Posts tagged “hospital

Samina’s Chance: Chapter 30

Posted on 30/04/2015


“Here’s your phone back.”

Samina paused at buttoning up her collar when Dr. Halliday held out the cellphone. “Thanks.” Collecting the phone, Samina promptly pocketed it and resumed buttoning up her shirt and shrugging gingerly into her sweater.

Dr. Halliday eyed her warily. “You’re not gonna check your messages?”

Again she paused. Undoubtedly there would be an inbox full of worried and aggravated voicemails from everyone. She bit her bottom lip. “I’ll check it later.” She slowly eased herself into the chair, biting a grimace.

“Taken your medication today?”

“Forgot.” Samina turned an apologetic smile at her physician. “I will.”

Dr. Halliday shook her head as she rounded the desk to sit on the other side. “Well, everything looks good. The incision is healing well. I’m pleased about that.”

Samina nodded, relief sweeping over her. “Well you did tell me to rest as much as possible.”

“Is that why you isolated yourself from everyone this past week?”

Instead of responding, Samina averted her gaze from Dr. Halliday’s probing stare. Taking in a deep inward breath, she changed the subject. “So what is next?”

Dr. Halliday sighed, leaning back in her chair. “Another MRI scan, blood tests. We’ll need to make sure that everything is functioning normally and that your hormone levels are back to normal…”

Samina gnawed on the inside of her mouth, her stomach clenching. “Could the tumor come back?”

Dr. Halliday’s worried gaze slid over her face and Samina braced herself accordingly.

Later as she sat in the car, Samina stared at the blank screen of her cell phone, her mind on Dr. Halliday’s parting words, stressing due diligence with her medication, check-up appointments and prayer. Apprehension roiled inside and she swallowed.

“You can’t keep this hidden forever, Samina,” Dr. Halliday said gravely. “A condition like this should be shared with your family.” Her brow furrowed, lips pursed. “I know that if my Naomi hid something this serious from me, I’d be more than angry. I’d be hurt. Tell your family, Samina. They deserve to know the truth, for your sake.”

“My sake?” Samina echoed, fingers tracing the smudged lines on her screen. She could imagine the horror on her parents’ face, the look of fear in her siblings’ eyes. Their reactions of betrayal terrified her more than their worry on her behalf. She’d lied about a vacation, locked herself up in a hotel for a week and turned off her phone. No matter what, telling them about this wouldn’t go well.

Summoning a breath, she switched on the phone. Her eyes widened, watching the number count of messages climb to 20 voice-mail and 3 email messages.

As the coward she was, Samina checked her emails first. One from her bank, notifying her of a change in her account; another featuring a House of Hope newsletter and a letter from Bates’ Principal Forrester.

Rolling her eyes, she turned back to the voicemails and began to listen to each one.

The first was from Karen.

“Sis. Mom’s really worried. I know you’re probably living it up on this mysterious vacation, but call your mom. She’s bugging me every day—hey!”

The next message was from Obadiah.

“Hey, Karen said you should call Mom. Dunno why you’re ignoring her so she’s bothering me. Oh, I’m crashing at your place. You guys need a better sofa, so I’ll be in your room until you get back. Later.”

Shaking her head, she moved to the next few messages, heart clenching as both parents beseeched her to call.

“This isn’t you, Sammie,” Deidre’s voice wavered with concern. “Where are you? Call me. I’m worried.”

“Your mother’s worried, Sam.” Gabriel’s tone was gruff. Probably he too was forced to call her too. Then he sighed. “And so am I. Call your mom or me. Love you.”

By Karen’s next voicemail, Samina’s eyes were filled with tears. She sniffed and wiped them away, listening to her sister’s impatient tone.

“Samina Miriam Wells, people take their phones on vacation. Pick up!”

Samina choked a laugh and wiped her tears. Her heart throbbed, imagining her family’s increasing frustration at her absence. Sitting alone in a hotel room for a week, with the Bible and Living Single reruns to keep her company, she pondered on too many thoughts.

The Bible said she was wonderfully made and born with God’s purpose in mind, but this pesky condition had her thinking otherwise. How could this surgery, this debilitating condition that wreaked havoc on her hormones and her future as a potential mother be part of God’s plan?

Being the eldest of three children, she often stood as a mediator between her traditional-thinking parents and her new-age minded siblings, but nowadays Samina couldn’t figure out who she was. Karen had surpassed her already, pursing a stable career in nursing and Obadiah was set for a bright future in engineering. Their parents would be proud.

Samina sniffed, shaking off the depressing thought. She clicked the next message.

“Hey pretty girl,” Topher’s husky baritone filled the silent car. “Hope your vacation’s all you want it to be.”

Warmth crept in as Samina listened on.

“Don’t worry, this is still me giving you space. You’ll be pleased to know that I plan on only calling you once till you get back.”

Samina laughed, imagining the cheeky smile on his handsome face.

“Anyway, don’t forget our date this Wednesday. Can’t wait to see you. Bye.”

She breathed out a sigh, surprised that she too couldn’t wait to see him either.

“Hey, Sam.”

Samina blinked at Ezekiel’s voice on the other end. He was the next voicemail message. She sat up.

“I heard you’re on vacation. That’s good.”

She frowned at his halting tone, as if he was picking his words carefully.

“When you get back, can we talk? It’s important.”

Without her permission, something at the base of her stomach fluttered. She gripped the phone as yet another message came from him.

“I meant to say that I’m sorry for being a jerk that night.” Now he sounded tortured, unsettled. She could picture the hurt in his eyes and bit her bottom lip, worried. “I hope you know you’re important to me, Sam. I don’t know what I’d do…” he paused, blowing out a breath. She imagined him rubbing his face in frustration. “Okay, bye.”

Again another from him. “Sorry, I know this is stupid but I… I’m blessed to know you, Sam. You’re a special woman and I’m… proud of you.”

Samina raised both brows when he laughed nervously. What was wrong with him?

“Okay, I’m done now.” Ezekiel’s voice softened, nervous laugh gone. “I’ll see you when you get back. I love you Sam.”

Her eyes widened, a gasp caught in her throat. Her heart started hammering hard and fast. Love?

<<Chapter 29 || Chapter 31>>

Samina’s Chance: Chapter 22

Posted on 15/04/2015


It was like a scene of a melodrama series; the heroine clad in a thin hospital gown that engulfed her frail body, lying down on the pallet of a MRI machine.

Except this wasn’t a melodrama and Samina was no heroine.

The cool air brushed her skin, goosebumps dotting her forearms. Samina felt the tremors run along her spine and slowly released a breath to calm herself.

“Stay as still as possible, Samina,” the doctor instructed over the intercom, his gravelly voice filling the silence of the examination room. “Close your eyes and try to relax.”

Even though she couldn’t move her head, Samina knew Dr. Felicia Halliday accompanied the aged neurologist and was oddly comforted by her presence.

As the engine hummed as the pallet eased into the cove of the MRI machine, she resisted the urge to curl in her fingers.

Later on, as she fixed the last button of her blouse, a knock interrupted the silence.

“Come in,” Samina said softly, lowering her hands to her lap just as the door opened.

Felicia Halliday stuck her head in and gave Samina a gentle smile. Then she stepped inside, this time without her coat. “How’re you feeling?”

Samina scanned her doctor’s inscrutable face. Fear gripped her throat and she worried the hem of her blouse. “Am I… okay?” she strangled out.

A line appeared on Dr. Halliday’s brow and her light-brown eyes assessed Samina’s face before replying. “We thought it’d be better if I relay the news, Samina…”

Samina held her breath, dreading the news.

“It is a tumor in the pituitary gland.” Felicia’s face softened as Samina inhaled sharply. She moved to Samina’s side and placed a hand on her sagging shoulder.

Though she’d researched the slim chance of a misdiagnosis, Samina felt the wind knocked out of her. She’d desperately prayed to be part of the 0.0001% who was misdiagnosed.

Eyes blurred with tears, recalling the words that sounded like a death sentence.

“We will have to operate,” Felicia’s words sounded like muffled echoes in her ears.

“When?” Samina felt the tears fall, heart gripped with anguish. It seemed foolish to hope that a surgery could change the cruel turn her life had taken, but she still hoped against the overwhelming despair.

Felicia gripped her shoulder. “As soon as possible.” The firm confidence in her tone pulled Samina’s gaze to her face. “You’ll beat this, Samina. With God’s help.”

Samina felt her throat tighten. God’s help?

At Samina’s silence, Felicia sighed. “We can schedule the surgery for next week. The sooner the better.”

Samina bobbed her head. If there was any likelihood of beating this, she had to take the chance.

“You’ll need to bring someone with you. A guardian.”

Her eyes widened in shock, her breath caught in her throat. She couldn’t imagine telling her parents or siblings about this, when she barely believed it herself. “B-but I’m thirty years old,” she strangled out.

Felicia’s expression softened in sympathy. “It’s part of surgical protocol, Samina. You’ll need someone to be with you after the surgery.”

Sheena fidgeted in her spot on the sofa, her gaze occasionally traveling to the clock propped on the end table as she wondered what could possibly be delaying the ever-prompt Samina. Her brow furrowed at the sound of thumping footsteps upstairs.

“Girls!” she bellowed in the empty parlor. “Less noise, please.”

As their footsteps halted, the doorbell sounded.

Sheena hurried to the door and pulled it open.  “Thought you’d cancel—” she paused at Samina’s drawn expression. “Honey, what’s the matter?”

Samina merely gave her a shaky smile. “Nothing…” she clutched the purse in her hands.

Though unconvinced, Sheena ushered Samina in.  “I hope I didn’t pull you away from anything important.”

Samina shook her head and turned to face Sheena. “It’s alright.” She followed Sheena to the couch, perching on its edge as if it was the first time she’d visited the house.

Sheena promptly reached for Samina’s hands. “I know I’ve said this before but I pray that God blesses you for sacrificing your time for us.”

Again, Samina only smiled that trembling smile and Sheena noticed a glimmer in her eyes.

“Honey, is—”

The girls’ loud stomping upstairs and Sheena huffed a breath. “Those two are so awake this morning. I should’ve known Zeke’s famous French toast would cause me more harm than good.”

Samina merely looked down at their joined hands.

Sheena raised a brow. “You sure you’re alright? You look exceptionally dull this morning.”

The only response was a jerky nod.

“This is no good.” Sheena scooted closer, coaxing Samina to look up. “What’s the matter? Your mom giving you a hard time again?”

Samina shook her head. “I-I’m…” she inhaled sharply and lowered her head.

“Oh dear.” Sheena heard the strangled sob and scooted even closer, wrapping one arm around Samina’s shoulders. Her chest tightened as Samina leaned into her, muffled sobs underneath her hand. Confused and worried of the cause for Samina’s distress, Sheena could only rub her back and whisper soft comforting words.

All too quickly, Samina’s sobs halted and she tried pulling away from Sheena’s embrace.

“Not so fast,” Sheena berated her softly and tightened her hold.  Her heart ached with guilt as Samina released a shuddering breath. “I’ve been a very selfish woman. In fact, I was irresponsible for pushing this on you.”


Sheena shushed her. “You already have a lot on your plate. I know how stressful job hunting can be. And don’t even dare try lying to me, young lady. You’re a terrible liar, ever since elementary school. Remember all those times I caught you lying to protect Zeke?”

Samina sighed.

“Honestly… You two were quite a pair.”

Samina’s body tensed against Sheena.

“Always getting into trouble because of one another,” Sheena continued with a wistful tone. She often wondered when Ezekiel would make her a happy mother and pick Samina. Though Ezekiel’s marriage to Winsome produced her darling Beulah and Adelaide, she still wished for Samina to be part of her family, finally…

“Aunty,” Samina began hesitantly. “Will you be going back soon?”

Sheena managed a smile. “Yes, soon. I plan to return within the week.” Her eyes scanned Samina’s wary expression. “Don’t worry about staying with the girls. With Zeke here, they’ll be fine.”

Samina’s brow furrowed. “I don’t mind being with them.”

Sheena squeezed Samina’s hand. “Of course you don’t, sweetheart. But let me take care of everything now.” She caught the glimmer of tears in Samina’s eyes. “Now tell me. What’s going on with you?”

Again Samina ducked her head. Except this time, she released a shuddering breath before speaking. “Life… it’s just a little too hard right now.”

Her jaded response sent shivers down Sheena’s spine. “Is… it the job?”

Samina shook her head, a wry smirk lifting the side of her mouth. “Besides that… it’s like everything’s going wrong. With Ada’s impossible attitude and…” she sucked in a breath, releasing it slowly.

Relief surged through Sheena’s body. She chuckled softly. “I see.”

With Samina peeking up at her with those watery eyes, Sheena squeezed her hand. “She just has a bad case of nuptial anxiety. Happens to any bride, and one day, dearest one, you’ll understand what she’s going through.”

Something akin to disappointment flickered in Samina’s eyes and Sheena pulled her closer. “It will be your turn soon enough. I’m sure of that.” She patted Samina’s back, feeling every bone against her palm.

“Aunty…” Samina protested in a weak voice.

“Shush.” Sheena kissed Samina’s temple. “I dream of the day when you’ll walk down the aisle dressed in white and meet the man of your dreams in front of the altar.” Sheena smiled while picturing the man she hoped would stand waiting for Samina. “What a wonderful day that will be.”

To this, Samina only sighed against Sheena’s shoulder.

Sheena patted her back and held her at arms’ length. “Now put that smile back on and let’s get some food in you. You’re too skinny for my liking.” She released Samina and moved to stand.

When Samina remained seated, Sheena chuckled and grabbed Samina’s hand, tugging on it to help her stand. “You’ll be right as rain once I feed you my special porridge. Come on now.”

She pulled Samina to her side and draped her arm over her shoulder. “No more crying, okay?” She smiled when Samina managed a nod and led her to the kitchen. “Now, tell me more about the wedding plans. Maybe I can help.”

<<Chapter 21 || Chapter 23>>

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