I got to my bed and practically threw myself on it. I faced the ceiling, torturing myself with thoughts of how Alex might have been feeling, or what his thoughts were. Maybe if I had spoken to him, I would know what to expect. I started biting my thumb, shaking from the fear of him rejecting me on the outside, leaving me vulnerable again, with high chances of finding myself mixed with the wrong crowd again. I was honestly very scared.
“Hey Mandy, guess what?”
Mandisa excitedly rushed towards my bed. I turned to face her.
She sat on my bed.
“The father of my first born child was here to see me”
Her smile spoke in volumes. I smiled back.
“Oh . Really? That’s nice”
I was very happy for her, because I could see what that visit was doing to her spirit. To her soul.
“He said he will visit me again next week. He also told me how much Avela misses me. He told me how beautiful she has grown to be”
I swear I could see a glitter of a tear, escaping her eye. Weird, because Mandisa never mentioned having a family, to me. Well, not that I can remember.
“How old is Avela?”
I asked, as I sat up.
“She’s …. Uhm.. She’s .. She…”
Her smile faded away as the wave of disappointment and shame blew over her.
“It’s okay. You haven’t been well, so its okay to forget some things”
I tried comforting her.
“But to forget my daughter’s age? What kind of a mother am I?”
I really didn’t know what to say to her. I mean, I had problems of my own, and I don’t really have the energy to carry other people’s emotional burdens as well. I just wanted to be left alone to plan my journey ahead, not to sit and listen to other people’s stories.
“I’m really sorry, Mandisa”
I let those words slip through my lips, even though they carried no emotion. I was emotionally absent, and I sort of felt bad about for a while. I don’t remember how long she sat on my bed, sobbing over the fact that she forgot her daughter’s age, and I was there, sitting like a zombie- almost lifess. The minute she walked away, I passed out. I needed that nap like my life depended on it. Later, we had dinner and prepared for bed.
“Hey, you’re busy?”
That was Mandisa, standing behind me as I was fixing my bed before jumping into it. I rolled my eyes and continued with what I was doing.
She called out. I turned to look at her.
“Oh, hey. I thought I heard someone talking. I just didn’t think it was my dear friend”
She smiled, sitting on my bed.
“I just want to tell you that I feel much better now. I have to deal with the fact that I forgot my daughter’s age and stop blaming myself for everything that is going wrong in my life”
Wow. I smiled.
“That’s great. I’m so proud of you”
I said, sitting next to her, secretly hoping she would just vanish into thin air and leave me to rest.
“Its only a pleasure”
I held her hand.
“Uhm, I don’t mean to be rude or anything.. But, can I have a little time to rest? I’ve had a long day, you know, having to go through my past is very depressing. Now I have to think about my future, and where I will be staying, when I get out of here”
Her smile faded away.
“I’m really sorry. How’s that coming along, by the way? Have you made contact with your family yet?”
“No, not really. I gave the doctor my ex’s number, and he called him. They are meeting tomorrow, if I’m not mistaken. The doctor says he sounded happy to help. The tricky part though is that I didn’t mention that he’s my ex. I hope he won’t mention it too”
“Huh? What did you tell the doctor then?”
“I told him that I was close with the guy’s mother and she treated me like her own daughter”
“What will happen if he talks about it?”
I shrugged my shoulders.
“I don’t know, but I really hope it won’t be a big deal”
“Yeah, I hope so too”
She got up.
“Let me leave you to it then”
She walked away. It was then just me and my thoughts.Alex was a great guy, and I knew that he would take me in, but I was really not sure about staying with him, alone. Maybe I was overthinking things. Maybe I was being dramatic, or maybe just plain negative. I had to remain positive, or I wouldn’t make it out there. I had to load my positivity guns, because the world didn’t promise me any smooth sailing. Each second that passed carried particles of my anxiety. I was sufocating, almost unable to breathe. I wanted to remain positive, but the reality of the matter was just too scary. I stayed up the whole night, praying, wishing and hoping for things to go my way out there.
I was standing by the window, at the crack of dawn, watching the new day as it approached with a new package of second chances and opportunities. I watched how the sun greeted the baby Blue sky as it made its way to its rightful position. The moon shied away, as the sun took over the universe and shone bright like the world belonged to it. Everyone was fast asleep to witness the magic of how the sun smiled down at me, with silent messages of hope. It was surely going to be an amazing day- the sun agreed.
Later that day, I was called into the doctor’s office. I quickly went there, with my heart ready for anything that life threw at me. Alex was there, comfortably seated, and the conversation that he was having with the doctor seemed pretty intense. I greeted, standing by the door. The doctor, who was facing me, smiled and greeted back. Alex got up and turned round to face me. His eyes carries so many questions. He stared at me straight in the eye like he was searching for my soul.
I softly greeted again. He blinked rapidly, obviously trying to bring his mind back to planet earth.
“I’m sorry. Hi”
He stretched his arms out for a hug. I walked up to him, and we shared the mother of all hugs. He held me in his embrace, and gently rubbed my back as he softly whispered “sshhh” into my ear. It was only then that I realized that I was actually crying. I broke the hug and looked at him again. He cupped my face in both his hands and continued staring at me in the eye.
“How are you?”
He wiped my tears with his thumbs.
“I’m okay, how are you?”
“I’m fine. The hospital called me yesterday, after the doctor’s call. They also wanted to further explain your condition to me. They were very pleased to hear that I am a medical doctor myself, and that you will be in capable hands”
He blabbed. I smiled.
“Thank you for doing this”
I said. He hugged me again. The doctor cleared his throat, and we boke the hug.
“Sorry about that. I’m just so happy to see her.My mother was worried sick about her. She will be so excited when I tell her that I’ve brought Mandy home”
He explained, sitting down again. I sat down too.
“I’m so glad that this is turning out like this. Now we can release her, knowing very well that she will be well taken care of”
After all the neccessary discussions and paperwork, they officially released me.
“Thank you so much for everything, doctor”
Alex got up.
“Pleasure is all mine. Remember, she will still be closely monitored, until she finds her feet again”
Alex nodded to that.
“You can go now, the world is yours, Miss Soldati”
The doctor announced. I got up.
“Thank you so much, doctor. Uhm, can I go and say goodbye to my friend?”
I asked. I couldn’t just leave Mandisa without saying goodbye. As annoying as she was sometimes, but she was a good friend to me.
“Of course, you can go and say goodbye to your fiends”
I walked out of his office, heading to our ward. Mandisa was having a heated conversation with her other friend, Nonopha. She smiled when she saw me walking in.
“Mandy, you’re back. I thought you left without saying goodbye”
She jumped off her bed and rushed up to me.
“I’d never leave you without saying goodbye. You have been an amazing friend to me”
She got to me and hugged me. After a while, we broke the hug.
“So this is it, huh? This is goodbye”
She mumbled and I nodded.
“But I promise I will come and visit you. Mandisa, you have been a very good friend to me. I don’t know how I would have survived this place without you”
I held both her hands.
“You were like a sister to me, a sister I never had. You helped me regain my memory, and for that, I will always be grateful. You accepted me as I am, and for that, I will always hold you close to my heart”
She sniffed, trying so hard not to let the tears that were threatening her eyes, fall.
“Even though I sometimes annoyed you”
We both laughed.
“You know I love being alone, and you just don’t understand that about me”
“Well, I did understand that about you. I just didn’t want you to be alone for long. I didn’t want you to think yourself into the claws of depression”
Oh, that was so sweet. I was getting bored and annoyed by her constant visits to my bed while I just wanted to think, little did I know that she was trying to save me from myself.
“Thank you so much, for everything”
We shared a hug, again.
“I have to go. I will come and visit”
We broke the hug. I said my goodbyes to everyone, while Mandisa stood there, weeping hopelessly. I patted her shoulder and walked away.
She called out. I stopped on my tracks and turned to look at her.
“Please pray for me. I want to get out of here too, and be a mother to Avela”
“I will. I promise”
I walked away, with a heavy heart.
“That took forever, I was starting to think that you wanted to readmit yourself”
The doctor joked as I walked in. We all laughed.
“I’m sorry that took long. Mandisa and I were a little emotional”
I wiped my tears with the back of my hand.
The doctor asked, and we laughed again.
“We should probably get going now”
Alex suggested, getting up. We walked out. Till this day, I still can’t vividly describe the waves of emotions that blew over me. It was almost like I was breathing a hope-flavoured oxygen. I stood by the hospital main entrance and just stared into the open space. I was really going back to the real world. Alex held my hand, and I snapped out of my thoughts, looking at him.
“Welcome to the real world. Come, you need to go out there and claim your life back”
He led me to his car, still holding my hand. We got to the car and he opened the door for me. I stepped into the car and he did the same- and he drove off.
“How do you feel?”
He asked, taking a quick glance at me.
“Honestly, I’m very scared, Alex. I don’t know how I’m going to do this”
“Mandy, life is all about taking risks in order to get to your destination. If you are not-”
“All I know right now is that remaining positive is the only option that I have. I will find my feet, and I will live my life just the way I should. Everything will be okay. I will survive”
I cut him short. He smiled proudly.
“That’s my girl. Let’s go out there and play this life game the best way we possibly can”
I nodded. I was ready, all pumped up with so much hope.