Soon the door was opened, One frightened boy and one stoic young man stepped out of the room. Between them, they carried the still bleeding form of their cousin, Nnenna and without a word to their father, whose fists had slackened and opened in disbelief, or to their mother, whose usually narrowed eyes had widened now in fear, they lugged her body between them into the family car.

Entering the house, Ikwunna slapped the keys on his father’s loose palm and glared at him, as if daring him not to drive the victim he’d created.  Upon getting to the hospital, it was another struggle to get an (impliedly) qualified medical practitioner to view Nnenna, whose light skin was already turning blue. The cut on her arms continued to fizz and bubble through the strips of cloth tied deliberately over her arm, turning the cloth a depressing shade of purple. When the doctor finally came, the first thing he inquired was whether they had paid the registration, consultation and emergency fees. After it was confirmed they had, the avaricious man looked them up and down, internally assessing that both the boys looked angry, one’s face a confusing mask of anger and fear. He  also noticed that on their feet they wore new shoes and that the father, now looking depressed and old, wore a Patek Philippe watch.

Seeing that,  he decided to press his advantage. “She has lost a lot of blood, she’ll need a blood transfusion. Her blood vessels are now going through a process known as vasodilation. It’s important that we get her a blood transfusion soon because if we do not, the blood left in her body will start trying to circulate and will leave the major organs of her body. If it leaves the organs for any period of time, it could cause organ damage which is very hard to treat or just to manage. Also, I suspect that the patient is a carrier of the carrier of the hemophilia disease. It can’t be cured but it can be managed…”

“How much is it?”, Mr. Nwugege asked resignedly, cutting the doctor off midway.

“It’s not too much. For the blood transfusion, we’d have to contact and notify the blood bank soon. Since your daughter needs a blood transfusion very fast, the notification will have to be done expressly. Since her blood type is the rare AB+, the sachets of blood for the transfusion will be more expensive than normal…”

“How much?”, “the twins chorused in sync.

“About N57,000 for the blood. the treatment will come later”

There was a deafening silence as Mr. Nwugege contemplated whether or not to bother spending his newly received salary on his profligate niece. As if reading his thoughts, the boys turned in tandem to glare at him at he soon as he thought the word, “profligate”. The look on Ikenna’s face was murderous. He suspected that not all the anger was directed at him but he could not be sure. He sighed and asked if the doctor would accept a cheque.



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