Kemi looked across the table at doctor Mangodo, and saw him better for the first time. Beyond the well trimmed beard, and the handsome face, there was a certain ruggedness. He sat erect, with shoulders held firm, like one who was used to fighting and winning. He appeared to be in his early thirties, with an oblong face, strong jaw line, and sad eyes. “So what’s your story? How come you are depressed?” Kemi asked. She didn’t want Mangodo to notice she was staring.
Mangodo heaved a sigh. “I never said I am depressed. I mean, I’m not depressed right now. It’s an off and on thing. Besides, we’re not supposed to be talking about depression at lunch, are we?”
“But you just said you started with…”
“…selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors… I know what I said.”
“So?” Kemi insisted. “Even though you tried to lie about it.”
“Oooo nah. Kemi just drop it already. That was months ago. I got better. I am much better now.”
“But I told you all about me. In fact, I feel like you know every sad detail of my life already.”
“That was professional doctor/patient relationship. Haba! Are you seriously doing this right now? You be doctor?”
“I nor be doctor. But I be barrister. Come on, there is a bit of counseling in what I do as well. Try me. What’s your story?” Kemi pressed further.
“I don’t have a story.”
“So what happened to you? Were you bullied as a child? Did you have a challenging upbringing? Were you abused? Come on, there has to be something.” Kemi did not intend to give up that easily.
“My parents died in a crash when I was eleven. I was the only survivor.”
“Oh yes Kemi. Jesus Christ! Now that you mention him, where was he when my parents died? What did he do? And now that you know, what can you do about it? Why didn’t I die as well? What am I doing here, with no one to be proud of all my achievements? I didn’t have a hard childhood. I grew up with an uncle who gave me everything I wanted. I had food, money and clothes. But no matter how hard my uncle and his wife tried, they couldn’t replace my parents.”
“Jeez, Mangodo. Please take it easy.”
“It’s easy for you to say.” Mangodo got up. His mood had changed completely.
“Where are you going? We haven’t even had lunch yet. Please sit down.” Kemi pleaded.
“I lost my appetite.” Mangodo pushed back his chair, settled the bills and left the eatery without so much as a backward glance.
“Bisola how far nah? What do I do now that I’m bedridden? My clients. They will totally forget about me. You know how this hustle be nah.”
“Shuo. Wetin dey work you? You nor go well before you dey worry?”
Ivy shook her head sadly. “See my life? Wetin carry me comot for hotel for night o?”
Bisola felt sorry for her friend. She knew Ivy would be in the hospital for a long while. It was a miracle that she could talk and act like nothing happened. But the truth was that Ivy had had a near fatal accident. She needed to stop worrying about business for once.
“Did you call Senator Yuri?” Ivy suddenly asked.
“Yes nah. I did.”
“He said he’ll try to delay awarding the contract as much as he can.”
“For how long?”
“About two weeks?”
“And what if I’m not out in two weeks?”
Bisola shrugged. “Relax Ivy. Let’s thank God you’re alive first. Dead body nor dey carry contract Madam.”
Ivy was silent. There was nothing else to say. Her world was crashing in on her and there was nothing she could do about it. She looked at the hospital calendar by her bedside. She had been at the ICU for over a week.
To be continued…
© Oselumhense ANETOR, 2019.