Next day at the hospital, she gave the carefully worded letter to Dr. Adekola’s secretary before she headed to her office. Things had however gone quite smoothly despite her trepidation about the outcome of the letter she had sent to him. 30 minutes before her duty shift was over for the day, a nurse rushed to summon her, telling her there was an emergency at the intensive care unit of the hospital and she was needed there. The nurse handed her a file before going out.
Biodun quickly donned her overall coat. She opened the file that she had dropped on the table with one hand and gave it a perusal. It was the file of a young lady who had tried aborting using pills for a pregnancy that was over 5 months. Although she had succeeded in killing the baby, remains of the dead foetus had decomposed inside her after a couple of weeks, thus causing horrible cramps.
Members of her family had become worried because of the stench coming from her, particularly whenever she opened her mouth - a rather strange occurrence for them. They had first thought it to be a hygiene problem but when her body began to ooze a very rancid odour, they knew there was fire on the mountain - particularly considering her fainting fits and horrible cries from cramps.
When she was rushed to the hospital after another fainting spell, the doctor on duty had resuscitating her, not knowing it was something serious. She was almost discharged after having been given analgesics until a relative mentioned in passing about her foul and strange breath and even cramps. Then the doctor had quickly ordered tests to be carried out on her and the result of the test was what was placed before Biodun.
Biodun shook her head, not in sympathy but out of her inability to comprehend the magnitude of ignoramus stupidity and carelessness that made the girl do something so risky- it was as if her life had little value to her. “If she needed an abortion that bad, there are good hospitals where it could be done although it is generally against the law of this country- yet there are doctors whose specialization it is. See how this silly girl had destroyed her own future!” Biodun murmured as she continued her reading.
The other physicians had tried to see if they could save the girl’s life and her womb, although her life was their primary concern. According to the file, however, the case was beginning to puzzle the other doctors and, worse still, the young lady had been breathing with the aid of a machine for the past 48 hours.
Biodun inhaled heavily - she silently prayed that the girl had not been sent to the research lab already and brought back to die because her case particularly fitted the category of those taken into the lab. The situation of her health, womb and general body condition was all well explained. However, Biodun was almost confused as she was not sure whether to rely on the information in the file. After all, it could be true or false. What made her sceptical about relying on the information provided in the lady’s medical file was nothing more than the can of worms Dr. Adekola had opened for her the previous day. Immediately after she finished her preview of the file she closed it and breathed in and out heavily while she muttered prayers.
As she was about moving out, a messenger came in to give her a letter. But, because her mind was already on the operation, without taking a second look at the letter she just dropped it on her table and went out.
On entering the operating theatre, she saw two senior physicians and three nurses all battling with the girl’s life. Biodun concentrated on the challenge before her. To her it was not just another work but a very big challenge. If she succeeded it would go a long way in building a reputation for herself.
While in her office she had decided to ignore what was written in the patient’s file and start the scratch. From all indications the girl had most likely been sent to the lab as a guinea pig - only brought back to die in the hospital. Peradventure, she mused, this case was a test to know if she was ready to become part of the criminal syndicate in the hospital. Do something, kill the lady and skilfully remove some vital organs before sealing her up for good. She quickly pushed this thought out of her mind in order to concentrate on her work.
Outside, the lady’s relatives were feeling very sad - especially her older ones, for the lady was the only female in their family. They felt like a failure for not suspecting she was 5 months pregnant and had swallowed some pills in her frustration to terminate the baby. That morning, the doctor on call had intimated to them that the lady’s womb had been damaged beyond repair. He had backed it up with scientific terms that the family could not understand. He also informed them that she was on danger list but that the medical team would try and resuscitate her. Bringing her back to life was the best they could promise and hope for at that juncture.
When the lady was wheeled out of the theatre without the usual wires connected to her many hours later, some began weeping for the death of their daughter. One of her relatives, however, maintained his cool demeanour. He went into the senior doctor’s office as soon as he saw him enter and he was happy when he heard that the operation had been successful. Though not daring to hope, he inquired if her womb was removed. To his greater surprise, the physician smiled and told him to be hopeful as they had done all they could.
The man could not believe his ears; he gently inquired if it was that young beautiful doctor who indeed performed the operation. The senior doctor was surprised, wondering how he knew Dr. Biodun performed the operation but, he disguised his surprise and said, “Well, it was not done by a single person, we all tried our best and God crowned our effort.” This seemed to satisfy the man who was trying to control his happiness because his sister would live - he profusely thanked the doctor before he went out.
On getting back to the waiting room, he was bursting to relay the good news to his relatives. However, they beat him to it - they knew in detail how it went and, even better, they had somehow gotten the name of the young doctor that performed the operation. His elder, one Barrister Emmanuel Lawal, laughingly told him he had gotten the name from one of the nurses by coaxing up to her. Actually the gossipy nurse had begged him not say anything about it as it could cost her her job.
“Engineer, that praise would not go to that doctor. Josephine told me that this hospital has a policy that whenever such a feat is achieved, the praise goes to the whole hospital or at best the medical team involved,” the Barrister enunciated, laughing again.
The man, who had been referred to as Engineer by his brother almost ran to the nurses at the waiting room. He asked for direction to Biodun’s office and he was shown the way. On getting to Dr. Onifade’s office, he met her arranging some files. She looked up smilingly as he entered and his heart went to her because of her beauty. Remembering why he was in her presence, he quickly gathered his scattered brain and did as he was bade to do - sit down. He didn’t even wait for the angel doctor as he had nicknamed her in his mind for when she might ask why he was there. He was about launching into showing appreciation to her for saving his sister’s life when the telephone rang.
The doctor quietly excused herself as she picked it, but judging from Dr. Onifade’s gestures and response, the visitor suspected all was not well and he silently prayed it was not his sister who had relapsed. After some few more minutes filled with gestures and hastily spoken words, she dropped the phone, apologized, and calmly said;
“Sorry for keeping you waiting sir. What can I …” He did not wait for her to finish the question. He stood up, stretched his hand for a shake and smiling broadly said,
“Sorry, doctor I’m Engineer Lawal, I’m here to thank you for saving my sister’s life…” He smiled broadly as he said the word save, joy radiating over him.
Biodun wondered who had told him she did the operation and, though the girl’s survival was 75-25, there might be a relapse later but she determined to keep this to herself and not rain on his parade.
“Oh! Engineer let’s thank God, I’m only doing my…”Grrrh. The phone shrieked suddenly, rudely interrupting her words.
“Excuse me,” Biodun said. She picked up the phone and at the same time picked a letter on her table. While answering the phone she was browsing through the letter, and soon she had a deep frown and her voice became nervous.
“Sir, I’ve done nothing to merit this” Engineer Lawal heard the doctor say into the phone.
Though he had no idea who was talking on the other end and what he was saying, he could sense that what the person was saying was not good. He guessed it was the same person who had called before and from her continuous use of ‘sir’, he suspected the caller to be someone higher or older. Engineer Lawal determined to be patient but he did not like what was happening. His sixth sense was telling him that something bad was about to happen to the person who saved his sister’s life.
“Excuse me for a moment please,” he heard Dr. Onifade saying. But before he could reply the young doctor had rushed out. What would I do now he thought? Obviously, he could not continue sitting in her office. He knew the situation was probably because of her confused mind. Otherwise she would have made sure he left the office before her.
“Considering that this lady is a doctor, whatever they must have told her must be so terrible for her to look so apprehensive and frightened. Ahah, after all - doctors ought to be shock absorbers. “I hope she had lost no relative?” he soliloquized. “But before I’m shown out of here let me do some prying,” he concluded.
Engineer Lawal looked left and right to make sure no one was in sight but, even if they were, the windows were heavily shielded. But, one could not be too careful when about to do something that might cause a huge embarrassment if caught. He quickly picked up the letter that was on the table and went through it. He shuddered as he read it and sweat broke forth from his forehead. He quickly dropped it and sat again, his brain spinning in a hundred directions.
“This letter was not directed to me yet, I’m moved. What will the recipient herself do?” he asked the empty office.
He began to think about the content of the letter that was dated that morning and from a man named Dr. Adekola. It seemed that man wanted something from Dr. Onifade which she was not ready to give. The man was very lascivious in his letter from which Engineer Lawal could deduce that the man wanted to befriend her. Also he gave her some instructions about an operation to be done in the theatre. This was something the Engineer could not fathom as it was written in doctors medical jargon and codes he couldn’t, even if his life depended on it, decipher.
“This is very erroneous,” he thought as he got up. “Well, maybe this is their tradition here, but I thought doctors are disciplined and don’t sexually harass themselves?” He questioned no one deep in thought, with his head a confused round table till he reached the waiting room. On getting there, he was informed that his sister was resting and they would only be able to see her the next day.
In doctor Adekola’s office, Biodun sat looking dejected. The man was on his phone and was laughing wildly at some joke Biodun could not comprehend. When he was through he turned to Biodun and spoke with a mocking voice.
“I’ve just been informed that you were able to save that girl’s life and womb. Well done. That is why I want you. You are an admirable Crichton, you know,” he laughed gently.
Biodun could not help feeling apprehensive considering she knew that the operation she just did was a test of her loyalty to the new course they just introduced her to. She had totally disobeyed them and gone contrary to their expectation, so she waited for the consequences of her action to descend on her.
“I can see you’re already judging yourself and condemning yourself,” Dr. Adekola said, looking at her lecherously. “You’ve failed, failed woefully. You totally forgot that I make things happen, and ‘the team’ is not happy with you considering what you’ve done. I don’t know what action they may take but prepare for the worst,” he concluded, leering.
“But sir, I thought you gave me three days to think things out, I didn’t know whether I was supposed to do anything or not. I was so confused.”
Suddenly an idea came to her. “Moreover, I thought if I did all that was needed to be done, when she was later transferred to the lab, her family won’t suspect a thing, which was why I did that, I’m new to this. Also, I was not duly informed about what had and is to be her fate, so, I only used my discretion like you told me yesterday sir,” she said, trying to play games of brain with the man.
Dr. Adekola could not help but laugh, and it was like the sound of an empty drum rolling down a tarred road, so grating and irritating to the ear drums it was. “I’ll give it to you, you are smart, very smart, and you believed you have turned the tables on me with your clever words? Well, I gave you three days actually, but I remember someone sent me a letter this morning that I should reconsider, which is why ‘the team’ decided to give you something else to do: removing specified organs from a patient’s body, which you didn’t do. Well, henceforth you are not to concern yourself with lab or no lab. I will be giving you instructions which you must follow to the latter. Any disobedience, you have hell to pay for it. If you had read my letter before hurrying for your Samaritan work, you would not have made such stupid mistake, but I’ll pardon you this time. You can go,” he concluded as his hand moved in a manner suggesting she could leave.
Biodun sat dazed and it was when Dr. Adekola shook her that she stirred and left the office, walking like a ‘zombie’ towards her own office.
On entering, she locked the door and sat down heavily and could not help but think of why the world always turned tables on her. She could not for the life of her understand how she had gotten herself drawn into the circle of heartless men who had no regard for law and human life. She felt like she was drowning in a quagmire and she had no power to escape its clutches. To make things worse, there was no one to turn to for advice. She felt like she was all alone in life and there was not just one person on her side, except maybe her daughter who depended on her for survival.
Suddenly, she remembered that there had been someone in her office before she hurried out. She tried remembering who the person was, but she couldn’t. Her head was banging so hard like there was a mad drummer trying to perfect a staccato for a king or peradventure, trying to torture her skull. She stood up, gathered her things and, without looking back, raced out of the hospital like hell was on her heels.