I trust you’re reading this note in bad health or you’re bedridden and someone is reading this to you. You’re taken aback? Don’t be. If you weren’t taken aback by the thought of driving at a deadly speed after getting drunk, then, you shouldn’t be by this.
I know you would have asked yourself who I am and why I wish that unpleasant things befall you. Well, I’ll tell you my story, the one you wrote for me. Maybe you’ll find the answers to your questions.
I’ve only seen you once in my life. That night, our meeting didn’t even last a second. I just got out of the big supermarket at Bolade where I had gone to buy some gifts for my old man. The day after that was Father’s Day and I wanted to surprise him as usual, even though it was very late and I was very tired, having worked late into the night.
Our meeting happened around 11pm. I had gotten out of the supermarket and was jogging to the other side of the road where my car was parked when I heard people shouting that nothing could save a certain man from death. How could I have known that I was the man when I made sure that no vehicle was approaching before I took off. Before I knew it, your danfo was coming for me at the deadliest speed I had ever seen and it sent me flying high up in the air. Your face was the last I saw before I hit the ground.
People gathered around me but no one helped. In their conversations, I heard faintly that you had already hit an electric pole about a mile ahead with your vehicle. I also heard some people say you were dead drunk before I passed out.
All these happened about seven months ago and I’ll have to use a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Do you see why you should be paralysed as well? I wonder if you’re well and have made a thousand trips to the ogogoro shed while I am in this hospital bed, wallowing in sorrow and watching painfully as the time ticks away. I wonder if you know that I have a father and I had once brought him this same misery during childhood with the constant sickness that the loss of my mother brought upon me. I wonder if you have ever been responsible for any of your children or if you would believe that my father, while leaning on his walking stick, cried to the doctors that he was willing to hold my hands and teach me how to walk again when he was told my fate.
Oga driver, do you know of pain? My pain? My father’s? I can’t play football with my father anymore. No more basketball on weekends. I will never be able to take a break from whatever I’m writing to stretch my legs in the garden. In fact, this is the last thing I’ll ever write. The half-finished, handwritten poem I had been writing for my father, which I would have finished up if I had gotten home safely, must be laying on my bedroom desk. Where do I get the strength to finish it? Is there a pain greater than this? Ask yourself. If you’re in good health and you say ‘yes’, then I wish you that greater pain.
The One You Ruined.