Is Rome the capital of Hungary?            

“Of course yes.”

   Taking out a lipstick and a tiny mirror from her side pocket, she retorts insolently:

   “Then let her sit down over there and wait!”

   Her peremptory command irritates the officer and even some of her colleagues.

   “Are you here for a beauty contest or to help take care of the sick?” The officer asks sarcastically.

     “It’s none of your business. Shut up over there!” She says.

      ” I’ve got a son who’s almost your age.”

   “No. Never.”

   “Then say whatever pleases you. You risk making that your sister or who ever she is sitting here till daybreak without being attended to. Unless you are ready to do something

   “Do what?” It’s been three and a half hours since Abudu’s car had a flat tire. Here am I again. I’m cut up in another mess. What a bad day! I say.

   The officer is taking something out of his pocket. Is he taking out money to pay our way through? I’m wondering. He is walking toward the information desk.

   “Please can I talk to the chief nurse?” He says.

   “You can’t talk to the chief nurse. What’s your problem?” The lady sitting at the counter replies.

   Showing his police badge to the lady, he says: “This is my problem.”

   “Okay. She’s the one sitting over there and painting her lips.”

   “There are three of them painting their lips. Which of them?”

   “That one sitting on the right side of the door leading to the main entrance.”

   “Do you mean that lady I was just arguing with?”

   “Yes, sir, but I don’t think she knew you were a police officer.”

   “What would she have done if she knew I was an officer?”

   “She would have given you a special treatment.”

   “Special treatment for God’s sake! What do you mean by that?”

   “I mean she would have treated you better.”

   “What better?”

   “She would have instructed the nurses to attend to that lady you brought in promptly.”

   “So what of those sick people sitting on the floor. What’s their fate?

   “They’ll all soon be attended to.”

   “How long will it take all of these patients to get prompt attention. Is this not an emergency ward?”

   “Yes it is. But…”

   “But what?”

   “You know many people walk into this emergency ward without enough money to…”

    “Without enough money to pay for registration?”

    “No. Enough money to get things done for them quickly.”

   “Okay. What’s her name?”

   “Are you trying to produce a watertight alibi to exonerate her from all responsibility for her conduct?”

   “No. But…” She’s scratching her hair. She’s unable to continue.

   “Stop scratching your hair and talk to me. But what?” The officer insists.

   “I don’t want to lose my job. I’m obliged to swim with the tide.” With complacency and satisfaction beaming in her countenance, she continued: “

   “When inRome, do like the Romans!”

   “Don’t be silly. Do you even know where Rome is?”

   “Is it not the capital of Hungary, no, Austria?”

“My brother even sends me money from that place.” She continued.

   “From where?

   “From Rome, in Austria!” She replies with confidence.

   “You should be ashamed of your self that you don’t know where Rome is.”

 To be continued…

Advertisements