Key To My Heart



♣ ♥ ♣ 

SHE gaped at her grandfather.

The old man stared adamantly back at her. “I am telling that I am in dire need of that medication the good doctor said he’ll be having sent down from Asaba. I barely slept last night. My poor knees kept me awake for hours on end.”

“You barely slept during the night? And since when did you begin to willingly admit that your knees ache you?” Patti’s eyes narrowed even more with suspicion.

“Stop cross-examining me like a prosecution lawyer.” Nnadim snapped. “I said I barely slept and I need the medications the good doctor recommended. And I need them now.”

“But what happened to the Cataflam he gave to you? Have you taken one and didn’t feel any relief?”

“If I needed to take the Cataflam, I would have taken it. What I need is the Diclofenac he recommended. You heard him that day—it would be better for my arthritis.”

“Fine. But we are not sure if the drug has been delivered yet from Asaba—”

“We cannot be sure unless we go to the clinic and ask the doctor about them.” Nnadim impatiently interrupted. “I would go myself since it is now a burden to help out your old grandfather but these knees feel like they’re being grinded by a shredding machine. But if you’d rather see me in pain than leave your precious little fishes that’s just fine. I’ll—”

“All right. Enough with the poor-old-sick-grandfather emotional blackmail.” Patti pushed out a hot breath and heaved off the wood-frame couch. “I will go get the drug for you. But you better make sure you stay religiously faithful to it when it gets here.”

“I don’t need you to tell me how to stay faithful to my medications, just get them and get the good doctor’s prescriptions for them.” Nnadim sniffed as he leaned back in the lounge chair and laboriously stretched forward his legs. “And don’t forget to ask him if there are any side effects. You know how I can get with new medications.”

“Frankly, I don’t know how you can get with anything.” Patti muttered and then scowled at him. “And why do you have to keep calling him ‘the good doctor’ like he is on some saintly, martyrdom mission coming here to while away a bit of time?”

“Patricia, I’d like to waste the small strength I have left arguing about irrelevant facts with you but I really need to conserve my strength. I didn’t sleep at all last night.” He sniffed again, adjusted, with the greatest difficulty, on the lounge chair and added a low groan for good measure. “Just get to the clinic and get me that drug please.”

“If Patti is too busy to go to the clinic, I can stop over at the doctor’s office and get the drug for you.” Nneka offered, coming into the old furnished living room with the oranges she’d just peeled. “I am going there anyway. Nwanokwai’s daughter just put to bed a bouncing baby boy—”

“Really?” Patti forgot her displeasure at her grandfather’s nagging to beam at the news. “She had delivered already? When, yesterday?”

“Actually I heard it was the early hours of this morning.” Nneka replied. “Her mother just called me with the news. So I told her that I would be bringing some good ofe-nsala for Jindu and to rub the new baby’s powder.”

“You can go rub the baby’s powder another day. I want you home so you can pound me fufu and prepare me my fresh-fish pepper-soup.” Nnadim told her.

“But I only plan on rushing to the clinic and coming back right away.” Nneka protested with a wistful expression. She always enjoyed the first sight of a new-born.

“There’s no rushing-in when it comes to babies and gossip with you women.” Nnadim waved aside her protests. “You can go tomorrow. If she is not still at the clinic, all the better. You can then visit her in comfort at their home. With barely any sleep gotten at night and these knees throbbing so badly, I need something hot and spicy to soothe me.”

“Okay, I will serve you some of the ofe-nsala I already prepared for Jindu—”

“I don’t want a new mother’s ofe-nsala, Nneka.” Nnadim interjected. “I want my fresh-fish pepper-soup and I want it accompanied by well-pounded fufu. How had it become difficult for anyone to listen to me in this house, eh? I said you can go see her tomorrow… or even this night if you like. Patti can deliver the ofe-nsala on your behalf while she gets my drug, which I desperately need, from the doctor.”

“Let him have his way, Nneka. The sleepless night he’s been moaning about all day must have left him disgruntled.” Patti gave the other woman an absent pat and started in the direction of the bedrooms. “I will just change and then take in the ofe-nsala for you.”

“And what are you up to, old man?” Nneka asked as soon as Patti went through the curtained connecting door.

“I don’t know what you’re prattling about, woman.”

“Uh-hmm.” Nneka narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips. “I heard that the new doctor is Mama-Onye’s grandson. I see what you are doing, old man. I see it clearly.”

“And I want to see my fufu and fresh-fish pepper-soup before me, so get inside the kitchen and get busy with that instead of spewing baseless facts.” Nnadim snapped, glaring at her.

“Fufu and fresh-fish pepper-soup indeed. You will be eating pounded yam and that ofe-nsala for using me to get away with your sneaky moves.” Nneka threatened as she walked back to the kitchen.

But she was already contemplating asking Adim to bring her a fattened tilapia from the pond as she was in complete support of the old man’s devious conniving.


♣ ♥ ♣


PATTI chose to linger too long with Jindu and her new baby because she was reluctant to see the good doctor. But one could never overstay their welcome, so her lingering soon came to an end and she started towards the doctor’s office with the coolest and most indifferent expression on her face.

Why Nnadim chose that afternoon to start whining about his knees, she didn’t know but that old man had better not be up to something—or he’d end up sorely disappointed.

She sniffed, raised her hand to tap the wood-frame of the curtained doorway and paused at the bout of laughter. Two voices were laughing… well, three if you added the hesitant chuckles from a definite female tone.

Curiosity made Patti tilt aside the curtain instead of knocking, and her own mouth instantly curved when she saw the wild laughter on Kikanwa’s face. The little girl, just six on her last birthday, had a lollipop on one hand and the other hand, tucked nicely into the doctor’s own. She was listening raptly to him as he told her, and her mother a few steps away, a ridiculously over-embellished story about his own fear for needles as a boy.

“I am telling you when I saw the nurse coming this way with the injection needle, I would run the other way, screaming at the top of my voice and bawling like a frightened hyena as I went.” Isidore continued in his low confidential tone. “The entire hospital will go up in an uproar. My mother would be screaming and running after me. Doctors and nurses would be trying in vain to catch me… and I would be dodging under ward beds and curtains. When finally they caught up with me, my cries will double and my screams could be heard from here to asha-eke. I was a terrible boy. I am telling you, Kika, you are braver than I was. Very much braver, for here you are laughing even as I prepare to tickle your skin with my injection needle.”

“It is not tickle. A tickle makes us laugh but needles are painful.” Kikanwa protested even though her eyes were still shining with mirth.

“This one is not. That I guarantee you.” Isidore let go of her hand and smoothly adjusted her on the examination bed. “You just focus on your lollipop and you won’t feel a thing. What is your favourite game in school?”

“I like playing ball but mummy says I can’t play because I am a girl.” Kikanwa said, sending a pouting look in the direction where her mother stood.

“That cannot be why she doesn’t want you playing. Girls are becoming the best footballers, you know.” Keeping his movements unhurried and precise, Isidore picked the already prepared syringe and the doused in disinfectant alcohol cotton wool with another hand. “But I am sure your mother is only worried about you getting hurt or sick that is why she wants you not playing ball. You sometimes have pains on your body after you play, don’t you?” He nipped down her skirt and her baby panties.

“Only sometimes.” Kikanwa answered with petulance. “I don’t get sick all the time. Not like I used to before.”

“And that is because you are taking more rest and your muscles are no longer stressed.” He plunged in the tip of the needle in one quick move and swiftly injected the liquid in the syringe into her body even before Kikanwa had the presence of mind to stiffen and cry out. “There, I told you you were a brave girl. No single sound and we are done.” Helping her off the bed, Isidore beamed at her. “How’s your lollipop tasting?”

“I haven’t even tasted it yet.” Kikanwa looked awed that the process was completely over without her noticing it. “Did you give me the injection already, doctor?”

“Didn’t you feel it?”

She shook her head. “No. I just felt a tiny, tiny prickle.”

“Which is why I call you a brave girl.” Isidore patted her head and gestured for her mother to come take the rest of her prescription. And then he saw her. Their eyes met and hers were smiling gently before she quickly shielded off the warm look. “Just give her these morning and evening. Start this evening and she will be fine in a few days.”

“Thank you, doctor.” The woman’s eyes were aglow with gratitude. “This is the first time we are coming to the clinic and won’t be crying home.”

“Really?” Isidore appropriately rounded his eyes. “I don’t believe that… not with my brave Kika. Tell her those days are over, mummy.” He winked at the little girl.

She giggled and repeated the words. “Those days are over, mummy.”

“High-five.” And they slapped palms together before mother and daughter started towards the door.

“Aunty Patti, doctor gave me injection and I didn’t cry. I didn’t even feel it.” Kikanwa told her excitedly upon seeing her.

“Have you greeted her before starting your bragging story?” Her mother chided before adding to Patti. “Good afternoon, Patti. How is Nnadim? I heard he too was at the clinic some days back.”

“He was but he is doing much better now.” Patti smiled and then bent to give the girl a quick hug. “You didn’t cry because you are a big girl now and very brave as the doctor said.”

“I won’t ever cry again when taking needles.” Kikanwa vowed and then thought it wise to add. “If it is doctor giving me the needle.”

“That is a wise decision.” Patti laughed and then stepped aside to allow them through. Then she turned and sent a cool smile to the doctor who was wiping off his washed hands with a napkin. “I’m sorry if I intruded on your attendance to a patient.”

“No problem, it wasn’t a private session.” Isidore gestured to the chair facing his desk. “Please have a seat and tell me how I can help you.”

Patti walked into the office and sat down. Not because she wanted to but because she felt ludicrously nervous. Which was not only senseless but stupid as well, she told herself. “I actually only came to pick the drug you said you’ll be requesting for Nnadim from Asaba… that is if it has arrived.”

“It has.” Isidore opened the drawer of his table and lifted out a paper-bagged package. “It actually arrived yesterday. I would have dropped it off myself on my way back from the clinic but I was afraid of being accused of trespassing a private property.”

“Ah… thank you.” She took the drug, preferred not to reply the gibe. “Um, Nnadim would like to know if there are any side effects. He sometimes reacts to drugs.”

“I think he will be fine with the Diclofenac as there is no history of reactions to aspirin or asthmatic attacks from his file.” Isidore assured her. “I attached a prescription guide for it inside. It is only for when he is having severe joint pains. If pains are not severe, regular pain relievers will serve just fine.”

“Thank you, doctor… um, Isidore.” Then because she felt conscious using his first time, Patti rushed to her feet. “I will be on my way then. Nnadim is desperately waiting for them.”

“Oh, did he have a bad night then?” Why he was reluctant to see the surly woman go, Isidore could not fathom.

“Looks like he did as he woke up complaining.”

“Would you like me to come in and check him?”

Patti arched her brows in surprise. “Do you do house calls then?”

“There is no hard and fast rules about such matters.” Isidore shrugged. “The patient’s health is what matters most.”

“Hmm.” Patti inclined her head and stepped back. “Well, I don’t think he needs any emergency attention. The drug will do just fine. Thanks again for getting it in for us.”

“Just doing my job.”

“Yeah, I’m sure.” She took another step back and then made herself turn fully and start towards the door. Before she opened, she turned again. “That was nice… how you handled Kikanwa. She is legendary for crying down the clinic whenever she has to come in for treatments and they involve injections. Which is often given her constant sickle cell crisis.”

“Yes.” Isidore nodded, his thoughts shifting to the girl. “I’m thinking of switching the blood tonic she is currently using. There is a better one for anaemic patients I can request for from Asaba.”

“Do you always switch things around or are you just very conscientious?”

Isidore looked at her. Why the plain, too angular face with over narrowed eyes would appeal to him at just that moment left him bewildered. “I am a doctor simply doing my duties.” He said mildly.

“Right.” She nodded, opened the door and gave a wave. “Thanks for the drug.” And she shut the door—before she started thinking she needed to say something else.

On her way back to the farm, Patti frowned at her mind mulling over the doctor who was apparently good at his job. She shouldn’t be thinking about him. She didn’t think about men—not anymore. She had done men and she had done relationships—and she was doing it no more.

Never again.

Dedication: For all June & July Celebrants, may your lives be blessed.

*eBook Purchase made easier! Via: *RECHARGE CARD PINS!*

22 Responses to Key To My Heart

  1. Patience Bassey says:

    Interesting, but Patti must do this one ooo

  2. Toyenlon says:

    Hmmm, both grandparents are beginning to have ideas about the two of them. I like the way Nnadim went about his own, and Patti needs to be pushed in order to see well…lol

  3. Cheriepet says:

    O’boy see grandpa n blackmail?!!! Chai!

    seriously watching Mama Onye and Nnadim play matchmakers.

    TM good morning to u too

  4. iyke david says:

    Never again?
    Well time will tell!

  5. Vimlady says:

    Its getting interesting….Thanks TM

  6. Dhebra says:

    Wow…Enjoyed it….Thanks TM

  7. Temitope Shobayo says:

    Patti! Patti!! Patti!!!, how many time do I call you? ‘Never say never’, because you are already having thoughts of him and also Nnadim suspicious agenda. I believe he is not only good at his work. Well, keeping my fingers cross, will like to see how things will unfold. Good morning and thanks TM. Remain blessed.

  8. Datoks says:

    Patti will do dis one o, he dont ve a choice.thanks TM for d update.

  9. Joan says:

    I so much enjoy this story that it seems short to me *sighs*
    Anyways, I’m patiently waiting for love to take over *grins*

    I noticed a typo where Kikanwa responded to the doctor that she “feet” just a tiny, tiny prickle. Could felt have been there instead…..

    Nice job ma’am(your works are more than nice really, me no sabi grammar no vex. Help me manage nice like that. lol)
    More power to your elbows and system.

  10. Justice says:

    Best love is the one that happens unconsciously… Patti dear you have fallen in love finish

    Whispers to isdore”that lady is heartbroken, make her to see you differently the rest is history ”

    Nnadim the very good doctor will key into the vision soon… Lol

    Nice one TM……more NEPA to your house… Lol

  11. Roselyn says:

    Patti!Patti!! Never say Never oo, if you doubt me ask Samantha for Unconventional Proposal. Thanks our Lady.

  12. Paula says:

    Singing ‘can you feel the love tonight’

  13. Ella mum says:

    One day na one day oh Patricia!listen to d voice of elders eeehn

  14. mady says:

    well wid wah am seeing..u r so doin it again

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