I started 2016 by falling ill. It started just as I was about to go to church on the night of the 31st. I felt like I had an ulcer attack, despite the fact that I had not had one since 2013. I went on to church, but sat through most of the service. My relatives who I only see annually came, but I could barely stand to greet them. I could not wait to say happy new year and go home to use the toilet. While the service was going on, a woman came to greet my mum. With a shaky voice, she told my mum that her mother died earlier in the afternoon. I shook my head inwardly, with pity in my heart.
After yelling “Happy New Year”, hugging several people, texting friends, and running to avoid huge fire crackers, service finally ended, and I went back home with my family. I used the toilet, and thought it would be over after that. Little did I know. I slept a little relieved. When I woke up in the morning, I was a goner. I had a headache, my joints ached like death, my voice was nonexistent, my whole body was on fire, and my belly was in cahoots. I kept lying around, until my mum asked my dad to take me to the hospital.
While waiting to be attended to at the hospital, I sat at the reception with my dad. The calm was suddenly disturbed when a boy of about ten was rushed in. His head was covered in blood, and he was moaning. The man who brought him in, unshod and stained with the boy’s blood, was yelling in Yoruba, ‘E jòwó, e báwa attend s’ómo yìí o!- Please attend to this boy!’ The nurses took the boy from him and bundled him to the emergency room adjacent to the reception. The man explained that the boy, along with about five other children had wandered carelessly onto the road, and he had been hit. The wounds he had sustained were from scraping his head on the hot tarmac. Other men around thanked God on the man’s behalf. ‘Thank God you were not driving at high speed’, many of them said.
To be continued …………
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