I woke up to see the benign face of Gbenga staring at me. ‘How are you feeling?’ he asked and gestured towards me with excitement. I could feel his hand on my face. I was so weak, I couldn’t move a muscle.
A lady walked in, dressed in white. She looked angelic in the gown and a flash of smile from her seems to reinvigorate me. The dark-complexioned figure said, ‘You have wakened up at last,’ and touched my right cheek. I tried to get up but I couldn’t. Helplessly, I twisted on the bed. ‘Where am I?’ I uttered, my voice weak like the chirp of a chick.
The lady looked into Gbenga’s face and whispered, ‘Tell your friend where he is. Maybe, he thinks he is in heaven,’ she chuckled; pointing to her clothe, she spinned.
This is a hospital, Femi. ‘You swallowed poisoned substances on Friday.’ Gbenga said with pity in his eyes.
‘Where is Bunmi?’ I asked. By now, I seemed to have gained some balance.
‘She is okay. What would you like to eat?’
His words fell on deaf ears as the memories of Friday evening floated in my weak mind. Bunmi, my girlfriend of 24 months and 18 weeks ditched me for another guy. Everyone who saw us together wished us the best as we were so incompatible. In fact, I do boast that our relationship was made in heaven. I used to be a Casanova till I met Bunmi and I convinced myself it won’t be bad playing “Romeo” for her to be my “Juliet”. What made me crazy about her was the end rhymes in our names: Femi and Bunmi, so we called ourselves ‘Mimi’. They loved me in her house. I was welcomed into the home like a family member.
I broke into fresh tears as Gbenga asked again: what will you eat? Whenever I was ill, Bunmi was there to tend me. I could remember very well when I was battling typhoid fever, my house became her house. Her mum would even call to know how I was feeling; her siblings too sent text messages. It was so ironical that Bunmi who used to be my nurse is now my curse.
‘Bunmi! Bunmi! Bunmi! Is this the end? It was a rhetorical question that perished in the silence of the hospital.
‘Mr. Femi’, the lady in white who I have now shaped into the idea of a nurse in my mind called out to me. I turned to her; my face awash with tears.
‘I am Jumai but they call me Jumaima in this place’, she extended her right hand which I took.
‘Kindly excuse’ she looked towards my friend, ‘I would like to have a word with your friend’. Gbenga walked out quietly, anybody would have because she was so polite and formal with the request.
Turning to me, she said firmly ‘Tell me about yourself before I give you a piece of my mind’; her words hit like an order and I obliged her without complaint. I ran a commentary on myself thus: ‘I am Femi Bankole, my friends call me Femo Banky. I work and reside in Lagos. The fourth child of five children, all of them married except me. I am a bachelor. I used to have a girlfriend but she ditched me. I was just planning to propose to her when she… she…. She…’ I couldn’t complete the statement. I broke into tears.
What followed was a dreadful hiss; the next I heard was a shout: ‘Femi! You took poison because of a woman? Shame on you! Have you heard the proverb that says a man who dies because of one woman, a thousand women would walk over his grave?’
I laid on the bed looking at her. She had a lovely and graceful figure. Her waist moderately shaped twisted like a snake dances to the tune of a snake charmer within the white cloth.
‘Look here!’, she yelled at me. ‘You want to die because of a woman!’ Foolishly, I nodded. I kept my gaze on her like a pupil waiting on an instructor. She bent over, holding the hem of her gown and raised it to her belly. ‘Is this why you want to kill yourself?’ My weak eyes almost lost their sight to the mercurial beauty of her athlete thighs and the seductive smoothness of her dark skin. She raised it a bit higher and there were the edges of her bra. Lace white bra. My eyes undressed her and I could feel a rush of blood all over my body. She pinned the hem of her gown against her chest with her chin and made for her white panties which she tried to pull down.
‘No.No. You can’t understand’, I said staring at her and waving at the same time.
‘Then, you have some explanation to do to me’, she said dropping the gown.
‘Jumaima, Jumaima’, I called comparing the angel in the white gown to the temptress who revealed her luscious skin some minutes ago. I couldn’t go further than those two words when Gbenga walked in, ‘I think five minutes is more than enough for whatever you want to discuss’. We both looked into each other’s eyes and she gave me a naughty wink that turned Gbenga into an outsider.
Gradually, my energy was coming back. I felt like I was being charged by the sun. It was time to ask for food.
By: Akeem Akinniyi