It was about 11:27pm –about the same time I returned home every other night. The new thing about this particular day was that I didn’t feel any stress nor fatigue from the day’s activities. I just covered a long distance… same distance I’d cover and fall to my bed on every other night. Well, maybe this wasn’t just every other night.
I had just completed my daily routine; consciousness… roaming and socializing… returning home… getting my kid brother to open the door and… falling to my bed in preparation for the next day’s round of the same old exerciso-social escapade. However, there was something really strange about that particular day.
I woke up before the devil that fateful day. Everywhere seemed fine and free of blemish. I had this problem-free cum worriless feeling in me that aroused my anxiety to hit the streets already. My first point of call, like every other day, was slated for Temi’s home where I spent most of my barren hours on unlimited fun; at Temi’s, there was never a dull moment.
Arriving at Temi’s courtyard, I met him on his way out. He looked tensed and worried; a direct contrast of how I felt… there were tears in his eyes. His girlfriend, Udeme, followed him closely… she was crying too. They didn’t seem to have seen me as they rushed past. I couldn’t help but notice how closely they passed by me without even touching me… or was it i that didn’t feel the touch?
Why do I not feel worried about Temi’s untold worries? Why did nobody respond to my greetings all through my walk to this place? Do I want to follow Temi to find out what the problem is? Or do I just want to disassociate myself with what promises to hinder my happiness like I’ve done for donkey months now? I asked as I, out of reflex, followed them already. I didn’t bother greeting the guard at the gate again because he acted dumb when I greeted him at first.
As I followed Temi and his girlfriend along, they rushed through the path to my house… same journey I just covered. He was almost constantly on his phone… I wasn’t interested in knowing what he was saying; I wanted to be sure where he was headed. However, I heard him say “Joshua is dead”.
By the way, my name is Josh and it’s short for Joshua. I’m dead and didn’t notice until I heard Temi say it. He just got a call from my father, minutes before I got to his home on my routine morning visits.
We got to my home to behold a gathering of familiar and strange faces; young and old… everyone was crying. Mum’s tone rose when she caught a glimpse at Temi. “See his friend ohhh… see his friend… Temi go to the room and see your friend logged to his bed, lifeless” she cried out, pointing to my bedroom. “Interesting” I thought as I moved ahead of Temi and Udeme, with so much grace as though I was their tour guard.
At this point I had gained a fair understanding of what was going on and had embraced my fate. It was a long awaited doom’s day finally here. My doctor had told me I may not survive a certain ailment for another three months; saying “you have to abstain from the following” then he listed out all the good things of life. …don’t mind the stupid doctor; I told him he’s not God… then i walked away. That was two years ago.
Who spends his last days abstaining from all the good things of life? Surely not i.
Nobody else needed to hear my doctor’s “fortune-telling”; I didn’t want all that drama… not in my last days (should I say “months”?). I just wanted a worries-free “rest of my life”. I mean, I didn’t even keep the name of the ailment.
First in the plan (after setting my medical report sheets on fire) was to permanently rid myself of the thought that I’d spend the rest of my life waiting patiently for dooms day. Three months didn’t sound that far; two thousand hours didn’t seem enough to spill some to worries; fun deserved most of the rest of my life as I majestically walked to my doom bearing a fat, mechanically rolled joint to the left side of my mouth. Rest deserved the rest.
Of course, fun was never complete without Temi, the only person I ever reported that stupid doctor to; and, of course his funny, story-teller girlfriend, Udeme. The visiting duo couldn’t stay a minute before they vacated my domain, leaving me alone with my self, carcassed like a crashed computer system. For a moment, I watched me lay as I heard mum’s voice from the distance, weeping and lamenting in deep pain. She nearly got me feeling when she mentioned the hopes she had for the future… a good life… a future wife… mum even hoped I’d be the one to bury her. While she hoped and lamented, I reechoed her hopes to my self as I allowed myself see things from her perspective.
There were 47 missed calls on my phone I couldn’t touch.
My new set of white Kaftan was yet unworn; it hung next to my beautiful old suit which served me through my university days… I even wore it for my undergraduate graduation.
My masters degree certificate was in a bag I placed where I would always see. I couldn’t even go with it.
To my far left was my reading table. It had my laptop on it.
On that same table were all my cosmetics; it was barely a fortnight from when I took to paying attention to personal hygiene and self-care…
same self I left right there… without me; is this what they call vanity?
I had lived… It was time to leave.
It was time to quit… no notice.
Unable to hold the mood which was fast catching up with me, I left my lost home, this time aware mine was the land of the dead, even amongst the living. “Where do I go?” I asked myself as I roamed, covering my routine in solitude.
I decided to fully utilize the day while it lasted; I mean… a stop-by at my usual joint where I met Temi, already soaked in what I couldn’t ascertain if I should call tears or liquor… he seemed to be washing some pain away. My only pain was that I couldn’t join him soak myself as I did the previous day… and every other day before. However, I still owed myself a fun-filled day in the new state I suddenly and inevitably found myself.
Don’t ask me how I spent the entire day, just fast-forward to 11:27 pm; everywhere was calm and quiet. Lights out everywhere else… I couldn’t even see myself; as I peeped through my window to try a glimpse at my self in my semi-lit room, only my kid brother occupied the entire bed… I may have been relocated to the morgue. My reading table had been reformed, beautifully decorated with purple and white sheets. It had my convocation photograph on it, with a big book. The big clock in my room showed 11:29pm.
In my inexperience and naivety, I was slow to getting along with my new state. It felt like the usual drill when I’d just come back to my family and be warmly received. I can’t completely attribute it to reflex too but I couldn’t hold back from beaconing as I subtly called on my kid brother in a bid to get him to open the door.
“Jeezorrrss… Jeeessorrrsss… Cheeezesss Kwaist… Jeeeesussssssssssss….” He screamed as he ran speedily to the master bedroom where my parents were.
“What is it, Joe? Why are you screaming? Mum asked my kid brother who was sweating profusely.
“Joshua was around” he muffled.