“Lister Hospital?... Siisi’s eyes widened and his heart started racing faster than Usain Bolt’s after his 9.8 seconds world record. Patricia’s eyes enlarged on impulse as she Siisi repeated what the nurse had said.
“Not Lister! …Lystell Hospital at Sakumono” the nurse replied frantically. “Come quickly…”
“Hello… Hello…..” Siisi looked at the screen and realized the call had ended. He looked at Patricia who was equally confused.
“What is it, Siisi? Who’s been admitted at the hospital?”
“I don’t know…but I need to dash there quickly…she sounded serious. I don’t even know where it is located …Lystell Hospital at Sakumono. Do you?”
“Nope…never heard of it. I only know Lister. Google Map can take us there. I’ll set it up.”
“Thanks. Lemme quickly inform the committee members of the development and we’ll go.”
Patricia’s eyes were fixated on the entrance of the staircase which led to the meeting room. After about 30 seconds, Siisi descended again and pointed to the far right of the car park, and started running towards the direction. He pressed the ‘unlock’ knob on the key case about 50 meters away from the glossy grey 2007 BMW 315i – a pass-on from his dad when he returned from the UK after graduating with distinction. He had enhanced its appearance with a 15” A-Line Devon Black 4/100 alloyed wheels and replaced its original engine with a 3.0 L N57 Turbo l6 to accommodate his genuine love for speed.
Siisi revved up the engine whilst Patricia searched online for the location of the hospital and indicated their current location in the bar. The route was mapped out for them. The speed with which he exited the parking lot was enough for Patricia to grasp her seat and mutter an audible prayer for safety. Siisi could not be bothered – a dear one’s life was at stake.
“Who could it be?” Siisi thought whilst speeding. “I spoke to my mum two days ago, and she was fine. My dad too is fine, I think!… Who at all could it be” he sighed heavily afterwards. There was no room for a conversation – utmost attention was being paid to the voice giving directions from Patricia’s Samsung s7 Edge which lay on her lap.
Tina still lay on her bed in the beautiful 4-star Akroma Plaza in Takoradi where she and her colleagues had been lodged since Saturday afternoon. They had impressed on their client, an oil support company, to allow them come earlier than their already scheduled Monday to enable them have adequate rest of both body and mind before they began their grilling work. As usual of her whenever they went on an assignment outside Accra, attendance to church service featured nowhere in her plans, although she knew the Rev. Sam Korankye Ankrah-led Royal House Chapel had a branch there. For her, attendance to church was not a criterion for admission to Heaven – the purity of the heart and one’s belief in God does the trick. And so long as she was tired, she wouldn’t stress herself – God knew.
She turned to her right to check the time on her phone and realized it was past noon. She lay on her back and stared at the rotating fan which hung from the beautifully designed POP ceiling above her. She had woken up at dawn to switch off the 1.5 HP Haier Thermocool air condition as it sent chills down her spine even when the thick quilt was securely wrapped around her. She opted for the ceiling fan in its stead.
The confusing dream she had woken up from not too long ago played back in her mind. She put her palms under her head and locked them at the fingers. “What kinda dream too is this?” she steupsed after she mentally asked herself.
In it, she saw herself clad in a white, vital statistics-revealing wedding gown, walking down the aisle with her dad, and being heralded by Richard Wagner’s popular Bridal Chorus played by Alfred Patrick Addaquay on a Model D Concert Piano from Steinway & Sons. The sound reverberated in the imposing, awe-striking Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra, where Philipp is a congregant. It struck her as they walked down the aisle that the church was empty, but loud cheers could be heard. She looked straight at the altar but saw only the Priest standing there, beckoning them to come. “Where is Philipp?” she asked her dad, who shrugged in response and kept walking majestically on the red carpet towards the priest.
When they reached the priest, they saw his left arm stretched and pointing towards an individual sitting in the confession box with another priest. She tried to go there, but was prevented by her father who wouldn't let go off her arm, which was interlocked with his. She tried to free herself, but her dad's grip was reminiscent of a retired sumo wrestler. She stood there with her free arm akimbo, waiting to see who it was behind the confession box. The cathedral, all of a sudden, was full to capacity with guests, with all of them anxious to see who the fellow with the seared conscience was. Tina began sweating profusely as she didn't find the situation amusing at all. Then all of a sudden, the silhouette of a well-built individual emerged from the confession box with a dark cloud over his head, walking towards her. "Philipp...is that you?" she asked and immediately woke up to reality.
"Is Philipp hiding something from me? ... Why would he go to the confession box on our wedding day? ... What is so serious a crime or sin that he would have to confess before tying the knot with me? ... Am I going to be safe with him?" she asked herself in quick succession.
"Did I overeat last night?" she asked herself when she realized she was unsuccessful in her attempt at wrapping her mind around the dream. "Maybe, I have to find a way of retrieving the dossier Siisi has been keeping on Philipp. I'll call Siisi after having my shower and lunch" she concluded and swung her legs down the bed and made her way to the washroom.
“That’s it…” Patricia pointed to Siisi when they negotiated the final curve, drove about 100 meters, per the leading of her phone, and saw the Lister Hospital. He parked the car and run to the entrance of the hospital with Patricia in tow. He turned and hit the lock knob on the car key, and the amber light from the trafficators blinked twice in quick succession.
“Hello… I’m Siisi Grant. I was called to quickly dash here by a nurse”.
“Wait a minute, sir” the nurse at the reception responded.
Siisi’s heart was beating mightily fast as he was anxious to know which loved one had been rushed to the hospital for which his urgent attention was required. Patricia joined him at the desk moments later.
“Yes sir!” Siisi’s attention was drawn by the nurse. “Your father collapsed and was rushed here about two hours ago”.
His eyes widened and mouth gaped. “Where… How? Is he fine? How is he doing?” he asked, all in a single breath. “Can I see him?” he added before the nurse could answer the preceding questions. She nodded and led the two to the ward.
Siisi muttered some inaudible prayers against any misfortune he was unprepared for whilst they climbed the flight of stairs leading to the wards. When the entered the ward where his dad had been admitted, and saw the oxygen mask covering his nose and mouth and the heart monitor to his right, he held the door for his own stability. Patricia held him.
He moved closer to him steadily. The inaudible prayers continued. Then his countenance changed.
“This is not my dad” he said. His was a tall, dark elderly man with an average build and grey hair, but he who lay on the bed was quite fair and bald.
“Huh!” Patricia blurted, as the two ladies looked at him with surprise.
To be continued
P.S. If you missed Episode 7 of The "Confession", you can read it here.
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