The road to the hospital was not well tarred and that made the vehicle to be slow and steady. The good Samaritan who had decided to give Francis and his dying mother a ride to the hospital is becoming so apprehensive. “Please God, let this woman not die in my car.” He prayed silently. Francis in his late thirties were crying like a child as his mother kept on vomiting inside the vehicle. “Sir, please drive faster, she is not breathing well.” Francis begged the driver. “Mama please don’t do this to me, we will soon get to the hospital. Mama! Mama!! Mama!!! do you hear me? Sir please drive faster.” The tension is getting so high as Francis mother kept on vomiting every here and now. And she was having difficulty in breathing. The driver has no option than to step on the accelerator pedal and speed on. The three of them kept moving to and fro in respond to the vehicle’s movement due to the bad road. When they arrived at the hospital, Francis jumped down from the moving vehicle and shouted for help. Three nurses came out from the emergency ward with a stretcher and helped Francis mother out of the vehicle. She was taken inside in the emergency ward and then the doctor showed up. The first thing doctor demanded from Francis was the hospital card. And since Francis did not have such card, he was asked to go and get one before they will attend to his dying mother. Without further questions, Francis ran to the place where they directed him to get the card. He was told that the card fee is one thousand Nigerian currency. He quickly checked his pocket but there was no money. Being so afraid of losing his mother, Francis ran back to the doctor and begged him to commence treatment on his mother while he go about to get the money needed for the hospital card. The doctor refused to attend to his mother due to the hospital rules, no card – no treatment.
Francis ran off again searching for a nearby bank. Luckily for him, he saw the bank which he has an account with. He ran inside and picked a withdrawer slip. He intended to withdraw just one thousand Nigerian money. Getting to the cashier, he handed over the slip to the cashier and begged her to hurry up. After going through his account, the cashier told him that they were unable to pay him due to insufficient balance. Francis was furious and fired back to the cashier, “when did my account turn to insufficient balance? I am the owner of the account, check the picture very well and look at me.” The young cashier had to explain in details to Francis. “Sir, you only have one thousand naira in your account and that is the minimum balance that is needed for such account.” Francis raised his voice at her, “but it is my money and I have the right over my money. So what are you telling me?” An elderly man who also came to made some withdrawer, turned to Francis and said, “young man keep your voice down, you are being a nuisance here.” “Sir, I am not a nuisance, my name is Francis and this lady refused to give me my money. My mother is dying at the hospital and I needed this one thousand naira so that the doctor will commence treatment on her.” The cashier started all over again to explain to him why he cannot withdraw the remaining one thousand naira in his account. But Francis refused to accept her reason, instead, he kept on attracting more people to himself through his yelling.
Finally, Francis begged the cashier and said, “ok please borrow me one thousand naira, I will pay back.” The cashier then replied back, “its ok Sir, but you need to fill the loan form and you will provide collateral before we give you the money.” Francis yells out again and demanded his money. He made up his mind that he wanted to close down his account. The cashier brought out some forms and told him to fill them before they can close his account. “Must I fill all these forms just to close my account?” Francis went on it again, “please close the account and give me my money, I don’t have the time to fill all these forms.” At the height of the commotion inside the bank, the elderly man, from the money he withdrew brought out a one thousand naira and called Francis to come and have the money. Francis quickly calmed down and dejectedly went to collect the money.
Immediately the money was handed over to him, there were sporadic gunshots inside the bank. He could not understand what was happening until a voice within echoed, “everybody down!” Francis fell on the ground like a palm tree and his whole body shivering but he held tight to the one thousand naira note. Six heavy armed men began to rob the bank. After clearing the whole money in the vault, they turn to the people inside the bank. When they get to the elderly man who had withdrawn a huge sum of money from his account, he refused to hand over his money. As they were dragging the money with him, one of the armed robbers shot the elderly man. It was then that the police took the building, but before they could get in, those armed robbers began to run through the back door. But unfortunately for one of them, he fell down while trying to escape and his gun fell close to where Francis was lying.
Francis quickly picked the gun and pointed it at the armed robber who was trying to get up. The armed robber surrendered to him and lye still on the ground. The rest of his gang had escaped through the back door. Francis was still pointing the gun at the armed robber when he heard another thunderous voice, “drop the gun and turn around!” The police had entered the bank. Francis dropped the gun and one of the police officers handcuffed him, thinking he was one of the criminals.
The people in the bank signalled to the police to the unfortunate armed robber who was still lying on the ground. He was handcuffed as well. It was then that Francis yells out again, “I am not a criminal o! I am not one of them.” But the police officers ignored him. Luckily for him, the elderly man was alive, the bullet narrowly missed his heart. He quickly testified on behalf of Francis, that he is not one of them. The cashier also said the same thing.
After explaining to the police how the unfortunate armed robber tripped and fell. And then Francis picked his gun and prevented him from running. The policemen released Francis based on the information they gathered. Immediately he was released, still holding his one thousand naira note, he ran towards the hospital. On getting to the emergency ward, he could not find his mother. He cried out in a loud voice, “mama why? Mama, please come back to me!” As he was crying, he heard a voice calling out to him, “Francis my dear child,” turning around, lo and behold, it was his mother. “I am not dead, please stop crying.” His mother consoled him, “the good Samaritan who brought us here paid the one thousand naira the moment you left. And the doctor began to treat me. As you can see, I am getting better.” Francis stood up from the ground, with tears in his eyes; he embraced his mother, giving glory to God.
Iyke Michael Elson. was born in Enugu, Nigeria. He is a Nollywood Director/Producer/Screenwriter/Actor/a Poet/Novelist. He did distance learning with world University Benson AZ. USA, and National Film and Television School London. He is the author of “All by His Grace”, “Painful Choice”, “The Birth of Evil”, Amaka The Evil Maid and a good number of both novels and movie scripts.