She never knew fighting with death was the exact epitome of futility. Nike held on to the bed sheets as air rushed out of lungs, excruciatingly, with a rapidity she could only but fathom. Her knees buckled underneath, body writhed. This was it. The end of the road for her. And like every other victim who’s life hung loosely by a thread, she began reflecting on everything that mattered to her, one more time before the ultimate surrender.
But only resistance came as the memories flashed right before her eyes. She leafed through them, expecting to find in them, a sense of fulfillment, but instead, she was met with remorse. Tears slipped as she recalled them—the time she’d walked out on her family to move in with her cult-affiliated boyfriend, all in the name of love. The time when she partied her grades away. The time when she had the abortion she wasn’t meant to. And alas, the times she’d sold herself off for a few Naira notes.
Even at the times when her life most resembled order. now—having more than a myopic view of it—that order was chaos, placing money and social acceptance over morality, putting her conscience at the mercy of wealth. Running from the so detested mediocrity, only to fall into that ever-filling canyon of emptiness.
That was her life at a glance.
Nike writhed on the sheets with more vigor, aggression, her mouth foaming with spittle. Through the haze of her quickly deteriorating vision, she could see the nurses and doctors scurrying to her aid, panic almost palpable in the air.
“Nurse. Nurse, we need her on a ventilator!”
“No more doctor! The Covid-patients are making use of them.”
Nike blurred out the noises. She was filled with an absurd calm even whilst nearing the threshold of death, because they were here, her family, soothing her with their calming words.
“It’s okay Nike, we’re here.”
Nike could see through the haze of death, her family, all five of them standing around her death bed, hands locked together, a wan smile imprinted on their faces. She shut her eyes one last time, and in the blink of an eye, memories began sprouting out of nowhere, memories she’d spent with her loved ones. The laughter, the cries— and even the fights. It was her only ray of hope in this time of despondency, the only anchor she could hold onto as death pushed her father down.
No, time with them wasn’t time wasted. And if she could negotiate with the virulent Covid-19, she would beg it to spare her one more chance so she could relive her life all over again, and this time, the right way.
But for now, replaying the memories of her loved ones was enough hope to get her to the other side..
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