👉👉Episode 16 & 17👈👈
With a heavy heart, Chioma folded the Queen’s clothes and tossed them into a traveling bag.
The Queen had refused to leave her son’s side. She’d sent Chioma to fetch her belongings from her room.
Esther sauntered into the room. “How is the Prince faring?”
“Not good,” Chioma said. “A heart transplant will be done tomorrow.”
Esther touched her chest. “Oh God. But thank God they found a donor.”
Chioma turned to look at her. “And guess who the donor is.”
“How am I supposed to know that?” Esther asked.
“It’s Miriam,” Chioma said.
Confusion washed over Esther. “What do you mean it’s Miriam?”
“Miriam willingly gave her heart to the Prince,”
Chioma explained. Tears flowed out of her eyes. “The surgery will take place tomorrow, so tomorrow is the last day we will get to see her again.”
“You’re not serious, are you?” Esther asked. “Here I am complaining that Amara left and now you’re telling me that Miriam is also leaving.”
“Amara left?” Chioma asked. “I don’t understand. She left the palace?”
“Yes o,” Esther said. “She just left. She even left her resignation letter with me without seeing the Queen.”
“This is serious,” Chioma said.
“I really don’t understand why Miriam will give him her heart,” Esther said.
“She loves him,” Chioma said. “She wants him to be alive and well.”
“My Prince, please just hang on for a while,” Miriam said, kneeling by Michael’s side as he lay unconscious in bed. “I know it’s not easy, but please just stay strong for me and all will be well.”
She loved him so much that she felt his pain as hers. And although she was a nobody, he loved her just as much. Very soon, the surgery would take place, and his pain would be no more.
By this, she’d show gratitude for all he’d done for her. For him she’d happily embrace death. She didn’t regret her decision and never would. She would give up her life a million times just to save him.
Holding his hand, she sobbed silently.
“When you wake up, please don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t blame yourself, because I made this decision myself. Please don’t blame anyone either, I beg you. You were right the day you said I was a mermaid. I’m sorry I never got to tell you the truth about my identity. I was scared that you would hate me, but now I know you wouldn’t have hated it. I’m so sorry for hiding it from you.
“It pains me to say goodbye, but I just have to. I will always love you, even in death. I believe that you will find a better woman, but please don’t forget me completely. Even though I’m gone, I will always be here, and you will see me. More love from me to you. I miss you.”
She concluded the letter she had been writing and sealed it with a kiss.
“I will miss you,” she heard Chioma say.
Sniffing back her tears, she turned to look at her. “I didn’t know you were here.”
A weeping Esther dragged herself into the room. She embraced Miriam and sobbed on her shoulders. “I’ll miss you so much.”
Miriam patted Esther’s back. “Esther, please, stop crying. It’s okay. Please, you have to be strong.”
Esther came out of the embrace. “I know. I’ll try. But it won’t be easy. We came to say goodbye. I will miss that beautiful smile of yours. I always wondered what was the secret behind the smile, but now I know that behind that beautiful smile of yours is a sorrowful and wounded girl who needed help.
We are sorry for finding out too late, but I hope you know we love you and will miss you terribly.”
“I love you girls too, and I will always be around even though you can’t see me,” Miriam said.
The doctor walked into the room. “Are you ready?”
“Yes I am,” Miriam replied.
“Are you sure this is what you want?” he asked.
“There is still time to change your mind.”
Miriam shook her head. Changing her mind wasn’t an option. “I have never been more sure of anything else in my life.”
She moved to the Prince and gave him one last kiss. Her tears plopped down on his cheek. Tentatively, she pulled away.
“Ready?” the doctor said. Miriam nodded, and he led her outside the room, where Tony and the Queen awaited them.
“My daughter, thank you for what you are about to do,” the Queen said, hugging Miriam. “I don’t know how to repay you for this, but I promise you one thing: everyone will always remember you for this.”
“Miriam, thank you,” Tony said. “I know it won’t be easy for him to accept this, but I will make him understand.”
Miriam smiled at him. “Thanks, Tony. That really means a lot to me.”
She handed him the letter. “Please give him this. I think it will also help. Goodbye, everyone.”
Waving everyone goodbye, she followed the doctor to the theatre. The door closed behind them.
After four hours that seemed like forever, the doctor returned to the people eagerly awaiting him.
He smiled broadly. “Operation successful.”
Son, I’m happy you’re finally awake,” the Queen said, with a smile all over her face. She sat beside Michael who lay on the hospital bed.
“Mum please call Miriam for me,” Michael said
“Son, just get well first,” Queen Jaja said. “Then when you go home you will see all the people you want to see, but for now, get well first.”
Michael looked over to Tony. “Tony, please can you tell mum that I want to see Miriam? I want her to know that I kept my promise. I lived and I’m healthy now. She doesn’t need to worry anymore.”
“I think your mum is right,” Tony said. “And besides, Miriam already knows that you’re healthy now, so don’t worry.”
Michael sighed and lay still on the bed. “Okay, fine. I have heard you guys.”
The day of the festival was here, and Nnenna had not stopped tormenting the village. Ezinne sat on her bed, deep in thoughts. Miriam had given herself up, and Ezinne would do the same.
She had already resolved in her heart and there was no going back.
The rumble of thunder stole her attention. She rose from the bed and advanced to the window, watching the sky darken as though nighttime had fallen.
“What is going on? I have to be at the festival now.” Without hesitation, she left for the festival.
Mike dashed toward the Queen’s chamber. Running into her in the passageway, he halted, breathing heavily.
“My Queen,” he said.
“What is it, Mike?” the Queen asked. “Didn’t I ask you to escort the Chief Priest to the festival?”
“Yes my Queen,” Mike said. “I went to the shrine and found the Chief Priest lying dead on the ground.”
The Queen panicked. “What do you mean you found him dead?”
Ezinne walked in to meet them. “Yes he is dead, and the same fate will befall us if we don’t complete this sacrifice.”
“Your highness, I’m sorry,” a palace guard said, panting. He’d dashed in after Ezinne. “I tried stopping her but she overpowered me.”
“Ezinne the great, is this really you?” the Queen asked.
“Miriam has paid the price for your son,” Ezinne said. “Now it’s time to complete the ritual. Let’s go to the festival.”
She walked away, leaving the Queen and the guards confused.
The Prince paced around his room, his heart littered with thoughts of Miriam. A knock on the door interrupted his thoughts.
“Come in,” he said.
Tony stepped into the room. “The festival will be starting soon. Why are you not yet ready?”
The Prince turned to face him, his face gloomy.
“Tony, what are you people hiding from me?”
Tony made to speak, but words escaped him. It took moments for him to find his voice. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
The Prince noticed Tony avoiding his gaze. “Where is Miriam? And don’t give me that excuse about her travelling. I know that girl, she can’t leave me and travel just like that. Not when I was close to dying.”
“I think it’s time you read this,” Tony said, handing him an envelope. “Then maybe you will understand everything. Please, I know it’ll be hard for you, but know that whatever happened was not your fault. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here for you.”
Michael grabbed the envelope with shaky hands.
“Tony, you’re scaring me. What is it you’re not telling me?”
“Everything you need to know is in there,” Tony said, pointing at the envelope. “She said you would understand why she did it, and you’d be strong.”
Michael watched Tony leave. His hands still trembling, he tore open the envelope and fixated his eyes on the letter. He read:
‘My Prince, please just hang on for a while. I know it’s not easy, but please just stay strong for me and all will be well.
‘I love you so much that it hurts, and I know you love me too, even though I am just a nobody. Very soon, the surgery will be done, and all this pain will be over, my love. I’m grateful for all that you have done for me and I’m happy that I knew someone like you. Even though loving you will be the death of me, I have no regrets. Please, when you wake up, don’t be too hard on yourself. I made this decision myself, so please don’t blame yourself or anyone else. You were right the other day you said I was a mermaid. I’m sorry I never got to tell you the truth about my identity. I was scared you’d hate me. But now I know you wouldn’t have hated me. I’m so sorry for hiding it from you.
‘It pains me to say goodbye, but I just have to. I will always love you, even in death. I believe that you will find a better woman, but please don’t forget me completely. Even though I’m gone, I will always be here, and you will see me. More love from me to you. I miss you.’
Tears poured out of his eyes. “No. No, no, this can’t be happening. No, she can’t go just like that. No, I refuse to accept this. She is not allowed to leave me just yet. Not now, not ever.”
His body trembled beyond his control as he wept. “How can she do this to me? God, I love her. Why take her away from me? Why, why, why her?”