Nene couldn’t believe her ears, there was a violent thumping from somewhere in the house. Was someone trying to get into the house? Was the person already inside?
“Blood of Jesus” she whispers under her breath as she sat up. Thoughts shuffling through her brain as her feet touches the cold tiled floor. She is most certainly awake now. She began to make her way to David’s room. She had to make sure he was okay and get him somewhere safe if anyone was really in the house.
Her heart races as she thinks of all the places she could fit her 8 year old son. The bathtub or under the bed seemed the most secure but also the most obvious. She held back a scream as pain shot through her body. She had kicked her big toe against one of David’s toys. Probably that big John Cena action figure she bought for his 7th birthday. He always leaves it lying around.
Nene turns at the corner into David’s room. The room is too dark, even though she knows where Davids bed is, she doesn’t want to scare him. Against her better judgement, she flips the switch at the wall and the Light surprisingly comes on. She haven’t even realised there was light. Before she has time to appreciate NEPA for their benevolence her heart sinks at what she’s looking at.
David is on the floor, twisting and wrangling like one of those thin metal hangers she uses in her wardrobe. There was no intruder, the thumping she had heard was David falling off the bed in a fit of convulsion. She screams as she rushes to his side. She examines him trying not to break down at the sight of the foam in his mouth. She can’t understand this, he was perfectly fine the night before.
Wasn’t he? Of course he was.
Nene runs back to her room, grabs her car keys and her phone and runs back. She carries David in her arms and darts out the house. She toggles the car keys and the car door unlocks with a small thumping sound. Nene has the car in full blown reverse before she realises that the gate isn’t open. There’s no time to be a madam and call the gateman he’ll take forever to wake up. She races out and opens the gate, gets back in the car and zooms off.
The nearest hospital is St. Marys Clinic, only a few streets away. She decides to head there when the Neighbourhood goes dark.
“Darn it! God Help me!” she feels like screaming but pounding the steering will have to do for now. Her heart is racing. She can’t lose her son.
She knows because she works there that St. Marys doesn’t run their generator past 1am, heck they hardly have staff on duty by 10. Budget cuts they said. Nene takes a sharp right and expertly directs the car towards ANI hospital. Ordinarily, Nene would have gnawed at the logic behind establishing such a high priced hospital especially considering that the few Nigerians that could afford the hospital would rather go abroad, but not tonight. “just hang in there darling” she tells the lifeless body of her son.
The America-Nigeria International hospital, ANI for short, is a huge complex located in the middle of Victoria Island. It had just been completed a few years ago behind schedule as usual and not after millions of dollars had entered into the accounts of the local politicians and contractors.
She pulls the car to a screeching halt, in the deserted car park of ANI. The security man at the gate is startled and is yelling something in Hausa. Nene doesn’t even bother closing the car door, she gently carries David’s body and darts into the hospital.
The nurse at the reception, is awake. “Madam what can I do for you” she asks with a raspy voice as if the lifeless body in her arms isn’t enough clue.
“My son, I don’t know what happened to my son.” Nene is getting hysterical, she’s barely able to compute what she wants to say.
The nurse seems to suddenly reawaken as she grabs the phone, utters a few words that seem incoherent to Nene. In a flash, she grabs a gurney and claws David from Nene. A group of nurses and a doctor just seem to just appear and begin rushing David into one of the emergency theatres. The doctor is asking Nene some questions but she doesn’t seem to understand. Her feet become heavy and she can’t keep up with the fast pace everyone is moving. “My son” she mutters.
Nene feels nauseous. The world is spinning and for the first time Nene realizes she’s been on bare feet this entire time. She reaches for the wall and wonders why the wall is so far away despite just being a few centimetres away. Nene feels her body collapse against the wall. She feels a tick liquid swell in her mouth. She touches her lips and raises her hand towards her eyes. Her limbs suddenly weigh a ton. She sees red. Blood. Surely she must be dreaming.
The spinning world increases and Nene crashes to the floor. All she can tell is her body is shaking and she can’t stop it. Her vision is blurred and tainted red. She closes her eyes and tries to take control. She can feel the life leaving her as everything begins to fades away.