REDEEMED (A SERIES) – EPISODE 12
(WRITTEN BY JOY A. ADEWUMI)
Femi stopped at Bed 3 in the male ward, glad for the empty bed beside it. He had to make this fast, that bed might not be empty for long. He coughed to clear his throat, not quite sure the guy was actually asleep or was trying to fall asleep. The guy’s eyelids flew open at the noise and widened at the sight of Femi sitting right in front of him on the side his body was turned to.
‘Uhmmm… Do I know you?’ He asked, looking around, as though wondering if Femi had lost his way.
Femi smiled and said, ‘Yea, good question. Only you can answer it though.’
The guy’s brows furrowed as a frown metamorphosed on his face, ‘Dude, you look like a doctor with the coat and all, but I don’t play stupid games, not even with doctors.’
Femi chuckled and pulled his right hand out of his coat pocket. Wiggling the index finger at the patient, he said, ‘You know, you sound more couth than the other night.’
‘What flipping night, dude?! Stop with the games already.’ He snapped.
With a trio of tsks, Femi snapped his fingers and quipped, ‘Now, that’s the “you” I remember. I guess you don’t remember much from that night, much less your volunteer chauffeur. You know, the night at that club? What was the name again? I didn’t commit it to memory.’
Femi smiled as recognition dawned on the guy’s face and laughed as he shot up on his bed exclaiming, ‘Shit!’
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‘Uhm…. Oh my! Uhmmm…’ The doctor actually laughed at my stuttering and I knew I must have sounded stupid.
I swallowed, put my thoughts together and said, ‘Yea, the other night. I’m sorry. No, I’m grateful. Actually, I’m thankful for your kind gesture that night and sorry for my attitude just now. Uhmm… I actually tried getting your identity, but I was just one step away when something came up and everything kind of spiralled down from there. I sort of forgot after that.’
The doctor nodded and said, ‘I understand. You didn’t seem like the type to simply go on without trying to find out. I mean, no one can handle that kind of mystery, but you looked like the type to search till you find. But you can imagine my shock when I saw you rushed in here yesterday morning.’ I nodded as though he asked a question and then caught myself when I realised that was not the right response.
‘Yea, like I said, things kind of went down fast.’ The doctor who seemed to be in his late twenties or early thirties smiled again and introduced himself.
‘By the way, I’m Femi Damijo. It’s funny how we had such an interesting encounter, one that entailed quite the discussion, yet we never got introduced. All I know is that the bouncer kept calling you Skinny, but I doubt that’s your given name.’
A discussion, huh? Hadn’t Hamid said the same thing? That I was discussing with the guy when he brought me home. I wondered what important stuff I had babbled to the good doctor in my drunken state.
‘Oh! I’m Roland Kalejaiye. Actually, I should apologize for causing you discomfort that night. It couldn’t have been an easy decision to stop by and drive a stubborn, babbling, total stranger home in the middle of the night. I mean, this is Lagos, and that was quite the decision, honestly, if I weren’t a beneficiary, I would have called it a foolish decision.’ I laughed.
Doctor Femi chuckled and replied, ‘I know, but I didn’t do it because I just felt like it. I mean, who would? Like you said, this is Lagos, not Abule Oyindun where everyone knows where everyone else lives. Besides, that night, I’d had quite the work day, was coming back from an additional engagement and was supposed to go home and crash straight, with a plan to wake up by six am the next day. So imagine how foolish it must have seemed to stop by a random club by 11:40 and drive a random guy home, knowing he might not even remember my face when he sobers up, and to end up sleeping by 1am.’
‘Jeez! What got into you? I mean, nothing about the encounter was in your favour.
Why did you stop?’ I asked bewildered.
‘Well, I think you’d scoff at my answer, so I’ll just withhold it.’ He replied.
I scoffed at that and replied, ‘I can’t stop scoffing at your decision in the first place, trust me, whatever reason you come up with cannot measure up to weirdness of the fact that you actually followed up on it.’
Doctor Femi smiled and said, ‘Okay, but really, I’d rather you didn’t scoff.’
My brows furrowed as my curiosity doubled and I said, ‘I’ll try not to.’
‘The Holy Spirit asked me to.’ I blinked twice, trying to wrap my head around his simple but incredulous answer.
‘You’re joking right?’I asked.
He laughed at my reaction and replied, ‘At least you did not scoff.’
‘Wait! Are you telling me you’re not joking? Because, this makes no sense, at all.’ I asked with my brows furrowed, trying still to no avail to wrap my head around his reply.
‘Well, you experienced the errand. Like you said, you were a beneficiary and I’m sure you were not expecting an ordinary answer. This shouldn’t be too hard to believe in the light of that.’ Doctor Femi replied, smiling.
‘Well, believe? Yes! I mean, I don’t think you stand to gain anything from lying, but understand? No. Totally not.’ I said shaking my head vigorously.
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‘I didn’t expect you to.’ I blinked at that, opened and closed my mouth several times, not quite sure what to say to that.
He spoke instead, ‘So, alcohol poisoning, huh?’
I swallowed and replied, ‘Believe me, contrary to what you might think, I’m not a drunk. I’m usually not that wasted.’
He nodded as he placed his jaw in the crook between his thumb and his index finger, ‘I know. You are a guy who can handle his alcohol well, but recently, you’ve been needing to get drunk rather desperately, and so you’ve had to mix very intense stuff together to get to that end.’
Who was this doctor?!
‘Wait, I just might flip if you tell me that the Holy Spirit told you that!’ He laughed quite heartily infecting me in the process. I couldn’t help the smile that stretched my lips.
‘No, you told me that.’
‘Me? When? Oh no! Don’t tell me I actually babbled some meaningful stuff that night?’ I asked as I hit my forehead hard with my palm. He simply laughed again and replied,
‘Actually, that might have been the only thing I got from all your rambling that night. Well, that alongside your address. You know at some point, I was scared you might have given me the wrong address. Honestly, you said quite a lot, but between your slurred tone and your colorful language, I couldn’t help but zone out at some point.’
‘Oh!’ That was all I could manage. I was thoroughly embarrassed.
‘I’m really sorry for being such a hassle. I’m willing to make it up to you if you’d let me. ‘I added. He stared at me for a while and then said, after glancing at his watch.
‘Roland, if I can call you that?’
It sounded more like a question than a statement, so I replied, before he continued, ‘Yes, you absolutely can.’
‘Well, honestly, you’ve been on my mind. Naturally, you were the first person I thought of when I woke up the next morning and after my thanksgiving for life, you were the first person I prayed for. Even as that day rolled on, at odd times, you kept slipping into my mind and with it came a burden pray for you. However, it was hard to do much when I didn’t even know what exactly to pray for. That bothered me. I felt like I would be doing more for you if I could tell what to pray about.’
I couldn’t believe my ears! Was this guy kidding me? Was this meeting even real or was I in another coma? I discreetly pinched myself and barely held back a wince.
The good doctor wasn’t done though, ‘You said you’d like to make it up, right?’ I nodded my affirmation, glad I was getting an opportunity to make it up, but I never saw what he said coming.
‘Truth is, between the time you were rushed in yesterday and now, the burden to pray for you increased both in intensity and frequency and I so bothered my friend who’s your doctor that when you wake up, he had to call me to inform me.
You can make it up to me by telling me what I can pray about?’ He glanced at his watch and I wondered if he was pressed for time. I was astonished however by his request and I couldn’t answer him for a while. Even when I finally got my thoughts together, only questions swam around.
‘I don’t get you at all, Doctor Femi. I don’t get you at all. Why would you stop to drive a total stranger home even if the Holy Spirit asked you to? Why would you keep praying for some random stranger you met only briefly? Why would you give up an opportunity to ask for a proper favour and ask for my problem instead? None of it makes sense.’ I shook my head as though trying to clear some fog. Doctor Femi smiled and scooted closer to me in such a way that he was leaning against the next bed, rather than sitting on it.
‘I really do not expect you to understand, but I’ll give you a little explanation anyway. You see, it’s a ministry. It’s the ministry of intercession. Uhmmn… Are you conversant with the Bible?’ He asked.
‘Not really. I… I actually haven’t done much of church since I was a kid. ‘I replied.
Doctor Femi released a short breath while nodding his head and said, ‘Okay, I get that. You see, over time in the Bible, God raised certain people to intercede for his people whenever something was wrong and no one seemed to remember Him. He laid a burden on the heart of these people and they got praying for people who sometimes were even undeserving. It is the same thing here. People like me have been called to that same ministry where regularly, God lays on our heart a burden to pray for other people and to help stand in the gap for them. They might be people we know or don’t know, it doesn’t matter which category they fall into. When we are led to pray, we pray. For us, nothing is more fulfilling than seeing those we pray for become better. That feeling is sweeter than even an answer to our own personal requests.’ I shook my head utterly bewildered.
‘So, Roland, I would really love it if you could share as much as you feel comfortable sharing with me.’ I swallowed and blinked as I tried to understand the doctor’s words. It felt surreal to find out that someone had been burdened to pray for me and was earnestly asking to know what to pray about. The emotion that clogged my throat felt alien and I cleared my throat, willing it to leave.
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‘Uhmm… Okay. Uhmmm…’ I stuttered swallowing intermittently. I didn’t really know where to start from.
‘You know, you can just summarize the story from top to bottom if you can’t tell what to specify as your request. I’ll pick it out myself.’ Doctor Femi helped and I nodded, glad he caught on to my dilemma.
‘But aren’t you pressed for time?’ I asked not wanting to bother him more than I’d done already.
‘Well, I have some free time.’ He replied.
I readjusted my position on the bed and began, ‘Okay, so here’s the long story cut short…’ I couldn’t believe I was telling a random stranger my life story, but then, there wasn’t really much about my experience with this doctor that was believable in the first place.
Ha! Finally! Jesus to the rescue! Isn’t it beautiful, how Jesus can send His love to you wherever you are, even at the ends of the earth?! But Skinny’s life is complicated ooo. This second encounter with Doc Damz, do you think it will make any difference?
Also, what do you think about the effect of their first meeting on Skinny’s reception to Doc Damz. Do you think the nature of their first meet had any effect on the fact that someone like Skinny is having a discussion on spiritual things with a total stranger? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.
Thanks for your precious time here on the blog. I hope you have downloaded your free copy of my new eBook- Dare to Hope. If not subscribe below in the subscription prompt to get yours. God bless you abundantly. See you next week!
The Girl with the Winning Smile,