He was sleeping with this lady at the hospital, a nurse. I’m a doctor at the same hospital, so Betty told me everything. Betty is one of the cleaners at the hospital.
He came to pick me up one evening from work. That was the first time he saw her, the nurse. Everyone at the hospital called her Sussy, but I would not say that is the short form of Susan her real name, as both have two syllables.
I never gave much regard to the way he looked at her that evening. I completely ignored the extended attention with which he looked at her as she put my things in the back seat of his car. We waved good bye and drove off.
The next morning, though my car had been returned from the auto shop, he offered to drop me off at work and also pick me up later on at the close of day. I was surprised and happy, we had not been spending much time together lately, work always kept me busy. So I readily accepted his offer.
After about two weeks of dropping me off and picking me up from work, he stopped doing so, and then he began returning home late from work, claiming busy schedule and late office meetings to be responsible. I chose to believe him, knowing it was the better option, yet I wondered what changed. It amazed me how that he used to come so early to pick me up, chatting with the nurses including Sussy while he waited for me to round off at work; and then suddenly, he became so busy with work and started keeping late nights. I tried using work to distract my thoughts that something else was wrong. It didn’t work.
Then the whisperings started at the hospital and Sussy no longer stopped by my office to say hello once in a while. I would walk by the lobby and hear some nurses and a few cleaners talking in hushed tones as I walked past. I picked phrases like- “She doesn’t even know…”; “How can she not know…”; “But it is not good…”- from their discussions. I ignored them for a while until the day I heard my husbands name in their discussion. I stopped and froze where I stood; they noticed and scampered away immediately. I got to my office and sent for Betty. I noticed she was a little unsettled which was unusual. I try to be good and as friendly as possible with the staffs of the hospital. She sat down and I offered her a drink to loosen her tongue. Then I got her to tell me what she and the other nurses have been talking about. I wasn’t firm with her, just casually asked her to fill me in on the latest ‘gist’ going round in the hospital. At some point I mentioned Sussy and how she has not been coming around to say hello like she used to. She giggled before realising her self; but it was too late. She looked at me and saw that she had been given away.
“Tell me everything Betty”, I said. She looked at me but could not hold my stare.
“Madam Doctor, I don’t know how to tell you ma.” She replied.
“Just open your mouth and let the words come out Betty.”
“E no easy like that Ma, na serious matter.”
“I heard my husbands name in your discussion earlier on, what was that about?” I queried with some measure of authority. She noticed and realised also that it wasn’t wise for her to get me upset.
“Madam na Sussy o.” Betty started and stopped.
“Go on Betty, what about Sussy?” A question I should perhaps not have asked. They say ignorance is bliss. I disagree. Ignorance leaves you without a choice and thus makes you powerless.
Betty looked away as she answered, she said, “Madam, Sussy and your husband dey run things for your back.” I froze again for the second time that day, both in an interval of less than thirty minutes. I sat there motionless, staring at Betty without saying anything. I guess there might be health implications for too many ‘blank moments’, I didn’t know and I didn’t care, all I knew was, Brian had betrayed me and hell will be let loose.