Paralyzed – Part Two

I waited for a minute. The laughter from inside went quiet

I could hear murmurs and then someone getting up. As the footsteps approached the door, I was already at the gate

I dropped the Somali sword inside the garbage pit and hailed a boda

He dropped me at the CBD and honestly I was like a zombie – walking in a trance.

People rushed by, grim-faced, hollow-eyed, stressed-out already…each minding their own business. And so did I

The cacophony of noises did nothing to dull the sharp pain that was splitting my heart into a million pieces. And amidst all this I couldn’t forget my daughter’s cry of pain

Several visits to numerous hospitals indicated she had undergone internal injuries. We had watched as doctors split her for surgery. Watched as the heavy anesthetic drugs transported her under, her eyes closed, her breathing labored

A hundred visits to hospitals. A million, almost

My baby was hurting

While the Sunday School teacher was having a blast with his girlfriend

I quickly walk into my therapist office. I don’t have an appointment but I just feel like I need to open up to someone

I stare at the pretty receptionist as she video calls someone. Probably her guy. She’s laughing and flirting and having a good time

While my daughter is paralyzed, her fistula getting worse every day

Therapist: “How are things?”

How are things? I try to think but my mind goes blank. How are things? Wait. I have run out of cash for medication. I have dropped from my job to take care of my baby. My 4 year boyfriend has walked from our relationship. My rent arrears were overdue and I was playing cat and mouse with my caretaker

“Things are perfectly ok,” I try to smile but he sees through my fakery

The tears, when they start to pour, are warm. I expect him to move closer to me. Put his arm around my shoulder and tell me things will be ok. Instead he passes a small box of dry wipes across the table. Then seats back and stares at me. Zero emotions

The pretty receptionist walks in with a tray – pot of white coffee and some samosas. She places them besides a small table next to me. I realize am hungry

An hour later, I feel better. I walk out and head towards the matatu terminal

Home is the one place I dread. My younger sister is my caretaker – efficient and effective. She cooks for us. Cleans the whole place. Feeds my baby

A tower of strength

My bedroom is my safe space. Dark curtains. Very little lights. My unmade bed.

I look around. Then I stare at her – looking small on her bed, peacefully sleeping. I walk towards her. She’s still beautiful. Her little chubby cheeks. Her small lips. She looks innocent

I take a deep breath

As I take my sleeping pills, I realize one thing: this will never be over.

I realize this is my new reality. My new normal. My new prison

As I begin to slip into the darkness, I hear someone knocking at the door. My sister opening. I recognize the caretaker’s gruffy voice

Thankfully, I close my eyes and sink under