May 26, 2024

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“God knows why he took your wife away, you just have to get over it else you won’t have peace of mind” Doctor Raymond said.

“I know, sir” I said escorting him to the female ward with the medical supplies he ordered from the pharmacy. “I am already getting over it. You know, such things ain’t easy”
“It would be easier if you marry again, pharmacist Idris” He said smiling at me with his stethoscope around his neck. We were both wearing scrubs, he had been my friend since school days. He studied medicine while I studied pharmacy. It was a miracle we got job in the same hospital. “Just marry again, okey?” He added.

“Okey sir, I will when I find the right woman” I sighed and continued. “The one that would take good care of my daughter, Amani”
“I hope that you meet that person today, tomorrow, or anytime soon. I just can’t wait to see you happy again” He said smiling.
“Thank you, sir” I smiled back as we both walked into the female ward.
The newly admitted patient was Manal Usman, 21 years old. She had been reported to have fainted in her room due to God knows what. Perhaps, she hit her head. I was on my way to the Managing Director earlier when I heard some nurses gossiping about her.
“Hey nurse Isabella, where is the new patient?” Raymond yelled at a nurse reading in her desk.
“Sorry, sir!” The nurse kept the book aside and swiftly walked to him. “Come, she’s over here”
“Alright” He said walking after her.
It had been long since I set my foot in any ward since my job was to sell medical supplies in the hospital’s pharmacy. Unless I was called or asked to convey medical supplies, I was hardly seen in wards. Anyways, I couldn’t stop glancing at the sick patients in the female ward as we entered. Some patients were on oxygen while some were battling to make use of their nostrils. Indeed if you’re healthy, you’re rich!

“Idris, bring those medical supplies here!” Raymond yelled at me, I was left behind.
Thus, I increased my pace and dropped the medical supply close to him. One glimpse at the patient sent shiver up my spine. She was unconscious but she looked so very… was she an angel or something? I kept looking at her pink lips until Raymond’s sudden utterance brought me back to reality. He was fixing the IV on her. “She’s going to be on a drip for now, then we will run some tests on her and see what’s going on. It could be anything but we hope that it’s not something critical” He said.

“She had gained consciousness but just as we arrived here she said she wants to sleep…” A woman who appeared to be like the mother of the patient explained. She looked worried.
“Don’t worry madam, she will surely be fine” Raymond said before turning to me. “Lets go, Idris!” He said leading the way for both of us.
“Okey, sir” I said walking after him.

And for some unknown reason, I found myself turning back at the sleeping patient hoping that she wake up and look at me. Just then, Raymond brought me back to my senses.
“Stop turning back, they’d think alot” He said.
“Huh?” I was puzzled. Was he noticing?
“Yes, if you’re turning back they will think you are sympathizing their patients. It is not good, so… just act like a professional, okey?” He said.
“Okey, sir” I heaved a sigh.
Immediately we were out of the ward we parted away. Raymond went back to his office while I answered the call to prayer which was proclaimed by the hospital’s mosque. Just as I was performing ablution, a tall beard guy from the family of the newly admitted patient, Manal, arrived seeking for a kettle to perform ablution. There were lot of people and the kettles weren’t enough, some had even spoilt.
“Wait, let me give you mine” I said to him.

“Thank you, sir” He said with a lit smile.
As soon as I was done, I gave him the kettle and waited for him to finish. Thus, we joined the congregation as the prayer started. It was Isha prayer and the mosque was brimfull.
“Call me Idris” I gave him my hand after the prayer. “I’m a pharmacist here, night shift”
“I’m Salim Talib, I work in NECO office” He said as we shook hands. “You look young”
“That’s what people used to say but I’m 28, with a daughter” I blurted out with a smile.
“Nice” He said as we began walking back to the female ward. “So, how is your wife and kid?”
“Actually, my wife is…” I huffed. “She’s dead”
“Oh, I’m sorry sir” He lamented. “May her soul rest in peace together with all our lost ones”
“Ameen” I blurted out.
We both went back to the ward and he introduced me to his mother, his wife and he told me more about his sick cousin sister, Manal. I really learnt a lot about her and I guessed she was the best replacement for my late wife.

Written by Mohammed Abubakar KingMoha, Inside Arewa

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Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.

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