Life and General FictionNaija Stories

Panic Invites Death

Yesterday, I heard news from the mouth of eyes that have seen. She came in with smiles alluring her smooth face. That was the first time I would be seeing her but my heart melted up to her that very minute. There was something about her that was different, but I couldn’t place it immediately because she only asked for a plate of well-garnished jollof rice from the CEO of B’HONEY Foods.

My intuition is always right and something kept propelling me to speak with her but how would I start speaking with a stranger? Courtesy demanded leaving a person that was eating to finish their meal before talking; I am a courteous lady. Still, I warmed up to her and offered to buy her water across the street.

I got back from across the street and I met a corp member that I was acquainted with. He had started speaking with her; if not for the fact that he was my crush, I would have gotten angry because he obviously stole my chances of speaking with this unique fellow. She was a talker, she didn’t even notice my presence and I got angry the more.

Corper Daniel mentioned the case of his secondary school mate’s mother, she was slowly dying from the harsh grip of breast cancer. CEO, B’HONEY Foods who had been waiting for the right time to talk couldn’t continue keeping quiet, he was aggrieved with the rate at which bad news was seeping in each day and he suggested that people should go to the clinic often to check their health status. Corper Daniel corroborated his point but this lady only shook her head.

I was surprised but something told me she had her reason. CEO read my mind and asked her to table her reasons. She was a microbiologist; she had attended to a lot of people and she once had a lump. She said the moment people got to know about their ailment, they started dying slowly. She had been there once and she had panic attack. She discovered the lump in her left breast on a Monday morning and she had become a broomstick before Friday noon; the thought of having to be operated on killed her slowly. She bade her boyfriend goodbye severally even before death came knocking.

Well, death never knocked, it only whispered. Prayer worked: she was told it was just an infection and she was given drugs when she went to an hospital. She had died before death knocked. How many people are dying now before death knocked?

Corper Daniel wouldn’t have any of what she had said but asked if she was insinuating that people should stop going for checkups? She answered him and said that the moment a deadly disease set in, checkup would alert you and buy time as much as it can, but death would still still be constant. Why? You would panic. Most people with cancer don’t die because the cancer cells can kill them but because panic kills. A gay person starts talking constantly about death. A cheerful person starts submitting to the claim of ill luck. Her eyes had seen a lot, she had seen people die from just the panic of hearing they have a deadly disease. She said, “Panic kills faster than Death!”

All through that evening, I could only concur that panic truely kills. I have been there once too; panic made me see death’s shape. I pleaded for forgiveness of sins; even if the breath ceased, I would have a place. I panicked with jittery limbs. I have seen a friend tremble in the claws of panic—a lump was seen. Her face dropped its colour, her limbs dropped their vigour, her figure bent. She started calculating time, she was poor in Mathematics but time she calculated well. Her spirit died before she was told the lump isn’t a cancer cell. Who says panic doesn’t kill?

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