I am twelve years old, and I am going to die. It’s been about an hour ago since I knew that now. Tears flow freely down my cheeks, yet I cannot tell if I am crying. The colour of the sun has suddenly changed to blue and my mind can no longer tell reality from illusion, because until only shortly, I had imagined growing old and having kids. All that is never going to happen. I have a hole in my heart.
I had just returned from school. Heaven knows I wasn’t eavesdropping, but the shouting was just getting extreme and I needed to know what the matter was this time between Papa and Mother.
‘Our son has a heart condition and you don’t even care’ Mother had burst out, her heavy Spanish accent unmistakable as it was whenever she rose her voice.
‘Now he’s our son? You’ve always been the one making decisions about his life!’ Papa screamed
‘How dare you talk so selfishly? How many times have you been there for him? I went with him to his first baseball game, I have gone to every single parent’s open day he has had at school. Hell, I was there when the doctor told me he was…’ there was a pause
Then the words came out ever so slowly, barely audible, like they had not been said‘…he was going to die’
She seemed to be sobbing now, her words muffled by phlegm stuck in her throat ‘Where were you? Where were you?’ and then mother cursed. I hadn’t heard her curse before.
I knew I should have summoned the courage to open the door and enter the room at that moment but somehow my hands had frozen, so had my mind. I was their only child.
Papa seemed to calm down a little, but was still aggressive ‘All I did, all I still do, is for you; is for him. ’
Mother was really sobbing now ‘His bouts have been getting more serious nowadays. I was at the doctor’s today and he told me Jake’s condition was getting worse and the drugs were no longer able to help him.’
Now a lot of things became clear to me, like someone had just wiped my hazy vision; I came to understand why as a kid I took so much medicines that other kids my age never took. Mother said it was to keep me healthy. Yet, I fell sick more than other kids, and she had restricted me from sporting activities.
‘He said Jake’s not gonna live past his thirteenth birthday at most’ I had heard her say then. My mind had gone numb, my senses refused to function. My shirt was soaked, whether with sweat or tears, I didn’t know. I was going to be thirteen in six months.
And while I stand here crying, I recall the events of that day at school. Jessica, my very good friend had just been ditched by her boyfriend and had cried throughout the day at school, saying her heart had been broken and she just wanted to die.
I, on the other hand, had a hole in my heart, and I had no choice. I was going to die.
Caleb Adebayo is a 20 year old final year student of Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. He is a lover of literature and a writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Some of his works have been published in Miracle Int’l E-zine, Naijastories.com, WeSaidGoTravel.com, Bukrepublik, Muwado.com, among others. He has won a number of essay competitions and was on the final shortlist of participants for the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop 2014. He was also one of the selected participants for Writivism Creative Writing Workshop 2014.
Caleb blogs at http://www.lordkel.blogspot.com and can be found on Twitter @lordkelwriter.