Monday, January 25, 2010

More bad news!!!

Her eyebrows were knit in deep concentration. she read with such intensity. the book was the new Danille Steel novel about break-ups and finding love again. it caught her eye at the bookshop on her way back from the hospital and she decided to get it,if not for anythn but to take her mind off the emotionally drained day she just went thru.
*This is bank......change here for....* the PA system announced and she immediately stood up from the seat and headed towards the doors as the tube screeched to a halt. the doors opened and she virtually jumped off as she saw the train on the other lane preparing to depart, but it was too late as she helplessly watched it zoom off.

It was almost a quarter to 10pm when she walked into the house. Aunty Mimi had called her on her way,just to be sure she was okay and would be heading home soon. the usual visiting hours at the hospital ended by 7pm but the nurses always made exception for Naima cos she seemed to be their only hope to easing her mum's depression. On this particular day, her mum had cried and begged her to stay the night cos she was scared of the "night mass by those creatures". it had made Nai appeal to one of the doctors to please allow her stay,even it was to bend the rules a bit, but she had vehemently refused, insisting that a nurse would be personally assigned to her mum for the night if need be.
Naima tried to understand but truly she was mad and so left the hospital fuming. she assured her mum that she had gone home just to pick up a few things. she was more concerned now because of her mum's seizure two days ago and the doctors' inability to explain it from a medical point. she was beginning to fear that maybe her dad was right about this being not only a medical case but also a spiritual one. her dad had already said her decisions had nothing to do with him and that he wasnt going to "talk sense" to her anymore.


Aunty Mimi watched her more closely as she explained the whole day and how she wasnt comfortable leaving her mum spend the night alone.
"sai hakuri da mutanen nan fa" Kaaka chiped in. she was aunty Mimi's aunt and so by extension the kids grannie and so every1 called her that.
the two women tried their best to comfort her, and then ordered her to eat something heavy instead of her usual tea and veggies at night. they insisted that she was looking pale. Aunty Mimi even joked that she wasnt gonna have two patients to cater for..she went upstairs instead to plug her mobile and that was when the call came thru.
"Is this Naima please?" the lady on the other line inquired.
"this is nurse Bibi from St Andrew's"...................from then on,Naima was just silient and nodding.
"but she is stable now?" she asked.
"yes,I just thought you should know,so you can talk to the doctors when you come in in da morning"
"sure,thanks a lot"
She dropped the call. went straight into the bathroom to have her ablution. she said a short prayer and then forced a smile on her face as she went downstairs to join the others.
Aunty Mimi froze as she used the word "seizure". she didnt know if she was more shocked at the news or at how a 21-year old daughter would calmly explain such about her own mum.
She rose from the sofa and gave her a big hug. Naima allowed herself to be folded into her arms but she didnt feel a thing. she was beginning to turn into some form of iceberg of sorts cos the issues just kept on increasing. just last night, she had to sort out her mum's bills and debts and now this??? it was just becoming unbearable.... but she kept reminding herself that as the first child and only daughter in the family, it was her cross to bear and there was nothing she could do about it!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tatsuniya; Day one at St Andrew's!

"Hello.........Hellllooooooooooooo" A tiny voice penetrated her subconscience..
She slowly turned to the other side and met the gaze of the intruder........."Hey Chabiya" she replied.
the little girl was instantly confused and asked, "whats your name?" with her tiny baby voice.
"I dont know you....where are you from?"..........
"Chabiya! Chabiya!!!" Aunty Mimi shouted from the hallway, saving Naima from the interrogation...
She got into the house at about 10pm the night before and so the girls had been asleep. her mum's friend had welcomed her well and also took her round the house.
the house wasnt really as big as she had expected it to be,especially since every1 back home was talking about how Aunty Mimi was married to a well-to-do surgeon. but it looked comfortable for a young family like theirs.
Aunty Mimi has been married for about ten years now, and had been living in the UK from the start. she had two lovely girls Kwala aged 7 and Chabiya aged 2.....Both girls had heavy british accent and couldnt say a word in their language. they had spent only one vacation in Nigeria,like two years ago, which was why Chabiya didnt know Naima.
The 3-bedroom bungalow was all brown on the inside though there seem to be some re-decor going on as she noticed white paint just behind the front door. the fireplace also smelled like it was just painted white....the sitting room and most of the rooms downstairs were dubbed in lemon green with matching brown sofas and folding chairs. there was a small barbie doll house for the girls at the far end of the room and Naima thought the matching cream walls made the house more homey....

Naima smiled as she looked around the room she was was all pink,it reminded her of her own room back at home. the room was Kwala's and there was a whole bookshelf of children's books. Aunty Mimi had said last night that she wanted to inculcate the habit in her very early. that thought made her remember Eazy's call earlier in da morning and her inability to relay to him exactly how she felt when she saw her mum the night before. she just said it was bad and the manner in which he shifted back to talk about how much he was missing her after chiping in a quick "take it easy" just wasnt enough for her. but she let herself laugh at his jokes all the same,she needed that too....she was grateful that he had actually called to wake her up to pray subhi just like he did at home, and that alone she thot was enough for now....
She preferred not to think too much about her mum's present state. the Lord was watching and she was sure He wouldnt let her down. So,she got up and walked into the bathroom just opposite the room to brush her teeth.
She looked at her map again,even more confused then....the street Aunty Mimi lived on was one of those highbrow jewish neighbourhoods that had no bus service. as such she had to take a cab to the nearest tube station before she started her journey to St Andrew's hospital. Yemi had told her which service to take and when to change abd she had assured Aunty Mimi that she could manage just fine, but she was sure now that she had been she mistaken.

She walked back to the information desk and decided to ask for clarification. the lady looked like she couldnt care less even if Naima was lost. she told her to take the northern line and then switch at Bank...the rest was easy from there. she thanked her and then proceeded to top up her Oyster card.
On the long ride Naima's mind drifted back to her dad insisting that her mum needed more prayers than medical attention and why he thought she should be brought back home immediately. but Naima knew him too well. he worried too much and easily got confused when making big decisions, as such she had decided on her own to talk to the doctors first. she was also doing her own little research and was studying more about toxoplasmosis cos she heard that some doctors kept patients for research even when they knew they couldnt do anything for them.
She walked out of the underground station and got lost all over again. she knew it was near the old london museum but she couldnt see the turn Yemi had pointed out to her the night before.

She smiled at the nurse as she walked into the ward...the nurse was the same one with her mum last night. she began to update her on the case and promised to let the doctor-on-call know that Naima wanted to talk to him/her, but she warned that being weekend, the actual team working on her mum wont be around.
Naima thanked Bibi for the help and made a mental note to always consult her when she needed anythn. Bibi was from South Africa she gathered and had been living and working at St Andrew's for almost a decade.
Her mum looked at her with sad eyes as she walked in and she didnt even reply the hearty greeting Naima gave her. she really looked as depressed as Bibi had said. Naima sat on the bed after droping the kunu she had brought from home on the table close to the bed.
'Mama ya jiki?" Naima asked softly.
all she got was a slow nod...Naima could feel the sting of hot tears welling up in her eyes...her mum turned away and starred into space.
She began to talk to her and ask if she felt or needed anythn but there was no response. Naima felt like the bed was wet and as she tried to confirm, she realised that the catheter had a leak.
she stood up to find the nurse but she was no where to be found.......and they say its only nurses in naija that are like that...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tatsuniya; Naima visits mum!!!

She stepped into the fading summer sunlight and looked around,her phone glued to her ears as she tried to place his description to a face....He phone rang just then, and she smiled to herself as she saw that it was from Yemi.
This is really akward,she thought to herself.
"Hello?" she supplied.
"Are you the one with the cream turtle neck?" he asked, with his deep british naija tinted voice.
"Yea, but I cant see you" Naima confirmed.
"Ok, stay where you are. I'm coming over"
She ended the call, and still continued to look around wanting to see him before he got to her.......

She spotted him just a few minutes before he stood beside her, only because he was waving at her with a wide smile pasted on his face.
She quickly began the process of analyzing him before he spoke;
young at her heart-check
Sexy.....................* Naughty was interrupted before she could go haywire.
He widened the smile and opened his arms gesturing her for a hug. she hesitated a bit and then gave him a bear hug in return, both startled and confused by his warm gesture.
"your welcome,dear......How was your flight? Sorry,I'm late the traffic is bad on a Friday y'knw" He went on to make the conversation one-sided with his deep accent, which made it further impossible for Naima to follow or respond with the same speed.
He picked up her bag from the trolley and virtually panicked.
"What do you have in here?" he exclaimed.
"Stuff" was all she could come up with cos the alarm in his voice made it sound like a crime.
He laughed again, talking more about it and so many bits of events as he drove them back into town from the airport in his blue BMW.


Naima knew she couldnt sleep without seeing her mum that day,so she pleaded with Yemi to take her there first before taking her to the Jacobs residence.

But he only agreed on the condition that they stop for a quick drive-by snack at KFC. Naima didnt object cos their fries tasted like heaven but on this day,the anxiety was just too high for her to bother about that. she just nodded while he tried to talk about how well her mum was faring so far,even with the multiple diagnosis.
She smiled at most of his jokes and even feigned interest now and then during the 3hour drive to the hospital, but her mind was miles away in the depth of misery land.

It was like a sharp pain, and then the disbelief hit her hard on the chin......her eyes began to lose focus and she felt herself falling....she held onto the only solid thing in her line of sight, and moved towards the door. she stepped outside the room and crouched beside the nurse's station. her vision still blurry and her head heavy like an old antic vase. her hands holding her rumbling tummy trying as hard to stop the sounds she thought could be heard because of the way it felt.....
"Naima, listen to have to be strong for her" Yemi was saying.
But she was still in a daze.
Her strong mum was now a half-sane screaming patient in a London hospital........when she walked in, her mum's eyes was a cloud of confusion.
It took almost 60 minutes before the nurse convinced her that the girl infront of her was her daughter. she just kept saying that she looked a lot like her Naima.
"mama ni ne" Naima reassured her, but she still wasnt convinced.
"How could you? are helping them? want to kill me too?" she said again and again.
"Dont come near me.........take me away from her" her mum screamed as she tried to hug her.
"I never knew that you could be this wicked.............what have I done to you ehn?" she asked Naima, her eyes charging with a scary light Naima had never seen before. she was biting her lips hard thereby causing blood to drip from them.
She looked around and then began to scream at the wall beaside her, "stop starring at me like that"......"Hmm,this is unbelievable" she continued,this time laughing out loud, and plucking out her hair in the process...
The nurses thought it was wise if Naima left so she would be given her anti-anxiety drugs for the night.

"OH MY GOD" Naima thought to herself as Yemi continued to talk to her in a reassuring tone.......He helped her up after a long 20 minutes and began to steer her out of the ward and into the parking lot, as she continued to struggle with the tears that were fighting to overflow.
It was the best he could do for her now.