PEACE OF MIND

PEACE OF MIND

It’s been a month since Tomiwa started falling down and oozing thick saliva and white fluffy liquid in his mouth – whenever he falls our neighbors would start rushing with water to sprinkle on him as they let the word ‘epilepsy’ slip on their tongue; between their teeth; and out into the open. He is an innocent boy who didn’t deserve being brought down by this fatal disease; whenever he was sent on an errand, he ran it swiftly and return the change – which was uncommon vogue among the children in the compound.
He was popular with the neighbors and the neighborhood at large but one wouldn’t do without the poking tongue of backbiters scorning one’s soul.
I just received a call that he had fallen down on the street, again. I called mother again, even though I didn’t like it, but since one old Baba had told us one day that touching an epileptic person (as he oozes) can be dangerous and transmittable; we didn’t believe it at first but when another different person said the same thing, fear crept into us and each time he fell we took precaution and didn’t touch him, we only sprinkled water from afar.
I knew what mother would have been doing, she would have called a fellow trader (most likely; Mama Michael – the woman next to her stall) and would have forgotten her phone, again. If she have forgotten to close the shop while letting her goods stay naked out in the open, she would have forgotten to take a purse along and she would have ran back into the shop to take it, and each time, she would sob. She was that emotional. I wondered how she would feel seeing her last born child surrounded by passersby, and each of them shaking their head. She wouldn’t be able to touch him; she would have no choice but to just weep until he recovers. And that was the most difficult thing to do; the boy seeing such crowd around him and bursting into tears; mother running to hold him tight without caring if the thick saliva was going to stain her gown or lace (which most unfortunately was soften).
Tomiwa was the one person that made me shout on my boss without taking care for the repercussion. I would sprang up from my seat letting out a brief scream and the other staffers exclaiming and turning their heads to stare at me; I didn’t care, I would just rumble the files together and leave my system on. Even times when we had customer rush hour – I wouldn’t care; it would take me a minute to bang into my boss’ office and tell him am leaving for home whether he heard or not or just left his mouth open. This time he couldn’t withstand me being an ‘arrogant staffer’ he just yelled that I shouldn’t leave his office and told me I wouldn’t leave his office without his approval. My only brother was dying out there in the open and he expected me to just keep him company in his office? I turned to leave.
“You are not leaving this office!” he yelled
“Damn your office! You won’t stop me!” I yelled so loud that my lips parted and it trembled like the broken gate of ancient times. I widened by eyes that I felt it on my brows, he was obviously shocked at my effrontery; well I was too. Perhaps we both didn’t know how much family matters.
As usual I was to meet them both weeping on their shoulders. I am the father of the house, I wouldn’t weep as they do (even if house will be a mourning house), I would pat my brother on the back and help my brother up. I would hold her so tightly that I would feel her racing heart; her trembling feet; and her sunken eyes soaked. I cover the saliva with the sand and bid the passersby to go their ways. We wept more if we notice the slightest sarcasm in the tone of the well wishers.
Now we have our peace of mind.
We didn’t have to monitor our cell phones as we worked; not waiting for the call of a passersby or the call of his principal. Mother wouldn’t have to wait for the call that left her goods out in the open. The boy was gradually healed and each time he spoke about he had fell down again and again; he wasn’t the only one happy, we had our peace of mind too.

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