Lola left the intensive care after Loretta’s mom came and joined her. Lola called her mom she would be spending the night at the hospital. She still wanted to monitor Mr. James despite the two nurses Duke assigned to look after him. Lola went to the dressing room to rest.
Ahmed, Zara and Melvin went home. Duke decided to change before going home. He saw Loa sleeping and kept on staring at her. Her personality intrigued him. He smiled lightly and quickly turned to his locker when he heard someone about to open the door. It was Jidenna. He entered and the sound of the door woke Lola but she remained muted and tried to sleep back.
“I was looking for you,” Jidenna said to Duke and walked closer to him. “Oliver said you might be here.”
“I am here,” Duke said and wore his shirt. “Any problem?”
He heaved a sigh before he spoke. “It’s about Dr. Wendy.”
“What about Dr. Wendy?”
“We had a slight argument and it seems she doesn’t want me in this hospital anymore.”
Duke stopped to button his shirt. “Why would you say that?”
“I tried to explain what happened with the pregnant woman. She spoke to me impolitely in the presence of everyone around us that day.”
“Dr. Wendy does not have the power to send you away from this hospital. She is not your boss. You are not a surgeon.”
“I know. What I mean is if she continues this way, I am likely to render my resignation letter.”
“I am tired of her attitude. I have apologized to her, what else does she want from me?”
“I don’t know but do not allow her attitude push you away from this place. People are going to miss you here and you are quite popular with the patients. You are friendly with them and it’s one of the things I like about you.”
“You said people would miss me, you didn’t say you will miss me.”
Duke chuckled and buttoned his shirt. He placed his right hand on Jidenna’s shoulder. “I might not know how to express myself verbally but my attitude shows I care and I will surely miss you if you leave here.”
Jidenna smiled cheerfully. “I know.”
He removed his hand from the shoulder and carried his bag. “You don’t have to leave. I know what you did was not intentional. Dr. Wendy is acting this way because of how everything ended.”
“I know. I think I shouldn’t blame her for acting this way. I just need her respect again.”
“I will talk to her.”
“No. I think a time will come when she will become tired of acting cold towards me.”
“And when that day comes, don’t do anything to spoil it. Despite she is far older than us, she deeply cared for you and you know why.”
“I have to go now.” Duke started to walk towards the door. Jidenna followed him behind. “I will see you tomorrow morning.”
“I have one advice for you.” Jidenna said as Duke was about to open the door.
He looked at Jidenna. “Advice?”
“What is it?”
“I want you to learn how to express yourself when you care about someone especially a woman. It’s not everyone that knows your kind of person.”
“I don’t understand you.”
“I don’t want you to lose the woman you will fall in love with because you might not be able to tell her how you feel.”
Duke smiled. “Relax Jidenna. I am not going to lose the woman I love.”
He opened the door, both of them walked out of the room and Lola opened her eyes. She wondered must have transpired between Jidenna and Dr. Wendy? Was it an affair? Was Dr. Duke single? Lola asked herself silently before going back to sleep.
Duke returned home 12:15am, entered his room and showered. He came out with a towel around his waist and met his girlfriend awake.
“When did you return?” Daniela asked him.
“Few minutes ago.”
“Why didn’t you wake me?”
“I didn’t want to disturb you.”
Duke removed the towel and wore his pajamas. He joined her on the bed and she put her right hand on his chest. She started to caress his chest. Duke held her hand and looked at her.
“I am very tired. I did a surgery hours ago and it was intense.”
“And how does that affect how aroused I am whenever I am with you.”
“I almost lost a patient.”
“But you didn’t lose the patient.” Daniela said in an annoyed tone. “You are supposed to be happy.”
“I am happy but tired. I need to sleep.”
Daniela sat on the bed. “You don’t really care about how I feel.”
“I think you are the one that don’t care about how I feel right now. I am tired Daniela.”
“Is there another woman?” She asked with anger on every corner of her face.
“What kind of a question is that?”
“Are you seeing someone apart from me?”
“Daniela, I am not seeing another woman,” Duke said without any tone of anger in his voice. He was trying hard not to have a long argument with her. He wanted to sleep desperately. “I don’t double date. I don’t even have the time for that.”
“Then tell me what is going on.”
“Nothing is going on. I just want to sleep.”
Daniela lay back on the bed and faced the other side. Duke heaved a relieved sigh and closed his eyes.
“I hope you have not forgotten we are having dinner with my father.”
With his eyes closed, he answered. “I have not forgotten.”
Daniela was fuming in anger, as Duke didn’t want to touch her. She thought of a way to start a conversation with him and persuade him to have sex with her.
“I don’t want you to be late,” she said to him. “You know my father. You know he detest lateness.”
Duke did not say anything. Daniela called his name thrice without getting a response. She looked at him. Duke was fast asleep. Daniela frowned. She had plans. She wanted to force him and have unprotected sex. It was her ovulation period. Daniela was eager to get pregnant for him. Perhaps if she did, he would ask for her hand in marriage because she was already beginning to feel, Duke never loved her.
At 6:32am the following morning, Lola arrived home. She met her mother preparing to go to her place of work. Lola bathed, wore her clothes and ready to leave. Bidemi made breakfast for her. Lola drank hot tea and ate two slices of bread with fried eggs in a hurry.
“Is there somewhere else you are going?” Bidemi asked her as Lola finished her breakfast.
“I’m going to the hospital.”
“You are in a hurry to leave.”
“I have to be at work.”
“I know. You didn’t have to rush your food. Were you able to sleep well last night?”
“Yes. I am fine mom. Please, no more questions.”
Lola pecked her mother’s chin and raced out without waiting to hear what her mother wanted to say. The taxi she boarded to the hospital had a slight problem when they got to a certain spot. She decided to walk to the hospital. It was three minutes’ walk from the hospital.
Duke, who was driving, sighted Lola. He knew she was the one just by looking at her hair and the way she walked. He drove past Lola without her knowing. He reconsidered and reversed back. He lowered the glass.
“Dr. Bello.” He called her.
She looked at him surprised. She was smiling at him. “Good morning Dr. Duke.”
“Morning.” he said with a smile and the smile quickly disappeared from his lips. “Please, hop in.”
“Oh, thanks.” She stopped smiling, opened the door and entered.
Duke raised the glass and drove to the hospital without saying a word to her. He parked his car.
“Thank you.” Lola told him.
“You are welcome.”
Lola came out and walked alone. Duke wasn’t happy. Daniela quarreled with him before he came to work. She wanted to have unprotected sex with him and he declined. She cried and told him he never loved her but he told her he did. As Duke thought about it, he knew he lied to her. How was he going to tell her he chose to be in a relationship with her because he found her attractive and liked her genuinely. How was he going to pull himself out of the affair he knew was never going to end in marriage? He wanted it to work. He wanted to love her but it didn’t work. What was he going to do? Should he wait and keep on trying to love her? He questioned himself.
Lola met Ahmed and Melvin as she entered into the ward. They exchanged pleasantries. On her way out of the dressing room, she met Zara talking with Jidenna. She greeted them and saw Loretta coming her way. Loretta hugged Lola excitedly.
“My father is awake. He can’t wait to see you.”
“Remember I wasn’t the one that operated on him.”
“I know but it doesn’t matter.” Loretta took her hand and they went to the ICU. Lola smiled at Mr. James when she saw him.
“Good morning sir.” she said with a smile. “I am very happy you are doing fine.”
“Thank you for what you did.”
“You are welcome sir. You should thank the surgeon.”
“Please rest and don’t allow your daughter stress him.”
James managed to give a cheerful smile. “She took after me.”
“She’s her father’s daughter. I’m glad she got what she wanted. I have to go now. I will check on you later.”
He nodded at her and Loretta held her hand and walked with her to the door.
He nodded at her and Loretta held her hand and walked with her to the door.
“How is your mom?”
“She went back this morning. Their divorce will be finalized immediately my dad is discharged from the hospital.”
“Why don’t you persuade them not to divorce?”
“It can’t work Dr. Lola. My dad was happy his leg wasn’t taken away from him. My mother’s decision would have spoilt everything.”
“I am happy you called her your mother.”
Loretta smiled. “She was part of it. She changed her mind and gave Dr. Duke the permission not to amputate his leg. I'm grateful to her."
“After the divorce, give her a chance to act as a mother to you.”
“I will. Thanks.”
“You are welcome.” Lola made a move to leave but Loretta questioned her.
“Where is Dr. Duke?”
“He is around. He will come here and check on your father.”
“Okay. Dr. Duke is very handsome.”
Her statement surprised Lola and she smiled. “I will not punish you because you will be eighteen tomorrow. You are allowed to say that.”
Loretta laughed. “You remembered my birthday.”
“Of course. Happy birthday in advance.”
“Thanks. I said that because I think you and Dr. Duke will make a beautiful couple.”
“I think so too.” A male voice said.
They turned back surprised to see Ahmed.
Lola put her hand on her chest. “Ahmed, thank God it was you.”
“What if it wasn’t me?”
“I don’t want to give people the impression that I want us to be a couple.”
“What if he asks you out?" Loretta asked. "Will you go out with him?”
“Who do you want to go out with?” Zara asked as she heard the question.
Lola winked at Loretta who knew what it meant. She stayed quiet.
“Am I not asking all of you a question?” Zara asked them.
“We were talking about a movie.” Ahmed said. “What are you doing here?”
“I was going to check on a patient when I saw you and Dr. Lola here.”
“I was about leaving.” Lola said and gazed at Loretta. “I will see you later.”
Loretta smiled and walked back to stay with her dad. Lola sauntered away. Ahmed and Zara continue to stare at each other.
Zara spoke to Ahmed. “I know it’s not a movie the three of you were talking about.”
“What makes you think it’s not a movie.”
“I just know and I will find out.”
“You will get nothing out of the patient’s daughter.”
“I never said I will get the truth from the patient’s daughter. Lola will tell me herself!” Zara walked away.
Ahmed frowned at her. He did not like Zara at all.
There was a scream at the emergency ward. Two accident victims were brought into the hospital. The man and woman appeared to be in their late twenties. Jidenna and Melvin was attending to the man who was awake unlike the woman. She was unresponsive. Duke and Ahmed focused on her and tried to see if her legs were not damaged considering the injuring and blood coming out from them. Lola and Zara ran to join them.
“Dr. Zara, join us.” Duke said.
“What about me?” Lola asked.
“You can come here.” Jidenna said.
The man with a small injury on his head and left arm looked over at the woman and asked in a panicked tone. “How is she? How is my girlfriend?”
“You need to relax.” Jidenna told him. “Your girlfriend is in safe hands.”
“I don’t care about the hands, I care about my girlfriend!”
“You need to be calm.” Lola said to him.
He was not calm as he tried to get out of the bed. “Amara! Amara! Oh my God! I shouldn’t have allowed her drive the car. Please Casey, don’t leave me. Please, don’t die!” He yelled as they pulled him back on the bed. He watched as his girlfriend was wheeled away.
The young woman was taken to the OR for surgery. It was time for the surgery. Duke, Ahmed, Zara were prepared for it. Duke looked at Ahmed and ordered him to operate while he watched. Melvin entered.
“You want me to do the surgery?” Ahmed asked surprised.
Zara was obviously shocked.
“Yes. I will watch. I called Melvin to join you and Zara.”
“Thank you Dr. Duke.” Ahmed said to him with so much joy in his voice.
“Don’t thank me yet.”
Duke watched Ahmed started the surgery.
“You don’t look happy?”
Lola looked at Jidenna. They had given medication to the man and he was sleeping.
“Is it so obvious?” Lola asked him.
“I don’t know what he thinks about me.”
“Is it Dr. Duke?”
“I think he believes you are good at what you do.”
“How do you know?”
“I have worked with him for years and I know him. If you don’t believe me, ask him yourself. If you know the kind of person he is it will be hard not to like him.”
She smiled gently. “Thanks for letting me know.”
“You are welcome.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
“You can ask me any question.”
This time, she smiled brightly. “I am only curious to know what happened between you and Dr. Wendy. Did you go out with her?”
Jidenna laughed hard. “You are very funny! Dr. Wendy is married.”
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.”
“It’s okay. Dr. Wendy and I never dated. Never! We had a disagreement that I should have avoided. I made a mistake in my past and she has never forgiven me for it.”
“What did you do?”
“Dr. Duke!” A male nurse called him. “Dr. Bello is around!”
“Dr. Wole Bello is around?” Lola asked Jidenna.
“Yes and I have to go and see him. When Dr. Duke is out of the OR, let him know.”
Jidenna quickly walked away.
Duke, Ahmed, Zara and Melvin were out of the OR. The patient was still unresponsive after the surgery on her legs. Ahmed was deeply worried and couldn’t stop asking questions about if he did something wrong.
“You didn’t do anything wrong,” Duke told him. “I watched you.”
“What is happening to her?”
“I don’t know yet.” Duke looked at Zara. “Page Dr. Bello, I need her now.”
To be continued….