Sunday, May 3, 2015

When In Nigeria – Part 3

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I believe that the reason why some of us are so ashamed of where we come from is because we know so little of it; I knew so little of it. I was a child who had been sheltered all her life, and so what I saw the morning after waking up from Daniel’s couch made me realize that the only thing that  made me different was luck.
The sound of soft knocks on the door woke me up from my sleep yet again. It was very early in the morning. Daniel staggered to the door after greeting me good morning. He opened the door, forgetting that I was a few feet away, exposing me to the world. The early morning sun almost blinded my eyes; I let out a curse.
“Good morning uncle.” It was a voice of a very young girl not more than 7 years old. I paid them no attention and began fixing the couch I had slept on.

“Good morning Ola. Hope you slept well?”
I took a quick glance at the scene to find the girl nodding her head.
“I can see you are already ready to go. Give me 5 seconds. Hope your mom is getting better?” He asked as he walked back into the room. In seconds, he was at the door again. I sat quietly, watching as he gave the young girl who was neatly dressed for school some money. I didn’t know how much it was, but the smile on the young girls face confirmed that it was enough.
“No find trouble for road oo and read well.” He ruffled through the girls head and she laughed. She thanked him and left.
“I hope we didn’t disturb you.” he said, locking his door.
“Nah, I’m fine.” I began stretching arms.
“The couch, hope it wasn’t so uncomfortable to lie on? I will get you to a hotel as soon as you’re ready.”
“Okay, no problem.”
The room became silent again as the both of us figured that this was it; it was time for me to get out. He stood with his hands on his waist, probably contemplating on what to do with me. All I really wanted was a place where I could shower, brush my teeth and eat. I looked like a mess so half of the time as he starred at me still half naked, I kept my head down.
“How about I take you there now now.”
He rushed into his room to get a shirt. As much as I loved the sound of that, I felt this punch of disappointment that he was trying to get rid of me. When he came out, I didn’t need him to tell me, I got up and picked my luggage bag which he stubbornly collected from my hands.

As we were about opening the door, a more rapid and disturbing knock came through. This was louder than the first one. It was as if the other person outside the door was faced with a situation of life and death.
When Daniel opened the door, it was yet again the same little girl who had came to see him a few minutes ago.
“Ola what’s the matter?” He pulled the little girl into the room. Her face was filled with tears. She was shaking, wiping her tears with the back of her hands. Her neatly pressed uniform was now stained with tea.
“I went to see mama, to tell her that I am leaving for school,” she hiccupped, her breathing was disturbing. I didn’t know what to do or how to calm this little child. She looked like she was in great pain.
She continued, “mama told me to eat something before I go, but then papa started shouting.” she began to play with her fingers; I knew that was the first sign of fear and confusion. Thanks to my psychology degree.
But as soon as Daniel heard the little girl speak of her father, he was gone before we knew it. I had to run to catch up with his speed. He was knocking over buckets that were outside. Anything he could lay his hands on, he threw aside. I followed alongside the little girl to where I presumed to be her home.
Upon getting there, Daniel had already pinned the husband of the woman who was now lying lifelessly on the floor to the wall of their living room.
“I told you that the next time you put your hands on her, I will kill you myself!” He shouted. There was no holding him back, he was at war with the husband who began to laugh hectically like a possessed human. Did he find the fact that his wife was lying dying on the floor funny?
I rushed to where the woman was. What shocked me was that this woman was pregnant; heavily pregnant. The couple wasn’t your typical 45 years old married folks, they were fairly young. I didn’t know how to calm the situation with Daniel and the husband down. Both of them were raising their voices at each other.
“She is my wife now; I can do whatever I want with her.” The husband barked. I looked back at him, and all I wanted to do was slap him for saying such a thing about a wowan who wasn’t his tool but rather his wife.
“And I am her brother! I won’t let you kill her because she chose to be with a fool like you.” The back to back yelling went on with the men.

My main focus which the men had forgotten about was the woman lying on the floor. I needed to do something.
“Madam, can you hear me?” She wasn’t breathing or responding. Panic kicked in. Oh my God, she’s really wasn’t breathing. Without realizing what I was doing, I spontaneously began to press down on her chest with my hands. As I pressed down on her chest, her daugter watched me curiously. Her eyes, it held hope that I would somehow fix her mother but then she ran out after my serval attempts failed.
“Are you a doctor? What are you doing?” Daniel asked. No, I wasn’t a doctor but I had learned a thing or two, and I also knew that my act of generosity could turn out bad.
“Who is she? Tell her not to touch my wife.” The silly man barked at me.
After few minutes of performing CPR on the lady, she let out a wheezing sound. The two men  instantly let go of each other when they heard the woman coughing.
“Talk to me, are you okay?” Both men began questioning the woman. The husband knocked me aside to be closer to his wife. To be honest, I felt neither of them had the rights to ask about her health since they had rather fought over it while she was dying. I let go of the woman and stepped out of the room for some air.
Outside, I found the young daughter. She was sitting with her back against the wall and her bag-pack on her lap. She was crying. At my grunting sound of frustration, she raised her head up. When she saw me, she rushed to embrace me.
“Is my mummy okay aunty?”
In that moment when she hugged me with her eyes filled with tears and unsure of what to do with herself, something changed; I found peace.


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