I was pleasantly shocked to see her; I welcomed face to distract me from slipping into melancholy as always. She never fails to wear a bright and cheerful look, always with a smile and a vibrant spirit. We chatted for a while and then the Chairperson of the Day announced that part of the day’s activities which was the charity work at the Olowogbogboro Memorial Hospital. The school provided buses separately for the girls and separately for the parents. We chatted some more in the bus as Mrs. Fimie insisted on seating beside me. I helped her get down from the bus. The parents and the school authorities with its guest were received by the Hospital Director who assigned the Resident Doctor to us to give us a tour and assigned the Chief Matron to the girls. Our first point of tour was the Emergency Ward. We moved round with the Doctor who educated us on the kind of accidents that comes to the emergency ward and the efforts by the doctors to stabilize the patients before transferring them to the general ward. One particular patient caught my attention; probably because of the distinctive tribal marks on his face or his tobacco damaged dentition or probably both. I stopped to take a better look at him and saw that both legs were amputated from the knee. He was sleeping and his hands handcuffed to the bed. The handcuff was partially covered with a pillow probably by him or the nurses. The Doctor noticed my curiosity and explained without my asking “they brought him in last week…Mr. James Ewang…We almost lost him, he had lost so much blood from the accident… to save him we had to amputate both legs…but unfortunately we couldn’t save the rest of them…it was terrible”. Mrs. Fimie asked the Doctor “what happened and why the handcuffs” but before the Doctor could answer, I said “he is a commercial bus driver, he was driving recklessly especially against the flow of traffic on a One-Way road and the rest of the people were his passengers and the handcuffs on him is from the Police because he will be charged for murder when he recovers” Everyone wondered how I knew including the Doctor. He played the game of chess, outwitting his fellow drivers and users many a time. Recklessness on the high was a reality he was used to and like me he had an option for another reality; a sober, orderly and responsible driving but now he has inadvertently chosen his present reality; pain, sorrow, guilty(of the death of his passengers), and if the murder charge is upheld by the Court, pending death penalty. To live this kind of life, Is this the trophy you get? Is it worth it?
Then something odd happened.
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