I peered into my handbag looking for my phone. I had forgotten to put it on silent mode before stepping into the meeting. ‘Wrecking ball’ by Miley Cyrus kept blasting around the quiet room which was now filled with irritated faces all looking at me impatiently. I was flushed. Túnmi must have changed my ring tone secretly again. I made a mental note to deal with her as soon as I got home. It was my mom’s doctor that was calling and I had to take it. “It is as an emergency.” I told my boss as I rushed out to receive the call without as much waiting for permission.
I sat on the cold hospital chair with my hands supporting my face, remembering how I had felt when the doctor had told me about my mother’s passing over a year ago. My hands trembled aggressively. I could not trust my feet to carry me anywhere. The meeting I ran out of had ended and my co-workers had started to stroll out. They were startled to see me outside because I was no longer occupied with my phone, and I just stood there crying and shaking. I was devastated.
“Túnmi wake up now! This is no longer funny.” I scolded. No response. I shake her shoulder one more time before I start to drag her off of the couch. “I am really tired and I need to go to bed. For God’s sake it’s three a.m!” I start to whine and wonder why she hasn’t laughed out loud yet, until I see how pale her face is. I pause. “Túnmi?”. No response. I shake her more aggressively now. “Tunmi?!” Still no response. “Túnmikẹ!”. I could hear my trembling voice cry out my sister’s name severally, before I start to scream for help with the rest of the air left in my lungs. “Help me somebody!” I cry out again, hoping one of the neighbours would hear the agony in my voice and not think it was one of those pranks we usually pulled off. But my voice betrayed me. It must have not been loud enough because no one came knocking.
I rush to the door. It is locked. My mind began to race until it became blank. “Where are the damn keys?” I muttered, shivering at how cold and shaky my breath felt. “God, please show me where the keys are.” I cry out with hot tears rushing down my cheeks. “God, please help my sister. Help me to help my sister. God please.” I went back to where I left Túnmi. I didn’t know what to do.
Call the doctor?
Sprinkle water on her face?
Wait till she…
Hold up. I race to my room to pick up my phone and dial our family doctor. Thankfully he picked almost immediately. He must have been on overnight duty. I explain the situation to him in a rush. It’s a surprise he was able to make sense of it all.
Few minutes later, paramedics were knocking on our door. The doctor had told me to check my sister’s pulse but I couldn’t, I was too scared. What if there was no pulse? I had followed the rest of the doctor’s orders and managed to find the house keys when the paramedics arrived with an ambulance. Kunle, my neighbour was coming out of his apartment as they rushed my sister to the hospital. “What happened?” He asked rubbing sleep away from his eyes and making room for fear to come and rest in them as he took hold of the situation at hand.
The ride to the hospital was a blur. I still hadn’t said anything to anyone. Not Kunle who surprisingly accompanied me. Not the nurses who had given me some pills to relax and asked me a couple of questions. I was numb. Right now, the cold hospital walls, the cold chair I am sitting on, and my hands still supporting my face are the only companions I am aware of. “Here comes the doctor.” I heard Kunle say. I jolted as I saw the doctor walking towards us. I couldn’t read the expression he wore on his face. But as he came closer, I slowly became aware of one more companion that was in that hospital with me, that has been with me since I set my eyes on my seemingly lifeless sister. FEAR.
<to be continued.
There is a story that led to this 🙂 To read the prequel click this link https://www.tell.com.ng/bukunmi-kolawole/boredom-4/. 😉