Madam Aisha felt the doctor looked familiar. She had only been in his office for 3 minutes but a wave of uneasiness had begun to creep over her.
"How can I help you madam?" he smiled as he glanced at the name written boldly across her file.
She looked up at him, his dark brown eyes underneath bushy but well-trimmed eyebrows looking at her intently. She started sweating. She felt more uncomfortable and shifted in her chair.
Dr Agbo was quite good looking, with dark and thick curly hair and a neat well cropped beard. He knew it couldn't have been his looks that made her seem so startled for he'd always had a pleasant effect on people; he'd been described as too good looking on many occasions. As a child he was said to have been born with thick curly hair and side burns, these attributes always drew attention to him.
"Madam Aisha, are you alright?" He got up to feel her pulse.
She felt like slapping his hand off her wrist but the room had started revolving, she felt dizzy.
"Don't touch me, don't touch me," she managed to mutter in horror.
The doctor looked confused but tried to stay calm.
"Should I get you a glass of water?" Dr Agbo asked.
Before he could turn towards the small refrigerator in his office, Aisha had bolted out the room screaming "don't touch me!" Leaving a trail of incredulous stares behind her in the waiting area.
Puzzled, Dr Agbo tried to appear unfazed but was clearly shaken by the events of that morning. He was arguably the best doctor in that hospital and he had an untainted record.
Just then matron Ibrahim rushed into the room.
"Doctor, what happened?"
"I don't know matron,she just started behaving irrationally and left," Dr Agbo tried to explain.
Matron Ibrahim looked at him, with an imperceptible sneer she walked away.
Dr Agbo took no notice of her, she'd always felt female patients regardless of their age were always attracted to him; she still felt slighted that he had rebuffed her subtle advances and kept things strictly professional between them.
That night, Madam Aisha couldn't sleep, she kept having one nightmare after another of demons chasing her; she sat up, her body drenched in sweat despite it being a cool night and her room air conditioner turned on.
She had never felt this way before, or rather she had only felt this way once before - a long time ago. The memory tried to force itself back into her mind but Aisha was bent on resisting it. Still it kept coming back to her. It was so many years ago, it felt like another lifetime.
She saw herself, an innocent 16 year old orphan in the Internally Displaced People’s Camp.
She remembered him again with hatred; the camp inspector taking her to a corner of the camp ostensibly to give her some supplies, and him, in the dim light of the barn forcing himself on her.
She spat in a corner of the room as she recalled the memory.
She was too afraid to report him, by the time she discovered she was pregnant he had long resigned and left the camp with no forwarding address.
Aisha was thankful for the sisters in the camp clinic that took care of her and nursed her during that period.
It was a traumtic delivery, a week short of 9 months.
At first sight of the baby, Aisha felt a deep hatred and fear. There and then she decided she didn’t want it. The sisters tried to counsel her but finally gave her documents to sign for the baby to be taken away.
Aisha turned her face as the baby was being taken away, his brown eyes welling up with tears.
She knew he was evil, for no new born baby could have such thick eyebrows, curly hair and side burns.
Aisha couldn't understand why all these thoughts came to her mind this particular night, but her mind was made up.
She would never return to that hospital.