Free Romance Stories: The Good Turn That Deserved Another
by Nkiacha Atemnkeng, Douala, Cameroon.
(A beautiful romance short story with an unexpected twist at the end.)
Free Romance Stories: The Good Turn that Deserved Another
THE HOSPITAL IN NDOLA:
Doctor Whitfield sat in his hospital office in Ndola, a town in Zambia. He was checking a new consignment of medication which he had just received that morning from his native country, United States. There were doses of quinine sulphate, panadol, paracetamol and brand new medication for ebola fever which he had requested from his Boston based hospital. At that time, there was an ebola epidemic which was killing many children in central and southern Africa. A knock on his door made him look up.
''Come in,'' he said.
A parent came in with his little son looking worried. Just one look at the little patient and his temperature measurement made him know what the illness was-malaria. He could boil water on the boy's skin. Dr Whitfield looked at the lab result which confirmed his observation, prescribed the necessary medication and gave it to the parent.
Another couple stepped in with their seven year old daughter. She was a pretty little girl with nice brown eyes but she looked sad because she was very sick. Her parents were shaking even more than the little boy who had malaria.
''The lab test results show that it's ebola,'' the girl's mother said.
''And all the children who had ebola in Ndola have died because there is no cure, no medicine,'' the girl's father lamented.
''No, no, not anymore, you are one very lucky couple. I just received medication for ebola this morning. Your daughter will be the first to survive, don't worry,'' Dr Whitfield assured them.
They got very encouraged as he examined the girl. There was also a healed mark of a knife cut on her left thumb.
''What caused this,'' he asked them diverting their attention off the illness.
''Ah, she mistakenly cut herself with my kitchen knife while playing with it. She's very playful,'' her mother said.
Their spirits were uplifted when the doctor made her drink the tablets and gave them his prescribed drugs.
Next came a child who had measles. So that was how Dr Whitfield's life was, a pediatrician who had dedicated himself to treating lots of sick children not only in Zambia but had also worked in Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.. He was now in Ndola where he had decided to extend his stay and treat the ebola ravaged region.
JOURNEY TO LUSAKA:
After four months when the epidermic was over, Dr Whitfield decided to go back to the US. He didn't want to leave but the hospital in Boston needed him badly. So one afternoon after eating his last meal of Zambia's staple food nshima and rape, he stopped a bus saying, ''Lusaka?''
''Yes, you will pay me eight hundred kwacha,'' the driver said.
''Okay, let's go.''
The bus sped along the road to Zambia's capital Lusaka. As the bus got near to a police checkpoint, the driver stopped and told all the passengers that he had forgotten his car documents at home. They all got angry and started complaining. Dr Whitfield was not so shocked because of his first hand experience of Africa.
''Okay, okay, I have an idea. Who knows how to pretend?''
''Pretend?'' they all wondered.
''Yes, somebody has to fake illness, preferably a woman. I'll know what to do to get us out of this my difficulty.''
''I'll do it,'' one woman opted. As they reached the police check point, the woman started shivering as if she had serious malaria. The police whistle went and the bus stopped..
''Car documents? We also need to check your bus.'' ''Officer, please I'll do that when I return. There's a patient in my bus I'm taking to the main hospital in Lusaka. This is Dr Whitfee of the hospital in Ndola, he is the one transferring her because her illness cannot be treated in Ndola. If we waste any time, she may die.''
The man looked at the back seat and saw a shivering woman and three people fanning her.
''Alright, go, go, go quickly to the hospital, quick.'' As the bus sped on and got out of sight, the driver shouted:
''I'm going to the hospital sir.'' The passengers all started laughing and a little boy imitated,
''Alright, go, go, go quickly to the hospital, quick.''
Dr Whitfield barely shook his head and wondered how the driver could be so creative in the difficult art of telling an excellent lie.
When Dr Whitfield arrived Lusaka, he went straight to the airport and boarded his plane. He was going to miss Zambia, its beautiful parks and large elephants. He was going to miss the Victoria Falls especially. The majestic height at which the water fell thundering into the river below was only comparable to giant meteorites hitting earth constantly.
As the plane shot through the atmosphere like a bullet, he began thinking about his marital status. He was - well, it's complicated. It was even
more than complicated, it was complex. He had all these status put together; married, widowed, remarried, divorced, re-remarried and unmarried.
First he had married the love of his life, Michelle whom he had lived with for five years. It was the perfect marriage, with a lot of romance and mutual understanding. They were a very happy couple together and were blessed with a son Russell. Then Michelle died in a tragic plane crash while traveling to London. Dr Whitfield almost died too when he heard the news. He was depressed for almost a year as he constantly thought about Michelle even contemplating suicide. But it was his best friend Mr. Langston who had consoled him and brought his life back to normal through Rehabilitation.
After three years, Dr Whitfield had met a French American lady called Anne. They fell in love and got married after that. As time went on, Anne began complaining that, Dr Whitfield was too workaholic spending a lot of time on his medical profession than their marriage. The complaints worsened when he left the United States and started working in Africa. Anne didn't want to quit her job and follow him so they spent a lot of time apart. So she finally got fed up and divorced him.
Next he married an African American woman called Shawanna. She turned out to be the worst woman in his life. She was only after his money. After collecting half of the money from his bank account and maltreating his son Russell while he was still in Zambia, Shawanna had just disappeared. He had filed for a divorce and was now going to the United States to finalise it.
So he was married, widowed, remarried, divorced, re-remarried and unmarried. Since he had not collected the divorce papers for Shawanna yet, he preferred to use the term-unmarried to Shawanna.
That was his complex marital status. He was now beginning to develop a phobia for dating and marriage. Even though he knew how to save the lives of hundreds of people especially sick children, he found it really difficult to save his marriages.
''And it is an easier task than saving lives,'' he told Mr Langston when he started working again in Boston.
''No, it is more difficult than saving lives. Saving lives is your gift from God, that's why you do it well but saving love? It is nobody's gift. Situations can fix it and damage it in equal measure,'' Mr Langston told him.
Dr Whitfield worked for over thirteen years in Boston and other parts of Africa as a single man. He was scared of falling in love again. He didn't want his heart to get broken again especially at the age of fifty. He might get a heart attack and die.
THE HOSPITAL IN BOSTON:
When he returned from Africa, he began noticing a very beautiful black nurse in the Boston hospital with a very captivating smile. She smiled at everybody especially him and they quickly became friends.
''So what's your name?''
''Wow, so where do you come from''
''Cameroon,'' she answered.
''I've worked in over ten countries in Africa but never been to Cameroon.''
''It's a wonderful country, you need to at least visit it. It's called Africa in miniature because of the diversity of the people, culture and landscape. It's also the only bilingual nation in Africa where English and French are the official languages.''
''Do you speak French too?''
''Yes. 'Bonjour medame, com-man-alli fou?'' Dr Whitfield tried his hands at French in a terrible accent. Yvonne laughed for a whole minute.
''No, its Bonjour madame, comment allez-vous,'' she corrected him.
''I can never learn it, no way, it's too difficult.''
''No, it's not. I can teach you if you want to learn, nothing is impossible.''
''Okay, will you come to my house for dinner so that you can give me your first French lesson?''
Yvonne came over for dinner and as much as she tried teaching him, he kept making errors. Even though she kept laughing at him, she always corrected him. Slowly, they fell in love but Dr Whitfield still had that deep fear that the relationship would end just like the others.
He was surprised when he returned home one day and Yvonne had cooked a Cameroonian dish called koki. He relished it and was so impressed but was still not very convinced so he confided in Mr Langston.
''In my opinion, she looks genuine and her character is very admirable. Both of you have dated now for over a year. Wait, what about her status here?'' his friend asked.
''She was selected for further processing in the Diversity Immigrant VISA program. She's got her greencard and will soon be a US citizen.''
''Then I don't think she wants to get papers through you, she loves you.''
''But what if things don't work out like my other failed marriages?'' the doctor said.