When Moses came to fetch for me, he bound himself to bring me back in the twinkling of an eye. He stood by his word. It did not take long before I could feel the stretcher on the move down the hallway.
That rich husky voice must have belonged to Moses, the charismatic nurse who led me to the Operating Room earlier. Jesus! The lad was an exceptional drawing power. I caught myself staring at him with the lidless gaze of a reptile.
“Sally, yeah? He asked.
“After me, it is time.”
“Time?” The sound of that sent my heart into my throat without an intermediary.
“Yeah. I’m sorry it came out like that. Don’t sweat it though, I did not intend to give you a turn. You’re going to pull through. You’ll see. It is a painless process, and I promise to bring you back here in a blink.” He then put on a beautiful grin that sent a shiver down to my stomach causing it to flip over. I averted my eyes from him. I will not dare to challenge the fact that I felt it, the smile, wear off the hollow feeling already welled up in my chest. He trundled to the OR with me following closely behind. I felt like a sheep walking it’s way to the slaughter. Inside there, the sun fell further down than the brim of my bluff. I felt that hollow feeling restore.
“Mount up! Give me your hand, let me help you.” He said showing me to the large nerve-racking table. “Stretch out both your arms. Face up!” Over my head was the monstrous lighthead, staring down on me like it was on a mission to chill my blood. Before I could think to call on Jesus’ father to remove the cup in front of me, I saw Isaac in my mind’s eye. I saw him lying over the altar just built by his old man. I saw him breaking his neck to avoid eye contact with the razor-edged knife, his face covered in cold sweat. That chain of thought did not linger so long as it was brought to a halt by some racking pain on my left arm. Moses was now administering anesthetic into my vein.
And just as I was about to draw away my arm, he stopped. He waited a while then proceeded. It was then that I must have lost all responsiveness. In what felt like two shakes of a lamb’s tail, I heard voices from a distance. More like the walls threw back echoes of their back and forth conversations. I couldn’t quite make clear their talk but I heard my name a couple of times. And then the stretcher…“Sally! Wake up! Talk to your people. They’re waiting.” Said Moses after they had moved me to the bed. At this time, I was wholly awake, only with my eyes closed and refusing to open. My people who had been anxiously waiting for me in the Ward, I do not know for how long, questioned on how exactly I was feeling. I could feel anxiety from each of their tone. In less than no time, my brain registered the pain on my shoulder. I let out a sigh of agony, stiff with my eyes still closed but my feet began to twist involuntarily. It was unbearable. Later that evening, my nurse, Moses came down to my Ward. I guessed he had come with the intention to bring his grin, hoping it would be transmittable. And that I would catch it.
“How are you feeling?”
“Like I have been dissected.” (Trying to put on a grin)
He wore that smile again. Only this time from ear to ear. “But honestly, I feel woeful. I feel like thrusting my fist down his gullet till he can feel my armpit-hairs on his teeth. I do not want to leave him to God like they asked me to do. Supposing he goes to the mountain to fast, pray and repent, will God not forgive him and wash him snow clean and forget his transgressions like nothing ever happened? In the event He does that, will that not be a case ruled unjustly for me, the afflicted? And do not even think to advise me over spilt milk, I’m not about let this pass at all. This shooting pain makes the vein on my neck stick out with rage and I want to break his ugly mug.”
“Wooo! Hold up! Who are we talking about?”
“The douche who caused all this. That’s who.”
“Could you please give me an account of how this came to being. I have to all intents and purposes been burning with curiosity. How on earth did you fracture your collar bone that much? I mean, it’s out of the common.”
“Let’s just say an early bird finally caught the worm.” I said trying to put on a smile. Anyways, jokes aside, some remorseless BODABODA rider hard-heartedly preyed on me yesterday. I swear he caught me with my head in the clouds that I so much want to admit he had all of his ducks in a row. It was about 0745hrs. I remember I had just put back my phone in my bag, a second after I had taken it out in an attempt to call my rider. I realized I still had an hour to my clock. I decided to walk to the bus stage instead. Just before I could say Jack Robinson, I felt a hand on my shoulder where the string of my bag hang. My first instinct was to hold the part of the bag that suspended on my waist to prevent it from falling off. Of course, because I thought it was an acquaintance reaching to me so we could walk together. Dammit! Unluckily for me, and fortunately for him, he already had the string gripped tight in his hand, after which he accelerated hauling me forward. I was forced to let go of the part I was holding and I landed on to the tarmac with a terrific smack. On my left, I had with me a small carrier bag where I had packed lunch. I remember seeing my chapattis flitting in the air like leaves falling off a tree in autumn. They went in to land on the other side of the road following the lunch box which had made an earlier landing, of course due to the difference in weight against gravity, giving permission to all the goodies in it to go separate ways. I get so much bent out of shape to cast my mind back to how sluggish my senses were in processing the turn of events. Before I could scream ‘mwizi! ‘mwizi!’ let alone read the motorcycle plate, the bugger had sped off into the shadows like a fading figment of imagination. I did not make out neither his face nor the color of his gear. And just like that, he got away.
“I’m really sorry. You should report this once you’re out of here.”
“Ah! What for exactly? Except asking to submit my statement, how else will these folks be of help to my case? In fact, I’m certain, if I do not grease their palms, they will forget my face and whatever information I give long before I even hit the frame out. There’s really no point wasting my time and the little that’s left of my reservoir over a goose chase.”
“I know. It is however, of so much importance that you report. Just in case, you never know. If not for anything, for the record.
“I hear you. But let’s just leave it as it is. I am unwilling to take that route. Justice in this our land is sunk in only theoretically. And where it has sunk in practically, it is always in favor of they with the bargaining power. Most often than not, the highest bidder, who is often times the guilty party, is shielded and defended while the vulnerable innocent are let to go downhill without mercy. You see, justice is relative and settles scores for its favorite party.”
“I feel your struggle Sally. I promise, I do. However, it is always better to report than not to. Just do it. Ok?”
“Okay.” I said in half-hearted tone. “Say it like you mean.”
“Yes! Moses, I will.”
“Good! I’ll leave you to rest now… And, lest I forget, the surgery was a success. Both you and your bundle of joy are safe…One more thing, you are not to munch a thing, even if you are fainting from hunger, until midnight.”
“Midnight? Nurse! It is about 1830hrs now and my throttle is all dried up. I need some water.”
“Do not! I insist. It is fraught with danger. The theatre medication in your body contracts the digestive system. Consuming anything now will rupture them and you could die. Your body requires a minimum of 6hours to readjust. Just stay in the course. A colleague will attend to you at midnight, to guide you on what to eat first. See you tomorrow. I hope to find you a bit laid-back.”
“We shall see about that nurse. Thank you, bye!”
*Day of The Bird and The Worm*
I rose to my feet screaming, “Thief! Thief!” in a bid to go hell for leather in quest for the nitwit. I suddenly felt my whole body giving me trouble and could not move. I watched him take off with my bag secure in his arm like we shared rights. Being a less used road, passers-by were few and one lad who witnessed the occurrence was further behind me. He dashed screaming towards me but no much could have been achieved. The damage had already been done. I involuntarily went on my hands and knees, tears of fury and pain rolling down my face. It felt like a bizarre dream and I needed someone to wake me up from the sleep terror. In less than no time, a crowd slowly began to form around me in response to my wailing. Some screaming after me signaling the direction of the thief, bursting the seams with hope that someone from the same route would manage to catch him. Others were curious to find out exactly what the douche got away with, while a few others stared unable to express. Shortly after, while I was still making an effort to get my head around the set of circumstances coming, I saw a sizeable machine coming from that very direction, I assumed the man inside to be the manager in the Factory just a stone throw from where the incident had occurred. He must have been reporting to his duty post when he realized the state of confusion. He took one dangerous U-Turn with his black Toyota Land Cruiser. Stepping on it with anxiety, he drove after the rider in what looked like an attempt to run him over should he have caught up. Lo! I knew too well his mission drew a parallel with herding cats, but I was still and all, hoping he would return with my bag. I assume he must have taken another dangerous U-turn on realizing he was chasing the wind, and pulled over behind us not so long after. He was a pitch black man, probably in his early-forties. He looked cultured and alluring in a perfectly fitting black English suit. He made his way through the small crowd and bent a little in front of me. He had a buzz cut, most likely taken two days prior and his facial hairs were so nice and clean it was day clear he paid frequent courtesy to one of those high-toned SPAs in Westlands. His skin, Damn! His skin was sparking a noticeable glow like he subscribed to those expensive lotion with Shea Butter. He excused himself from the young man who had been dusting off my pants and feet.
“Where does it hurt?” He asked.
“Here!” I said showing him my palms. He held my hands and began to rub them gently with both his thumbs. They brought off a soft sensation on my very tough palms that feel like they have spent their 26years farming yam and cassava. The pain ceased. “What a conjuror!”
Ouch, here..! I yelled immediately he let go of my hands, showing him to skin and flesh around the humerus on my right arm. He induced the effects of his hands again, this time, trying to poke a little in search for the exact point that could have been injured. None! The pain shifted again, higher up.
“No! This is where…” I said showing him to my shoulder. And just when he placed his tools of trade ready to massage, I let out a shriek that scared him off me instantly. I was shocked at my reaction. He drew back putting in a plea for a few persons to assist him place me in the back of his Toyota. I took the seat of honor, the back left. He got into his car in the company of one of his colleagues and drove off. Bet to nearest infirmary. Somewhere along the way, he asked if I could dial my family from his phone. I remember looking for just one of my relatives contact from the back of brain but none came. They were all amiss. I guess one woman amid the crowd who had recognized me, must have informed my people, they met up with us at at the hospital later in the hour, in Doctor Mirriam’s Consultation Room. It’s not often you meet such well favored specialists, and especially not in government institutions. Those ones are often troubled or unfriendly, or both. Mirriam was different. I felt welcomed and energized in her presence. She had glittering eyes, lifted cheek lines and rounded brows. I thought the world of her disposition and her expertise in making me feel so relaxed while I put in words my situation. She walked up to me and pulled my shirt off my shoulder immediately I was done explaining. On seeing the expression on her face, I knew things had already taken a South.
“After you Sally.” She said signaling me to a room behind her office. Just when she was just about to administer an injection, I interrupted, “wait! u-m… I’m pregnant. Is the injection safe for my condition?”
“Do not be anxious, the stuff in this syringe is meant to cease the pain and yes, it is safe for both of you. How far gone are you?” “I’m not certain, but three months I guess.”
“Well, it is very important to disclose that kind of data prior to any sort of medical attention.” She said handing me a form referring me to the X-ray Room and a blue arm sling. “Those radiations can be very risky for early stages of pregnancy, since at this point, the foetus is still at the very sensitive stage of development.” She went on to explain. “Once an individual withholds that sort of information, they risk exposing the embryo to very fatal effects which can be avoided. It is so proper of you in these circumstances, to have spoken up. That way, we will proceed with caution.” All the while, I was following behind her down the corridor, every stride giving me all the heebie-jeebies. I suddenly felt a whirling sensation and a rush of nausea so great, overwhelmed me. “Don’t panic Sally, those are effects of the injection I just gave, they will pass.” She said supporting my back. We got to the room at the very end of the corridor. There, we met Martin. I knew his name from the form I was holding. He kept throwing sympathetic glances at me while the lady doctor was filling him in. Thereafter, she walked out assuring me everything was going to be fairly good. Martin then directed me to the X-ray table, covered my abdomen with a black sheet and dragged the machine over to my shoulder. In two ticks, he dragged it back instructing me to get down.
“How bad is it Doc?” “Your clavicle is badly fractured.”
“So! what are my options?”
“You’ve only got one, the scalpel.
“Surgery you mean?”
“Unfortunately, the only way to fix this bone (pointing at the x-ray image) is by fixing an implant here. Do not get worked up though, it is going to be so smooth you won’t even realize it. He held my hand and led me outside, referring me back to Mirriam. There I was again, up the same corridor. Only this time not with spells of light-headedness but like a cat on hot bricks.
“Operation…? What if they forget a needle or blade inside my flesh..? What if there occurs an error in administering anaesthetic and I wake up during the surgical procedure or even wake up three years later..? Worse still, what if I die..? What if my baby…. No! God forbid!” I felt weak-kneed. In less than no time, I got to Dr Mirriam’s holding the imagine from the X-ray. She looked up to me with a sigh and said, “It’s what I thought it was. Sally, I have to admit you for surgery.”
“When?” I enquired, sounding all nervous.
“Now. Fill up this form.”
“Can’t we do this tomorrow, or the day after? Doc, I honestly do not want to go through that right now.”
“I get it. It is strange and you had not anticipated this much, but there is no alternative, you just have to go through this procedure. To ease you up a little though, I could schedule your surgery for tomorrow.”
“Yes please, do that.”
“Okay. Now, go ahead and fill that up.” She insisted. “That is so considerate of you Doc, Thank you.” But can I go home and come back tomorrow for the surgery? I promise I will be early.”
“a-a! I have to admit you today so we can monitor your blood pressure overnight. I can however, allow you go home now and come back by 1700hrs. Take the next five hours to get in control of your feelings.”
“I’ll take you up on that. I should be on my way out Doc, be back later.
Later that day, I reported back to doctor Marriam’s office felling a bit relaxed. Could be I was somehow feigning composure because, in all honesty, deep down I was worried sick with the stench of slaughter sticking too close to my nose. I filled the form after which the nurse on duty escorted me to the Ward where I spent my night with a small flat screen TV fixed to a wall, tuned in to a local channel airing News throughout, as my only companion. And with my mind trapped in the eerie silence of the night. I had a hard time falling to sleep. I spent the better part of the night shifting glances from the screen to the ceiling…From the ceiling back to the screen…