Korede was assigned to man the nurses station for the day. She was not allowed to leave the front desk no matter what, except during emergencies. She had missed the excitement earlier in the day, all that commotion upstairs and she couldn’t view the event by herself. She was stewing at her post.
She was angered that everyone had seen the perfect nurse, Feyi, slump due to her tardiness on the job, but she hadn’t. She could not leave the desk, no matter what. That rule was both a curse and blessing. Most days, it was a blessing, when she didn’t feel like lifting a finger. That day, it had been a curse to her. She had missed all the excitement, and she did not appreciate it.
For someone big on gossip, Korede had been denied the full gist. The hospital had become a mad house of sorts and even her closest friends on the job spoke in hushed tones and refused to share details they had gleaned. She continued to suffer in silence.
She was still moody, pondering how to charm one of the other nurses to deputise for her. The one person she could count one to take her place was the person who had slumped. The others were as much gossips as she was, none would agree to sit still and do nothing when the rumour mill was already agog.
She didn’t notice the doors swing open, didn’t hear as the tall man walked up to her. She did not see him stop in front of her desk place his hands on the marble top and press the bell that had been placed there.
She jumped almost falling over in her chair. She grabbed the marble to steady herself. Her face was a mask of disdain as she glared at him. Who’s this fool that had come to disrupt her thoughts, she thought. More important, where did he fall from. She coughed slightly to re-activate her vocal chords, smoothed her gown in a dignified manner, then she tried for words. ‘How may we help you sir?’
The man had been smiling since he interrupted her thought. He continued smiling as he watched her petulant display and the smile did not leave his face as he allowed himself be drawn into her little stare game. They were like that for more than twenty seconds maintaining eye contact in the serenity of the hospital hall. He did not back down.
Korede kept staring, but after five seconds she realised her folly. This man would not be intimidated by her. And it was too late to stop staring, she couldn’t allow herself capitulate to this stranger who apparently had come to heap more misery on her. He had to lose.
His smile slowly faded as they got over a minute. Their gaze locked and he had leaned over the marble to allow her relax. He knew the rule, whoever blinked first lost. He had been playing the game since university and had never lost. No way he would lose to her. He relaxed his eye muscles without blinking.
It had been over ninety seconds, she had broken her record and was beginning to feel the strain on her eyes. She willed her eyelids to stay open until he blinked and surrendered to her. She was steeling herself when the phone rang jarring into her thoughts and disrupting her focus. She blinked. In quick succession.
His smile was back. Queerly, he hadn’t blinked. ‘I win.’ He said mildly then offered a replay. ‘However, since you were distracted…’
‘What can we do for you?’ She reacted professional masking her embarrassment.
‘How about we start over? My name’s Femi Gold, I’m here to see my cousin who on admission. Ifeoluwa Aboderin.’ He slid a paper to her.
She rose and found that it was his call card. Smooth operator she thought. She took his card and slipped it into her pocket, and her face lit up. ‘Omokorede.’
‘Can I get a paper like that back?’ The smile had taken a mischievous glint.
She shook her head. ‘I do not have a paper like that. I’m a lowly employee here.’ She feigned sadness.
‘Aww,’ he played along. ‘That’s not so nice of them. Point me in the right direction, bleeding noses will make them rethink.’
He took the time to assess her. Nice hips full rounded breasts and she had a waistline that made her look like the figure eight. Not bad, maybe he would want to see her again, maybe. He allowed her finish laughing before making his request. ‘So my cousin’s in which ward?’
‘Ward 2B, just take the stairs and check for the number on the second floor.’
He thanked her and left.
She lusted after him. She had been drawn to his cologne, he smelled divine and she had felt like hugging him. The man was tall, slightly over 6ft. She could tell, she was 5 feet 8 inches the last time she checked. Not that she expected any growth in the height region.
She sat at her station and attended to the mix of people as they came in. There was an emergency case of a child with acute convulsion. She had aided in setting up his bed and stayed with him till his breathing normalised. As she left the ward on the ground floor, she wondered what kind of evil was generating a boon of patients for them that day.
Korede was almost at her desk when she raised her head and saw him standing there. His easy smile was back and she was drawn to him in an animalistic kind of way. She went behind the counter and scribbled something on a pad. ‘There, that’s your prescription.’
‘Thank you ma’m, I’ll use it religiously.’ He spied the paper before slipping it into his hip pocket. Then started out, whistling as he went.
She smiled as she watched him go. The movement of his butt evoked feelings that had become dormant in her. She longed for time alone with him, she could be his personal nurse… she giggled at the thought watching him until the hospital doors closed after him. He would make a nice catch she thought to herself. She was smiling when her colleagues came back and started sharing the news she had longed for all day. She found that she was no longer interested as the thought of the smooth Femi guy filled her head.