Wednesday, 13 June 2018


★★ ★★
''I feel like someone's been pounding on my chest with a big stick'' it was the first time in days that Robert could remember sitting upright in bed.
When he had waken, Amanda was sitting in the small sofa that somehow had gotten from his parlour to his bedroom, her feet moving slowly but rhythmically as she turned the pages of a book in here hand. At the sound of his voice, she laid the book on the floor and walked to his bedside
Lord! She was pretty! Her hair was carelessly packed, Robert thought she would look more angelic if she hadn't packed the hair at all, as his thought continued to their logical conclusion, Robert figured he had recovered. A sick man wouldn't be admiring beauty and hairstyle.
She stuck a thermometer under his tongue and said ''you had a serious case of pneumonia'' Amanda smiled and Robert noticed the dark circle that lined her eyes. Though he was the one who had pneumonia, Amanda looked as if she had been sick too, she was still the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and she smelled nice too, but something was definitely wrong.
Robert had a flash of memory ''Ken took I'll before me, I remembered he said something about not been able to move his muscles, I believe he's better now right?''
''He's recovering fast too, so Ella said'' Robert looked puzzled at her statement, what did Ella have to do with Ken ''Ella's been taking care of him, since I was here'' she explained.
Immediately the intriguing questions about Ken and Ella was forgotten as fragments of memories danced in the back of Robert's head.
A woman's hand, soft and soothing
A woman's voice, first soft and entreating, then fiercely demanding
A woman's tears, has Amanda been that woman? Or was it part of his dreams and memories of his childhood days when he was sick. He wasn't sure and wouldn't ask. What he did know was that no woman except for his mother had cared enough to stay with him when he was sick and Amanda had done just that.
''I can't imagine Ken and Ella together'' he said pushing his thoughts aside ''Ken's probably turning the air black with curses''
The air in his own room was fresh and smelled of sunshine and dust, the normal harmattan scent in Isshangbo
Amanda's lips curved in what could only be called a shy smile ''that's what Ella said, but she probably got her revenge in the form of a bed bath''
Doctor Ken submitting to a bed bath? The idea was ridiculous, Robert laughed and his chest protested as the laughing inflicted a great deal of pain to his lungs.
He had been sick for a week plus, and he was wearing nothing more than a pyjamas. Robert looked at the bed sheet that covered his lower body. It had been a week and he could only remember barely little of those days. What if Amanda had bathed him? Suddenly the picture of Ken and Ella wasn't amusing anymore.
She read his thought, because it was literarily written all over his forehead.
Amanda said sweetly ''you don't think I'd let you go for one week plus without proper hygiene, do you?"
She had! Robert could feel the blood rise to his face, it shouldn't matter, more than ten women had seen him naked and enjoyed both seeing and touching his body. This was different though. She had no right to stare at him when he was unconscious
''Relax, Robert. I'm a Doctor''
He could not meet her gaze ''you're also a woman'' he muttered. As if he can think of anything else.
★★★ † † † ★★★
Robert woke up the next morning to the smell of fried eggs. Lured by the aroma, he made his way on shaky legs to the kitchen
''Where's Amanda ?" He demanded, surprised to see Chris holding the fried pan
''If am in her shoes, then I'd probably be sleeping. Everyone's been talking about her, wondering how she survived, because she never left this place until yesterday evening'' Chris pushed the fried plantain to one side of the plate then dropped the fried egg beside them'' I took it as a responsibility to bring her food every single day, so she didn't have to cook. Considering she would hardly shift from your bedside''
Half an hour later, when he had collapsed on his bed very tired. Amanda poked her head into the bedroom door
''I brought you a visitor'' she said ''Ugo's here''
Ugo was the son of his staff who had died at the mill earlier the year, and he'd been taking care of the lad's need ever since
The young boy smiled then walked to his bedside I'm happy you better now'' he said pulling an object from behind his back, he handed it to Robert ''this is for you'' it was a carved walking stick.
Robert turned it over in his hand, fingering the rough carving ''its fine work son''
''Aunty said you'd be weak after the'' He turned to Amanda ''what did you call it again?"
''Pneumonia'' she pronounced the word slowly
''So I made this for you, you might need it'' Ugo explained ''to get to office, you know''
Robert smiled ''that was good thinking, its going to be helpful'' he reached out his hand and touched the boy's head ''thanks son''
When Ugo had left, Amanda returned to Robert's room
''I hope you didn't mind my letting him visit you, he came everyday that you were sick, but he refused to leave the walking stick without seeing you''
''Robert smiled ''I like the boy, its pretty tough on him, not having a father'' he sighed ''and lately I've been thinking of having sons as smart as Ugo''
He was obviously ready to settle down and build a family, thinking about having children is sequel to thinking about getting married.

To be continued


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