I went straight to Ranti’s desk and said the words I never thought I would. “This is the point where I say I’m done with this bet. I’m no longer interested. I appreciate the offer, your thoughtfulness but this is it. Thanks.” I said walking right out of the door not waiting to see her gloat at the new situation of things.
“Cleo, In all honesty, you were drunk and couldn’t give me a proper description to your house. That was the reason I took you home. The last thing I’ll do is take advantage of a lady.” Deji said trying to catch his breath after running to catch up with me.
“And what happened next?” I asked as I turned around.
“What do you mean what happened next?”
I got interrupted as my phone rang. It was the hospital my mum was admitted in. My mum’s health was deteriorating and they needed the balance for my mum’s surgery. I told them I was on my way and was going to sort it out even when I had no idea how I was going to make the payment. I sighed heavily, shook my head and started walking towards the car.
“Cleo is everything okay?” Deji asked as he rushed behind me. At that point, I felt like I had spoken too much for one day already and so I decided to be silent. I had more serious issues to attend to and so I entered the car and drove off without looking back or saying a word.
I got to the hospital to meet my mom in a very critical state and when I asked Dr Zamani, the Nephrologist, he told me her condition had worsened and it was beginning to affect her heart. Pleading for more time was definitely not an option. The Medical Director who happened to be my mum’s doctor had been so nice to us, it felt really insensitive asking for more time. The bet I hoped to win in order to take care of this issue was lost already. As if that was enough, I ended up being in a huge mess as well.
I remembered I needed a check up and looked around to see if I could find a nurse to ask questions. At least, that, I could afford.
Right there in the walkway, I saw a nurse pass and quickly ran to catch up with her.
“Ma I sort of had unprotected sex. No, that came out wrong. I’m actually not sure. I may have had unprotected sex. What do I do?”
“Wetin dey worry this one? So you nor know when man sleep with you? Abeg commot make I see road. I get work (What is the matter with you? Don’t you know when you have sexual intercourse with a man. Can you excuse me. I am busy.)” She said in pidgin english, as she hissed and walked away.
It was awkward but that was the truth. I wasn’t sure. Still trying to figure out what had just happened, I sighted another nurse walk by.
“Excuse me ma, I’m sort of not sure if I had unprotected sex or not. I’ll like a check up please.” With the little tray she held full of bandages and scissors, she stopped to look at me for a few seconds and pointed towards the nursing station. “Can you go there please? I am rushing to the theatre. She said as she hurriedly walked away. When I looked towards the nursing station, I found the nurse I had spoken to earlier, looking at me with a straight face and her hands folded.
“Okay, now this is annoying.” I’m not sure if I had sex. What’s the big deal? You should help me figure it out. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do?” I said to myself looking back at her wishing she could hear me as I turned around and walked towards the waiting area where I stared into the wall in front of me.
“I am so sorry. I can’t imagine what you are going through right now. I’ll like to speak with you concerning your mom.” The Medical Director said as he pulled me from where I stood.
“Your mum needs this kidney transplant and she’s running out of time. What’s your plan?”
“I don’t have any.” I replied as tears rolled down my eyes.
Just then my phone rang. It was Deji calling to ask for the password to my laptop. We were to meet the Chairman of Brooks Group for the presentation at 7pm just before he travels. He was going to be away for six months and that was the only shot we had if we needed the job quickly. I gave him the password immediately. I looked at my watch and saw it was 5:15pm already. I needed to leave as soon as possible. This deal was the next thing that could keep my mom alive.
“Doctor, I promise to be here first thing in the morning with a sound plan.” I said as I wiped my face.
“Okay. Take it easy though.” He smiled and watched me walk out of the department.
The traffic getting to the office was so bad, I had to park my car and take a motorcycle. When I finally go to the office, Deji was just getting into his car.
“Cleo you can come with me if you don’t mind.”
“Okay.” I said as I entered the car.
We didn’t say a word to each other until we got to Brooks company.
The receptionist, a tall dark-skinned lady ,neatly dressed, with a bright smile offered us seats in the waiting area and we sat.
“Hey Cleo, this is a bit awkward. I went through your emails not intentionally though and I found something.”
I looked at him and couldn’t understand how his cute face kept on doing the most annoying things.
“I read a mail from the Savers Hospital. How come you never mentioned the state of your mum’s health to me or my dad at least. You are family and you shouldn’t have to go through this alone.”
It felt good to know he cared though but I still wasn’t in the mood to speak so, I just continued to stare at him.
After many unsuccessful attempts to get me chatting, he gave up and asked “Can we at least wish ourselves good luck for this meeting?”
“Sure.” I smiled back as I placed my hands in his just before the receptionist asked us to go in.
While we took turns to present , the other watched and gave an encouraging smile. I wasn’t sure what was on his mind as he smiled at me while I spoke. As for me, I thought he was smart and handsome.
“Lancast you just got yourself the job. Congratulations!!!” The chairman said as he stood up and walked out shielded by his aides.
Yes! we shouted together as we unconsciously let go our pride and gave each other a lasting warm hug.
Continues in the next episode next week