Mayokun spent the weeks leading to fellowship exams between the hospital and Kayode’s home. How best to stock up stamina for the task ahead if not by brain and soulish food? It was important to unwind after the hectic demands of work in the arms of love. Kayode knows how to work her back with his surgical palms. Skillful in his art, he knows how to romance each aching muscle and joint, each ligament and tendon. It was easier to absorb the demands of work and study hard after work, knowing the masseuse was at home. She and Kayode were also reading buddies, holding each other accountable to clock in three hours every night. The routine was simple: romance, sleep , study, sleep, go to work. It was important for her to register four hours of study after work whenever she was not on call. There was no opportunity to embark on a leave to prepare for the exams. Four out of eight senior registrars were sitting for the exam, and it was somewhat impossible to grant anybody leave. The department was pretty short-staffed. It was a challenge, but not a problem, as Mayokun and the girls already negotiated a no-leave during exams for a two-week leave post-exams to attend the World Cardiology Congress in Spain. Cooking and such shenanigans associated with daily living were thrown out of the window, giving her more time to live around a simpler but more purposeful routine.
Morale for fellowship exams came pretty high when results were released earlier and all the residents passed. Mayokun, as the chief resident, had thrown a party to celebrate the team at the Pearl lounge. It was a perfect excuse for everyone to her together without the consultants moderating the doctors into decorum with their presence. Mayokun rubbed her palms together, quietly praying that the senior registrars ace the exams.
She wound down her side screen and soaked in the fresh morning breeze after the rain as she exchanged pleasantries with one of the nursing assistants who was on her way home following a night shift. Mayokun leaned her head against the back seat, closed her eyes, and inhaled deeply.
“Jittery much?” Kayode interrupted her thoughts.
“Babe” She smiled.
“We’ll be fine”. Kayode signaled right and turned in to surgery car park, heeding parking instructions from the security official assigned to the car park. “Praying we have reasons to celebrate”
“I pray so” Mayokun clasped her hands in prayers.
“Double celebrations” Kayode flashed a smile with a wink, as he squeezed her thigh.
“What?” Mayokun asked coyly. “What double celebrations?
Kayode drew close to her and planted a kiss on her forehead. “Your birthday” he whispered in her ears, raised her chin, and planted a wet kiss on her lips.
“You’ll go into the theatre with lipstick, babe” Mayokun blushed.
Drawing her close, “My patients just told me that they love it”, he drew her close for a more passionate kiss.
“Go rock your day as usual and do not stress. Okay?” He searched her eyes intently for some feedback and Mayokun nodded in consent.
“How many surgeries do you guys have today?” Mayokun asked she organized her hair and re-applied her lipstick in the passenger mirror.
“What?” She shot him a stunned look.
“We’ve split the team in three. If things go as planned, all surgeries should be done by 3pm. We had to reschedule surgeries because of the exam week.”
“Yeah right!” Mayokun agreed in a familiar tone. “We had to see tonnes of our patients and new patients before the exams, and rescheduled the rest for this week. We expect a busy day as well”
Mayokun grabbed her ward coat and alighted from the car, waiting for Kayode to come around from the other side of the car.
“Godspeed babe”. She squeezed his arm gently as they walked towards the wards.
“I’ve got to run along, dear” Kayode disengaged as he sighted his colleagues from along.
The hours flew by as workers got immersed in the day’s routines and emergencies. The sirens of ambulances interrupting the atmosphere intermittently as smaller hospitals and the emergency medical service brought in several cases, requiring urgent intervention. The Medical Outpatient Department was situated between the Accident & Emergency unit and the Paediatrics unit, a layout nobody understood, but nurses in MOPD often tease that it was to keep them awake with the different ambulances making rounds to both neighbouring departments.
“Chief, there are 20 more patients.” Nurse Folake announced as she brought in extra files to the consulting room.
“Are the consultants still in clinic?”
Mayokun enquired to know how the cases should be shared among doctors so they could quickly wrap up clinic.
The nurse laughed.
“Thank you, nurse” Mayokun chuckled, knowing that the most diligent among the consultants is often out of clinic by noon. The time was 12:57pm. They needed to be done with clinic latest by 2pm, because gastroenterology clinic starts by 2pm in the same facility. They also reviewed patients in the ward from 2pm till 4pm.
“So let’s do the usual. Right?” Mayokun continued and Folake nodded in agreement “Give the senior registrars three cases each. Let the registrars handle the revisits.”
“I’ll time everyone to aim 1:45pm. Good?” Folake sought an agreement as she made for the door.
Folake narrowly missed the door hitting her in the face as the door flung wide open and an exuberant human being crashed into her, sending both of them to the floor.
“What the..! “ Mayokun impulsively rushed from her seat to prevent Folake from hitting her head against the table. “What the heck, babe!… Are you okay?” Mayokun moved from one nurse to another, helping both of them to their feet.
“I’m sorry Chief. Folake, no vex abeg.
Are you fine?” Precious tried to make amends.
“Precious, who chased you?” Folake asked.
“Precious, are you okay?” Mayokun looked at her with scrutiny, eager to diagnose something.
Precious burst into laughter, hopping on a spot “Congrats, doki!”. The two ladies stood in utter confusion.
“What?” The ladies asked simultaneously in an almost irritated manner.
“You people have not heard?” Nurse Precious stared at them in surprise.
“Heard what?” Folake asked as Mayokun returned to her seat.
“Results are out!” She blurted.
“What!” Mayokun jumped up and rushed back to the door.
“Our ladies passed!” Precious exclaimed in sheer joy.
The three ladies engaged in some celebration dance. Results were expected to be uploaded by 2pm WAT, apparently, it came earlier. How fast news travels! It did not take long before Ruth, Adekemi, and Bunmi came bursting through the door with undeniable joy.
“We did it!!!!” Ruth brought in her typical energy “Dr. Jones!”
“Yes!!!!” Mayokun responded with some “consultant” energy.
“Dr. Ajayi!” Ruth called out again.
“Yes please!” Bunmi courtesies like a princess.
“Louder please!” Adekemi gave some good twerk.
“Professor R.A. Alao!”
The ladies erupted in a guffaw, hailing Ruth as she launched the zanku dance and they all fell in.
“Gbẹ́sẹ̀, Gbẹ́sẹ̀, gbé soul ẹ!” All six ladies chorused Burna boy’s lyrics as they delivered their legs in the air.
“Ladies, it’s 1:06pm” Mayokun broke the party. “We must wrap up clinic.”
“How about Kayode?” Ruth asked
“He’s in surgery all day” Mayokun replied. “I can’t even call him”.
“Just to ease your mind, babe” Adekemi placed her hand on Mayokun’s shoulder “He passed. But let him break it to you.”
“Double celebrations” Ruth teased Mayokun “We’re taking you out tonight for your birthday tomorrow because we know Kayode will colonize you to himself tomorrow for you know….” Ruth rubbed her palms and winked at Mayokun “… birthday & chill”
“You’re mad!” Mayokun shoved Ruth out of her consulting room as the other ladies followed suit to conclude clinic.
The patients left in the waiting area were not disgruntled. “Congrats doctor”, More of it o!”,” Doctor doctor”, “We thank God doctor”, such was the warmth they received from patients as they returned to consulting.
Mayokun’s birthday came nice and warm. She was thankful for gifts and calls from colleagues, nurses, patients, and family. Thankful for life, she beamed with smiles like the morning sun. Her heart lept everywhere as a gazelle in the fields. It was surreal. Last night was magical. She did not even enjoy life this good in her 20s. Her girls treated her good in the evening to an exotic fellowship celebration/pre-birthday dinner at La Roche. Doctors might be boring, but her girls put the F in flames. Ruth especially had liquid fire in her bones. She is so spontaneous, energetic and in the moment. Every team must have a Ruth.
Of course! Every Mayokun must have a Kayode. She smiled as memories of the sweet and long lovemaking last night came back to her. He did not even wear a condom. It was her surrendering to him, loving him, trusting him, both of them in a fusion, ready for life together. Though it was her safe period, Mayokun was unbothered if last night yielded a pregnancy. It felt like the right thing to do.
“It is the right thing to do.” She whispered to herself as she instinctively placed her hand on belly, blinking repeatedly in front of the mirror to be sure her falsies were perfectly installed.
Mayokun smiled and leaned into Kayode as he came up behind her with his arms circling around her, covering her arms that were wrapped around her belly.
“Maternal instincts?” He whispered into her ear and kisses her nape.
“You smell so good” She smiled as she caught a whiff of his perfume.
He wore the perfume she bought for him as a gift on the night she appeared at his doorstep to fight for their relationship after his infidelity. Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous – the mender of broken relationships, truly fucking fabulous.
“Our reservation is in 20mins, babe.” Kayode checked his time. “We must go now.”
Dinner was lit. Kayode had booked reservation at the rooftop restaurant in Grand Praires Towers. The ambience was magical. Blue skies above, blue sea in the horizon, music in the distance. The scenario cascaded into darkness as colorful dim lights provided soft illumination with the fall of the night. Dessert was served with some instrumentalists walking towards them as the waiter departed. Mayokun could hear them playing the birthday song and it was then it occurred to her that they were the only ones at the roof top restaurant. The restaurant had just one table – their table. It was then it occurred to her that Kayode booked the restaurant for her birthday. “So cheesy!” she remarked in her mind and buried her face in her palms to laugh and hide her embarrassment as the instrumentalists serenaded her with more romantic tunes. Mayokun raised her head to soak in the moment and enjoy her birthday when she saw Kayode on one knee.
“Oh my God! She gasped with tears gathering in her eyes.
“You’re life to me, Mayokun Omolola Jones. I love you. Will you marry me?”
There it was glistening in the dark, the little rock that changes everything. But much more important than that was her cornerstone in flesh, whose eyes dazzled with emotions as tears gathered in his eyes. She stretched forth her hand to him.
“Yes! Kayode, yes!”