Friday, 7 November 2014

I always thought death would be more interesting. After all, it's the culmination of everything we've done on earth.
     I sat on the bus impatient to get to the new cinema. I was so excited to watch The Amateur. It was all everyone could talk about. When I got to my stop where I would have to get a cab to take me to the cinema, I came down giddily and started to cross to the other side of the road. The conductor smiled at me as I came down from the bus. Halfway across, I realized I had left my 940 naira change with him. I started to go back trying to catch up with the bus. Things happened in a blur. I knew it would happen. I saw the car speed towards me and I knew I wouldn't make it in time to the end of the road. I saw the bus driver's smile turn to an astonished look. I heard multiple screams of "Get out of the way", "Run" but for some reasons my legs wouldn't respond. The car was fast and I knew I wouldn't make it. It was a slow steady pain at first when it hit me, then it increased exponentially. A million thoughts ran through my mind. I knew death was inevitable but like everyone, I expected to live to at least 70. I was going to die in my sleep while I sipped on coconuts in a calm, tranquil place. I looked at the blood pooling around me and heard shouts. "Chai. Such a pretty young girl. Why? Lord, why?". I waited for someone to call an ambulance or try to perform First-Aid on me. No one did any of that. The driver of the car was running away but he was caught by some guys in ill-fitting shorts. He ran like a chicken with legs that were 60 degrees apart. This made me smile, more like grimace. A crowd was forming and people started to beat him, tearing his already torn shirt. The police became involved and the beatings seemed to double. "I swear to God, na brake failure", the bus driver kept on repeating like a mantra. I felt a kind of guilty pleasure. The end was closer now. I couldn't feel the pain anymore. I pictured myself in a blissful place away from the accident scene. I was in the cinema hall with my friends. I was eating chocolate ice-cream on a hot harmattan day. Someone put a finger to my wrist to check my pulse. Talk about reverse order. Such an annoyance. Get your hands off me, I wanted to say but I couldn't form the words. Some idiot stepped on my phone and I remembered that the next episode of Scandal was due to come out that night. That was when I started to cry. The cry evolved to other things, crying for my family because they would cry for me; crying because I wouldn't see another day. I didn't want to go to a heaven where I would sing hymns and lullabies. I wanted better. A wonderful life on earth and a painless quick exit to nothing. I shuddered to think about what would be said at my funeral. "RIP, Kamara. Gone too soon. A daughter, sister, friend. We love you but God loves you more." I wasn't even a mother or a wife. I was pissed at the mere suggestion that I was taken to go be with God. Where was my free will? It was my fate and destiny, the preacher would say. It must have been planned even before I was born, I imagined the pastor thinking this.  I wish I could laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of this type of thinking. I used to.
      It was a tranquil peaceful song playing on the radio. A powerful voice filled the eerily familiar white room with a melodious tune. It was such a strange place with people dressed in white. I had no idea of how I got there. My mum was sitting by my side, fingers laced through mine. She looked astonished as I stared at her. I noticed her usual perfectly coiffed weave was in disarray. There was something different, older about her. "Doctor, Doctor!", she called out, more like screamed at the top of her lungs. "She's awake after a whole month, Thank you Father God". I wasn't dead? I couldn't close my eyes anymore. I didn't even want to blink. There was beautiful light everywhere, a refreshing change from the pitch darkness I had been in for the past month. That's how long I had been in a coma. My mum kept on hugging me while the doctor occasionally cautioned her to keep her distance as I was still weak. There was a flurry of calls and I knew my homecoming would be celebrated in a major way. I managed to sit up straight with the aid of the pillow and whispered that I wanted a burger. I had missed it more than anything. My legs still hurt a lot and one was wrapped up in a bandage. Despite my unending discomfort, my lips broke into a wide smile. I looked crazy. I knew it but I didn't care. I wasn't dead. I wasn't afraid. I knew it would all get better because no matter what, O ga di mma or so they say.


At 18 December 2014 at 22:02 , Blogger Hubert Ovie Madise said...

Now that's a story


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