Lost episode 19


Episode Nineteen

Early the next morning, John was the first thing on my mind.

I just wanted to make sure he remembered some things at least.

I was supposed to stay with him the previous day, but I had to come back home and take a bath.

I had made a determination that I wouldn’t sell water that day.

Dad was just using it to punish me, and there was no hope of going back to school.

He wanted to keep me busy so I would forget about going to school, and his plans worked.

I’ll work hard and make money to go to school myself.

After all, I turned eighteen the previous day.

It seems being eighteen came with a different mindset because the way I stood up to dad the previous day, it was as if I had suddenly grown wings.

Eighteen to me seemed like the age of freedom from my opprēssors.

Usually, my birthday celebrations are always top-notch.

Mom would organize a party and invite a few people she knew to grace the occasion.

She would treat me to some homemade meals.

It’s been two years since she left, and I haven’t done any celebration for my birthday.

My dad, within the space of these six years, has spent more on his wife.

There’s no need to complain. After all, I enjoyed it while it lasted.

I got up, took a bath, did everything I was supposed to do, and then stepped out.

I didn’t dress well because I didn’t want them to predict where I was going. I took different paths to the hospital.

I’ve become familiar with the roads because of hawking water. I know the shortcuts to every place I want to go.

Sometimes, I deliberately enter a road I don’t know to see where it leads, and I take note for future reference.

Although I still felt along the way that I should take my water with me so that I can sell on the road.

It seemed like no matter how many bags I sold, I wouldn’t be able to afford my fees.

It was almost time for the WAEC examination.

And there was no need to go back to school because I wouldn’t be able to learn everything in just a week.

I didn’t even want to go back to a school where I would be mōcked for selling water on the roadside.

Everything was funny to me because I was tired of being too serious in life.

I didn’t gain anything from doing so.

I stopped at intervals to sit and regain my strength, then hit the road again to continue my journey.

I didn’t have any money with me to pick a cab to the hospital, and there was no money for food either.

I had stopped eating at home because I didn’t know what they would eventually do to me.

It was better to eat out. If I had it my way, I would have moved out, but as John said, “The street isn’t friendly.”

It was better than living under the bridge, where I would have to bathe at 4:00 am before everyone wakes up.

Same way John does it, you hide your bags of clothes somewhere and go to work.

It was a very rīsky situation because you might hide it somewhere and not come back to see it, with no one to ask.

All these thoughts came running through my mind when I was resting.

I had it in mind to take a little of John’s food at the hospital to quench my hunger. I was really hungry.

His case would have been worse than mine if the good Samaritan hadn’t brought anything for him.

I spent my last 2000 naira on the hospital card, and I was totally empty.

Dad and his wife were both the ones enjoying my mom’s hard-earned money and rubbing it in my face because to them there was nothing I could do.

I felt a bit weak, but I knew my weakness was a result of hunger.

I quickened my steps to get to the hospital fast.

Although I still had a long way to go climbing the bridge and the hilly road that led to the hospital.

I struggled to reach there finally, and I had forgotten his room number.

I had so much on my mind, and it wasn’t my fault.

I had to sit outside the hospital, thinking about which room John was in.

He wasn’t completely fine to the point of getting up on the bed and going outside on his own, so I couldn’t even have a clue about the number.

Then I suddenly remembered just two numbers, 25.

I had an idea to knock at every room with that number or even peep from the window until I finally found John’s room.

It was a nice idea, and I started from room 251.

I peeped through the window and saw a woman lying on the bed.

I entered the second one, but the window was locked, so I had to open the door to see a whole family looking at me.

I had to lock the door and move to the next one, which was a man with a deep cút on his leg.

I couldn’t believe that John was the one losing a bit of his memory, and here I was forgetting a little thing like a room number.

I got to the last room, which was room 258.

It sounded like the number of John’s room that I had heard before.

I had to look through the window, just in case it wasn’t his room so that I wouldn’t bump into anyone else again.

I peeped and saw John sitting at the edge of the bed, he was awake.

When I opened the door, smiling at him, it seemed like he was smiling before.

But then he suddenly frowned and asked, “Who are you?

Are you sure you’re in the right room, miss?” Please leave, or else I will call the doctor.

I didn’t say anything because I wanted to be sure he was just joking.

But then he actually called the doctor, and I knew he was serious.

I ran out of the room crying because what I had feared had finally happened.

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