Blood dripped. Body jerked repeatedly. Temperature high. “Nurse, Nurse! Call the doctor, call the doctor!” Voices yelled. Everyone was in panic, busy and at alert.
“Hi? I’m Dr. Ọnụ. How are you now?”
The patient managed to look at the face from the sick bed. Everywhere was still misty in the eyes of the patient. But when the brain had processed fine in milli-seconds, the response came rather faintly; “I’m fine!”
Dr. Ọnụ’s professional confidence notched higher and he affirmatively nodded his head like the lizard in the Igbo proverb which nodded its head in self-praise when it fell unhurt from a very tall height without anyone praising it.
Ọnụ and the patient were the only ones inside the ward. He sat at the edge of the bed beside the patient. When he was struggling to save the life of the patient hours ago, he noticed and felt ‘something’ between the both of them. Not minding that he was about closing work that evening, and someone else was to come take over from him being a Federal Government Teaching Hospital, Ọnụ had ringed the other doctor that was to take over from him, asking him not to bother coming, and that he’d take care of the nightshift.
Even the nurses were a bit surprised that he did so, considering how exhausted he had been from attending to numerous patients earlier in the day. But he had suddenly grown energetic – even more than he was earlier in the day. It was 2.15am.
He had continued checking up on the patient every 20 minutes until he finally felt like tapping the patient gently to see if he could hear the voice and see the eyes clearly for the first time. Just before the patient responded to him, the eyes were opened, though like one who had very bright flashlights shone directly into them.
Ọnụ’s Adam’s apple jerked up and down when his eyes caught the patient’s eyes. He was a bit unsettled. His thoughts began to wander wildly. He struggled to remember something, but the memory will take long to process.
“Is this or is this not?”, his mind played on him. On his face, he managed to conceal all that happening within him. He smiled and gave the patient a parental look – that look of admiration a loving mother plants on her kid’s face when she had gone to wake him/her up from a night sleep before tapping the body.
“You are in a hospital. You were brought in by some well-meaning persons who met you in a bad health state”.
The patient was a bit confused trying fruitlessly to remember the last thing that had happened. She only remembered “Jesus! Jesus!”
Those were shouts from other female passengers when their vehicle’s rear tire had busted as they sped along the road. The vehicle finally rushed into the bush, as smartly manipulated by the driver, and hit a tall palm tree.
Luckily, the palm tree was very firmly-rooted that it never fell down even with the force and weight of the vehicle that had hit it. And there was neither a vehicle coming on before them nor any other coming behind.
As soon as the hit sounded “gbowaa!” on the palm tree, silence fell in the bush. The villagers around had heard the screeching sounds of the tires and the “gbowaa” that sounded, and they had begun rushing into the bush.
Few minutes later, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Hilux cars began to trail the scene with the sirens wailing loudly.
“Fa ncha dịcha ndu. E nwerọ onye nwụlụ anwụ”, a man amongst the villagers who had first rushed to the mangled vehicle shouted. And it was true that no one had died and they were all alive.
Onyinye had managed to stuff herself out of the badly mangled vehicle. She was so allergic to being pitied and she was from a very wealthy family even though she appeared so humble and calm that’d you never imagine her from a background of stupendous opulence. And that had contributed to the development of her self-confidence right from childhood.
She didn’t want the gathering crowd to fix their eyes upon her because she was a very shy person even when shyness was to be necessarily thrown into the bin. Her stupendously wealthy but wiry-looking dad who clearly looked like one who’s had a fair share of life’s toughest battles had always told her, planting his scary eyes into hers;
“Onyii, always be strong and look strong. Don’t give people room to pity you too much and try to resist relaxing into self-pity too”.
And she had always grown up with that statement and had allowed it firmly ingrained in her mind and active in her life.
Other accident victims were helped out of the vehicle. Semi-unconscious ones were resuscitated back to consciousness by the “first-aiders-turned on-lookers” together with the FRSC people. Wounded ones were ferried to the hospital in the FRSC Hilux vans. Other victims were attended to by some other FRSC members as they demanded for their names, addresses, and phone numbers while searching frantically for the driver’s manifest.
In all that charged atmosphere, Onyinye began to walk away from the accident scene with the little energy left in her, and nobody noticed her walking and staggering away because her dress wasn’t soiled like other victims.
“Nekwa onye nke enii. Jide ya! O marokwa ebe O na-eje”, one of the villagers shouted, and some young boys rushed to hold Onyinye. Soon, Onyinye fell into their arms bleeding, exasperated and unconscious. She was then taken alongside other wounded accident victims to the hospital.
Ọnụ had been done remembering where and how she met Onyinye. He would later make Onyinye spank her memory to recall how she had sat with him in a bus going to Lagos from Asaba five years ago. How she helped him with some comforts when he was utterly in discomfort in the long vehicle.
How she expected him to have made more advances to her only for him to alight from the bus at Sagamu with just a wave of goodbye. She knew then that Ọnụ had feelings for her, but the ‘biological hell’ he passed through in the bus during that journey stiffened his feelings and thoughts of any form.
All he had needed then was to be relieved, or say, delivered of the stubborn nonsense threatening to blow his anal orifice in the public of ‘Igwe mmadu’ in the bus.
The nurses had begun wondering why the doctor is so attached to this very patient. In fact, those of them who were still unmarried – flaunting their big boobs and bums, laughing loudly to every of the handsome Dr. Ọnụ’s jokes and working hard to look obedient and lovely before him – grew envious and unloving towards the patient in ward II. Ọnụ had not cared either.
He had dreamed and dreamed of Onyinye. He had fantasized of her too for the picture of her face and body stuck indelibly in his memory from the day they met. Knowing not any other means to contact her after they parted ways in the bus years ago, he resigned to fate.
And now, fate has resigned itself to him. While in person al reflection, Ọnụ smilingly muttered the Igbo proverb to himself: “a chụkata mmadu, a chụbanye ya ebe dị ya mma”. He was right. And the proverb fitted his thoughts for his medical job had really troubled him silly with countless cases every day, but now, the ‘trouble’ has landed him into something good he had only hoped will come around one day.
Two and half years past the car crash and reunion of Onyinye and Ọnụ, a serious relationship had emerged between the two. It had truly been born out of love, affection and mutual respect. Onyinye wasn’t as facially cute as Ọnụ, but her innocent face laced with dimples could make a man want to do anything for her whenever she smiled or laughed.
And then, her womanly shape was just perfect. Her friends those days at University of Lagos had always called her “Ejima Mercy Johnson” for she looked no different from the Nollywood’s one of the sexiest and liveliest actresses.
Fully breasted and bow-leggedly hipped with enough tissues at the bum side, she had caused Ọnụ’s third leg to give her a standing ovation while she hopped in and out of the bus to make some purchases at Asaba where the bus was still waiting to get filled with passengers commuting to Lagos.
Ọnụ’s carnal fantasies then have just returned to become his possession in reality five years later on. And he would want it so “till death do them apart”.
He was a man who cherished the wisdom of planning for the future as learned from his dad in his hometown, Uli. He and Onyinye had gone to do a blood test and they were both A-positive. They were both Catholics from same Anambra State and from same local government. Onyinye hailed from Ihiala, the neighboring town that headquarters their local government. He had felt happy that things were fitting in fine. That square pegs were fitting into the square holes. No cultural resistance. No religious resistance. And Onyinye was the kind of woman he’d always dreamed of, for he wanted her intelligent, homely, feminine, not too demanding and above all, humble.
He detested proud ladies that had come around him and had never lasted with any of them. He was no different in many things from his very proud grandfather who considered proud women stubborn, uncontrollable and oppositions to men. And that trait was generously passed onto Ọnụ. Yet at that, there was something about him that made women love him easily.
It was said that his grandfather, Ibụọamaka, as a very handsome young man in his prime, was known for causing ladies to banter words amongst themselves fighting for who becomes his girl-friend. But what surprised people then was that he looks so innocent that one won’t believe he could muster any courage to talk to a woman let alone wooing her.
And he wooed not only one but many of them. His male contemporaries had always teased him: “Ibụọ, I ji ọgwu jide ụmụnwanyi aa ka I na-eji anyasi eje achụ fa?” One won’t blame their curiosity for they had tried observing his methods of getting many ladies to himself even when he appears less worldly than they who were more social and loquacious. And so, asking Ibụọ if he charms the ladies he woos or if he goes to woo them at nights seems to be the only option left in mind. That would have to repeat again in another generation.
Ọnụ’s friends would always call him “slow poison” whenever they gather to drink and discuss how marveled they are at the ease with which he flocks and flirts with women. He’d always laugh loud and reply: “my name is Innocent oo! I know not woman”. They’d sniff at him and wave him off as a pretender while they all laughed.
2 thoughts on “…AND ỌNỤ HATED LOVE (part 1) by Chijioke Ngobili”
Really had a nice time reading.
The story-structure is laudable, and your proper use of detail and energy in descriptions laced some of the lapsing partitions between the connection of ideas as it were, that would have been evident.
You’re a good word-chef, no doubt, not a rookie, though there are always the need for improvement.
From me, wishing you more varieties to your cuisine.