Kemi was ushered into a dimly lit office, alongside Mangodo and Ivy, on one of the blocks adjoining the one that housed the reception area. She immediately relaxed. There was something soothing in the light aroma that hung in the air, inside the office. It smelt like home, even though she didn’t quite know what that meant at the moment. They had had to wait for Ivy to finish her call before all three of them were led by a smartly dressed young lady, from the reception area, down a brightly lit corridor, to the office they now found themselves in.
“Is this an office or a library?” Mangodo couldn’t take his eyes off the rows of books on all four corners of the office. “Whoever works here is a book junkie.” Bookshelves rose from floor to ceiling in every direction, as far as the lights would let them see.
“I don’t care if it’s a museum,” Ivy fumed. “I need to get out of this place ASAP!”
“Calm down Ivy.” Kemi whispered. “You might love the experience after all.”
Ivy muttered something about sad experiences and mental homes.
Mangodo wondered off towards the closest shelf and began rubbing his fingers lovingly along the spines of the books he recognised.
“I see you’ve already made yourselves at home,” a voice said. Mangodo froze, like a kid caught stealing. Who said that?
Kemi strained her eyes to see the woman that had seemingly materialised from nowhere. She wore white overalls like a Doctor. Her hair was cut short, and reading glasses hung on her nose. At first glance, she looked quite elderly, but as she came closer to the lighted area of the office, Kemi could see that the woman was a lot younger; perhaps in her late fifties or early sixties. Was there a secret door behind the shelves of books? Where had she come from though?
Ivy neither seemed interested in the lady, nor in anything else in the office. She stood tall, still and stiff, like a reluctant statue.
“I’m Laura Osobase, the Chief Medical Director of this Home.”
Kemi took the older woman’s outstretched hand in both of hers. She felt like it would be sacrilegious for her to shake the Doctor with one hand. “I’m Kemi ma’am.”
“And I’m Mangodo,” Mangodo bowed deeply as he tried to emulate her British accent, “Prof. Nero’s student.”
The woman smiled. “And the other lady?”
“Ivy ma’am. And I would really love to go home. I’m so sick of hospitals.”
“Oh, Ivy! Your name rings a bell indeed. Nero mentioned that I would be seeing all three of you in a group session…”
“What?” Kemi couldn’t believe her ears. “I only accompanied a colleague here…”
“I’m sure there’s a mixup,” Mangodo explained. “We both, that’s Kemi and I both brought Ivy here. Prof Nero said something about you being the only PNES expert in the country.”
Ivy looked from Kemi to Mangodo and rolled her eyes. She was wondering when the old lady was going to offer them seats. Didn’t she realize it was rude to keep visitors standing?
“Not according to the referral I have here Doctor.” The CMD walked towards her table and picked a letter off it. “According to this letter, I’m to see one Miss Ivie Odigie, Barrister Kemi Ogundipe and Doctor Mangodo Dutse.”
“Is it like a group therapy or something?” Ivy asked.
“You can call it that.”
“You’re also a psychologist?” Kemi asked.
“I’m many things my dear. And I do have a PhD in clinical psychology, if that is what you mean.”
“Oh”. Mangodo whispered.
“Please sit down let’s get started. I do not intend to unnecessarily stretch this session.”
“Good!” Ivy echoed.
“Pardon?” The CMD looked sternly at Ivy.
Ivy’s composure faltered. “I said that’s very good ma’am.”
The CMD smiled.
Behind the scene, Prof Nero smiled. He had brought with him years of research in the field of neurology. He was sure they were going to get far with these three candidates. He had taken the pains to study their files. It would seem all three of them had similar strains of depression. Even though only the lady called Ivie had had a psychological seizure, it was obvious that Laura’s experience and expertise was about to be put to test. He was here to witness first hand, her colleague’s attempt to make the three young people better through a combination of psychological, psychiatric and spiritual procedures that had not been used together before now. He was excited. It was the dawn of a new era in the field of medicine. As a neurologist, he was here to fill in the blanks as far as his area of specialization was concerned.
To be continued…
© Oselumhense Anetor, 2019.