“Get out!” Biyi was visibly angry. It was as if he had seen his sworn enemy. Nurse Titi had to leave the hospital room to avoid any further issue. She, however was as confused as she had always been since the first time that Biyi was brought to that hospital. She met Mr and Mrs Keshinro on her way out. She greeted and left them alone with her angry patient. They noticed the displeasure in her countenance and quickly understood what must have transpired between the nurse and her patient.
“Where is Laide? I hope that she is not hurt. And did you arrest that old fool? Did you come with Laide? Is she safe? Where is she!?” Biyi was in great distress. He didn’t stop talking and asking questions to which the duo standing before him had no answer to give. They simply looked on, waiting for the moment. They knew that he would soon sleep off and wake up as a different person. Truly, he retreated to the bed on which he was lying before sitting up, and drifted to sleep. He woke up one hour later to the gaze of Laide, her dear sister. She had been informed about the collapse of her brother and quickly left the tutorial centre where she went earlier that day.
**** **** **** ****
Five months before that day, Biyi had stabbed Mide, their step father in Laide’s room. Mide went to her room every night since their mother’s death four weeks earlier and Biyi would cry until the next morning. He hated himself for not being able to rescue his sister from the cruelty of their step father. On that fateful night, Biyi had summoned courage to put a stop to his sister’s pain. He entered Laide’s room before it was 12:30am, the time that Mide would come in there. He came eventually and ordered Biyi to leave the room. “I’d rather die than leave this room.“, he said amidst tears. He was desperate too. He wouldn’t forsake his sister that night. Laide’s tears could already fill an empty well. She had mixed feelings – that of gratitude to her brother and the fear of what might happen next. To her, Mide seemed like a thirty-four years old monster who would tear them apart any moment from then on.
Mide brushed the brother aside and moved towards the sister. Biyi rushed to the kitchen to bring a knife. He wasn’t going to kill his step father. He was only going to threaten him with the knife. Mide charged at him like a possessed demon and blindly pushed his potbelly stomach into the sharp tip of the knife that Biyi was holding. He died. Biyi was sent to the juvenile home for six months since he was not yet eighteen and all evidences showed that it was manslaughter that was committed in an attempt to rescue his sister.
Two weeks after he came back from the juvenile home, he had become a stranger to the world around him and to himself, an alien. He had become traumatised. Whenever everything became silent, he would hear his sister’s screams and when he looked too much, he would see the angry face of his dead step father. He wouldn’t sleep at night without seeing how Mide died by the knife he was holding. The guilt feeling would be so unbearable that he would sometimes pass out and by the time he became conscious, he would be another person entirely. He would be concerned about his sister, asking if she was okay and if the ‘old fool’ had been arrested. Thereafter, he would drift into sleep and after waking up, he wouldn’t remember a thing from whatever happened. The people around him thought that he was pretending. Some said he was crazy.
His sister, uncle and aunt believed him. They did some research and concluded that he might be suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). All the nearby hospitals that they had visited didn’t think so. “They have never treated this kind of illness before. So, it may be strange to them.“, his aunt had said. His uncle was already talking to a psychiatrist friend in London and they hoped that Biyi would get the necessary treatment soon.
“Huùnhúún… Oríṣiríṣi ló ń sẹlẹ̀ nílé ayé. Hùn“. Nurse Titi wasn’t really talking to herself. She wanted nurse Bola to hear and ask her what the problem was. That was their tradition. One would bring a gist, start talking to herself about it and the other would join the conversation. “What have you seen or heard this time around, nurse Titi?” Nurse Bola didn’t fail her. She asked.
“You see that man in room 6…“, she started.
“What about him?” Nurse Bola was impatient.
“Just wait. I will kúkú tell you.“, she continued. “What is doing him is strange oo. And the fact that he doesn’t know is even stranger.” “What do you mean?” Nurse Bola didn’t quite understand.
“When he passes out and wakes up again, he’ll be angry at the nurses around and asking weird questions and after some minutes, he’d wake up, only to say that he doesn’t remember doing or saying any of the things that he did or said. Isn’t that strange?“, nurse Titi explained.
“Kó dà, it is stranger because me oo, I’ve never seen such before in my seven years of being a nurse.“, nurse Bola chipped in.
“Such is life!“, nurse Ronke added. They didn’t know that she was listening to them from the small laboratory that was right behind their desk. She must have strained her neck to get the gist. Ah, nurses and their aproko! “Nurse Bola, you’re right when you said that it’s stranger. It’s in two ways. It’s stranger because he can’t even remember what he does when he comes back to his senses. Secondly, it is evident that he has become a total stranger to himself. That explains why he asks what he did or said after gaining his senses back.“, Nurse Ronke explained. The other two nurses had their mouths agape. How would she know all that, they thought.
“Nurse Ronke, get me the file of the woman in room 14.“, the Doctor’s voice came from an office that was at the adjacent of the nurses’ desks. “Yes sir.” She left her colleagues who were already arranging the files in front of them as soon as they saw the Doctor’s head popped out of his office from behind the door.
“Mtcheew… Another strange being“, Nurse Titi hissed as the Doctor popped his head back inside.