The issue with Bones, Lola and the unconscious girl had drained him physically, mentally and even emotionally yet he had had to report for an emergency surgery the following day
It was the end of a crazily busy day. Two herniorapphys, an exploratory laparotomy and a werthem’s hysterectomy all crammed into the same same surgery day. While dragging myself to the car, the song I was playing on the phone was interrupted by an incoming call.
“Dr Aileru? What on earth does she want and why”, I asked himself.
The voice on the other side of the receiver was one which spelt urgency.
“Lere, God has answered our prayers. We’re finally going to hit the biiiiig time “, she was almost screaming.
“Calm down and speak, Godammit!!!”, I thundered.
“The Government needs doctors. Volunteers. Heroes”
“For what?” I was impatient at that point.
“The Federal Government needs doctors to fight this Ebola scourge and I just pencilled down my name, and of course, yours too”.
I almost ran out of breath.
“What?? Ebo-kini”. Never! Nooo! Never!!!”.
“Guy, calm down. We won’t touch them nah. Our job is just to do secondary screening – take history and examination of people suspected to have Ebola, travelers mainly, in and out of the country. The venue is the International airport. And the pay, the pay, the pay Ehn, na helele o!”.
“How much are we talking about here?”, I asked”.
“Well, four hundred dollars per shift, four days a week”, she screamed.
My heart, I can confirm skipped. It stopped, started, stopped and started yet again.
“Okay, when do we start then?”, I asked.
“Tomorrow”, she answered.
“Done! I’ll be rich, finally”, I screamed and ended the call. I got into my car, that had the inscription ” oyota amry” (some alphabets had escaped) and turboed away.
The next two months working as an ‘Ebola Doctor’ was intriguing. From health workers lying around at night like dead dogs, zero provision of welfare facilities to workers to gross inadequacies of basic tool-kits to prosecute the mission.
Of course, the government reneged on promises made to us, especially on the financial front. We were eventually paid a micro-fraction of what they promised to pay. We were branded mercenaries, unpatriotic people who were mainly after the cash. At last, we won the ‘war against ebola’, against all odds, and that was enough consolation.
On my last day at the airport, I took a walk around. Equipment, now littering the whole place, unused. Quasi-structures erected in the form of temporary emergency offices that had gulped a fortune, hungry-looking disgruntled health workers , flat atmosphere.
“Another scam. We were used. The government took the glory. We were the ones who laid our lives on the line, they were the ones who took the glory. Nigerians…we are what we are”, I thought to myself as I mumbled a goodbye to the security man at the airport exit…
He scanned his environment wondering how long it would take his client to show up. He prayed silently for his back up to have his back with efficiency, accuracy and precision.
His last conversation with Lola replayed in his mind at that instant.
“Its highly dangerous and I’m not getting involved again”, she spat that evening.
“Lola, please…you don’t want these people to kill me now”, he pleaded.
“You got yourself into this, you should find your way out by yourself”, she was getting furious by the minute.
Bones tried again. “Lola, I’m not afraid of going down but I’m afraid of not getting paid for the job I risked my life for and we will share it: you, me and Lere”.
“Don’t sweet tongue me with money, I seriously don’t want this kind of earning”, she replied.
“Remember you can do your Masters with it without the help of your rich, selfish boyfriend.” Bone smiled convincingly.
“Leave my boyfriend out of this. If I had listened to him enough, I wouldn’t be in this fucking mess with you. You even got Lere involved! He just got married for Pete’s sake!”
“Who be Pete? Calm down jor. I just wan make dem pay me for this and I will opt out.”
“Are you sure? This is your first and last mission?”
” I promise you.”
“I’m trying to believe o, don’t fuck me up o…ehn ehn”.
“I won’t”, he promised.
“I need a camera, a professional one”, she requested calmly. The thought of handling a camera always excited her. She wanted to be a camerawoman, she despised being called cameraman.
“I’m a woman!”, she always slammed. She left two media houses because they said camera handling was a man job. They offered her the job of a presenter but she would not take it. Its either camera handling or get another job out of media house.
“You will have the camera and the map tomorrow”, Bones announced, noticing how her face lit up.
“Good!” She smiled, feeling the thrill already. Her hands itched.
“I won’t get in touch again…I expect you to be where you should be”.
Bones heard the bush rustling, two men approached.
“How are you, Bones?” The voice belonged to Hon Akinlade. On his tail, was his client…Salau Alimi.
His heart pumped rapidly, excessively.
“What’s about to happen?” He mused.
He was expecting his client, Salau Alimi only. He ignored the question and prayed that Lola, Mentor and others were seeing what was about to unfold.