080********

Early this evening, I sent the security guy on an errand. I was standing by the gate, waiting for him and watching traffic go by when I heard someone yell my name from across the road. I looked in the direction I heard my name and by the time I realised who it was, it was too late to disappear into the bushes. We don’t even have bushes.

I was careful not to smile. I waved a small, barely civil wave. A sensible person would’ve deciphered the wave to mean “Don’t let devul use you this afternoon. Just be going where you’re going”, but not this guy. He was never one to read signals so, with the excitement of a veteran back from war, he sprinted across the road. Unlucky for me, there was no oncoming traffic so he got to my end safely.

He lifted his arms and offered a hug. I offered my shoulder pad.

Then we exchanged small talk and by ‘we’ I mean him. I just did a lot of “Oh really?” and “Oh for real?”… He talked about his new job, how much he’s making now, how he’s about to buy a car, blah blah blah without stopping for breath. Finally, hands on hips, he glanced at the gate and asked, “Do you stay here?”

I said no.

“Oooooh… so your boyfriend stays here ehn?”

I smiled. Deep down, I wanted to sand-paper the stupid smirk off his face. I asked, “So where are you heading to?”

“I’m going to see a friend o. He just moved to the area. Do you stay around here?”

“No.”

“We really need to catch up o. I called you severally but you never answered. Abi you deleted my number?”

By now, I’m looking over his shoulder, hoping that the security man isn’t going to show up at that moment and hand me my moin moin and plantain chips.

“Same number right?”

“Yeah. Are you waiting for someone?”

“I’m sure I still have it.”

He whipped out his phone. “You know what? Let me just flash you so you can save it.”

I don’t disagree. Instead, while still facing him, I take a small step back, hold my phone up and watch the screen like I’m waiting for the call to connect. With my other hand I shield the screen against imaginary sunlight, even though it’s already getting dark. My phone starts to vibrate and one word flashes across the screen;

IDIOT
080********

“Yup”, I said. “I still have it.”

 

How much is paracetamol?

Every time I brag about how I’m such a great cook, I burn something as simple as noodles or forget boiling eggs on fire till the eggs and pot turn black. As if the universe is telling me to not brag. Lately, I’ve been bragging about how I walk in divine health and I don’t fall sick, then yesterday I landed in the hospital with Malaria.

It’s funny because I used to secretly judge malaria patients… like how did you allow mosquitoes chew you to the extent you got malaria? Are you a missionary worker sleeping in the jungle? Can’t you cover yourself at night?

Also, I’ve seen people lie with malaria so much that I forgot it was a serious illness.

Why didn’t you do your assignment? I was sick. I had malaria.

Why didn’t you pay me my money? I couldn’t go to the bank. I was sick. I had malaria.

Why did you leave him at the altar? I’m no longer in love with him. Also, I was sick. I had malaria.

Last time I had malaria was in 2006/2007 so I honestly didn’t recognize it for what it was. It started with a sharp pain in my right hip last week. I called my doctor friend and he asked me to go do an xray (or Extray as my uncle calls it). When I heard the cost of an extray and looked at my account balance, I decided to rub anointing oil and speak the word of God directly to my hip.

By Sunday, I was walking with a slight limp and the pain had radiated, up to my right shoulder joint. Brethren, I cannot describe the kind of fear that gripped my soul. You see, I watch the weirdest shit on Tv. There’s a show called Monsters Inside Me… they show true accounts of people who get infected by teeny tiny micro-organisms that cause havoc in their bodies. One day they are on vacation, frolicking in a lake in Brazil, and weeks later, they are having both legs and two fingers amputated. So, I thought, surely something must have entered inside me and must be causing nerve damage somewhere. All this ube I’ve been eating… maybe I didn’t wash them well.

Tuesday morning, I woke up, showered, ate more ube, drank coffee and laid down to read. That was the last time I could stand up on my own without feeling like I was going to fall forward or like my head was going to explode. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I called our caretaker and she was very dramatic about helping me get from my room to the cab. The security man held my bag and watched me like I was about to drop dead. Then I started crying from the embarrassment of being carried like a half-dead 80 year old!

I got to the hospital and they just threw me on a bed. They were nice enough, extremely helpful. Very friendly. I was an annoying and irritable patient though… I told the doctor, “My sister is a doctor, she said I should do a blood test.”

She said, “Sure, but I just want to get your history first.”

My oversabi was in high gear. “I don’t have a fever, I don’t have headaches. I don’t usually have malaria. Just this pain, the dizziness and nausea.”

“Yes dear. But malaria doesn’t always come with a fever or chills.”

Ugh! What does this one even know sef?… Has she even done PLAB? I should’ve just Googled my symptoms and I would’ve found out what ube-dwelling micro-organism is causing this. Ugh again!

Tests came back and they woke me up to announce that I had malaria. She asked if I’ve been ignoring symptoms for a while and I said no. They gave me some injections inna me selling point and all I could think was, “Thank God I wore fine pyint.” Then I slept for hours and hours.

When they brought my bill, the malaria parasites cleared from my eyes. Niggaz charged me 1,100 for Paracetamol!!!  Must be 100Naira for the paracetamol, 1000Naira for the niceness. It better be magic paracetamol… the kind that cures cancer.

Anyway, I’m home now, feeling better. I still have to go back for treatment.

My friend had malaria a few weeks ago and she lost a tonne of weight. I hope I lose weight too.