BN Prose: A Brother Lost, A Wife Found by Myne Whitman

I buttoned my tuxedo, and looked back with a tight smile at the man who stood behind me. The wedding was in an hour, but it wasn’t nerves at seeing my lovely bride that choked my throat. Painful memories swamped me from all sides. My best man was supposed to have been my brother, my twin brother, Odion. Our plan was either to get married on the same day, or be each other’s best man.

Odion and I were identical twins. Mama bought us the same clothes when we were children, and made sure we were in the same class throughout primary school. We went everywhere together. We got on very well together and so we didn’t mind. We loved the same type of food, and wore the same clothes most of the time. We shared one of the rooms in our house, but where we spent most of our time was in a field not too far from our back door playing games together. In the rainy season, the grass in the field was so tall, you could play hide and seek there. But it wasn’t difficult to find each other so we rarely played on our own.

When we played with other children sometimes, it could be easy to find them if one of us knew where they were. In those times, it was like our minds mingled, and the same thought came to us at the same time. This happened at other times too. We didn’t have to say a word. Odion would look at me, I would look back, and then we would start laughing. The people around us at such times would sometimes laugh, or frown and shake their heads. Even our parents didn’t understand what was going on and sometimes Papa would rebuke us.

“Odion and Akere!” He would bark at us.

Papa thought we were playing pranks on him or other adults at such times. He also got very angry when we refused to tell people our names and made them keep guessing. He actually spanked us on one occasion but Mama remained the light-hearted of the two. She would only laugh and tell him not to take us too seriously. After that we tried to control our outbursts and would just nod at each other. But Odion was more mischievous than I was. He would wink too and even run away with a teasing hoot though he only did this when papa was not around and when we were playing with other children.

In the months while we waited for the results of our entrance examination to secondary school, we spent many days in the field behind our house. It was the dry season and there was not much grass. Still there were lots of grass hoppers and we started to collect them. The insects were quite fast and often blended into the dry, ashy grass. And then, could they hop or what? It was hard to catch the grasshoppers but most times we got some fun and lots of laughter trying. We competed among us who could catch the largest grasshopper. The days and the weeks slipped by quickly and we didn’t mind that our start date for secondary school, which we had looked forward to, was postponed twice.

When we started school, our new teachers insisted we had to be in different classes. Mama tried to kick up a fuss but the principal was having none of it. He dismissed her and sent us off to the general assembly for all the boys in the school. As the school band played their martial music, we looked back at each other and marched away in different directions. That same day, I felt a terrible pain in my stomach just before break time. Within a few minutes, Odion came into my classroom followed by a scolding school prefect. He had run across the lawn against the school rules in order to get to me. He was also feeling a pain in his side but not as bad as mine. The teachers allowed us to go home earlier than usual. We were accompanied by the now grumbling prefect.

The pain continued even after the panadol mama gave me and Odion. She put me on her back and set off for papa’s office with a sniffling Odion by our side. Papa took all of us on his motor bike to the local health center. The doctor said it was appendicitis and I needed surgery. It was done the same day and I was discharged two days later. Odion was not happy that we now had a mark that made us different and easier for others to recognize us. Our teachers only had to instruct us to raise our shirts to tell us apart. I was, if not happy, at least relieved that the pain had gone. We tried to trick Mama that Odion also had appendicitis but we could not get past Papa. We were left to hope that it would happen on its own sooner rather than later.

It did come sooner, during the next term holidays. Papa had hosted his age grade to a feast to celebrate his promotion at work and the new car he had purchased. It was almost over but people still mingled around. The house was all a bustle and Mama had warned us not to get underfoot. We were in the field playing when Odion collapsed on the ground crying in pain. A sharp stab almost stopped me in my tracks as I moved to him. He was lying like a baby clutching his middle. Another jab had me falling beside him with moan. Odion groaned and rolled on the wet earth not minding the mud or the nettles hidden between the long blades of grass. I dragged myself up and limped inside to find our parents. This was different from the pain I had experienced some months earlier; I could only imagine what Odion was feeling.

“Mama, Mama!” I screamed once I burst through the door.

That was the end of the party as the crowd followed Papa as he ran out into the field and scooped Odion into his arms. Odion was unconscious by then and Mama began to wail. While the others stood around, two of Papa’s friends and another woman squeezed into the back of the car with me and Papa sped off for the clinic. Mama sat in front with Odion on her laps. She fanned him continuously, muttering a prayer intermittently. Odion came to after some minutes and whispered my name. I whimpered and leaned over the seat. The woman with me dragged me back and handed me a small drink. She handed the other to Mama with the instruction to try to give it to Odion if possible.

We finally got to the same health center where I had my surgery done. It was the same doctor and he again diagnosed appendicitis for Odion. An operation was scheduled for that evening and we were both put on antibiotics and some panadol to stop the pain. Odion woke up after surgery, groggy from all the medication but still groaning in pain. The doctor had gone off by then and the nurses assured my mother his pain must be from the wound of the surgery. My mother and I had remained to sleep over at the center with Odion, and I told her still had the sharp pain from earlier in my tummy. The next day, my father came back and demanded to see the doctor. The doctor said he would wait a couple of days till the operation site healed before making any further recommendations.

Odion remained in the health center for another week. Finally the doctor recommended that my parents take him to the teaching hospital in Benin. It was the biggest group of buildings I have ever seen. By the time we got there, Odion was critical. I continued to take panadol on a regular basis for my own pain.  Odion’s condition worsened, and finally the doctors decided that their tests pointed to a kidney problem. They started what they said would be a long treatment, and I was forced to return home with my father two days later.

When the other children crowded around me, I didn’t play with them, but went into the empty room I shared with Odion. I refused to eat that night, and fell asleep crying. Something was different when I woke up. There was no pain in my side, but my head was light as if it wanted to float right out of my body. I went to wake Papa, and told him I wanted to go back to the hospital immediately. He said we’ll go in the afternoon which was the visiting time, but when I began to shout and scream that something was wrong, he dressed up and we left.

By the time we got to the hospital, Odion was dead. We only saw my mother rolling on the floor, her screams echoing off the walls of the hospital ward. A nurse said they had just taken Odion to the mortuary, and someone was supposed to be on the way to our house to tell my father. My mother had rushed at me the instant we walked in, her tears bathing my face, her wails piercing my ears.  At that point, I collapsed.

The world had turned on its axis that day for me. I waited for Odion to walk out smiling, but I was old enough then to know he wouldn’t. He was buried the next day. I wanted to scream and shout and wail, but no tears came. Since then, I had not cried for my dead twin. Not when I passed my JAMB and got into University, and not when I qualified as a doctor. I know you’re wondering why. It’s not that I’m hard hearted, but all the while, I had felt Odion beside me, urging me on, keeping me company, telling me he had not abandoned me. Now I felt several thoughts pushing against my mind. This was the way I usually communicated with Odion.

“You can go on without me, you have someone else. You know she’s lovely, and I can tell you that you’ll both have a beautiful life with her and your twin children.”

Tears pricked my eyelids, and I blinked my eyes. Something snagged in my throat, words to stop him, to stop him from slipping away from me. I coughed to stop from choking.

“Are you OK?” Osas asked.

I nodded, but the cough turned into a groan as the tears spilled. I cried for my brother, and I cried for myself. After the storm passed, I squared my shoulders and went out to wait for my bride, who was lovely indeed. I couldn’t wait to see her, and tell her what Odion had said.

My twin may finally be gone, but he lives on, in my heart, and in the name of my future children.

Photo Credit: www.goodlife.com.ng

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This story was inspired while Myne wrote her second novel, “A Love Rekindled”, which also features identical twins with an uncommon bond, Kevwe and Ofure. The book is now published and available for purchase through Amazon.

47 Comments on BN Prose: A Brother Lost, A Wife Found by Myne Whitman
  • ema April 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    beautiful write-up…i was with Odion and Akere every step of the way!

  • the chikoo April 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Twin connection. I don’t kno why I find it difficult to believe.but is it Really true as in does it happen? Cos hav never seen one before.
    Nice story sha

  • Mememe April 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Sob!

  • K! April 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Nice write-up. I like!
    I love twins. I wish I were a twin and I pray God blesses me with twins

  • Paula April 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    This really got me scared. I am a twin and cannot imagine losing my sister.I understand the bond they had.But we do not want to loose that ever because we have other people in our lives.

  • say it as it is April 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Tears running down my cheeks!

  • justme April 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    OMG! I didn’t realize I was crying until I got to the end of the story, What a beautiful and emotional way to connect with the twin characters.

  • chizoba April 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    This is the first time i am ever commenting on the BN Prose. I felt this connected with me more as I am a twin. I still try to figure out how the connection works but cant find an explain, but what i am sure of are : Twin Bond exists, its beautiful and i would never imagine myself not being a twin. I do not know what my world will be without my Twin. Nice write up and to Odion… just like you said He is ALWAYS there with you..

  • bluebubbles April 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    This is so touching.I knw wat it feels like to lose a loved one.Lost my sis and each time i think of her I ve to fight back tears.I could deal wit my dad’s death buh my sister”s?I always feel like wen she died a part of me died.Maybe time wil heal d wound.

  • kenora April 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    sad story ..may his soul rest in peace..

  • polka April 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome write up. Keep it up.

  • Dabusta April 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Had tears in my eyes and had to swallow hard because I’m still at work.Quite emotional.Twins bond…am still yet to see one that strong!

  • iBreatheFreedom April 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    This is one of the saddest stories I have ever read…:(

  • Iya2 April 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
    I am an Iyabeji -I can relate.
    Lovely writing

  • jay April 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Brilliant!

  • El Bee April 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Got me crying in class :(

  • kenny April 27, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    this is actually real cos i also experience dis with my twin.

  • miss jay April 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    fantastic write-up!

  • dewowo April 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    hmmmmmm, touching…

  • monnysolar April 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    nice write up….i like

  • Weiwei April 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    awwww…very touching story! Twins are a blessing from God

  • krys April 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    What a lovely and sad story :( brought tears to my eyes

  • Purpleicious Babe April 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    It had me crying..man it had me in massive tears..close to wailing infact but had to calm down as am in the library… Very interesting write-up and creative too. I imagined the scene and everything, it was as if I was on a journey…

    This am sure also happens in real life… wow imagine the pain felt by mother, father and son indescribable… very emosh…

  • mstizzle April 27, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Sorry to deviate a bit but I had laugh at the different places people said they are. Work, class, library, lol see what Bella Naija has turned us to. Anyway, well done Myne. You got me emotional there. My dad was a twin and I saw how my uncle reacted when he died… I really want twins of my own (boys preferably…) Well done Myne.

  • Sobe April 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    wow!!! wow!!!!wow!!!!!

  • Myne Whitman April 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Hi everyone, it was emotional writing this for me too, so I can understand where some of you are coming from. Thanks all for reading and the comments.

  • taiwo April 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    This totally reminds me of when my twin sister and I were 18 and she had to undergo about 3 major surgeries for Gall stones. I think I went through more pain than she did, watching every single moment , watching her dry up and praying to God to keep her life.Those were the most challenging days of my life! I knew God like never before and I Bless Him cuz He dint fail me! I Cant imagine life without my twinnie, my heaven sent Best Friend!

  • taiwo April 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Lest I forget a couple of months later i was admitted in the hospital and had to undergo some horid tests (started with endoscopy) as she did, But before it reached the point of surgery, no one told me before I found my way to MFM!

  • Le Dynamique Professeur April 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Quite sad I must say. Almost shedding tears. I don’t like how it ended. Very touching I must say.

    - LDP

  • Nikki April 28, 2011 at 12:03 am

    very good write up, emotional, felt real!

  • LD April 28, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Emotional. Very emotional.

  • Netty Ejike April 28, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Wonderful story…I wish it will continue…

  • AkO April 28, 2011 at 1:08 am

    :_( Sad,sad story. :_( :_(

  • HoneyDame April 28, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Oh Myne!!! I am so proud of u!

  • Casmir April 28, 2011 at 3:13 am

    For whatever reasons this days, i find it difficult to read long stories.. But i could not stop reading this one…It’s so interesting and well written! RIP Odion!

  • aigee April 28, 2011 at 5:18 am

    amazing story.so touching. the pain touched my soul

  • awelewa April 28, 2011 at 7:57 am

    hmmm.dat really got me.wonderful story

  • Karimah April 28, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Am so proud of you Myne… I can relate tho am not a twin… Didn’t cry (lol) but very touching story

  • laolu April 28, 2011 at 10:27 am

    i am not going to cry…lai..lai..but myne u’ve got gracious talent..u’ve made a beautiful story look so easily written until its re-read..fantastic grafting..thank u

  • Mee... April 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Nice piece, found myself weeping alongside with Akere…

  • storm April 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Beautiful piece…had to keep reminding myself that its fiction

  • Lovinit April 29, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Beautiful writing…gat tears in ma eyes. Kudos Myne!

  • Omoregee April 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Really sad…could actually see myself in the story…as a neighbour or something. Good connect. You do know how to tell a story Myne.

  • Danny May 1, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    This story was riveting! It was amazing, well written, reasonable progression and just brilliant. I was very very close to tears at the end. I will definitely be heading to amazon.com to order your other novel. You are a talented writer who knows how to connect to your readers indeed! x

  • Nomy May 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Touching very touching, am gonna have my own twins but they ain’t gonna die joo!

  • oma May 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Just buried my dad and everytime I think of him,I cry. Can’t imagine what a twin would go through. Great write up. Brought tears to my eyes.
    http://lifethroughomaseyes.blogspot.com

  • nita May 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    wow am not a twin but i cried cos am attached to all my siblings and i dont even want to imagine losing any, good work

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