The Regents Centre,
Omolara hurried past nurses, night staff, patients, hardly seeing anything or anyone. Everything was a blur. The tears flowing from her eyes attracted curious glances from those she passed in the hallway. She entered her office, quickly shut the door and reached for the phone on her desk.
“Maureen, I don’t want anyone to disturb me for the next thirty minutes.”
She bowed her head on the table and continued crying.
“Gbenga Phillips, why are you haunting me, why?”
She stood up from the chair and walked around the office, allowing the tears to roll down her face. She finally sat on a sofa and curled up in a foetal position holding a pillow to her chest.
“Lord, if this is you talking to me, please let me know or remove this man from my life. I can’t stand this torment anymore!” She rolled on her back and looked at the ceiling. “Gbenga, why have you returned to my life?” She whispered.
She remembered the day he walked out on her, dashing all hopes of getting married to him.
With his left hand behind her back, he pulled her into his embrace.
She allowed herself to enjoy the musky scent of his cologne. She breathed him in as she cuddled up in his embrace. Her heart pounded hard within her chest, making her gasp for breath.
Desire ran through her blood, causing a thin film of sweat to break out on her skin. She felt lost in the maze of strange emotions pulsating through her. Forbidden thoughts ran through her mind making her feel like a hypocrite. Something didn’t feel right.
“I shouldn’t be doing this, should I?” She asked herself, still holding on to him.
Gbenga searched for her lips and kissed her. She yielded to him, enjoying his touch.
She could feel his hands exploring her body, touching, reaching for her erogenous zones, awakening passion that she had locked away for years. She felt herself losing control gradually, teetering dangerously on the edge of a dark abyss of passion. She knew if she let herself go, there would be no return, she would fall into a dark pit and never come out again.
“Is this the life I want for myself?” she asked herself, still holding on to him and kissing his hungry lips. “What happens after this?” she asked but she had no answers.
She wanted him but not now, not like this. This wasn’t how she pictured it happening.
She had always pictured the night of her wedding, how her husband would lead her to their matrimonial bed and there she would yield her body and soul to him, pleasuring him and enjoying the pleasure he would give her.
“No!” she pushed him away suddenly.
He reached for her again. She pushed him away.
“I said no!” She turned away from him and pulled down her dress. “We shouldn’t be doing this.”
“What is going on?” Gbenga asked.
Omolara didn’t answer him. She entered the bathroom and shut the door. She tried to collect her thoughts and deliberately kill the desire that pulsated like a dangerous drug through her veins. She turned on the tap and doused her face with some cold water. It helped. She waited for a few seconds before she opened the door and returned to the room.
“What was that all about?” Gbenga asked.
“I have told you that I won’t have sex with you before marriage. We shouldn’t be doing this.”
Gbenga stood in front of her. “You can kiss me and arouse me but you won’t have sex with me?” He shook his head. “You are such a hypocrite,” he said with disgust.
Omolara sat down on a chair. “You are entitled to your own opinion. But until we are married, I won’t have sex with you. That is my belief and you should respect it if you want this relationship to work.”
“But how can this relationship work when you act like I am the worst sinner to walk the planet but you are a certified saint? How am I even sure that you love me?” he asked.
Omolara lifted her head and regarded him. Her body still yearned for him, but she resisted the feeling, doing all she could to control her emotions.”Gbenga, I really do love you. But having sex with you doesn’t prove anything. It doesn’t prove love. Stop using my feelings for you to blackmail me to sleep with you, because I won’t!”
Gbenga stood by the window. “I have tried to make our relationship work but you have done your best to ruin it.” He turned to her. “I can’t stand this anymore. If you won’t have sex with me, this relationship can’t work.” He walked to the door. “I am done with this. If you change your mind, you know where to find me.” He held the door handle contemplating.
“Is this what this relationship is about, sex? So if I don’t sleep with you that means I don’t love you? Gbenga, when did you become like this? How did you lose your values?”
Gbenga turned around. “This is who I am. Stop trying to change me with your fanatical beliefs.”
Omolara tried to reach him again. “They are not fanatical beliefs. I love you very much. I just want us to protect the integrity of our relationship.” She stood up. “Let us honour the Lord by keeping our relationship pure. When we get married we shall have all the time in the world to make love.”
“This religious nonsense has taken over your rational thinking. I see no use in having this conversation.” He opened the door and walked out.
“Gbenga wait!” She wanted to run after him but restrained herself. Through a veil of tears, she watched him walk out of the door, walk out of her life, leaving her broken hearted.
Doctor Furo George opened the door and entered the office. She saw Omolara curled up on the sofa and knew that something was wrong. She placed a hand gently on her friend’s shoulder. “Are you okay?” she asked.
Omolara lifted her face, covered in tears. “Furo, he has come back to me,” she whispered.
“Why are you crying?” Furo reached for the pack of tissue on the table and handed her some. “Who has come back to you?”
Omolara took the tissue from Furo and wiped her face. “Gbenga Philips. He has returned. He is the new patient admitted tonight.”
“You mean that guy brought in from makoko is Gbenga Philips? That is the guy you wanted to marry?”Furo asked.
Omolara nodded. “Yes, he is.”
“What is he doing wearing those awful clothes?” Furo made a face.
“I don’t know.”
“And how did he receive a gunshot wound?” Furo asked.
Omolara paused for a moment.” I don’t have the answers to these questions. I haven’t seen Gbenga in years. I was just thinking about him when you sent a nurse to get me to attend to him.”
“And who is that woman who brought him? She gave her name as Yemi Esho. That name doesn’t ring a bell. She is definitely not his wife. Is she?”
Omolara sat up in the chair, the tears stanched from her eyes. “I don’t know who she is. I don’t know what is going on but I am going to find out,” she said with determination in her voice.
“You know what this means. You cannot treat him anymore. Gbenga Philips can no longer be your patient.” Furo said.
“Why can’t I treat him?”
“You are emotionally connected to the patient. It could compromise your judgement and endanger his life,” Furo warned her friend.
“I haven’t seen this guy in over five years, now that I see him you want me to watch him die?” Omolara raised her voice.
“He is not going to die. I will attend to him and so can any of the ten other doctors we have in this hospital.”
Omolara stood up from the sofa. “That man is on the brink of death and I will do all I can to save his life and if it means treating him personally, I will do it.”
“You can’t do that. It is against medical ethics,” Furo warned her friend.
“I don’t care about medical ethics. I must keep Gbenga alive.”
Furo looked at Omolara with suspicion. “This is not about medicine, is it? This is about your long time obsession with Gbenga Philips. For six years you have been talking about this…this married man. Your obsession is getting out of hand.”
“Am I really obsessed?” Omolara faced her friend. “Furo, I have feelings for him, feelings which have refused to go away. No matter how hard I tried I haven’t been able to get him out of my mind. It seems like fate…like God wants us to be together. How else would you explain him showing up at this very hospital?”
Furo tried to reach her friend. “Omolara, this is not about fate or God. A man was shot and he was rushed to the nearest hospital. I wouldn’t call that fate,” Furo contested.
“I will call it serendipity,” Omolara said with enthusiasm. “Of all the days of the week why does he show up here tonight, the day I am not supposed to be on duty? You know I am not on duty tonight. I decided to help out and he is brought to this hospital. Isn’t that God?”
Furo shook her head. “Apparently there is nothing I can say to persuade you that this is not a move of God or an act of fate. This is a completely random event and I would advice you to stop reading any spiritual meaning to it.”
Omolara exhaled and paused. “I am the head doctor in this hospital and I will treat whoever I want.” Omolara said with finality.
Furo stood there stupified, wondering how to stop her friend from making a terrible mistake.
To be continued.