Humans and gossip! Whispers and side glances, slowly but surely gradually started going round the hospital. The nurses and some female doctors whispered behind their hands about the growing closeness between her and Dr Oni. The married ones smiled with nostalgia while the unmarried single ladies bemoaned their fate especially those who had their eyes on him. Try as they might, he had never showed an inkling of interest for anyone before and they had come to regard him as aloof young man that one could only love from afar. For him to show interest in the opposite sex sparked a lot of comments and many looked at Ada with something akin to jealousy in their eyes. Ada saw some surreptitious looks the nurses gave her from time to time but didn’t take them seriously. One fateful day, after she had been moved to a private room, Nnamdi was fiddling with the remote in front of the television when she asked “Has Tola been in touch since I was admitted?”
Looking intently at her, he paused. They had a tight bond even more so as they were just two and could not hide things from each other.
He took a deep breath and replied in the affirmative. He had been there but he personally with the help of the doctors had ensured he never had access to her. Nmamdi looked at her. “Or did you want to see him?”
“No” she said vehemently.
He chuckled at her vehemence.
“I know Sis. He doesn’t deserve you. Forget about him.”
“The doctors have been informed not to allow him access to you.” He looked at her keenly as he mentioned the word “doctors”. Ada noted the stress on the word ‘doctors’ and badgered him to explain. She was getting better and moving around slowly now with a lot of aid contrary to what the doctors had expected and so she was sitting on the hospital sofa provided by the bed.
Nnamdi smiled and explained what exactly happened and how the doctors particularly Dr Oni had bluntly refused Tola access after hearing the history, to the point of getting him removed by the hospital security. Nnamdi continued “Bayo was….” she interrupted him with a questioning look. “Bayo?” Nnamdi laughed at the expression on her face. “Yes.” He said. They had become close pals which wasn’t surprising considering the age difference and had resorted to calling each other by first names especially in private.
“He knows everything that happened, Sis. Besides it seems he is smitten by you”. Her brother laughed mischievously.
Her incredulous look made him chortle further. “Ask Chichi”.
As though she heard her name called, she walked in after knocking. She had stopped to pick some toiletries for Ada so Nnamdi had gone ahead. Ada looked questioningly at her. Chichi dropping her bag on the table beside the bed looked askance at Nnamdi. “She wants to know if one certain doctor is carrying a torch for her. ” he said snickering.
Chichi turned to look at her and grinned. “That’s evident. Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed?”
Her surprised look made Nnamdi chuckle, holding his ribs as his fiancée kicked him on the shin. She whirled back to Ada and grasped her hand.
“It is true. He might not realize it fully yet but we all do. He is carrying a blazing torch for you.” Tears pooled in her eyes, which promptly sobered her brother up. She looked down at herself and whispered. “How can it be? Look at me. I am a mess. Can I ever be completely whole again? I am not sure I would ever walk again without a walking aid.”
“You are going to be fine.” Both Chichi and Nnamdi replied simultaneously. Chichi held her close and spoke quietly into her ear reassuring her that all was going to be fine. Her brother stood from the bed where he had been perching and knelt down beside her.
“ Ada you will be fine. It’s just a matter of time. You will be back to the troublesome sister I know.” she smiled through her tears and punched him. The sad melancholy atmosphere shattered, they smiled.
“The man for you will not allow anything stand in his way to be with you. He will accept you just as you are.” Chichi said seriously. “Never doubt that.”
Chichi picked her bag and looked at her. Quickly, she picked out some makeup from her bag and started to apply some makeup on Ada’s face. When she protested, Chichi informed her that her parents were on the way. Not wanting them to see her with tears on her face she quickly submitted to Chichi’s ministrations while Nnamdi sat back.