Murder At St. Lucas Hospital 15

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Portrait of young woman on white background --- Image by © pinkypills/Corbis
Portrait of young woman on white background — Image by © pinkypills/Corbis

 

 

Jeff and Veronica laughed quietly, so as not to attract attention. It was almost 10pm and Jeff and Bobby would have to leave. They had asked Bobby to buy a blanket and toiletries for her. He handed them over solemnly. The officers had indicated that their time was up. She rose and hugged them good bye. Bobby and Jeff were to share his hotel room. As they left, she felt her stomach knot with dread. Her head felt light, as if she would faint. Walking woodenly behind the officer who was leading her to her ‘cell’, she fought the panic.

He opened the door for her, turned on the light, then let her preceed him. She stood in the centre of the room.

“You dey lucky say no be for cell you go sleep*. Thank your God,” he said before leaving.

She shuddered as she thought of all the inmates she had heard complaining in loud voices in their cells. It had taken all her mental strength to shut out their voices while she was with Jeff. Now she took a look around the room. It was small but neat. A desk with a desktop computer, a swivel chair, two chairs for guests, a standing fan and a file cabinet, completed the modest furnishings. She opened a small door to find a toilet and sink. The electricity had stayed on for some time, so she was thankful she would not have to be in the dark.

Placing her possessions on the desk, she sank to her knees and burst into tears. The tears she had held in all day came gushing out like water from a dam.

She regretted accepting the inheritance left to her.

She rued the day she moved to Lagos.

She hated herself for trying to save Edet’s life.

She wished she had run away when the police showed a bias in handling the case.

She could have relocated to Canada or Japan or even Antarctica.

For over two hours, she cried, stopped and then burst into fresh tears. The pain and shame of her situation had made her heart heavy. Even when Jeff ordered food for her ealier, she had rejected it. He handed it to the officers, who were very grateful. She must have fallen asleep because she suddenly found herself lying on her blanket on the floor.

“Father, how have I offended you? Why did you allow me to suffer this kind of shame?” she suddenly asked.

“I watched sinners crucify my son on a cross and I did not stop them. Are you better than my son that you cannot suffer for my sake?” she heard.

“But I am innocent!” she protested.

“But He was sinless.”

“Why me Lord?”

“Why not you? Did you not tell me that you love me and that you would serve me in any way I saw fit? Be careful what promises you make.”

“How will this end then, Lord?”

“My son learned obedience by the things that he suffered. I have chosen this crucible to make you fearless. Did you not pray that I should take fear away from your heart, make you courageous and enlarge your territory?”

Veronica nodded remembering. All her life, she had nursed the fear that somehow she was not good enough. Being teased about her height did not help. She became a doctor hoping to prove that she was better than those who laughed at her but bathing in salt water does not make a lizard turn into an alligator. Throughout the years she had practiced, she doubted herself, second-guessed her decisions, queried her abilities. One day, she set aside a few days to fast and pray that God should endow her with courage and confidence. That was a few months before she got the call from Barr. Obi about the will.

Did God mean that she was passing through all this just to become courageous?

“Lord, did you kill Edet to teach me courage?”

“No,” she heard.

“He would have still died. I only allowed you to be the one in whose hospital he died.”

Veronica heaved a sigh. She brought out her phone and clicked on the app for her bible. The story of Job was flashing in her mind. She began to read it, seeing the whole story in a different light for the first time. There was no need to cry. Since this was a test, she went into medical student mode. All she needed to get an A was to do her homework. Surely, God would have mercy on her and shorten the time. That was all she could hope for.

 

*************************************************************************************

 

Chapter 12

 

Isaac arrived at St. Lucas hospital at about 8pm. He went in to introduce himself to Dr. Jike who was on call, while his men waited outside.

“Good evening, sir. I just heard about Dr. Veronica. I am so sorry about everything, ” he was saying.

“Thank you,” Isaac said as he took a seat.

“You were on call that night, were you not?”

“I was. My job at Greater Health clinic keeps me from working here in the mornings except during the weekends.”

“Could you walk me through everything that happened on the 13th of June? ”

“I got here at 6.30pm. Dr. Korede handed over the patients to me. We had only 2 patients on admission: Abel, Dr. Veronica’s cousin and Edet who had been here for 2 weeks. I did a ward round with Nurse Kasarachi. Then, I went out to buy a few things I needed. We didn’t have any patients all night so I watched TV, ate and slept at about 3 am. One of the TV shows kept me awake. When Dr. Veronica came to work in the morning, we went on a round together, only to discover the boy was unresponsive. We did everything to resuscitate him but he must have been dead for at least 3 hours,” Jike narrated.

“What makes you say that?”

“The degree of rigor mortis,” he said, then raised a brow as if asking whether Isaac understood him.

Isaac nodded his understanding.

“I don’t think it is fair for them to keep Dr. Veronica in custody. Nurse Bunmi and I are the ones who should be held responsible for his death. She was not here when he died.”

“Didn’t you mention a Nurse Kasarachi? ”

“She left that night, at about 10 or 11pm. Her shift ended at 8pm but she stayed longer to keep Abel company.”

Isaac was taking notes on his mobile device. “Were they in a relationship? ” he asked.

“They seemed to have something going.”

“Did you see anyone entering the deceased’s room at any time?”

“His mother brought him food. I also remember checking on him at about 11 pm. We played a game on my phone and all. The ward maid emptied the bin while I was there. I didn’t see anyone else go into his room, ” Jike replied.

“Thank you for all your help. We will be interviewing all your staff. Please instruct them to co-operate with my men. We just want to thoroughly investigate the matter so that it can be resolved as soon as possible. ” Isaac rose ro his feet.

“I will call them together right away. Thanks for helping her and do not hesitate to call on me if you need me to testify or anything.” He shook hands with Isaac.

“Sure,” Isaac said.

They headed together to the reception. Dr. Jike asked Nurse Anuli to round up the staff, including the security man. When they gathered, he informed them that the policemen were there to get information that might lead to the solving of the crime and the exoneration of Dr. Veronica. They were all to give them their co-operation.

 

*************************************************************************************

 

Abel and Perez were organizing a movie audition. Cassandra had coughed out money for them to produce their first movie. Somehow, she convinced her mother to bankroll the idea, telling her that she was to be the lead actress and that it would catapult her into greater fame than modelling had brought her. Her mother had always dreamed of being on TV. She had put her dreams on hold to become a wife and mother so she lived vicariously through her youngest daughter. Cassandra was the girl she would have been at 21, if she wasn’t born to poor parents.

DJ Hinnow was having a heated argument with the director, Idoko. Idoko was famous for directing award-winning movies. He came at a high price but Perez paid it happily. Perez had a role as the supporting actor, Abel was choreographing the action scenes and DJ Hinnow was scoring the music. It was a win-win situation for all concerned. Unfortunately, Hinnow wanted a particular girl to get a minor role but Idoko wouldn’t hear of if.

“That girl has ‘H’ factor. She is not getting a speaking role. I can use her as one of the guests at the party scene. That’s the best I can do,” Idoko was saying.

“She can learn to say the lines the way you want her to. Give her a chance, mate, ” Hinnow insisted.

“And what exactly is your role? Are you my producer? I will throw you off my set!,” Idoko threatened.

“You can’t do that!”

“I can and I will if you don’t mind your business. Are you not supposed to score the music? Why are you here?”

“I am free to attend an audition, ain’t I?”

“Then sign up over there, pick the script and read for us.”

Hinnow glared at him, arms crossed over his chest. Abel and Perez had refused to get involved. They were going over the head shots of those who had already been auditioned, trying to decide who got which role. Cassandra who was quite friendly with Hinnow was in school so he had no ally. He tried to get Abel to meet his gaze but that one wouldn’t.

“Perez, please ask your friend to leave my set. I have work to do,” Idoko demanded without taking his eyes off Hinnow.

“You heard the man,” Perez said.

“What? No way, mate,” Hinnow objected.

“Let’s meet up later for drinks, yeah?” Perez said.

“Drinks?” Hinnow let out a bunch of expletives.

Abel smirked but held his tongue. Hinnow picked up his phone and keys which had been lying on a table before him and casting a baleful glance at the three men, spun on his heel and left. They burst into laughter as he shut the door behind him.

“What a fool!” Abel snorted.

“Failed musician, horrible DJ! No offence guys but I am only tolerating him for your sakes,”Idoko said.

“He was there for us back in the day, that’s why we put up with him,” Perez said, nodding.

“Well, he had better stay away or I’ll teach him that an accent doesn’t open every door. Superstar DJ, my foot!”

The three men laughed again. Unknown to them, Hinnow had stopped outside the door to fix his jacket and ended up over hearing all they said. He stood there, fist clenched, gritting his teeth. It was obvious to him what he had to do to get back at the men he had believed were his friends. They would rue the day they turned their backs on him.

 

*************************************************************************************

 

It was 4am when Veronica woke up to hear her phone ringing. She had fallen asleep just two hours before after praying with Bobby and Jeff on phone. They had called her almost every hour as they themselves could not sleep. Kome had sent her a text at midnight to ask her to be ready to leave the office at 5am and return to her position behind the counter. She had tried all day to reach Toyin but was unsuccessful. Finally, she sent a text and an email. Toyin had seen the messages and decided to call.

“Hello, VeeVee, where did you say you are?” Toyin asked.

“In the lion’s den,” Veronica replied.

“Really, you are a Daniel in the lion’s den! I am so sorry I didn’t call earlier.”

“That’s fine. How was your day?”

“How was my day? You sound so calm! Are you sure you are okay? ”

“My dear, you don’t shout and cry in the lion’s den. Wouldn’t wanna upset them now, do I?”

“I can see that the Holy Spirit has worked on you.”

“Yes, he has. I can take the heat. Let the devil bring it on. I will make mincemeat of him and throw his chaff into the air for the wind to disperse.”

“Halleluyah! That’s my girl. Do you know I wanted to call you in a panic? I was already crying but God warned me to stay off the phone till I had a word for you. He is so awesome.”

“So what’s my word?”

“Hebrews 9:16 says, ‘Where there is a will, the death of the testator must first be established’. In other words, only the person who died for you can influence the course of your life. Can you imagine a will being read or enforced when the person who made it is still alive?”

Veronica stifled a yelp of delight. “The devil never died for me, so his will for me is null and void!” she declared.

“Get up, let’s rejoice. The matter is decided in your favour.”

Both friends in two different continents rose to their feet, burst into song and began to give thanks and jubilate. Veronica’s voice was low in order not to attract attention but in the spirit it was amplified. Like a trumpet summons soldiers and horses to war, it was sounding the battle cry for all the host of heaven to intervene in her situation. Fear left her like a tattered garment. Dread slunk away from her like mice cower from cats. Foreboding fled like the sun dispels rain clouds. It was a new day, a day of victory.

 

*************************************************************************************

 

Barr. Obi had slept poorly. His associates worked their phones trying to find someone influential enough to order for Veronica’s release. They were waiting for a call back from Senator Mokidi. He was the former Senate President and was rumored to be planning to seek election as the president of Nigeria. Their firm had defended him when his opponents sought to have his election overturned years before. Though they had not represented him for sometime, they hoped he would do them this favor for the sake of the past. Suddenly, his phone rang. It was Mokidi.

“Hello, your excellency, good morning, ” Barr. Obi greeted.

“My SAN, how are you?”

“Very well, sir. I hope you are fine?”

“Yes, I am. I have been very busy on national assignment. What can I do for you?”

“You remember my friend, Dr. Nigel? The one who owns St. Lucas?”

“Yes, I remember. Didn’t I hear he passed on? ”

“He did. He left the hospital to a his niece who is like a daughter to me. She is under arrest because a patient died in the hospital. They charged her with murder.”

“Haba! Somebody died of Malaria or Typhoid and they charged the doctor for murder?”

“Not exactly. The boy was murdered. Somebody entered that hospital and killed him. The police don’t want to investigate because his father is one of them and they want to hold us to ransome.”

Senator Mokidi was thoughtful for some moments.

“I don’t think I should get involved. This is an election year,” he finally said.

“Sir, I have no one else to turn to. Please, she is innocent.”

“How do you know that? If she is innocent, let the court declare it.”

“She rescued the boy after he was hit by a bike, footed the bills for his surgery and admission of two weeks. In fact, she was off duty when the boy died. This thing is a frame up.”

“Pity, kai! I wish I could help.”

“With all due respect, sir, you can help. I just want her granted bail. We can continue with the case but she cannot remain in detention.”

Senator Mokidi was silent. Barr. Obi could sense that he was about to refuse to get involved and possibly end the call. He could not allow that to happen.

“Baraje did not destroy those files,” he said.

“What was that? Which Baraje?” Mokidi asked, suddenly alert.

“You know the Baraje. He gave me the INEC files.”

“Don’t say another word. The line may have been tapped.”

“Yes, sir. Should I text you the number of the DPO?”

“Send me the number. I make no promises but I will see what I can do.”

“Thank you sir. I am so happy to hear that.”

“Obi, I want it destroyed and never spoken of again. Did you hear me? Don’t make me come after you.”

“You have my word. I will see to it personally. ”

“Goodbye.”Senator Mokidi muttered angrily. He ended the call without further comment.

 

*************************************************************************************

 

TO BE CONTINUED. TO LEAVE A COMMENT, CLICK ON THS TITLE. CHEERS, DR. N.

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34 thoughts on “Murder At St. Lucas Hospital 15

    Susan said:
    August 21, 2015 at 9:05 am

    “Only the person who died for you can influence the course of your life”! Word!! Pasting this on my bbm pm. The devil didn’t die for me so his stupid will can’t prevail in my life.
    And……I need to develop more Toyin-like friendships. Hope I have enough of a Dr V in me sha.
    Thanks Dr N. Read this during a lecture again. The lecturer is interesting, but this story was captivating,couldn’t resist!
    Until next week Friday, right? *sigh*

      Sue said:
      August 21, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Susan,

      I totally concur with your response. Like names, like minds, abi?
      Other comment I had was “Choi!” Dr N. The way Barr Obi cornered that senator, sha…..that’s why Jesus said we must be “wise as serpents, but harmless as doves!”

        drnsmusings responded:
        August 21, 2015 at 4:33 pm

        He fights for us and we hold our peace

        Susan said:
        August 21, 2015 at 4:44 pm

        Sue, high five babe! We also have a Suzanne here. *big grin*
        If you read The Message translation of the story of the servant who was sacked by his master, then went about getting his master’s debtors to pay lesser amounts, so he could have his own cushion to fall back on, Christians are told to be street-smart!
        But mostly, street-smart Christians aren’t seen as pious enough. Thank God for Barr. Obi.

        drnsmusings responded:
        August 21, 2015 at 6:50 pm

        Lol

      drnsmusings responded:
      August 21, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      Hey, u have Dr. V alright. Shines teeth

    exceptionalstar said:
    August 21, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Hallelujah! God bless you Doc, this is building my faith in God.

    ame okwudi said:
    August 21, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    God bless you Dr N, this episode has lifted my spirit beyond words…God bless you

    Fola said:
    August 21, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    During that conversation between Dr. Veronica and the Lord, I found myself interjecting “but your son accepted that burden willingly; He had a fore-knowledge of what to come”……may God forgive me as I momentarily forgot that accepting Christ means accepting persecution for His sake. May God help our faith.

    Nurse Kasarachi and DJ Hinnow coming into full play in subsequent chapters? Waiting impatiently.

    Well done again Dr. N. The Lord is your strength.

      drnsmusings responded:
      August 21, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      Yes, it is our PRIVILEGE to suffer for his sake that we may also enjoy his Glory

    adaeze said:
    August 21, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Wow, dr N, this was soul-lifting and worth the wait. I’m at work now, I’m gonna reread when I get home, digest and come back to comment…

    jcsgrl said:
    August 21, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Wow that convo with God….I know that too well. Very similar to the several I’ve had with God through trials upon trials. But the holy spirit ever gentle voice soothes the pain and brings a level of peace that cannot be explained even if for that moment until the next pressure arises. Thanks Dr N for showing how God can speak to us at various times and still sound the same

      drnsmusings responded:
      August 21, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Soon, the light will dawn, sis. I pray for a release to u of all u need for life and godliness

      Honiilols said:
      August 25, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Yea that convo sure struck a chord. Dr N you do know your writing is a blessing right? Beyond the literary beauty in the woven words there are messages that sink deep into our spirits.

      I am currently going through a phase making certain tough decisions about my life and I’ve been asking God why He has put me in such VERY TOUGH spot between a rock and a hard stone and guess what response fit perfectly? “Did you not pray that I should take fear away from your heart, make you courageous and enlarge your territory?” That resonated. Thank you for letting God use you though your fiction.

        drnsmusings responded:
        August 25, 2015 at 3:13 pm

        Thank u for letting me know u are encouraged. Truth be told, I only give of what I have received. Warm hugs dear

    Cate said:
    August 21, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Oh Dr N! Please don’t keep us waiting for a whole week. I’m enjoying this story and its blessing me.

      drnsmusings responded:
      August 21, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      A thousand years is like a day in the eyes of our God

    Jedidah said:
    August 21, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Woooaw!

    dnddyon said:
    August 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Bar Obi, the gangster… LOL

    thegracedmisfit said:
    August 22, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Glad Dr V didn’t just cry herself to sleep. I’m learning to take all my issues to God and receive answers from Him instead of just feeling sorry for myself.

    http://www.thegracedmisfit.com

      drnsmusings responded:
      August 22, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      Yep. Learned it d hard way. The bible says he collects our tears in a bottle but d prayer of d righteous releases power for miracles. Better to pray than cry

    Hope N said:
    August 23, 2015 at 10:51 am

    I’m sure, very sure that it’ll end in praise for Veronica because the Bible said so in Isaiah 3 vs 10 and Ecclesiastes 8 vs 12.

    Thank you Dr N.

    E' said:
    August 23, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    The day before this post was released, I was praying at night, then got a burden for someone which I couldn’t quite place so I just prayed in the spirit as I recalled that prayer of Jeff in the restaurant. Prayed till the burden lifted.
    Then I prayed that you would pity us and give us another episode of MASL
    I woke up to the notification. Literally.
    Hahaha
    The most beautiful part of this story is the lessons on our Christian faith it is teaching in a most beautiful way.
    Blessings Dr. N…
    Grace to keep writing for HIM too. Amen.

    Ehen I don’t like those boys. Peréz and Abel. I have a feeling they have a face I would see in real life and not like. Hahahaha.
    I have a picture of Hinnow tho. A Nigerian DJ. But this one is goooooodddd. Certainly not a failure lol.

    Cassandra and her mama? Lemme swallow my comment.

    Oh veronica and toyin!!! Father grace!!! You know a friend shared something with me this weekend and me I was just lamenting with her. Lol. It was one of those ‘cute blessings’ she (we) weren’t quite ready for if you can guess what I mean. *wink* When I dropped the phone the HS told me that I should best call her back and then do some encouragement jare. What’s that nonsense book of lamentation? Is that why we are here?

    I haven’t yet cos the weekend went by in a hurry but you bet I will. Toyin style!!!

    And Barrister Gangsta!!! Biko gburu aka…
    Talk about a joker.

    Who else oooo?

    Ok the other good doctor. And the good cop.
    Things are getting better.
    Whoop!!!

    Hugs!!! Big bear hugs!!!

    E’
    http://Www.eziaha.com

    Ps
    Why do I think you are very awake? Lol
    Won’t be surprised to get a reply notification now. Loooool. Kachifooooo

      drnsmusings responded:
      August 24, 2015 at 9:58 am

      Lol. I was awake but not on d blog. Hehehe
      Love d analysis. Yeah, we are not here to lament but to encourage even tho we may need to be a shoulder to cry on but only for a minute.
      I know d DJ u have in mind. *winks
      As for d cute blessing, God will give grace. Let her bless him and d love will grow. Not every blessing is convenient. My last one kept me home for longer than d others but it produced Adire and other stories.
      Mmuah…E

    Anonymous Chick said:
    September 6, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Plenty episodes to catch up on… too happy 🙂

    Loved Veronica’s convo with God.

    kai @ Barrister Obi – bad guy

    mimispassion said:
    September 2, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Now, I’m crying as I appreciate God’s intervention in our most trying times. I’m glad there are friends like TY who listen to God in everything instead of follow emotions. Great work doc. God bless you. I’m really being encouraged.

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