“I’m so sorry Senator Yuri. Please pardon me.” Ivy apologised as soon as she took her seat, directly opposite the Senator’s. The VIP session they were in had fewer persons, unlike the crowded room she had just pushed her way through. Ivy had decided on a simple evening dress; something elegant and expensive. Her makeover followed suit; light shades on her cheekbones, a little shadow over the eyelids; some blush strokes to highlight her cheekbones, and lipstick that barely made any difference.
“What is this Ivy?” Senator Yuri fumed, as soon as she settled down. “I have been here forever, waiting for you.” His six feet frame rose out of his chair in anger. He looked like he was about to smack a naughty child.
“Wait till you hear me out Senator. You know I would never do this to you. I’ve had a most interesting day.” Ivy explained.
“I don’t give a hoot about your day, Ivy. We had an agreement to be here almost an hour ago. I have turned down many offers for your sake, and you know it. Yet you stand me up here, waiting for you as though I have nothing else to do? Don’t you know I’m a very busy man? I don’t get paid for sitting around doing nothing.”
“Actually you do”, Ivy muttered under her breath. She felt the warm blood rush to her cheeks. But she chose to keep calm. She was not going to get upset. Not in the least. She was here to tidy a deal. And she intended to do just that. “Please sit down Senator. This will only take a minute.”
When he finally took his seat, Ivy continued. “I have your ladies ready and waiting to go.”
“All fifty-five of them?”
“Yes Honorable Senator. I am a business woman and I keep my word.”
The Senator smiled for the first time that evening. Reducing his voice, he whispered something into Ivy’s ears.
“Would you like to see their test results?” Ivy asked.
“No mana. That won’t be necessary. If you say they are clean, I believe you.”
“When do you want them to come?”
“Erm, tomorrow will be fine for the preliminary inspection. You’ll come over to my place to get the first installment of your cheque. My PA will communicate all other details to you.”
“I’ll be there myself. Thanks a lot Senator,” Ivy said, rising from her chair.
“Anytime, lady Ivy”, Yuri was smiling again. “Anytime!”
Cameras were set up in the room as though for a video shoot. But unlike a studio, these cameras were automated and unmanned. This was because the research was not supposed to be open to third parties. That was what Laura, the Chief Medical Director had told them. The information didn’t make Kemi feel any better though. She kept looking around. She wished the lights were brighter. Maybe they thought the tinted rays of light would somehow relax them. They were wrong; at least in her case. She was pretty nervous. For the third time today, she was having second thoughts about the whole thing. But it was already too late now. She had willingly appended her signature to the document they were given the previous day, and as a lawyer, she knew the implications of that singular action.
“Don’t worry my legal counselor. Therapies don’t bite.” It was Mangodo, trying to sound unperturbed. But there was something about the way he was grinning that suggested he didn’t believe the words he had just uttered.
“Is that your professional opinion?” Kemi wasn’t convinced.
“But of course!” Mangodo echoed. “These guys have said they need us to help us. It’s a win/win situation.”
“Digging into my head and trying to get at all the traumatic experiences won’t hurt? Seriously? They are buried deep in the first place ‘cos our consciousness can’t deal, remember?”
Apart from the occasional twitch on Mangodo’s left temple, he did look relaxed. “Look,” Mangodo began in that soothing voice of his that was characteristic of the medical profession, “let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Nothing can go wrong. Look through that glass panel.”
Kemi allowed her gaze to travel in the direction of Mangodo’s pointing finger.
“That’s the Chief Medical Director of a Mental Care Home. Does that woman seem like she doesn’t know what she’s doing? Look at the man next to her? That’s a world renowned neurologist. Next to him is a Psychiatrist and Hypnotist. To crown it all up, there is even a Reverend Father who doubles as a Psycho-Spiritual expert. Come on Kemi. We’re in good hands.”
Hearing all that stuff made Kemi relax a bit. She had to agree they were indeed in good hands.
“Oh please pardon me.” Ivy rushed into the room. “I was caught up in traffic.”
“We were starting to think you had changed your mind.” Mangodo said, smiling at the lady they had been waiting for.
“I have agreed to be a lab rat. I don’t intend to go back on my word.” Ivy walked to the empty comfortable looking armchair in the room, and sat down. She eased her feet off her heels and let her toes dig into the softness of the Persian rug the entire floor of the room was covered in. As far as she was concerned, the therapy had already begun.
“I believe we’re all set now”, Laura Osobase said as she walked into the room with the grace that the trio had become accustomed to. “It’s only natural that we should begin with PNES, which is clearly one of my most competent areas of specialty. And since Miss Ivy is the only one here to have had an episode, I shall naturally begin with her.”
Ivy opened her eyes at the mention of her name. “Please ma’am, what’s PNES again?”
To be continued…
© Oselumhense Anetor, 2019.