By; Dupe Kuku
“Heeey! Mrs. Igwe! You must be upset!”
Dr. Thuma’s head poked into the ward. Not waiting for response, she marched to the consulting room with quick clanks of court heels. She deposited her bag on the table. Fetched a transparent disposable bowl from her food basket. She waved the colour-filled plastic in the air before planting it on the nurses’ station table.
“I ran into the Principal. He had questions about the upgrades we requested. I brought you fruit salad bribe. I’m so sorry for keeping you”
Mrs. Igwe giggled. Doctor Thuma was a delight to work with. She glanced at her wristwatch. It had just been ten minutes, anyway. Withdrawing the syringe with which she had administered paracetamol , she addressed the boy.
“I’ve kept it close so she can move easily. Make sure she doesn’t lie on it or hit it against the bed stand”
Thomas nodded understanding and Mrs. Igwe moved the furniture farther away. Just to be safe. She gathered the clinical waste into the kidney-shaped stainless steel and retreated. Doctor Thuma was already by the bed; massaging hand sanitizer into her palms.
“Anh anh! Thom! When did you have a girlfriend?”
The boy rolled his eyes but it was a poor disguise. For the first time since he had walked into the clinic, he appeared bashful. A lot more like the teenager that he was.
Mrs. Igwe gave Doctor Thuma a quick update. She also notified her that Claire’s blood sample was being processed by the lab.
“Any chance I can get you to leave Claire now?”
Thomas shook his head as Doctor Thuma had guessed he would. The only other persons she had seen him so devoted to were his baby sister and mother. Everyone, including his abusive father, knew to not mess with them when Thomas was around. It was in fact the reason her friend had sent Thomas to boarding school. The fear that, if they lived in the same space, Thomas or her husband would one day cross an irrevocable line.
Doctor Thuma set up her iPad for Thomas to watch an anime series while he played nursemaid to Claire. She also asked if his cronies knew where he was. She needed to know if the clinic would become a riot in the next two hours when the lunch bell went off. Thomas had the impudence to grin while answering. He hadn’t told the Menace where he was going, but they had seen him leave class. They would certainly check the sickbay if they didn’t find him elsewhere.
Doctor Thuma sighed with her whole body and palmed her face. Mrs. Igwe chuckled at the dramatics of that. Stayed chuckling as she packed her bag up.
Ready to leave, Mrs. Igwe looked in on the pair. Thomas had slept off; hand still on Claire’s stomach.
The thought that had flashed earlier returned. She might have felt confronted by their meeting but these two had grown on her. The more she thought about it though, the more it seemed plausible. Nausea. Fever. Comfort with being so close together…
Mrs. Igwe sighed.
Rich children were sheltered. They often won stupid prizes when they played silly games. That concern in mind, she branched by the lab. Opened the door by a thin strip to relay her message.
“Please give Claire Akomolafe’s pregnancy test result to Doctor Thuma once it is ready”
Nurse Igwe did not see the lab attendant shove a clique of girls behind the door.