IN LOVE WITH A DOCTOR
Benedicta was in a chef apron when she arrived. The apron was stained with oil, spices, and vegetables not letting out hand stains. The aroma of a tasty meal filled the atmosphere of her home that Helia mouth got water. She became skeptical on her reasons for this feast.
“You are here Helia! It’s is even good you showed up. I really need help in the kitchen” She had said propelling her to the kitchen.
“What are you preparing? ” Helia asked looking at the messed up kitchen.
“Lots of dishes dear. I really can’t start lifting them all now. I will have to deliver them by this evening ”
“Alright I am lost. I have no idea what you are actually doing now”
“Friend, how will you know when you ignore my calls? That had really pissed me off. Speaking of which, why weren’t picking up my calls yester? ” Helia thought of a believable explanation.
“Leave that please. Actually, my mum borrowed my phone for the day so I wasn’t having it throughout ”
“I doubted that because you never ignore my calls no matter how busy you are. Anyway, you should have called me as soon as you got it back. I was so worried sick. I thought something had happened to you dear”
“What the hell can happen to your strong friend?” I asked feigning a dry laugh. There was silence between us both. Helia felt it would the best time to bring up her topic.
“I need a favor from you” She kindly requested
“Anything friendly” Benedicta accepted with a big grin.
“Yeah, can I spend the night here? ”
“That’s no problem as long as you behave. You can stay as long as you want” She tasted her meal and nodded as if she had gotten the required taste. “I am bored here anyway. I need someone here” She continues shutting back her pot. Helia smiled with relief. “Does your aunt know you will be staying her for the night? ”
“Yes of course” The young lady lied further wishing she ask no other questions. She didn’t. Benedicta went forward for her locust beans and began washing them slowly in hot water. Her gaze turned toward Helia. She sighted her dull look.
“I am fine” The lady replied trying to hide her dull feeling.
“I don’t think you are fine. You are acting strange ” She leaned closer and gave her a closet stare. Helia tried brightening up her mood but the more she did the more her friend got more suspicious. Benedicta was smarter than she thought.
“Are you sure? ” Her best friend asked with a stern look. Look of guilt began written all over her face. She couldn’t carry the burden in her heart anymore. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she nodded. Benedicta felt her heart melt seeing her in that state and dragged her for a warm hug. “It must have been the rape”
“Yes” she replied clearing her tears. “It was the fault of those monsters”
“Unleash all your pain out my friend but calm down as well. All this wasn’t your fault. You never wanted this. Get a grip of yourself ”
“I simply can’t Benedicta. As long as I still have that foetus in my womb, I can’t ”
“Don’t be stupid. It isn’t the fault of the child. I understand it must be difficult for you but it will be much wiser to keep this baby Helia” Helia gave her friend a shocked look. She pushed away her friend instantly and walked away from her.
“I won’t keep this baby and no one in this world will convince me to. If it’s her fault or not I don’t care! All I know is that her presence will always hunt me that pain I felt this day and in the past ”
“Rethink about this big step you’re about to take. Everyone knows you were raped. It wasn’t your fault ”
“You think? You don’t know the world Benedicta. I am not ready to take this chance ”
“Don’t worry about the world. All this must be happening for a reason. This child might be a blessing for you”
“Of course it will” Helia rolled her eyes sarcastically. “in stories, they are ”
“Helia I am serious! ”
“I am also serious Benedicta because this concerns my feelings. My life. My future. This discussion is pointless cause I have already made up my mind. The abortion will be coming up tomorrow ” Benedicta squeezed her face and groaned realizing it was stupid discussing with her more on the topic.
“She doesn’t and she shouldn’t either. I am not hoping she knows ”
“O! So that explains why you are here. You want to leave for the hospital freely without being questioned ”
“It isn’t that way Benedicta ”
“Of course what other way would it be? It’s exactly what’s on your mind. You aren’t here to see me or apologize for not picking my calls. You are here so that I can pamper you and open up my door for you tomorrow morning so as for you to kill both yourself and your innocent baby” Helia sat up unease now.
“Look, if you don’t wish you help me then let me know” Benedicta calmed her guts down and nodded
“I want to help you but you will have to listen to me first” The stubborn lady finally nodded and turned her gaze toward that of her friend.
“Please, I have an appointment with Doctor Frank” Helia reminded the receptionist the next morning. The last recognized her and allowed her into the doctor’s office. The doctor seemed set when she’s arrived.
“Are you ready for this? “he had asked her immediately. She nodded. He ordered her to sit patiently at the waiting room while he discussed with someone. She sat down slowly. Sweat sprinkled down her face as she squeezed her Tommy slightly repeating to herself it was for her own good. She knew she couldn’t change her mind. She just couldn’t. Her mind was already fixed. She turned her gaze around trying to be observant and caught sight of a woman [email protected] her few months old baby with a happy grin. Her two year old son pulled her skirt angrily insisting on sitting on her lap. The young lady snapped at him ordering him to stop. Helia smiled a little seeing their moments. The boy looked cute and so was the mother’s reaction. One of the doctors who seemed to be the youngest walked up to the woman and pulled the baby’s cheeks playfully before ordering her in his office. The woman happily obeyed still [email protected] her girl. The doctor through his spectacles stared back at the restaurant and insisted they wait. Helia ignored knowing it had nothing to do with her. She didn’t notice him try to catch a glimpse of her face as of he’s know her from somewhere before a nurse finally deviated his attention from her.
“Helia? ” Doctor Frank called her few minutes later. She responded by jumping up immediately from where she sat. “It’s time now ”
She nodded weakly.
Aunt Joyce was just completing her 10th decade when the lawyer walked in with some docvments. Her sick sister had called him earlier giving her no specific reason why.
“I am Mr Blackface. A lawyer to your sister” He introduced himself with a smile. “I am here on her invitation “. Aunt Joyce nodded indicating she knew. She let him into the ward immediately before shutting the door behind her. Sinking into the chair close-by, she supported her head really tensed. Helia hadn’t been heard of for a day now. Her worry for her increased. Where the hell was that good for nothing lady?
“Was that the family lawyer I just saw? ” Chris asked joining her where she sat.
“Yeah it was” She replied.
“Mum sent the lawyer over? Does it have something to do with the will? ”
“I have no clue. She just insisted I call him”
“Well if it has to deal with the will, I hope she thinks twice before playing unfair towards my own share ” He said frowning.
“You are such a…” The woman couldn’t complete her words. Her face was tightly squeezed with her eyebrows knitted. The boy was damn stupid. How could his only concern be on the will when his mum was actually dying? She groaned. No matter how hard she tries, she just couldn’t get him to understand what the world was all about. The two children were spoilt. There was nothing to be picked out of them. She picked up her phone and tried Helia.
“I am sure you are calling her again”
“She is your sister! Your younger sister! ”
“A rebellious one actually. Better quit trying. She’s eloped with a guy ” The old woman was about giving him the scolding of his life when a female voice was suddenly heard from the other side of the line.
“Helia?! ” she exclaimed in surprise.
Helia was just on her way out of the hospital with her hand still wrapped around her belly when her aunt called. Her face was all dull. Didn’t the abortion help or what?
“Good morning Aunt. I am so sorry for not picking up your calls. I… ”
“You just hold your explanation there. I am not in need of it. There are lots I have to know about you okay? You aren’t even as innocent as you seem. Your behavior is enough to send someone to grave early. Your mother battles for her life and.. ”
“Wait! my mum? What’s wrong with my mum? Is she fine? ”
“She is not okay? The doctor said she isn’t going to survive for long. Come and see her right now. She wants to see you dear”
“Just… Just… Just send me the address of the hospital ” She demanded feeling herself get tensed now.
“No need for that. You are familiar with the family hospital Ter.S” Helia got surprised realizing it was the same hospital she had just attempted an abortion. Sweat streamed down her face as she got speechless now. She turned back toward the hospital wondering why life was playing tricks on her.
“Helia… Are you fine? ”
“Yes…Yes… I am fine”
“Okay. It’s ward 100. Be quick” Her aunt went on.
“Alright I will” She hung up and turned back at the hospital giving it one more stare because rushing in.
As soon as the lawyer stepped out of the ward, Chris trod toward him toward him promptly with a cunning smile.
“You saw my mum? ” He asked despite knowing the guy did.
“Yes I did” The lawyer answered calmly.
“What did you both discuss? ” He asked trying to pry.
“I am sorry but it’s between me and her”
“What nonsense are you saying? I am her son. I have all the rights to know”
“I don’t mind knowing the reasons for that. Of what good will it be for you? Well I will advise you make yourself more useful by finding something to do for yourself. Maybe going to school will help perhaps. That will help” He advised him giving him the taste of his own medicine before finally leaving. The boy fumed.
“That reminds me Chris, why did you drop out of college? ” Aunty Joyce wanted to know. Chris gave her a rude stare and trod off.
Helia was racing towards the ward when she had bumped into her elder brother. He gave her an astonished stare before leaving without saying a word. She ignored him and made it toward her aunt.
“Aunt… Aunt… Mum” She said trying to catch her breath
“See who we have here? The prodigal daughter ”
“Aunt please, I want to see my mum”
“Who am I to be a hindrance? Of course, go and show your shameful face to her” Helia needed no one to tell her Aunt Joyce was angry with her. She gave her a short stare and walked in. Her mum was looking pale and emaciated. Her eyes got sunken in and her lips broke. Helia couldn’t control her tears. She took her mum’s hands in her feelings it’s coldness. She never wanted her mum to leave that way. It wasn’t what she needed.
“Mum I am sorry. I didn’t know ” She apologized. Her mum gave her a disappointed look.
“Are you done partying? Do you have time for your mother now? Her mum asked blinking back her tears. “It’s a good thing you are here to bid me farewell ”
“No mother. Do not say that. You are not dying. I love you just so much. I can’t bear losing you like this” Her mum shook her head.
“You can sweetie. You have proven so many times you don’t need your mother. Your alcoholic and partying life keeps you going. It always rules you over that you forgot you have a mother”
“No mother, I didn’t go…. “She stopped realizing she couldn’t tell her mum where she actually was.
“You never for ones made me happy but I still love you as I always do. You’ll always be my small Helia. ” Her mum’s voice was beginning to weaken. She began gasping for breath.
“Mum stop talking. You are hurting yourself ”
“I don’t have much time dear but you have to promise me you’ll help me with the hospital no matter what condition I placed over it ”
“I don’t understand. Why are you talking like this?”
“Promise me dear. Promise me! ” Her hand was grabbed tightly by her mum who seemed to be slipping away. As if agreeing would bring her back to life, she agreed immediately but that didn’t stop her mum from deteriorating.
“Doctor! Doctor! ” She screamed out loudly in tears. One of the doctors rushed in and tried saving her but it was too late. The arm that grabbed her fell flat on the bed lifelessly. Helia fell unto the floor in tears. She ignored the doctor’s saying on her mum’s sudden death as soon as he walked in. That wasn’t the news she needed to hear.
After a week of mourning her mum’s death, the burial was done. The lawyer came to their doorstep few days later expecting to say the will.
“Well according to this will here 30% of her shares including her recent project going on in her estate belongs to Chris while 60% of her wealth which consists of her hospital and shares belongs to Helia!” Helia didn’t show any reaction at all. Her brother frowned.
“But…” He went on. “This wealth will belong to you on one condition ”
“What is that? “she asked.
“You will have to put an end to your drinking habits” She made faces. “As your Lawyer I will keep a close watch on you and ensure you are completely alcohol free but I promise you, if you dare get drunk ones you will lose the property and your brother will get it. You know what that means.” her brother smirked. Again Helia didn’t say a word. in her room, she stood by her window recalling what her mum had told her before kicking the bucket. With a gloomy look, she picked up a basket and opened up her wardrobe. Hidden there was her drinks which she dared not let anyone reach. Putting them one after the other in a basket, she collected them and sold them all to a bar man close-by. With the money she got, she was able to donate to the orphanage which her mum visited ones a month during her life time. She made up her mind to stay away from clubs and visited the rehab for help. Benedicta also helped in every way she could but didn’t mind drinking in front of her. Helia tried arguing against this but her dear friend was addicted herself.
Back to the present, everything was beginning to tumble down again just because of I mistake she made. She had almost won the lawyer’s trust for crying out loud. How could this have happened?
“There is got to be another way” Benedicta broke the silence between them for the past five minutes. “Don’t be too hard on yourself”
“This was what I feared Benedicta. This was the last thing I ever wanted to happen ”
“It wasn’t your fault. Really? It was that new guy of yours to be blamed. He didn’t leave a chance to ruin you”
“Don’t ever call him a guy of mine again? Whoever he was then I don’t know and I don’t want to know either. He better go to hell”
“If we keep being pessimistic about this, we will surely not get any solution for this. Whatever happened last night was a mistake. There should be a way to explain this to him” Helia was in silence for some few minutes with her face buried in her hands. After few seconds of meditation, she rose up and began jogging back upstairs.
“Now what’s on your mind? ” Benedicta asked hoping she wasn’t up to something foolish.
“I am going to see him in his office ” She answered halting for a while.
“Well that will be a good idea but for you to go there in this condition, I don’t think I am I’m support of that”
“I don’t care what condition I am in. I am perfectly fine. My mum’s property is at stake here and I’ll do all I can to get it back” She insisted stubbornly and rushed up the stairs. Benedicta called out her name but she gave no reply at all. The young lady had gotten rigid to her decision. Nothing one can say to her, moves her a bit.
Mr Blackjo had given her a disrespectful look as she walked in. His face was squeezed. He hadn’t held his gaze towards her for few seconds. Expecting that behavior of his anyway, she walked in and sat slowly with a puppy face.
“What do you want? ” He asked rudely. She stared at the few files piled before him before going straight to her point.
“It wasn’t intentional ”
“Whatever explanation you wish to give now won’t be of help to you because I have made my decision. I made a promise to your mother and you did to”
“Yes! I know all that but I swear to you it wasn’t my fault. I hold steadfast to my promises. Actually there was this man who lured me into drinking against my wish… ”
“A man lured you into drinking? Can’t you even listen to yourself? This shows your old habits haven’t let go of you yet”
“No sir. I swear I have let go of all that time when I had ones lived the life of a freelancer. I am a completely changed person. I run my uncle company well and manage the non ending responsibilities. I… I… I can’t forsake mother this way. If a company falls in the hands of my brother then that’s the end of my mum’s legacy”
“You seem to feel really bad for your mistakes but a promise is a promise Helia…” Helia looked down in frustration. “But your mum wasn’t so naive enough to leave the whole property to your brother just because of your minor mistakes. You still have the chance to get it back ” She stared up at him in curiosity.
“There is a doctor who your mum had agreed to hand over the management of the hospital to. You just have to ensure everything goes well as long as he runs it ”
“That’s a great relief sir. Really but… Who is this doctor? ”
“He is Dr Anderson Calos from the rivers state but actually his dad is a foreigner. He had ones spent his young days in Accra before coming over to stay with his mum. Your mum have known him for a long time and she wishes you introduce him to all he has to know about the hospital. What’s your take on this?” Helia smiled broadly knowing she had no objection.
“Of course I have no problem with that as long as my mother chose him. The main thing is that the hospital is fine”
“Yes it will be” The lawyer ensures her smiling. “I will call him up this evening and arrange a meet date this week. Maybe you both will meet this weekend if he is changed. Are you? ”
“Yes I will be. I don’t work on Saturdays unless it is so important and of course Sundays. I respect God” He smiled and stretched his hand for a handshake.
“Congrats to this new approach” He had told her. She received the handshake with a nod before leaving with a broad smile on her lips.