Choices book cover

About the Book

Danielle was a promising young girl who lost her mum to breast cancer very early in her life. Her father was all she had and they had a bond so tight that no one could ever break it until he decided to take a new bride. This unfavorable change fueled her determination to find answers concerning her mother’s death. In doing this, she found her purpose in life starting her career as a Medical Doctor and her journey through self-awareness began. The Slogan, “Doctors save lives” was very much what Danielle lived by every day of her life. She had no other obligation than fulfilling this to the best of her abilities. Having to make the choice of a life partner between two potential suitors with very distinct character traits was the only problem she assumed she had until she accidentally discovered a lump in her breast and her life came to a pause. Would she suffer and die from the same condition that snatched her mother’s life or fight to stay alive? Would she be open to receive love or beg to be loved? It is her choice to make!

Read the first chapter below


25th May 1993, was indeed a dreary day for everyone seated at our family residence especially the Macaulay's and the Roger's; but for me what seemed like a dreary day was looking a little brighter. This was not because I was neither  a Macaulay or a Roger, it was because I had one of my best wishes come through on that same day.



Flashback to two weeks earlier, I was fascinated about this new book my mum read to me whenever I was going to bed. It was a really nice story with very creative graphic designs. Amongst all the designs, what caught my attention the most was a particular princess dressed in a stylish white dress. I wanted this dress so badly that I often had the image flashing before my eyes even while I slept.

My dad had promised me that I was going to wear that dress on this particular day and I could not wait. Immediately I woke up, I ran to Aunt Risi’s room. My mum had travelled and asked her to get me the dress by any means possible and she did. How sweet an aunt she was!  Aunt Risi was my favorite aunt. She always came bearing gifts unlike others who would rather ask about your school results and start up unsolicited counseling sessions.

I wore my dress with so much excitement while my aunt tried to comfort my dad assuring him this was a phase and with time he will feel better. I was just five years old. How much of the laws of life could I possibly understand? Probably none! Now I can understand why everyone else was heartbroken but me. It was not because I was a schadenfreude, it was my mum’s funeral but I was too young to understand what had just happened.

My mum had passed on the previous week from advanced breast cancer. From her expressions on the last night she read the story to me, I should have figured there was a problem but then again, I was just an innocent child.

From that time until I became an adult, I would answer everyone who asked about her that she was in heaven. 

I remember my dad raising his voice at me for the first time when I told him I will love to join her. He screamed at me never to say that again. “Dad, it is a beautiful place, why can't I visit? I asked innocently. You are going nowhere. You will be right here with me. I cannot lose you too.” He said as he lifted me up the chair I was sitting and gave me a warm hearted hug. 

From that day, I knew there was something about my mum being in heaven that just did not sit right. I had never seen my dad in that mood. It was a bit scary and one thing was sure; I never wanted to see him in such mood again. From then, I decided I was never going to talk about my mother or heaven anymore. The need to find answers to my questions struck me right after and I began the journey.

I remember asking my primary school teacher about breast cancer and why people had to leave their loved ones to be in heaven. She gave me the same answers I was getting from every other person. They all said she was in a better place, she needed to rest and I will definitely see her again someday. So when is this “someday?” Anyway, I was willing to wait patiently. 

On this particular day, I woke up with tears in my eyes after seeing my mum in my dream. She was crying so much that I had to get her several wraps of tissue paper to wipe her face.

It was not the first time I was seeing my mum in my dream but it was the first time we ever had a conversation. “If heaven is such a beautiful place, then why are you crying so much mum?” I asked. I was confused but happy at the same time because I finally got to speak with her.  

“Mummy I am happy to be with you” I said gleefully giving her a doting hug. I had no plans of letting her go. It felt so real but this reality was cut short as my dad woke me up to prepare for school.

“Good morning, my darling.” He said as he opened the curtains and bright light shone directly on my face. It was funny how my dad was still waking me up at age 16. I had gotten so used to it that if he did not wake me up, I was never going to be up early no matter how many times my alarm rang.

Is he not just the sweetest dad? I jokingly always called him my alarm. He found it very funny and teased me about being a big baby and how sending me to boarding school was going to be the perfect solution. I despised being in boarding school because boarders often felt like the school was an empire they owned because they spent more time in school. I just could not understand how they could be so proud despite all the difficulties they faced with bullying and the likes. I never wanted to be in such a situation.

“So it was a dream,” I whispered to myself as my dad called again and pleaded with me to get out of bed. Lagos traffic was really terrible during early hours of the day and he hated to get stuck in it. “I will dad” I said as I stood up reluctantly and headed to the bathroom to take a shower.

While in the shower, I could not get the scene from my dream off my mind. My mum was in so much pain. She was heartbroken. “Why did she not answer my question?” “Why was she not happy that she finally found rest like everyone else thought?

I had no answers to any of these questions but I was more determined than ever to find the answers.  I hurriedly put on my school uniform and shoes as I tried to catch up with my dad. I did not want to be the reason why he would be caught up in traffic.

We had a driver but I always wanted to be in my dad's company. The daily nuggets he shared with me always had me looking forward to our time together. I was not going to trade the daddy-daughter moment for anything in the world; besides, he was my best friend.

While we were on our way, I was not sure if it was a good time to speak to my dad about my dream. It did not seem like the perfect time because all he could think of was escaping the already built up traffic.  It was one of those times when I felt like I was in a car James Bond was driving in one of his movies. Afterall, it was my fault and I did not want to remind him I was the reason we were presently in that situation.

After a while,  I summoned up some courage. “Daddy, I saw mummy in my dream last night” I said adjusting my seat belt. It made me feel uncomfortable and I wanted to be very comfortable while we had this conversation. 

He suddenly stepped on the brake and that gave a loud screeching sound that drew attention from everyone in the cars around us. “Daddy!!!” I screamed. I thought we had been involved in an accident. 

My heart skipped several beats at once. “Daddy, are you okay?” I said as I took off my seat belt gently patting his back. “I am sorry daddy, maybe I should not have brought up the topic.” I was sincerely sorry.

“Oga move your car na. Wetin happen?” The bus driver directly behind us shouted at the top of his voice while other vehicles kept honking.

“Put on your seatbelt honey.” He said calmly. I obeyed immediately, still in shock. We were both speechless from that point until we got to my school. 

I felt guilty for putting my dad in that mood but I was not sorry. Am I the only one who thinks my dad and the rest of the family owed me some explanations? I knew my mum died of breast cancer quite alright but no one was saying anything else. I deserved to know the circumstances in which it happened, how it happened and every other important information.

Bringing up the topic with my dad always somehow ended in a drama. I was going to give him some time but we definitely had to talk about it. 

When we got to my school, I apologized again for what had happened, but my dad, addressing me by my first name, said I did nothing wrong and there was no need for an apology. My dad hardly ever called me by my first name and this threw me into more confusion. He usually called me darling, sweetheart or any other endearing name.

“Alright dad, I will see you after school.” I said as I alighted from the car.

“Okay Danielle. See you later.” He replied calling me by my first name again.

I got down from the car slowly expecting he would call me back and just say something but he did not.

I stood and watched him as he drove off. He had never dropped me off at school without giving a peck or a hug at least.

I wondered to myself if this was enough to cause me any concern or maybe I was just being a spoilt brat. 

I sat down all through the day wallowing in self-pity. I was absent minded all through my lectures and could see through every teacher who stepped into the class.

I was about writing my mock exams for the Senior School Certificate Examination and I still had no idea what I was going to study.  I was confused. I was not sure if I wanted to be in business and a lawyer like my dad because he was my role model, or a teacher because being a worker in the children’s unit at my church was the best thing that happened to me at that time.

My vice principal stepped into my class right in the middle of my thoughts to announce that the deadline for submission of forms was the following week. This meant I had roughly a week to choose my career path. 

Earlier that week, some professionals had come to give us a career talk. After the lecture, only the last sentence from the facilitator stuck with me. It was one that said, “know your strengths and continue in that line.” It was true but this made me more confused. I was the best in every subject and I absolutely enjoyed every one of them. I was not scared I was going to miss it, I only needed some more time to figure things out.

It was a Wednesday and being the secretary of the school’s health club, I needed to set up the classroom for health club meetings but I was not feeling up to it. I was also responsible for making sure at least two representatives from the school’s clinic were present in our meetings for facilitation, so I left for the clinic. 

When I got to the clinic, I sat down patiently waiting for the school nurse. She had given me a signal as soon as I stepped in to hold on a bit as she was busy. She was speaking to one of our teachers who was crying bitterly. I stretched my head a bit to get a glimpse of who it was. After minutes of doing this carefully so as not to get caught, I found out it was Mr Kalejaiye.

Mr Kalejaiye was my Biology teacher and my favorite teacher because he was very smart. Whatever made him cry this much had to be something very serious. I decided to stand up and move towards Mrs Ranti, the school nurse but she asked me to go back immediately I stood up. I was usually not that inquisitive but for some reason I was bent on knowing what exactly it was they were discussing.

15 minutes later she was out and apologized for keeping me waiting. “It is okay ma. Can we leave now?” I asked politely. “Of course Danielle” She replied. I picked up the club guide and attendance register and immediately walked behind her.

Mrs Ranti seemed to be in deep thoughts as we walked together. I spent about two minutes giving her a brief of the last meeting and what we intended to talk about that day, telling her how excited I was. We were going to be discussing and practicing First Aid. It was a topic I had  always been interested in. There was no response from her and that was a bit strange. I moved closer to her and noticed she was mumbling to herself.

“Why would he prefer to take her to a village for treatment rather than go to the hospital to take out the lump early enough, even after I told him it could progress to breast cancer?” She said as she folded her arms standing and looking far away.

“What did you say Mrs Ranti?” 

“Oh Danielle, never mind, I was just thinking out loud.” She said as she walked into the class and apologised to the students who had been waiting.

All I could think of throughout the club meeting, were the words Mrs Ranti mumbled to herself. I thought Mr Kalejaiye could not have been telling her he had breast cancer because he was a man. Of course I was young then and had no idea men could have breast cancer too. It must be his wife and I really hoped she was not going to die too. 

The meeting was over in no time and I could not wait to see my dad. I wondered how he fared all day after the incidence in the morning.

As soon as I stepped out of my classroom, I found my driver. “What are you doing here?” I asked him as I looked around to find my dad. 

He replied saying my dad needed to rest so he asked him to come pick me up from school. I got into the car very upset. My dad knew how much I did not like Sulaimon coming to pick me. Why then would he have sent him? I asked myself.

On getting home, as soon as I stepped into the sitting room, I saw dad with my former nanny, Miss. Adesuwa. “Interesting” I said to myself. This had to be some kind of definition of rest  I never knew about.

I greeted them casually and walked into my room. I could not bear the thought that my dad refused to pick me up from school because of Miss Adesuwa. How convenient. I was staring out my window, deep in thoughts, when my dad knocked asking for permission to come in.

I was quiet and did not say anything. He came in, asked me to sit down and I obeyed.

“There is something I want to speak to you about Danielle.”

“I am listening dad,” I replied expecting an apology.

“I think it is time to take a new wife. You need to have a mother figure in your life.” Immediately shivers ran down my spine. I was wrong. He did not come for an apology. 

“I do not need a mother dad. We are fine just the way we are” I shouted.

“No, we are not, Danielle. I am stressed and lonely. I have done everything to please you all my life. Now I think you are all grown up and I need to take a break and live my life too.” He said firmly, looking away.

“Dad how can you say you are lonely? What about me? It is bad enough that you did not  come to pick me up from school today. You barely said a word to me after the incident and now I come home and you welcome me with the news about taking a new wife. You cannot be serious” 

“Danielle you are taking this the wrong way.” My father said moving closer to me.

“Oh really” I replied as I stood up. “How else do you expect me to take this dad?” I asked. “Okay Daddy, I am happy for you.” I said sarcastically.  “Before I forget, I have not asked who this new wife is.”

“It is…It is….” He stammered as he struggled to give me a response.

“It is Adesuwa. Isn’t it?” I asked hoping I was not right.

“Yes Danielle but…” My father stuttered.

“No but Daddy. You have always wanted this. You can get a wife but please before you do, kindly give me the much needed explanations about my mum’s death. That is all I need from you. I will like to be left alone now please” I asked politely.

“Danielle I am truly sorry” He pleaded.

“Daddy, please I need to be left alone.” I asked again as I grabbed my pillow and teddy bear trying to hide the outburst of tears. 

Miss Adesuwa was my nanny growing up. My parents were responsible for her education right from the time she moved in with us. My dad sponsored her through school until few months before that time, when she graduated with her masters’ degree from a school in London. Now years after my mum was gone, she is getting married to my dad. 

I was not sure how I was ever going to come to terms with this unfavorable change.

Would I have felt differently if it was someone else? Not sure I have the answer to that question either. It was all tears through the night until early hours of the morning when I finally fell asleep.

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