In his line of work,there could never be true rest.
He heard his name in a whisper. He was all alone in a dark room. He wondered where the voice came from.
“hello…who’s there?” he asked, trying to still his heart that was pounding in fear. He heard soft footsteps coming from behind him…he turned and saw a figure, a familiar one, wearing a green dress…the green dress…materialize from the darkness. He knew her…He smiled and she smiled back. She looked resplendent in green…as it complimented her aquamarine eyes.
“Grace, My Grace…” he said, moving close to her.
She stepped back from him….”J.J” she said his name softly. “A veil exists between us now…It hurts that we can’t be as we used to.”
“What do you mean? But I’m here with you now. Oh I’ve missed you so.” He took more steps towards her but with every step he took, she took one back.
“I can’t be with you anymore…” she said, tears forming in her eyes and a growing patch of blood began to appear around her stomach area. She clutched her stomach and cried out in pain. Then slowly, she began to fade away.
“No Grace! NOOO!!!!” He screamed….
Jermaine awoke with a start. It was a dream, but it had felt so real…like she was really there with him… He sighed and he got out of bed. Clad only in his boxers, he went into the bathroom, determined to wash away whatever memories the dreams brought back. He hadn’t had such dream in over a month. Seeing her always reminded him of bad things, of a crazy pain that he wanted buried in the past. He took off his boxers and turned on the shower. He stood under the running water. He closed his eyes and he saw her again. Her aquamarine eyes …a pair of eyes that contrasted with her chocolate skin. Everyone else had thought she was strange…but she’d looked beautiful to him. So beautiful, so precious that he had let her create a special place for herself deep in his heart….
He abruptly opened his eyes and shook his head vigorously. He’d promised himself that he would not think about it, so why the hell was he venturing into uncharted territory? He stroked his wet hair and let the water do it’s magic. He had come into the bathroom to wash off the memories of the dream and whatever residual thoughts he had about her….He wanted to forget, wanted to erase that part of his life but he knew it was impossible. How do you forget someone who carved such a hole in your soul that would never be filled up, no matter how hard you try?
“Doctor…it’s Nonye, please you have to be here now…the woman that was here yesterday…she’s gone into premature labour”. Her voice was shaking and hesitant.
“Okay..i’ll be there soon. Give me twenty minutes…just try to prepare everything we would need.” Jermaine said and Nonye cut the call. He checked his phone clock with drowsy eyes.. It was 5:30AM. After the call ended, Jermaine hoped that the tiredness and anger he felt at being woken up from his much needed rest hadn’t shown in his voice. In his line of work, there could never be true rest. He knew he should be used to those calls by now, but the past week had been a very tiring one for him. He got out of bed and staggered towards the bathroom. As he did so, he recounted his woes and promised himself to kill Promise (the other doctor who worked with him) whenever he got back.
He shook his head as he entered the bathroom. How does a man spend a whole month with his wife all in the name of honeymoon? He really couldn’t understand the way the minds of men like Promise work. If not that he’d known Promise right from their school days, he wouldn’t have hired him. The guy was a very brilliant chap. He knew that because the both of them had been the only two in their department to graduate with a first class. That was not an easy feat to achieve and due to wishful thinking, they’d thought a job was going to land straight on their doorstep but it didn’t. So that was what led Jermaine into opening up his own clinic and so far life has been good. Except for this very moment.
Jermaine cursed loudly as the cold water pouring from the shower came down on him. He reaffirmed his promise to kill Promise whenever he returned from his self imposed vacation.
“Dokutor!!” The man said, rushing towards Jermaine as he walked into the reception office of HEALTH FOUNT CLINIC…his very own clinic located in the serene environs of Magodo estate, Lagos.
He looked funny in his pyjamas and red chieftancy cap and the look on his face had worry and anxiety written all over it. “Dokutor, biko zienu…I rushed my wife here this morning oh…she say her waist dey pain am…d nurse say she wan born…”
Jermaine rose his palm..trying to fight the disgust he felt at the man’s impatience and terrible composure. “Mr. Okafor, you and I know the reason why your wife is here this early. You better pray to God that nothing happens to her today.” He frowned. “Excuse me.”
The man removed his red cap and said in astonishment to Jermaine’s receding back, “I no touch am oh. I no do anytin. Biko help me.”
Jermaine did not answer as he proceeded to the maternity ward from which an agonized woman was screaming. He was angry at being woken up. But his anger had topped when he saw that man at the reception. Anyone seeing how distraught the man looked right now would think he really did care about his wife when in fact he did the exact opposite because Jermaine couldn’t count the number of times he had treated Mrs Okafor’s bruises after several brawls with her husband. The woman had delivered three of her five children prematurely and they all survived. Somewhere in the depth of his heart, Jermaine hoped he would loose this particular child. Maybe that would teach him how not to beat up his wife regardless of the state she’s in.
Mrs Okafor greeted him with a warm smile when she saw him. He acknowledged her with a nod.
“Oh Doctor thank God you’re here. I was almost losing my mind.” Nonye said with a nervous smile.
“Yeah thank God.” He walked over to Mrs Okafor. He took in the freshly plastered bruises on her face. He heaved a sigh. He asked in a soft tone, “How are you?”
Mrs okafor opened her mouth to answer but a nerve racking scream came out instead.
He turned to Nonye, I trust you have everything ready?”
He stared intently at Nonye. He wanted to smile at her, for being the one who never gave up. There were times he’d lost hope in the clinic but Nonye was always there to give him the much needed pep talk that spurred him on. She was part of the three nurses Jermaine had been able to employ and so far, she has been the most dedicated. The other two were not on night shifts and so weren’t present. But Nonye was different, she was always there. She was one of the few people in the medical field who still had a passion for saving lives and not their bank accounts. On days like these, if it hadn’t been for her, Mrs Okafor might have had little hope. He was blessed to have her and he knew that.
He didn’t smile; he just turned away and put on his labcoat.
“You’re welcome.” Nneka said with a knowing smile. She understood what his stare had meant. She knew he was thanking her but didn’t have the words or the smile to do so. Working with him for only a short while, she’d begun to understand his character; what made him Doctor Jermaine Johnson. The man with a cold exterior and an interior that no one had ever dared to understand.
Written by Ineh Precious.
Ineh Precious is a student, writer and has love for all things that have to do with arts. She has no published book out there but controls a certain amount of followership on her instagram page. She is a writer to watch out for. You can follow her on instagram the.witty.writer.