He Loved Her. But Ended Up Hurting Her Even More
“It was Abudu’s natural treachery that had finally caught up with him. He refused to let my best friend, Angelina accompany us.” Sandra says.
“He deliberately made me fail in all my French oral exams. I was really appalled at his perfidy. He had sworn to me that he would be my confidant and protector at the boarding school, and despite that, he betrayed my trust by purposefully delaying my swift transfer to the hospital.” Sandra laments.
Sandra goes on to lambaste Abudu of his perfidy:
“He seemed to have more temerity than skill or sense. He was like that mountain climber who ended up at the bottom of the heap because he tried to climb a mountain that was much too difficult for him. His tenacious effort to keep me by his side, no matter how long it took to fix his car or get a taxi earned him a bad reputation among my schoolmates – and even some of his ardent admirers. He spoke English with a lisp. No wonder some students at our school took advantage of this to mercilessly satirize him in a skit at the school talent show last semester.”
As they drive past the police barrier toward the hospital, the young officer who gave Sandra a ride cracks a conversation:
“I’m Sergeant Nelson. What’s your name young lady?”
“A nice name. Who’s that man?”
“He’s my school principal.” Sandra answers with a languid drawl.
“What’s his name?”
“Is he married?”
“Has he any kids?”
“Yes. Three kids.”
Irresponsibility And Neglect At The Emergency Department
“The car pulls over at the emergency ward. I’m visibly tired and weak. The officer helps me out of the car and walks me slowly into the main hall of the emergency ward.”
Sandra is multiracial. Her maternal ancestors were European. Her father was African.
Sandra describes the scene at a typical African hospital:
“I can see some patients sitting on the floor because all the benches are occupied. I sit down on the floor beside one old lady in her seventies. She’s bleeding. She has a cut in her right arm. Tears are flowing freely down her cheeks as she toiled to ease the pain, stop the oozing blood, and bind the wound. The pathos in the lot of patients waiting in the emergency ward is so much for me to bear.”
Sandra describes the attitude of the nurses upon her arrival:
“The nurses on duty are looking on unconcerned. Probably their minds are set on leaving the shores of Africa in the search for greener pastures abroad.” Sandra surmises.
The officer cries out.
“Why are you nurses standing and staring at us. This young lady needs immediate attention.”
“Have you paid for registration?” A middle-aged nurse with flaccid arms and legs asks.
“Of course yes.”
Taking out a lipstick and a tiny mirror from her side pocket, she retorts insolently:
“Then let her sit down over there and wait!”
Her peremptory tone of voice irritates the officer and even some of her colleagues.
“Are you here for a beauty contest or to help take care of the sick?” Sergeant Nelson asks angrily.
“It’s none of your business. Shut up over there!” She says. I’ve got a son who’s almost your age.” The nurse angrily tells officer.
Love At A Standstill. Officer Refuses To Pay Bribe
“No, never.” The officer refuses to budge.
“Then say whatever pleases you. You risk making that your sister (or who ever she is to you) sit here till daybreak without being attended to, unless you are ready to do something”
“Do what?” It’s been three and a half hours since Abudu’s car had a flat tire. Here am I again. I’m caught up in another mess. What a bad day!” Sandra laments her plight.
“The officer is taking something out of his pocket. Is he taking out money to pay our way through? I’m wondering. He is walking toward the information desk.” Sandra is talking to her self.
“Please can I talk to the chief nurse?” The officer says.
“You can’t talk to the chief nurse. What’s your problem?” The lady sitting at the counter replies.
Showing his police badge to the lady, he says: “This is my problem.”
“Okay. She’s the one sitting over there painting her lips.” The receptionist says – pointing her index finger to the woman sitting adjacent to the main entrance.
“There are three of them painting their lips. Which of them?” The officer inquires.
“That one sitting on the right side of the door leading to the main entrance.”
“Do you mean that lady I was just arguing with?” The officer asks.
“Yes, sir, but I don’t think she knew you were a police officer.” The receptionist says with her voice shaking.
“What would she have done if she knew I was an officer?”
“She would have given you a special treatment.” The receptionist says.
“Special treatment?” What do you mean by that?” The officer asks
“I mean she would have treated you better.”
“She would have instructed the nurses to attend to that lady you brought in promptly.”
“So what of those sick people sitting on the floor. What’s their fate?” The officer says, pointing to the sick people on the benches.
“They’ll all soon be attended to.” The receptionists reassures the officer.
“How long will take all of these patients to get prompt attention. Is this not an emergency ward?”
“Yes it is. But…”
“But what?” The officer shouts out in anger and frustration.
“You know many people walk into this emergency ward without enough money to…”
“Without enough money to pay for registration?” The officer interrupts.
“No. Enough money to get things done for them quickly.”
“Okay. What’s her name? Are you trying to produce a watertight alibi to exonerate her from all responsibility for her conduct?” The officer asks the receptionists.
“No. But…” She’s scratching her hair. She’s unable to continue.
“Stop scratching your hair and talk to me. But what?” The officer insists.
“I don’t want to lose my job. I’m obliged to swim with the tide.”
With complacency and satisfaction beaming in her countenance, she continued:
“When in Rome, do like the Romans!”
“Don’t be silly. Do you even know where Rome is?” The officer is agitated further.
“Is Rome not the capital of Hungary, no, Austria?” “My brother even sends me money from that city.”
“From Rome, in Austria!” She replies with confidence.
“You should be ashamed of your self that you don’t know where Rome is.” The officer says.
“It isn’t my business to know where Rome is, officer. After all, how many of those white men in Rome (wherever it is located, care to know where Ghana is situated on the world map?” The receptionist counters.
With a sardonic grin, expressive of disdain, she continues:
“Why is it that we have a penchant for knowing where the white man lives, what he eats or drinks, where he sleeps, and even the names of his dogs?”
“I’m very impressed about your sense of black pride. But why haven’t you translated that into eradicating the rot in this emergency ward?” The officer says.
“I mean the corruption; the inefficiency; and the general apathy toward the sick.”
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