Later that Sunday evening, staring at the phone as he had done for the past thirty minutes, Mike was not at all eager to tell Sarah the news. He summoned all courage he had left. ‘H… he… hello, Sister Sarah’ He stammered when he finally managed to speak. ‘Hi Mike, this one you are calling me sister this evening, I hope I am safe o’ Sarah answered and laughed. She had not been able to contain her joy since she was told the Lab Results were out. ‘So, tell me the good news o’, She continued. ‘I am very sorry Sarah, even I can’t really believe this’. ‘Sorry for what, Mike? You are making me really afraid’. ‘I am so sorry, we cannot get married’ Mike finally said and his voice broke as his heart did. Even John, his brother who was looking at him while he spoke was almost moved to tears at the sight of the pain in Mike’s eyes. ‘WE CANNOT WHAT?!’ Sarah shouted, completely forgetting that her dad was praying with some youths in the sitting room. She stood up from her bed, locked the door firmly and paced back and forth her room, trying to relax and hold back the coming tears. ‘Please Mike, what are you really saying?’ ‘I was told the result of the genotype last Wednesday but had to confirm it at another Lab. The result was given to me today…’ ‘So…?’ Sarah cut in, already agitated. ‘My genotype is AS. We are both AS…’ Mike could not continue; his voice was lost. John had to leave the room when he saw his brother was about to break down into tears. ‘Oh…! Oh…Father!’ Sarah stopped pacing, sat on the ground and called to heaven. When Mike heard those painful three words spoken Sarah, the stab in his heart told him he would not hear a more painful sentence for the rest of his life. ‘I am sorry, so sorry Sarah’. He apologized. ‘I did the genotype test when I gained admission to the University and I was told it was AA’. He still couldn’t believe it all.

He sniffed and continued, ‘I don’t even understand what went wrong. I was so sure I was AA’. When he paused and Sarah didn’t say anything other than repeated ‘Oh’, he went on. ‘I really don’t know what to say to you. We did the test as part of the medical clearance for registration process after admission. Maybe because there were so many of us that came for the test then, I guess the hospital mixed up the results.’ Mike was angry at his alma mater for the first time since graduation. He heaved again and waited for Sarah to speak, but when she still didn’t talk, he continued to apologize, ‘Sarah, I am deeply sorry it had to end this way. Maybe…’ ‘WHAT?! Mike, what ends?’ Sarah interrupted him and dabbed the hot tears falling freely from her eyes. She tried to stop the sobbing and continued, ‘Mike, I am asking you. What ends? Didn’t you say you prayed about this relationship?’ ‘Didn’t you say you were convinced?’ She added. ‘Yes, I prayed’. Mike responded in a low voice and for the first time, he began to doubt if indeed, he was convinced by God about marrying Sarah. ‘Well, if you were convinced, why will you allow a trivial matter such as genotype to end this union? Why?’ She tried to make him see reasons. ‘Sarah, it cannot be’. Mike said simply. ‘You know these things more than me. You are in the Medical Sciences’. He added, trying all his best to maintain a straight face, ‘You know it cannot be. Our children will suffer for it’. ‘Why are you talking like this, Mike?’ Sarah asked. ‘Why am I talking as how?’ Mike asked and wiped his face with his left palm. ‘You are just talking as if you don’t have faith; as if you’ve lost hope’. She answered. ‘Are you trying to tell me God made a mistake?’ She added, ‘Or that you didn’t really hear from God? Please Mike, tell me straight if you don’t love me be…’ Sarah’s voice broke off. ‘No, Sarah. I love you with the whole of my heart and you know it’, Mike assured her quickly; ‘But this is not a question of love’. Sarah broke down again; she had to use a pillow to muffle her weeping. ‘Why is this happening to me?’ She asked no one in particular.

‘Mike please, don’t do this to me’, Sarah implored him again. ‘If you really love me, let’s marry. Let’s not allow anything get between us’ ‘We can even marry in the court’, she suggested. ‘I am sorry, but I don’t think you understand me, Sister Sarah’, Mike’s voice grew serious. ‘I mean, our children will bear the pain’ he explained. ‘We will bear the pain. Please, reason with me’. Mike tried all his best to convince and console her. ‘Please Sister Sarah, you…’ the beep of the phone interrupted him, the call had been terminated. Sarah just had to end the call; she couldn’t bear it anymore. Her pillow was soaked with tears. Sarah sat down and wept.


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