Maa Abena eventually managed to give them their medications.
Soon two male attendants came and led the three away, leaving Kofi in the ward with Maa Abena.
“Where are they being taken to?” Kofi asked hopefully.
“To dinner,” Maa Abena Nyantie said. “Dining-hall is down the block, and I’ll show you later. This evening, however, I prepared some jollof for you so that you eat here, because I want to chat with you.”
Their eyes met and held.
She was a beauty, for a fact, more than Ato had described her. She was the kind of girl that men stared at and fantasized about. As he sat on his bed and looked at her, however, something hit him hard, and scared him a bit: he didn’t lust after her!
That was a first for him. He got breathless whenever he saw a beautiful girl, and if it were possible that he could see a girl again, he would make a move on her.
But, surprisingly, although he knew he might remain at the Adada Asylum for a while, he didn’t, for even one moment, imagine hitting on her and making love to her. There was something different about her that stirred more than lust within his heart.
Maybe it was due to the fact that she might believe he was as insane as the Director was making it seem, and it could also be the fact that after the Sajili incident, he had lost his libido.
But, whatever it was, he was looking at an incredibly beautiful woman, and for the first time he was not undressing her with his eyes, or imagining how she would look like from behind and sideways or naked on top of him.
She lifted a blue food flask from a plastic basket on the floor and took out some plates. She opened the flask and served the jollof from it, and put it on the side-table which she drew toward Kofi.
She sat at the desk of the NOD –Nurse on Duty – watching him as he ate.
It was the most delicious rice configuration he had ever tasted.
She had finished off with grilled fish, and he just couldn’t have enough. She watched him with mildly surprised eyes as he first used the spoon, then put it down and wolfed down the food with his fingers.
There was the residue of chewed fish bones in the plate, and he looked up at her, licking his fingers, still not full but feeling suddenly abashed to ask for more.
She stood up and approached him. She scooped the rest of the rice in the food flask into a new plate, put one more grilled fish beside it, and put it down in front of him.
He looked at her with almost shy eyes.
“That was reserved for yourself, wasn’t it?” he asked softly.
“Finish it off,” she replied with a chuckle.
“Sure?” he asked uncertainly.
“I don’t like rice much, Kofi,” she said gently. “I prepared that for you, but I didn’t really believe you could eat all that.”
He looked at her, startled, and saw her eyes twinkling, and knew she was making fun of him, and they both smiled at the same time. She dropped her eyes quickly, and he turned to the food, aware that within that harmony of their eyes meeting, a threshold had suddenly been breached, somehow.
Not that she had felt it; maybe she hadn’t.
A love note was the last thing he needed, though. He was now a disgraced man. The whole world knew he had tried to make love to a corpse. Videos and pictures of him had gone viral, and she was pretty well aware of that.
Secondly, she was such a beauty, and it was absolutely inconceivable that she was without a man, someone who loved her enough to make a respectable woman out of her.
And of course there was Ato, his friend. Ato had intimated this was the one girl he could love and marry, and as the Brother Code went, he could never express interest in the girl his friend loved. It was a taboo area.
Finally, there was Akweley to consider.
Kofi still loved her, and he had a deep pain in his heart that he had messed up and ruined their beautiful relationship. Maybe, if by some miracle he got out of here, Akweley would still be waiting for him because deep down she loved him, he was certain of that.
He finished off the plate, and she poured water for him to wash his hands and gave him some disposable kitchen towels to clean his hands.
She poured water for him to drink, and then she carefully packed the flask and bowls back into the basket. She went back to the NOD desk and after a moment she came toward him with some medicine in a tablet holder.
On the holder was also an unbroken injectable ampoule and a syringe.
She set it down on the side-table, and stood looking down at Kofi.
His face was a mask of misery as he looked at the medication, and then at her face. His eyes were sad as he reached out slowly and covered her right hand with both of his, his look unwavering.
“I want you to believe me, Maa Abena, please,” he said in an unsteady voice. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to me here, but I know one thing: if you give me those drugs, you’re going to drive me mad. I’m not crazy, Maa Abena. It has all been one great mess!”