Vows Are Meant To Be Broken #1

Nneoma brings you a story about two people whose lives were forced to collide after so many years following an accident that never should have happened in the first place. Ike and Kara meet once again after Kara’s cheating husband is involved in an accident. Flames which were hidden for a long time are reignited and they are torn between choosing themselves and the lives they had chosen after they were forced to go their separate ways. Obieze’s lies can not be sustained forever as a woman is carrying his child. He is eventually the victim when he realizes that the child was never his and he was only a pun in Sharon’s game.

A fly perched on Kara’s nose and she groggily raised her hand towards her face. On its second try, she pulled her blanket over her head and buried her forehead in the pillow. The third time was a charm. The fly settled on her exposed right foot and took a prayerful position. She wanted to pretend she could not feel it, but she was too frustrated to remain on the oversize bed anyway. Irritated, she kicked the duvet off and stood. One look across the bed revealed that Obieze had not slept next to her that night. It was not the first time, but it was just as infuriating.

Where could he be?

There were two dirty plates near Kara’s bed. One contained fried rice which had been barely touched, with a scoop of salad that was clearly responsible for the stench in the room. The other had a bunch of chicken bones which had been stripped bare and sucked dry. Kara stepped over the plates and nearly walked into a pile of biscuit wrappers. 

Obieze might have been responsible for the plates, but he had always hated biscuits, she thought. 

She could not remember much about the night before or even the entire week. She just wanted to empty her bladder and start her morning. Olisa would soon come running for a free ride to a school that was within walking distance and as usual, even when she had a busy morning, she would still say yes. The girl had always been her weakness and strength.

Kara finally reached the toilet a second shy of drenching her pant and as she smiled as liquid gushed out of her and into the bowl. Home, as her sister would say, is where you can use the toilet seat. She had not been home in a while and the fact that she could sit comfortably and pee in peace was a great achievement. As she swiped the little tissue left between her thighs, the whole week finally returned to her like a dark cloud. She suddenly remembered why she had been away.

Kara was the first to arrive at the shop. Aje was going to be calling her at any moment for her dress and she needed to finish it before the lady arrived. Kara made her way through the heaps of unfinished materials on the floor and the sewing machines that had not been properly placed after the previous day’s work. Owning her own fashion place had always been a dream she had harboured for so long and the shop was probably the best gift Obieze had ever given her. She smiled absently as she remembered the day the shop was opened. It had been a ceremony for two and after they cut the tape Obieze had used to tie the doors, they shared a bottle of wine on the floor while sharing old jokes and memories. Obieze could be adorable when he tried.

Kara finally found Aje’s dress stashed in a shelf and placed it on the table before her. The pleats had not been completed and she needed to add a zipper. After assessing the unfinished dress, she sat down to start the work. Suddenly, her phone rang.

“Good morning. Kara’s Fashion World. How may I help you?” she asked in her most sonorous voice. She had instructed all her staff to respond with the same warmth and it had been working so far.

“Good morning,” a voice replied. “Am I speaking with Chikarammuo Abaji Thelma?” 

Kara panicked momentarily. She had not heard her full name in a very long time and it was disturbing to hear it from a stranger.

“Yes. Is there a problem?” There was a brief pause before the voice began to speak again.

“As a matter of fact Ma, there is a slight problem. Fraudulent activities have been noticed in your  bank dealings and plans have been put in place to close your account,” he explained. Kara knew his type. They were always looking for a way to deceive people and extract sensitive information from them.

“So?” she asked cautiously as she approached the borderline between self-control and anger.

“We only need your bank verification code to reverse the process and keep your account open until you are ready to increase the funding,” he explained sincerely. Kara had received four of such calls during the week and she was more irritated then than she had been the first time.

“How did you get my number?”

“The bank database,” he tried. Kara had been holding back all week and trying her best not to unleash the anger that was boiling in her belly. 

See, young man,” she started. She had no idea how old the man was, but she suspected that he would be young. The con men usually were. “If you call this number again, eh, mark my words. I will hunt you down and you will sleep in jail. You and that useless database of yours. Idiot. Instead of you to get a job, you are looking for someone to steal from.”

“Madam, please do not talk to me like that,” he said defensively.

“I apologise. How should I talk to a thief?” Kara asked him with fake politeness.

“Abeg na hustle everybody dey hustle,” the man said and ended the call, leaving Kara to fume.

Kara stared at the number on her screen in anger. They all had the same back story about wanting her BVN to rectify a problem in her debit card. They were all thieves; robbers that had been armed with a little tech knowledge and it irritated her that they thought they could just take advantage of naïve people. Before she could return to the dress, her phone rang again and she grabbed it angrily.

“What do you want now?” she started with rage. She was ready to blast anyone that asked her for any sensitive information. She even had insults at the back of her tongue waiting to be unleashed.

“Is this Mrs. Abaji?” the caller asked. She felt absolutely no remorse. They always knew her name.

“Yes, it is. Why are you calling me? Don’t you have a life to live? Do you know that if you put all your effort into and airtime into any business, you might actually succeed?” she shouted. Finally, she ran out of steam and the caller spoke quietly.

“Ma, I am a doctor in Edochie Teaching Hospital. Your husband was in an accident and we would like you to come in and identify him before we proceed with the necessary surgery to save his life.” The voice was very remorseful, but Kara found it hard to believe.

“How…how did you get my number?”

“His phone was unlocked and we found the last number he called,” the calm voice explained. Kara wished she could borrow his super power for a second. She was falling apart.

“What happened to him?”

“He was run over by a bus. It was a hit and run. I am sorry.”

“How is he now?”

“He is barely stable, and we cannot do much without some financial assurance,” the caller said honestly.

“I am on my way. Can’t you go ahead with the treatment?” she asked. The voice paused for a little while before responding. It was clear that shame had overtaken his countenance although she could not see him.

“Unfortunately, we cannot do that. It is the hospital policy,” he confessed.

“Even in a government hospital?”

“Especially in a government hospital,” he replied and ended the call. 

Kara threw on the first dress that she touched in her wardrobe and ran out in bathroom slippers. She had barely remembered to grab her car keys and the cash that Obieze had left stashed in a shoe box. He had called it ‘emergency money’ and like the typical Nigerian she was, she reminded him that it was not their portion. He had kept the money anyway and she was so grateful for that. Her hands were shaking like they belonged to Uncle Jude who was just diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. She drove like a psychopath, ready to smash anyone in her way. When she arrived at the hospital unscathed, she took a few deep breaths in the parking lot and finally got out of the car. 

She sprinted towards the entrance and struggled to squeeze through a small crowd. Some were snapping their fingers while others were shaking their heads and muttering ‘it cannot be’. It was clear that someone had just died and they were mourning. A woman who Kara suspected to be the wife or sister of the deceased was rolling on the bare floor. Her wrapper was barely covering her thighs and her underwear was on display. No one seemed to notice.

Kara finally made it through to the front desk. A nurse was scribbling on a long note when she arrived and banged her fists rudely and desperately on the desk.

“I am looking for Mr. Abaji,” she demanded. The nurse took her sweet time finishing whatever she was writing, before she looked up. She was clearly used to patients’ relatives like her. She looked up at Kara and there was absolutely no trace of concern on her face. Her eyes were dark and bags hung like fallen breasts underneath them.

“Is that why you want to break my table?” she asked. Kara knew her type. An apology from her was the only way the nurse would cooperate. 

“I am very sorry,” she spat out. “Someone called me. My husband, Mr. Abaji was in an accident. Please, how can I see him?” she asked. The nurse pointed noncommittally towards a bed at the corner and Kara followed her finger. One look at Obieze and she was running towards his bed.

She had expected the worst, but it had still shocked her. His left hand was wrapped in gauze that was clearly soaked in blood. His eyes could barely stay open and it seemed like he was struggling to keep the black circles from going backwards. His left ankle had been twisted out of place and his stomach was bloated. Kara was breathing hard and fast when a hand touched her shoulder.

“Mrs. Abaji?” the person called. The voice sounded like it was a mile away, but she felt a presence behind her. She could not tell when the tears started rushing down, but she knew her cheeks were wet and she was beginning to contribute to Obieze’s soaked shirt. Slowly, she wiped her face and turned to the voice. It was clearly the same one that had called her on the phone, but seeing the face, she wondered why she had not known his voice at first.

“Ikay! Ik-man!” she exclaimed and he recognized her instantly.

“Chikarammuo! It is Dr. Ike now. It is nice to see you,” he said and glanced at her husband. “Not the best circumstance, but…how are you?” he asked and reality hit her all over again. How was she? She was a complete mess and her husband was hanging by a thread. She could not answer the question. Dr. Ike went ahead to explain the situation to her. Obieze needed surgery as soon as possible. The doctor had managed to pay for the cannulas and litres of normal saline that were keeping him alive but he needed blood. He also called in a favour for an ultrasound scan to be carried out, although she still had to pay for that one. Obieze was bleeding into his abdomen and they could not see the damage clearly. An emergency exploratory laparotomy had to be done to stop the bleeding and she had to do the needful so that the surgery could proceed as soon as possible.

The next few hours were hectic for Kara. She had gone to the emergency pharmacy more times than she should count to acquire whatever they asked of her. She had paid for three units of blood, signed the consent forms and transported all the blood samples to the appropriate laboratories. Within a short time, she had learnt the best way to navigate in the massive hospital. She had even begun to give directions to the few people that had dared to ask her. She caught a glimpse of herself while walking past a glass door and she shuddered. She must have lost her wig while running back and forth and her cornrows were not fit for the eyes of outsiders. Her blue gown was smeared with Obieze’s blood and there was a rip near the hem. The green and yellow pair of bathroom slippers on her feet had completed the look. No one would have guessed that the Range Rover that was poorly parked in the parking lot outside belonged to her. She looked like a woman that had been driven out of her husband’s house.

 Between the drugs and payment for the surgery, Kara had run out of money and she needed to withdraw some cash. Her stomach growled to remind her that she had not had anything for breakfast and it was way past lunch time. She was seated on a lopsided bench in front of the theatre, waiting for Dr. Ike or anybody else to give her an update on the surgery. There were a dozen people standing and waiting for updates as well and the few that had been come earlier were crammed in the bench. She was sandwiched between a fat lady with a corrosive body odour and an old man who would not stop hawking and wheezing. She had to choose between losing her seat and dying of hunger. One look at the people that were standing and she knew she would not survive it. She combed through her bag for the ear buds she had dumped there last week. After she found them, she plugged her ears and shut the world out. Her stomach still growled occasionally, but it was a small price to pay for sitting.

Someone had been tapping Kara’s hand for a full minute, and she could feel it, but she was not ready to wake up. All she wanted to do was sleep. She held onto her bag like a lifeline, but her eyes were tightly shut. There seemed to be a crowd gathering in front of her, but she could not let go of her dream where she laid happily on a bed just like hers with Obieze singing to himself and applying polish on her nails. Someone pulled her bag and she jumped up defensively.

“Finally!” a strange voice said aloud. 

Kara looked at the middle-aged woman who sat beside her. She must have replaced the fat lady while she was sleeping.

“What happened?” Kara asked. She was no longer drowsy.

“Are you not Mrs. Abaji?” she asked. Kara nodded.

“The doctor has been looking for you. Just go close to the doors of the theatre,” the woman told her.

 Subconsciously, she pulled the hem of her gown and tried to smoothen her cornrows. There was not much she could do to look better than she did, but she tried anyway. She walked through the theatre and met Dr. Ike. He was wearing blue scrubs and a pair of green boots. A face mask was hanging loosely under his chin and forehead bore beads of sweat. He looked flustered and Kara could not help but panic.

“Ik…,”she said aloud as she advanced towards him until all that separated them was a red line. Her eyeballs were almost popping out of their sockets. Tears had begun to form.

“Chikara,” he started as he wiped the sweat on his forehead and smeared it on his trousers. “We did all that we could to stop the bleeding and we were able to stabilize him, but he is not in the clear yet. We have to watch him overnight. He will be in the recovery room for the next hour or two, but you will be allowed to see him afterwards.”

  Kara could not explain how it happened. All she knew was that her feet were no longer touching the floor and her arms were squeezing the life out of Ike. He rubbed her back fondly and allowed her tears of relief to wet his shoulder. It only took a minute for the matron on duty to notice them and shout about the rules of the theatre, but before her shrill voice even reached his ears, he had expected it. Resigned, he gently unwrapped her arm and dropped them by her side.

“Thank you so much,” she said appreciatively. He nodded without taking his eyes off her. She did not       look very different from the girl he had met in secondary school. She still had ears that were too big for her head and her lips were just as full as her remembered. The years had been good to her although he could not recall seeing her terrible hair at the emergency. She was smiling now and he was glad that he was responsible for it.

“We should really catch up after now,” she suggested absently.

“I have to get back for another case, but I will come to check on your husband as soon as I can,” he said. She nodded and watched him walk away. It was almost 3 pm and she had completely forgotten about her daughter. Obieze had dropped her off in school that morning and it was way past their closing time. She walked briskly out of the hospital building and towards the parking lot. The hot afternoon air hit her unexpectedly, but she was grateful for it. In fact, she felt much lighter.

Dr. Ike chuckled quietly as he walked towards the operating room to prepare for the next case. Ik man. He had not heard the name in a very long time and it had always sounded funny coming from her. He had tried to keep things as formal as possible, but once she wrapped her arms around him, the memory gates opened and he was hit with all the great times they had shared. There was that time when she would not stop crying because a senior she had a crush on had called her ‘flappy eyes’. He also remembered the day they had both been punished to clear a large portion of grass alone and they had spent hours teasing and doing a terrible job. He approached the brightly lit room and paused. Taking a few deep breaths and shaking his head repeated, he reminded himself of the obvious facts.

She is married.

I should be keeping her husband alive.

I have a beautiful woman at home.

 Feeling energized and resolved, he walked into the room. He had a job to do after all.

The next time Kara saw Dr. Ike, it was on a more professional note. He was dressed like a white robot with his minions following closely behind. They threw a few big words around like anastomosis and obliteration, but all Kara was really interested in was the drug prescription she received at the end. She just wanted her Obieze to be well again. He was still unconscious from the surgery and they claimed it was normal. Yet he was put in a special room with a mask over his face and a few coloured circles stuck to his chest. The intermittent beeping from the monitor that hung above him would have irritated her, but they said it was a sign that he was alive and well. Her Obieze was not usually confined to beds. It was strange watching him struggle to stay alive. He looked like a ghost of himself. 

Dear God, please let him not die, she prayed. I will not survive it.

A fly perched on Kara’s nose and she groggily raised her hand towards her face. On its second try, she pulled her blanket over her head and buried her forehead in the pillow. The third time was a charm. The fly settled on her exposed right foot and took a prayerful position. She wanted to pretend she could not feel it, but she was too frustrated to remain on the oversize bed anyway. Irritated, she kicked the duvet off and stood. One look across the bed revealed that Obieze had not slept next to her that night. It was not the first time, but it was just as infuriating.

Where could he be?

There were two dirty plates near Kara’s bed. One contained fried rice which had been barely touched, with a scoop of salad that was clearly responsible for the stench in the room. The other had a bunch of chicken bones which had been stripped bare and sucked dry. Kara stepped over the plates and nearly walked into a pile of biscuit wrappers. 

Obieze might have been responsible for the plates, but he had always hated biscuits, she thought. 

She could not remember much about the night before or even the entire week. She just wanted to empty her bladder and start her morning. Olisa would soon come running for a free ride to a school that was within walking distance and as usual, even when she had a busy morning, she would still say yes. The girl had always been her weakness and strength.

Kara finally reached the toilet a second shy of drenching her pant and as she smiled as liquid gushed out of her and into the bowl. Home, as her sister would say, is where you can use the toilet seat. She had not been home in a while and the fact that she could sit comfortably and pee in peace was a great achievement. As she swiped the little tissue left between her thighs, the whole week finally returned to her like a dark cloud. She suddenly remembered why she had been away.

Kara was the first to arrive at the shop. Aje was going to be calling her at any moment for her dress and she needed to finish it before the lady arrived. Kara made her way through the heaps of unfinished materials on the floor and the sewing machines that had not been properly placed after the previous day’s work. Owning her own fashion place had always been a dream she had harboured for so long and the shop was probably the best gift Obieze had ever given her. She smiled absently as she remembered the day the shop was opened. It had been a ceremony for two and after they cut the tape Obieze had used to tie the doors, they shared a bottle of wine on the floor while sharing old jokes and memories. Obieze could be adorable when he tried.

Kara finally found Aje’s dress stashed in a shelf and placed it on the table before her. The pleats had not been completed and she needed to add a zipper. After assessing the unfinished dress, she sat down to start the work. Suddenly, her phone rang.

“Good morning. Kara’s Fashion World. How may I help you?” she asked in her most sonorous voice. She had instructed all her staff to respond with the same warmth and it had been working so far.

“Good morning,” a voice replied. “Am I speaking with Chikarammuo Abaji Thelma?” 

Kara panicked momentarily. She had not heard her full name in a very long time and it was disturbing to hear it from a stranger.

“Yes. Is there a problem?” There was a brief pause before the voice began to speak again.

“As a matter of fact Ma, there is a slight problem. Fraudulent activities have been noticed in your  bank dealings and plans have been put in place to close your account,” he explained. Kara knew his type. They were always looking for a way to deceive people and extract sensitive information from them.

“So?” she asked cautiously as she approached the borderline between self-control and anger.

“We only need your bank verification code to reverse the process and keep your account open until you are ready to increase the funding,” he explained sincerely. Kara had received four of such calls during the week and she was more irritated then than she had been the first time.

“How did you get my number?”

“The bank database,” he tried. Kara had been holding back all week and trying her best not to unleash the anger that was boiling in her belly. 

See, young man,” she started. She had no idea how old the man was, but she suspected that he would be young. The con men usually were. “If you call this number again, eh, mark my words. I will hunt you down and you will sleep in jail. You and that useless database of yours. Idiot. Instead of you to get a job, you are looking for someone to steal from.”

“Madam, please do not talk to me like that,” he said defensively.

“I apologise. How should I talk to a thief?” Kara asked him with fake politeness.

“Abeg na hustle everybody dey hustle,” the man said and ended the call, leaving Kara to fume.

Kara stared at the number on her screen in anger. They all had the same back story about wanting her BVN to rectify a problem in her debit card. They were all thieves; robbers that had been armed with a little tech knowledge and it irritated her that they thought they could just take advantage of naïve people. Before she could return to the dress, her phone rang again and she grabbed it angrily.

“What do you want now?” she started with rage. She was ready to blast anyone that asked her for any sensitive information. She even had insults at the back of her tongue waiting to be unleashed.

“Is this Mrs. Abaji?” the caller asked. She felt absolutely no remorse. They always knew her name.

“Yes, it is. Why are you calling me? Don’t you have a life to live? Do you know that if you put all your effort into and airtime into any business, you might actually succeed?” she shouted. Finally, she ran out of steam and the caller spoke quietly.

“Ma, I am a doctor in Edochie Teaching Hospital. Your husband was in an accident and we would like you to come in and identify him before we proceed with the necessary surgery to save his life.” The voice was very remorseful, but Kara found it hard to believe.

“How…how did you get my number?”

“His phone was unlocked and we found the last number he called,” the calm voice explained. Kara wished she could borrow his super power for a second. She was falling apart.

“What happened to him?”

“He was run over by a bus. It was a hit and run. I am sorry.”

“How is he now?”

“He is barely stable, and we cannot do much without some financial assurance,” the caller said honestly.

“I am on my way. Can’t you go ahead with the treatment?” she asked. The voice paused for a little while before responding. It was clear that shame had overtaken his countenance although she could not see him.

“Unfortunately, we cannot do that. It is the hospital policy,” he confessed.

“Even in a government hospital?”

“Especially in a government hospital,” he replied and ended the call. 

Kara threw on the first dress that she touched in her wardrobe and ran out in bathroom slippers. She had barely remembered to grab her car keys and the cash that Obieze had left stashed in a shoe box. He had called it ‘emergency money’ and like the typical Nigerian she was, she reminded him that it was not their portion. He had kept the money anyway and she was so grateful for that. Her hands were shaking like they belonged to Uncle Jude who was just diagnosed of Parkinson disease. She drove like a psychopath, ready to smash anyone in her way. When she arrived at the hospital unscathed, she took a few deep breaths in the parking lot and finally got out of the car. 

She sprinted towards the entrance and struggled to squeeze through a small crowd. Some were snapping their fingers while others were shaking their heads and muttering ‘it cannot be’. It was clear that someone had just died and they were mourning. A woman who Kara suspected to be the wife or sister of the deceased was rolling on the bare floor. Her wrapper was barely covering her thighs and her underwear was on display. No one seemed to notice.

Kara finally made it through to the front desk. A nurse was scribbling on a long note when she arrived and banged her fists rudely and desperately on the desk.

“I am looking for Mr. Abaji,” she demanded. The nurse took her sweet time finishing whatever she was writing, before she looked up. She was clearly used to patients’ relatives like her. She looked up at Kara and there was absolutely no trace of concern on her face. Her eyes were dark and bags hung like fallen breasts underneath them.

“Is that why you want to break my table?” she asked. Kara knew her type. An apology from her was the only way the nurse would cooperate. 

“I am very sorry,” she spat out. “Someone called me. My husband, Mr. Abaji was in an accident. Please how can I see him?” she asked. The nurse pointed noncommittally towards a bed at the corner and Kara followed her finger. One look at Obieze and she was running towards his bed.

She had expected the worst, but it had still shocked her. His left hand was wrapped in gauze that was clearly soaked in blood. His eyes could barely stay open and it seemed like he was struggling to keep the black circles from going backwards. His left ankle had been twisted out of place and his stomach was bloated. Kara was breathing hard and fast when a hand touched her shoulder.

“Mrs. Abaji?” the person called. The voice sounded like it was a mile away, but she felt a presence behind her. She could not tell when the tears started rushing down, but she knew her cheeks were wet and she was beginning to contribute to Obieze’s soaked shirt. Slowly, she wiped her face and turned to the voice. It was clearly the same one that had called her on the phone, but seeing the face, she wondered why she had not known his voice at first.

“Ikay! Ik-man!” she exclaimed and he recognized her instantly.

“Chikarammuo! It is Dr. Ike now. It is nice to see you,” he said and glanced at her husband. “Not the best circumstance, but…how are you?” he asked and reality hit her all over again. How was she? She was a complete mess and her husband was hanging by a thread. She could not answer the question. Dr. Ike went ahead to explain the situation to her. Obieze needed surgery as soon as possible. The doctor had managed to pay for the cannulas and litres of normal saline that were keeping him alive but he needed blood. He also called in a favour for an ultrasound scan to be carried out although she still had to pay for that one. Obieze was bleeding into his abdomen and they could not see the damage clearly. An emergency exploratory laparotomy had to be done to stop the bleeding and she had to do the needful so that the surgery could proceed as soon as possible.

The next few hours were hectic for Kara. She had gone to the emergency pharmacy more times than she should count to acquire whatever they asked of her. She had paid for three units of blood, signed the consent forms and transported all the blood samples to the appropriate laboratories. Within a short time, she had learnt the best way to navigate in the massive hospital. She had even begun to give directions to the few people that had dared to ask her. She caught a glimpse of herself while walking past a glass door and she shuddered. She must have lost her wig while running back and forth and her cornrows were not fit for the eyes of outsiders. Her blue gown was smeared with Obieze’s blood and there was a rip near the hem. The green and yellow pair of bathroom slippers on her feet had completed the look. No one would have guessed that the Range Rover that was poorly parked in the parking lot outside belonged to her. She looked like a woman that had been driven out of her husband’s house.

 Between the drugs and payment for the surgery, Kara had run out of money and she needed to withdraw some cash. Her stomach growled to remind her that she had not had anything for breakfast and it was way past lunch time. She was seated on a lopsided bench in front of the theatre, waiting for Dr. Ike or anybody else to give her an update on the surgery. There were a dozen people standing and waiting for updates as well and the few that had been come earlier were crammed in the bench. She was sandwiched between a fat lady with a corrosive body odour and an old man who would not stop hawking and wheezing. She had to choose between losing her seat and dying of hunger. One look at the people that were standing and she knew she would not survive it. She combed through her bag for the ear buds she had dumped there last week. After she found them, she plugged her ears and shut the world out. Her stomach still growled occasionally, but it was a small price to pay for sitting.

Someone had been tapping Kara’s hand for a full minute, and she could feel it, but she was not ready to wake up. All she wanted to do was sleep. She held onto her bag like a life line, but her eyes were tightly shut. There seemed to be a crowd gathering in front of her, but she could not let go of her dream where she laid happily on a bed just like hers with Obieze singing to himself and applying polish on her nails. Someone pulled her bag and she jumped up defensively.

“Finally!” a strange voice said aloud. 

Kara looked at the middle-aged woman who sat beside her. She must have replaced the fat lady while she was sleeping.

“What happened?” Kara asked. She was no longer drowsy.

“Are you not Mrs. Abaji?” she asked. Kara nodded.

“The doctor has been looking for you. Just go close to the doors of the theatre,” the woman told her.

 Subconsciously, she pulled the hem of her gown and tried to smoothen her cornrows. There was not much she could do to look better than she did, but she tried anyway. She walked through the theatre and met Dr. Ike. He was were blue scrubs and a pair of green boots. A face mask was hanging loosely under his chin and forehead bore beads of sweat. He looked flustered and Kara could not help but panic.

“Ik…,”she said aloud as she advanced towards him until all that that separated them was a red line. Her eyeballs were almost popping out of their sockets. Tears had begun to form.

“Chikara,” he started as he wiped the sweat on his forehead and smeared it on his trousers. “We did all that we could to stop the bleeding and we were able to stabilize him, but he is not in the clear yet. We have to watch him overnight. He will be in the recovery room for the next hour or two, but you will be allowed to see him afterwards.”

  Kara could not explain how it happened. All she knew was that her feet were no longer touching the floor and her arms were squeezing the life out of Ike. He rubbed her back fondly and allowed her tears of relief to wet his shoulder. It only took a minute for the matron on duty to notice them and shout about the rules of the theatre, but before her shrilly voice even reached his ears, he had expected it. Resigned, he gently unwrapped her arm and dropped them by her side.

“Thank you so much,” she said appreciatively. He nodded without taking his eyes off her. She did not       look very different from the girl he had met in secondary school. She still had ears that were too big for her head and her lips were just as full as her remembered. The years had been good to her although he could not recall seeing her terrible hair at the emergency. She was smiling now and he was glad that he was responsible for it.

“We should really catch up after now,” she suggested absently.

“I have to get back for another case, but I will come to check on your husband as soon as I can,” he said. She nodded and watched him walk away. It was almost 3 pm and she had completely forgotten about her daughter. Obieze had dropped her off in school that morning and it was way past their closing time. She walked briskly out of the hospital building and towards the parking lot. The hot afternoon air hit her unexpectedly, but she was grateful for it. In fact, she felt much lighter.

Dr. Ike chuckled quietly as he walked towards the operating room to prepare for the next case. Ik man. He had not heard the name in a very long time and it had always sounded funny coming from her. He had tried to keep things as formal as possible, but once she wrapped her arms around him, the memory gates opened and he was hit with all the great times they had shared. There was that time when she would not stop crying because a senior she had a crush on had called her ‘flappy eyes’. He also remembered the day they had both been punished to clear a large portion of grass alone and they had spent hours teasing and doing a terrible job. He approached the brightly lit room and paused. Taking a few deep breaths and shaking his head repeated, he reminded himself of the obvious facts.

She is married.

I should be keeping her husband alive.

I have a beautiful woman at home.

 Feeling energized and resolved, he walked into the room. He had a job to do after all.

The next time Kara saw Dr. Ike, it was on a more professional note. He was dressed like a white robot with his minions following closely behind. They threw a few big words around like anastomosis and obliteration, but all Kara was really interested in was the drug prescription she received at the end. She just wanted her Obieze to be well again. He was still unconscious from the surgery and they claimed it was normal. Yet he was put in a special room with a mask over his face and a few coloured circles stuck to his chest. The intermittent beeping from the monitor that hung above him would have irritated her, but they said it was a sign that he was alive and well. Her Obieze was not usually confined to beds. It was strange watching him struggle to stay alive. He looked like a ghost of himself. 

Dear God, please let him not die, she prayed. I will not survive it.

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14 Comments

  1. Patiently waiting 2 read how things gonna unfold here…ik man&kara

  2. Interesting read, patiently waiting for next episode. Well done madam.

  3. I really enjoyed this and thankfully it wasn’t short. Lol! Looking forward to the next post.

  4. Muhammed Mubarak Reply

    Dr. I.K man an Kara, things are about to happen. Nice work.

  5. Thank you …thank you…this is going to be so delicious….

  6. How an unfortunate incident is about to ignite old flames…

  7. Nice read, obviously from a Doctor. The aptness with the description of the theater and other medical jargons.

    Thanks for sharing your work with us. Please promise not to leave us hanging at any point.

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