A chance encounter 5/7

By Drum Digital
05 June 2014

Could Mrs Tsila know Nurse Ngobo's mother?

Nigel was the town I was born in. Mama had told me that much. I wondered if this old lady knew the woman who had given birth to me.

The ward was suddenly swimming around me. Inside I was feeling hot, fiery hot, but the perspiration on my hands was cold and clammy. In the quiet of the afternoon a voice called out and the sound echoed through my brain like the far distant sound of a ship’s horn.

“Nurse! Are you all right?” “Yes. I’m fine, Sister,” I assured her. I didn’t want her thinking I was getting all emotional again.

“I think it’s time you had a break, Nurse. You’ve been working flat out all day. You finish up here and I’ll make us both a nice pot of tea. I’ve got a packet of chocolate biscuits as well. I think we both need a sugar fix.”

After I tidied up, I stood looking down

I was searching her face for some feature I thought I might recognise, but of course there was nothing. I had never set eyes on this woman until now. The following morning I waited until the ward was quiet.

Sister was in her office writing up the reports. I was still the only nurse on duty. I went over to Mrs Tsila’s bed. I smiled at her, and she smiled back.

“Are you all right? Is there anything I can do for you?”

She looked me over.

“There’s something familiar about you,” she said softly. “I feel as if I know you.”

Normally one didn’t take much notice of what some of the old ladies said. They were forever claiming that we were either their children, grandchildren or perhaps a niece, cousin or child of a long-lost friend.

“You’re from Nigel then,” I blurted out before I could stop myself. “What’s it like there?”

“A nice little town,” she said.

“Nothing much ever goes on over there but that’s the way we like it.”

My heart was pounding against my chest. I was shaking inside but I had to ask. “Did you perhaps know a woman by the name of Tina . . . ?”

She opened her mouth to say something but then just as quickly she closed it. Then she lay further back on her pillows and regarded me suspiciously.

To be continued.....

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