There she was on the bed, so fragile, trying to understand how things got so wrong. “Sade, life has lost its meaning, How could I have been so stupid?” she wept.
Words fall short in times like this, I mean I should have known he was the devil himself? With our religious background, dad being a pastor and mum an ever ready evangelist, I mean I and Bola literally grew up going to church every day and the message was clear to us, be free of sexual immorality. Mum rang it in our ears as we hit our teen years and that had been the plan really or so I thought in my mind.
I think the real problem started with Bola not knowing herself. You see, Bola has always struggled with her identity as Omo Pastor because everyone saw her in that light and therefore any little thing she did, they were always ready to condemn. Bola would never use makeup or wear trousers but as God would have it, she didn’t need any of that to start with. She was the favoured twin as we were not anywhere near identical. Her face was like that of an angel, fine girl no pimple as they would say. Smooth and artistic with cheekbones like that of Angelina Jolie. Her ebony colour stood her out in the midst of a crowd, anointing oil was her body cream, even I with my expensive creams couldn’t match the clearness of her skin. She had the perfect dentition, we always joked about how she should be used for a toothpaste advert. Her long hair was black, most times she didn’t even need to make it as many always came to ask her if she fixed Indonesian hair or something, her hair was just bad like that. Her legs were straight, she had moderate sized boobs and butt, she was the African woman Tuface was describing in his song as her smile could light up a large auditorium. My God, wasn’t she perfect! And it seemed to many of us that what made her different and unique was the fact that she seemed oblivious to many of her womanly qualities as she was very humble and warm.
Guys were always on her case, we never had to stress on what to eat or money to spend because her ever able toasters were ready to spoil us. I think I was spoilt the most, you see being Bola’s sister has many advantages, they all thought that I could help them woo her so they were always calling me as well as pleading with me to convince her to date them. Well, in our final year in school, I already had a boyfriend and to me, I had reached my place of stability so it was only natural for me to talk to my stubborn sister.
“Bola, we are now in our final year oh, once we convoke and we go for service, getting into a serious relationship would prove harder because none of the men there would be convinced that you don’t have anyone.”
She didn’t even bat her eyelid as her ever ready reply came. “Baby girl, I haven’t seen anyone I like. I’m not in a rush jare. Time still dey plenty besides everything works together for good to them that love God.” Usually I would join her to complete her favourite bible quote and we would erupt into laughter.
In our second semester however, I noticed that Bola began to grow distant, she always came up with excuses on how she was busy and couldn’t see me. I was worried and confronted her about it and it was then Bola confided in me that she had just started seeing someone.
“His name is Tola and he is just the most beautiful man I’ve ever met,” she gushed excitedly. I was naturally happy for her and told her to be careful nevertheless as this was her first relationship. She laughed and gushed about how the wedding invitation card would read, “Bola Weds Tola, isn’t that cute?” I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to meet the man who had made my sister drunk in love and so when the time came for me to meet Tola, I was excited. He drove into our hostel with a Mercedes Benz G-Wagon and got everyone staring, we entered into the car and he took us out to a nice eatery around. Permit me to say that I wasn’t disappointed at all, I mean he was definitely the real catch, he was really tall, with a nice athletic body, huge chest and I could even see from his sweatshirt that he had a completely built body. He wasn’t handsome because that would have been a gross insult, Tola was beautiful with brown eyes, he was charming and knew just when to say the right words. Bola couldn’t eat much as she kept blushing all through the dinner. I was comfortable with him and her though because he was cool and never in a rush. He seemed to have everything in control. He was clearly crazy about Bola too as he would always come to school to see her or take her out and they will get back the next day or the day after. I tried all I could to convince Bola to take things easy and let it flow as I was really concerned about her state of mind because he completely revolved around her life but she assured me she was fine.
Of course she was, until tragedy struck. One day in hostel, Bola collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. Our parents came over as soon as they could and she was diagnosed of typhoid, she was treated for typhoid and we returned back to our hostel while our troubled parents went back home. She seemed to be recovering pretty well until she fell seriously ill again a week after and this time around the doctor ran a series of tests on her and it was confirmed that my twin sister had contracted the deadly HIV. There was no question as regards where she had gotten it from as we both cried our eyes out. She opened up to me and told me how she found him so exciting and how he disvirgined her three days after they started dating. She said he would tie her hands and inflict pain on her during their love making but she didn’t care because she loved him deeply and truly believed they were meant for each other, To make matters worse, when she told Tola about her predicament over the phone, the bastard in his ever cool demeanour just said he just added her to his list, and that she would be fine as he has been living with HIV for about three years after he contracted it from his ex-girlfriend.
So here we are, my parents, I and my sister on her hospital bed. I can’t describe the pain and shame my parents feel. The mockery, the Pastor and his evangelist wife, the ones always helping people and counselling homes, the same ones whose daughter now has HIV. The irony! To Bola, her life has been shattered, the world has brought her to her knees and these days she doesn’t even cry anymore, she just looks into space. I am worried and my heart is broken and I can’t help but blame myself. Why did I pressure her to have a boyfriend, why didn’t I do my research on Tola? My questions to myself are endless but they still can’t change the reality. I wish I could turn back the hands of time, they would never have met! But I have resolved to do all I can to ease her pain. Life is worth living no matter what happens, even in the midst of pain, doubt, uncertainty. If you can be strong enough to pull yourself up, you can live another day and so I have made a promise to myself whatever it takes that Bola will feel the sun on her face again. Whatever it takes. One thing I know for sure though is, it shouldn’t have been her, not my baby girl, not my twin sister.
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