Belina (Tender Beauty)
I stared at Tunji coldly,”what are you doing here?” He shook his head, ” Is that the way you greet your future husband? let me in”, he ordered. I laughed mockingly, “you are crazy. I have always known that, but I didn’t know it was this serious”. He scoffed. “Belina”, dad yelled and I stiffened. “let him in now”. I stood with my arms akimbo blocking the doorway. “BELINA” I eyed Tunji and reluctantly stepped aside. I slammed the door after him with so much force that the house shook. Dad glared at me but turned towards Tunji and grinned. “Good morning Mr Badmus”, Tunji said. “Morning my son. Sorry for her rude behaviour, she is just being childish”, dad said. I rolled my eyes in disgust. Amazing what people would do for wealth and power. ‘why can’t this idiot take ‘no’ for an answer?” i wondered. “I am through with the arrangements sir”, Tunji was saying smiling at me. Dad nearly jumped out of his skin in excitement. “oh, oh Tunji, you are God sent, God bless you a million times, ah…”
Puzzled, I asked, “what arrangement?” Before he could answer, my phone rang, noticing that it was Prisca, I went to the room to answer it. Unlike our usually long chats, the call ended within two minutes. Unable to conceal my joy, I practically danced round my room after letting out a loud scream of joy. Dad and Tunji ran into my room. “What are you doing here?” I asked unable to hide my happiness. “What do you mean by that? what is all the fuss about?” Tunji asked. “Well, I just got a job, and not just a job, a very good one”, I said grinning proudly. Dad and Tunji stared at each other. “well, you are not taking the job”, Dad said. “Excuse me?” “Yes, we would be travelling to London on Saturday. The arrangements have been made, so start preparing cos the wedding would be done immediately we get there”. Dad said. I blanched.
The tension in the waiting room of best result hospital can be sliced with a knife. The nurses are on their toes doing one thing or the other. The waiting room is unusually rowdy and the people are busy moving from pillar to post and not even the nurses were able to calm them down. Some decided to take their burden to God, asking Him to take control.
The reason for the turmoil laid on the bed in the operating room with three doctors attending to him. He had been involved in a fatal accident on his way out and was unconscious. We have been told to avoid ‘one way’ in Lagos, but some people would just not listen. Best Result hospital happened to be close by so he was immediately rushed there.
Adewale rushed into the hospital like a possessed man. He say Deji’s family members and some friends and instantly knew that the news was not a frame up. “No”, he screamed. People gathered to help him and calm him down but he was violent. “No, he must not die”, he said to no one or actually everyone. “He was coming to see me, I … i …” The nurses moved him to a chair, “pls calm down young man, everything would be fine”, one of the nurses said.
Adewale held on to that statement like his life depended on it and started saying it to himself. “Can you pls be quiet?” one of deji’s close friends yelled out of frustration.
The three doctors came out after about two hours. they looked tired and sapped as they made for their offices. Doctor Richard headed towards the waiting room and upon entering, everyone held on to him like a lifeline asking all sort of questions. The doctor tried to make out one question but could not. Finally, he said, “calm down everyone, he is alive”.
Everyone started talking at the same time again but this time, they were talking to God. Deji’s father went to meet the doctor and said, “thank you doctor, God bless you, e ko ni ri laburu
“yes sir. He is alive sir but he needs prayers now cos he is in a coma. The accident affected his head and his survival chances are slim”, doctor Richard said.
Deji’s father’s face froze and it seemed like he had seen a ghost. Adewale who had been eavesdropping suddenly went to hold the Doctor’s shirt. “Please, make sure he survives doctor. He wouldn’t be on that bed if i hadn’t insisted that he come to my place. I would not be able to bear it if he…, if he…”
Doctor Richard placed his head on his table some minutes later deeply distressed. Memories which he had tried hard to blurt out came uninhibited to his mind; those were the memories that gave him consistent nightmares. A tap on his shoulders jerked him from his demons. “What is wrong Richard?” Doctor Tony who was Richard’s best friend asked. “I… I am fine.” “No, you are not. If you did not hear me calling your name, you are not fine.” Tony said looking worried. “It is nothing.. The tension in the waiting room was just more than i bargained for.” Richard said standing up. Tony laughed a bit, “Rich, you are a doctor and you definitely have faced worse. Richard sighed, “the accident of the patient occurred when he was on his way to a friend’s place and the poor guy is almost ripping his head off in guilt”. Still not getting his point, Tony asked, “And?” Richard glared at him, “Tony, that patient has only 20% chance of survival and i can’t watch him die. Do you remember that i know exactly what that guy in the waiting room is facing?” Alarmed, Tony stood up, “Richard, you are not still blaming yourself for what happened then, are you?” he asked. Richard looked at him, his eyes haunted, “Tony, i still have nightmares. i can’t forget. i have tried all i know can as a doctor and i don’t wish even my enemy would be in my position”, he said and took a deep breath. “i would get some air”, he said and left the office.