Celebrating East African Writing!

Prepare Your Head… By Fidel Ongollah

“What boredom!”  I grunted to myself looking up the ceiling. “Surely at this rate I ain’t ever gonna spend another weekend in this town!” I said to myself – all washed up. It was a Sunday – beautiful yes, sun was up but the people – my kinds of people – the kind who get things started were just not around. Seated there groaning and moaning over the boredom – I pondered on my next move. I decided that I’d make a day of it by calling one of my lady friends up into my  place so we could hang out.

Later or afterwards for that matter; I was sauntering towards our rendezvous point where Melanie was already waiting. We exchanged pleasantries as we walked on. Apparently at the time I was calling her, she was on her way heading to the local district hospital; just around the bend from our rendezvous point. She was heading to meet her sister – cousin or whatever she called her, so they could have a nice small meet and she wanted me to tag along.

So here we were, walking towards the local district hospital – she doing all the talking and me doing all the listening. I couldn’t help thinking, ‘Lady, you talk a lot! Like you were on a talk marathon or something!’ Looking at her, all cute and well-done, the only thing I was thinking of while she went on and on was how well would she perform with a guy like me. I even started vouching for my stamina in my head like I was bidding in an auction.

Needless to say by the time she was finished with what seemed like lots of jibber jabber, we were in the hospital compound and she was out of breath. Hospitals have lots of restrictions but luckily for us it was evening hours and gates were open so we made in without any person freezing us. She gets out her cell phone and dials a number speaks, and then beckons me. We meet up with her cousin cum sister, who also apparently was on her way to the wards to meet someone else.

We walk towards the wards – nice rhyme – towards the wards right? Anyway as we do so I suddenly became real silent – they even got surprised. I told them normally I had a phobia for hospitals so that’s why I decided to tuck under my pants and not say anything. I was hoping to get out of the place faster than Usain Bolt could, if someone said, “On your marks, get set, go!” The environ – smell of medicine, antiseptic cleaners, methanol and people in white gowns and blue uniforms wasn’t just my cup of tea. I quickly tag on Melanie’s sleeve and tell her; as a joke of course, “Can’t we get out of here? What if someone sneezes and I get the Swine Flu!”

We went in to one of the wards, sat on a bench, and got introduced to the other guys – mostly student nurses and doctors who were residents in the place. So we chat get to know each other, then I realized that I am in a hospital, so I went back to my little phobia corner and took out my phone to still the nerves.

Suddenly I realized that there was a sudden upsurge of movement as people kept on brushing against me while I facebooked on my phone. So curiosity got the best of me and I had to stand up and see what was so interesting. A small crowd of people had gathered around a particular lady’s bed. And by the groans and kicking – she seemed to be in a lot of pain.

A machine that pumps out wastes from entrails of people whose kidneys have failed was roaring beside her as they pumped; not sure but I think it pumped through her nose. The room was filled with stench and she was groaning so much that we all shared in her pain. She kicked the way an antelope does or wild beast when it finds its neck in between the locked jaws of a strong Lion. Her hair was all ruffled up – her bed all untidy, and the crowd just stared on as if they were waiting for a fireworks display. I was immensely angered by this crowd so I sat back down – “How do they stare on her like that while she feels so much pain – do they think that motivates her to live at all?” I thought.

At one point I wished she could speak up and say – “Hey, get the hell out of here – this aint a soccer match up in here!” by now she was panting as the machine was shut. She began to convulse – a little panic swept the room, then she stilled again and fell asleep as if all that to her was a just another bad dream.

So I ask a beautiful nurse seated next to me – “What’s up with her?” She tells me, “She is about to die!”  Point blank and easy. So I retort, “What do you mean about to die!” she explains to me that her kidneys has failed and there are no available donors – all that she has been left with is about a week.

As we leave the hospital, I turn over to Melanie and tell her “If this was your idea of a romantic date – then you have put me in my place – am humbled by just what I have seen.” She laughs like its nothing. In my head all this random thoughts just went on like – how I take my life for granted – putting myself in a box and thinking about my problems instead of putting myself outside my box and counting my blessings.

So I open my Facebook page and write on my status, “Guys am just from the local district hospital and saw someone about to die – they say she aint got any more time – so people, please pray for her.”

© Fidel Ongola 2009

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.


3 comments on “Prepare Your Head… By Fidel Ongollah

  1. Mimi
    August 17, 2009

    Bad grammar, plenty of punctuation mistakes and the suffering of a dying woman reduced to a Facebook status update. Bad show.


  2. Maureen Sande
    August 17, 2009

    The bad grammer and syntax in this story is so distracting, that I could not read it to the end. Given that I did not read the full story, it wouldn’t be fair to rate it.


  3. Maureen Sande
    August 17, 2009

    The bad grammar and syntax in this story is so distracting, that I could not read it to the end. Given that I did not read the full story, it wouldn’t be fair to rate it.


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