The customary lunch was served in a small plate, I was grateful for the meal knowing well that I couldn’t expect same on the streets. As soon as the plate was placed before me, one of the patients sitting beside me suddenly lurched for my plate and grabbed it with both hands, tipping her head back, she drank up my egusi soup. I nearly ran mad as I screamed, ‘Ahhhhh’ with my hands on my head. I jumped on the patient and wrestled her to the ground. By the time I was through, the nurses had arrived and grabbed me, binding me with chains while I watched the woman I had just beaten bleed in unconsciousness.
“She don kill am.” Shouted one of the nurses as they dragged me out of the refectory and locked me up in closed quarters.
I screamed loud and beat my hands on the wall till it grew numb, finally I crouched down and dozed off. I was stirred awake an hour later by rough hands which dragged me to an unfamiliar office. I was tossed to the ground like a bag of grass and left there still bound in chains. The door opened moments later and a woman entered the office, she didn’t seem to mind that I was there, she just dialed a number on her phone and listened to it ring, when the receiver picked, she spoke quietly.
“Come here, now.”
I looked up to see if she was addressing me but to my relief she wasn’t, minutes later, one of the nurses came in and greeted the woman, looking solemnly on the floor and shuffling her feet as though scared to face the woman.
“Who is this specimen?” The woman asked.
“Dr. Eliz it’s the lady that almost killed patient Joy, the noisy…” She started but was cut short.
“Is this my case? Is she supposed to be under my watch?”
“No ma…it’s actually Dr.Gerald’s case but the director says he doesn’t seem to be making progress with her case.
“It’s written here that she is due to be released in one week.” Dr Eliz snapped.
“Yes she was…that was until she almost killed Joy the noisy…”
“I will not take this anymore, no one has the right to add more work to my pile…”
“But the director ma…”
“Leave my office at once.” The Doctor ordered.
I watched the nurse scramble out of the room and I watched the doctor, waiting to see if she’d do something horrible to me. From the look of things, she was going to and I would be unable to stop her.
“Madam dokitor…abeg make I talk wetin happen.” I said feeling the pain at the sides of my mouth for the first time.
The woman didn’t reply, she opened her laptop and begun typing rapidly.
“See…madam, I no know wetin carry me come hia ooo…na my madam…if I catch dat woman I swear…I go kill am.” I said before realizing that I had just contradicted myself. “I mean say…I go beat am…no…I go give am word.”
Still no reply.
I sniff back my tears and stare at the woman before me silently, suddenly, a knock is heard at the door and my doctor steps in, looking as dashing as ever. I spring to my feet but was held back by the chains bounding my feet.
“Dockitor! My dockitor!” I cry in a plea.
My doctor ignored me and faced the female doctor before him.
“What is the meaning of this Dr. Gerald?” The woman asked in fury.
“I am very sorry about this and I promise it wouldn’t happen again.” Dr. George replied.
“Why would management send your patient to me knowing well that I have enough patients on my hands?”
“It was obviously done because I wasn’t around at the time she caused the scene.”
“Are you competent at all? I’ve read this lady’s file and for three weeks you’ve been on her case without results. From the tests conducted, she doesn’t seem to have any inherent mental problems, what is taking you so long to finding an absolute cure to whatever her ailment is?”
“Well…it’s a slow and steady process ma’am and I’m doing my best. The incident at the refectory has dragged me back to the draw board, I’ll re-strategize and take up her case again.”
The woman nodded and picking up her phone again, she placed a call, I watched as Doctor Gerald walked up to me and gently unbound my hands and legs.
“Let her be, Dr. Gerald, I’ll call the ward assistants to take her away.” The female doctor said.
“She’s not a criminal and she can walk on two feet, I’d rather we skip formalities.” Dr. Gerald said, his rich voice caressing my ears.
The female doctor nodded and we left her office, heading straight to Dr. Gerald’s office; immediately we walked in he cleared his throat and spoke.
“Senorita, this will be the first and last time you’d ever do such a thing again.” He warned.
“Sorry sir…I no know wetin catch me…na dat woman carry my food.” I begin to explain.
“We’ll start our sessions again and because of you, I’ll stay longer today. I’ll call the nurse to take you for a bathe…you stink. When last did you have a good bath?”
“E don tey since water touch my body…even when water touch am, soap no dey.” I complain.
Minutes later, a nurse leads me away to the bathroom where she scrubs me clean and after drying off, I change my wear to a neater one and walk back to the doctor’s office with the nurse in tow.
As soon as I stepped into the office, I knew something was wrong, the doctor glazed me over with red rimmed eyes and as I sat at my favourite seat, he wasn’t in a hurry to speak.
“Dockitor…you sure say you fine so?” I ask quietly with a hint of concern in my voice.
The doctor stares at me and looks away, apparently ashamed that I saw him in such condition. Immediately my mind tells me that I’m the reason behind his worry, maybe he could be sacked due to my display at the refectory. Falling to my kneels quickly, I plead his forgiveness.
“Docki…abeg no vex…na devil hand dey inside…” I start.
“Stand up Senorita, it’s not you…I’m having some issues at home but I’ll be fine.” He says as he walks up to me and helps me up to my feet.
We stand face to face, eye to eye and gaze to gaze, staring at each other as though for the first time. I feel a warm tingle down my spine and my breathe comes out in shallow spurts, I have never felt this way before. Even as we stood, I look into his eyes and see something I can’t describe, it’s deep and dark like the hooded umbrella and suddenly, not knowing what seize me, I kiss him.
He kisses me back with raw passion which blazes as though from a thick and deep forest. Raising my palms, I caress his face and moan at its softness. ‘Is this me? Senorita? The Lagos chick who was chased away from Janet’s place, sent to prison by her madam and Oga and finally landed in a ‘mental’ home?’ I wonder inwardly. I can’t let this opportunity slip, I need to impress my doctor…perhaps show him some of my alluring skills and maybe he’ll have me for keeps.
We fall to the sofa and the rapid rip of my dress was heard as doctor Gerald proved that he wasn’t just good with medicine but fumbling as well. His hands trace the curves of my body and worked its way from my breasts to well…that side of me that I loved most. I was in pure ecstasy and the pump of adrenaline surged up to the base of my neck as I screamed in pleasure,
The water splashed on my body and I woke up in sweat, tears and in a drenched state, realization hit me hard as I stare at the nurses around me. Then I knew, it had all been a dream. Shaking my head in regret and moaning in disappointment, I wail;
"Which kain hand dey my life so? Abi na pesin curse me?"