If you haven’t read the previous episode, click YEJIDE (episode 13)
Immediately Eric left the premises and Yejide was on her way to the kitchen, she met oga Lucas who was just coming in from work. He had seen Yejide and stopped to greet her and also made his funny remarks as usual but while he was talking to Yejide, he suddenly paused and put on a serious face before asking;
“Na who be dat guy wey dey talk like say e head no correct?” he asked, giving Yejide a funny look while referring to Eric who left in an angry mood.
“Oga Lucassss. See no mind dat one jare.”
“No na. I just dey ask because e no fit say sorry sef wen in jam me for gate and in just dey talk to insef so na in I say make I ask oo.”
“Woo make you no mind am jare. Pele.”
“Anyway, Yeji, me ah don dey go. I get something wey ah won do for house. Take care oo.”
“Okay oga Lucas, bye bye.” And with this, their conversation ended.
Yejide received a call from Kelechi not too long after her conversation with oga Lucas. He informed her about a meeting he had set up for her, Dupe and a man who could give them jobs at the convenient store he owned. Yejide was definitely happy when she heard this and so was Dupe when the news got to her. These were bright days for all of them as a change could be seen. Later that Sunday, Yejide stepped into the church again for the second time, after a long time. She had been openly welcomed just as the first day she attended the church for a youth program. This time around, she didn’t go alone as Dupe followed her after many persuasions. Both ladies were welcomed and since they both knew mama ejima and Kelechi, they got more people coming up to them. Dupe told Yejide once they got back from church how surprised she was by the warmth of the people at the church.
Monday, the next day, Dupe and Yejide went in for the meeting they had with the store owner who then offered them jobs as sales girls. They were to start work the following day so he gave them a tour of the store and told them some of the things they needed to know as employees. Yejide called Kelechi immediately after the meeting and told him about the news. He expressed his joy and told Yejide that he was happy they could now do something better for themselves. Yejide also expressed her gratitude and couldn’t thank him enough for all that he had helped them with.
They started work as salesgirls the next day and in a twinkle of an eye, eight months went by so fast. At the time, Dupe had fallen ill and was weak to go to work. Yejide had also taken time off work for three days to take care of her friend who was bedridden at that point. Dupe was finding it hard to do many of her daily activities as she had been feeling very sick for over three weeks. Yejide advised her to go to the hospital after over-the-counter drugs didn’t work but she dropped the topic each time it was raised. It got to a point that Yejide wasn’t in to listen to Dupe so regardless, she took her to the hospital in a taxi. After they had both seen the doctor together and Dupe was advised to take a blood test for some sexually transmitted diseases, Dupe finally agreed to allow a blood sample obtained from her. Yejide had been surprised when the doctor mentioned the reasons for the blood test mostly because her friend mentioned that she had been sexually active. She didn’t think Dupe had been seeing anybody so she was stupefied. As scared as Yejide was for Dupe, Dupe was the least scared. She didn’t look or act surprised. Dupe’s blood sample was taken in for examination even though she was admitted to the hospital the evening of their visit. Yejide had also stayed the night with her so the next morning before noon when the result came out, Yejide was called out of the ward and given the results of the test. As Yejide opened the file, she fell to the ground in shock but the nurse who was with her grabbed her. Her heart was broken by what she had just found out. The result stated that after Dupe’s blood test was analyzed three times, the test results still came out as HIV/AIDS positive. Dupe had gotten the virus and she knew there was nothing they could do about it.
As Yejide went through the results, reading the same thing over and over again, her eyes began to water as tears streamed down. She went back into Dupe’s ward where she had been sleeping and sat down looking at her friend. How couldn’t she have noticed? How couldn’t she have known something worse was up? She sat there thinking. Her friend had gotten this sick and not even a single thought of such disease crossed her mind. She wiped her tears once she saw Dupe wake up from sleep. Holding the results in her hand, she lifted it, signaling to Dupe that her results were out. Dupe’s statement surprised Yejide even more when she said;
“I have it…”
At first, Yejide wasn’t quite sure of what her statement meant until it occurred to her that she was referring to the results.
“Ahh Dupe, so you know say you carry dis tin, you no con tell me. Wetin our friendship mean? I do you bad? Dupe why you do this kind tin?”
“My friend, abeg, no be say I no wan teh you. I just no want make you worry.”
“You mean say you still dey sleep around? Dupe, no be Kelechi help settle us. Why you…..” Yejide burst into tears at this moment who was also joined by Dupe.
In tears and in a soft tone, Dupe said, “Yeji abeg, abeg no vex. No be say I still dey do ashawo business. Na Charles give me. Na only Charles ah dey see. He called me one day and told me that he just went to get his test results and that it came out positive. Me sef ah no no wetin make am do the test but when in say he get am, I dey surprised. You know sey me and Charles don dey. Ah no no wetin happen. You no say e no dey show for body…..”
Both ladies went speechless for a minute even though they were still in tears when a nurse came in to change Dupe’s drip. After the nurse left, Yejide told Dupe that she thought she had stopped having sexual affairs after they started attending Church and after Kelechi had spoken to them about the issues/dangers relating to sex and sex outside marriage. They both talked for a while until Yejide asked what they were to do next. Dupe who was hopeless at that point told Yejide that it was left for her to bade her goodbye as she knew her time was up. Yejide got her angry when those words came out of her mouth and told her that she shouldn’t lose hope quickly. Dupe remained in the hospital throughout the remaining days of the month as Yejide went in and out of the hospital, bringing all sorts of things for Dupe. Dupe got worse each day, it was almost too fast to be true. Nothing was stabilizing or slowing down the pace at which her friend was ill. Throughout all of this, Yejide did not let Kelechi know Dupe was sick because she had contacted the virus. She only lied when he asked and said she had been admitted due to a minor illness. Kelechi didn’t suspect she was lying until he found out that Dupe had been bedridden for a longer period than he thought. He eventually got to know about Dupe’s illness and confronted Yejide who failed at trying to hide her distress. She told Kelechi that she didn’t want him to find out because she didn’t want to embarrass her friend after all that he had done for them. Kelechi comforted Yejide and told her that he understood but that she didn’t need to lie about it. After both talked for a while, Kelechi and Yejide prayed together for Dupe before he left the hospital where he had gone to see her.
To read the FINAL episode of YEJIDE, click Yejide (episode 15/final episode)
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