It was pouring heavily, and it didn’t look like it was going to stop anytime soon. The security guard held the door open for him, as he walked onto the downpour. No vehicle in sight. A few minutes a blue Camry appears out the corner, opposite the hospital. The driver honks twice, as the doctor walks towards the cab. The driver unlocks the door as he slides into the backseat placing his briefcase gently beside him.
“Oga Good evening” the driver greets with a hint of Yoruba accent. “Where to?”. “Sheraton” he replies with his gaze still fixed on the window, as the car drives off. Through the rear mirror the driver looks at his latest passenger, and not for the first time today or even this week, he formulates a scam to fit his backseat victim.
The doctors gaze has now shifted to his hands, still trembling, like the cloudy skies outside. His mind runs through all the possible scenarios, trying to figure out other ways he could have avoided her death. In his Fourteen years of medical practice, he had never lost a life let alone take one, and that’s saying a lot giving the fact that he served in the Biafran Army during the war. He’d saved lives that were already lost, held limbs together with nothing but bandages, alcohol and hope. But today, not even with the hospital equipment and staff valued at billions of naira at his disposal, he could not save the girl. She was only Three years old. There was no choice. A shimmer of tears, barely visible roll down his cheek bones onto his full white beards.
The cabs rolls onto a steady halt opposite the entrance of the hotel.”Your fare is twenty thousand naira Oga ” he says with a crooked smile spread across his dark face.
The doctors’ expression quickly, shifts from hidden grief to visible anger. His mind flashes to the moment she was brought in, how could so much blood be in such a tiny person he thought to himself as he examined her. The nurse said that the victim was on her way back from school when she was snatched by some unsuspecting persons. Fortunately, someone found her but it was too late. Her clothes were torn as she floated in a pool of her own blood, barely breathing, hanging on by a thread.
His eyes were red with rage as he looked at the driver through the rear mirror. He glances at his briefcase, picks it up, places it on his laps and flips the latch in one swift move.
“Its men like you that are the problem with this country. We the hardworking citizens work tirelessly day and night, toil sometimes selflessly, only for scumbags like you to come and snatch it away. You give excuses, by saying life dealt you a shitty hand or you just blame it on your corrupt leaders. And then you when you’re caught and it’s your turn to face the music you all sing the same tune, I had no choice… Well not today, for today you have an option.” He had barely finished his sentence as he drove his scalpel into the lower rib cage of the driver as a cry resembling that of an injured dog escaped from his lips. With his hand still firmly on the handle, he leaned closer and put his lips closer to his ear. ” I have just inserted my scalpel into your lower ribcage, and if not treated quickly your lungs will soon be filled with blood and you will be dead in a matter of minutes. There is a hospital just 10mins away, you may decide to go there so that you may receive treatment or you can call out to the police officer and her team who are stationed just outside this vehicle. The choice is yours.” And with that, he removed the scalpel from victims side, the quick release of the blade, caused the blood to fall in rapid drips like the rain pour outside. The doctor then stepped out into the rain as the water rinsed the scalpel of any trace of blood. He slammed the door as he walked steadily towards the entrance of the hotel lobby. “Good evening doctor,” greeted sergeant Aliyah her words covered with the blanket of the northern accent.” And how was work today”? His soft brown eyes met hers and then he smiled and said: “fulfilling”. The sound of a Camry engine sped off into the rainy night with only lighting to illuminate the dark city.*