When I was wheeled into the hospital I wanted to die. My right leg was definitely broken and my left leg was bruised. Why me? Why did my bike have to slide into the gutter? Why was the ground wet? I was very angry but I had no one to direct the anger to. I hated bikes, I’d always hated them but my car was faulty and I had to get to the office. I was not getting to the office now.
The pain oozing from my legs to every part of my body was more than all the pain I’d ever felt in my life combined. I needed something to ease the pain or else I would lose my mind.
“I need to see a Doctor.” I said to a nurse.
She either did not hear or she just chose to ignore me. To her, I was just another motorcycle victim, nothing special. I tried to adjust on my bed and my leg felt like it was going to fall off.
“I need a Doctor.” I screamed. I was going to kill somebody. If I did not die first.
I heard her voice and I turned to see who it was.
“Can you please tell me what happened?”
I stared at the doctor and for a moment I forgot the pain, I forgot the fracture, I forgot I had legs. Her glasses, her pink stethoscope, her tired but smiling face, they made me forget.
“Are you okay? Can you talk?” She asked.
“Yes I am fine, thanks.” I said.
“So can you tell me what happened?”
“I was on my way to work, my motorcycle slid on a slippery part of the road and we fell into a gutter.”
“Okay.” She said. “I see your bruises have been stitched. You are going to require a scan of both legs immediately. Do you have someone to help you?”
I answered all her questions on autopilot. I don’t know if it was the near death experience or the extreme pain I’d gone through that morning but everything she said sounded like heaven. I did not take my eyes off her until it was time for her to go.
“You are going to be fine, okay?” She said and turned to go.
“Don’t leave me alone.” I whispered.
I watched her go from patient to patient until my brother arrived.
“Bayo, what happened?”
Those questions broke my reverie and I suddenly became very aware of the pain in my legs. I groaned and clenched my teeth, I wanted to die again.
It turned out I had an undisplaced fracture in my right leg and I was going to spend six weeks with a cast around my leg. I did not like this, I did not like it at all. The kind of care I was getting was not helping too. Everybody I met in the hospital seemed to have something against me. They did their jobs but I could have been a piece of wood and they wouldn’t have treated me with any less emotion.
It was the third week of my incapacitation and I was having a sore morning. Arsenal had lost again the previous night and my brother had mocked me till I slept. I’d woken up to a text message from my boss insisting I work from home till I was able to walk again. To crown it all up, I was going for a checkup in the hospital. There was nothing in the hospital that enticed me. I’d not seen the pretty doctor since that first day. I’d given up on seeing her. Maybe she was not real anyway. I could have been hallucinating.
I arrived at the hospital with my brother not in better spirits. On our way to the hospital, we’d listened to Soccer News on the radio and they relived the defeat of the previous night, my wicked brother insisted we listened. It had set me up for a terrible time at the hospital.
I hopped out of the car and removed my crutch from the back seat and tried to find my balance. Like a flash of lightning across the sky, something bright caught my attention and I looked; it was her. The pretty doctor was getting into her car. I smiled, finally something good. I wanted to run but I hopped instead towards her car. I knew I looked terrible and a crutch wasn’t exactly sexy but what were the chances I would see her again.
As I got closer to her car, I noticed she had started the engine of her car. I hopped faster and now I was starting to feel pain in my good leg. I got closer to the car and I saw the reverse light come on. I hopped on, I could still make it before she left.
I’d gotten so close when suddenly her car moved backwards, towards me. I stopped but she kept coming. Oh crap! I tried to hop out of the way but the car came closer.
The car was a few meters from me and I screamed. “Hey!”
The car came to sharp stop and she came out of the car.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry.” She said. “I thought there was nobody behind the car. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, don’t worry about it.” I said, trying to smile. “I’m kind of used to my leg breaking now.”
“I’m so sorry.” She said again.
“I was actually coming to you.” I said.
“You don’t remember me?”
“I’m sorry, no.” She said. “Were you my patient?”
“Three weeks ago, broken leg, motorcycle accident. Ring any bell?”
“Yes it does but so many bells, I don’t know which one of them is yours.” She smiled. “Is there something I can do for you? I’ve had a long night.”
I knew what I wanted to ask her but suddenly it all felt very stupid. I was this silly guy with a broken leg who had almost gotten the leg broken again and she was this pretty doctor who was busy saving lives. This was a big mismatch if ever I’d seen one.
“I’m sorry, I think I’ll just let you go.” I said.
I turned around and hopped towards my brother. I’d done the right thing, she probably didn’t need the distraction anyway. And it wasn’t like this was the last time I’ll break my leg, there were other doctors to be met. I paused, that was just plain stupid.
I turned around and she was almost in her car.
She looked back at me. “Hello.”
“If you hit me just now, what would have happened?”
“Well, I don’t know, I’m just glad I didn’t.”
“That makes two of us.” I said. “I want to take you out to celebrate my escape certain death.”
She smiled and for a second, I expected to hear ‘yes’ but then the smile disappeared.
“I’m sorry, but I really can’t date a patient.”
“No, it’s not a date.” I said.
“It’s not a date?”
“Okay, it’s a date but if you really don’t date patients I could change my hospital.”
“You don’t have to.” She said. “Thank you for asking though.”
She opened her car door and entered. I hopped closer to her.
“I won’t be a patient anymore in three weeks, how about then?”
“There is no guarantee of that if you keep getting in the way of reversing cars.”
“I promise not to break another part of my body if you give me your phone number.”
She smiled and dug into her bag. She brought out and handed me a card.
“Don’t call me until you are no longer a patient.” She said.
“I promise not to call you.”
She waved, backed out of the car park and drove off.
I hopped back to my brother and my car. I was going to follow every instruction I was given in the hospital, I would take every pill and do every exercise, I had to be okay in three weeks.
“Let’s go.” I said to my brother with a huge smile on my face.
He looked at me and frowned. “What’s wrong with you?”b
“I met a doctor.” I said.
“That is why you are smiling like you know the password to the CBN Vault?”
I looked at him and in the most philosophical voice I could muster said. “There are some things you cannot understand until you break your leg.”