Between Dreams and Dust

The idea of squatting her wasn’t as abhorrent as I feared in retrospect. Heck, I suggested it but then, my mouth has been known to run ahead of my head on occasion. The brain needed more than a few moments to process the suggestion the mouth just spewed and it came up with a few arguments in its favour...

While I am borderline OCD and kinda guard my space jealously, I’ve known her for a year and she’s as cool as they come. Nearly as OCDious as I am {if not more sef}, she was one of the coo’ kids and frankly, my social status did not grudge the rub-off. However, what sealed this arrangement {and made it as attractive as I could convince my brain} was the thought of my easy access to a steady supply of premium soaks, also known as Ijebu garri. Jolo’s stock was legend!

When she first complained about her eyesight that was suddenly going south bad, we just thought it must be the soaks and suggested that she cut back on garri drinking. But then, the sudden poor eyesight became black outs, and with them came truly blinding headaches. Again, we had an explanation for this: it was time she embraced her family’s spectacle-wearing destiny. Genes can only wait for so long...

What “it” actually was knocked us for six and with the diagnosis came a rapid downward spiral that is the very essence of nightmares. Truly unbelievable. Brain tumor. In a matter of weeks, her eyesight was gone. Her health was deteriorating so fast there was urgent need to get her medical treatment outside the country. I had just left the VC’s office to makes copies of the documents her family needed for the travel when I got the call. It was her brother. We both spoke at once...

“I’ve got the papers...”
“She died...”
I don’t know how long I stood rooted at that spot. I do know I took four steps forward, stopped, turned, took about five steps back, stopped, turned, took another step forward and froze. My sister said that’s how her friends found me: frozen on that field with tears running down my face. I have grieved before then. I’ve lost friends/colleagues after that. But I had never experienced such mindless grief as I felt that day...
...until today!

He just barged into that office obviously agitated, thrust my car keys in hands that I instinctively extended and said, “Madam, i have to go. Your wife {read: my wife} jus call now now...”. Slightly concerned, I asked him “Is everything ok?!” Innocent enough question but it seemed to be a trigger of some sort because as soon as that question left my mouth, I watched my driver of 5 years come apart at the seams! I’ve seen a grown man cry before. I had never seen one wail like he did today! Mindless grief. I saw it all over his face and I was very afraid to ask my next question: Who?
“My son...e don die. I tell that woman make she take am go hospital...i give am money...i don beg am...take pikin go hospital...she say she dey give am agbo... Now, that boy...e don die... Now that woman...e dey call me!” he related brokenly.

I sat down on the floor with him, very quiet. What do you say in the face of such grief? Thankfully, the vendor I was meeting with had words to say: “Pull yourself together and stop crying. You know women panic a lot and tend to overdramatize. Just get home and find out what’s going...” and I strongly prayed that was the case.
And so it was. The child convulsed but he’s ok.

My driver learnt a very important lesson today, as should most parents, myself included: No job should come before the health of one’s child! Of what use is the money being made if the child you’re toiling for is dead? No amount of justification will allay the guilt you’ll lug around for life. Better to make an effort and its futile than not to try at all, right? Right!

As for mini-me and I, we shall continue to practice our duck-lips pose until we perfect it. I’ve got the time, one of the pleasures of being your own boss.

Oh, before I forget...
Whoever stole my blogging mojo, bikonu, e ma binu, forgive and forget but abeg, return it, inugo? Blog award season will soon be upon us. You people don’t want me to win sonthin?
Hey World...

10 comments:

Demi Oyewo said...

Madam zitera u almost gave me a scare. Thank God, he's okay. It makes me realise to always remember what counts and the order of importance. As for ur blogging..... Repent and sin no more. Ciao!

Okeoghene said...

Thank God the boy is okay. True, no job should come before the welfare of our children.

Very cute picture.

Chuwechuwe said...

You are a gifted writer woman. I hope your driver's boy will be ok. You look good. The glasses and the hair suit you.

Toinlicious said...

Ah, if i didn't love you so much, i'll be hunting you down to give you at least a kick. Don't be playing ping pong with my heart like this jor. Almost 2 heartbreaks in one story... Good thing almost doesn't count sha

Now if only my neighbour will take this story as the gospel. I'm tired of hearing "i gave her money to take care of the kids" arrrggghhhh

P.S: You two look amazeballs even with the duck-lips...ok, he looks cuter :D

Nma Nazzy Agada said...

I'm glad the boy's ok. I must say you are great writer. Please try to blog more often...I know how it gets. I just returned from an involuntary blog break as well.
www.negrifille.blogspot.com

Missy Tee's said...

Glad he's fine. Poor man, his wife almost gave him a heart attack. It is well

Deli workPLUSplay said...

Hmmm, thank God the child is ok. This sets me thinking... as employers, we take every request for a break with a pinch of salt; we don't like to hear "my grand mother is sick or my son no well" Especially since in this country breaks are with pay. How does one balance this? I personally have been upset with my driver for ditching me when I needed him because "my daughter no well". I wondered why his wife couldn't handle the situation since he had to work to make a living for them all. Maybe this is because that's how my own home runs; I handle the kids, hospital visits, and everything else concerning the home front because 007 has got to work so that we all get taken care of. This may make me more sympathetic but how does one really balance this especially when one's niceness is often taken for granted? Hmmmm....
http://workplusplay.blogspot.com/
Mrs Deli; short for Mrs Deliberate. Married to 007 and Mom of 2; Super 4+ and Active 1+, who believes in the concept of a well rounded child.

Fluffycutething said...

i genuinely wish/ed i could slap the driver's wife!!!!

Thank God the boy's ok....


this pouting tins# na wa oh LOL

ceeminnieme said...

Hmm...

Word.

Sometimes, I think it's more the fear of losing said job and the baseless assurance that kids will ALWAYS be there when we are done slaving at our jobs.

Such awe inspiring duck looks. He's super cute.

Cee

Franny said...

Hey Hazel, I stumbled on your blog yesterday and your writing skill is really commendable. The way you make your readers' emotions fly all over the place...Nice one! Keep it up dear.