Eliza and I had taken an okada which seemed to be the fastest as my mind seemingly dictated. I never even had the time to debate with my mind which is faster between the okada and the taxi but who cares ‘cos I seemed to be on it already.
Eliza who sat at my back on the okada was literally ‘shooking’ me with her braless nipples. On a normal day, I would have asked her to go back and wear clothes for ‘dem’ babies but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Thank God I wasn’t a man sha; some guys literally get overly turned on just by the pinching of the nipple. Walai, ‘konji’ na serious bastard.
Throughout the ride to the hospital, I couldn’t help but be sure in my mind that everything really seemed to be falling apart. There is a seemingly big trouble in our paradise. I can’t help but feel Amaka is in a bigger trouble and all these talk about breaking a bottle on Sola’s head could really be a sham. . . But come to think of it, what relationship does a cat have with a rat in the absence of a nearby hole? Why on earth would Sola try to protect Amaka? They never even knew each other until my ‘ish’ with him. One minute she’s getting out from a seemingly court case or federal prison as it were and the next minute, she’s hospitalized with no knowledge of how serious the accident was. . . I didn’t know what was going on but I really couldn’t wait any longer for her to tell me what’s going on with her when she pleases. I was so determined in my mind that no matter the condition she was, as far as she could talk and could recognize me, she’s gonna spill it all out cos I’m tired; f**k insensitive this time around!
The okada dropped us right in front of the hospital and I just couldn’t wait to enter the hospital, locate her ward, maybe find out how she’s doing or start making her talk about everything that’s so going on.
You really won’t reply? I thought you really wanted us to talk. . . Jide.
Jide, the yahoo messenger had started again. He never really talked much. Short messages, short words even in the sweetest of times; he’s always precise and straight to the point. At this point, I was really tired of all the dramas especially Jide’s. I have indeed had my hands too full.
I never tarried in replying him.
Maybe it never really mattered anymore. I sent him a response text.
All these were going on while Eliza and I were seated, patiently waiting for the nurse to attend to us. They all seemed busy; hospitals seemed to be even busier than the market place these days.
Maybe it never really mattered anymore? What has come over you? I’m really tired.
It was so obvious he was also tired of being miserable. The rate at which he sends and replies was quite serious. Guess he wasn’t the only one that is tired but different types of tiredness.
Jide. I’m not tired. I’m fed up. I replied.
Fine!. . . Jide.
It wasn’t even up to five seconds before he fired back a reply. Sometimes, I wonder why the guy never really went to the Military because whenever Jide says fine, it is really fine! Whatever sef, he could go and kill himself. Good riddance to unnecessary messing up with my head.
Finally, a Nurse decided to attend to us. She was smart, pretty and looked so versed in the job.
“Hello. Good day ma. How can I be of help?”
“Yeah, thanks. A friend of mine was rushed here. . . An accident victim.”
“Okay. Can I have her name please?”
“Oh! Okay. We have a name like that with us. She was rushed in early today.”
“Please, how is she and how badly hurt?”
“Well. . . How related are you to her?”
“Hmmmm. . . she is my friend. Not just any friend, my close friend. . . My sister.”
“Okay. . . You should go see the doctor first; first turning by the right.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Amaka Coker was given a private ward; it was that serious or maybe not. I knew I couldn’t stand the sight of what had befallen her even from afar. I didn’t allow Eliza to come in before the whole occupants of number 5 would start exaggerating what had happened to her.
I could see a man sitting directly opposite her on a white chair; his back view looked like Jide’s but it possibly couldn’t be. It’s like I see Jide everywhere and in everything these days. I’m feeling the nigga in D’banj’s voice even though I try to deny it. . . Hmmm, the more we moved closer to see Amaka proper, the more scared I became.
“This is the young man that brought your friend in.” the doctor said introducing the young man on the seat who happened to be Jide.
“Oh! Nice. So glad to meet you. Thanks so much for your kind gesture. God will reward you.” I said, shaking hands with him with no single drop of familiarity. I’m so f**king good at stuffs like that in pretense actually.
“Don’t mention it ma’am. I was just lucky to be driving by at the time of the incident. Let’s just thank God she’s alive.” He said with so much distance visible in the language.
Everything felt so weird and it was actually hurting me but I had to shake it off in Taylor Swift’s voice.
“I should take my leave now. I would check back later.”
“Jide right?. . . “ I said, staring into his eyes, holding tightly to his palms. . . “It was nice to meet you.”
“Same here ma’am!” he made to leave.
Seriously, we were both silly. I was like “cut off with the ma’am crap” in my mind. I was actually looking for an opportunity to hold firm to his arms, caress them all day and never let go but it was not my decision to make. I was gonna let go whether I like it or not.
Amaka was all bounded up. . . she was wrapped up all over the head, face, up to her neck level. She looked like an acid victim that needed a surgery. . . I couldn’t even see her face not to talk of reading her emotions or bursting for her. Tears flowed from my eyes freely and I couldn’t even hold it back.
“We would leave you for now but you can check by my office when you are leaving.” The doctor said patting me on the shoulder as he made to take his leave with the young nurse that attended to me.
I couldn’t contain my tears. I broke down. I was sitting on the bare floor. I wept like a baby; I couldn’t remember the last time I did that. I didn’t even notice Eliza come in until she touched me and helped me up.
I went by Amaka’s side, held her hand and said a little prayer with tears in my voice. I couldn’t remember the last time I prayed until now.
I decided to take my leave with Eliza, shutting the door closely behind her.
“Eliza, kindly wait for me at the Nurses’ lounge. I wanna quickly see the Doctor.” I said to her.
The Doctor’s office wasn’t what I had envisaged. A hot argument was going on between him and some people who I had no idea if they were patients, patients-to-be, or relatives of a patient but whatever; I had already jumped in before I realized it was heated in there and I was caught in between deciding to leave or staying.
“I’m sorry sir but you really cannot see this patient.” The Doctor was stressing.
“I would see her! What authority have you to tell me not to see her?” the man fired back.
The man seemed to have a good command of English. He was dressed in a Yoruba attire; all flowing agbada with some correct bling-bling all over his neck; he smelled riches and wealth and beside him was a young, pretty woman who definitely would be in her early 50s. She was dressed in the same fabric but in the skirt and blouse style. She was unnecessarily panting all over.
“Sir, I still insist you can’t see the patient in question. You are not allowed to see her.”
“Not even me, her mother?” the woman stressed in a shaking voice.
“I’m sorry ma! But you can’t. She only penciled down a name and she is the only person allowed to see her. . . If you’d excuse me sir and ma, I have to attend to someone.”
“You’ve gat to be kidding me! I would see my daughter! I would see Amaka! And not even you can stop me from seeing her. . .”
The mention of Amaka made me stood still. Which Amaka? My Amaka or another one? I had to satisfy my curiosity. . .
“Please sirs and mas, which Amaka are we talking about here?” I asked inquisitively.
“And who are you to question a family matter?” the man who was claiming Amaka’s paternity fired back.
“I’m sorry sir; just wanted to be sure. . .
“Madam. . .” the doctor said facing me
“. . . Meet, Chief and Mrs. Coker; Amaka’s parents!”
Oh boy! I couldn’t contain my surprise. . . How much do we really think we know about people we think we are so close to? Maybe not so much!
It wasn’t as if I never knew Amaka had parents but she really never said much about them. It was as if they were non-existing entities. . . And now, her parents who I have never met in years and whom she had never mentioned not even once, happened to show up at the hospital just like that! I guess there is a whole lot going on with Amaka these past few days that I’m ignorant of and here she was, lifeless; all bounded up like a Lazarus expecting Christ to bring her out of the dead.
I have missed Amaka like I did miss my old-self. . . Never knew I was lost in so much thought until the Doctor touched me; guess he had found a way to dismiss Chief and Mrs. Coker. . . At that point, I felt so lonely; no one to call mine after all, Jide has gone AWOL.
“Madam, I’m so sorry you had to witness that but I think it was okay that you did.”
“It’s fine Doctor. . . So, what’s up with Amaka? What does her condition reads or means?”
“Well, I would have to say that her condition is really not that critical. I’m personally still observing her. Let’s keep praying for her to get out of coma. She was severely wounded and she got serious injuries on the face. . . Amaka has fought through worse and she’s come out strong. So there is no cause for alarm.”
“What do you mean Amaka has fought through worse?” I asked with so much eagerness.
“She has so much to tell you Miss but she can only do that only if she gets well.”
“Alright Doctor. . . Thanks so much. Would love to take my leave now. Would check back tomorrow morning.”
“No problem. . . Just remember you are welcome here anytime and you should know, she penciled your name as her next of kin.”
“Her next of kin?” I asked feeling lost. . . Not that I think I don’t deserve it but why me when her parents are still very much alive?
“Alright Doctor. Thanks so much for the info. I would be seeing you again tomorrow morning.”
The aura of my number 5 home was unexpectedly cool. I had walked in like I had no legs. I wanted a shower so bad. I just wanted to cool off, play some rock and RnB, hold my pillow and just sleep off if possible. I would have loved to talk to someone but you all know who I would have loved to talk to but that’s definitely a no-go-area.
The rate at which I think these days had gone beyond alarming to crazy. I forget myself so easily. It’s either I’m talking to myself or I have forgotten myself on a little thought or someone had to shout my name like five times before I move from subconscious to consciousness. I held my key to my door for like five minutes without even opening it; guess I was off again.
The presence of Eliza had eluded me until she screamed my name. . .
“Eliza, how are you?”
“I’m fine ma. . . I don dey here since like 3 minutes screaming your name but e be like say you dey think too much. Small small o Aunty.
“Thank you jare Eliza and thanks for the other day.”
“Don’t mention ma. . . And I wan thank you for helping me out with my fees o; you and Aunty Amaka. Make God heal her quick quick.”
“Amen. Thank you so much. . . You can go now.”
“No Aunty. . . Should I help you get something or anything at all.”
“No, it’s fine really. If I need any help, I would definitely call on you.”
“Alright Aunty but no too think o!”
“I won’t dear. Oshe.”
I really wish I could worry about Eliza right now; there are so many things I planned to share with her but obviously not now. The thought of Jide filled my heart. I missed him and I’m tired of the games we are playing. All I wanted us to have was a pep talk and know what or which is the way forward.
I hit the play button of my home theatre to the sweet voice of Schubert’s Ave Maria hoping for sleep to come do its worst.
It’s crazy how you sleep on and wake up to the thoughts of the same person. I felt like picking up my phone to call Jide but I won’t. I know it’s pride but I won’t. I decided to hit the showers, prepare a minor breakfast and get dressed for the hospital but somehow I had a very strong urge to go to the Church. . . Everything is falling apart and prayer seemed to be the key.
I scanned through my wardrobe; hit my sweet sixteen legs in a black trouser and a coloured top; slipped my feet in a flat sandal, ate three slice of bread, sipped a little tea, made for the door only to storm into Jide.
I had a mixture of butterflies and goose bumps but it’s definitely that kind of goose bumps you feel when you are caught doing a mischief. I tried to hide my enthusiasm towards Jide. I didn’t know whether to invite him in or be cold towards him.
“Hello.” He answered.
“Can I come in?
“Sure! Why not.”
I walked briskly after Jide. I wasn’t expecting him but my wish definitely had come through. Jide was calm, ever looking handsome and collected. He decided to break the silence this time.
“How have you been?”
“Been good at least.” I replied with mixed feelings.
“I felt we have so much to talk about. I don’t want to use the word you owe me some explanations.”
“I have been hoping we could talk too but I don’t think this is a good time.” I replied him not looking into his eyes.