There are periods in our lives that are filled with so much uncertainty. In those times, clarity sometimes comes in the guise of friendly acquaintances or random strangers.
Dr Audu began as he looked through Eva’s case file.
‘Your vitals are fine. Everything seems to be normal… except the amnesia.’ They both shared an awkward laugh. ‘How’s your neck? I noticed you rubbing it a lot.’
‘Well, I still feel slight pain there sometimes.’
‘Hmm… let me see the area.’
Eva bent her head exposing her neck to Doctor Audu.
‘Does it hurt when I do this?’ Doctor Audu applied slight pressure to the side of her neck but Eva shook her head.
‘What about here?’
The sudden pain Eva feels causes her to jerk away from his hand. Sharp pain courses through her body. She sees flashes of something and just as quickly, it’s gone.
‘I’m sorry. I noticed there’s a bump at the part where your neck connects with the back of your head. I didn’t realise it would hurt you that much.’
He quietly moves away from Eva’s head to stand at the foot of her bed. He picks up his notepad and immediately starts writing on it.
‘A nurse will come with a balm and drugs for the pain to help with the bump.’ He tucks his notepad under his armpit. ‘Is there anything else? Any pain or issue you’re concerned about?’
She opens her mouth to speak but quickly closes it again. Should she tell Doctor Audu about the flashes? about what she saw in those flashes?
‘No. I… I’m fine. I’ll be fine once this bump goes away.’
She laughed awkwardly. Trying her best to act like nothing was bothering her.
Doctor Audu nods at her in understanding.
‘Then you should be good to go in a couple of days. I’ll start working on your discharge.’ He removed his notepad from under his armpit. ‘Do you have an address or number we can reach you on just in case?’
Eva looked at Doctor Audu, her mind drifted to Ebuka. His reassuring voice, how he had said they were engaged to be married. It didn’t seem real to her but them, how would she know? Then Kosi. he had seemed to be pained and upset about her being together with Ebuka. Would a random person be that upset about me being with my fiance? Who was he? Who is he? Ebuka claims he’s my… my… Eva let out a deep sigh. Being unable to remember was so frustrating. Having to rely on the memories others fed her confused and angered her but there was nothing she could do at this point but allow time and patience to play it’s role. Yes, that’s what she needs. Time and patience.
‘Can I ask you a question?’
Eva glanced at the door, twisting her fingers before turning to meet his gaze.
‘Please, call me Audu.’
Eva smiled, thankful. ‘Audu, you saw the two people that were in the hospital with me.’
Doctor Audu frowned, anticipating the direction their conversation would take.
‘I’m guessing you’re referring to the two gentlemen that were here. Mr. Ebuka and Mr. Kosi.’
Eva nods shyly before continuing, unconsciously rubbing the back of her neck.
‘I…’ she lets out a sigh. ‘I… I’m confused.’
Doctor Audu’s expressions soften. He looked at Eva with pity.
‘Considering what has happened to you, that’s unsurprising.’
Eva nods before continuing.
‘On the one hand there’s Ebuka. The last time I remember seeing Ebuka was while I was in secondary school.’
Her face has this faraway dreamy look as she remembers.
‘I had a mad crush on him and would steal glances at him whenever I could. We barely spoke then but I desperately wish we would.’
Then she laughed awkwardly.
‘Back then, I imagined that we were married with four children. Two boys and two girls.’ Then she frowns. ‘Being an only child, I spent most of my childhood and part of adolescence wishing I had siblings. Then when my parents died in an accident while I was away in university…’
There’s a catch in Eva’s voice as she struggles to continue. Doctor Audu says nothing, hoping his silence would allow her to feel free enough to speak her mind and voice her thoughts.
‘…It really made me crave companionship you know.’
There was this long pause that Doctor Audu thought she wasn’t going to say anything more.
‘Despite everything, I worked hard to get my law degree and finish law school. And now… now that the man of my dreams; literally, says we are engaged. I just… I just don’t know you know. For some reason, I don’t feel anything.’
‘What do you mean by you “don’t feel anything”?’
Eva eyes Doctor Audu in annoyance.
‘You know what I mean. Butterflies 🦋!’
‘Oh Miss Chukwu, last I checked it’s not healthy having butterflies fluttering in your tummy.’
He says this while patting his tummy and smiling at her.
Although annoyed, Eva couldn’t help the smile that escaped her lips.
‘One can feel ‘butterflies’ as you so put it, when they’re afraid or scared. It’s all about the biology of our bodies.’
Eva’s face falls.
Eva looks up at him in confusion.
‘You talked about not feeling butterflies in your tummy for Mr. Ebuka. What about Mr. Kosi?’
Eva looks down again, her fingers twisting in her laps.
His name was like a whisper on her lips. As though she was tasting it on her tongue.
What about Kosi? How does he make me feel?
Then she looks up at Doctor Audu.
‘I’m not exactly sure. My head is suspicious of him. Who is he? Why does he desperately want me to believe him? It just doesn’t make sense that a complete stranger would come into my life like this.’
Doctor Audu takes a seat right next to Eva’s bed. His expression softens.
‘What does your heart say?’
Eva lets out a deep sigh.
‘That I should probably listen to my head. My heart is confused. My head isn’t. And it’s my head that I need now, especially for my contact information.’
Doctor Audu smiles at Eva before getting up from the chair.
‘The Heart may seem confused to the head but that’s because the heart knows what it wants.’
Eva stares at Doctor Audu’s back as he turns to leave. He stops at the door and turns back to Eva.
‘About your contact information, don’t rush it. Spend time with both of them and decide who you want to stay with, at least, until your head catches up.’ He smiles again before leaving Eva alone in her hospital room.