A visit to mum's clinic

by - 8:10 AM

It is nearly endorsed normal in my society to refer to an older person as "daddy, mummy, uncle or aunt." Not like we do not know the definitions of these terms, but because we are supposedly a very respectful people in this part of the world.
This wave of _respect_ blows into the nuclear family too. You hear a younger sibling refer to his older brother or sister with the initial, uncle W , aunt X,  sister Y or brother Z.

I'm unapologetic to say I am Nigerian too in this regard. You think I'm uneducated? No, I'm not. I'm way ahead of my peers in my career . At 23, I have rounded off my second degree. I work with one of the blossoming banks here in Lagos. And I am very comfortable as a bachelor.

Mum and dad had done a lasting magic in the lives of all three of us--  aunt Vware, my elder sister, brother Tegar and me, Rume.
We respect everyone to a fault. Both young and old. And this has earned we, the Fegos more respect.
We the Fegos are respected even the more because we all from the crown of the family, my dad, Mr Tegiri Fego, an engineer, to the last whom I happen to be, have all turned out to be successful in our different ways.

Aunt Pearl and I have morphed from being acquaintances to being Anam Cara. What we'd call soul friends. And this friendship happened in a very unusual way at an unusual place.

Church has been the only place I take a breather from the hustle and bustle of my workplace, and from Lagos at large.
I always look forward to every Sunday. It was a day I rejuvenate. I considered my place of worship a seashell. A place I could hide in and be protected from everything and everyone.

I was doing the usual of staying back in  church. Seated alone, my temple supported  by a frendly chair in the front row and my face looking downwards when an unusual thing happened. I received a miracle! An *acupressure* from a lady in her 20s. That single touch made a huge  difference that day and in my life.
I woke up and found out it was an angel that brought this soothing feel to me. She smiled and said, "I'm Pearl. How are you?" After a short period of squinting and *accommodation*, I replied politely with an obvious show of distraction caused by her.

Pearl's a gem. She literally glowed. She had a pitch-black hair that matched her fair body. And the brightest colour that shone from her was white. She was wreathed in smile so I was blessed to see her glistening teeth.
I offered her a space next to me. We had a friendly banter on how the pastor had earlier told us to jump on the devil's head. As we both continued laughing, she professionally changed to the real reason why she had approached me.

" Rume, you look depressed. I hope nothing is the matter." I chuckled and replied I was fine.
"You could talk to me. I don't see why a good looking man like you would be alone and forlorn. You even zonked out after church. Do you realise you had been sleeping here for well over 50 minutes? " It was at this point I realized she really had been observing me. She must had lingered in church after the service to had taken notice of me. "Why had you waited this long too?" I asked. She giggled and said it was nothing serious.  We exchanged cards and both headed for the car park.
Pearl had the height of a normal beautiful woman. And because I was much taller than she was. And with a well trimmed sideburns and moustache, you would think I was her boyfriend.

As we approached the exit from the main auditorium,  she beckoned to a girl of about eighteen years carrying a child to come. In a gentlemanly gesture, I walked Pearl and the two strangers into her car.
It was inside her car she introduced me to the two beautiful passengers at the back seat.
"Meet Nneka, my younger sister and her nephew, William."
I was quite gay to had seen a beautiful baby with lovely, curly black hairs on his head smiling at me. He looked really handsome.

I normally won't stint on my compliments. But who dares not compliment baby William? "Beauty really has pitched its tent in your family" I jokingly said. " Your elder sister must be a goddess to have been delivered of this bundle of joy and beauty." She smiled, laughed and then drizzled her face with rivulets of tears. She smiled again and said, " Goodbye, Rume"
I felt on top of the world. I walked a proud man into my car. "I made a goddess drop some rains of happiness on earth", I said to myself.

That particular Sunday was different from every other Sunday. I had my life charged full to a 100 percent. I found my lost zest.
I waited until evening when I thought I had garnered enough courage to call Pearl. It was now more difficult because in her card  was: Pearl Adeoye, Managing Director of Oaks Limited.
"This seems to be a big wall to climb but, nothing daunting , I must climb it anyway", I encouraged myself.
I picked my phone and dialed her number. She picked and asked politely whom it was.
I stuttered and then found a clear voice to mutter my name audibly for her to hear.
"It's Rume. Remember? " she exclaimed and replied, "Oh, sure! I do." " How are you? I hope you are fine." I responded to all her greetings and then became ready for the real question. " Who are you, Pearl, and why are you so friendly with me?" There was a hiatus. She deliberately paused for some time before responding. "I needed someone to talk to. I had been in a bout of depression, and I know when someone is depressed too. I saw it written all over you. I thought we could talk after church , but you didn't want to open up. I lost my husband 9 months ago to a fatal accident. " I didn't know when I exclaimed "Oh my God!" I did that for two genuine reasons. First, I thought, "Was Pearl a married woman I was crushing on?" And second, I felt pain and sorry for her because of her loss. She threw me off balance when she said William was her baby.
She didn't look like a mother who had had a child 10 months ago. Her husband was a successful *paediatrician* who died while driving to the hospital. He was *on call* that fateful day. He died trying to save a life.

I lost my found zest again. I didn't know what to say or ask. I couldn't ask about her being the Managing Director of that reputable comapany.
I got to know she inherited it from her late father; and she got to know I had a mother for a paediatrician too. We bonded very well. I knew she was 27 that same year I turned 24.
She laughed uncontrollably whenever I called her aunt Pearl. I didn't know why it was funny to her, but it sounded funny to her whenever I decked her with that title.

We became really close friends. Our friendship was platonic. She was my stress reliever; and I was her guardian angel. I protected her from sadness. And I made her laugh often. William and Nneka became my friends too.

Saturdays were my _freesy_ days. Freesy is my self coined word to mean both free and busy.  It's usually the day I find freedom from office work, but still busy with house cleaning which included me driving out to drop my clothes for cleaning.
I was putting my dirty clothes inside the laundry bags when Pearl called me. She sounded very nervous. She needed me to come by. I didn't hesitate. I was at her place in about 20 minutes.
She told me William was *running temperature*. It is normal for the human temperature to range from 36.1C to 37.3C, but without a *thermometer* you could feel William's was higher than the normal which was *37.3C*.
And at this point, our journey began to mum's clinic. We drove reasonably fast from the Mainland to the Island. In about 35 minutes, we were at her clinic. I couldn't have driven that fast if it weren't because of the urgency at hand.

Luckily for us, my mum, Dr Stella Fego was at her clinic at that time.

She normally was around on Saturdays in her clinic. Only if she's on call would you not see her beautiful and endearing personality there. She ran a *private practice*. Asides the hospital where she works, she attends to her patient at her own clinic. I knew this already. So did aunt Pearl. Mum did the four stages of examination on William. Seeing his eye was *INSPECTION*; using her hand to feel was *PALPATION*; using one finger to hit on another of her finger on William's body was *PERCUSSION* and last but not least was listening to sounds from the *lungs* with an aid of a *stethoscope* was *AUSCULTATION*
Mum took William's body temperature, brought the *baby's scale* and weighed him, checked his *tonsils*  with a *tongue depressor* for *inflammation* and charted down all her *findings* on a *case note*
At the end, it was just *teething*. A child doesn't fall sick because of teething, but because at that time, his immune system drops and becomes vulnerable. Little William body couldn't fight the *fever* so he succumbed to *malaria.* 
Little William delayed a little bit. Teething starts from 5 months. But he started his at 11 months.
Mum wrote a *prescription* which I went to the pharmacy to get for him. His mother later dispensed the *medicines* to him which came in the form of *syrup.*

Little William became well again. His mum, aunt Pearl called my mother to thank her afterwards.
No other family could have taken care of these beautiful people than the Fegos. Our home became the home of aunt Pearl and her son. They found succour and solace in our home.

At 26 and 29, aunt Pearl and I got married. Yes, we now found reasons why we should never be separated.
William loved his siblings more than we, the parents did.
We all lived happily ever after.
Written by :  Onwusa Abel

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