Pattering running feet along smooth, white washed corridor floors.
A gentle hum floated across the room as a middle aged nurse with soft smiling eyes and wrinkled cheeks walked into the reception area. A large television stood in place, with a man, in his mid thirties, dark skinned, and with silver rimmed glasses on his nose. He looked like he had not slept in a week but his wrist watch spoke tales of apparent affluence, and his imported suit fit like a glove, it had to be tailor made.
Adamu turned his head, flipping through the morning paper. The stock prices were on the rise again. If the market was anything to go by, the prices looked good. His catapult to wealth had been one of war, going against his father’s advice and throwing the whole lot in. Penny stocks, he had worked, operated on a drunken friend’s hunch, and the result was his instant propulsion into a world of numbers, analysis, and lots of money.
His phone rang. It was his Personal Assistant.
“Mr Adamu, please come this way…” the nurse beckoned to him.
“Angelica,” Adamu spoke into his ear piece. “Not now… I told you…”
Her raspy Igbo-intonated voice interrupted him. “Sir, you told me to call when there was an emergency.”
Her voice was a persistent, urgent shrill, and although he had hired her for her skill, not her voice, he was having a rethink of his decision. He suddenly had a headache.
“Sir, this way,” The nurse harshly spoke. From the tone of her voice, her patience was wearing thin, and it was no surprise. He paid the outrageous bills the private and foreign owned hospital required, so what was the woman’s problem? He also gave a generous donation during the last fundraising that the hospital had organised to buy the very expensive machine, which his mother survived on. She obviously had no idea who he was.
“Angelica, I know what I said,” Adamu met the nurse’s gaze and he held it. “I’ll call you back in ten.” He cut the phone and looked at her. “I’m here to see Mrs. Adamu…”
The nurse was obviously not impressed. “Yes, I know,” she looked at him, like he was her three old child that had done some naughty deed and needed to be punished. “Yes,” as a younger, friendlier looking nurse approached, “Stella, please show him the way.”
Stella revealed a young lady with a pair of warm eyes, and an inviting smile, maybe too inviting, if Adamu thought about it for a minute or two. Adamu eased up. That was much better, someone who knew exactly who he was, and was willing to dance to his tune.
Adamu lifted his six foot one frame and he walked towards the direction her outstretched hand pointed. He wondered why the old lady was still employed in the hospital. Age had eaten deep into her looks, her attitude, and the way she carried herself. He let his thoughts wander away momentarily and he focused instead on the hospital. It was rather quiet, except for the excited squeals that came from the playing children darting around like firecrackers on the night before New Year.
“Mr Adamu,” Stella started shyly. Adamu looked up at her, and as they walked, she found new courage and she proceeded to speak. “It’s an honour to meet you in person…”
Adamu said nothing. She obviously took his silence for consent and she began to talk about the new building that Adamu had put up in the hospital and the new equipment that had been purchased, and how generous he had been to contribute to buying them a new power generating set.
He walked down the corridor where bright white light illuminated the way, making it appear like some screening room of some sort under the watchful scrutiny of some alien higher intelligence.
TO BE CONTINUED…