Dominic moaned his attentiveness with few nods as he matched into the hospital hand in hand with Kamsi. Already his ears hurt from the girly chat, but he dared not show it. Kamsi was too attention-demanding, the least he could do on a weekend morning, was to lend her his ears. Except already, he tired of their line of discussion. Feminine fashion really was not his thing, even though he was known to have a thing for the fashionable sort.
On their entry, a nurse appeared and helped with his bag, and in the next minutes, Dominic busied at the reception, studying a patients’ charts, while leaving Kamsi with a couple of nurses adorably doting on her. Kamsi was one almost every staff felt a likeness for, especially for her wit and intelligence.
Dominic lifted his head when coincidentally his eyes met with the woman in the hallway who in momentary panic slid to a stop and then disappeared. Dominic smiled. Ever since their encounter almost a week back, Titi had kept at hide and seek with him, fleeing readily as if he were plagued. With such attitude, it was only a moment till the hospital filled with suspicion and gossip, or worse searched out their secret encounter. Dominic would love to kill things before they escalated to that point. But things were still too fresh in his mind, and he was still irked at her, himself, or even likely- the both of them. Frankly, he’d been stirred by her touch, and if things had not been stopped when it had, worse might have happened. Though he was sex-starved, Dominic had long decided never to blend business with pleasure. He wouldn’t bend that resolve -not for Titi or anyone else in Mount Sinai.
“Dad, why did Nurse Titi run like she just saw a ghost?”
Dominic turned to the child surprised but yet managed to conceal it with a nonchalant shrug. Under close scrutiny, he felt his jaw twitch and then scoffed mentally at being at the mercy of a child. Not just any child, he recalled, but one with knowledgeable eyes far beyond her age; one who had seen Titi’s intent way before him. It was why his mother sometimes believed Kamsi Kamsiyonna’s reincarnate
At the matron’s appearance, Kamsi rushed to her and dropped on her knees. Felicia’s interruption had come at a good time, and Dominic was thankful for it as he watched Kamsi get pulled in a tight embrace which she enthusiastically returned with small arms wrapped around the woman’s thick waist. Love poured from Felicia’s eyes when they parted, and from Kamsi’s adoration as she stared up at the five-foot elderly woman. She erupted in giggles at Felicia’s tease about her fast-growing height and lit even more as the matron described just how high she would be towering above her. Then she turned to Dominic who soon relished Kamsi to the receptionist’s care as he went about the day’s business, asking to have her for a few hours as her baby sitter will be unavailable.
Dominic’s day began with a pneumonia patient, and then a near-endless round on lots more. When he wasn’t working, he was researching some recent medical breakthroughs, like at the moment.
Needing a moment off the computer screen, he pushed back into his seat and studied the child from across him who was deeply engrossed in a storybook from her book club. Next to art and designing, books were next on the list, and she had a wealth of knowledge to show for it. Kamsi for her thirst for information was drawn to varies of books, that Dominic sometimes thought her a little too inquisitive for her own good. Recently he’d begun to inspect every material she read.
Surprisingly, the child had again caught him off guard when she’d shoved inquiries about Titi unsuspectingly. But as before, they had been interrupted by another duty call. That such luck was impossible a third time. And that was why he needed an answer ready.
“Dad?” Kamsi lifted from her book and turned it faced down on the table, as she stretched in her seat and then settled with a fixative look.
Dominic understood that look enough to understand she wanted to talk.
“Do you remember Tutu’s birthday is tomorrow?” Dominic nodded with a half-smile. He dared not forget her best friend’s birthday when all week she’d done little more than ring it.
“Can I sleepover?”
Dominic stared thoughtfully- though already with a response, but yet chose to keep her in suspense. He finally conceded, relieving her further anticipation. Apart from the fact that she had never asked for it, sleepover really was no issue especially since receiving a call from her friend’s father a few days back. Both had long come to an agreement and had decided to keep it from the kids until later. Dominic watched Kamsi’s face split joyfully as he told her of it.
With that sorted, she popped the unexpected again, and not even Dominic’s seemingly well-prepared excuse of a misunderstanding posed tangible or acceptable enough for her. In the end, a firm assurance and promise were what it took to put her fears and worries to rest.
Long after she had returned to her book, Dominic still kept a close watch on her, pondering Kamsi’s dislike for the good nurse. It was never that way at the beginning, until recent. Something must have ticked her off, he thought, determined to search it out. But a quick scan of their lives told what it was. It really was not about the nurse, he realized, but every woman who seemed to have shown some interest in him.
Dominic had never been blind to Kamsi’s possessiveness; he just was never aware of how deep it ran. But now it was clear that if it were possible, Kamsi would hoard him all her life and never afford him a chance with any woman. Not like it mattered to Dominic, for he truly loved his child. Except the only budding challenge was the weird possibility of a partner he’d recently began to ponder. In recent times, Dominic had found more lonely and needy, and as weird and impossible as it may sound, if he ever found any ‘one’, he would need Kamsi’s approval, and of course her blessings.
But of course, that would never happen, he affirmed, as it was merely a thought. But then, as the popular saying ‘If and when he got to the river, he would cross it’.
“Dad, please can I see aunt Pelumi?”
Dominic felt his hair rise at the mention of that name. “Why?” he growled unwittingly.
“Because I’m bored, and I haven’t seen her in a while.” She whined vaguely aware of the edge in his voice.
“You saw her just last week.” The memory of both chatting by the flower bed flashed too vivid in his head. Once, he had made the mistake, but this time she would not be allowed fraternizing with patients, especially not one who dominated his thoughts unannounced. “She needs to rest.” He said flatly, totally deafened to her pleas.
The child watched her father pensively, baffled by his blatant refusal on the issue. Dominic was changed, she thought him somewhat different because for Sarah who by all standards had been the sickest, he had shown more reception. But on this, she could not grasp his adamancy. However she kept with her pleas, perhaps he might give, she hoped, until an intrusion from the new nurse, who breathlessly asked Dominic’s presence at some critical asthma patient.
He immediately sprung to his feet, donning an overall on a hasty departure. And then at the exit, he spun. “Stay till I’m back.” he warned, and then left.