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A WEEK LATER.

    “Getting more critical, all you need is prayer.” Doctor Kate entered into the ward as she finished speaking to Richard and left him to start fighting with his weird thoughts again.

    It was a week already, he had been performing wrongly in the office and would always visit the bar everyday after leaving his place of work to ‘wash down his worries’. Were the worries really washed down?

    He’d get back home and sink into the bed and wouldn’t wake up until the next day into his worries and agony again. What else could he do to stop these bad imaginations from manifesting? Everything was bad for him and his sister, he always imagined the pains she did pass through every minute as she’d writhe to the right and left of the bed, the new news he just heard was that she now had Jaundice which bad started making her skin and eyes turn yellowish. She also had arthritis, what else didn’t she have that might cut her life short?

    He had tured to an overnight drunkard just because of Christiana, he had turned his back against God and even ladies because they might be a source of disturbance to him. What else could he do than to walk out of the hospital to play with his new friend- alcohol.

******

    “Pemisire, are you sure you will work at Hexagon Club and Bar?” Helen asked her as she stood up, dresses in an ankara gown and a pair of slippers.

    “Yes, for the mean time.” She replied.

    “Alright, let’s go there now because I have to iron the shirt I’ll wear to school tomorrow.” She took of her slippera and picked up her rubber sandals. Pemisire also stood up and wore one of Helen’s sandals near the fan. “Are we set?” Pemisire asked.

    “Sure.” Helen smiled and both walked out.

*****

     “I just found a name here, and also a mobile number.” Lawrence told his guys.

    “Name? Tell us more boss.”

    “Now, I found Helen and her mobile number. As it was written in the diary, she’s likely to be her best friend. She wrote something about Destiny or so.. I can’t recollect but Helen is the only one found for now.” He explained.

    “That’s simple boss, Let’s start with Helen.” Another guy spoke.

    “So, we will start by calling her mobile number and disguising to be Michael.” Lawrence smiled.

    “Michael?” The guys asked.

    “Yes, I also found that name here, she wrote something about that guy that he inspired her into singing, the day she went to the hall with her best friend, Helen. So, from there, they might know each other.” He explained.

    “Wao! That’s really cool boss.” One of them grinned.

    “But what of the voice?” Another asked.

    “That one is small, if she falls and she asks about the voice, we will tell her the phone has problem. And, a place where problem might come from is that if she contacts the guy regularly or if she doesn’t even know the guy or they aren’t connected.” Lawrence expatiated.

    “That’s true, let’s start from there.” They laughed.

———–

   RICHARD.

    In no time, people will start criticizing me concerning the way I drink. In no time, many people will start criticizing me that I blame God and doubt his existence. Many people don’t know that his existence is useless to me, really worthless! She now has jaundice and God is alive, he’s not dead, people say he doesn’t sleep, neither does he slumber.

    Hmmn! Now I k-n-o-w! He does sleep to some people’s problems and wouldn’t to some other people. I do say it, I do lay emphasis on it that he is partial! Yes, arthritis, pains, jaundice, yellowish skin and many more. This is too much for her to bear, just unbearable! I wonder how she’s been living, holding on to a thin rope that might cut at anytime.

    She cries and shows her sadness, I think Doctors are even getting tired of us. Useless at both work and home, heading to an unknown destination and you tell me God exisits? You tell me he’s not partial?

That’s a lie!

******

    Stephanie kept bothering Doctor Kate until she was told to sit down in the office. She was really impatient as she stared at the Doctor, she needed to know what had gone wrong with her best friend, she couldn’t just die that way. “Doctor, please speak up.” She rose to her feet again, already sweating copiously.

    “I told you earlier to take things easy, your friend is not dead, it’s just that her condition just got worse.” She spoke slowly as she looked really unhappy.

    “Worse? So, what is the ‘worse condition’ all about?” She sat down.

    “Kidney, it’s kidney problem now.” She swooshed out a long breath and continued. “We need to get her operated as soon as possible, kidney transplant has to be done.” The Doctor said as she hit the ball pen in her hand on the table continuously.

    “Transplant? What’s wrong again? What’s up with her kidney? Tell me! What’s happening?” She screamed.

     “Easy lady! Anaemia causes low red blood cell count which as well causes kidney failure. It reduces the flow of oxygen also, so, please take it easy.”

    “This is annoying! I wonder why this exists! I hate it when someone is in pain, what’s the purpose of coming to the world if one will experience peace throughout? Her life is at stake, her soul is burning! I can feel it, arthritis, Jaundice, now kidney failure! Is she the only one? Even if this is a trial, it’s getting too much!” She shouted.

    “Everyone in this world have a trouble or the other that he or she’s battling with. If I tell you my story too, you’re going to marvel. You guys are now more than my clients and Christie is more than a patient. I passed through even more difficult challenges.” She rose to her feet and sighed.

    “More difficult? I’m sure you didn’t pass through this pain, I’m sure.”

    “I’m Kate, an asthmatic patient no one on earth could believe of her existence. I lost my blind father to a burning house which happened when my only brother was also fighting to become wealthy in life. He got himself into politics which made his fellow politicians who were fighting for a post burn down my father’s house and killed him. I had to run away with my mother when everything we had became nothing. I was in my 500 level, that time. There was no place to go to, no one to help, we were hated! Isolated! I don’t know what else to say right now… see lady, whatever the case will be, we will try our best.” She sat sadly.

    “I wish to know what happened, how did you now become a Doctor? Even one that’s loved in this place?”

    “Let’s leave that for another day, but I lost my mother to an accident too, I almost died because of the attack I had when I heard about her death. I had no hope, no friend, no one. Just.. let’s just leave it.”

    “But, promise me my friend will live.” She wiped her tears.

    “Hmmn.. I don’t.. Alright, I do.” She sighed.

    “Your reply was somehow. Be sincere, be truthful.”

    “I think I have to get the Urologists and Nephrologists now, time is not our friend.” She stood quickly.

    “Alright, what of the donor?”

    “You should be able to donate. Kidney transplanting is a very serious surgery, any slight mistake might lead to something disastrous. So, we have to run series of tests on you. Your blood sugar, blood group and others. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed, let me get the surgeons informed.”

    “Alright, let me get Richard and anything that would be needed.” Stephanie rushed out.

   

    STEPHANIE rushed out of the hospital, in search of Richard who had left the hospital for a while now. She look frustrated as she entered into the taxi that took her to Richard’s place to get him informed about what was happening next. She didn’t even remember that she could call him, and besides, it was an avenue for her to leave the hospital. Leaving the hospital would at least make her less nervous than being in the hospital.

    She knocked at the gate continuously before Uche came to get the gate for her. She was sweating and her hair had ruffled already, she greeted him as she tried to smile to at least brighten her wrinkled face. “Good day.” She bowed.

    “Yeah, good evening.” Uche smiled and let her in. “How are you?” He asked as he shut the door.

    “I’m… good.” I’m I really good at all? Can everything on ground make me even good?

    “Yeah.” Uche smiled faintly as he turned to face her again. From all indications too, she didn’t look good and chuffed to him, but as usual and almost ‘Nigerian’ he still had to ask her how she was. “You aren’t looking fine as you’ve told me earlier, how’s she? What’s up?” He moved closer to her.

    “Things have gone worse. The Doctor said she now has kidney failure and she has to be operated as soon as possible.” She said as she wiped her face.

    Uche was shocked. He opened his mouth wide open as he stood akimbo, shaking his head continuously. “Is Richie not in the hospital with you guys?”

    “So he’s not at home, he is not with us either.” She frowned.

    Uche sighed. “Alright, I know where he can be. Let me get dressed and take you there to see things for yourself.”

    “Thank you.” She said and walked to the gate to lean on it.

    Uche nodded and walked inside to pick his shirt. He just had his singlet and brown trouser on earlier. “I’m going in search of tyhat naughty guy, it seems he has gone to his place of work.” Uche told Jay.

    “Alright, don’t belong.” Jay waved at him.

    “Is that all you’ll say? Shouldn’t you pick up your shirt and come with me?” Uche smiled, he knew Jay would not leave that spot to accompany him to Hexagon Club and Bar.

    “I’m going nowhere.” Jay hissed and laid on the sofa, turning his back at Uche.

    “But all I know is that it’s not his wish to be drinking too, this situation turned him into doing that. Besides, remember we introduced him into this, if we hadn’t forced him that Friday, he would just be meandering around as usual.

    “So, his introduction to alcohol has made him so useless? We that got him introduced to it, do we drink like he does now? Who knows if this rambling around of a thing is just about drinking sef.” Jay hissed.

    “Anyways, the condition of his sister has gone worse again. Her friend is by the gate, she said she now has kidney problem and operation has to be done as quick as possible.”

    Jay sprung to his feet immediately he heard that. “Kidney again? This is getting out of control, what on earth would Richie do on hearing this? And, what sin has this girl committed to deserve all these diseases, sicknesses and ailments? I’m sure this will turn Richard’s brain around again.” He gave a long breath.

    “Anyways, will you follow me now?” Uche questioned.

    “Alright, I just pity the guy too but I hate it if everything one does is getting too much!” He said as he buttoned his shirt too and walked toward Uche.

    They both stepped out of the house after switching off the electronics and bulbs, off to the Bar.

******

    CHRISTIANA.

    When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
       when sorrows like sea billows roll;
       whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
       it is well, it is well with my soul.

       Though Satan should buffet, though trials should
       let this blest assurance control,
       that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
       and hath shed his own blood for my soul

       It is well with my soul,
       It is well, it is well with my soul.

    Doctor Kate entered into my ward and came to me, she looked sad as she watched me cry and held my two hands. “Crying won’t solve anything, crying won’t let this problems leave, it will just add to it.” She said as she shook my two hands slightly.

    “This is a cry of joy, I’m not crying because I’m going to die, I’m crying because of the perished souls. I’m crying because I’m wondering on those who might be in my shoes and would question God, I’m… Doctor…” I said as I kept crying.

    “I never told you that you would die!” Doctor’s eyes widened as she shook my hands again, she had started crying then. The stethoscope she had around her neck fell as she wept along with me. I felt her agony, I felt her pulse that was like a flow of turbulent water from an ocean, I took of my hands, this time holding her own hands, we both continued weeping.

*****

    RICHARD had finished a bottle of Spanish wine when Uche bustled through the door with Stephanie and Jay. “I said it.” Jay said as they approached Richard. Uche tapped Richard while Jay winced at him and shook his head continuously, a twinge of disappointment went off inside Stephanie as she saw him, was he to be blamed?

    “I knew it, i really knew you’d be here, drinking. Now we have to visit the hospital.” Uche said.

    Richard’s vision had gone blur as he raised his head and looked at them. He couldn’t recognize any of the three until he was pulled up and bundled outside, the next item on his sleep was to sleep off. Jay waited behind and paid the bartender before he walked after them, heading to the hospital.

*****

    “There is a uniform, didn’t you see it on that guy?” Pemisire asked Helen.

    “Maybe, maybe not. Just be prayerful because it isn’t easy to work in a bar.” Helen told her.

    “I know, I’m not gonna spend so much there. I see myself working in greater places, but for the mean time, I have to bow for destiny.”

    “That’s true, not even with these documents, you’re going places dear.” She grinned.

    Pemisire chuckled softly. “The problem is still about the safety,I’m sure that man must be doing everything within his reach to get me.” She snorted.

    “I acquiesce, but girl I don’t think there’s anyway he can get you here. Does he have any of your contacts?”

    Pemisire shook her head.

    “Then, all is well.” Helen smiled as she hissed. “I just have a little plan.” She drawled on the bed, moving closer to Pemisire who sat leaning against the wall and spoke to her faintly, thereafter, both laughed and nodded together.

*****

    “So Doctor, how do we start the preparation for the operation?” Uche asked the Doctor.

    They had gotten to the hospital already, Richard had slept in the car while he entered into the hospital with Jay and Steph. “The donated kidney may be from a living related donor, living unrelated one or deceased one. Now, it all depends on us. Everything to be done should be between a week because the transplanting will take up to two days.”

    “Two whole days? It’s just an operation now.” Stephanie squinted her face.

    “Yes, the donor would be placed under general anesthesia before surgery and this means the donor would sleep, asleep and pain-free. Then, we can use small surgical cuts with laproscopic techniques to remove the kidney. Note that the kidney would be transferred into saline for fourty-eight hours, so, everything is going under three days now. Another thing is getting a donor and running all the necessary tests again, this might also take time.”

    “Anyways, how do we commence everything?” Jay enquired.

    “There’s another problem.” Doctor Kate stood up.

    “What again?” Steph screamed.

******

    Doctor Kate sat down as she addressed Stephanie. “You should take things easy now, you don’t need to shout.” She cautioned.

    Stephanie was breathing heavily, she had been praying to herself not to hear anything bad concerning her best friend. she tried to calm herself down before she spoke. “Alright, just tell me what is going on, what’s up with her again?” She asked.

    “The criteria in which one must have before donating a kidney.” She paused for a while before she continued. “The person must not be a drunk, I mean the person must not be someone who drinks alcohol regularly because such people are already giving their kidneys more work to do.” She paused again, this time, Jay and Uche glanced at each other and then the Doctor again.

    “Another thing is that the person must not be diabetes patient. Now, I hope you guys don’t drink.” She smiled.

    “Just once in a while, let’s say every Friday night.” Jay replied with a smile.

    “Even if it is just once per month, I won’t let you donate because the complications after the surgery are usually severe if the donor has a faulty kidney.”

    “Then I’ll donate.” Stephanie chimed in.

    “Alright, that’s also cool.” Uche said.

    “What of Richard? He doesn’t look like a person who drink.” Doctor smiled.

    “He’s even the boss at it.” Jay chuckled.

    “Let’s see how it goes.” Dr. Kate nodded continuously.

————

    MORNING.

    Pemisire had dressed up as early as possible. She was dressed neatly in a dapper and plush white collared shirt which she just bought together with the cerulean blue fitted true-to-size trouser and a pair of black sandals. She raised her head up after using her black belt and faced her friend. “How do I look?” She asked her with a smile.

    “I knew it, I knew you’d ask me that question.” Helen chortled and continued. “They worth their prices, you look great dear.”

    “You just made me remember Pemisayo, that’s what she did she anytime I conclude my dressing. She’d say I look good, any man who would marry us must be a great man.”

    “Don’t let us talk about that again, bringing back memories will make us uncomfortable.” She cuddled her.

    “Alright, Chemistry Teacher.” She laughed.

    Helen hit her and laughed too. “Thank you, Mrs Bartender.”

    “Anyhow, but I’m not a ‘Mrs'”

    “I tell you, you will meet the man soon.” She laughed.

    “I have no time for a guy now, I can’t love anyone in this predicament.”

    “Girl, I tell you, you don’t know when the right man can come, be cheerful everytime.” She smiled faintly and picked up her handbag. “You will make me be the most punctual teacher at the end of the term, I do leave home like fifteen minutes after this time. Anyways, it’s a good thing.” She grinned.

    “Hmmn.. You just talk like she did, you act like she did, she did tell me that no one knows when the angel might come, always look happy.” Pemisire smiled faintly and picked the handbag.

    “Just be a good girl, I’ll get the planned stuff as we’ve discussed.” She smiled.

    “It’s good but I don’t think it is necessary, no one knows my hideout.”

    “It doesn’t matter dear.” Helen said. “I’m off.” She concluded.

********

    “Kidney what?” Richard shouted as he flew up to his feet. He just woke up from his sleep and met himself lying on one of the sofas in their small sitting room. He got the bombshell from Jay who had been praying for him to wake up so as to hear the latest news as soon as possible.

    “Failure, boy.” Jay replied him.

    “Not again, not again! This is too much for her to bear, it is!” He went on his kneels crying.

    “I knew you’d do this senseless thing, I knew it!” Uche hissed aloud and stood up before him. “This won’t solve the matter, if you don’t know. Now, what do we do?”

    “I should be the one asking, I think surgery is the next right? I’ll donate, even the two.” He said quickly.

    “Guy, use your brain! See, how can you donate two kidneys? And, for your information, you can’t donate anything.” Jay said.

    “Why would I not? I think i should get going to the hospital, I want to see my bestie.”

    “You now drink, a person who take alcohol like you cannot be a donor, especially when her case is very tough like this present one.” Jay said.

    “Who told you? I think I really need to go.”

    Richard’s phone rang. “Stephanie, how are you?” Richard asked as he picked up the call.

    “I don’t have much airtime but… your attention is really needed here, it seems something is going on.” She paused.

    “What? What again?” He quickly asked.

    “I don’t know.” Stephanie started crying.”

    “What is it? What?” Richard fainted.

****

Pemisire walked into the Manager’s office and bowed as she saw the woman in her early fifties that was on seat. She was seated on a burgundy leather desk chair that reclines to an almost obscene angle. There was a deep blue curtain and a cherry wood desk with a long brass-pull cord, a large office with a nice scent. “Good day ma.” She greeted.

“Yes… Destiny, how are you?” She asked her as she dropped her ball pen.

“I’m good ma.” She bowed again and smiled.

“Welcome to Hexagon Club and Bar, this is the citadel of enjoyment.” She smiled.

“Yes ma, I came as scheduled.” She said.

The Manager swiveled her chair and smiled. “Now, no time for laziness. I see that you’re a responsible lady, for you to have come here as early as possible. Now, Destiny, here you have to be totally truthful. I hate people who lie, i have a strong aversion for it. The schedule will be released soon but today, you are on morning duty which will end by 7pm.” She explained.

“Thank you ma.” She bowed again.

“So, the work starts now.” She stood up and led the way.

*******

RICHARD got conscious after an hour of unconsciousness on the hospital bed. His eyes darted around the ward and rose up instantly, “where are they?” He asked himself and exhaled deeply.

He rushed outside and met them seated in the waiting room. “Guys!” He called them as he approached them.

“How far?” Uche rose to his feet instantly.

“How’s she?” He quickly asked.

“Still the same, what Stephanie called you for was to tell you about her parents. According to the Doctor, she’s been driven away by her parents because they don’t want her to be the donor.”

Richard opened his mouth in surprise. “Did she tell them?” He asked.

“Who knows? Doctor Kate said she will do everything within her reach to get a donor soon.”

“I can donate for God’s sake!” He shouted.

“Yes you can, but it’s dangerous to you guys’ healths.” Jay said.

Richard sighed. “What do we do? I want to see her.” He said.

“Let’s go to her ward.” Uche said and walked on.

——–

For everything have a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time die; a time to plant, a time to harvest; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to heal up; a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to mourn and a time to dance

“Bestie, how are you?” Richard bustled in.

Christiana turned her head toward him and wiped the tears in her eyes. “Better.” She told him.

“Better? You can’t be better and keep on crying, tell me what has gone wrong.” He sat beside her and wiped her tears as he started his.

“Just wondering, thinking, brewing and cogitating about the life after death.”

Richard shook his head. “Impossible! You won’t die now, this is just a trial.” He told her.

Christiana smiled faintly. “Where is the donor? When did you start drinking?” She asked.

“Em… Bestie, don’t let’s talk about that now, the solution is what we should be after, for now.”

“Alright, how have you been?” She asked him.

“I should be asking you, how is the pain? Has it reduced?” He asked.

“Bro, just keep… keep praying for me.” She started breathing heavily.

“Praying to who? Is there anyone to call on? See dear, don’t be deceived, that man called God doesn’t exist.”

“Bro, he does.” She tried to convince him.

“Spare me! He doesn’t! He doesn’t! If he does, you won’t down in pains, you won’t be in a terrible condition, those people called parents won’t be there enjoying, turning their backs at us, he doesn’t”

__________________________

“He does!” Pemisire smiled as served a bottle of wine to Richard.

“What?” Richard asked her, raising his head.

“Nothing, just soliloquizing.” She continued smiling.

Richard had left the hospital after he had cried his eyes out to drink again, it would wash his worries down, as usual. “You are new here, how did you know my usual?” He asked her.

“I only felt you’d like this, how are you?” She asked smiling.

Richard smiled faintly. “What is this greeting of yours about?” He asked.

“I’m new here and like making friends with customers.” She smiled.

Richard hissed. “Will you please leave me alone?”

****

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