Chapter Three

It had been four days since Doctor Mangodo told her she was depressed – Kemi knew many people were depressed, but somehow, she hadn’t actually thought she was one of the many. She had hoped the general disinterestedness would pass; that she would get better; that her old happy self would re-emerge. She had been wrong so far.

Since Kemi received the news, her world had literally grinded to a halt. Food tasted like sawdust. Work became more tedious. Friends were a pain in the neck. Even her ‘alone times’ no longer offered any comfort. She was doing far worse than she had ever done. Why had she gone to the hospital? She knew her initial feeling of hopelessness was better than what she now felt.

She called her Mom in Abuja, and hung up after a few short pleasantries. There was no need getting her family worried about her.

The music blaring from hidden speakers penetrated her thoughts, and twisted her insides. But she loved it. She wanted the noise of the night club to drown her thoughts, erase her mind, reset her being and chart her a new course. Kemi had come into the club earlier than usual that Monday evening. She had slept a bit after work, discarded her dark suit for bum shorts and a loose fitting see through low-necked t-shirt, and drove into the Lagos traffic.

“Are you alone?”
Kemi raised her eyes at the intruder.
“Sorry. I don’t mean to intrude. I was just wondering why a beautiful lady like you would sit all by herself in a corner of a busy club like this.”
Kemi dropped her eyes. There was nothing of interest there. Just another loser hoping to get laid.
“Can I sit down?”
Kemi took another sip straight from the bottle of Campari that sat on the low table in front of her. She didn’t feel like drinking out of glasses tonight.
“You’re not much of a talker, are you?”
Kemi had to raise her eyes again. What was wrong with this guy? “Please go away,” she finally managed, her voice many decibels below audible.
The intruder stooped, in an attempt to hear what she had to say.
Kemi sat up on the couch she had been reclining on in the VIP section. She moved her lips closer to the man’s left ear and bit it hard.
“Jesus Christ!” the man screamed in genuine pain. “Jesus Christ!” His hands instinctively flew to the area of the pain.
Kemi went back to her bottle, their little drama lost in the noise and the dimness of the night club.

Doctor Mangodo was on call for the third night in a row. He didn’t think it was funny. He was going to speak to Admin about it in the morning. There were over ten resident doctors in his department alone. Why couldn’t they rotate the thing the way they usually did? It didn’t help that he was an Er Doctor. He had had to spend three years of residency in emergency medicine after four years of undergraduate training, and four years of medical school. Now that he was supposed to be reaping the fruits of his labours, this hospital wanted to cut his life short?
“Beep, beep, beep.” His beeper had jumped to life yet again. It was frustrating.
In spite of the weariness in his soul, he dragged his frame to the A&E Ward of Johnson & Jones Medical Centre.

Kemi stepped harder on the accelerator, as soon as she turned into one of the many side streets around Lekki. It was almost 12.30am. There was not a soul walking these side streets at that time of night. Besides there could be gangs and other unscrupulous elements hovering about. She needed to get home in safety, and fast. The 2007 Toyota Corolla sedan felt the rev in its 126 horsepower, four cylinder engine, and jumped to the occasion, racing along the street at 130mph.

Kemi didn’t see the lady crossing the street in time. Adrenaline rushed through her veins in a flash, almost numbing the effects of the alcohol in her system. Her foot went instinctively to the brakes and pressed it flat. Tires skidded noisily on asphalt, there was a loud bang, and everything went dark.

Mangodo looked round for the Emergency Physician as soon as he stepped into the hospital’s A&E unit. The emergency core team were already all over the patient mounted on the stretcher as they wheeled her into the resuscitation area for patient stabilization. In the absence of the EP it would seem the onus fell on him to ‘run point’. He ran after them into the resuscitation area.

This was not supposed to happen to him tonight. He was already tired. While keeping an eye on the patient, Mangodo tried to assess the basic equipment available. The bag valve mask was already over the patient’s face, he could see the chest tube, McGill forceps, nasal prongs, nebulizers, Yankeur suction; he moved his attention to the next table, the 12 lead ECG machine was on standby, there were blood and fluid warmers, bandages, pulse oximeters…his head was reeling. They had everything, even the ones not needed…

To be continued…

© Oselumhense Anetor, 2019.

Image Credit@ Pixabay