I’ve come to realize that life is never just black and white but a kaleidoscope of colours of varying shades. Things are rarely ever as simple as you may think.
‘Was there an emergency at the hospital?’
Doctor Audu sighed as he walked inside his house. He dropped his bag by the door, ignoring the question his son, Benjamin just asked.
‘Dad?’ He called, his voice filled with worry. ‘Is it that patient again? What’s that her name again… the one that has two men causing trouble over her?’
‘What’s for dinner?’ He asked instead. Heading straight for the kitchen.
Benjamin shook his head and sighed.
‘You’re a doctor. You should know better than to eat at…’ he turned to glance at the clock on the wall, ‘… 12:45 in the morning!’
‘I’m too tired for this.’
‘That’s the issue! You’re overworking yourself! On my first day of housemanship, you warned me that it’ll be tasking. Do you remember?’ He paused. ‘But you also said that I should always ensure that I get enough rest because a healthy mind equals a healthy patient.’
Doctor Audu didn’t answer. He opened a pot on the gas cooker to check its contents. Beans. He shook his head and opened the kitchen cabinet. He took out a packet of crackers biscuits and opened it to eat.
‘I took leave from the hospital to check on you. Even over the phone I can tell you’re stressed out.’ He scratched his head when Doctor Audu remained quiet. ‘Mum’s death… it hurt me too but throwing yourself into your work won’t change what happened. I didn’t complain at first because I felt it was a good distraction at the time. That maybe you were doing it to atone in some way but it’s been five years Dad. Five years! You can’t keep pushing yourself like this. You will burn out and I’m not ready to lose you too!’
Doctor Audu paused, he dropped the biscuit he was eating on the counter and left the kitchen. Benjamin scratched and called after him.
‘Dad! I’ve never seen you this preoccupied about a patient before! Not even the one that survived a fall from a five story building. Dad!’
Doctor Audu calmly climbed up the stairs until he got to his bedroom and quietly shut the door. Benjamin just stood at the foot of the stairs and combed his hand through his hair in frustration.
‘Stubborn old man.’
Hope knocked at the door of Kosi’s house repeatedly but when she got no answer, tried the handle and it opened.
‘Kosi?’ She called out cautiously as she stepped into the house, looking around for any sign of him.
The house was in disarray. Leftover and empty snack packets littered the parlour and centre table. There was a shirt hanging from a chair at the dining table.
‘Kosi? Are you okay?’
She called again as she opened the door to the kitchen and immediately covered her nose in disgust. The smell of rotted food was poignant and she quickly ran out of the kitchen to escape the stench emanating from a pot on the gas cooker.
‘Oh hell no! The fuck?! Kosi! Where the fuck are you?!’
Hope marched to the bedroom door, pushing it open with so much force it slammed into the wall. Kosi was sprawled on his bed, the duvet barely covering his naked body. The room was a bit dark because the lights were off and the blinds drawn. Hope gasped when she noticed half of Kosi’s butt cheek sticking out of the duvet but it slowly turned to a smile as she stood admiring his firm behind. Her gaze slowly drifted to a half empty bottle of Calypso standing next to a can of coke.
She shook her head and let out a frustrated sigh as she left Kosi’s bedroom, closing the door behind her. Holding her nose, she took a bin bag from the kitchen and started clearing the living room. After she was done, she entered the kitchen. The first thing she did was throw the entire pot where the disgusting smell was emanating from into the bin bag. She didn’t bother checking its content.
‘Opening that pot would mean sudden death.’ She said to herself.
After clearing and cleaning the entire house, Hope went back to Kosi’s room. Without knocking she opened the door to Kosi’s bedroom and entered inside. He was just as she had left him. She turned on all the lights and a groan escaped Kosi’s lips as he turned. The duvet slipped off awarding Hope with a clear view of his ass.
‘You don’t have to move. I’m quite comfortable with the view from here.’ Hope said, a mischievous smile on her lips.
Kosi sat upright in bed, startled by Hope’s voice.
‘What the hell…?!’ He screamed before grabbing his head in pain. He looked up to see Hope standing before him.
‘What are you doing here?’
Kosi looked at his scantily covered body and immediately grabbed the duvet. Pulling it to himself.
‘I’ll stop you right there. I know after what happened at the hospital the last thing you want is to see me but what’s done is done. I can’t take back what we did (and I don’t want to)…’. She added under her breath. ‘…. neither can Eva unhear what she heard. So please, let’s get past this.’
Kosi shook his head.
‘After the way you spoke to Eva I can’t just let it go.’
Hope folded her arms and stared pointedly at Kosi.
‘Did I lie?’
‘I am asking if anything I said to Eva or about Eva was a lie.’
Kosi was silent for a few seconds. Hope smirked.
‘Hope, I don’t have the energy to argue with you right now. My head is banging and I need to put on some clothes.’
Hope stood by the door, refusing to leave. Kosi was about to stand up when he noticed she hadn’t moved.
‘I need to put on some clothes.’
She folded her arms and relaxed by the door frame.
‘I can’t do that while you’re just watching.’
‘Why not? It’s not like I haven’t seen it already.’
Kosi let out an exhausted sigh.
‘Can you not do this? Just go.’
‘Fine. I’m going. Sheesh someone cannot play with you again?’ She said while closing the door behind her.
‘I don’t deserve you.’
‘You’re damn right you don’t!’
Kosi laughed. ‘You don’t even know why I said so.’
‘I don’t need to. We both know it’s true.’
Kosi smiled at her and they both continued eating. A comfortable silence passed between them.
‘Thank you. Not just for the house…’ he began motioning around the house. ‘…but also for trying to help me deal with the whole Eva – Ebuka issue.’
‘No, Hope, let me say it. I know I’ve not been the best friend that you deserve but I promise to stop blaming you for what we did that night. I will be as supportive of you as you have been of me.’
Hope smiled warmly at him. Kosi nodded his head at her slightly and continued his meal.
She watched him eat, a look of longing in her eyes as he finished the spaghetti and meat sauce she had prepared for them both. When he looked up at her, she quickly averted her gaze.
‘I know you don’t want to talk about it but I have to ask.’ She began, ‘What are you going to do about Eva? You know… now that she found out about us.’
Kosi chewed his food slowly, a frown forming.
‘Ebuka. He couldn’t just leave when Eva recovered her memory, he had to just…’ Kosi sighed and dropped his spoon. It made a clattering sound as it landed on the plate. ‘You know, now that I think about it, how did Ebuka find out about us?’
Hope immediately responded, ‘He probably overhead us arguing about it in Eva’s hospital room that day I came to visit. Do you want more? I didn’t realize you were that hungry.’ She said quickly changing the topic. ‘After the state I found you in, I can’t say I’m surprised.’ She laughed casually. ‘You obviously can’t function properly without me.’
Without giving him a chance to reply, she quickly took his plate and disappeared into the kitchen. When she reappeared, Kosi was staring right at her.
Hope immediately tensed up. She held the plate of spaghetti tighter and gently placed it on the table for Kosi.
‘This one that you’re looking at me like this? In the time it took me to go to the kitchen and come back did I suddenly grow a second head?’ She joked.
Kosi shook his head and his expression softened.
‘It’s nothing. Thanks.’ They both continued eating their food in silence. ‘I still love Eva and I want our marriage to work out.’
Hope stopped eating.
‘After everything she did to you?! Really Kosi? Value yourself more!’
‘She never cheated on me with Ebuka.’
Hope rolled her eyes and snorted. ‘Who lied to you?’
‘No one. Ebuka told me himself.’
Hope noticed how her reaction may seem to Kosi and quickly placed her hand on his.
‘Can you really trust the words of someone who blatantly tried to sleep with Eva and probably did?’
Kosi furrowed his brows. ‘Well… no but… what does he have to gain by lying?’
‘Making you feel guilty. He must have known, even then, that we had sex and knew that telling you nothing happened between him and Eva would mess with your head.’
‘Exactly my reaction!’
She stood up from her seat and went to stand beside Kosi, her hand lay casually on his cheek as she titled his face towards hers.
‘That’s why you can’t trust Ebuka’s words.’
Kosi turned his head away.
‘But Eva also said…’
‘Eva was in a coma, woke up and had temporary amnesia. Do you really think that her memory will be accurate the moment she gets them back?’ She pulled a chair closer to Kosi and sits down. Kosi turned to look at her, confusion etched on his face. Hope gently places her hand on his cheek.
‘What Eva did to you…’ she shook her head slightly. ‘…is both cruel and unfair. I want you to know that I’ll always be here for you.’ Hope softly whispered.
Kosi opened his mouth to speak but the sound of the door opening caused him to pull away instead. Hope and Kosi starred in shock as Eva stood at the door, her expression changing from confusion to hurt.