Become a Fan
By Myne Whitman
Friday, March 18, 2011
Not rated by the Author.
A Twin looses his brother at an early age.
Papa had hosted his age grade to a feast to celebrate his promotion at work and the new car he had purchased. It was almost over, but people still milled around. The house was all a bustle and Mama had warned us not to get underfoot. We were in the field playing when Odion, my twin collapsed on the ground crying in pain. A sharp stab almost stopped me in my tracks as I moved to him. He was lying like a baby clutching his middle. Another jab had me falling beside him with moan. Odion groaned and rolled on the wet earth not minding the mud, or the thorns hidden between the long blades of grass. I dragged myself up and limped inside to find our parents. This was worse than the pain I had experienced some months earlier, when my appendix was removed.
“Mama, Mama!” I screamed once I burst through the door.
The party scattered soon after as Papa ran out into the field and scooped Odion into his arms. My brother was unconscious by then, and Mama began to wail. Two of Papa’s friends and another woman were squeezed into the back of the car with me as Papa sped off for the clinic. Mama sat in front with Odion on her laps. She fanned him continuously, muttering a prayer intermittently. Odion recovered after some minutes and whispered my name. I whimpered and leaned over the seat. The woman with me dragged me back and pushed a small drink at me. She handed the other to Mama with the instruction to give some to Odion if possible.
We finally got to the same health center where I had my surgery done. It was the same doctor and he again diagnosed appendicitis for Odion. An operation was scheduled for that evening and we were both put on antibiotics and some panadol to stop the pain. Odion woke up after surgery, groggy from all the medication but still groaning in pain. The doctor had gone off by then and the nurses assured my mother his pain must be from the wound of the surgery. My mother and I had remained to sleep over at the center with Odion, and I told her I also still had the sharp pain of earlier in my tummy. The next day, my father came back and demanded to see the doctor. The doctor said he would wait a couple of days till the operation site healed before making any further recommendations.
Odion remained in the health center for another week. Finally the doctor recommended that my parents take him to the teaching hospital in Benin. It was the biggest group of buildings I have ever seen, but I didn't even think to explore it. By the time we got there, Odion was critical. I continued to take panadol on a regular basis for my own pain. Odion's condition worsened, and finally the doctors decided that their tests pointed to a kidney problem. They started what they said would be a long treatment, and I was forced to return home with my father two days later.
When the other children crowded around me, I didn’t play with them, but went into the empty room I used to share with Odion. I refused to eat that night, and fell asleep crying. Something was different when I woke up. There was no pain in my side, but my head was light as if it wanted to float and leave my body. I went to wake our father, and told him I wanted to go back to the hospital immediately. He said we’ll go in the afternoon which was the visiting time, but when I began to shout and scream that something was wrong, he dressed up and we left.
By the time we got to the hospital, Odion was dead. We only saw my mother rolling on the floor, her screams echoing off the walls of the hospital ward. A nurse said they had just taken Odion to the mortuary, and someone was supposed to be on the way to our house to tell my father. My mother had rushed at me the instant we walked in, her tears bathing my face, her wails piercing my ears. At that point, I collapsed.
Site: Myne Whitman
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