They were both restless, pacing back and forth but maintaining a particular axis in the hospital lobby, close to the Emergency Room where Sandra had been rushed into. They had been there for more than thirty minutes and had not said a word to each other. Numerous questions were rushing through their minds but none was brave enough to break the silence.
The MD was the one who opened the door for Frank and all he said as soon as the door was opened was “let’s rush her to the clinic, she fell and she’s bleeding.” Frank was too scared, he had no time ask questions at that point. His “De ja vu” feeling seemed to be coming to reality. Everything looked exactly like the events that surrounded Dennis’ death, only that he had met Dennis’ door opened and the MD had not been there. He feared Sandra might share Dennis’ fate and he quickly said a very passionate and sincere prayer to God in his mind, pleading that Sandra should not die. He felt love for her
– the type he felt for Bimbo – but he quickly discarded the thought, attributing it to natural human feeling for someone who’s about losing his/her life.
The nurses came to their aid as soon as they got to the hospital. Frank who was with Sandra while the MD drove, rushed out of the car and straight to the reception screaming
“come quickly, she is dying!”. The MD was trying to look calm but it was all written on his face that he was a deeply troubled man. Frank was all over the place and almost followed the nurses as they pushed Sandra into the Emergency Ward, she was still bleeding through her nose. It took the intervention of the doctor to keep Frank outside. He was asked to wait at the lobby with the MD where they both stood, pacing about with troubled minds but silent mouths.
Frank questioned in his mind what must have transpired between the MD and Sandra that led to her falling unconscious and bleeding through the nose. He wondered what the MD was even doing in her house that early in the morning, when he should have been at the office. Okay, he’s the boss, and Sandra, according to common knowledge, is his cousin. Frank’s head was pounding. Could it be the case that the MD suddenly didn’t want him to marry Sandra anymore, and she tried to put a fight which ended the wrong way? Or was it just an accident that didn’t require any of his unfounded suspicions? But he isn’t talking; he has not even tried to explain what happened at the house. He looked at the MD through the corner of his eyes hoping to find a clue that might help him solve the deluge of questions that ravaged his mind.
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The MD, who was lesser agitated, had just one question bothering his mind. He wanted to know how much Frank must have heard standing behind the door before choosing to knock just when Sandra fell. He could not stand the thought of having Frank realize that he had a part to play, however indirectly, in Dennis’ death. That would be suicide! In his bid to confirm his suspicion, he took a quick glance at Frank and their eyes met. In sharp reflex, he muttered “erm…Frank. I understand how disturbed you feel right now, and I do not wish to contribute any more to that. Please take a seat and let’s talk.” By now, he had moved closer to Frank, persuading him to seat on a wooden chair very close to them.
Frank obliged without hesitating and couldn’t wait to hear what the MD had to say. He was hoping in his heart that he wouldn’t be talking about what he dreaded most; the fear
of the MD asking him to leave Sandra. This bothered him, but his greater concern at that point was the condition of Sandra.
“I want to ask you Frank….” the MD spoke after sitting next to him. He coughed and cleared his throat, trying to find the perfect way to ask the question he wanted to.
“I hope there’s no problem sir?” Frank said, feeling uneasy, hoping the cough wouldn’t end, and the question would not be asked. He was not in a stable condition to answer questions.
“There’s none really… Just that I was hoping to know how long you had been at Sandra’s door before knocking” he managed to say, after dragging the words for as long as he could.
Frank was confused. He was partly relieved the question he dreaded wasn’t asked, but very surprised at the question that rather came forth. Why will the MD be bothered about how long he had been at the door? For all he knew, he knocked on the door as soon as he reached it. But could there be something he didn’t know, but which he might know or never know,
depending on the answer he gave? He needed to be tactical. He was about giving his reply when the doctor came out of the ward. Instantly, they both stood up to meet with the doctor.
“Please sir, are you her father?” The doctor asked the MD.
“I’m her Fiancé” Frank jumped in.
“I’m her uncle, doctor. Hope there’s nothing?” The MD replied. “I will need some explanations as regards what happened to her. She has suffered severe shock and she will remain unconscious for a while. I can’t readily tell you how long, but right now, she’s in a coma. All you can do now is hope and pray. But we’ll try our best to keep her alive. Join me in my office later.” The doctor said, and walked away towards his office to meet a long line of patients already waiting.
Frank and the MD were left speechless. A huge sense of guilt rushed through the MD and cold sweat covered Frank. He was scared now, more than ever, that he might lose Sandra. And now he had to accept, He loved her after all.
It was a long night for Frank. He barely slept. He had several nightmares and all that rang in his head was “Sandra
must not die.”
He was up as early as 4am and couldn’t sleep back. He only managed to look aimlessly into some office documents just to pass time till day break. His mind flashed back to the events at the hospital. The MD went to see the doctor while he went into the ward to see Sandra lying unconscious on the bed, her head bandaged. She had an innocent look on her face as she laid motionless. Of course, Sandra is beautiful, but she seemed to have looked more beautiful in that state. He held her hand tightly as tears flowed uncontrollably down his cheeks. He made a solemn promise to stick it out with her, if she pulled through. He just couldn’t bear losing two people in such a short space of time.
He didn’t get to answer the MD’s question but it lingered on his mind. The MD left the hospital after checking on Sandra and he sent Frank a message later, asking him to be a man and pray for Sandra’s quick recovery. Everything sent mixed signals to Frank. He didn’t know what to think, or what to believe. In his confused state of mind, he rose from his bed to start preparing for work. He was about entering the bathroom when he remembered that he was expected to have reported at the station the day before. He rushed his bath and made his way straight to the station.
“I expected you yesterday. I called your number as well, it was switched off. I hope all is well sir?” The Detective inquired as Frank settled down on a chair opposite him.
“I’m very sorry for keeping you. My fiancée had a little accident yesterday and I had to rush her to the hospital where she’s currently receiving treatment.” Frank responded quickly.
“Okay Mr Frank. May God grant her speedy recovery.”
“Ermm… I want to inform you that investigations into your friend’s death have taken a new turn after what we discovered, when we went back to the deceased’s room for a search, two days ago.” The Detective announced.
“What did you discover sir?” Frank was a little worried.
“My search team discovered a paper; a letter precisely, under the dining table. We are still investigating, and it is the reason why you have been called to verify if it’s actually Mr Dennis’ handwriting or not.”
“Really?!” Frank adjusted well on his seat. He couldn’t wait to see the letter. The Detective carefully brought out the letter, wearing a glove in his hand, and placed it directly in front of Frank.
“You won’t be allowed to hold it sir.” He warned, “just observe and tell us if it’s your friend’s handwriting.” The detective said, looking straight into Frank’s eyes.
Frank looked at the letter and was petrified. It was like his friend had risen up to have a conversation with him. Beyond the handwriting, his focus was more on the content, but he
couldn’t settle his mind enough to capture the salient details of what was in the letter.
“Mr Frank is this your friend’s writing?” The Detective’s voice brought him back to life and he nodded very slowly in response.
“Autopsy has since revealed that your friend was shot in the head. But we found no gun around his body. Now there’s a letter that states something quite different. Going by the content of this letter, I’m afraid there’s an increasing possibility that we have a case of suicide!”
Cupid’s Quandary continues….
Olumide Lawrence | iLUMMYnation