This is a continuation of the series from this author.
I hate to be proved wrong but I realized that I may not always be right.
Contrary to what I expected, I actually liked my new environment (more of liking my new friend in my new environment).
Lisa is my first friend and my first ever best friend as well. I don’t regret ever meeting her. Because she makes me understand myself better each day – we have similar stories and it makes it easier for me to relate to her.
I feel comfortable around her. Yes, that kind of feeling. Let’s not get too emotional.
So far, my therapy is going on well. I haven’t missed any session since I started about a week ago. Don’t get me wrong. Not that I like therapy anyway.
I still hate those drugs because they make me feel like a zombie.
In case I did not state this before, let me state it now – generally, I hate to be controlled hence, I hate things that try to control me or restrict my free movement. That’s the reason why I hate those sedatives – they control the level of my mind’s activity.
Since a deal is a deal, and what has been done cannot be easily undone, I decided to continue the therapy to please my father and uphold my part of the deal.
So as usual, as I was going for a session, I saw a group of boys around a tree.
They were smoking, so I did not want to use that route.
But just when I decided to change course, I noticed a brawl. Then out of nowhere, they brought out pocketknives and brandished it around the meek-looking boy among them.
I wanted to run, but I reasoned that if I did, the silence of the trees around will give me up.
I decided to hide and watch what will transpire.
They beat up the boy, stole his wallet and took to their heels. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was so scared that I waited for about five minutes to ensure that the coast was clear before I moved on to see what I could do to save the situation.
I walked towards the boy as I heard his groans of pain. He could hardly talk.
Since I could not carry him all by myself to the hospital, I called Lisa to ask her mother if she could take us to the hospital.
We were taken to the hospital where the boy was being given treatment and had to be hospitalized. I went for therapy afterwards and went to visit the boy on my return.
I didn’t expect him to be talking so much after such a brutal attack. But to my utter surprise, he was, amidst each intermittent cough. I introduced myself to him and I asked that he also did same.
However, he laughed so hard that I thought he was going to bring down the drip and hurt himself. And this is what he told me.
“I am not fond of talking to people. Neither am I fond of telling people about myself. Because however you decide to look at it, the truth is – no one cares. Yes, you heard me right, my mother never cared so how on earth do I expect the world to care?”
I told him that I did not understand what he was saying so I would be grateful if he calmed down to explain things to me. And I also made him know that I was ready to listen to whatever he had to say and however he wanted to say it.
I even went far enough to tell him about my condition.
That was when he asked me to lock the door, shut the louvre blades and draw the curtains. At first, I thought he had something sinister in mind but he made me know that what he was about to tell me was his secret.
“It includes all my buried skeletons,” he intoned.
“If my mother cared, she wouldn’t have drunk alcohol every single day when she realized that she was carrying an unwanted pregnancy. She wouldn’t have made it a habit to buy a pack of cigarettes to smoke her lungs out even if she was stressed beyond her elastic limit.
“She never cared. And she is equal to or even worse than my irresponsible teenage father (at the time) who ran away when he got to know about the pregnancy. Why bring me into this world to suffer if you thought you weren’t ready?”
At this point in time, he used his leg to push the table. But I told him that if he continued like that, his secret would be found out when the things topple over and the nurses rush into the room to find us. So he was made a little calm by that statement.
“I went to school on the government’s account. I used to wonder why almost everyone fancied going to school. To me, school spells HELL. It took me years to fathom how the square root of 4 could be 2 and even when I did, it took me a lot more time to remember.
“There were a lot of instances where I was bullied and teased mainly because of my appearance. There was a time one of the boys in my class actually drew a sketch of me and pointed out all the problems concerning my appearance using illustrations.
“Quite creative huh? Well, it earned him two months of community service as punishment but that did not erase the memory of the drawing. Till date, I still remember the illustration and the words he used to describe my appearance. It saddened me because these things were true and what hurt me more was that there was nothing I could or can do about them.”
“These were the words he used in his description with an arrow for each, pointing to the part of the body that he intends to describe (from upper to lower part) – small head circumference, very tiny eye opening, skin folding at the corner of the eye, low nasal bridge, small midface, short nose and very thin upper lip.”
“And later on, he had the audacity to come and tell me that he had left out something the last time he described me – he said that he still couldn’t distinguish the groove between my nose and upper lip.”
“I felt like giving him a sound beating but his thug friends held me back. That was the day I left school, never to return. I couldn’t stand the humiliation. And I didn’t care about whether I was close to becoming a JHS graduate. I lost my self-confidence and the disgrace was far too much for me to bear.”
“Weeks after I ran away from school, I joined this mafia that used to smoke marijuana.”
They made me try it and I felt as though I were on cloud 9. I must admit, I felt like the most confident man on earth. That was how I became a drug addict and a thief.
The people who beat me up, were those same people who introduced me to marijuana. Funny isn’t it? But a thief would always be a thief, even around his friends. I guess I have never been smart enough my whole short life. My name is Chris. I have fetal alcohol syndrome and a very severe lung disease. My biological clock of death is ticking as we speak.”
That was when the nurse knocked to come in. She told me to come the next day because Chris had to get some rest. But before I left, this is what I told him:
“Chris, you may think you are not smart enough but hey, there are a few times that I thought I wasn’t good enough too. I think you just have to take it easy and learn to love yourself just the way you are, like I am trying to do now. I know it is not easy but together we can fight this. See you tomorrow.”
When I arrived the next day, I came to meet an empty bed.
I was told that Chris had died as a result of complications with his lungs. It was aggravated by the severe beatings that he had received days ago.
But I was also informed that, soon after I had left, he had asked the nurse to write something on a piece of paper which was destined to be delivered to me.
When I took the note, two words whispered to me: “Be strong”.
This is a continuation of the series from this author.
The series continues.