“Oga, we don reach, pay me make I commot” the taxi driver shouted.
Mayowa dug his hands into his pocket, only to discover he was not with cash nor debit card. Luckily for him, he had his phone with him, obviously it was from there he had been playing songs that blast through the Bluetooth headset he wore round his head.
He launched his ALAT app, “what’s your account number” he asked the taxi driver. “Wetin you mean?”, Caleb, the taxi driver inquired.
Mayowa already knew he doesn’t have a bank account, he wasnt ready for his drama. “Drive me to the nearest ATM, let me get you the fund as I am out of cash”
He initiated a careless withdrawal from his ALAT app, the moment he got to the machine, he got the fund by entering the generated 12 digit code and the pre-selected cash out pin. The fund was available to him the moment the system finished processing the transaction.
Without a debit card he vended money from the automated teller machine, paid Caleb and headed for Reddington hospital where Moyinoluwa was admitted.
Upon arrival, he didn’t want to make the mistake of entering wrongly this time. He enquired from the security man where the reception was located and on getting there, he said “Good day, may I know which section Dr. Moyinoluwa is admitted”.
“Dr. Moyinoluwa? Admitted?. To start with, I don’t think I have ever heard any of our staff by that name, talkless of having any one of them being admitted as we speak ”
He rephrased his statement and it was at that point the chubby looking nurse got to know who he was asking after.
She did a check on the sleeky computer before her and got the details. “Any Id please ”
Mayowa randomly check his pockets, he seem not to have any of his identity cards with him as he wasn’t carrying his wallet. He remembered he was with his phone, he brought his staff e-pass and showed the lady who ran a QR check to confirm its validity. Upon confirmation, she informed him where Moyinoluwa was admitted.
He followed the arrows that indicated how to locate the section Moyinoluwa was, a carefully furnished building with pairs of polished oak doors with elegant poised walkways, the desk and chairs were antique. The doctors and nurses outfit indicate how fast changing the medical world in Africa was becoming.
While entering the ICU, the door opened with a swishing sound, and a young female doctor with her hair in a bun and skin the color of cinnamon approached him. She could only refresh more and more of the memories of Moyinoluwa in him.
He stuttered and made effort to confirm if his future wife was admitted in the wing he just arrived.
The doctor pointed describing the section of the wing Moyin was.
Mayowa walked in with more fears than hope in his eyes, the doctor must have seen it too because she quickly nodded and gave him a small smile.
Entering the room, well equipped and nothing short of 5 stars rating the hospital has been known for in years of its existence.
In the room were five family relatives, the patient’s father,step mother, uncle Dele and his wife,Sharon. Just at the bedside stood a fair looking skinny man, in a blazer and Jean, he had planted a kiss on Moyinoluwa who was unconscious and breathing with the help of the life support machine.
The first scene that captured Mayowa’s attention when he came in was seeing Olumide caressed Moyinoluwa, holding her hand and observing the screen for signs of improvement. “He can’t be a doctor ” he shrugged the thought off while drawing closer.
The strange posture of this man he had never seen made him observe the sign and advert on the shirt he wore under the blazing suit “Customer-centricity; an avenue to redefine the Nigerian made” He remembered the department had appointed Dolapo and Dr. Okoye to represent the Psychology department at the National trade conference to be held at Raddision blu, Victoria Island,Lagos the next day and that was the same event this strange man had worn it’s branded shirt. “who could this be”, he kept musing.
He drew closer that he almost forgot to greet his future in-laws.
“Good afternoon sir” He said prostrating, while Olumegbon, Moyinoluwa’s father stretched his hand for a shake. Both men shook hands.
The last time the two men were together in the room was when Moyinoluwa brought him home and that was the same day Olumegbon wrote on his behalf a letter that got him his lecturing appointment at the University of Ibadan.
Mayowa having greeted everyone except Olumide drew a chair right up next to the bed and Monyinoluwa’s head was bent toward him alternatively. He grabbed her hand and made some fondling round her ring finger, it was at that point the unconscious Moyin kicked to life. To everyone’s surprise including Mayowa.
This drew the attention of the nurse who had been observing the ongoings in the monitored screen captured by the CCTV camera located in the room. She in turn called the doctor on shift and they all headed to attend to Moyin. “We observe she surged to life when you touched her” Doctor Fabian asked Mayowa “Who are you to her”
“My name is Mayowa, her Future husband” he said looking at Olumide. This he did intentionally to observe his reaction.
“Reports from how event leading the patient to this revealed that she had just discovered you both are AS and the aftermath was that she collapsed in the theatre where she was leading a team of surgeon”
Mayowa’s illuminated smile in a matter of seconds paled into obscurity. It was Olumide who now looked in his direction now. His previously glowing face had become scowled.
“Can we leave the patient to the care of the nurse, while I have the attention of Mr. Olumegbon and Mayowa in my office” doctor Fabian requested as she walked out of the Vip ICU.
Doctor Fabian’s office was on the third floor, both men had to take the elevator and walked towards this distinguished office with polished oak doors which bore the doctor’s name.
He was already waiting for them in his office and this time they exchange pleasantries the moment the men arrived.
“I will just go straight to the point,because I understand you both are busy men with busy schedules.” he began his speech.
“I wish I could give nothing but good news” Fabian said leaning back with a file folder in his hands “When the news came that doctor Moyin was diagnosed as AS, I concluded there must have been something wrong with the sample they checked , but when I took the sample upon her arrival and had it checked, it came out that everything revealed at Bethel specialist hospital was nothing short of fact”
“And you are AS also?”, Mr. Olumegbon turned to Mayowa.
Mayowa dipped his head as if in professional acknowledgment. It was not only Mayowa that felt disappointed in the revelation of fate, Olumegbon with his much interest in Moyinoluwa being betrothed to Mayowa.
Fabian switched to counseling and again dished out words of encouragement to Mayowa to move on. “It will be difficult to drop all you have built these years. We understand the sacrifices you have made and how discomforting it will be to dump all you have ever seen as a future, but Mr. Mayowa, you might need to consider the risks involved and how worse the pains might be if you go ahead to marry her,at least think of those tiny creatures that might have to go through endless pains”
“So what you are saying is that I walk away?” Mayowa felt betrayed by fate, he couldn’t hold the oozing tears. He shook the hands of the doctor and Olumegbon and went to the bedside where he was before the doctor called him.
“When I met you eight years ago, I promised to love you when it is most and least convenient for me. It didn’t occur to me that there might be a more confusing option between this avowed words which is loving you when it’s inconvenient for us.
Today, fate has challenged us with the choice of living happily ever after with the risk of having sickle cell kids. Or we continue to be friends forever with our individual families. The doctor has advised that I forsake you at this point. Instead diadem, while at this crossroads, I will be here waiting for you to get back to your feet that we may make this decision together and not until you are hale again, there will be no end to us”
“Welcome back home ” Olumide’s step mother said, placing her hands, as cold as the diamond on both of his cheeks, in a perfectly simulated show of affection like she displayed over the phone when they spoke.
“I guess the guy at that came in the other is the Mayowa, Moyin had always talked about? ” he interjected to clear his curiousity. “Sure, of course”
“Such a loser, he could have at least said hello” he snapped leaving the mother while he entered the waiting vehicle.
There were many things in Olumide’s day that he look forward to. So, he had to brush off the thought of her sick sister and the charade of the future husband’s unfriendliness.
Meanwhile, Mayowa was still there, the bedside murmuring words of affection to the less conscious Moyinoluwa who looked on silently. The pain was still immense. He noticed and continued talking “Sorry, I know this must be hurtful and crazy to be, the same way I feel seeing you in this state”
Moyinoluwa Would like to deny it, but he couldn’t. Mayowa carefully laid her arm and said “that’s it for today” and planted a kiss on her head while he left the room.
He would have liked to stay, just sitting by her side, rattling on about the future and what she might feel like but he needed to deliver his class, Introduction to clinical psychology(Psy 102) by noon as he had missed two classes already since the day begun and he was yet to clean up.
“Unfortunately, there is no idea how soon she will be discharged ” doctor Fabian said responding to Mr. Olumegbon enquiry as they both entered the room immediately Mayowa left.
Mayowa dashed into the uber taxi he had hailed while at the bedside. For a few minutes he sat immobilized on the chair. The sound of that Moyin’s voice rang in his ears.
The vehicle now arrived at his apartment, he handed the chauffeur his fare, grabbed his jacket and slammed the door. He dialed Dolapo’s number.
“You are on to Dolapo’s voicemail box, kindly drop your message” the electronic voice said, he disconnected,stopped on the stairways and looked at the name appearing on the screen to be sure he had really dialed the intended number.
He went upstairs, took a bath and got dressed for his lecture, he concluded seeing Dolapo at the faculty instead of entertaining her gimmicks over the phone.
He pushed open the main door and looked up and down the street for a cab, he couldn’t navigate his phone to hail uber taxi. At that time ,it was some minutes to 12.
The cab rounded the corner and stopped to let out Mayowa who bolted off it, cutting off a couple of students with heavy duffel bags.
“Hey man! Why would you be so impatient ” one shouted as Mayowa hit him.
“He is faculty ” the other Student said “Mr. Mayowa, the new assistant lecturer in psychology”
He headed towards Dolapo’s office.
On getting there, her office locked. He brought out his phone and dialed her line again, this time, she picked.
“What have I done to deserve my crush insistent calls” Dolapo said picking the call.
“Where are you ” he skipped salutations interjectedly.
“Meet me at the foyer,I’m currently rounding off my 11am class” She advised.
Immediately they met at the Faculty lounge. Mayowa extended his hands for a shake,while Dolapo shook shrugged it off and hugged him instead. She held on so long that people started to notice and he smartly let her off while held and led her towards the board room where they talked on Olumide’s identity, if she is aware of what his role at the conference night be.
“That alone has made my day and what has caused the homecoming for my Charming Mayowa?” She said upon Mayowa’s refusal to hug her the second time.
To be continued