The Choice (chapter 28)

Femi brought out his phone and dialed Mama Faronbi's number. Mama Faronbi picked on the third ring. Femi explained the situation on the ground to his mother.

He told her the doctor had said his son needed surgery and reiterated the dangers of surgery. "What? Surgery on that tiny thing? Do they want to cut him into pieces?" Mama Faronbi said. "I wonder. Only God knows how much we will spend on the so-called surgery," Femi corroborated. After much discussion, Femi's mother sighed. "My dear, there's nothing to worry about. Once the boy is discharged, tell your wife to pack a few things and bring the child over. Baba Fagbami would only have to do a few things, and the boy would be fine. Don't listen to any doctor.

They are only after their own pockets," she said. "Actually, we can't even have the surgery in his hospital," Femi said. "That doesn't matter. He can go to the hospital he's referring you to for his own share of the money you'll pay. Once he speaks English and medical jargon to them, he'll have something to take home. Don't mind him." "Maami, it's not like that at all." "Forget it. Bring Fatele, my great grandfather-in-law, to the village. Once he sees his children, he will be fine instantly," Mama Faronbi said. Femi drew a breath. "Alright. That's okay with me. I have no problem with that. I'll tell my wife." "Alright. Please let your mind be at rest. Everything will be fine." "Okay, ma. Thank you so much. I'm grateful." "You're welcome, my son." Femi ended the call and started the car. He was partially relieved of the burdens that had weighed him down. He reversed the car and drove home.♣♣♣

Sarah stormed out of the room. Femi followed." I won't do that. Not now, not ever. Why will you expect me to take my son to the village when what he needs is in the city? I won't," Sarah blurted. She walked to the nearest chair and sat. "I have told you my hometown is not a village. Don't bite more than you can chew," Femi said. "I don't care if it's a village or a city or a nation. My stance remains. I'm going nowhere with Joseph apart from the referral center." "It seems you don't understand my point. Wait, do you have money to pay the hospital bills?" Femi said. Sarah eyed her husband. "Isn't that why you are working? To provide for your family." "So, is spending money on a surgery that is bound to fail a judicious use of money?" "God forbid. Hear yourself. How could you say that? The surgery won't fail." Femi raised his hands. "I don't have money for any surgery. Perhaps because you've had enough to eat and wear, you think there's so much money to waste. Is it because I haven't been complaining?" "We will find the money, dear. Take a loan if necessary. Tell your boss and colleagues at work. Just do something to save our son." Femi shook his head. "Now I know there's something wrong with your reasoning.

I should take a loan. Who will give me that?" He hissed. "My friend, you'd better pack your things and take the child to Maami before I show you my unpleasant side." "Go ahead and show me that unpleasant side of yours now because I won't go to your parents. Why should I take my son to your mother? What does she have to offer? Did she go to medical school?" "Or is it the rubbish herbs and incantations she knows about that will heal my son?" "Rubbish? Are you referring to Maami like that?" "Not your mother. I was talking about the herbs. I don't want any of it for Joseph. Just get yourself ready. We are traveling to the referral center first thing tomorrow morning." "Says who? Should I leave my work and follow you? Do I look like a husband you can order around? Don't get on my nerves, woman. Get your things together and be on your way to Ekiti in the morning." "And if I don't? Uh?" Sarah said. Femi shook his head. "I'll take him there myself, but you'll have yourself to blame." "You won't take my son anywhere. Get that clear. What Joseph needs is medical care." Femi boiled. "Stop screaming medical nonsense in my ears. If modern medicine was the answer, why hadn't he gotten better? Why are they just diagnosing him now? After all, you've been frequenting clinics and hospitals since he was born."

Sarah spread her hands in the air. "That's because we just went to the right place. Now we have the right information. We have to do the doctor's bidding." Femi paced for minutes, trying to calm his nerves. He walked to his wife and held her hand. He lowered his voice. "Sweetheart, don't you get it? Joseph's condition is spiritual, not physical. This isn't what any doctor can treat. We'll just waste money, time, and the child's life," he said as calmly as he could. Sarah withdrew her hand.

"God forbid." "Listen to me. Let's address what is at hand the right way. This is not a case we can trivialize. Remember, time is money." "Sarah sighed. "Okay. If that's the case, let's take the boy to church. I can call my mum to schedule a meeting with her pastor. Or we could go see one of the pastors in the church I attended when I was single. We'll find a solution in God." Femi kept quiet, thinking of what to say to make Sarah obey him. He cleared his throat. "Let me ask you a question, Sarah. If you hide money in the house, and you and a few other persons are asked to go retrieve the money, who will find it easily?" Sarah paused and thought. "It's me, of course. I was the one who hid the money; I should find it easily," she said. "Exactly. That's what I'm saying. If Maami said Joseph would be healed merely by seeing his descendants and land, why should we tour pastor's houses instead?" He searched Sarah's eyes. "Dear, go to Ekiti, spend a day or two, and return. That's all.

If Joseph doesn't get better after two or three days, come back home. I won't blame you. Rather, I will ensure we report at the referral center, and I will source for funds to pay the hospital bills," Femi said. Sarah hushed. If it was only to travel to her mother-in-law's home for a day or two, it shouldn't be a problem. Joseph was not likely to be subjected to the use of any herb. And her husband had agreed to get money for the surgery if Mama Faronbi's suggestion didn't work, Sarah thought. "Okay. Just two days. Three days max. Nothing more," Sarah said. "Yes. I agree," Femi answered. "And you'll get the money we need for surgery if he remains the same?" "Yes." Sarah nodded. "Alright. I'll put a few things together and travel tomorrow morning." "Femi smiled. "Thanks, my dear." Sarah shot him a wry smile and rose to her feet. "Where are you going?" Femi said. "I need to prepare for tomorrow's journey, of course." "Oh, that's true. Let me come with you and lend a helping hand." Sarah shook her head, laughed, and walked into the room.

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