It’s mothers’ day, so I will be generous with my posts today.
The story I’m about to narrate is a true one, which took place during my internship. I did my internship in a Federal Medical Centre. It is a tertiary health institution, which was located in the centre of a busy south eastern state capital in Nigeria. Due to the highly skilled personnel and moderate costs, the patient load was staggering. We the interns had our hands full, trying to understudy the consultants, while convincing the patients we were already good enough for them to entrust their lives to.
Dr. D was my neighbour (we lived on the hospital grounds). Our surnames were such that alphabetically, we often ended up doing postings together. This made us become very good friends. He was a tall, fair, handsome, young man. Confident to the point of seeming cocky, and a stammerer. This did not in any way deter him, as he was very friendly and social. His loud voice could be heard exchanging banters with friends (even if it took him long to get his point across).
Our surnames were close to each other in alphabetical order so we ended up doing postings together. We became very good friends. Of course, that he is a very good cook was a strong factor. I still remember his stews, yummy! Dr. D had the habit, as did many others, of soliciting private patients. He would put on his white coat, hang his stethoscope around his neck, don his spectacles, and parade the streets of the hospital. Patients, coming in for the first time, would spot him and rush to ask him for directions. They ended up in his room, receiving medication. He and the others made a modest sum from this practice, nicknamed “Odu”. Some would joke that money made from odu was for drinks and fun, not for sending home to mama.
One day, he was strolling about the streets asusual, when he was stopped by a middle aged lady in a nice car. She asked him if he was a doctor and he said yes.
“Please, could you get in? I want to ask you a favor”, she asked.
Thinking to himself that she could not harm him, he got in. She told him that she had a daughter who had lived in the United States all her life. For years, she had begged her to relocate to Nigeria. The girl agreed to visit but planned to stay only 2 weeks or so. Her mother came up with the plan that Dr. D should woo her daughter. A relationship with such a TDH, promising, young doctor, was sure to make her forget about returning to America. Dr. D agreed. He forgot to ask about the financial renumeration for his services.
When he told me the story, I laughed.
“Who is going to pay for the outings, Dr. D?”, I asked.”She will expect to be taken to the best restaurants, taken shopping, to see the sights, and so on. Is it the little money you made from odu that will suffice?”
“Dr. N, why do you sound so negative? I could not embarass myself by asking her mom for money. Let me just woo the girl. Before I spend much, she would have fallen for me. I went to their house, her mom is rich! I have made it O!”
“Dr. D! It’s not so easy! Do you write poetry? Can you compose a moving love letter?” I asked. “This will not be one of those girls who is excited by a plate of rice and chicken. She will be difficult to impress. You need to buy flowers, cards, chocolates, e.t.c. I don’t think you know what you are in for”
Dr. D dismissed me as a joker. “Didn’t you even see how her mom was besotted? If she could, she would have asked me out!”, he boasted.
I laughed and decided to let it rest. Meanwhile he borrowed my car to make an impression on her. You see, he was still saving up for his own. Dr. D was already in America, as far as he was concerned. He did not believe any woman could resist his charms. Not with the nurses, nursing students, patients, patients’ relatives, and more who were after him.
To be continued.