(Continued from Sins of the Forebears III)
“What are you doing nurse?” someone asks from the door. June is bending, ready to inject Fridah with the medicine. All of them, including June, look towards the door. The doctor who gave Sebastian and Harriet the second update is standing there grim-faced.
“You what, June? What are you injecting the patient with and who gave you the authority to do so?”
“She said you told her to inject Fridah with paracetamol,” Sebastian answers for her.
June drops the syringe, and Sebastian moves to pick it, but the doctor stops him. He (the doctor) puts on a pair of surgical gloves and picks the syringe.
“I did not authorize any injection, and the patient does not need any injection. What drug is this June? Where is the bottle? Who authorized it?”
“It was Dr. Ezekiel who told me to inject the patient with paracetamol. It is paracetamol.”
“I have been with Dr. Ezekiel until a few minutes ago and there is no way he could have authorized the injection. Besides, I am in charge of this patient today, and he can’t interfere. Where is the bottle that had the medicine?”
“She came with the medicine in the syringe,” Sebastian offers. Both he and Harriet are now very confused.
“That is very strange,” the doctor says then calls the head of security. Shortly after, two uniformed guards come and take June away.
“I don’t know what this nurse was up to, but I am very suspicious,” the doctor, who introduces himself as Daniel, tells Sebastian and Harriet after June is whisked away. “I can’t imagine why she would want to harm Fridah. Yet what she was doing is highly irregular. She cannot inject a patient without instructions. I will go and have this drug examined. Does Fridah have any political ambitions?”
“No,” Harriet replies. “Why do you ask?”
“Because nurse June is the daughter of the County Woman Rep so I thought maybe…you know…this whole thing is politically motivated.”
Something immediately clicks in Sebastian’s mind. The Woman Rep is a close friend of his mother, and he actually remembers his mother mentioning time and again how lovely and eligible the politician’s daughter is. That explains why the nurse was asking whether Fridah is his girlfriend. It had nothing to do with the hospital needing authorization for anything.
“I think I get it, doctor. It is not political, it is romantic; a love triangle so to speak.”
Sebastian explains to them slowly what he thinks is going on, starting with the fight at the Hearto Supermarket’s café.
“I am sorry for putting your daughter’s life in danger,” he tells Harriet as he concludes. “It was not my intention.”
“I know son,” Harriet tells him. “By staying with her till now you have proven that you have a pure heart. I know your mother too well and I can’t fault you for her actions. But what do we do now?”
“The woman rep will try to interfere with the investigation to protect her daughter. The first thing we should do is to go and make a report to the police. If this thing is dealt with internally at the hospital, the truth will never come out. I am going to take this drug to the lab myself and make sure it is analyzed. I know a doctor who can do that and will not be compromised. You go to the police station ahead of me, I will join you shortly with the results. This room has CCTV, so I will ask the head of security to make copies of the footage. If the MP tries to get her daughter out through the back door, we will be ready for her,” Dr. Daniel assures her. Then he gives them his number and tells them to call him if there is an issue.
Philomena is watching funny videos on WhatsApp when she receives another call from Nancy. To say that the Woman Rep is furious is an understatement.
“My daughter has been arrested, and it is all your fault,” she barks.
“Wait, Nancy. What is this all about? We have been friends for many years…”
“I don’t care about friendships right now. Listen, Philomena. Your boy has made a statement to the police against my daughter, alongside a doctor and the girl’s mother. I have talked to the OCS. He says that if one of the witnesses contradicts the others, my girl will be set free. Get your boy to do that. Because I swear if he doesn’t, I will destroy both of you.”
“It won’t get to that Nancy. I will take care of the issue.”
After calling her son three times and failing to get him, Philomena gets to her car and drives to the hospital. She knows she will have to play her cards very carefully, because she knows that the latest turn of events might make Sebastian want to transfer Fridah to a hospital in Nairobi. Yet she needs him to be present for his grandfather’s funeral. It will reflect badly on her if her only son skips the funeral, but that is not the only reason why she has been pressuring him to come.
It is partly because of image, partly because she wanted to set him up with June and mostly because of the succession battle that is looming over Aaron’s estate. Sebastian’s absence at the funeral might undermine her efforts to get a chunk of Aaron’s wealth through Joel. To the best of Philomena’s knowledge, the old man died without a will, meaning that his vast estate is up for grabs. Philomena already feels disadvantaged because she has only one child. Joel’s brother Fred has four children and his sister Edith has six.
Philomena would also have loved to have a litter, and it looked like she would when she gave birth to Sebastian at the tender age of twenty two. She had just graduated from college when she conceived, and she went to live with Joel before they even got married. At the insistence of Aaron, Joel finalized the customary requirements a year after Sebastian was born, paving way for a grand wedding months later. But Philomena suffered secondary infertility after the birth of Sebastian and was unable to conceive again.
Joel suggested several times that they seek medical help, but she shut him down each time telling him that he should go and get checked if he suspected that he was the problem. Joel retreated, but Philomena wasn’t done. She started a rumor that he was the one who was impotent. This prompted Aaron to confront his son over the allegations. Joel responded by visiting a fertility clinic and doing a sperm count test, and the doctors assured him that his sperm count and viability was normal. He gave the results to his father and Aaron made sure the entire village knew that his son was not impotent, thus throwing a massive shade on Philomena. Joel wanted to divorce her then, but her father intervened and after secret discussions with Aaron, the old man Aaron forbid Joel from divorcing her.
Philomena comes from a wealthy family. Her grandfather was a wealthy colonial paramount chief and her father Hosea was a powerful provincial administrator in the Kenyatta and Moi administrations. Hosea started off as a district officer, but by the time Joel married Philomena, he was a Provincial Commissioner. Philomena also married into a “good” family. Aaron’s father was also a wealthy colonial paramount chief, and Aaron himself was, until his death a few days ago, a retired District Education Officer and a very wealthy man. Her husband Joel is an engineer. So to Philomena, her son Sebastian has blue blood and therefore should not marry a girl from a poor family.
Nancy, the County Woman Representative, is the daughter of a prominent businessman, and her husband and father-in-law are both reputable lawyers. Nancy’s father-in-law is actually a Senior Counsel. That is the kind of family that Philomena wants for her son.
The only reason Philomena is a teacher is because she was a problematic child. All her siblings hold senior positions in government and in the corporate world. But Philomena’s father had to pull many strings just for her to make it through school. She was expelled from two private schools six times, but her father’s influence helped her to get re-admitted each time, including getting her into a new school once.
The old man Hosea thought she would amount to nothing, even after helping her get a Bachelor’s degree in education. That is why he was excited when she was made pregnant by the son of a prominent family. He quickly leaned on Aaron to have his son formalize the union. That is also why he swiftly intervened when Joel wanted to divorce her, although the only people who are privy to that discussion are himself, Aaron and Joel. Even Philomena has no idea what was said amongst the men, although she was bright enough to realize that after the talks Joel would never divorce her.
As she is driving to the hospital, Philomena gets an idea. Her brother is a senior official in the Ministry of Health. She calls him and explains the situation to him, then asks him to pressure the doctor and the hospital administration to drop the charges. She also wonders loudly if something can happen to Fridah. Her brother assures her that he will “look into it.”
Sebastian and Harriet are confused when a clinical officer, two nurses and two guards come and start removing Fridah from the ward. They have just come back from the police station, and the nurse has been arrested. By why is Fridah being moved?
Sebastian calls Dr. Daniel, but he sadly tells them that he has been suspended from service with immediate effect for going to the police station without notifying the hospital’s administration. He is not even allowed to visit the wards.
“They want to kill her doctor,” Sebastian pleads.
“I know, Sebastian, but unfortunately there is nothing I can do at this point. Even the CCTV in that room has been disconnected.”
Sebastian and Harriet try to block the path of the medics, but the two guards restrain them. All they can do is cry.
[End of the free part of the story. To read the whole story and find out what becomes of Fridah, follow the instructions below to purchase your copy of the novella at only Kshs. 100]
Image by Darko Stojanovic from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/medic-hospital-laboratory-medical-563423/
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