. He used to be a paramedic, he used to be your type of person in High school and university.”
“What do you mean by my type of person?” Nora asked.
Toni smiled. “Class guru.”
“Then what is he doing at the microfinance bank?” Nora asked as she rose to her feet. “He should be in some prestigious place.”
“What are you doing as a customer care representative?” Toni retorted.
Nora smiled. “Service to humanity. I am charitable like that.”
Toni laughed at this.
Nora smiled faintly. “Let’s go to bed, darling. I am tired.”
Toni nodded. “Thanks for waiting up for me.”
“You are all I have.” Nora replied as she took Toni’s hand.
“So, you are telling me that she wore something simple?” Emeka asked with a smile.
Jerry frowned. “That was the least of my problems last night.”
Emeka grinned. “What could be worse than you showing up like her father?”
“I ran into a patient at the Mall. His son called me Doctor!”
Emeka gaped. “Wow!”
“That is not wow! That is trouble!” Jerry replied as he poured himself some tea. “I had to come up with something.”
“Dude! You should have just told the truth!” Emeka yelled.
Jerry stared at him. “You dey mad? How would I tell her? Is that even the right avenue to tell her something I have been hiding?”
“That was your best opportunity to throw the can open and forget it. She would either forgive you or not, and it is not something that can’t be forgiven.” Emeka retorted.
Jerry shrugged as he took a seat. “Well, I didn’t and that is that about that.”
“Man, I don’t know if I am comfortable with this. I am beginning to feel sorry for you already.” Emeka replied.


“Why?” Jerry asked as he sipped his tea.
Emeka took his seat. “You love this girl. She might just like you back and when we keep a lie for too long, it always has a way of hurting the ones we love when they realise. She would feel she was not worthy of the truth.”
“I am protecting her.” Jerry replied.
Emeka hissed. “From what? From who? Look, that is just a silly line to use. She doesn’t need you to protect her from anything. It is not like you are an assassin and you need to really protect her so she is not killed by a gang. You are a doctor. You save lives.”
“How many have I saved? It’s like I am carrying a curse. Ever since my first case, it has always been like this. I can’t get over it.” Jerry replied.
Emeka nodded. “I know how you feel.”
“You don’t! I was just a surgical intern and they placed a woman’s life in my hand. She had kids! They were crying for their mommy and she died in my hands.”
“You are a doctor. You might have been an intern then, but still, lives will go. You just have to let it go.” Emeka replied.
Jerry shook his head. “I don’t know about that.”
“How long are you going to carry this cross around? Liquor has been your friend since then and it is pointless that you continue like this. People lose their first patients.” Emeka replied.
“You never forget your first, Emeka. You never.” Jerry replied.
Emeka sighed. “So, do you think running away will save you from it? I was not the best student in the University, but I know that it has always been my passion to save lives and I am doing it in the best way I can. You are a good man, Jerry. Find that joy in you and rekindle your passion for the profession.”
Jerry took deep breath. “You know I am just glad I am out of the hospital for now. I am just happy I can sleep and not worry about killing someone’s son, daughter, wife, husband, brother, or sister.”
Emeka smiled faintly. “And to think that the director has cut your suspension off…”
“What?!” Jerry shouted.
Emeka nodded. “You are to return to the hospital tomorrow.”
Nora stirred her coffee as she read from the dailies. She had left Toni in the room, it was her guess that Toni must have stayed up for a very long time as she didn’t wake up when Nora did. Honestly, she couldn’t sleep much either. She had been thinking about this new step in Toni’s life. Toni was in love. Jerry was in love (at least she had heard him say it). It should have been simple if the circumstances were a lot different.
She sipped some coffee. Toni had been stable for a while so she didn’t see the need to check her into the Hospital anytime soon. She, however, did pray that Toni wasn’t ruminating on her new emotions and discarding their plans for her to go into chemotherapy. Surgery was also an escape route but it did come with a lot of negatives for her sister. Nora knew she didn’t want Toni to go through another near-death experience for a brief period of normalcy.
She turned her heart away from the thoughts and focused on the newspaper, but then, the dailies too could be really depressing…from rape cases to strike actions by the working class and disappointments in the sports world. What really could make one smile? She thought as she folded the paper and rose to her feet.
She turned in fright as she stared at Toni. Toni was standing before her motionless and without the wig. She looked frail. Her eyes were sunken. Her sister had been crying. She knew it. “What is it, Toni?” Nora asked.
“I want a surgery.” Toni replied.

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Posted by Dollyspyz On January 20, 2018

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