…At the hospital, he was wheeled to the emergency ward by the slim nurse that we met at the reception.
The hospital had few patients walking in. Brother Emeka paid for card to the fair lady at the reception that kept reminding him to buy card unless his patient won’t be treated.
They insisted we report to the police before they commenced treatment.
Aunty stayed with Mr. Uche while I went with him to the police station.
The police station was just at the junction, there were spoilt cars at every corner of their compound, some of the cars looked damaged from road accident. The police officer at the gate asked my brother to park in front of the gate.
The policeman wasn’t in his complete uniform, he wore a black polo and his khaki trouser, his hair was rough and he smelt of alcohol.
We walked into the station and found a lot of people there. There was a man holding his head with a white cloth, blood was dripping from his hand, he had come to report that his neighbor’s son hit him with a stone for telling him to stop smoking.
Two guys sat behind the counter, they had no shirts on, their faces had bruises and were a little swollen, you could tell it’s from beating.
I had anxiety watching them all.
“Officer, I came to report a shooting case, can you direct me on the process to take?” my brother spoke to the officer standing at the counter, he kept mute, he was busy writing on the book in front of him. The two police men at the counter were too busy to listen to anyone talking to them.
“I will be outside” I left brother Emeka in the police station and went out to receive fresh air.
I was praying there will be no complication in the case.
I dialed Mum’s number to know how she was fairing, she sounded better than the last time we talked. She didn’t know we were on our way home; she would have killed us with calls.
Few minutes later brother Emeka came out with two police men walking behind him.
They drove their van behind us to the hospital.
They met the doctor and he took them to the ward Mr. Uche was admitted.
I left the reception when I couldn’t take the attitude of the nurse there; she frowned and addressed the patients rudely.
I saw a tree that formed a shade in the hospital premises, few people sat on the molded chair under the tree.
The woman I sat close to had an injury on her leg that had a bad smell, it smelt like a mixture of rotten egg and dirty gutter. She chattered loudly with the woman that sat next to her, I wondered if the injury doesn’t bother her, she seemed happy and laughed loudly in between gist.
At the other corner was a woman with her child that is not more than 2years. The baby had the needle gauge tied to her hand, she looked pale and didn’t stop crying, her Mum was on a call with someone that sounded like it’s her husband, “they said we will have to deposit another 100,000 for surgery, we don’t even have money for feeding anymore” she sounded teary, she looked like she will be in her mid twenties.
I got tired of watching sick people, I felt sick from seeing them.
I walked back to the reception and found my brother and his wife seated at the corner, my brother looked exhausted. “What a day” he sighed.
“Have you contacted his family?” I asked him. I was already tired and only thought of how to get home to Mum.
“Yes, they will soon get here”.
The policemen came out, called Emeka to the side and spoke indistinctly to him; they recorded their conversation with a small recorder before leaving.
Twenty minutes later, a red Venza drove in, a lady that I guessed it’s the younger sister getting married rushed out of the car and ran towards the entrance, she was dressed in a black jean and light blue polo, her hair bonnet flying up as she ran.
My brother stopped her at the door, “are you Ogoo?” “Yes, I guess you are the Emeka that called me.” she was panting and spoke fast. “Can I see him now?”
I never thought of going in to see him on the hospital bed, the picture of him lying helplessly at the back of my brother’s was already tormenting me.
The nurse took them in to Uche’s ward, I hesitated on following them but later changed my mind and followed them in.
He was back to life, he was grinning from ear to ear when he saw his sister, the place he was shot was bandaged.
His sister broke down in tears.
The room smelt of drugs and disinfectant, the beds were arranged in rows, there were four beds in each row, they were all occupied, the patient next to him coughed uncontrollably while his companion massaged his back.
I smiled at Mr. Uche and he smiled back, “sorry sir, I hope you are feeling better”, “yes” he groaned.
The Doctor walked in, he was tall and had huge eyes that hid behind his glasses, he walked round the ward, checking each patient.
“Do you feel better?” he said to each patient he got to.
I was already feeling dizzy from watching sick people, I tapped my brother. “Can we go now?” I stared at him to see if he wasn’t as tired as I was. Aunty IJ already left us and went to the car to wait for us.
The doctor got to Mr. Uche, he checked his drip. “Is any of your family members here now?”
Ogoo introduced herself as the sister and the doctor urged her to follow him.
“We will have to leave now, it’s almost 4pm.” brother Emeka shook hands with him.
“I don’t know how best to appreciate you, I will forever be grateful.” They exchanged contacts and we left.