“If he thinks he needs some space, you should give it to him.” Bidemi said to her daughter in the living room of her home.
Lola had driven there. She cried in the car and the moment she reached there, she wiped the tears away. She spoke to her mom about everything that has been happening at the hospital.
“Right now, I am angry with him. He is not even trying to remember what we had.”
“But how?” Lola asked in anxiety. Her hands were trembling. “If I don’t continue to spend some time with him, he won’t know what we shared.”
She touched her gently. “Let him be. You never can tell what would happen next.”
Lola stood on her feet and closed her eyes.
Bidemi looked at her, “Are you leaving?”
She opened her eyes and glanced at her. “No. I will call dad later. I will spend the weekend here.”
Bidemi stood with a smile on her lips. “Thank you Lola.”
Lola gave a side smile. “Thank you too.”
She hugged her.
The next day, very early in the morning, Wole called Lola to inform her not to bother about coming to the hospital. She should use the weekend to rest and if they needed her, Nurse Oliver would inform her. Lola made a call to Oliver to give her details about Duke incase anything came up. It was a pleasure to attend to Lola’s requests.
Quite late in the afternoon, Lola decided to go out. She drove all the way to Jidenna’s home. She was certain he would have returned from work. She got there and met another car at the front of the house. She alighted, came out and motioned towards the entrance. Lola met Jidenna coming out with Sandy Fayemi and their son. He was shirtless and appeared surprised to see her.
Lola said, “Oh, I am sorry. I didn’t know you had visitors… I mean your family.”
“We are already leaving,” Sandy said while holding her child. She turned to Jidenna. “We will talk on the phone.”
“No problem.” He pecked his son on his head. “Take care of him.”
“I will.” Sandy’s eyes met Lola’s own before she exited the premises.
“I am very sorry for not calling you before coming,” Lola said. “I thought you wouldn’t want to see me.”
“Never.” he smiled at her. “Please, come in.”
Both went in and sat down on a long couch. Lola looked around and noticed the place was quite messy. He noticed how she was staring at his place. His shirt was on the floor.
“Nothing happened between Sandy and I. We were only playing with our kid.” Jidenna got up and grabbed his shirt. “My son stained my shirt, that’s why I pulled it.”
“You don’t owe me an explanation.” Lola said and bowed her head. “You are free to be with the mother of your kid.”
“She is seeing someone else.”
“Duke.” She looked at him. “I came here to apologize to you. I was wrong. I should not have suspected you were capable of hurting Duke. I was only trying to protect him. I am sorry. Please, forgive me.”
Jidenna gazed at her and motioned closer. “You called me Duke.”
“You called me Duke.”
She speedily rose and touched her forehead. “I’m so sorry. It didn’t occur to me. I am sorry Jidenna.”
He carried her hands to hold. “It’s okay Lola. I am glad you apologized. I have forgiven you.”
“With what is happening to Duke, don’t you think it’s time to let him go?”
Lola frowned and released her hands from him. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“This is an opportunity for you to give me another chance to prove we belong together. I still have feelings for you. I love you Lola.”
He beckoned to kiss her on the lips. She quickly shifted and placed her hand on his chest to stop him.
“What do you think you are doing?” Lola put down her hand and glared at him with a scorn on her face. She looked infuriated.
“I’m sorry.” He said and moved backwards. “I wasn’t thinking properly.”
“I will let that slide because I offended you, but never try it again.”
Lola sighed heavily. “I will be leaving now.”
As she stepped away, he held her hand. “Please don’t leave. I am sorry for trying to kiss you.”
“It’s okay Jidenna. I have to go home. I don’t think you are ready to be my friend again.”
“I would be lying if I just want to be your friend. I want more than that and you know it.”
“My heart belongs to Duke.” Lola looked at her hand. “Can you let go of it?”
Jidenna freed her. “I will see you on Monday.”
She gave a nod and walked out of his residence.
“Daniela, what are you trying to say?” Duke asked over the phone on a Sunday evening. His ex-girlfriend called.
“I want us back together.”
“I didn’t lose all my memory. I still feel the same way I felt about you. Don’t try to complicate things for us.”
“I heard about you and that Lola. You are no longer together for a reason. You and her were never meant to be together.”
“I really don’t know what to say.” Duke said. “I am beginning to remember her. I know she’s Wole Bello’s daughter. This morning, I remembered helping her to find him. Maybe the feelings I had for her will eventually come back.”
“Are you saying there is still a chance for Lola to be in your life?”
With the tone of her voice, Duke could tell she was angry.
“Daniela, I am still recovering. If I truly loved her, don’t you think I should try and…”
He sensed she had ended the call. “Hello.”
No answer. He stared at his phone and saw that he was right.
Later, Ahmed came in and Duke was surprised to see him.
“You are not supposed to be here.”
“I know Dr. Duke.” Ahmed said. “I was supposed to see a friend, but she couldn’t make it. I decided to come here and see you briefly.”
“That’s nice. Please sit down.”
“Okay.” He dragged the chair closer to the bed and sat down. “I hope all is well?”
“Yeah. It seems you know Dr. Lola quite well.”
“I think I do. She’s a friend.”
“I know Lola now. I know who she is. I just don’t know if I loved her. Can you tell me what our relationship was like? I mean when we were together as a couple.”
His left eyebrow rose. “She didn’t tell you?”
“Tell me what?”
“Both of you were about to start having an affair when you got shot.”
“You mean I was shot the day we were supposed to be a couple?”
“Yes. Your love story is one of a kind. I can’t explain it. I am not in the right position to do that.” Ahmed wanted to say something else but paused. Duke noticed it.
“You can ask me anything.”
“Before you got shot, do you remember anything that day?”
Duke squeezed his forehead while trying to recall. “I… I was in my office that day. I was reading a document when I heard someone knock and open the door.
“Who opened the door?”
Duke shut his eyes tightly and opened them. “I can’t remember. I try to picture it but it seems blurry. I don’t know why.”
Ahmed smiled. “It’s even an improvement you can remember a part of that day. Your memories with her will come at the right time.”
Duke kept quiet for a brief moment. “Why didn’t you tell me about your court case?”
He appeared shocked. “Your father told you?”
“Yes. He told me this morning. I asked if you were distracted, but you lied to me. You would have confided in me.”
“I didn’t know the judge was your father.”
“It did not matter. I am not going to affluence the verdict, but I know my father would do the right thing.”
Ahmed wore a wide smile.
On Monday morning at the hospital, a pregnant woman was coming out from the consultation room when Lola entered. Melvin stood from where he was sitting to stand in front of her.
“I saw your text,” Lola said. “I hope there’s no problem.”
“There will be if I don’t get the reply I want.” Melvin answered her.
Lola gazed at him confused. “What is it?”
“Have you been able to speak to your dad on my behalf?”
“Speak to him about what?”
“Apart from you, we will know our fate next week Monday.”
“There is nothing to say to my dad. If you are good enough, you will be among the top two. Are you good enough?”
“Then there is nothing to worry about.” Lola walked out.
Ahmed told Lola he wasn’t happy she refused to see him during the weekend. She explained her mother wanted them to go out together. She couldn’t say no. Lola was back at her father’s place. Ahmed informed her Duke knew who she was.
“Knowing I am among the contract staff doesn’t change anything.” Lola said to him. “I really wish I could turn back the hands of time.”
“It is well.”
“I don’t want to talk about Duke anymore. Let’s talk about you.”
“What is there to talk about?”
“You and Zara. I think you should give her a chance. ”
“Why are you saying that?”
“Zara is likely to change if you become the man in her life.” Lola replied. “That is what she wants.”
“I can’t give Zara what she wants. She can never change. After the case, I am going to concentrate on my job and my unborn baby.”
“It seems you have concluded you will be among the top two.”
“I don’t know. I don’t know what the future have for me. I still want to travel abroad and learn more.”
“When you win the case, you will have the money to do that.”
“I know.” Ahmed said with a smile.
For over two days, Lola didn’t see Duke. Oliver only gave her details about him. The last time he did, She told him not to bother again. Despite she wasn’t happy, if Duke could not send for her, why try to know about him when he was already all right.
The next day, Lola did a minor surgery and after she attended to a man, she noticed two nurses taking out items from the ICU.
“What’s going on?” Lola asked one of them.
“Dr. Duke has been discharged.”
It came as a big surprise. No one told her. Not even her father. She was on her way to his office when she saw Jidenna coming her way.
“Good afternoon Dr. Jidenna.”
“You don’t look happy.” He said.
“I am. I just found out Duke has been discharged.”
“Yes. He will be staying at his parent’s place for now. He is strong now. He even insisted he wants to resume work tomorrow, but Dr. Robertson refused. I heard he will resume on Monday.”
“That’s okay. Thanks for letting me know.”
“You are welcome.”
Lola went away and chose not to ask her father.
In his room, in his father’s house, Duke laid on the bed to relax. He was feeling better and strong. He wondered why they won’t allow him return to work immediately. He has talked to his father, who believed he was trying to do the right thing. He apologized for thinking he won’t wake up and his son forgave him. Duke planned to use his free time to explore the internet, eat good food, fruits, rest and spend more time with his family.
Lola decided not to call or text Duke. There was no point doing that. She concentrated on her work and what made her happy was the fact that the man she loved was alive.
Lola checked her phone. There were no missed calls or messages from Ahmed. He had gone to court and she hoped he won. During lunch hour, Jidenna asked they should have lunch together. She agreed and they left together.
While they ate, she started a conversation. “Have you heard from Duke?”
“Yes. I talk to him every day.”
“How is he?”
“He is good great. He can’t wait to return on Monday.”
“That’s good.” Lola said and glanced at her phone.
Jidenna stopped eating and focused his eyes on her. “I believe we still have a chance to be together. Duke has moved on with his life. He doesn’t even ask after you.”
“Jidenna, please don’t start. Let’s eat and talk as friends. I don’t need to hear this, please.” She stared at her phone again.
“Are you expecting a call?”
“Yes, from Ahmed. I hope he is okay.”
“I think he is. As a matter of fact, he is happy.”
“How do you know?” Lola asked surprised.
He pointed behind her. “That’s him coming over here.”
Lola turned back, saw him and stood up. It appeared Ahmed had good news. He was grinning hard.
“Did you win?” She asked in an enthusiastic tone.
Ahmed hugged her. “Yes!”
She hugged him tight. “I’m so happy for you!”
Zara emerged, saw them, frowned and turned back. Jidenna congratulated him and Ahmed promised to take them out to celebrate his victory. He couldn’t even eat lunch. He was overwhelmed.
After lunch, a nurse requested for Lola and Jidenna at the OR. Ahmed had gone to change. He came out from the dressing room and saw Zara. Before he could open his mouth to talk, she spoke to him in anger.
“You won and you couldn’t share the good news with me. You choose to tell Lola instead.”
“I was going to tell you. This is good news for the baby and I.”
“What about me?”
“Zara,” Ahmed said. “As long as it is good for the baby, it is good for you. You are going to be in my life. You are the mother of my unborn baby.”
“That means if not for the baby, I won’t be in your life.”
“Don’t talk like that.”
He moved to touch her on the shoulder, but she stepped away. Zara smiled wickedly.
“There’s no point.” she looked at him coldly. “I was never pregnant.”
“I thought you would take me as your girlfriend if I told you I was pregnant.”
“Zara, are you serious of what you are saying?”
“How could you lie to me?”
“How could you not love me?”
“That’s because you are evil. You are manipulative.”
Zara gazed at him stunned. “You think I am evil?”
“No wonder no one likes you. You don’t have a conscience. I hate you!”
Tears began to swell around her eyes. “Ahmed, I am sorry.” She reached for his hand.
“Don’t touch me! You have a big problem. You need psychological help. You are broken.”
Ahmed began to walk away. With tears in her eyes, she continued to call him, but he refused to answer. He approached the emergency ward and met Lola with some nurses. They were attending to a badly injured woman. She appeared to be an accident victim. He ran to join them.
“Thank God you are here!" Lola uttered. "I was about to call you. She needs to be operated on her legs!”
He reached for the woman’s legs to know the amount of damage. He shook his head sadly and gazed at her face. She was unresponsive.
“Oh no.” He muttered.
“What is it?” Lola quickly asked.
“That’s my mother!” Ahmed started to step backwards.
Lola gazed at him dazed. “What do you think you are doing?”
“I’m leaving,” he said. “I’m sorry Lola, I can’t operate on her.”
To be continued.. . Wednesday