Dead Alive


By Chukwu Abigail

“Why are you here?” the doctor asked her. She smiled. “Oh well, a part of my breast hurts like hell, and it seems to have a boil, it hurts to touch anyway,” she said with an attitude that depicted I-need-to-get-out-of-here-soon.

The doctor nodded. A back and forth session ensued, and she was asked to lie bare chested on the bed, while the doctor accompanied by a chaperone did an examination on her breasts, with her wincing when it got to the sore spot.
Lump removal surgery done and a pathology later, she walked down the road three weeks later with the result in her hand. She walked slowly for fear of running into anything as tears had blurred her view.

“Mum, are you alright?” Twelve-year-old Titilope asked her as she walked into her sitting room and sank into the couch wearily.

“Yes daughter, mom is fine.”

Tope shrugged and ran off.

She kept staring at her wedding picture affixed to the wall in front of her till she fell asleep.

“Mariah.” Her husband’s voice woke her up. She jolted out of her unplanned nap, result falling from her hand, she rushed to pick it up but he beat her to it.

“Jude,” she whispered amidst tears.

He took one look at her and didn’t have to see the result. He knew what had befallen them. He dropped his briefcase and sat on the floor next to her.

The next three years was a roller-coaster of events, the breast was removed, chemotherapy began, still nothing changed. Hair was all gone, Mariah in a fit of rage and broken all the mirrors in the house, she looked a lot different from the woman she used to be.

Tope had grown enough to know what was wrong with her mother. And no matter how strong she tried to be, the grief was too much for her fifteen year-old heart.

As they lowered Mariah’s body down the grave a year later, with an overaged Jude and a bony Tope beside him, it was evident that cancer did not only strike Mariah, but her family. People who sympathized with them made a solemn prayer in their hearts, that they would come back to life.

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