Something flashed in her imagination as she looked across at the pale whimpering old man in front of her.
“Doctor, please save me, I don’t want to die.” He sobbed.
Dr Shola snapped out of her reverie and concentrated on the patient in front of her. He was a man in his late 50s; obviously life had not treated him well, he looked unkempt and smelled, but that was not the problem. From what she could see, the man was very sick and if nothing was done, would be alive for just a couple of hours more.
The patient was pale, very pale, and his blood pressure was very low. He was slipping away. If he didn’t receive a blood transfusion in the next few minutes he would surely die.
Dr Shola hated seeing patients like this; they come with all sorts of problems and when they are treated, bring up so many excuses why they can’t pay.
Well, she was not having this today, she had struggled to build up her practice from scratch, an orphan who had struggled to get scholarships and work all through college and medical school while accruing so many loans, she wasn’t about to do any charity work.
Her parents had died when she was very young, not from natural causes but a horrible and horrendous manner which was to haunt her for life.
Her mind wandered again to that fateful day.
It was her eighth birthday, she’d had a wonderful celebration with her friends who had all left. She’d had dinner with her parents and proceeded to open the last of her presents when there was a knock on their living room door.
“I wonder who that is now,” her mother had said, “Shola, go up to your room, I will come and tuck you in.”
Shola gladly picked up her presents and went up the stairs to her bedroom, hoping the visitor would leave early so her mother could come and admire her cool gifts before she slept.
Shola was soon engrossed with her gifts, suddenly she heard her room door open slightly.
Shola jumped from her bed to welcome her mother, her arms flung wide open.
She crashed into a tall, sturdily built figure.
“Sshhhh,” the figure warned.
It was a man she’d never met before, a dirty handkerchief covering his face, with only his eyes, blue and scary under bushy eyebrows revealed. He dragged her downstairs. What she saw horrified her. Her mother and father were lying face down on the bare floor in the passageway; another man with a gun stood over them, the gun pointed at her father’s head.
Shola was shoved to the floor and ordered to lie face down.
“For the last time, Where is the money?” The tall one with the bushy eyebrow and gritty voice barked at her father.
“I don’t have any money, I just celebrated my daughter’s birthday.” Her father was pleading, tears in his voice.
Then she heard it – the sound that changed her life, the sound that made her jump at loud sounds even to this day, the sound for which she never watched any action or violent movie. Three shots fired in rapid succession.
“Doctor please save me, I don’t want to die!”
Dr Shola was brought back again from her reverie and looked at the dying patient in front of her.
“Please save me,” he said again with his gritty voice.
She looked at him, saw those blue eyes underneath bushy eyebrows.
Suddenly, her world stood still. Doctor Shola stared.
“Doctor, do something, can’t you see I’m dying!”
She continued to stare.
“Doctor……?” His voice was becoming faint.
As if woken from a dream, Doctor Shola smiled at him.
“Don’t worry, I will save you,” she said as she picked up the syringe…
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