Thick and Thin 

The sounds of machines continuously beeping throughout the room.  Those white walls, ceilings and floor a constant reminder of my current situation. I turn my head after a painful sting in my head. The endless rows of beds on my right side. People moaning in pain, twisting and turning in their small beds not sure if they would survive to see the next sunrise.  I turn my head painfully to my left. The situation on that side is worse than I thought. Men, women and children were all in those beds. Some could move while some lay still on the beds: Long gone from this world. 

Now I was at the centre of all this: all this chaos, foul stenches of death and despair looming around the white-walled hall.  I took a deep breath and exhaled through the large, transparent ‘thing’ placed on top of my nose and mouth. It was supposed to aid my breathing: or so I overhead from one of the heartless nurses who roughly stuffed it on my facial openings thinking I was unconscious. On the upper part of the ‘thing’, there was a narrow tube which led to an oxygen tank at the corner of my bed. On top of the tank was some kind of a measuring gauge which clearly, from the position of my bed, I could see its pointer stuck on the red side of the gauge. The oxygen levels were depleting. And the nurse seemed not to care after all. To them, my death would mean a reduction in burden to them. I faced in front of me and tried feeling my legs. Nothing. There they were. My once active, strong, functioning legs were reduced to feeble limbs dangling in bandages. They were supported by dirty ropes which were tied on the roof‘s wooden ceiling. I did not know what to do. My hopes were slowly beginning to drift away. The endless speeches by the doctors that I would be able to walk after two months time proved totally contrary to my expectations. My legs remained numb, for the fourth month. My senses ended at my stomach. I only had a vague memory as to what had conspired leading to this. My memory was distorted. Distorted in such a way that I was not able to think straight. But deep in my mind, I had a certain feeling. That feeling of assurance. That feeling that I still I had a shoulder to lean on despite all this hell set upon me. 

I felt it. Just as I was thinking about it. About that shoulder to always and forever lean on.I felt it like an electric spark running through my body. It slowly started from the tip of my left finger, then as if increasing in momentum, I felt it pretty well at my elbow all the way up to my shoulder. I felt it. I had never really quite felt something since that” day. That Friday the 8th on a Saturday evening. The only thing I could remember from my vague mind was my sleek, black Range Rover breaking through the barriers of the smooth Thika Superhighway at the overpass in githurai. The few-second glimpse of the heavy traffic below me which I was soon going to ram forcefully was the last thing I saw. Next was a loud crash at the front of my car. My eyes shut tightly as the fragments of glass attacked my face. Then came the hit. One huge bang on my head and I felt myself slowly drifting away from own body. And the next time I opened my eyes, I found myself here:in this place: soaked in endless pain and anguish. 

It was her. I looked at her after struggling to turn my head to her direction. It was her that for the first time, I could feel again. If only I could speak. Or rather just show her a sign. But I was positive she knew it too. She knew what I was thinking of her. In all this confusion and chaos, she was here. Hopeful, atleast that one day I would go back to the good days. The days before everything overturned in this life of ours. Her tight grip on my hand told it all. For once, I ignored the constant beeping of the machine next to me. The machines that held my life in their hands. Their wires actually. But the nurse was wrong. The wrong that back in school, all your classmates got the answer of a question to be 144.485 and your genius self got you -0.005821. My life was not held by some beeping thing. It was not the reason for my optimism that I would live to see many more sunrises and sunsets. And how I deeply promised myself that once I would get out of here I would live life accordingly and not work my ass off at work. She was the reason behind my life. Deep in my sleep, or a coma as it was called: I overheard them. My friends, or so I thought, were busy whispering to each other how I would soon fade away from this world. Even my family members were no different from them. But her: amidst all this, I did not hear even a single word from her. She was just there, always there. Still here.

My thick and thin.

Author: Wilson Westwood

Writer. Dreamer. Wanderlust

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