“They’ll never know peace……their generation is cursed….”
“May their manhood shrivel up and dry…”
“May they never feel the joy of carrying a new born baby in their arms…….”
“May they never watch their children grow up…..”
The door opened and the doctor walked in, bringing relief to Kunle. ‘Good. Maybe now the cursing can end”
“Doctor, good evening” Kunle greeted heartily, almost hugging the doctor.
Dumebi’s mother and sister,Cynthia had been cursing for two hours now. It was almost a frenzy.
“Doctor, welcome…” Dumebi’s mother said as she stood up to adjust her wrapper. She wasn’t a tall woman but she had a wide waist that carried her wrapper up occasionally and swayed with the wind.
“Any news?” Cynthia asked anxiously.
The doctor, a young man who couldn’t be above thirty shook his head sadly.
“We are still awaiting her test results. It’ll take a while. For now, let’s focus on her waking up. Alright?”
“Thank you….” Cynthia said absent-mindedly. She looked like she still had a lot on her mind.
“Madam, maybe you should go home and rest for a while….let Cynthia stay while you go freshen up….” The doctor said to Dumebi’s mother.
As if on cue, the tears pooled and poured in Dumebi’s mother’s eyes.
“I can’t go doctor. Which home? The one where my dead husband’s body still lies? Or the one where my daughters’ blood still runs? No…….i can’t.”
The young doctor hung his head down for a while. Kunle could see his adam’s apple bob up and down, as if he was swallowing his tears.
“Staying here is not the best. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for her…” He nodded at Dumebi who still lay unconscious. “It won’t be nice for her to wake up and see you like this. Please consider it.”
She nodded and he walked to the door.
“Doctor wait…..” Cynthia called out just as he got to the door.
She swallowed hesitantly. “How about my……my own….my own results? Are they ready?” She almost had tears in her eyes.
For the first time, the young doctor smiled.
“Yes….You’re clean, not pregnant, no STDs, nothing. Congratulations.”
Cynthia smiled shyly and ran to hug her mother, the two crying quietly…..
Just as the door closed….it started again.
“It will never be well with them….”Dumebi’s mother shouted.
“Amen!!!!” Cynthia echoed.
“Mummy i’m coming…” Kunle said, ready to escape the curses being heaped on his generation.
“Ehen my son…are you coming back?” she asked.
“Ah, yes ma. I just want to buy water downstairs. Do you want anything?” He asked before he remembered that the money in his pocket probably belonged to her dead husband.
“Just water too. Thank you. You are a very good friend…. God bless you my son”
‘if only you knewi was responsible for your plight, you would be looking for a gun to kill me.’
He ran downstairs. Contemplation. The only thing left was contemplation. In one operation, his life had crashed. Now he was stranded and alone on a deserted island and if life kept up to its sadistic norm, there would be an active eruptive volcano somewhere just waiting to spew forth liquid fire.
The worst part was the fact that though everything was in shambles now, he had to hide it and pretend to be Dumebi’s good friend and the strong tough leader the boys expected, not minding the tears, pain and broken family upstairs.
Even though he pretended that the operations didn’t hurt anybody, in one night, they had rocked an entire family and it was all his fault.
What had the priest said….on Sunday ‘It always comes back to you’.
He was still contemplating, when he entered the room and was met with hugs and smiles. Dumebi’s mother was on the chair, singing ‘Thank You Jesus” while Cynthia hovered all over Dumebi. Her eyes were open.
He didn’t know when the water bottles fell from his hands and he rushed to her side.
“Baby…” He said, then caught himself, turned to Dumebi’s mother and cleared his throat.
“Oh thank God you’re awake…..thank God baby…”
The doctor came in.
“Let me examine my patient….give me room” He said but he was smiling.
He did whatever it is that doctors do, fussing all over Dumebi and removing Kunle’s hand on her head every now and then.
“Can you speak?” He asked her finally.
She nodded no.
“Say something” He urged.
“Wa….water….i..need..water!!” She managed to croak.
Her mother rushed and put the bottle water to her lips as she drank slowly.
“Do you remember what happened?” she asked as Dumebi finished.
Everyone looked at her expectantly.
“It’s my fault. It’s all my fault. I killed daddy….” She burst into tears.
Surprised silence for a while then Dumebi’s mother sprang up.
“Don’t say that. Don’t say it again. How can you blame yourself for something that those evil boys did?” she admonished.
Dumebi shook her head fiercely. “It’s my fault mummy. I saw it…..in a dream. I had a dream about it, where daddy died. But I didn’t take it serious. I just…..i just….Oh God, God was trying to warn me. Maybe…..maybe if I had prayed….or even told you…..Mummy I killed him….God please forgive me….i killed my father…”
Nobody saw the doctor wipe his eyes surreptitiously and exit the room hastily. Everybody had tears in their eyes, Dumebi holding on to her mother’s arms while Cynthia sat on the chair weeping hot bitter tears.
“God will punish all of them….they will die bitter painful deaths….ah…..” Dumebi’s mother cried out.
The cursing began again. Kunle sat down bleakly on the floor as more curses rained down on him. What could he say?