The door opened slowly, revealing a friendly face.
As Dr. Richard greeted her with a smile, she immediately remembered that she was in a hospital.
“Doctor, why am I still here?”
Dr. Richard offered her a few slices of sandwiches and some fruit juice, then he took one of the seats at the table and invited her to join him. Reluctantly, she joined him at the table. She slowly placed her notebook on the table and allowed her eyes to feast on the meal that had been set before her. Realizing that the doctor hadn’t answered her question, she protested.
“Why am I still here?”
“You said you would bring Eric and the kids to visit me”
“Eric?” the doctor enquired
“Yes, my husband and my kids, you said you would bring them to visit me” Imelda became agitated.
Dr. Richard made a quick attempt to calm her down.
“Imelda that is why I am here. I want you to have something to eat so that you can freshen up and see them, or would you like them to see you looking shabby?”
She took a slow glance at herself then unhurriedly reached for a slice of sandwich. The doctor reached for her notebook and then took a quick glance at the content looking up repeatedly to ensure that Imelda was okay with his prying. After a careful scrutiny of the content of the book, he asked,
“So, how did you meet Eric?”
She smiled diffidently, wiped her lips with the back of her hand then responded casually.
“We met at a friend’s birthday party.” She paused briefly, then sensing that the doctor wanted more details, she continued
“I was in my third year in the university, studying for a degree in Architecture.”
“Architecture?” he confirmed
“Yes, I was studying for a degree in Architecture. He was a final year student in the Faculty of Engineering.” She gave a short smile as though savoring a memory, then continued.
“While at the birthday party, he walked up to me and spoke about how much he was drawn to me because he knew I was a very intelligent lady with the fear of the Lord. If I didn’t know about men being hunters, I would have been swept off my feet by his sweet talk.
I knew his attraction wasn’t unconnected to the dress I was wearing, my curves and my pretty face. I protected my heart from the ‘voodoo’ in his words, then gave him a smile that was void of any emotion.
Weeks on, he persisted, it was like I had become his life goal. He kept visiting me in my hostel and my classroom, showering me with gifts and attention. I liked him, he was a very fine man, soon to be an engineer but I wanted to make him chase me a little more. After six weeks of frantically chasing me, I said yes and that was the beginning of the journey for us”
“Tell me a little about your kids” The Doctor probed further
She smiled proudly
“I have three kids”
She counted with her fingers, one, two, and three.
“My eldest is Junia, she is a true beauty. She would be seventeen in July and is an undergraduate in the University of Ife. Her two younger ones are Anita and Emmanuel, they are in boarding school. The three of them are my pride, the strength of my youth and I love them so such.”
Dr. Richard smiled reassuringly, then asked
“Do you know why you are here or how you got here?”
Imelda became quiet, she looked around the room before eventually responding.
“I don’t know”
He smiled, then pulled out a small prescription bottle from his pocket. He handed the drugs to her and slowly whispered,
“Imelda, everything will be alright, take your drugs”
“What are the drugs for?” she queried
He pulled himself off the seat and told her that the drugs would help her get better. When her eyes were turned to take the drugs, he switched her notebook with a blank one that he had concealed under his lab coat. He walked towards the door and assured her that he would be back to see her.