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Saturday, December 22, 2018

(S2): HEARTBEAT OF BELLO'S HOSPITAL. E3



Episode 3 Title: Getting it right
********
Lola went back inside and checked on the old man with the kidney problem. He was sleeping. On her way out of the room, she saw Melvin. He told her he was leaving and she bid him goodbye. On his way to the parking lot, he heard Zara call his name. He turned to her direction and she walked closer to him.
“You didn’t tell me you were leaving.” She told him.
“I don’t owe you how I live my life.”
“I know but you have been trying to get back with me.”
“You told me you are no longer interested. Have you forgotten?”
“I know I said that but you can’t just give up on me.”
Melvin stared at her surprised. “Zara, what has gotten into you?”
“Nothing.”
“See, I have to go now. I have an important place to go.”
Her eyes were gazing at him eagerly. “Am I not important to you now?”
“Not anymore.” He turned to open the door of his car.
“Is it because of Lola?”
Melvin turned back and had a puzzled expression on his face. “Lola?”
Zara gestured closer to him. “Yes. I have been seeing both of you together. Do you want her too?”
“What makes you think I want her?”
“You have been all over her!”
“She is my friend and she is not a bad person. I like her personality. She does not judge.”
“Are you saying I judge people?”
“You think I don’t know how you talk to Dr. Ahmed. He might not be your type but he is human just like you. You can’t keep comparing to Boko haram members. It is not his fault about what is happening in the north. I think he might have schooled abroad.”
“Don’t let his accent fool you. He is still a Hausa man. How can he school abroad when he doesn’t even have a car. You think I don’t know he follows you to drop him?”
“You don’t know his story and I have never dropped him in his house.”
“Maybe he has something to hide.”
Melvin shook his head. “Zara, I don’t have the time to meddle into someone’s life.” He turned away to the door of his car to open and enter.
“Melvin, I am still talking to you!”
He locked the doors and when she tried to open one of them, it didn’t open. Melvin drove away and Zara watched him with rage in her eyes.
********
“Something is wrong with your patient.” Oliver told Lola.
“What happened?” They hiked towards where he was.
“He complained of a severe headache and he has gone to the toilet three times.”
A concerned expression surfaced on her face. “I will have to ask him if he has other symptoms. What about the result of the tests?”
“The last time I went to the lab, it wasn’t ready.”
“You can go and check now.” He was about to leave when she asked. “When is your shift over?”
He glanced at his wristwatch. “In five minutes time.”
Lola sighed. “Is it possible for you to wait for the result before you go home?”
“Yes. Anything for you Dr. Lola.”
She smiled faintly. “Thank you.”
He turned to the direction leading to the lab. Lola approached his patient. He appeared weak and he was sweating. She examined his stomach region and checked the rate of his heartbeat.
“You have rapid heartbeat.” Lola said to him. “The nurse told me what you have been going through. Mr. Jide, you have to tell me what you have been taking.”
“What’s that supposed to mean? I told you I only need the painkillers!”
“No you don’t. You have gastrointestinal pain. Are you depressed?”
“No!”
“You have symptoms of tramadol withdrawal. Have you been taking tramadol, Mr. Jide?”
He looked away angrily. “No.”
Lola walked in front of him. “You have to tell me the truth. The result of your test will reveal what you took.”
He looked into her eyes surprised. Oliver came forward with a file in his hand and handed it over to Lola.
“The tests are out.”
“Thanks. You can go home.”
“See you tomorrow doc.”
Oliver walked away and Lola read the results. Lola glared at him and he spoke instantly.
“You are right. I have been taking tramadol after the painkillers finished. I noticed changes in my body and I thought not taking it anymore would make me feel better. I was wrong.”
“Is that why you need the other painkiller?”
“Yes. I thought it would help ease the pain.”
Lola shook her head. “It doesn’t work like that, Mr. Jide.”
“So what’s going to happen to me now?”
“I will refer you to the detox center. You will be under medical supervision but first, I will give you treatment to help with the discomfort in your body.”
“Okay doc, thanks.” Jide said, “I really appreciate it.”
Lola gave a smile. “You don’t need to thank me. I am only doing my job.”
********
At 7:15pm, Ahmed was at the dressing room, prepared to leave when Zara walked in. To his surprise, she motioned towards his way.
“I know I have been provoking you for a while now. You and I are in this together. We are partners. I would like to make amends. Melvin has gone home. I would like to drive you.”
“You want to make amends without apologizing to me?”
“I have apologized.”
“I have heard. Don’t worry, I will take public transport.” Ahmed started to walk towards the door.
Zara turned to face him. “I am sorry.”
Ahmed rotated to look at her with surprised eyes. “I will wait for you by your car.”
Zara smiled at him. “Okay.
Ahmed left the room and the smile flew away from her lips. Five minutes later, Zara drove with him in her car. When they got to a certain place, he told her to stop, and that he would board a taxi home. She insisted she was willing to take him home but he refused politely. He came down and said goodbye to her.
*******
“Ever since you became a doctor in that hospital, you have refused to visit us!” Melvin’s mother uttered with anger in her voice. She lost her husband many years ago and never remarried. She was a trader.
Mrs. Okorie was very fat and looked older than her age. She was only fifty years old. She was in her small living room, talking with Melvin and his younger brother Michel. He was in his fourth year at the university studying medicine.
“Is that why you called this meeting?” Melvin asked in an annoyed tone.
“Don’t forget I gave birth to you. I can still slap you! How dare you ask me such a question?”
“I have told you several times that I am a busy man. I have been busy.”
“What mama is trying to say is,” Michel spoke, looking at Melvin. “You don’t visit or call regularly.”
“But I do send money.”
“Money is not everything my brother.”
“Money is not everything but you always call me to send money for your school fees.”
“I didn’t say money is not important. It is but it is not everything.”
“I hope you have stopped your fraudulent act.” Mrs. Okorie said to Melvin while glaring at him.
Melvin frowned. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means have you stopped doing internet fraud?”
“I was never into internet fraud.”
“Don’t forget you used to live here while you were in school. I did not finish school does not mean I am daft. How did you afford those things you bought after you moved out of this place when you were in your fourth year at the university?”
“Mama, I worked hard.”
“How my son?”
Melvin rose on his feet and grabbed his car-key from the table. “I still need to go back to the hospital before going home.”
“But I have not finished talking.”
“My patients need me.”
His mom stood. “I need you. I am your mother!”
“Mama, please take it easy.” Michel said.
“Don’t tell me to take it easy!”
Melvin faced her. “What exactly do you want?”
“I want you to come home often and always call and stop behaving as if you are not part of this family.”
“I have heard you mama. Can I go now?”
She eyed him and hissed. “Yes. You can go. I don’t want you to blame me if anything bad happens to your patients. Big head.”
Melvin and Michel laughed.
*******
Ahmed arrived home. It was a mansion owned by his late father. His aunt who was watching television gave him a hard look when he greeted her. She didn’t answer and he went straight to his room. He was an only child. Ahmed’s mother was not in the picture. She parked her things and left some years ago. He was only nineteen. After Ahmed finished his studies in America and came to Nigeria, he lost his father. Ahmed exhausted his money after the burial, thinking things would go normal. He thought his father wrote a will but he didn’t.
His father’s elder brother claimed the house and Ahmed took him to court. The case has been adjourned. The money in his father’s account remained untouched. Ahmed has been living under the same roof with his uncle and the wife. They didn’t live as family, they lived as enemies.
Zara got home to her two-bedrooms flat. She lived alone. Her parents lived elsewhere while her other siblings were married with children. She went to the kitchen to prepare dinner. She ate alone. It was a normal routine and she had gotten used to it.
*******
Duke heard a knock on his door and asked who it was. He was surprised to hear Yvonne’s voice when she mentioned her name. He quickly opened.
“Dr. Yvonne, what are you doing here?”
Yvonne motioned in, Duke closed the door and the two of them faced each other.
“I know you are upset with me. I am very sorry.”
“You didn’t have to tell Dr. Bello. It was wrong. You were not in the position to do that for me.”
“I’m sorry Duke.”
“It’s okay. You would have sent a text or waited until tomorrow to apologize at the hospital. You didn’t have to come to my house.”
“I had to do this in person. Let me take you to dinner on Saturday.”
“Dr. Yvonne, I am no longer upset with you. Does your husband know you are here?”
“Must you mention my husband? You know how I feel about you.” She started to move closer to him. “Why can’t you love me?”
Duke moved away from her and sat down. “I don’t have control over my heart. I can’t tell my heart to love you when it belongs to someone else.”
“You are in love with someone?” She questioned in a surprised tone.
“Dr. Yvonne, you need to go home.”
“Who is she Duke? Who are you in love with?”
“You don’t need to know her. She has someone in her life. We can’t be together.”
Yvonne stared at him in a lovable way. She wanted to go closer when Duke stood.
“I think it’s time you go home.”
She did not look happy. “Will you still go to dinner with me?”
“I will,” Yvonne’s face brightened and dampened when he added, “If your husband is present. It’s been a while I saw him. We should hang out on Saturday.”
She didn’t want to refuse the offer. “I will let him know.”
“Send my regards to him. I will see you tomorrow.” Duke said, sauntering towards the door. He opened it.
Yvonne gave a frail smile. “I will see you tomorrow.”
She walked out and Duke waited for her to leave his premises until he notified his gateman not to allow her in. Next time she came without informing him of her arrival, he should tell her he wasn’t at home. Duke felt he had to be careful. Yvonne seemed desperate to get him.
A desperate woman is a dangerous woman. He said silently to himself.
*********
Melvin returned to the hospital to check on his patients. Lola was planning to leave and he told her to wait for him, he would take her home.
“For real?” Lola asked surprised.
“Yes.”
“You will arrive home late.”
“Let me worry about that. I will drop you in front of your house and leave. Ahmed does not allow me drop him. I don’t know why.”
“Maybe he doesn’t want to stress you after a long day at the hospital.” Lola suggested.
“I doubt that. I think he is hiding something.”
“I don’t think so. Leave Dr. Ahmed. I will wait for you.”
“Okay.” Melvin said and left to examine his patients.
After he was done, Melvin took Lola home. On their way, she gave him details about the patient with a kidney problem. She narrated how she tried to convince his daughter to see him. She told him she wouldn’t give up. She would try again. Lola arrived home and Melvin drove straight to his residence.
********
The next day, Duke drove in and saw Lola standing where he normally parked his vehicle. She saw his car and shifted away. She watched him park his car and came out.
“Good morning Dr. Duke.” Lola said, smiling. She didn’t bother to wait for a reply. She knew she wouldn’t get one. She continued, “I am very sorry. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I will never question your authority. I respect you. I respect your decision.”
Duke was bothered about one thing. “Why are you smiling?”
The smile disappeared. “I thought it would make you smile you.”
He chuckled faintly while shaking his head. “Apology not accepted.” He turned and started walking away. Lola followed him.
“But why?” She asked with a worried expression on her face.
“You don’t mean it. You were forced to apologize.”
“I wouldn’t apologize if I don’t mean it.”
He paused to look at her. “Do you mean it, Dr. Lola?”
She hesitated to speak.
Duke added. “When you mean it, approach me and do the right thing. When you do, please don’t smile. You are still banned from coming to my office.”
“That means I am not banned from talking to you.”
“No.” He walked away.
Duke didn’t like what he was doing but he had to. Lola frowned watching him walk away from her. She meant every word she said. She craved for him attention. Even if she wasn’t under his wings anymore, she wanted to be his friend. Duke entered into the building. He recalled Lola smiling. It made him smile.

********
Melvin entered the room with a file in his hand. “The symptoms you have are as a result of endometriosis.” Melvin said to the woman that booked an appointment to see him. He sat down near her.
She appeared confused with the look on her face. “Endometriosis?”
“Yes. It is a disorder in which the tissue that forms the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterine cavity. Pelvis pain is one of the symptoms and that is not the only one you have.”
“Is that the reason I have not gotten pregnant?”
“Yes.” he replied. “Infertility is one of the symptoms too.”
“Oh my God. What am I going to do now? How do I treat myself?” She sounded worried.
“I will be candid with you. It doesn’t really have a cure…”
She burst into tears and Melvin tried to calm her down.
“Wipe your tears Mrs. Fola. There are medical and surgical options to help reduce the symptoms and manage any potential complications.”
“Really?”
“Yes.”
She wiped her tears to listen to him attentively.
Melvin added. “Everyone reacts differently to these treatment options. I will help you find the one that works best for you. There are several options to choose from but since you want to get pregnant, conservative surgery is the option. It’s called laparoscopy. I will have to remove the endometrial tissue.”
“I want to have the surgery immediately.” Mrs. Fola said.
“That is not a problem but you to sign some papers and inform a family of what you are doing.”
“Doctor, I want to do this without involving my family.”
His former self wouldn’t care but he had seen Lola so compassionate about patients that are not even hers.
“I think it’s best you inform someone. You need someone by your side. Inform your husband.”
“I am so scared.”
“Don’t be. You don’t have to go through with this alone.”
“I won’t be alone. You will be with me.”
“I am your surgeon. You need a companion.”
********
Duke was in his office when he heard a knock on the door.
“Come in.”
The person knocked again and Duke’s eyebrows rose. He stood and walked to the door to open. He saw Lola.
“What?”
“I am sorry.” There was seriousness in the sound of her voice. “I am sorry Dr. Duke.”
“Why are you apologizing now?”
“Because I want us to go back to how things were,” she said. “Remember how I persuaded to go ahead with that surgery. How we worked together and found out that he lied to you. You won and he didn’t have the right to sue you. You didn’t do it alone. We did it together.”
Duke smiled. “Come in.”
Lola smiled cheerfully and walked inside with him. “Does that I mean I am not banned anymore.”
“Sometimes you ask questions you already know the answers to.” He sat down. “I hope you are comfortable working under Dr. Yvonne.”
“Even if I am not, I don’t think I have a choice. Do I?”
He gave a look and thought for a quick moment. “No, you don’t.”
Lola sighed.
“Well, I haven’t thanked you properly for your help the other time.” Duke said.
She thought he was going to take her to lunch or buy her a gift.
He added. “You will join me in my next surgery.”
She opened her mouth slightly as her eyes widened.
“Is there something else you want?”
“No, not at all. This is perfect.”
His phone beeped and he glanced at it. He rose up quickly. “We have to go the emergency ward now!”
Duke and Lola ran there and met a nurse and Jidenna giving quick mediation to an accident victim. Jidenna was clearly surprised to see them together but there was no time to ask any question. The patient had a deep cut on the thigh and his left arm was badly injured. The young man was screaming.
“I don’t think I can move my hand! My hand! Doctor you need to save my hand!”
He became unresponsive. Immediately he was giving CPR by Dr. Lola, he was revived and his condition became stable. The man was prepped for surgery. Deep inside Duke’s heart, he was happy Lola was with him in the OR.
********
Mrs. Fola contacted her husband and he came immediately. Melvin explained to him and everything was finalized. Melvin heard Lola was busy. Ahmed assisted him with the surgery.
After Dr. Zara finished attending to a woman and her child, she heard Lola and Duke had a successful surgery, she was jealous and the hatred she had for her counterpart increased. Melvin also smiled out of the operating room. It was a good day.

Yvonne went to meet Duke. She complained he was not cooperative and that if he believed she could mentor Lola and Melvin, he shouldn’t have worked with Lola. He explained why he allowed her join him. Yvonne left the office.
After hours of working, they went home. Jidenna sent a text to Lola reminding her of their dinner the following day. Duke got home and slept. He was very tired. Ahmed followed Melvin and as usual, he dropped him at a particular bus stop. Lola boarded a taxi to an eatery to eat before going home. Her mother prepared her food but Lola told her she had already eaten.
********
On Saturday around 11am, Melvin arrived at the hospital to check on the woman that had surgery. She was doing fine and her husband was with her. He still wore the clothes he was putting on the previous day. He never left her side. Lola came to look at the man’s hand and the nerve repair on his hand was improving.
Yvonne notified Duke that she and her husband won’t be able to make it to dinner. Duke felt relieved.
In the evening, Lola and Jidenna were having dinner in a nice restaurant. Lola looked so beautiful that Jidenna would stop eating his meal just to stare at her face to admire. It made her blush. He did it again and this time, she spoke to him playfully.
“I want you to stop staring.”
He asked her. “Why?”
“You are making me feel shy.” She replied while batting her eyelids.
“Don’t feel shy baby. I am happy to have you in my life.”
“Thanks dear. I am happy too.”
Jidenna and Lola began to eat again.
“I just remembered.” he said while eating. “How were you able to get Duke’s attention? I forgot to ask.”
She narrated it to him.
“That’s good. I am glad you sorted it out with him but he shouldn’t have banned you. He knew you are my girlfriend.”
The fork Lola was using to eat dropped from her hand and it made a sound as it hit the plate. Jidenna gazed at her dazed.
“You told him?”
“No.”
“How come he knows I am your girlfriend?”
Jidenna explained how Duke found out. Lola looked away from him. If he already knew that means she and Duke could never be a couple. She thought and her face fell.
“Are you okay?” Jidenna asked her.
Lola managed to smile. “Yes I’m okay.” She lied.
Lola wasn’t okay. She was unhappy.
*******
To be continued…. Merry Christmas in advance o!

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Stories on www.ckjacob.com are work of fiction. Names, characters and events described are the imagination of the writer. Resemblance to actual persons, alive or dead, is entirely coincidental.