MY REALITY 4C: Beyond The Grave

The first time Charles and I met was at Olowogbogboro Memorial Hospital, intensive Care Unit where he was hysterical about the nonchalant attitude of the nurses towards the plight of an old woman who had fallen down the stairs and was in deep pains coupled with the natural pains of arthritis too. His ranting was not what got my attention but that he had paid all the necessary bills for the old lady to be attended to and yet was not related to her. I was impressed with his compassion, since I came to see my sister nurse, I pleaded with Irene to help out and from then we became friend.

Oh! Did I forget to say that Charles later married my sister, Irene (his wife) and so Charles is my brother-in-law? Yes, he is and his children, Timi and Ngioma are my Nephew and Niece.

Why didn’t I hear him out? I heard from my mother that he was very sorry and wanted to apologize; that my little nephew and niece have been asking after me and my only sister cries at the fact that I will not return her calls. Why didn’t I just forgive him? What did my sister and the kids do too?

I was jolted back to reality in this grave by the excruciating grip of death. The throbbing of my heart increased as the thought of the tortures by demons described in the Bible frightened my core. I gasp for breath, my eyes drenched in tears and a sudden eerie feeling that something worse than this was on its ways.

I remembered my schooling days. My life was not all that crowded with unpleasant memories. My primary and secondary school days were pure delight and fun. We played soccer most weekends and after school every day with ourselves on the street and the kids from the neighboring areas and the games were more exciting when it rains. Playing under the rain was an ecstasy that energized us into playing for hours unending but it was a nightmare to our mothers whom we tag “Joy-killers”. They always come running into the street with canes to pursue us into the house. They nagged about us catching cold, become sick, block/running noose, the stress of boiling water regularly to bathe us. Our fathers never complained, rather they just smiled at the whole thing which offended our mothers more as they saw that as implied consent to us playing in the rain. The whole scene in my mind made my state worse as I longed to be a child again and be held and bathed with warm water by Mama Stephen(Stephen is my elder brother). After bathing me, my clothes were already on the bed and as I dressed, she calls out to the three of us to come to the kitchen and pick up our hot meal especially “Asaro” my favorite.

As I remember this moment of care free joy, my crying was no more out of pain I felt but the joy I will never feel again. Cartoons/kiddies programme on TV was our pre-occupation. We knew all the TV channels and program timing especially ours. We seldom read but passed exams; we might not be the brightest in the class but we never failed exams and that was good by us. We were contented and once our stomachs were full, our worlds were in perfect harmony.


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