Click here for Journey To The Future 1
My first week Ibadan felt like the longest period of my life. It was like being trapped in a tunnel without the faintest hope of seeing the light again. I have heard different ordeals about cell experiences but I never thought I will walk that path. The summary is that I was welcomed like a dignitary, abused like a slave, and released to a hospital as a patient that needed urgent care. Like other new arrivals I was given a chance to call someone, for 500 Naira. Just one try. The moment Bade’s network provider told me he was unreachable, the officer told me I had to pay another 500 Naira. I only had 50 Naira left so I was escorted back to my cell. At first I was at peace with the hope that I will finally get another chance at calling Bade, but after the third night I knew I was in a mess. Really, I was less concerned about myself. I wept silently as I thought about my mother, the poor woman is hypertensive. She hasn’t heard from me in four days. I prayed passionately in my heart that it doesn’t affect her health.
The 50 Naira I had left only got me 2 sachets of water, I didn’t eat for 4 days. In my mother’s house I ate whenever I wanted. At that moment I wish I could see her and thank her for always feeding me despite my inadequacies. My sufferings taught me that she was priceless. I finally got through to Bade on the fifth day but it wasn’t without paying a heavy price. At first I was tasked with the responsibility of fanning the cell president while he slept, then I was promoted to being his chair. Later that night I woke up to the presence of four men standing over me. Before I could say a word they pinned me down forcefully, two on my legs, the others on my hands. I was raped by the presido whose consistent moan of “handsome guy” tore my soul apart. Life in the city wasn’t what I had envisaged, being raped by criminals wasn’t what I had imagined. When he was done, the four took their turn. Few minutes later I shit in my pants, a shit of red fluid.
Bade finally arrived with a lawyer whom I later found out was his girlfriend. I got the chance of reporting my molestation to the officer in charge but he played it down despite the lawyer’s threat of suing the police force if nothing is done about it. She couldn’t post my bail because it was Friday and it was past working hours so I had to wait till Monday, but I got a new cell with no cellmates. I couldn’t sit, eat, think or pay attention, the tears just flowed. I finally woke up from my insomniac nightmare on Monday. I got bailed and the DPO after several minutes of dialogue between the lawyer and himself parted with 15,000 naira for my treatment. When Bade asked her why the conversation consumed time, she responded with heaves of “it is complicated. Let’s just get him to a hospital, he doesn’t look good.”
When I finally got through to my mother’s phone, it was my younger Sister Bisi that was on the receiving end,
“Hello boda Kunle, is that you?
“Yes Bisi, where is mum?” I asked gently. I was in the hospital and was still very weak.
“Boda mi, you scared everybody. When we didn’t hear from you in seven days, mum thought something happened to you. She is very sick.”
“Please put her on”
“She is in coma brother; as a matter of fact we are not in Owena. She was rushed to the General Hospital in Akure for better health care. She suffered a heart attack; she is presently in the ICU.”
“Heart attack?” I erupted into tears,
“Boda, this is not the time to cry o. What we need now is money. If not for brother Emeka and Sister Morenike that helped raised some cash, we won’t be here o. I sincerely hope you can raise something, the cost of oxygen alone is overwhelming.”
“Isn’t the government responsible for whatever happens in the state hospital?”
“Leave the government out of this. Yes, the government is responsible but we will have to wait for our turn before she can be given oxygen just for an hour. Anything can happen while waiting brother. Malle must not die o.”
“Nothing will happen to her. Have you informed her siblings yet?”
“Those ones, abegi!”
“How is Tayo?” I enquired about the baby of the house, “he is with mum, he hasn’t stopped crying ever since we got here.”
I swallowed my saliva and gathered some courage to reassure Bisi that all will be well with our mother, “let me call you back in few minutes, I will try and make some arrangement on how to send you some money.”
“Did you say send me some money? I think you should bring the money yourself; your presence here will make a lot of difference. Before she suffered the attack, she blamed herself for forcing you out of the house to be a prey to the world. Maybe if she hears your voice, she will regain consciousness.”
“Okay dear, I will be in Akure as soon as I can,” I ended the call.
I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that I was locked up, raped and was on admission in the hospital. For the next five minutes my brain was in chaos. I thought of how to raise money. Bade had already done enough, it will only be unfair to bother him with this. My thoughts drifted towards Morenike, she had proven her worth again. Then to Emeka, his belief in me has not faded.
“Mr. Kunle, Mr. Kunle” the nurse called me back to consciousness. “What are you thinking of?”
“How is the pain in your anus now? Can you still feel the bruises?”
“Yes. I mean No.”
“Yes or No, which one is it?” she questioned. I was obviously confused.
“I mean the pain has reduced,” I lied spontaneously. The pain had just heightened.
“Good. By the way your test results are out, except for the HIV test that will be ready in few minutes. The doctor will come by and examine you when he has it.” She eased herself out of the ward.
“HIV! God please I don’t want to be declared positive” I said with my voice trembling and my whole body emitting sweat.
“I am very broke myself, but I will talk to Kikelomo. Let’s hope she can raise some cash so we can send it to her. Just be calm, mumsy will be fine.” Bade consoled me. After several dead ends on the thought about who could help, I decided to give him a call and tell it to him. He has been very supportive. They both have been very helpful.
“I have to go and see her Bade”
“Yes you will, but that’s after you have been declared fit by the doctor”
The doctor walked in while we were still discussing, “Kunle, how do you feel now?” he asked,
“I can only answer that after you confirm that I am HIV negative sir.”
“You are a very lucky man Kunle. Only few people pass through your ordeal and come out clean”
This man should save me the sermon and tell me in simple words, “So?”
“You are HIV negative.”
I took a breath of relief and declared “thank you Lord.”
Two minutes later my phone rang, it was Morenike. I didn’t know if she was calling to remind me of how I have failed my mother again or sympathize with me so I ignored it. It rang out and started ringing again so Bade answered it.
“…yes, I am his friend. He is asleep.” The dialogue ended after about 45 seconds with Bade saying “Okay, thanks.”
“What did she say?” I asked nonchalantly pretending not to care.
“She said mumsy is out of ICU.”
“Oh! Did she say she had regain consciousness?”
“Yes,” she confirmed that she regained consciousness.
“Thank you Jesus” I clapped my hands with joy, “but she died few minutes later” Kunle added as his head dropped with his hand to his face and my mouth left ajar.
Written by Femi Fragile (@fragiletimbzz)
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