Waking up to the beautiful morning sun breaking freely through her windows onto her face, Bryna stood up and headed straight to the bathroom to brush her teeth, and came back to say her morning prayer. Then, she went to warm up her bathing water to get ready for work. After getting dressed, she checked her phone. It was a message from Luca re-assuring her of his love and asking her out on a romantic dinner date at a fancy restaurant for Valentine’s, which was two days away. With mixed feelings, she dropped her phone. Trying to avoid Luca had become her conscious routine for the past two months, but she couldn’t avoid seeing him this time. Heading to the kitchen to make breakfast, she laid her eyes on the first gift Luca ever got her. A mug with the name “Luca” imprinted on it, looking back on how their love used to be, she couldn’t help but recall.
It was about two years back, on a cool Saturday morning. Bryna went to the mall to get some groceries. Due to her query from work, she was so lost in thought that she didn’t notice a cart in front of her. She ran into the cart, and due to the angle it was placed, it headed straight for the shelf. Luca, who was coming by the corner, saw the items already falling from the shelf. He ran to protect Bryna, who was already so confused, shielding her from the items on the shelf with his manly shoulders.
After sorting the issue of the shelf and cart with the mall manager, who managed to extort them, Bryna thanked Luca for his help and walked him back to his car.
On their way, he asked for her number, “of course!” She gave it to this handsome young man who was her hero, Though she declined his offer to drive her home as she didn’t want to seem burdensome. Later that day, he sent a text, and they got talking. After brief introductions, they tried getting to know each other better and discovered they had a lot of things in common. It was a long night with all their laughing and witty conversations. Lost in the moment, she lost track of time and ended up sleeping pretty late. It was amazing that they talked every day and always had what to say to each other for the next couple of days.
With how fast their feelings grew, it was time they went on a proper date, so Luca asked her out. Bryna had never felt so excited before. She smiled all day at work and walked with a skip in her steps.
Finally, it was 5 pm, and she headed straight home to freshen up and get dressed. She put on some make-up, clothes, brushed her hair, and headed out to the gaming center. Yea, they choose a “gaming center” for their first date. After a series of games and karaoke, they went to a mini-restaurant to have dinner. After eating, they talked and laughed their way to the parking lot. At that point, they noted that there was a spark between them.
Two weeks later, after sorting their feelings, they decided to be a couple. It was the best decision they had ever made. They couldn’t get their eyes, minds, and hearts away from each other. It was like God created Luca with Bryna in mind. Luca was a writer, and now Bryna had become his main source of inspiration. They were always together, and their love was built on trust and commitment. They always found a way to be sorted out during their heated moments, and it never lasted more than a day. Their bond and chemistry were so real that it could be felt at a safe distance.
Jerked into reality by a physical distraction, Bryna realized she had been daydreaming instead of heading to work. She quickly rushed to finish her breakfast and headed straight out to her job as a mortgage consultant in a bank. Coming from an average living family of six, she was the first child.
From a young age, she was ladened with contributing to the family’s upkeep. Therefore she grew up devoted and disciplined. With her dad being a public servant and her mum a petty trader, they couldn’t cater to every wants of the family, but they lived quite comfortably.
On the other hand, Luca was daydreaming about their date on Valentine’s day. Being the second child of the rich family of Mr & Mrs. Richard, he was born with a silver spoon, but that didn’t deter his parents from being strict and disciplined on their two kids.
That made him become a perfect gentleman. He had always loved writing, so he became a full-time writer after studying at the university. Within three years, he was an accredited writer who had written several books and had a few best-sellers.
Recalling the day he met Bryna, it was a lucky day. He was at the mall where he intended to get some gifts for his mum and some wine to celebrate the sale of his latest book. A helpless young lady was caught in a situation, and with his help needed, he ran and protected her from falling on her. When she looked at him, he was mesmerized by how beautiful she was; to him, she was the prettiest girl he had ever seen with her clear, limpid eyes. When she smiled at him, he saw two cute dimples on her face. He was completely smitten that he didn’t even know when he asked for her number.
For him, who didn’t believe in love at first sight, he felt he had fallen in love. They got to know each other, and as he hoped, they started dating. He fell so deeply that once when her father was sick, he took a huge amount of money to sort out his hospital bills.
Reminiscing two months into their relationship, Luca woke up one morning with chronic pain in his chest; he decided to do some self-medication and headed out to the pharmacy to get himself some ulcer medicine and pain relievers. After taking it, not much effect was felt. While working the next day, he felt so weak and breathless. He then decided to go for a quick test.
According to the doctor’s report, he had a respiratory infection which he had to treat. Drugs were administered to him, and he took them regularly. Two weeks after medication, the symptoms recurred with hoarseness, cough with phlegm, and fatigue.
He had to stop working due to all these health challenges. With the symptoms persisting, his family suggested he undergo a general body examination of all his internal and external organs. After a series of tests, he has diagnosed with a terminal disease of stage 2 lung cancer to his utmost shock. Disbelief swept over him, leading to depression with all thoughts of death beckoning claws stretched out to him and all hopes dashed against the wall. The doctor advised him to register for chemotherapy immediately because cancer had spread to his lungs and lymph nodes.
The family of Mr. Richard was left in a dilemma; Mrs. Richard’s grandfather had a similar cancerous experience which led to his death. He had kidney cancer and couldn’t be saved because it was detected too late. When it came to everyone’s knowledge, he was a stage three cancer patient – Luca’s cancer was hereditary. On hearing this report, Bryna was devastated with so many questions about her inside. “How was she gonna cope?” ” Was he gonna survive this?”, “What was the magnitude of pain he felt?” How sad he was.” This was the only man she had ever loved so sincerely; Why did life have to do this to her?
She took a leave from work to enable her to be with Luca at all times. He was admitted to the hospital for proper medical attention. He started immediate chemotherapy and could hardly eat; she couldn’t imagine leaving him at this point when he needed her the most. Though fear was already creeping in, she didn’t give up on him. Still unbelievable to Bryna, Luca had lung carcinoma, which was characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in the tissues of his body, “was this a nightmare?” She asked herself. Over the next few days, she refused to accept this reality, but it was right in front of her.
Four months after he began chemotherapy, he noted signs of improvement to the joy of everyone. After a while, he began walking properly, and his chemo sessions were reduced. So, he was fit to be discharged from the hospital. This was like a ray of sunshine in Luca’s already dwindling life. Nobody was as excited as Bryna, not even Luca himself. He moved back to his apartment and started working on a book. He was inspired to write about his battle against cancer and how loving Bryna and his family were to him. Though he couldn’t do as much as he used to, he still worked hard and refused to be referred to as a liability. After work every day, Bryna would bring food over for him and stay with him to play games and encourage him before going home. She would always accompany him to his chemo sessions. About two months after being discharged from the hospital, Bryna suggested she move in with him to nurse him well.
To maximize their time, they stayed almost glued to each other except for when Bryna had to go to work. Frequent dates became a thing for them, and they had it in mind to create more memories with each other. Bryna’s fears were gradually being assuaged as she did her best to enable him to get better. This continued for the next few months, with all things going smoothly till exactly eight months later, he had his first relapse. It came with much more dangerous symptoms; within a few weeks, his voice had changed, coupled with him regularly needing oxygen. Bryna had resigned herself to fate.
Sometimes he would wake up feeling strong and healthy, and he would feel weak at other times. Some days, he wouldn’t feel pain, but he would need pain relievers to reduce the pain at others. Bryna stayed with him through thick and thin; she was always there as his
source of support.
Finally, on one bright and sunny day, Luca woke up feeling healthier than he had felt over the past few weeks. His chest felt less stuffy, the pain that wracked through his nerves felt much better. He felt so good that he drove Bryna to work, picked her up from work, and went to the shopping mall to get some groceries together. They even played when Bryna was preparing dinner. At exactly 7:30 pm, dinner was ready, and Bryna went to Luca’s reading room to notify him that dinner had been served.
A few moments later, he came to the dining table. As they ate, it seemed like neither of them remembered anything called table manners. They had a hearty chat with Bryna, trying to give a brief description of how work went that day and Luca telling her about his new book. After dinner, Bryna headed upstairs to freshen up while Luca remained downstairs to watch the TV.
He started feeling thirsty and congested a while later, so he stood up to get water from the kitchen. On his way there, the feeling intensified to breathlessness and stuffiness he hadn’t felt for the past twelve hours. Then, at a distance very close to the refrigerator, he suddenly found himself unable to bear his weight and losing consciousness; he had collapsed.
On the other hand, Bryna had freshened up and was heading downstairs. When she heard a loud thud from the kitchen, rushing toward the source of the sound, she saw the living room empty and guessed something was wrong with Luca.
Screaming his name, she desperately prayed he was alright until she got to the kitchen. When she got there, the sight that greeted her was Luca sprawled on the cold tiles lifelessly. Trying her best to remain calm, she felt his pulse. She discovered he was still alive, so she ran to get her phone and immediately dialed the emergency number, tears blurring her vision. In less than 15 minutes, the ambulance arrived and took Luca into the van to perform CPR on him. She called Mr. Richard to meet them at the hospital on the way. When they got to the hospital, he was rushed to the emergency unit. Bryna cried like she had never cried before; she wondered if Luca was okay and feared for his life. By morning the next day, Mr & Mrs. Richard, accompanied by Bryna, went to see the doctor. He looked at them grimly and declared that Luca had fallen into a coma and his life was dangling on a 50% chance.
For the next two weeks, Luca was in a coma. At this point, so much pressure was mounted on Bryna to quit; her parents suggested she left Luca and dated some other guy. She was so devastated. After Luca came out of the coma, his recovery started speeding up, and it was like God had finally answered their prayers. In just a few weeks, he had put on some weight and was not in pain most of the time; the doctor even stopped his chemo. His recovery was amazing. In addition to the joy, Bryna felt, intense fear was another emotion.
Many questions in her head made her feel conflicted, so she moved out of his house. As he got better, we would think her fears were abated. Instead, they intensified. “What if his sickness relapsed?”, “what if this hope was false?”. She sincerely wanted to spend the rest of her life with him but “what if their kids inherited this genetic disorder?”. She couldn’t go through this pain again. This led to her giving excuses whenever he asked to see her.
Returning from work so exhausted, Bryna slumped onto the couch. Then, slowly falling asleep, she recalled Luca’s message about Valentine’s date earlier that day.
It was finally D-Day. At around 5 pm, Bryna came back from work, took her bath, and started getting ready for the stipulated dinner date. Luca always kept to time as the gentleman he was, and he pulled up in front of her house at exactly 8 pm in his Mercedes SUV.
Coming out elegantly dressed, she topped it with a smile. On getting to their venue fully booked for the evening, Bryna noticed Luca’s friends were at the same venue. She was quite confused; she didn’t attach much relevance to this observation until after dinner when Luca asked for all the lights to be put off and just the candlelight on their table left on.
Getting on his knees, Luca took her hands and looked deep into her eyes to recite his speech which he had prepared for the past two weeks. “Dear Bryna, I know this is kinda awkward and sudden, but I love you with all that is in me and hope to spend the rest of my life with you.” Bringing out a ring from the breast pocket of his suit, he asked, “will you marry me?”. She didn’t expect a proposal on Valentine’s day, but she surely knew she couldn’t accept to marry him. With a stutter, she uttered, “No, I can’t.” She loved him, but fate wouldn’t allow them to have their happiness.
Luca looked at her disappearing silhouette; it felt like his world disappeared along with her “could he ever find happiness?”, “could he survive this heartbreak?”. As tears fell from his eyes, he quivered like a man drenched in the rain.
Truly she abandoned him in this rain called love.
About the Writer
My name is Merit Precious Adebo, a 200 lvl student of the University of Ilorin, Kwara state. I’m a creative writer who’s versatile in poetry, prose, and non-fiction.