45 DAYS Episode 38

1
2099

THIRTY-EIGHT DAYS

Steve steps out of his office.
It is 2:30 a.m.
He is unshaved and looking haggard.
He locks his office door and walks to the elevators.
It descends rapidly and stops on the tenth floor.
It opens and a young Doctor enters. His name is Gilbert Ayeh, one of their promising surgeons.
He is talented and extremely dedicated, and is in his second year at Eden Hospital.
He looks surprised to see Steve.
DR. GILBERT
Good morning, Doc. Hollison
STEVE
Morning Gil. You on night shift today?
DR. GILBERT
No, sir. Got called in. An emergency. Guy got slammed off his motorbike on the Tema Motorway. A patrolling team of policemen found him and brought him here, almost dead from loss of blood. Nasty crack in his head, multiple serrations and a dislocated right shoulder. Thought he was dead myself until I found a weak pulse.
STEVE
I see. Reckless young men nowadays. Always messing around on their motorbikes. He was probably overdosed on alcohol and drugs.
DR. GILBERT
You know it. Lucky guy.
The elevator stops at the ground floor, and they both get out.
Gilbert is going to sign the log book whilst Steve is headed for the Executive Car Park.
A nurse approaches the elevators and speaks to Doctor Ayeh.
NURSE
Excuse me, Sir. The accident patient, should we book him as a John Doe? We didn’t get a name to put on his sheet.
DR. GILBERT
(yawning)
There was a wallet in his pocket with a driver’s license. I saw it in the ward, on the cabinet. Chris Bawa or something, I think. You’ll see it when you get there.
NURSE
Okay, Doc. Thanks. I’ll look for it then!
Steve stops suddenly when he hears Chris’ name.
His heart begins to thud irrationally. Has he heard right? Chris Bawa?
Is he the accident victim Doc. Ayeh had operated on?
He takes out his phone and pretends to make a call, all the while watching Gilbert, who signs the log book and then heads for the stairs that leads to the underground parking lot reserved for staff of the hospital.
Steve quickly gets into the lifts and punches the tenth-floor button.
He emerges on the tenth floor and makes his way hastily towards the ICU Wards.
He sees the nurse emerging from Ward 5, and he quickly leans into a doorway.
When the nurse walks into the adjacent ward, Steve quickly enters Ward 5.
There is only one patient lying on one of the beds.
Steve, heart beating, goes near the bed, and he gasps with shock when he sees Chris on the bed.
There is a bandage around his head, and his right upper shoulder is in a cast.
His eyes are closed, and his face looks a little swollen.
He has received a lot of transfusions, evidently, and now there is a Normal Saline drip feed in his arm.
Steve stares at Chris with loathing.
Here is the filthy taxi driver who has not only seen Effe naked, but has made love to her, and impregnated her.
Here is the man standing between him and happiness with Effe.
Steve’s face contorts with hatred as he looks at Chris.
STEVE
(in a sinister voice)
Why didn’t you die? Why the fuck didn’t you die, you damn motherf**ker!
He is trembling uncontrollably now, and his hands are holding the bed posts tightly.
He turns away suddenly when his phone rings. He sees through the glass that the nurse is coming back to the ward.
He quickly goes into the washroom and closes the door, leaving only a crack.
He takes his phone and sees that it is Jonathan Afful calling.
He waits until the nurse leaves the ward, and then he calls Jonathan back.
AFFUL
Hey, you sleeping? Guess what, I’m healed! Got myself a Chinese whore last night, and my dick finally stood high and mighty! Old hag stole all my money but she was worth it! Damn! I’m back, dawg, I’m back!
STEVE
(his voice unsteady)
Funny you’re back on a day like this, bro. Good for you. But you wouldn’t believe just what happened to me too!
AFFUL
Effe is back? Or Elaine’s baby is yours after all?
STEVE
No, nothing as sweet as that.
AFFUL
(intrigued)
So, what’s got your pecker up like this? The taxi driver is dead?
STEVE
(in a very unsteady voice)
Not dead, but he’s here, in the hospital, right now. Had an accident with a motorbike, and he was rushed here. He’s on the bed, and I’m in the ward with him.
AFFUL
So, kill him.

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STEVE
(shocked)
What? WHAT THE F**K DID YOU SAY, MAN?
AFFUL
(coldly)
Don’t act dumb with me, man! It’s on your mind. I know you’re thinking about it. The dude’s in your face. He took your wife and knocked her up. He humiliated you, dawg. Now everybody knows your dick ain’t got impregnating skills. Now the guy is right there with you, sick, in your damn hospital. You’re a Doctor, and you know how to kill a human being with a drug, so that nobody would know. Go ahead. Do him. Kill him. He’s worthless anyway. With him dead you can have Effe back.
STEVE
(licking his lips)
You’re talking murder, bro. You want me to murder a human!
AFFUL
Come off that crap. I don’t want you to murder shit! YOU WANT TO MURDER HIM! From the moment you saw him in your goddamn hospital you wanted to kill him. You just need the right words from me to settle your conscience. You want Effe, and the solution is right there with you. Kill him. Kill the taxi driver! You know you want to do it, so do it, right now! Kill him.
Steve is silent for a long while. Suddenly there is sweat all over his face, and he is trembling.
STEVE
I don’t know, bro. Not like I don’t want him dead. I do. But I wonder if I can live with it, you know. Taking a human life ain’t easy, you know.
AFFUL
(irritated)
Stop behaving like the Pope, rasta. Kill the damn taxi driver!
STEVE
(breathing hard)
I’ll get back to you, bro. Thanks anyway.
He cuts the call and quickly leaves the Ward.
He gets into the lift and rides up to the Executive Floors, and enter his office.
He goes straight to a huge and beautiful vault in one corner, and quickly works the complex combination.
He pulls the heavy metal door open, and stands looking at the contents.
There are files, stacks of money, a pistol, and some valuable jewellery.
On the top shelf, however, are vials, capsules, tablets and other rare medicines.
He reaches for the back of the shelf and takes out a white packet, and on it are the words: STRATOCIDAL COKATIS.
He closes the vault and carries the packet to his desk.
He sits down slowly, and sweat starts to pour off his face.
He licks his lips and shuts his eyes tightly. His jaw works, grinding tightly.
Suddenly he leans forward and opens the packet. He takes out a single ampoule and a syringe.
He breaks the neck of the ampoule, extracts the syringe, dips it in, and fills the syringe with the deadly liquid.
He puts the packet and the covers of the syringe and the empty ampoule into a brown envelope and puts it into his pocket, and then he holds the syringe in his hand and leaves the office.
He rides to the tenth floor and enters Ward 5.
The nurse is watching television in the Nurses’ Lounge.
Steve knows that the security cameras are on him, and so he walks boldly without trying to disguise himself.
After all he is the Chief Executive Officer of Eden Hospital.
He approaches the bed swiftly.
Chris’ eyes are open, and he looks at Steve with sudden surprise.
Without hesitating Steve holds Chris’ arm.
Chris struggles feebly because he is so weak, and then Steve plunges the syringe into his arm and depresses the plunger, pumping the deadly Stratocidal Cokatis into him.
Chris’ eyes blaze furiously at Steve.
Steve steps back and looks at Chris, and then he smiles and speaks gently.
STEVE
Listen, pal. I didn’t mean to do this to you. Truth is that I called Effe, and spoke to her about it. You came between two people who love each other. Listen, Effe found out she’s pregnant, and that baby is mine. She feels that your presence would inconvenience us, so she suggested I get rid of you by injecting you with one of the most lethal injections ever known, because she loves me, and she doesn’t want you meddling in our lives. So, in thirty-six hours you will be dead. Don’t worry, it wouldn’t be painful. After you’re gone, Effe and I can enjoy our marriage. Goodbye, Chris. No hard feelings, bro.
Chris is lying helplessly on the bed, but he has heard everything.
The pain and the torture that Effe is pregnant for Steve, and now wants him dead, are too much for Chris.
Tears squeeze down his eyes.
Effe, Effe, Effe!
Oh Effe! How can you do this to me??
Chris closes his eyes slowly!
Everything is growing dark for him, and he is very helpless. And then, darkness covers him, and he doesn’t feel anything again.
Death is knocking at his door!
Steve puts the syringe in his pocket, and then he quickly leaves the ward.
He rides the lifts down, picks his car, and drives out of the hospital.
He stops once, when he is well clear of the hospital, and vomits on the street pavement.
He knows he has committed murder.
He has just killed Chris Bawa!!!

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