I let out a sigh of exhaustion as I walked out of the hospital with my bag slung across my shoulder. The sky was already dark but the evening was still young, I walked towards where my car was parked, unlocked it and got in. I pressed the ignition button and the car came to life, released the hand brake and moved the gear into drive before pulling out of the spot I was parked.
As I approached the exit gate, I slowed down gradually as one of the security men rushed to open the gate. The security guy raised his hand in a goodbye gesture and I nodded in response as I drove past him.
There was a little traffic on the road which made my getting home even longer; I tapped on my steering wheel as I waited for the cars to start moving again. I looked around the environment and saw a suya vendor spraying oil over his suya meat (locally grilled meat) and it immediately took me to my childhood days when my mother would buy suya for us kids: she always does that whenever we visited Nigeria during the holidays and ever since then the sight or smell of suya brought back nostalgic memories.
The traffic lights turned yellow before turning green and the cars started moving and I also moved along with the cars. I was so drained from all the running around I had done back in the hospital; jumping from patient to another as I was in the accidents and emergency ward. I decided to become a doctor like my mother was because I was always intrigued by all the stories she told me about her patients whenever she returned home from Nigeria.
After my dad built the hospital I currently work at, my mother had to spend close to ten years trying to make the hospital the edifice it is today. We would come visit her back in Nigeria whenever we were on holidays from school and then sometimes she would return to New York for a break and because she felt guilty that she was missing most of our childhood especially our last born who was two when she returned to Nigeria. Now, I could say that all her sacrifice was worth it because the hospital became the No.1 health center in the whole Africa. We got patients with reference from other doctors all over the world because we had the best OBGYN (Obstetrics and Gynecology) in the world.
Back to my childhood, the not so often times my mother returned to New York, we would all surround her in our parent’s bedroom as she told us stories and achievements she made while she was away. In those moments, my fate as a doctor was sealed and despite the meticulous and methodical nature of the job I didn’t regret my decision.
My entire nuclear family was in New York currently excluding my immediate younger sister Adaobi who is in Paris for a photoshoot. She is into modelling and fashion; her latest perfume line sold out last year and is still in demand. My mother returned to New York for good after she was comfortable with the way things were doing back in Nigeria. Although, she occasionally visits for physical inspection on how the hospital was doing but in the meantime she returned to her job in the hospital back in New York.
A few years back, my parents also opened at least two free clinics in the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria in order for people to get routine health check up for free and then if they present with severe cases they get referred to the hospital.
Chinedu and Chinelo the twins were also making their mark in the world as Chinedu was working along with my father who was going to leave the company to him when he decides to retire and Chinelo was working at CNN as one of their top journalist. Ekene our last born was still in school studying Architecture.
As I drive into my compound, l let out a sigh of relief because at this point I was so tired that I could already see my bed in my head. Once I placed the car’s gear to park, I got down from the car and walked up to the front door of my bachelor pad, the retina scanner did it’s work on my eyes before making a small beep sound and opening the door.
The house was actually intended to be one of my father’s many guest houses but when I informed them that I would be moving to Nigeria to work at the hospital over there, my father instructed his architect to make changes to their initial plan. I didn’t really know much about architecture so I left all the infrastructural designing to my dad only making a few inputs here and there. The house was a replica of our house back in New York but with only three bedrooms - one of them I occupied and the other two were for guests that I didn’t entertain. The pool was also a little bit smaller than the one back home but every other thing was the same.
I walked into my house and headed straight for the bathroom as I needed to do some offloading of my bladder. The nearer I got to the bathroom the more bladder felt like exploding; I dropped my bag on my neatly arranged bed and rushed into the bathroom.
Relief flooded my whole being as I offloaded all the pressure into the toilet bowl and when I was done I shrugged off my clothes and stepped into the shower. I made sure to wash away all the hospital disinfectant smell from my body before stepping out with my white fluffy towel wrapped around my waist and picking up the clothes I had just taken off and placed them in the laundry bag.
I had been told by siblings that I was a neat freak on so many occasions and not as a compliment but my mother seemed to fine with it because she once said it meant that I wouldn’t need a woman to clean up after me like most men did. I grabbed my tooth brush from its cup and applied a decent amount of toothpaste before putting it into my mouth. Looking at the mirror as I brushed my teeth, I noticed small faint dark shades under my eyes and my eye bags were a little puffed out.
Nothing a good sleep can’t handle. I thought as I spat the foaming contents in my mouth into the sink.
Once I had on my pajama trousers, I jumped into the cool embrace of my king sized bed. I loved sleeping shirtless which was a habit I had ever since I was a child and my mother would always force me to wear one but relented as I grew older. I stretched out my hand and grabbed my alarm clock which was placed by my bedside to set the alarm for the next day before placing it back down. In less than five minutes, I drifted into a deep, peaceful and dreamless slumber.