Damien arrived at exactly eight o clock. I opened the door to let him in. “Wow Nana, you look ravishing in that dress”
I rolled my eyes. “Oh please don’t patronise me. I just realised today that I have only office clothes. I really need to go out more often.”
Damien laughed and took my hand “Shall we?”
It was still cold outside, so I rushed back inside to grab a jacket, even though Damien told me it wasn’t necessary, since the club was going to be blazing hot. “It’s really cold out here” I told Damien as we walked to his car. Damien looked at me alarmed “Are you alright? You’re shivering all over” “I’m fine” I lied, my head felt light, but I wasn’t willing to pass up the opportunity, so I soldiered on. Damien parked a few blocks away from the club “You don’t want your car in the club parking lot. Too many drunk drivers.”
I laughed “You’re really experienced in clubbing” He smiled back, took my hands as we both walked down to the club.
“Damien” A huge bouncer at the club shouted and grabbed Damien’s hand in a tight handshake.
“Bamboo!” Damien responded, the pain from his squashed palm apparent in his tone. “Where you find this hot chic?” He was asking about me, not a bit bothered that I could hear him. Ten minutes later, we were seated at the bar chatting. “So you see clubs aren’t as bad as you imagined.”
“What did you think I imagined?”
The bartender approached us at that moment “What can I get you guys?” Damien’s eyes scanned the drinks seated on the shelves. “I’ll have the Ace and a soft drink for the lady” He winked at me. I laughed within, he obviously didn’t know I was still drunk from the bottles I had consumed earlier. My mind suddenly raced back to the Doctor’s report. “I’ll like a strong drink too.”
The music seemed louder, as Damien ushered me to the dance floor. The alcohol hadn’t been effective enough, so maybe a bit of pleasure dancing would help. I had been a very good dancer back in school and I knew how to move every part of my body to the beat of the drum, soon the attention of everyone on the dance floor was on Damien and I, as I went completely crazy, my audacity fuelled mostly by the alcohol. One minute I could hear the crowd cheering and the next I went completely blank. “Are you okay?” I heard Damien ask, while a lady in nothing but a bra and bum short sprinkled cold water on me. “Auntie take care o, you dance so te you pass out” Damien helped me to my feet. “I think I better get you home now.” “But I don’t want to go home” I pleaded. “You have to right now.” Damien’s voice sounded authoritative. I squared my shoulders and lifted my chin, trying my very best to keep from falling “You can’t tell me what to do” Damien, inches taller than I, bent down, so he could look directly into my eyes “I brought you here and I’m taking you back, that’s final!”
“You’re not my mother!” I shouted. Ten minutes later and with the help of Bamboo, they managed to bundle me into Damien’s car. After securing the seatbelt tightly around me, Damien thanked Bamboo and got into the driver’s seat. “Nana, I know you’re on a hedonistic part, so please tell me, did anything go wrong?” I kept quiet. He put the key in the ignition but refused to start the car. “We’re not going anywhere until you tell me at least something.”
I let out a sound of exasperation “I’m fine Damien. I’ll be fine, I just need to get home.” The drive to my house seemed slower than usual. I looked away from the window and stared at Damien “I’m sorry I wasn’t good company.” “What…..?” he laughed “You got the whole club talking.” I laughed too and returned to staring at the window. The streets were empty, since it was almost 2am in the morning. Suddenly I saw a child standing by the roadside, smiling and waving at me. “Damien!!” I screamed and pointed back “There was a child back there!” Damien roared with laughter. “Welcome to the wondrous world of the bottled spirit” “I’m seriou…..” I started to say, when I realized I had been unconscious some minutes back, so I was in no place to argue what I had seen. Damien parked close to the entrance of my flat and helped me out the car. I couldn’t walk well, so I leaned on him for support. “Nana are you dying?”
“What!” I pretended to be shocked at his question.
“I don’t mean to sound so blunt its just that I’ve been noticing the ups and downs in your health, and these days it seems to be mostly downs”
I looked at him and raised a brow “Stalker much” He laughed. I unlocked the door. “Thank you so much Damien for today, I’ll be fine.” I sent him my best smile.
“Alright just remember, I’m always here.”
I nodded “Goodnight dear”
“Goodnight” he replied and walked back to his car. As I plunked down on the sofa, a call came in,
“Hello Nana, I’m so sorry for calling this early”
“Dr. Seun, It’s fine I just got in not long ago.” “It’s about your health Nana.” “Okay?” I replied waiting to hear if my days to live had been further shortened.
“I want you to take it easy. Naturally you should be grounded by now, but amazingly you have a kind of strength, I’ve never seen in all my years of experience, this may be an indication of a miracle, so I don’t want you to push your body too much, I’ll implore you to come to the hospital so we can take proper care of you.”
“Okay thank you for your advice.” I replied and ended the call. I couldn’t blame Dr. Seun, I knew he felt guilty for discharging me at the first sign of progress. It wasn’t his fault God hated me and my situation suddenly deteriorated.
I woke up the next day, dizzy and with a migraine. The digital clock overlooking my bedside read 6th September. How convenient, I was set to die on my birthday. I looked from the clock to my night stand, a couple of documents that needed my attention laid on it. Since the partying hadn’t helped to take the pain away, maybe work would, I thought to myself. After a cup of coffee and a quick shower, I got into a blue flannel dress I had bought earlier that year, for a special occasion. Standing on tip toes, I reached to the top of my wardrobe for an expensive pair of shoe, I had kept hidden for years, awaiting the right moment to wear them. As I pulled down the shoe box, a heavy book which was on it, tumbled down and hit my head. I picked up the leather-covered book. It was my bible, I remembered stashing it up there some years back. “Are you not content that I’m dying in two days, do you have to make it faster?”
Thirty minutes later, I walked through the door of my office building. “Oga hope no problem, this one wey we see you for saturday?” The security guard asked me. I gave him a wry smile and walked into my office. By Afternoon, I had attended to files that didn’t need attention for the next six months, I was dying, so I might have well had a clean desk. “Good evening madam” The security guard peeped into my office “Hello” “I just come check on you, as I no see you leave office since morning and I won know if you get any errand to send me, maybe like to buy food.” I stared at the clock it was past 6 and though I hadn’t had a bite of food since morning, I didn’t feel the least hungry. “I’m okay, thank you.” As he left and shut the door, I caught my reflection on a mirror behind the door. What’s even the point of waiting to die? I asked my reflection, God wasn’t going to accept me anyways, so I might as well go to hell sooner. I picked up my car keys and headed out the door, I already knew what I was going to do, for the pain had to end and it had to be now. I stopped by a bar for a last drink. Alcohol was preferred, since I needed enough spunk for what I was going to do.