My heart bloomed the moment she rubbed it on me. Back and forth, she rubbed it on me. And that sent some transverse wave of sweet sensation through my sleepy head. But it’s getting annoying now that my eyes fluttered open to fall on Grandma’s expressionless face and a bottle of olive oil in her hands from which she had apparently rubbed some on my forehead, with her peasant index finger. ‘Miò lóògùn sùgbón moní kùránì’, she said in a sing song voice as she turned to step out of my room. ‘Oh, it’s grandma. Na norms’, I thought and clicked my eyes shut to resume back to my wholesome Sunday-morning sleep in my succulent bed.
As if the click of my eyes was a switch to the pain. As if it was the key that closed the circuit of wild current of pain, pain that made a frenzy beneath my navel. Pain that made my stomach felt like it was being tore into awful pieces. At first, I rotated 180 degrees to face up. After all, research has shown that that’s the best posture to sleep. But it was only a matter of seconds before I flipped open my eyes to at least have a grip of what the hell was going on. Or perhaps it’s high time I stayed woke and dashed out of bed? ‘Chai, this thing no be play o’, I said amidst a grimace, unaware how audible it was to reach Grandma’s ears.
‘Oko mi, what is wrong with you? Are you okay? Is the fast shaking you already?’, she said almost in a whisper. ‘I’m fine ma’am, just some stomach ish’, I replied with an alloyed, rather than pure smile on my face. Was I? Maybe. Maybe I was just fine to preserve my ‘supermanship’ in the house. Like, I’m literally the one who never fall ill. It was over 2 years I took drugs and over four I took herbs (a fact incomprehensible to Grandma). But deep down, I knew this stomach hitch was about to put that history to a rigid test.
‘Maybe I should get myself busy’, I thought, but really, there was nothing to do. Thanks to my lil brother and sisters, house chores was out of the matter and washing daddy’s car now, on Sunday morning, would pull a red flag. So I forcefully walked the perimeter of the compound hoping the pain would just melt away out of pressure. But daaaaamn, it just took a flight in the runway. Lemme kuku die. So I retired to the ground thinking of life after death, thinking whether I should tell people or not, whether I should break the fast or not. Oh the fast. I remembered when I broke my fast yesterday. Omo maximum enjoyment.
The date fruits were succulent and tasted honey-like, watermelon followed, then a bowl of hot pap. I knew better not to take fruit immediately after food but I didn’t know how those mangoes found their ways into my stomach little after. Then just fifteen slices of bread and tea prepared with iced water. And that’s the end, except for that simmering ewedu your nose could smell from a score yards and the shinning Amala I swallowed just half a dozen minutes to bed.
So maybe, just maybe, it was all sweet tortue to my guts. So maybe it was a shit I needed and the toilet was my safe haven.