I Am Woman – Episode 21
A Story By Brian Ngoma
I turned around to see where the noise had come from. It was too late; my young sister had been hit by a car. I stood there aimlessly as I saw the driver of the car come out and called for help from the people around. A few onlookers went to his aid. My body was numb. I couldn’t move nor say anything. Tears were forming in my eyes. I felt a huge lump forming in my throat. My knees were weak I couldn’t continue standing, I fell and knelt.
‘Madam! Madam! Madam’, a man brought me back to conscious and stood me up. ‘Do you know the girl?’
‘Stay back, she’s badly hurt. Watch out for the hand, it looks broken’, another one made way for people carrying my sister.
‘Do we have anyone specialized in medical care’, the first man asked.
Everyone looked at each other in terror. I looked at my sister and tears were running through her face mixed with blood. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what I was supposed to say. My voice couldn’t come out. Despair was written all over my face. I tried to move closer as people surrounded my Kasuli.
‘Hey woman, move out of the way. Let some men help the kid’, an old man pushed me back.
‘Someone call 911’, a woman cried.
“Help me carry her to my car!” A confused driver shouted as he ran back to his car which was still on the road.
‘Tinashe’, Kasuli called me.
They all turned and faced me. I stepped back in fear. I was failing my sister. My heart didn’t know what it was supposed to do. I had forced Kasuli to come back to Lusaka. Perhaps, If we had stayed, nothing could have happened to her. A great ordeal we had been through. It was more like we had been through hell and back and she only had me and so did I, her. Perhaps, this was life telling us that we had lost.
‘Please Tinashe, don’t let me die’, her eyes closed.
I was left behind when they put her in a car and drove her to the hospital. I failed to make sense of what had just happened. One minute, we were arguing and the next, Kasuli was covered in blood. I started off for the hospital by foot. I couldn’t even feel myself walking till I got to the hospital.
“A young girl was just brought in. She was hit by a car,” I said looking at the woman I found at the reception.
“Hey young girl, aren’t you the one who was with that girl that just got it?” The man who was at the scene asked.
“Yes,” I walked towards him. “Where is she?” I asked fearing the worst.
He was quiet and anwered, “We don’t really know but she’s in a bad condition.” He sighed. “Let’s wait for the driver, he’s talking to the doctor in charge.”
I found somewhere to sit. All I could think about was the blame that would be put on me once news was heard that Kasuli was hit by a car. I knew everyone would forget about how I took care of her and would only focus on the bad things. God please, let her live, I said a prayer. I couldn’t hold it in, I started crying and ran outside. I got to a car and sat down and cried even more.
“Help me get up,” a husky voice said.
I looked around and couldn’t see anyone.
“I am here,” the voice said impatiently.
I looked once more and I saw an old man on the groud with a wheelchair on the other side. I got up and ran to his aid. It was difficult getting him up but I managed.
“Thank you,” he said.
“No problem shikulu (old man),” I humbly said.
“Do I look that old?” He laughed. “I couldn’t help it but notice you were crying.”
“Yes I was. My sister was hit by a car and I don’t know if she’s going to be fine or not.”
“I am sorry to hear that. Trust in God, she will be fine,” he smiled.
For a man I had found on the ground helpless, he was very calm. There was something about him that made me feel at ease. He was very old and probably came for a medical checkup.
“How did you find yourself here? Didn’t you come with anyone?” I asked him.
“I came with my grandson but he went to park the car on the other side. This side, its full,” he pointed at the parking space. “Can you help me with the wheelchair?”
I wheeled him inside the hospital and I found the driver of the car that hit Kasuli. Leaving the old man, I rushed to him.
“How’s my sister?”
“She’s your sister?” He asked.
“Yes how’s she?” I asked. “Where’s she?”
“Wait, wait. One question at a time.”
“I want to see her.”
The man directed me to where Kasuli was. I found her laying on the bed covered in bandages. I took a look at her and felt relieved that she was fine and out of danger.
I went back to the waiting room and realized that I had left the old man alone. I found him where I had left him smiling.
“I can see she’s now fine, right?” He inquired.
“Yes shikulu, she’s doing much better now,” I said sitting next to him.
“I am glad she’s ok,” he said.
“Is your grandson back?” I asked him.
“Not yet. Maybe he’s having trouble with the car. It always troubles him,” he nodded.
“I can see you have some bags with you. Travelling?”
“Yes, we were travelling but this happened.”
“Where are you headed to?”
“What’s in Chongwe?”
The old man was inquisitive but I knew he meant well.
“Relatives,” I sighed.
“You don’t sound excited.”
“Wish I was.” I looked at him.
Talking to the old man made me feel as if everything was fine. I couldn’t understand it but I felt free with him. He was friendly and funny. He provided me an atmosphere that I wished for the person I called grandfather would for me but he was bitter. For a moment, despite where we was, I felt some hope. I found myself telling him most of the things we had gone through with Kasuli and he listened attentively. After spitting out most of the things, I realised I only missed someone to talk to. We had talked for a while with the old man when the driver came to ask me If I needed to consult my parents about the accident. I told him my parents were not in Lusaka and if he needed anything, he should talk to me. He told me he would take care of everything and that he reported the accident at the police.
“Thank you,” I said.
“If you need me, I am still here. Let me just talk to the doctor again,” he left me with the old man.
“He’s a good man, if it was another person, they could have drove away.” The old man said.
“Shikulu, you didn’t even me tell me your name,” I laughed.
“Pardon my manners,” he also laughed. “I am Fumbani Phiri.”
“Fumbani?” I asked surprised.
“Yes, my dear. What’s your name?” He asked.
Before I could answer, a familiar voice shouted from a distance, “Grandfather!”
I recognized the voice and I tried to see clearly, to my surprise it was Fumbani. He got closer and was equally surprised to see me.
“Tinashe!” He exclaimed.
… To be continued
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