Hey all. Today is world sickle cell day.
If you don’t already know, Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that distorts the shape of red blood cells, causing a range of moderate to severe, and sometimes, fatal symptoms.
Have you checked your genotype?
In celebration of the brave young men and women (boys and girls) living with sickle cell disease, here’s an excerpt from Starting Over Again.
In this heart wrenching scene, Fejiro questions her father’s love.
Fejiro took a fork from the tray and began to eat silently. After a few forkfuls of plantains mixed with eggs, she turned to Onome.
“Mummy, does daddy hate me?” she asked randomly.
Onome caught her breath. Fejiro had never asked about her father. Not since he left. She had just accepted the explanation Onome gave to her without one word.
“No…” Onome swallowed, afraid to continue with this conversation, but knowing she had to.
Why do you ask?”
“Nothing… It’s only that…” Fejiro hesitated.
“Go on… only that what?”
“I see how other dads are with their children in school. Dad never played with me like that. It’s like he ignores me…” her tone wavered.
Onome felt her tummy tighten. Fejiro was right about that. From the moment Fejiro had been diagnosed with sickle cell disease, Efe had avoided her as if she were a plague. As if he blamed her for her own illness, for disrupting his life every time he had to rush her to the hospital or stay by her bedside when she was sick.
“Fejiro… he doesn’t hate you.” Onome answered, unsure of how much to tell Fejiro.
“Then why doesn’t he visit us? Why did he leave?”
“He left me, Fejiro, not you, okay? He didn’t leave you. He is just… it was all too much for him… I’m sure he’ll come back.”
Onome felt tears choke her throat. She had cried for weeks after Efe left and she thought she was done crying. Apparently not. Fejiro’s question and uncertainty about her father’s love had struck a painful nerve within her.
“Is it because I’m a sickler? Is that why he left?” The anxiety in Fejiro’s soft voice, along with her question, broke Onome’s heart.
“Darling, you are not a sickler, you have sickle cell disease. There is a difference. And I promise you that I will fight it with you. I will do everything within my power to fight it with you… okay?”
Fejiro nodded, and then forked a piece of plantain mixed with eggs into her mouth.
Hope you enjoyed reading.
I’m aware there’s research on sickle cell treatment going on. Hopefully, soon, there’ll be a cure.
Starting Over Again
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/StatingOverAgainAmazonUK
AMAZON USA: http://bit.ly/StartingOverAgainAmazonUSA
RovingHeights (Paperback): https://rhbooks.com.ng/product/starting-over-again/