It was 14th of April, 2013 or so I thought…
The room looked blurry, I blinked and struggled to achieve clarity of vision.
Right in front of me, the clock read 12:45pm. I remembered Miss Anne’s Maths test scheduled for tomorrow. Damn! I hadn’t prepared at all. It wasn’t my fault though, I hated Maths before I even knew such word existed. If you would ask me, Maths was too much trouble for my 13-year-old self.
I and John had planned to attend Joshua’s birthday party next week even though it was out of town. We hoped to sneak out of our homes unnoticed.
I thought about the little fight that happened yesterday between me and Jason, the school bully. He was a fool to have hit first. I wasn’t going to disappoint my friends so I returned the gesture immediately. Next, he pushed me and my head hit hard against the floor; I could not remember anything else.
As I stretched my hand to rub my forehead, I felt a gentle touch on my shoulder.
I turned my neck and saw my mom, she looked just as pretty but seemed a little older. She beamed before she screamed, “He is awake, Tony is awake!”
I was confused. Why was there so much fuss about my being awake? was there a problem? My thoughts were left unfinished as the room witnessed a sudden commotion.
It took me a while to recognize some of the people standing around the bed: my younger sister, Ene, looked bigger and more beautiful. I tried to recognize others but had to succumb to my throbbing headache.
I felt very thirsty and as though she read my mind, mother offered me some water. I drank thirstily like a camel and immediately went back to sleep.
During the nights, my sister, Ene read me stories, stories that seemed incomprehensible but she read them so confidently like she was sure I understood. She even asked me the meaning of some words which I sincerely told her I had never heard before.
One of those nights, I summoned enough courage and told her that I never understood any of her stories. She smiled sadly and said, “It’s okay Tony, I understand, it’s been seven years.”
I scratched my forehead a little and asked, “Seven years? of what? or since what?” I was a little confused.
“Since you fell into a coma and have been on this bed.”
I laughed for a long time, hoping it was a joke but Ene’s sad face didn’t change and then I knew it was true. I had spent seven years on a bed.
Miss Anne didn’t just conclude a Maths test, she had travelled abroad and was now married with two kids. I’m now 20 years old. Ene’s 18 and had just gained admission into the university.
Ene went on to tell me that how my past seven birthdays had been celebrated without much ado, how dad and mom had spent each passing day on their knees, praying that their son wakes up one day.
She told me that she only read those stories to observe if I would comprehend but since I didn’t, I would have to resume school at the senior secondary school level.
I asked about John, my bosom friend and she told me he was to graduate next year and had promised to visit tomorrow.
Finally, she showed me today’s date, it read, 20/02/2020. I turned on my side and wept uncontrollably.