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WRITTEN BY: LIZZY OYEBOLA YAKUBU
As the door to my office opened and I set my eyes on Dr. and Dr Olagunsoye, I saw light! Something was so bright about them, I just couldn’t describe what it was.
Dr Olagunsoye, tall, dark and handsome, was simply dressed in a Blue shirt and a white trouser while his eye glasses hung down his old, sagging, yet fresh face. His grey hairs were neatly groomed with a small, side parting on the right. He wore a small smile.
His wife, Dr. Olagunsoye entered too, giving me a large smile. She was wearing a blue, knee-length collared gown with a small belt round her waist. Her long but grey hair was neatly pulled into a ponytail. She held a small handbag as she followed her husband into my office.
“Oh my Father! Look who I have in my office this cool evening! This is a huge honour” I started as I worked towards them.
“It is a great honour being here too” They almost replied together.
I led them to the visitor’s section of my office. They both sat on the black, leather cushion and I saw their eyes travel round my office for a while.
“Do you mind a cup of coffee each, sir and ma?” I asked as my secretary who had led them in, signalled to me.
“Yes, Dr. Zee. We do take a cup of coffee each morning. We have taken our portions for today. We don’t mind some water anyway. Right, dear?” Dr. (Mrs.) Olagunsoye asked, facing her husband who nodded.
“Yes. Water is fine, please”
I signalled to my secretary to get the water and sat in one of the sofas, facing the elderly couple. I smiled.
“I cannot believe that I am seeing the popular Dr. and Dr. Olagunsoye of the Havana Medics in my humble office this evening. This sure is a memorable day for me” I said again, really excited at their presence.
The State Governor of Oyo state, where I come from had actually called to inform me earlier that day that he had recommended my services to the CEOs of Havana Medics.
Havana Medics is the largest medical organization in Africa. It is a successful conglomerate offering lots of medical assistance and support to the medical care of the Africans.
It has the largest hospital in Africa- Havana Hospitals which has its headquarters in Pretoria, South Africa.
It has the largest and most lucrative medical school in Africa which is highly competitive as many want to be a medical practitioner or student of the college.
Its pharmaceutical Company is the largest also in Africa. Instead of having to rush people with serious healthcare issues outside of Nigeria and Africa as a whole, Havana Medics had always been the best and first best choice.
It was definitely an honour for me to have both medical giants who I had only read in medical books, seen on the social media and the traditional media in my own office.
“C’mon, Dr. Zee. We are more honoured to be here under your roof. A whole governor recommended you to us and look at how your organization looks. This is so exotic and amazing” Dr (mrs) Olagunsoye said and I laughed. We had gotten such kinds of comments many times.
“Oh my, we are only doing our best here ma. To God alone be all the glory forever and ever” I said and they both chorused ‘Amen’
“You are a child of God aren’t you?” Dr. Olagunsoye asked and I smiled.
“By His grace sir, I am” I said and they both seemed to sigh, quite relieved.
“Nice to hear that, Dr. Zee. We are believers too and we have been seeking a fellow believer as a consultant for some months now” Mrs. Olagunsoye said and I nodded.
“Hmmm…thank God ma. I am a believer to the Glory of God”
“Amen!” They replied again. Mrs. Jola brought in a tray of cold water, drew two of our fancy stools before the visitors and genuflected. As she made to go, she signalled in such a way as to ask me if she should go. I nodded and wished her a safe evening with some face and hand languages. She smiled, genuflected and left.
As the couple raised the cups of water to their mouths, I smiled. I never knew that both of them were genuine Christians. I had only heard of their integrity and nothing more.
To see them that closely and hearing them, my heart felt so glad.
‘No wonder I saw the light when they were coming in’
I stretched my heavy arm and flexed it to see if it was going to be eased but it wasn’t. It was as heavy and painful as it was when I first felt it.
“Thank you for having us, Dr. Zee” Dr. Olagunsoye said when they were both done drinking their water.
“You are welcome sir and ma”
“Erm, do we have to fill a form or something? So that we can buy a session with you already or something like that” Mrs. Olagunsoye asked and I nodded.
“Yes. We have all those in place but it is already past the official time, ma’am. Moreso, this is a special kind of meeting, so, let’s do it!”
“Thank you so much. Erm…We actually have a serious case at hand.” Mrs. Olagunsoye started and I nodded, listening with rapt attention.
“By God’s grace, my husband and I married when we were quite young. He was twenty twenty two and I was twenty” She said and I nodded, glad that the discussion had started.
“Wow!” I said.
“But after our marriage, we couldn’t bear a child. We did all we could but we just couldn’t have one” She said and I shook my head.
“During those long, terrible years of waiting, we got to meet the Lord and He placed us on the professional paths that we are on today. Our long battle with fertility gave birth to the Havana Fertility Hospital in Miami, Florida”
“Wow! This God is too great!”
“Yes He is. To cut the long story short, we had our first and only child after thirty years of barrenness” She said and I was aghast.
“Thirty good years!”
“Yes. He was fifty-two when our princess came and I was fifty. Our princess is twenty three years now.”
“Oh my! This is amazing, ma’am!”
“Yes. So, as parents and with the fact that God has so much blessed us, we showered our daughter with all the loves ever. We gave almost anything she wanted, as long as God approved of it. We most importantly gave her Jesus” She continued.
“Wow! God bless you ma. That is the utmost.” I replied, enjoying the story.
“When she was seventeen years, she secured an admission to study Creative Writing at Harvard University, so she had to travel to the United States. I put her in care of my younger sister who also lived in the US, Cambridge to be precise.” She went on.
“Being a very bright and smart student, she had the highest ranking summa cum laude. So, she got the Sophia Freund Prize”
“Oh my! The overall best student of Harvard?” I asked, alarmed.
“Yes, Dr. Zee” The couple replied almost together.
“That is amazing!” I exclaimed, really excited at the story.
“She was twenty-one years old when she finished that, so she applied for a Masters Degree programme in Harvard again. She wanted to study Creative Writing at a higher level. She graduated as the best student again after two years”
“Wow! She must have really been a genius!”
“Yes she is” Dr. Olagunsoye replied.
“She finished her postgraduate programme this year. She was to return immediately back home because we wanted her very much around to oversee our work. In January, my sister sent me a terrible message that I would never forget” Mrs. Olagunsoye said and I was agog.
“Really!” I exclaimed, wondering what that was. Dr. Olagunsoye sighed.
“Yes, Dr. Zee. I still have the message in my phone now. Erm, let me read it” She brought out her phone and started scrolling.
“I have found it. Hmmmm” She sighed again.
Hello sis, good afternoon ma. I am so sorry for sending you this message ma. I am sorry but I have to inform you to come take Princess away from here personally. No matter how much I have tried to tell her to go home, she is adamant, sister.
I am sorry for not being capable of training her but sister, your princess has become something else over here.
Two weeks ago, I received a call from the police asking me to come take my niece away. Sister, she was totally drunk in front of the police headquarters when I got there. Your princess was lying on the floor, helplessly in her vomit. I was embarrassed, sister!
I was told that the week before, a man named Millo, who I learnt was Princess’ boyfriend, raped and assaulted her in his home. A good samaritan who had seen her in front of his apartment, weeping and wailing after being defiled, called the police who rounded Millo up and took him to their department.
I didn’t even know she had a boyfriend! She would tell me she was going to the library, I didn’t know she was going to his house! And eventually, this demonic guy defiled her, sister!
Ever since that day, Princess would go to the police department to demand a bail for Millo. The department told her severally that the case wasn’t hers anymore as the CCTV in Millo’s house, which happens to be his Uncle’s, caught the whole act. It had become a case of the state. But Princess wouldn’t agree. She wanted to see Millo by all means. She said he had become her life and all. Mama, Princess looks insane already, I am sorry!
She drank to stupor this day and went to the police department to cause an uproar. They had to search for her guardian via her school ID card and that was how they were able to call me.
I took her home, spoke to her, preached to her, told her how much we loved her but she was too intoxicated to hear me. It was not until the second day that she woke up. And since then, she had become so withdrawn. If anyone tried to go close to her, she would almost bite such person off.
As I type this message now, she is shouting at my husband for asking her to come to church with us. Is my husband her mate? Well, I can see that she is sick and needs thorough medical attention.
I am so tired sister. I need to save my marriage and home. Please, come and take Princess away. Thank you.
“That was the message that Sandra, my younger sister sent to me in January.” Mrs. Olagunsoye said after reading. Her husband had started to sob. She patted him occasionally.
“Oh my!” I sighed, not knowing exactly what to do.
“Dr. Zee, I was broken. I felt so defeated. I couldn’t even tell my husband at that instant because I knew how emotional he could be. Plus, he is seventy-five already, I would never want to introduce unwanted diseases into his healthy body” She said and I nodded. Dr. Olagunsoye looked much younger and healthier for his age. And he was sobbing, occasionally dabby his eyes with a handkerchief.
“Okay, so, how do I come in ma?” I asked anxiously. I just remembered the scheduled date with my husband.
“Ah, I am not yet done with the story, Dr. Zee” She said and I smiled, stylishly sneaking a peep at the wall clock.
I carefully checked my phone screen and saw that my husband hadn’t called. I felt relaxed a bit.
“Please go on ma” I said and she nodded.
“Dr. Zee, when we saw our girl, she was so…” She paused, probably trying to search for the right word.
“Pathetic” Her husband bailed her out, sniffing wetly afterwards. She nodded.
“That is the word. She insulted us and placed curses on us. She said she would never want to follow us back home. That if we should force her, she would kill herself. When we realized how suicidal her words were, a team of psychiatrists had to come from our hospital in Miami to attend to her.”
“And she felt so embarrassed.” Her husband cut in. “She felt that we thought she had mental issues” He explained further.
“Yes, but we weren’t that moved. We had to move her back to Nigeria with immediate effect. So, as the tranquiler administered to her started to work, she slept off peacefully till we landed in Nigeria”
“Wow!” I exclaimed, listening with rapt attention.
“She wouldn’t forgive us when she woke up to find herself in Nigeria. She cursed and shouted and hated us. No matter how much we tried to help her, she wouldn’t just bulge. What about food? This girl does not eat. She only perches at the food the maids delivered to her room. She wouldn’t forgive us” Dr. Olagunsoye said, pitifully.
“Oh my Father!” I exclaimed.
“Ma, you haven’t even heard anything” Mrs. Olagunsoye said. “In short, our princess became suicidal. Days when we would catch her trying to swallow pills, days she would collapse from almost strangling herself, this girl tried all the ways she could to get life out of herself but God has been faithful!” Mrs. Olagunsoye explained and I sighed.
“This is serious!” I exclaimed.
“We had to lock her in a room and started serious prayer sections for her. My sister, the day we released her from that room, she was so calm that we thought we had gotten our girl back, alas!….Hmmm”
“We received an urgent call from the security department of our home that something terrible had happened at home. As we reached home, just outside our generator house was our princess lying down in the pool of her own blood!” Dr. Olagunsoye himself explained.
“The Holy Spirit!” I exclaimed.
“She ran away from the main building into the generator house. The belt of the biggest generator which was working on high speed caught her right leg and cut it off.” Mrs. Olagunsoye explained.
“The Blood of Jesus!” I exclaimed, holding my chest tightly.
“Yes, we tried to save the leg but it was not possible. It eventually had to be amputated to save her” Dr. Olagunsoye said and I shook my head as tears rolled down my face.
“This is so sad” I said and I struggled with my tears.
“After trying to save her life with so many antibiotics and painkillers, we discovered that she was pregnant!”
“Oh my!” I exclaimed at how terrible the situation was. It was growing sporadically from a stage to another.
“Yes! She couldn’t believe her eyes neither could we because the pregnancy, though in its early stage stayed despite the many drugs she had taken”
“Immediately she realized she was pregnant, she started calling the Millo guy. She sent several messages which had no reply. Eventually, the uncle of the guy reached out to her that Millo had died in a hit and run. She could not bear the news. She wept for many days. And since then, we have had issues getting to her.” Mrs. Olagunsoye sighed and held her forehead at this point.
“Yes, she would lock herself up and weep. We bought her a prosthetic device for her remaining hip stump after the amputation but she wouldn’t use it nor would she start physiotherapy.” Dr. Olagunsoye added.
“We are sorry for her baby, her leg, her mental health, her spiritual life, the death of the one who she was definitely infatuated with and everything. We want to help her but she simply wouldn’t allow us. Help us ma” Mrs. Olagunsoye said and sighed, looking deeply into my eyes.
“You’ve got a really sad one there Dr. and Dr. Olagunsoye. I am so sorry” I started.
“Thank you.” They replied in unison.
“But I would love to say one thing. I am not a counsellor, sir and ma. I am a medical consultant. I consult for medical personnels majorly in the area of their professions, acquisition of medical facilities and medical aids. I only listened to your full story so as to see if there could be anyway I could come in. Unfortunately, there is none” I said, rather too bluntly. I didn’t want to be involved in cases like that.
“We actually knew your job description before coming, Dr. Zee” Mrs. Olagunsoye started again. “And we do not see our talks here with you as ordinary but divinely orchestrated by God”
“We were in Oyo state this morning to meet with the governor and we told him we needed a counsellor for our daughter, he recommended you. He said you had consulted for his special adviser on security, Dr. Arogundade.”
“Yes I did. It was strictly professional. It only drifted to a personal issue along the way. That is not what I do normally”
“According to the governor, your session with Dr. Arogundade has helped a great deal in the marital relationship between him and his wife. Our daughter too needs you ma” She said again and I sighed.
“We actually didn’t just come based on the governor’s recommendation only. We prayed fervently before coming here, Dr. Zee” Dr. Olagunsoye said and I sighed again. I didn’t know what exactly to do.
“How can I come into this situation sir and ma?” I asked, defeatedly.
“We would love to book a private session with you for our daughter. We would love you to come to our home and counsel our daughter” Mrs. Olagunsoye said and I smiled, shaking my head.
“We don’t do private sessions ma”
“Please, consider it for us. Please” She pleaded again. “We can even pay you one hundred times your service fees” She said and I shook my head.
“Okay, let us assume that I could even go with you now, ma, it wouldn’t be possible. My husband and I have a meeting this evening. And tomorrow, I have to fly to Glasgow by His Grace for the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare. It starts next tomorrow and I have been waiting all my world for it.” I said again.
“About the meeting with your husband, please can’t you….?” She was starting again when my phone beeped.
“Excuse me ma” I said, picking up my phone and looking into the screen. I was shocked to my teeth.
You seem to be having an emergency session this evening, right? I pushed our dinner date to 9pm, so you can have an ample opportunity. I actually have an emergency surgery too. Give your clients the best. I trust you, sha. Oya, chop kisses…haha…I love you my wife.
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
‘What exactly is the problem with David today?’
‘How is he getting to know what I am doing today?’
“How is he getting the precision?”
I looked up at the elderly couple before me.
‘Who are these?’ I asked myself, my heart beating fast. I was dumbfounded.
As I was about to talk, my phone beeped again. It was a mail from the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare. I frowned slightly as I clicked on the mail.
Good day, fellow doctor,
We regret to inform you that our bi-annualconference which was slated for 27th, October, has been postponed till further notice.
This is as a result of the political uproar in Glasgow at the moment. We care more about your safety and will communicate a better date to you. Thank you, comrade!
I was so shaken to the extent that sweat broke out on my face and I felt seriously cold from within. It was quite unbelievable!
“Can we go on, Dr. Zee?” She asked and I shook my head.
“I am sorry madam, but, who are you people? What are you? What do you represent?” I asked, unconsciously. It was after the words had escaped that I knew what had happened.
“Dr. Zee?” They almost exclaimed at the same time. I smiled uneasily.
“My husband texted to postpone our meeting. Glasgow called to postpone our conference, just when we were talking about them” I said, my mouth ajar.
“Wow! This God is too great!” Dr. Olagunsoye exclaimed, shining his white teeth at me.
“God answers prayers o. We prayed seriously before coming here. One of our prayer points was that protocols should be broken for us. I can see that in action already. Father, You are great!” Mrs. Olagunsoye exclaimed, smiling and explaining gleefully.
“My fear for this God has tripled o” I said and the couple burst out laughing. I stood up and moved to my table, got my work journal and pen and moved back to them.
“She is how many months gone in her pregnancy?”
“Seven months. It is twenty eight weeks already” Dr. Olagunsoye said and I jotted some points down. “That is why we need help so quickly. She’s been so against this pregnancy, saying the baby was a bastard. She has said that over and over again, no matter what we do. So, we need help here to change her orientation and accept her baby”
“Okay sir. What about her amputation? What part of the leg is it? And what part was chopped off?”
“Her right leg. She had a transtibial amputation” Mrs. Olagunsoye answered and I nodded.
“It means her knee was spared then. Thank God, physiotherapy wouldn’t be that difficult” I said as I noted the point down. I stood up afterwards, walked to my table and received my big handbag that I had kept there. I shrieked silently as the pain in my heavy, right hand spread to my brain.
“Lord, what is wrong with my hand? Why do I feel so much heaviness here?” I asked silently. I retrieved the bag, using my left hand and walked back to the couple with a smile.
“You would want me to see her tonight, right?” I asked with a smile. They looked up at me, quite shocked.
“Wow! Thank you so much! Thank you!” They said and I smiled.
“Shall we pray, sir and ma?”
“Yes, we shall”
Eru Olorun ba mi (This God is dreadful)
Eru Olorun ba mi o (This God is dreadful o)
Ohun to ba ti pinu lokan Re (Whatever He has planned)
Ko se’ni to le da duro! (No one can ever stop!)
We sang the song over and over again. I started to feel a little, cold sensation rise in my spine to my right hand, causing some kind of relief to it. I was amazed. By the time we were done praying, I had only a little pain and heaviness left.
“Thank You Jesus!” I said.
“Amen!” The couple replied, obviously so happy.
“Where do you stay in Abuja?”
“We live at the Herbert Macaulay way, not too far from the NNPC Towers”
“Oh, that is beautiful! The meeting my husband and I have is at the Panache Restaurant…”
“Oh, that is just at the entrance of our street. That is beautiful” Mrs. Olagunjoye exclaimed excitedly.
“I think we should set out now.” I said and as we approached the door, I stopped. “I am so sorry. I even forgot to ask for the name of your daughter. I have only heard you call her Princess. Is that her name?” I asked and they smiled.
“Her name is Grace. We only just call her Princess” Dr. Olagunsoye said and I was transfixed.
“Sir?” I asked again.
“Grace” Mrs. Olagunsoye replied. The heaviness in my hand started to grow thinly away at that point and my heart wouldn’t stop racing.
“Grace?” I asked again and they nodded.
“Her name is Grace.”
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