Killed by the Medical Doctor

Margaret was a very beautiful girl, but her mother, Amimi, was more beautiful. Amimi was a beauty icon in the community and the Church and her beauty radiated spells. Her character was an icing that endeared many to her. And, her vows of consecrated widowhood, after her husband’s death, gave her a spell of a saint. But, poverty made her useless!

     *  *  *
It was the resumption day after the Christmas break; the dormitories were busy – ‘hello-friends’ here; ‘what-up’ there. Senior students were laughing heartily in the wake of their newly given posts. Some were busy shouting out commands to the new students with ostensible ego.

“Hey you, kneel down there!” The dormitory prefect shouted.

“You, fly away.” Commanded another.

“Hey, clean my shoes.” Boasted the other.

“Shhh, what of my corner?” Questioned another mockingly. ‘If you are a new toad in his hall, show your face, now.’ she ordered.

Margaret, though a senior student and a very prominent one, hers was different. She didn’t seem to enjoy the culture of noise and the dawn of her seniority. She was unnecessarily calm, and her soul seemed to have left her. She would hold her tooth brush, look at it as if trying to find some answers from it. She would stare steadily till her eyes began to cloud with tears.

It was obvious that Margaret was in great pains. Paulina, her classmate and friend walked into the hostel, into Margaret’s corner, but Margaret did not look up; she did not even notice that her friend or anybody was there. She kept staring at the floor; at all her belongings on the floor, vacantly.

“What’s up girl? I’ve been trying to get your attention for the past minutes.” Margaret turned her face slowly towards her friend, lifted her face from the ground and put up a very lifeless smile.

“Oh, sorry dear. It’s just that a lot is going on in my mind now.”

Paulina looked at her friend for a while, rested her elbows on the dormitory locker beside Margaret’s bunk and put up a sarcastic smile. “Tell me the truth, Maggi, you are pregnant?” She winked her yes.

Margaret twisted her lips and lay back on her bed. “That would have been better, earnestly, it would have been better.” Her response and the frankness that came with her words shocked Paulina. Paulina walked into her friend’s corner and sat beside her on her bed. She ran the back of her palm on Margaret’s neck to feel her (Margaret’s) temperature.

“I’m not sick, at all!” Margaret assured her friend.

“Ah, what then is keeping you down…?”

“Mum is very sick; she is dying!” The words came out with tears and on a distorted voice. “I’m not staying in school today, I’m going back home…”

Paulina could not let her friend finish. She wiped off her tears and cuddled her right cheek. “Oh, sorry dear, she will get …”

“That’s not the tears, dear….” Margaret interrupted. “My mother has been ill almost all through the holiday. The pains she falls into is what bleeds my heart! But, funny enough, no money to save her.” Margaret cleaned her nostrils and took in a deep breath.”

“Sorry dear…”

“She needs surgery to survive…Paulina, I need five million for the opera…”

“Jesus!” Paulina shouted instinctively. “Jesus Christ, where the hell will that amount come from? Oh, my God but why?”

Paulina held her friend’s right hand and pressed it on her chest. “Don’t worry, God may provide, just leave it for Him. We’ll see what we can…”

“There is another thing dear.” Margaret interrupted, raising her head from the pillow.

“What?” Paulina responded eagerly. Margaret sat up on the bed and stared at her friend. “The Doctor wants sex…”

“Ah, with who...?” The surprise in Paulina’s voice reflected on her face.

“With me, before he saves my mum…”


“Since I have no money to pay for the surgery.”

“Hahahahah, na wa ooo, hahahahaha, doc, doc…”

“Is it funny…?”

“Somehow. What did you say…?

“What do you think I said? It’s very stupid! Sex is not the problem but looking at a dying woman and vomiting such nonsense, gush, it’s so disgusting!” Margaret hit her hands on her bed with furry.

Paulina pulled her self together. She took a deep breath and looked at her friend. By now her face was red. “I think you should do it, except you want to lose your mother. God will see it as a sacrifice!”

                                    *  *  *
She did not go back to her house that night. It was, for her, the scariest night of her life. In the darkness of the night and the absence of the noise and her friend, she fought with herself, with her conscience and with all that herself could ever rely on. In this longest night of pains, her conscience did not win the war, but her anger did!

Though this was a night of one of the most excruciating pains in the life of Margaret, she had wished the night had lasted longer. The cover of darkness shaded her face from the shame and the renewed pains that will come with sun rise. But wishes are not horses!

As she dressed up to leave, her legs were heavier. She boarded a tricycle and left for the hospital. When she got there, her mother was asleep. She walked close to the hospital bed. The picture she saw on the bed was not her mother. The disease had disfigured her face. Her lips swelled, and her skull sunk like a dry pear seed. Her breathing was so loud an uneven as if the body has returned from a race. Margaret held herself together and sank heavily into a chair beside her mother’s sick bed.

“It’s Necrotizing Fasciitis!” He moved away from the door, slowly towards the hospital bunk. “There is a huge presence of flesh-eating bacteria. The bacteria do not actually ‘eat’ the flesh, but release toxins that destroy tissues.” He opened a bottle of chilled water he held on his left hand, drank some and closed it back. “Pretty angel, her breasts must be removed to stop it from spreading.  But what I don’t understand here is the complication.”

He rested on the bunk and looked straight into Margret’s eyes. “It manifests symptoms of leprosy. She is losing her fingers, toes, and even her nose, leaving behind this nightmarish looks.” He puts on a very sarcastic smile and stood up, walked to the door, held the knob and flushed it down. “Margaret, you have just a day to make up your mind or be prepared to burry your mother.” He opened the door and walked out; turned and looked inside. “When you are coming to my office don’t wear pant, I don’t like seeing pants, just come like that!” He bounced the door and left.

All this while, her face was down. She listened to all what the doctor said, but she heard nothing. She stared at her mother’s face with pains and pity. She reached out her right hand and touched her mother’s swollen lips. It shocked her like a naked wire and she jerked. The jerking came with an uncontrollable amount of tears raining down her cheeks. She went on her kneel.

“God, can’t you just help!” Her words were filled with despondency. When she lifted her face to look at the once very pretty face of her mother, her heart skipped. Suddenly, her pains were interrupted by the door. She turned begrudgingly towards it.

“So, have you thought about what I said? Your mother is dying remember?”  Margaret looked at him, from head down to his toes. His muscles were stiffened. He was tensed up. His physical excitement of erection was obvious in him.

 “Let me remind you of the implications of your proud decisions. You will have to remain a school dropout if your mother dies. Of course, you will turn a mendicant, no one to give you food and even shelter. So, young woman take a wise decision, just for a matter of thirty minutes and all your problems will go away. Your mother has just few hours before she is gone finally.”

The Scorn in Margaret’s face was obvious. She stood up from the floor walked past the doctor, held the door frantically, with a vehement force, opened it and slammed it against its frames. The violence woke up her mother and stung the doctor like a bee.

                       *  *  *

By the next day, she woke up with severe pains on her chest. She could hardly breathe. She walked up to the kitchen and managed to prepare some food for her mother, with the hope that she was still alive. She made a porridge yam, put it in her mother’s favorite food flask – her mother would use it on very rare occasions.

When she got to the hospital, her mother was awake. She was lying down, her head elevated with a pillow. Margaret dropped the flask on the little bedside table and went over to her mother. Amimi smiled at the flask, but her sickness did not allow the beauty of her smiles to be visible; her lips now inflamed like oranges. Her face had turned pale and her eyes were sunken. She stretched her hand to touch Margaret; two of her fingers had fallen off. The warmth of the mother and the daughter turned into an ocean of tears.

Margaret opened the flask, scooped some porridge to serve her mother but she could not open her mouth. Her mouth was stiff and lifeless. She was twisting in severe pains. Margaret started crying. Her mother swung her head to discourage her. Margaret cried the more. When she tried to smile to give her daughter a little strength, her face twisted ghostly ugly. Margaret cried the more. She held her mother’s head up and dropped her on her (Margaret) laps. The pain that Amimi went through was unimaginable. She was tumbling up and down in terrible spasm.

Suddenly, the door swung opened. In the speed to see who is at the door, coupled with Amimi’s spasm, the porridge spilled on the floor. The doctor stepped in.

 “Young woman, have you made up your mind? You claim to love your mother and she is dying in piercing pains. Just few minutes’ sex, girl, and I will sedate her and begin the operation. All this will pass away?”

Margaret held her mother’s head high; looked down on her mother; tears gushed out the more and the pains increased. This time, on both sides. Amimi was moaning in tormenting pains. Margaret swung her head slowly from right to left, for about three consecutive times. Margaret’s hands were shaking. The pains eking out of her mother was simply too much.

There was dead silence in the room except that Amimi was coiling in agonizing pains. “Are you deaf, come up; speak up?” Still, there was sinister silence except for the poor woman that was in hell. “Well, she will die if you do not do what I asked you to do, my office is the next room. We can finish in no time and attend to your mother.”

Margaret did not hear anything the doctor said, instead she heard Aaron Neville singing:

Lay down and take your rest!
I want to lay your head upon your Saviour's breast.
I love you, but Jesus loves you best.
I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight…

She held up her mother’s head, with strong passion of love. Within a second, she smashed her mother’s head against the rails of the hospital bed. Her mother’s eyes shut automatically, and she lay peacefully! The pains were gone!

“What?” The doctor, who rested his elbows on the bunk, jumped up and turns hurriedly towards the door. Margaret threw herself on him. Her weight and the shock forced the doctor down and he hit his head on the tiled floor. He lay there with his eyes spun.

“Where are you running to, doctor? Come and have sex with me, I’m ready!”

She moved swiftly to the little bedside table, picked up a pair forceps, returned to the doctor’s unconscious body, thrust the forceps into his throat and cut it back and forth. His blood streamed out like water from a punctured sachet. He jerked thrice and lay still.

Margaret stood up; turn to her mother’s body; walked up to her and kissed her forehead. The words of Aaron Neville returned:

Lay down my dear brother,
Lay down and take your rest!
I want to lay your head upon your Saviour's breast.
I love you, but Jesus loves you best.
I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight…

 She held her flask, put on her slippers and ran out of the hospital building.

Idiongo Ebong

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