Eclipse Of The Heart
A Novel by Pat Uzezi.
‘Time of death 3:12 am’, a male voice broke the silence in the room.
She had lost too much blood, being in labor for too long. The tension was thick in the operating theatre. We knew the chance of her survival was slim, but we held on to hope. She had been given an overdose of oxytocin by a nurse at a maternity home. Her uterus had ruptured and her baby was long dead, even before she died. It was a male child. Blood was everywhere.
Long has been my nights of late. I wake up in the middle of the night with questions I have no answers to. ‘What would be enough?’ ‘When would I stop searching?’ Lately nothing seems to be enough and some days, it all seems to be too much. I think it all dates back to Claire’s birthday. That was last month. It was supposed to be her 25th birthday.
Claire was my best friend. She was the one person I admired and envied. Claire would laugh at things that usually would make me cry. She floated through this world without care and conquered it with her big heart. She knew she was going to die early and maybe I knew too, but nothing could have prepared me for it.
‘I’ve got sickle cell anemia, Joan. How long do you think I would last? Death isn’t such a bad thing. It just means I wouldn’t have to see you sob on my bed anytime I’ve got crises’, Claire had said to me once. Sometimes I wonder if she was ever afraid. If she did, well, she never revealed it.
Why does death remind us of life? Seeing the lifeless body of this patient who had ruptured her uterus earlier today has caused me to sink deeper into my misery. I know I’m a Doctor and I’m not supposed to show my emotions but not today. I’ve being too strong and today I miss being human.
‘Oloriburuku ni e o!’ The angry cries of a commercial motorcyclist, as he sped past my Toyota Highlander, brought my mind back to the present. I didn’t realize the green light had come on.
Mokola has become too busy and increasingly filled with cars. It wasn’t always this busy. I miss the good old days.
‘Not now, please. I can’t talk to you now’, she said to herself while staring at her buzzing phone. Akin has been calling all day.
I can’t talk to him, at least not now. ‘Akin, my one and only Akin.’ I chose to date him because he was too charming to let go of and he hardly got angry. After a year of dating him, I miss imperfection. He was too perfect. He said ‘yes’ to almost every request I made. I miss the beauty of imperfection, the fun of arguing and quarrelling.
Sometimes I feel guilt when I think like this, but not today. Today I need to feel alive. Today I need to forget. Today I need to remember. Today I need Chinonso.
………..To be continued