We sat there as the doctor explained Ryan’s situation to both of us, Lala looked crushed, I on the other hand, I don’t know how I’m feeling or what I am feeling because it feels so painful and debilitating knowing that Ryan too had cancer, how is that even possible? I don’t get this, he seems perfectly fine, it can’t be true. “Aaliyah” Lala words jerked me out of my thoughts. “What?” I said.
“It’s a lie, Michael put you up to this, didn’t he?” Lala looked up to the doctor who
“No-no- who’s Michael?”
“Then why you stuttering?” Lala stood up and walked towards the doctor. “I’m not…”
“You know its a very serious offence for a doctor to create a fake report, you know my father is a politician and he is well connected in Paris so if I make a single call, something as small as a hello could make you loose your license” Lala threatened and the doctor got scared, I could see fear in her eyes.
“You have a son” Lala glanced at the beautiful picture the doctor placed on her table. In the picture she flashed a wide smile with her six or maybe five years old son.
“What is he? Six? Five? Four? Either way a burial would be painful” Lala continued with her threats.
“Leave my son out of this” the doctor begged.
“Well start talking, who put you up to lie to me, I’m sure you’ve heard of me right? Well if you haven’t allow me to introduce myself, I’m Daniella Pierce and I hate lies and liars in general are my enemies and you know what I do to my enemies, I crush them” Lala said and the doctor figeted. Poor woman and who knew Lala’s full name was Daniella? Well not me. She said she hates liar apparently she is friend to one, I don’t want to loose an amazing friend like Lala, I love her too much, hope she doesn’t crush me like how many lies I have told her, I married her brother for love, I don’t have cancer, well I didn’t say that one out so its a secret and not lying, maybe, argh I don’t know and yes I almost forgot, I’m pregnant thanks to Tasha for that one.
“Okay I’ll talk, a guy came in here and told me to tell you guys that Ryan has got cancer that’s all I know” the doctor explained.
“The guy looked like a huge piece of gabbage with a watermelon head and a chimpanzee’s face with a personality that stink?” Lala asked and the doctor was really confused. Damn! Lala must really hate Michael so much.
“Ah doctor, I think what she meant was that the guy who told you to tell us this
was a handsome white tanned skin, tall, muscular man with brown hair and brown
eyes which sparkles” I corrected and the doctor nods in fear and Lala looked
irritated with my description.
“What?” I tell her and she cringed.
“Sparkle? Really?” Lala asked and stood up.
“Thanks doc, next time don’t lie to me” Lala grabbed my hands and we headed to Ryan’s room.
We met Michael, Harvey and Ryan giggling real hard as Lala barged in, the giggles turned to gazes.
“Ryan! What’s this thing I’m hearing about you having cancer?” Lala questioned and Ryan rolled his eyes.
“Really cancer? That’s what you could come up with?” Ryan faced Michael.
“Don’t blame me” Michael defended himself.
“What’s going on and what is Harvey Johes doing in your room” Lala air quote the word room.
“Lala I’m sorry I didn’t fill you in because I know you wouldn’t support me” Ryan explained but he sure as hell didn’t explain anything in Lala’s eyes, I can tell because she is about to…
“Fill me in on what?” Lala took a step closer to where Ryan laid.
…about to snap real hard.
“What’s this?, what’s Harvey doing here” I chipped in.
“Oh please don’t talk” Ryan shush me and I swallowed hard.
“Don’t talk to her like that, and Aaliyah I’m doing this for us, so you’d be safe and we’d be together that’s why I’m even here” Harvey said and my eyes were wide opened because Lala is about to find out the truth and she is going to hate me forever.
“Be together?” Lala arched her brow.
“Harvey!” Ryan and I exclaimed.
“Oh wait she didn’t know, frack! I’m sorry” Harvey said with regrets.
“If someone don’t explain to me what’s going on, Heaven hold me because I don’t know what I’m going to do” she snapped. “Lala…”
“Shut up Michael, I need an explanation from actual people not scum bags” Lala interrupted Michael.
“I’m going to use the bathroom” Harvey excused himself. Great! He caused this
and he is busy using the bathroom.
“Aaliyah” Lala called out.
“Yes” I said lowly.
“Talk to me sister, what’s going on?” She said and guilt washed over me. “Well I don’t know if you’d hate me if I tell you but…”
“Speak” she interrupted and I took a heavy sigh before looking at her. “Your- Ryan- we ain’t really married, I mean we are legally married and to some other extent but we are kinda you know married and still single…” I said and Lala looked in confusion.
“Okay let me get this straight, you two are married but not married, that means you don’t love each other? So…”
“They got married because the Johes were after Aaliyah and marriage was the only
way to protect her” Michael filled in.
“Tasha?” Lala asked.
“My girlfriend” Ryan said.
“So you are not pregnant” Lala gave me a sad look.
“No and I’m sorry for lying but…”
“So much for being sisters, I trusted you and you Ryan you played me and dad, well the Johes ain’t the only enemy you are going to worry about” Tasha said and walked out before I could speak.
“So what did I miss” Harvey came in and we all gave him a stern look, I don’t know why but I hated the fact that Lala was mad at me, I’ve grown to love and care for her like she is my actual sister, well I don’t think lying is a good way of caring, I didn’t go after her because I know she needed her space.
“Mrs Pierce, I need to see you in my office” the doctor said as she walked in. “Okay I’d be right there” I said and took a quick glance at Ryan before leaving. At the doctor’s office, I couldn’t stop thinking about Lala and the mess I just got myself in. A beep came into my phone and I checked it was Louise, she texted me “Seriously where? Which hospital I’m coming over” I read.
“Santa Maria, he’s out of the AR now, please come I really need you, big problem Lala found us out” I texted back.
“Really? How I’m on my way” she immediately texted back.
“Can you put your phone away please” the doctor words jerked me out of my chatty mood.
“Okay” I dropped my phone in my bag.
“So Mrs Aaliyah, your husband’s real report just came back and I was kinda right because he’s got cancer and I know how you feel…” The doctor said but I didn’t hear the rest stuff she was saying because hell no she doesn’t know what I’m feeling, Ryan’s got cancer!
“Errm doc, stratch those talks, how many months has he got to live” I asked.
“Well we don’t know the specifics but maybe six because it’s just in stage three but
with chemotherapy and other treatment we would see” The doctor explained and I
felt down, so down.
So the doctor has just told me about Ryan’s situation and as I walked back to his room I couldn’t help but wish this was just a lie because I don’t want anyone to go through the pain I’m going through everyday trying to survive, its not easy for cancer patient and as I walked in and saw him giggle with his friend, I felt pained. “Can I talk to my husband privately please” I said and Michael chuckled and I knew he laughed because I said the word husband. “Okay Mrs Pierce” he stepped out and I sighed.
“Ryan so here is the thing…”
“I don’t like you” he cuts in
“What?” I said confused.
“You are about to confess you have a crush on me and I said I don’t like you” he said again.
“Not that, ewww” I groaned, if not for that he got cancer I’d have dragged his ass. How am I going to tell him this now, should I just say hey Ryan you’ve got cancer or yes! I’d do it like the way my parents told me. “You want a cup of hot cocoa?” I asked.
“You send my friend out to offer me hot cocoa?” Ryan asked. Yea I almost forgot, it’s Ryan.
“There is something I want to tell you but I don’t know how to say it” I scratched my head.
“Spill” he urged so I started with a long motivational speech which I could tell he got bored of.
“Are you gonna say something useful or you gonna act stupid all day” he said.
“Remember it’s not over till is over” I said and I knew I suck with all this
“Right” he scoffed.
“You’ve got cancer” I said closing my eyes.
“Seriously? That’s what you could come up with? Cancer? I thought we hatched this shit out just now” he said rolling his eyes.
“No, I’m serious, the doctor just told me and she wanted me to tell you because I’m your wife and maybe I’d have made Tasha tell you this…”
“Hold it Akiya, what do you mean I’ve got cancer” he cuts in. In that moment, I didn’t see the hard hearted psychopath I’ve always seen, I saw a scared little boy who just found that his life might be over in six months or more depending on the test, I saw ME!
“Ryan, I know how you feel, I’ve felt it too but it’s going to get better, I promise, you are loved” I sat beside him and placed my hands on his and to my surprise, he didn’t object or stop me.
“How many months does the doctor say I have left?” He asked looking me straight in the eye.
“They don’t know, they need to run some tests but it’s hard, it’s not going be easy I’m not gonna lie to you” I patted his back, can you believe it? I’m touching Ryan’s back, maybe cancer is a good thing or what am I even saying!
“Why are you talking like you know what I’m feeling right now, trust me Akiya, you have no idea” He slumped down the bed.
“Errm, one of my uncle had cancer so I follow him to chemotherapy sometimes and I see cancer patient struggling and it’s hard, I see people taking drugs and get
scared of living because you never know when you die, one silly mistake and you are gone” I lied as tears flowed down my cheeks.
“You are crying? What happened to your uncle?” He asked as he noticed my tears.
“He’d be dead in two months or maybe less” I cried harder.
“Oh Akiya” he held me in his arms as I sobbed. It felt so safe and I held on to him tighter.
“I’m sorry, I’m the one suppose to be comforting you not the other way round” I got up from his body and he cleared his throat.
“Don’t worry, I’m use to your clumsiness” he teased. Great! Ryan with cancer is still the same thing, who am I kidding? Cancer can’t change his sour attitude. “Right” I muttered and cleaned my eyes with the back of my palm.
“Will you be alright?” I asked and he remained quiet as the door clicked open and Tasha walked in.
“Oh baby, I can see you are alright, thank God” she beamed with smile.
“Okay, I’d leave you too” I said and left the room.
“I made strawberry pie for you” I heard Tasha’s voice as I trailed off. *
As I walked down the hallway, the thought of Ryan having cancer couldn’t leave my mind and it killed me inside as my grandma call came into my phone again. “Hello” I hesitated because I didn’t want to talk to grandma right now because it’s going to end with the Jesus talk and I hated that fact.
“Darling, I just called to check in. How’s Ryan, I’ve been praying for him” my grandma inquired.
“Great and it seems your prayer worked because it gave him cancer” I said sarcastically and I could feel my grandma snap over the phone.
“Okay that’s it! I’ve tolerated you enough and how you talk about my faith in God and disrespect it, if I don’t fight that devil in you, it’s going to be a sin on my path” my grandma blared over the phone.
“Hello, I can’t hear you, its breaking hello” I lied.
“Aaliyah Frances Thompson Pierce!” My grandma called out.
“Hello, I’ll call you later, I can’t hear you. Network is really bad” I hung up and released a sigh.
“Aaliyah” I heard Louise voice.
“Lolo” I turned and hugged her.
“You can’t imagine what I’ve been going through…” I told her everything about Lala and about Ryan having cancer and she felt bad exactly my feelings too. “Poor Lala, she must trust you so much” Louise said and I sighed.
“Good thing we ain’t got secrets between us, I ain’t gonna lash out like that” Louise
said and guilt washed over me because I knew I’ve been lying to Louise since we
met, she doesn’t know I’ve got cancer.
“Yea good thing” I said nervously.
“But if there was to be a secret, what would you do?” I asked curiously.
“Is there something you keeping away from me Miss or sorry Mrs Pierce?” She asked and I shoke my head negatively.
“No, but if you were Lala what would you do?” i asked.
“i don’t know, I’d be real mad that’s for sure but I don’t know” she replied and I nod. As we sat there, I couldn’t help but say a secret prayer to A God I didn’t believe in that he should take away all my problems and redeem me because this is too much for me.
[ONE WEEK LATER]
Ryan sat on the sofa in the living room giggling as I was busy cleaning out his locker, it was a mess in there and he asked me to help him out. He has healed a little over the week and would start his chemo session next week. I found a really pretty pendant which was key shaped and I smiled, I didn’t know if I should throw it out or keep it because it looked pretty important, I decided to ask him. I walked to the living room and found Tasha in Ryan’s arms and I cleared my throat as I walked in.
“Hey, you done?” He asked.
“Errm, not exactly, I found this” I held the pendant out high.
“Hey, that’s very important, it’s a gift from my mom” he tossed it out of my hands. Ryan right?
“Hey Tasha” I waved and she gave me that her squeaky eye roll.
“She said its the key to everything” Ryan continued flipping the pendant over and over again.
“Key to what exactly” I said looking at the pendant.
“I don’t know” he replied and sighed.
“Wait, there is an opening” he said unlocking the key, apparently the pendant is a casing to a key.
“What have we got here” he brought out the key and a small paper, really tiny was
also in the pendant.
“Find it” he read aloud.
“Find what?” Tasha said.
“I don’t know but whatever it is I’m gonna find out, I’m gonna find my mom’s killer” he said with determination in his eyes… .
MARRIED AND STILL SINGLE