Trying so hard to fight this tears
I’m crazy worried
Messing with my head this fear
I am so sorry
You know you got to get it out
I can’t take it
That’s what being friend’s about,
Leomanade Mouth (determinate)
Tobi watched as she walked towards him. She was wearing a short white designer gown a little above her knee. Her hair was left unpacked as she flipped it to her sides like a runway model tucking a strand that fell onto her face neatly behind her left ear and pouting her lips in the process. A brown coloured bag with long straps clung to her sides like they were meant to be there while she took careful, short, and elegant strides in the brown coloured wedged shoes she wore. Her eyes locked with his and she gave him a soft infectious smile…
Okay, scratch that.
All that was just his imagination slash expectation.
Tori wasn’t wearing any white gorgeous designer gown like he had pictured her in his head. Instead, she was wearing a big white chiffon shirt which ended a few inches below her knee over a pair of black leggings.
Her hair wasn’t even left flowing talk more of her flipping it sideways in a model-like manner. Instead, she had it packed into her habitual decent ponytail.
The only part of her dressing he got right was the brown bag and the shoe.
Her choice of clothes always look boring, drab and dull and definitely nothing like the fancy dresses every average, NORMAL girl will wear. Something ‘Jo-ish’…. Yet, it always befit her small stature. It makes her look much more innocent and cuter.
Even though he would like to see her try one of those fancy and exquisite dresses, he doesn’t really have any problem with her wardrobe choices.
Anything that suits her is fine…
Tobi wondered why couldn’t really lay his fingers on the exact thing that attracted him to her.
Maybe her simplicity and cuteness? Or is it her sense of humour and innocence?
He wouldn’t stake on any of that though.
He just seemed to like her without really having a reason.
A wise blogger once said the purest of love is the one without condition, attribute nor reason because when love is based on reason or condition, second thoughts and doubts set in when those attributes and conditions disappears.
Yeah… He had been visiting some blogs for dating tips.
So, where were we?
Tobi was leaning before his car in the hospital parking lot while waiting for Tori who got put of the hospital premises a while ago and was now a few miles away from him. She wasn’t even looking up nor does it look she noticed him. Everything about her, starting from the almost staggering walking style she suddenly adopted to the feet dragging with her gaze fixed on the ground like she was searching for something that wasn’t there all suggested how dejected and disturbed she looked.
Tobi was wearing his grey suit even though he wasn’t as excited about it as he was earlier this morning, he still felt much more confident and most importantly, the suit was a thousand times more comfortable than the white one his mum chose for him this morning.
He seemed rather nervous as his fingers twitched at the sight of her. His insides formed a knot and it was then he knew he wasn’t ready.
Or was he?
‘Tori?’ Her name came out of his mouth sounding so much like he was trying to confirm if it was really her. He really was trying to ensure she really didn’t see him when she went past his cars to waiting cabs a few metres away from where he parked.
Tori raised her gaze to look at him with a blank and sad expression. And that did the magic of unknotting the knot in his stomach. There was really something wrong with her. She staggered to his car after minutes of standing mute and rooted to a spot. It was more than obvious she was avoiding eye contact with him.
‘Hey.’ She said rather too meekly.
Like she wasn’t excited to see him. Tobi could feel an imaginary knife slice through his heart but he didn’t let it show in his countenance.
She didn’t even call him to let him know the exact time she would be getting off work.
He had been driving around town with no particular destination and finally ended up in the hospital to wait for her when he wasn’t at peace with himself just lying on his bed at home.
‘Come on! It’s just been a day and you miss me this much!’ He said gaily while he twisted his lips into a lopsided grin. His idea was to amuse her but his ‘never dissapointing’ magic happened not to work here as Tori only pouted her lips like she was about to cry at his supposedly funny punchline.
‘Get in the car. Let’s talk on the way home.’ Tobi said as he held her by the shoulder, leading her to the seat beside the driver’s seat, making sure his palms linger longer than usual on her shoulder.
Tobi wondered what could have caused the sudden recession in mood while he drove. She was fine this morning when they talked making it puzzling for the change in mood.
Was the ‘almost kissing’ episode of them yesterday somewhat too squeamish for her to handle that she resorted into some sort of foul mood?
He needs to clear the air and ensure everything is fine to make things less complicated for him.
‘Is it about yesterday? Thinking I was going to kiss you?’ Tobi faked a huff to show how impossible that sounds. ‘Don’t be delusional, I wouldn’t kiss you for a million dollar!’ And his attempt at humour to cheer her up crumbled once again as she only kept mute. Which rather is very unusual especially when he talks like that. On a normal day, he would be warming up for her reply now.
Tobi took his eyes off the road for the first time since they got inside the car to glance at her. Her eyes seemed to have welled up with tears and it felt like she was going to break down…
Okay, a tear just fell of her left eye…
Now, the right eye…
She was sobbing. Her face scrunched up in distress as she struggled to wipe the tears off her face with her palm.
This is really bad. Tobi felt rather lost on what to do.
Did he aggravate the situation with his small talks?
‘Were you upset by what happened yesterday? I’m sorry if….’
‘I lost a patient today!’ She blurted out trying to keep her voice steady while she still sobbed.
Tobi was at first relieved. Relieved he wasn’t the reason behind her moodiness but it suddenly dawned on him she just announced someone’s death to him.
This isn’t the time to jubilate.
But he couldn’t help wondering why she felt this bad about losing a patient. Yeah, she was supposed to feel bad but not to the extent of sobbing and feeling all depressed like she just murdered someone.
She is a doctor for goodness sake and things like this were bound to happen. Besides, doctors were meant to be cruel.
Okay, taking that back. Doctors are cruel!
‘You shouldn’t beat yourself over something you can’t possibly change. What’s the use of crying over spilt milk? She is a patient, fine. Her death is sad but why cry like you are responsible for it when I’m pretty sure as hell you were only trying to save her? I don’t know how you are going to handle further possible deaths if you are like this everytime someone dies…’ Tobi counselled feeling more anger than compassion. Anger he almost blamed himself.
‘You won’t understand!’ She said keeping her voice barely audible as her sobbing died down.
‘Then make me!’
‘She is Richard’s wife!’ Tori snapped. ‘She WAS Richard’s wife.’ She said keeping her voice low like the dead would hear her.
‘She was going to have her baby prematurely and we lost her. I feel bad. I feel responsible. I feel like I was careless and made an untraceable mistake which led to her death. I wasn’t expecting Richard’s wife to be the lady I was going to deliver her baby and when I saw it was her, I was taken by surprise. Maybe I fidgeted and made a horrible mistake due to my unreadiness.’ She said every word hurriedly like she was ordered to. Fright, guilt, and self blame was all written all over as she sobbed.
Tobi understands now.
Tobi pulled over by the roadside while he rested his hand
on her shoulder to calm her. She kept sobbing into her palms.
‘Do you take the grudge you had against him to his wife’s labour room?’ He asked gently while he patted her back soothingly. The process was more like calming a child than flirtatious.
‘I forgot everything about our grudge immediately I set my eyes on her. I swear all I was concerned about was saving her because she was in so much pain. But it’s weird right? I feel something weird. Something like I unconsciously made a mistake that ended up killing her…’ She explained sniffing at intervals.
‘Were you the only one there?’ He asked still patting her slowly.
‘Did the others blame themselves?’ Tobi asked interjecting her statement to make his point.
‘No but..’ She tried to explain further but Tobi cuts in.
‘Then forget about. I don’t know what kind of conscience you have but this is just so simple. You have nothing to do with her death and I can vouch for you on that.’ He assured.
Tori wasn’t really comforted by that.
‘That’s the exact thing Dr Kamal said. He said I shouldn’t blame myself about it. But, I really don’t know. Richard had no idea I was in the hospital talk more of delivering his wife’s baby. I saw him alright but he didn’t see me. He was all tensed up until Dr Kamal asked him to go get some made up things just to get him out of the hospital to reduce his nervousness. I hadn’t seen him ever since then. He might end up finding out I was on the team and I’m sure as hell he wouldn’t take it easy with me.’ Tori said. ‘I’m scared!’ The glint in her eyes and the goosebumps forming on her skin asserted her statement.
‘Screw that! You shouldn’t worry about him. You didn’t kill his wife and also, what’s this about Dr. Kamal? He knows you dated Richard?’ He asked ensuring he heard her right.
‘He is a consultant. He saw me crying after she died and inquired why I was like that. I told him and he promised to keep it a secret. He told me not to beat myself about it…’
‘See. Everything is fine. Stop thinking about it. You’ll be a lot happier if you care less about what Richard would think.’ Tobi said smiling at her and Tori replied with a faked, sad smile.
Tobi knew now is not the time to talk about his proposal.
That can wait.
Tori splashed water on her face and let her palm stay still there. She was in the bathroom with a big towel wrapped around her. It appeared she just finished bathing but the bags under her eye which seemed to have appeared overnight only eased a bit with her bath.
The big bags under eye are only proofs of how hard she had cried coupled with the sleepless night she had due to the fact that she kept hallucinating. She had this feeling Richard’s wife was watching her all through the night and as a result, she couldn’t sleep. She wished her conscience would just free her of this guilt. When she eventually did find sleep, she had that dream again.
Yeah, she did have that dream again and it was a lot scarier. Like for a moment, she had thought it really happened. It was so much like reality that she was so scared she actually died!
What is the big meaning attached to this dream?
And why the frequent reoccurrence.
Tori got some water from the tap and washed her face with it. A close scrutiny of the eyebags from the mirror showed how much it had eased. Satisfied with her ‘not-so-good-not-so-bad’ looks, she went back inside her room.
She got dressed for work and let her mind rove to different stuffs while she was at it. Wondering how Richard would react if he eventually found out about her. She shrugged off the thought as it gave her the creeps.
‘You didn’t do anything. You were not holding any grudges.’ Tori silently comforted herself even though she wasn’t convinced.
Maybe emotions had taken a better part of her and she had made a mistake without her knowing. It sounded plausible yet she couldn’t help blaming herself.
But she really wasn’t even thinking about James. In fact, Tobi’s presence quickened the pace at which she forgot him. She was too busy playing a character in Tobi’s book of humour and playfulness to have anything (by anything, she meant Richard) occupying her thoughts aside work and of course, Tobi.
She really has to admit. She was nervous, scared and unsure when she saw Richard’s wife. She was scared of being in that situation. Scared of being one of the people that would decide whether Richard’s wife would live or die and she really tried to work towards her living. She really did.
Instead of the anger she felt towards Richard some months ago, she now feels pity and something else she couldn’t comprehend. Fear possibly but she was sure it isn’t only fear. He lost his wife and that is bad enough but what was worse is Tori was there when she stopped breathing.
‘Ready for work?’ Ebiere asked when Tori went to meet her in the kitchen to say her goodbyes. Ebiere was packing a plastic plate of rice inside a red polythene bag. Tori nodded in reply to Ebiere’s question.
‘Is there something bothering you? Something you want to share?’ Ebiere asked giving Tori’s face a close scrutiny.
‘I’m fine.’ Tori forced a smile and Ebiere smiled back while she moved to the big fridge in the kitchen. She took a bottle of water from the fridge and dropped the bottle inside the red bag before handing the bag to Tori.
‘Here, eat this at work.’ She said nudging Tori’s shoulder. Tori took the bag gratefully and at that moment, she caught a glimpse of Jo walk inside the kitchen. She walked straight to the dispenser with a glass cup.
Tori mummured a goodbye to Ebiere before making for the door only to be stopped by Ebiere.
‘Tori,’ Ebiere called. ‘Johanna, you two should come home for dinner. We have something very important to discuss.’
Tori nodded her comprehension and Jo only brought the cup of water to her lips to hide her stiffness. Tori exited before Ebiere says something else.
‘Would you please stop following me around!’ Tori snapped at Marcus who parked his car a few distances away to trail after Tori when the latter refused to join him for a ride. Tori was now facing him beside the road. She was exhausted after the day’s work and she had a lot going through her mind and that had been the reason why she walked to the main road. She was walking to gather her thoughts. She really doesn’t need Marcus to add to her many problems.
‘I’m just so worried. You stopped picking my calls and I checked up on you at your place but I only had the chance to meet Tife….’ He seemed offended by her snapping but still explained coolly. When it appeared she wasn’t listening to him, he decided to go straight to the point.
‘I really have to tell you this. It’s been on my mind and I think it’s time I let you know about it. Tori, I..’ Tori didn’t let him finish his statement.
‘Marcus,’ Tori started slowly, making sure she wasn’t raising her voice. ‘I’m sorry but whatever you have in mind about us. About me, is not the same here. I’m sorry but I’m not interested in you. Not like you are anyway. I have a lot on my mind right now and you wouldn’t want to make things worse for me by being one of them. Please, try to stop seeing me if it’s possible. I just need a break and it would be great if you’d grant that….’ She paused to blink back the tears welling up in her eyes. ‘Just grant that one request.’ She said then turned to walk away from him. She breathed out loudly while she sniffed when she was sure she was far away from him.
She would just continue brooding about her life while she walks.
But just as soon as that came to mind, a car pulled beside her.
‘Marcus! You….’ Her words got caught up in her throat when she saw who the driver was.
It was Dr. Jo and Tori wished she hadn’t said the first few words.
‘Get in!’ Dr Jo ordered sternly still not taking her eyes of the road.
It’s heartbreaking to think that love might just not catch up with you. That night, after Smith walked out at the bus station, I sat down there for hours wondering how this situation had come Read more…