The silence in the doctor’s office would be impregnable, but for constant measured sound coming from Benny’s shoes impact on the tiled floor. Shade sat on a chair beside the doctor’s table, making her having angled eye contact with Thunder and Joan, both of whom were sitting directly opposite the doctor, anytime she looked up from beneath her teary and weary eyelids. She had been crying since they were at Giorgio’s bedside when he was asked if he could remember her and he had written “Shade, My Endless Love”, a line which became their favorite after they both adopted “Endless Love” the 1981 ballad, recorded by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross, as their official love song; and would always sign off a written letter or note to each other with it, they also had planned to sing the song to each other on their wedding day.
Benny was not impressed by her tears which he was so sure were crocodile’s, his eyes were darting furtively around as he paced impatiently in the doctor’s office; his hands tucked deep into his pockets, and his face contorted into a grotesque sneer as he tried to avoid Shade’s eyes anytime she tried to look around. Benny wanted to speak with the doctor, but he simply didn’t want her in the room or anywhere near Giorgio, he never liked her from school, and he never failed to let Giorgio know about it. He felt she was using his popularity to boost her personality on campus and she was going to dump him as soon as they left school. He remembered one of the conversations they had when Giorgio came back from Ibadan after Monica informed him of Shade’s decision to break up with him.
“Dude, I hate to gloat or say anything that will make you feel bad. But, I told you so” he paused to look at Giorgio’s reaction but there was none, he was sitting on his bed; his arm folded, back propped by a pillow; and tears cascading down his face. Benny simply continued.
“This girl was just using you to prove a point while on campus, maybe to her friends or whoever, and now that she is out of school and she doesn’t seem to have anything to gain from you anymore, she is moving on. I know it’s hard, but dude, you need to pull yourself together and move on too”
“Shade is not like that, she is never like that. I know my Shade, it’s her friend Monica that influenced her to treat me that way, she would never have done such a thing to me on her own” Giorgio replied amidst intermittent sobs.
“Well, I would love to believe that, but if you teach someone how to do evil and the person eventually does it; then we should wonder if the doer has the innate tendency in him or her to do evil without being taught” Benny paused again, but he soon continued.
“I want you to ask yourself that question and maybe you will be able to determine if she was pushed to do what she did, or she had to do what she did because that’s who she is” he concluded.
“I just want everyone to calm down, including you Mr. Benny” the doctor said calmly, finally breaking the silence. They had returned with him to his office after Giorgio apparently had remembered them all except for Joan.
“I need you guys to know that Giorgio is not pretending, and I will like to add that, he is a lucky guy, a very lucky guy, what happened to him would leave some other people dead or at best, permanently in a wheelchair. But here he is, getting better rapidly, and perfectly remembering every one of you except for Joan here, who according to all of you has been his girlfriend for the past three months, he also can’t seem to remember that he works in a bank, and has been working there for the past 18 months, but he remembers Shade perfectly even if you, Benny claim they broke up 2 years ago….”
“I am not claiming they broke up two years ago” Benny interjected “I am saying she walked out of his life 2 years ago, she dumped him like a bad habit, she ended the relationship without even having the decorum to say it to his face or call him on the phone”
“Alright, alright I understand, please know that I am not trying to meddle into his personal life here; I am just trying to analyze the timeline of events and things in his life so we can come up with some explanation as to what kind of amnesia he seems to be suffering from”
“We are sorry doctor, please don’t mind my friend, he is very hot tempered” Thunder who had remained quiet all the while pleaded with the doctor.
“No problem, I understand why he feels so, but let’s just stay focused here. Alright?”
Thunder gave Benny a kind of look as if warning him to keep quiet while the doctor explained to them further, he turned to the doctor “Please, continue sir”
“Ok, from my deductions and ongoing observations, especially the recent one we just had in there. It seems Giorgio might be having what we call dissociative amnesia, please note the word ‘seems’ because we are still going to conduct some further tests and he still might need some more surgeries. But for now, he seems not to remember things from 2 years ago or more”
“This dissociative amnesia doctor; what about it, how does it work?” Thunder asked
“It occurs when a person blocks out certain information, though not intentional. It is usually associated with a stressful or traumatic event, leaving the person unable to remember important personal information. And with this disorder, the degree of memory loss goes beyond normal forgetfulness, and includes gaps in memory for long periods of time, or of memories involving the traumatic event or events. But, note that I am not talking about simple amnesia which involves a complete loss of information or data from the memory as a result of disease or injury to the brain, because with dissociative amnesia, the memories still exist but are deeply buried within the person’s mind and cannot be recalled.”
“So, if Giorgio’s memories still exist, and are deeply buried in his mind; it means there is something we can do to bring them back, right?” Thunder asked enthusiastically
“Don’t answer that” Benny cut in, almost poking the doctor’s face with his outstretched index finger, he was almost screaming “Not while this witch of a woman is here, because if you answer, she will use whatever information you give us about the treatment against him and she will never allow him to remember anything…” shooting a loathsome glance at Shade as his voice crescendoed in a huff.
“Please, I am sorry. I love Giorgio and I will never do anything to harm him, I want him to get well too” Shade said apologetically but cutting into Benny’s tirade.
“Will you kindly shut that dirty trap of yours you call mouth? Am I talking to you? Did I ask you any question? Or did I tell you I need your pathetic apology?” Benny was livid with anger as he roared.
Thunder calmly got up from his seat, turned towards Benny who was still boiling with anger
“What is wrong with you Benny? Dude, you have to respect this lady no matter what. And if you don’t, at least respect Giorgio; because, if he were here, right now; you wouldn’t talk to Shade in that manner, I am sure” Benny didn’t flinch but simply kept quiet, Thunder turned to the doctor, “Doctor, please continue, and I am sorry for the little drama”
“Ok, it’s no problem” the doctor said getting up from his seat “I am about to go and see another patient anyway, but to answer you initial question; Giorgio’s memories might resurface on their own or after being triggered by something familiar in his surroundings. Reminiscence therapy may also help, and it involves encouraging him to talk about the past so that his past experiences are brought into his current thoughts”
SHADE’S APARTMENT (2 MONTHS AFTER)
“Hey, welcome babe, congrats oh!”
“On what?” Shade asked nonchalantly, sinking into the fluffy chair and flinging her shoes off her feet
“Since your boyfriend is back on his feet now. Shebi you guys can continue your love in Tokyo again. Abi e no reach make I congratulate you?” Monica said gleefully as she brings out a plate of food she was warming from inside the microwave
“It is not that simple, my dear. Not that simple” she replied casually
“But why? You told me he seemed to think the last time he saw you before the hospital was when we were still serving in Ibadan, which means he didn’t remember the Dubai incident and he didn’t remember you begging him to take you back or you trying to kill yourself because of him. If you ask me, I’d say, maintain the status quo and enjoy your life”
“That is exactly the problem. You know that when his bank restructured, he was among the workers that were let go; it was so easy for them because he was in the hospital anyway and he couldn’t remember if he ever got any employment there in the first place. And now that he is out of the hospital, it means he will be staying at home till he fully recuperates – at least, that’s what the doctor says, and that means his friends especially Benny will have more than enough time to do the reminiscence therapy and everything else to make sure he recovers and remembers everything and…”
“Then, you don’t let them help him recover those memories” Monica interrupted
“…How will I do that?”
“According to you, Benny travels a lot; Thunder works everyday except on a Sunday, but you don’t work on weekends at least for now. You have a good job and enough money to take care of him for now; so, all you need to do is, simply spend every evening and every weekend with him, spoil him silly, counter everything they tell him, feed him with what you want him to remember and gradually turn him against his friends especially Benny”
Shade sighed “Well, there is still a problem” she said softly
“You remember one of the Shell Nigeria’s directors I told you my Boss practically pimped me out to when we went to bid for that last servicing contract in Port-Harcourt?”
“Yes, yes, I remember” Monica responded sounding very interested
“Well, if he had his way, he would want me to travel down to PH and spend every weekend with him in his hotel”
“So, what is wrong with that?” Monica asked
“Two things; first, I will not be able to spend enough time with Giorgio and anything can happen if I don’t”
“What’s the second?”
“It’s like the first actually. I really want to get married next year and in case you haven’t noticed, no young man has been asking me out lately, the guys in my life after that idiot that dumped me in Dubai have been married men, and this one currently in my life who wants to die on top of my case, is 65 years old. My dear, I won’t marry a 65 year old man for any reason and that is why I am with Giorgio, that’s why I want to marry him; he is the only one I have left, he is my last resort but at the same time, I need this old man’s money.”
“Well, you can have both” Monica enthused, smiling mischievously.
“Are you sure? How?” Shade asked, seeming very interested
“Heeeey, easy tiger…!” Monica teased her further
“Please just tell me how I can make that happen; there is nothing I want more in this world right now”
“Well, there is a Prophet I know, a very powerful and genuine one at that; by the time he prepares some assignments for you and you are successfully done with them, Giorgio will become your puppet and you, his puppeteer. If you want him to ditch his friends and concentrate on you alone, he will. If you want him to marry you this year, he will, and whatever you asked him to do, he will start doing. This prophet will practically keep him at your beck and call, and I kid you not!
“Hmmmmmmmmm! So, when do we see this prophet…?”
Watch Out For The Next Episode.