Dimma was down with a big fever. Mama who never believed in the word modernization was sitting beside her, a sponge in hand dabbing at her face. There was also a basket of herbs—they were all Dimma took these days.
“Mama, let’s take Dimma to see an oyibo doctor, ” I told her for what seemed like the hundredth time.
“No. It’s just a minor fever,” she had intoned.
Dimma’s deteriorating health had me panicking … my sister never almost fell ill.
What seemed like a minor fever graduated to boils in the armpits and groin within weeks. It was not until I started feeling heavy signs of headache and a high-temperature did I start getting more worried.
What if Dimma’s disease was infectious?
Without asking for mama’s consent I rushed to go and bring a doctor. I relayed everything to him with heavy breaths, and stuttered syllables.
“You think you might be infected?” he asked. I nodded and he had me examined.
Before we got back to our house Dimma was dead. There was a huge crowd of wailing villagers.
“I have cause to believe that Dimma was down with the bubonic plague, known as Black Death which—”
The doctor’s voice which was explaining the situation to mama who hadn’t stopped crying above the noise of the crowd filled my head as I stared at my sister’s corpse—
The bubonic plague didn’t kill my sister. Negligence did.