Sunday, August 20, 2006

Monika (Nadia)

Monika (Nadia)

A short story
28/03/1996 – 03:00 P.M
K.T.H. (Khartoum Teaching Hospital)
Written by Obai Eizzed –Deen Al-Bushra


It was the nineteenth of July, one of the hottest months of the year. The very large ward in K.T.H seemed to me like a stove. It was really a yard of tremendous endless, noises. Though it was a hospital but it was built in a noisy area. The roaring of the traffics, the outcries of the marching sellers, who call for their goods, the endless sirens of the ambulances, the shouting of the vulgars and homeless boys, the unbearable whistles of the trains, the howling of the dogs and the chatting of the many co-patients and visitors inside the ward itself.
The colic pain that burned my side, the headache that damaged the whole of my scull and the Epigastric pain increased my sufferings.
I have been diagnosed, from the primary symptoms, with Duodenal Ulcer. Two days later, after many investigations, X ray, two GI. Endoscopies, widal tests, Urine test…, the Registrar admitted me for follow up. But there were no vacant beds, so they borrowed a bed, from a surgical unit, so I've been, temporarily, charged in a surgical ward.
For my good luck, it was the happiest fate, that thrown me there, and threw her to meet me.
While I was suffering the undiagnosed pain, waiting for the Boss to come, after a long, bad night, a very tall girl burst in, dressed in white. As tall as a palm tree. As black as charcoal. Slim with very beautiful wide eyes, and a set of precious pearls, formed her teeth. A young beautiful lady, whom you could never turn your eyes away from, or neglect her glorious attendance. She looked like a fashion model or a movie star, from Holly Wood. When I saw her, I thought that her face was familiar to me, but at that time I couldn't remember. I was lying in the first bed, so I was the first patient she visited.
The nurse cheered me happily: (Sabah al Keir) - Good morning.
(Sabah an-Nour), I replied her cheering gaily.-
- How are you today?
- Very well sister, thank you.
She went back three steps to pull a trolley with a tray on it. A tray covered with white cloth and she uncovered it. I saw many scissors, bottles of many Antiseptics and cotton… She really aroused my old Phobia of syringes, and all my fears from the hospital surroundings. I was astonished, what the use of all these things for me, and exclaimed what she was going to do.
- That's well. Please lie on you back and take of your clothes, she said.
- But, why sister?
She laughed a very sweet laughter I've ever heard and sat near me.
- Do you afraid or shy of a female to see you naked?
- Neither nor, my...
- Listen, my dear. You have to confess, that you are court enough to bear the pain. Let me dress your
- Oh, no …
She laughed again and said:
- Three years before, I worked in a Pediatric unit. I noticed that, the kids do that, because …
- Oh God, believe me sister, I'm...
Again she interrupted me
- Ok. What am I going to write on that damned report attached to the trolley?
- There are many other patients waiting for dressing. Please do a favour to me. The doctor and the students will come for the weekly around at ten O'clock.
She threw a white shade on my bed and said:
- Take off your clothes and be brave .I will come back after ten minutes.
Then she pulled her trolley towards the other patient, who had a septic diabetic wound, who died four hours later with Septicemia.
Again I heard the trolley creeping towards my bed. She came with a sarcastic smile, but when she saw my pale face, she laughed loudly, and addressed me:
- Mr. Adam please help me to do my work…
But I angrily shouted on her face:
- Sister. First of all my name is (…), not Adam, and I have no any wounds or any cut to dress.
- What?! You are not Adam? Who are you then, and what was you surgical operation?
I answered:
- No any operation done to me.
-By the lord, why are you here Mr. Adam? I'm sorry you said your name's (…).
The young nurse, poured a hot stream of questions, but she didn't wait me to reply. But she went to the Matron of the unit, to know that Mr. Adam was an other patient, who escaped yesterday night, to leave his bed empty for me. My own name wasn't listed.
The lady returned, smiling, and said:
- Oh, Am sorry Mr. (…). That's not my fault. Why didn't you tell me …?
- You didn't wait for any explanations, sister.
I told her the whole story. She laid her apologies again and marched towards an old patient.
I thought that, that matter has completely passed, and forgot it. But at three O'clock, the young lady came again, carrying two bottles of juice and some sandwiches.
She came in cinereous dress to combine between the lovely dark colour of her derm and the whit colour of her teeth. A dress that seemed to me sewed on her body, not dressed by any. No inch of the cloth was wider than her body.
The beautiful nurse leaned towards me to test my temperature with her hand. Her short hair threw some drizzles of water, on my forehead, for her hair was still wet after washing. My nose caught a rosy perfume. A precious perfume was definitely expensive.
The sweet creature sat beside me calmly. After a declared pause, but a serious eye's conversation, she tapped my left hand, as if she was an old friend and said, in a curious tone:
- Mr. (…) - she knew only my first name- Please forgive my curiosity, I want to know every thing about you.
- I think I've met you before, in spite of my deep sure, that I didn't see you before.
I assured to her that, that was my own feeling too. I liked the way she was speaking. She spoke in local Arabic called, Arabic of Juba, but in lovely accent. She was saying (Humang- the Arabic Hum- that means they are-) she pronounced it in full nasal cavity sound, but lovely. When she noticed me following her pronunciation she asked me if I can speak English.
- I answered: Yes, I studied in English.
Then she spoke in fluent English.
Very frankly she spoke about herself. Her mother died when she was delivering her forth baby. So she was very sorry to lose her mother and sister, because of poor medical care, so she intended to be a midwife. Her father, who was a soldier, in the armed Opposition army in southern Sudan, has been killed, two years later. The orphan traveled to Khartoum with her uncle, who was a minister.
Later her uncle the minister convinced her to study Nursing, instead of midwifery. He changed her country name from Monika to Nadia, but she liked Monika, the real name.
She spoke about her hobbies, for she was a good basket ball & volley ball player and a swimming hero. Lastly, she told me that she was engaged to a relative, called Jack Agway Pick.
When I heard her pronouncing the name, I jumped from my bed saying:
- Oh, Lord!
- Don’t tell me that …, but I couldn't complete, for her amazement I was weeping.
- Now I know you lady, don't complete. Your sister Rebecca died when she was eighteen years old. Your father's name was Samuel John Beeb. You were born in a small village near Rumbeik. Your tribe is Dinka. But jack was engaged to your dead sister Rebecca.
- Yeeees, but how did you know all of that, by the name of the ( Kujour) or even the Devil you believe in? She shouted.
I embraced her and increased her astonishment. And we wept together. The whole staff in the hospital was looking in spy glances and surprise, without daring to ask a question.
I told her that I met Rebecca many years ago, when she was a student, and she was the first girl I loved. (I ask Allah to forgive her). And I cried again.
Monika asked me: Do you ask Allah to forgive her though she was a Christian?
- (Yes, though she was a Christian). I confirmed, and showed her Rebecca's ring.
- Don't cry dear baby, Rebecca, before her death, left a message for you , but she died before she could send it, or even I could ask her how to find you. Now the message is still in it's envelope, inside my cupboard. I didn't open it or show it to any one, as if I was sure to meet you, one day. Thanks God... Your full name is (…).
I agreed. Then we departed together to her home.
A new escape from the same bed was reported that night, as she told me later. In side the bus I looked behind me, searching for the ticket seller, to buy two tickets for Monika & me. I saw Jack, who was lost in the forest for about two years, and no body knew where he was, as Monika told me. He was laughing. He saw us when we got up into the bus, but he kept silent. When I told Monika, whom I saw, behind us, she didn't turn her face, but touched my forehead and said:
- Dear (…), it is better to take two tabs of Aspirin, you are feverish.


Notice:
The characters of this story are real persons still alive, and real names



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