When I started this series, I had a three part concept which would have ended on St Valentine’s Day. However, the story and the characters took a life of their own and took me in a direction that I didn’t quite expect. I have no idea when PENDULUM will end or where the story is going but that’s the beautiful thing about writing fiction, it takes you on paths you couldn’t have predicted.
See Part one and two of the series HERE and HERE
The girl in the white uniform attracted significant attention as she walked down the corridor, it was her legs and the confident way she swung her big bottom that drew admiring glances from men and contemptuously jealous glances from the women.
The clinical meeting had already started but she liked to walk in exactly ten minutes after proceedings had started. She noticed Maduforo’s frown as she entered the hall, he hated how she courted attention with her seductive body. She swung her hips even harder and smiled at the handsome Irish Doctor who headed the department, his eyes widened in appreciation and he gave her their special, secret signal.
“Folake, you’re late again” Maduforo said through gritted teeth as she sat down beside him
“Madu darling, you know I had to do a few things first.” She drawled
“A few things like what?”
“Dr Maduforo, will you please stop distracting us.” Dr Macgregor cut in.
Madu turned to her and gave a look that promised retribution much later, and he turned back to
“Why were you flirting with Dr Macgregor?” he shouted the minute that they were alone together in the empty conference room.
“Me?” she opened her eyes wide and made her lips tremble.
“Yes you, I noticed the look you both gave each other as you walked in.”
“Oti o, are you accusing me of having something to do with him?”
“I have heard the rumours about both of you but closed my ears to them, I ignored the whispers, the mocking laughter that follows me in the wards, but I cannot ignore or discount the evidence of my own eyes.” he was shouting now.
“Evidence kini? Which yeye evidence?” she shouted back at him
“Folake please stop whatever you’re doing with other doctors, stop rubbing shame on me. Let me marry you and give you a home.”
“I am not doing anything with anybody.” She mumbled.
“Please don’t let me down like this, I have given up so much for your love, for the chance to be with you. I even gave up…”
“Spare me that talk of giving up your bush girlfriend for me, did I ask you to. Do you even think you are up to my level?”
He walked away from her, even as she called after him. His heart was too sore from the sudden realisation of the extent of her betrayal. He wanted to scream out his rage but he didn’t want to give the gossips anything new to talk about.
The letter from his mother was still where he’d left it after reading it that morning. He’d usually loved his mother’s letters which were usually written by the village headmaster or by Chibu’tutu when he was on holiday from Government College Owerri.
He picked it up from the table and looked at it again, he imagined his mother saying the news that was written in the letter in her clear soprano voice. Telling him of who had bought a new Raleigh bicycle and who had bought a new goat or whose hens had suddenly stopped laying eggs. She also gave him news about Chinwe, she’d gone to England to become a doctor, not a Nigerian trained doctor like him but a British doctor who would treat white people.
This time she told him that Chinwe was engaged to a Nigerian lawyer in England, they would come home to pay her bride price when she finished her studies. She didn’t tell him that she blamed him for letting her go, neither did she ask of the Yoruba girl he wanted to marry. She never asked about Folake, maybe she thought that if she ignored the matter long enough, it would evaporate.
He was still holding the letter when Charles came to collect a textbook at 6pm, he didn’t even hear his repeated knocks on the door.
“O boy I have been knocking since thy kingdom come” Charles said when he tapped his shoulder.
“Sorry Charles, I was lost in thought.”
“What kind of thought would deafen your ears, or is old age setting in already”.
“It’s Folake and Macgregor”
Charles sighed and sat down on the cane chair beside the gramophone.
“You know about it then?”
“Was I the only one who didn’t know?’
“I guess so, almost everyone in Ibadan has seen her and Macgregor in his car taking an evening drive.”
“She didn’t even care if I knew about it” Madu said brokenly
“Take it easy my brother, no kill yourself on top woman matter because they no worth am.”
“There was a girl who was worth it but I gave her up for Folake because I loved her.”
“You didn’t love this worthy one you had known before?”
“I don’t even know now, I have known her since she was born. She’s presently studying medicine in Great Britain”.
“You mean you gave up a doctor in the making for Folake?” Charles asked incredulously.
“Yes I did”.
“Give me the full story of how you gave up a Doctor trained in Obodo UK for a nurse trained in ordinary US.” He commanded.
Madu perched on the table and began to tell him about Chinwe, he had no way of knowing that at that very moment in a hospital in Liverpool, Chinwe was talking about him.