Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning.
Pamilerin could not help but meditate on these words as their meaning had become even more profound now that she had experienced them quite literally.
Last night was indeed one of weeping and how could it not be when she could very well have lost her sister, the only relative she had left.
She remembered how it all played out. Matthew, her sister’s husband had come out of the operation room terror-stricken. Tears streamed down his face and his hands shook vigorously as he spoke
” She’s lost a lot of blood”
” She’s…she’s unconscious”.
He heaved a heavy sigh and as if coming to a dreadful realization, he sank to his knees saying
” Oh my God, I can’t lose her.”
“What about the baby?” she managed to ask and as if to answer her question, some nurses ran out of the OR holding a baby who was wailing frantically. She was usually more composed in situations like this but by some mirror effect, she found herself in tears and on her knees as well.
However, as the sun rose, the mother awoke and was well. Joy filled the room embodied as the newborn baby who gazed at his mother with bright eyes and a toothless grin and closed his fist around his father’s finger. Laughter followed when he puked milk on his father’s shirt and for Pamilerin it was indeed a joyful morning and the beginning of a perfect day.
Everything was coming up for Pamilerin, she just got a promotion and was now a partner at the law firm where she works; one of the best in Chicago. And, they threw her the best surprise congratulatory party ever, not to mention that the orphanage for which she had been worried about managing due to low funds just got a generous donation that would help cater for the children for a long time.
As she sat in the park opposite the law firm, she could not help but feel content. She sat there unmoving as if frozen in time, taking in the sights, the scent, and sounds. The giggles of little children as they chased one another, the dog barking as it chased a frisbee thrown by its owner, the excited quacking of ducks by the lake nearby as an old lady fed them.
Autumn was her favorite season for a reason, she loved the colors, the rain, and its scent and just as she thought about it, the fresh smell of wet grass]s wafted into her nostrils- a memory of the mild downpour some hours ago. She walked over to the lake and stared at the flora surrounding it. An impeccable arrangement of marigolds and shrub roses reflected in the water. Her eye caught a drop of water falling into the lake from a petal and the ripples that emanated. She observed with keen interest as two bees buzzed and danced over goldenrods and a butterfly found its place on a helenium. A sunflower lifted its face to smile at the golden sun, encouraging it to peek out more from the embrace of the clouds. Chrysanthemums bloomed at the feet of the lake in various colors for which the rainbow in the sky formed the palette.
She had never really taken a moment to soak up these details, the beauty, the splendor and she became all the more glad she could do so today. Leaving the park and making her way to her convertible she couldn’t help but stare at the asphalt road of the car park as the sun reflected on the wet ground making it glisten. Suddenly she could not wait for night to come as she imagined this sight was a foretelling of how tonight’s sky would look with stars as tiny diamonds ornamenting a dark sky.
As she drove in her convertible with the roof down and “Happy” by Pharrell blasting from the speakers she could not help but feel pure ecstasy. The spread of trees on both sides of the road seemed to love the tune as well and hues of orange and red danced along in the wind. She was the only one on the road so she put her hands out and caught a few dry leaves drifting in the wind. Excitedly, she blew on them and let out a jolly “Woohoo!”. She undid the bun her braids were packed into and let it dance as well, bobbing her head to the tune and singing along. The euphoria continued to grow and the build-up of mirth finally caused a bellow of laughter. This was most definitely the hardest she had ever laughed.
However, life is so fickle, a very fragile thing indeed. One moment a man is holding his newborn baby declaring himself the happiest man alive and in the blink of an eye the heart rate monitor is beeping and flashing and the love of his life is unconscious. It shows its volatility again and just like that mother is hale and hearty, all is well. Again it shifts and somehow a perfect day turns into the worst day and laughter turns into shortness of breath.
Yes, Pamilerin was having an asthma attack triggered by her laughter. She stopped the car immediately while wheezing and searched her bag for her inhaler. It was not there. Her eyes dilated remembering she saw it on her dressing table that morning. She clutched her shirt as she felt her chest tighten, her heart thumped erratically and loudly, she feared the whole world could hear it. Somehow she managed to dial 911 on her phone but could hardly string a sentence together. It was a relief to sight a car ahead driving in her direction. She opened her car door and waved for help with as much strength as she could muster and then she fell.
The car screeched to a stop and hurried footsteps brought a man to her side, only the footsteps didn’t sound so hurried to Pamilerin because every sound was so distinct and loud like it played in slow motion. She felt like she was drowning in air, yet desperate for some of it to reach her lungs.
” Are you alright?” She heard him say. She shook her head faintly.
” Where is your inhaler?” he asked but she shook her head again.
Her vision seemed to have started to blur but on meeting his eyes she became alert for a moment. He was indeed a sight to behold, most definitely a descendant of Adonis. She thought vaguely that if laughter had not triggered this, shortness of breath he might as well have. She took in his crisp white shirt and how the sun still blazed overhead behind him even though it had begun to bleed and thought it the most ethereal thing she had ever beheld. Perhaps it was her time to die and he was the angel sent to lead her to the great beyond
While shopping at Walmart two days after, Pamilerin couldn’t help but think about her mysterious savior. She had asked the Doctor about him after she regained stability and he had said his name was Mr. Olamide Coyne, with no further data.
It was obvious he was biracial but he looked more like a Coyne than an Olamide with his fair skin and blue eyes. His hair which he wore in waves and his beard certainly belonged to Olamide. How she longed to see him again, to stare at those blue eyes till she was certain she was floating in the sky, and as if the universe was eavesdropping on her thoughts it presented her with the object of her thoughts at the Cashier’s check out with the goods he had just bought.
“Mr. Coyne!” She called out excitedly and hurried to meet him.
“Yes, can I help you?” He seemed quite taken aback.
“It’s me! I’m the lady you saved, the one who had an asthma attack. Thank you so very much for helping me. You saved my life, I don’t know how I could ever repay you. Thanks to you, I didn’t have to die a lame death. I imagine that my sister’s speech at the funeral would have been something like.. “
Ahem, she cleared her throat.
“Oluwapamilerin was a joyful being. The first time my mother and I saw her we couldn’t help but laugh, hence her name. She truly loved to laugh, she loved it so much that she died because of it. It’s a good thing death does not require a naming ceremony. I imagine Pamilerin’s would have been as easy as her birth. We’d simply rearrange letters and the name would become erinlopami.”
He laughed and what a rich sound it was.
“I’m sorry, Miss Pamilerin is it?. While I find your story amusing I’m afraid you have mistaken me for someone else. Although for the record, I don’t think to die by laughing is a lame way to go.”
” Trust me. I don’t forget faces easily, much less one that looks like yours”. He raised his eyebrows at the remark.
“Besides you answered the name Mr. Coyne just now. Are you not Mr. Olamide Coyne?”
” No, I am Oladele Coyne. My brother is Olamide”
“Oh… You’re twins!” She exclaimed at the realization.
” Please do send my greetings then and tell him I’m tremendously grateful.”
” I’m afraid that is impossible”, he said flatly.
” ..because he is dead”
She gasped in shock, dumbstruck for a few minutes before she finally managed to say
” I’m so sorry for your loss … Life is indeed fickle, just two days ago he saved my life, and now he’s gone “.
” Two days ago?” he seemed surprised.
” That’s impossible”
” …because he died five years ago.”