My Imsu Desire
Early hours of Thursday 18th of May, 2017, I awoke to the disheartening smell of drugs, aspirin and other things mostly common in health environs. I had been unconscious for more than a day. My eyes and vision were still very weak. I managed to move my neck slowly to glance around.
I was on a sickbed in a small room, a place that looks not too much like an hospital. Probably, a large and fairly equipped health centre. An intravenous drip was connected to my left arm. Oh my God, what happened to me and how did I end up here. Who’s going to pay my treatment bills, my father has nothing. How could I have fallen sick in this Buharisation (hardship) period. My head was hurting terribly with a banging headache and I tried recalling what had happened to me. I started weeping as soon as everything came back.
I had collapsed and embarrassed myself in front of so many people, that large crowd after seeing my sorry excuse of a JAMB score. My tiny sobs grew into louder outbursts. I started crying out like a baby. My dad, who had been sleeping in a plastic chair close to the bed woke up and started consoling me.
“No dad, no, it can’t be, that score isn’t mine, I won’t accept it”. “Son, calm down, everything will be alright, you’ll see”, he said in an assuring voice. “No, how can it be, am a failure now. Why me, what did I ever do to deserve this”, I wailed even louder until one of the nurses busted in and yelled at me to keep quiet.
“Mr man, ogini, why are u disturbing the whole place. Oga, warn this your pikin oh, he’s not the only patient we have hear abeg, mtcheeew”, the shedevil blunted out and walked away in haste. “Dad, I want to go home now, am feeling better”, I said coughing. Gosh!, I can’t stand the smell of this place. “No my dear, still lay down and rest until the doctor comes to confirm your health”.
“But the bills, we can’t afford it, make I just go house go rest”, I replied. “Actually son, someone volunteered to pay for your treatment, he already has and I really don’t know the man. They said he was at the place at the time of the incident and when the people tried reviving you without any result, he used his car to bring you here”. “So where’s he now”, I asked. “The nurses said he dropped his phone number and home address in case we might want to thank him personally”, he answered placing his hand on my head, which somehow made me feel better.
I lay back on the bed, still sobbing. It shouldn’t be about fixing my health you know, It should be about fixing my life. When is my life going to get better, I feel like am cursed. I wept nonstop for the rest of the day despite pleas from my father and the doctor for me to stop.
On Friday morning, I was discharged and my dad took me home holding my arm like I was still a child. I was surprised that Prosper hadn’t even came to see me, what could have been his reason. When we arrived at our neighborhood. Everyone seemed to be giving me malicious and pitiful stares. Of course, I knew the news must have spread like wildfire.
“Ifeanyi failed JAMB”, “Ifeanyi collapsed after seeing his JAMB score”, “Ifeanyi scored 107”. My matter don already become the juiciest gossip and gist for the neighborhood. “And I tinz say they say he know book well well, con even win scholarship join. Naso this young boys of nowadays take dey deceive themselves, thank God for the existence of the JAMB, make e dey expose the insincere ones, one by one”, a woman said as we walked passed her shop.
“I hear say he pass Waec very well because he do Expo and now he nor fit do the same for the JAMB, Ndiara”, I heard another one said spitefully. “Be like say he do Expo for inside the exam hall sef and the camera catch am, nai make they commot mark for he own, but the guy mumu oh, this kind fine boy, e nor sabi do Expo sef”, a guy holding a cigarette and about my age said while his crew busted out laughing. I wanted to punch him and I would have, if not for my dad. He kept parting me by the shoulder often, helping me keep my calm.
I walked on with my head facing the ground dejectedly. I couldn’t bring myself to look up at the piercing stares I was getting from this people who I once considered as my extended family. Even children were tittering disgustingly at me. And I fought the urge to cry. Crying openly in public would have added salt to injury (world people go just nickname me cry baby).
As soon as my dad shot our entrance door behind me, I busted out crying again like a baby. “Son, get a hold of yourself, this isn’t the end of the world for you”. “Dad, I failed you, I failed everyone. Please believe me I didn’t do anything wrong”, I wailed. “Yes dear, I believe you and I don’t care to know how it happened, all I know is that I believe in you ok”, he said again in his reassuring voice.
I nodded and went inside my room, I just wanted to be alone for now. I kept thinking about the different possibilities of what could have been the reason I failed. If the secret camera was really in front of me like Ijeoma had said then it would have seen that I did nothing wrong. Just then, my father came in to bring me my cellphone which he had been in custody of.
“Son, there’s someone called Ijeoma who has been calling you nonstop since the other day, I thought you might want to talk to her”, he said handing me the phone and went out again. I checked and saw 58 missed calls and 2 unread messages, all from Ijeoma. I opened the earlier text and it read :
“Hey Ifeaz, it’s me Ijeaz, your future school mate. I’ve been calling you since yesterday but it seems like you haven’t been close to your set. I just wanna tell you that I made it and I really hope you made it too. I scored 264 and you?”
The second one which she sent a few hours ago read :
“Ifeanyi, pls talk to me, Wetin dey happen na, y u dey ignore my calls and texts. It’s not fair oh.”
I blinked back tears. Yeah!, am happy for her, she made it afterall and she’s now officially an Imo state university undergraduate, I can’t say the same for myself though. Just then, a call came in and it was her again. Gosh!, I don’t have the courage to answer this call, I can’t face her right now even though am dying to hear that amazing and soothing voice of hers.
How can I tell her I failed? How would she look at me now, her whole idea and perspective about me would change and that’s something I won’t be able to bear, I would rather ignore her calls. I switched off my phone and went back to what has now became my new hubby (crying).
I cried and cried until I fell asleep. My dad came to wake me up later in the evening and begged me to eat. I refused even though I was hungry, I lacked the appetite but he kept insisting until I finally gave in. He fed me pap (akamu) and beans porridge. Later, he led me to the bathroom to take my bath after which he started cuddling me to go back to sleep(as if I be baby sef).
I really don’t know how I managed to sail through the night filled with so many thoughts and a banging headache. And now I guess it’s quite true what people say these days :
“Never underestimate the power of your village people.”