Wasabi

There’s something unexplainable when a 14- seater-matatu hits you from your right side as you cross. The pain doesn’t come immediate like the shock. All you remember is headlights, too bright for your eyes, and the feel of the cold gravel your face lies on.

Your mind is still racing and it refuses to comprehend what’s going on until people start to crowd around you. The matatu driver, a burly man with a jagged shaped beard, comes out and a man shoves him saying, “See what you’ve done!”.

Then, the pain comes in floodgates. Your hand feels like a mountain rock is sitting on it. You can’t move your leg and the trickling of red down your face, makes you feel nauseated. You’ve always hated the sight of blood.

Lord knows that’s why you didn’t take medicine in campus although you had the grades for it. Your vision becomes blurry and everyone fades into the background. Is this what that last moment on earth feels like? Everything black, distant voices and the utter feeling of being alone in uncertainty?

What if you had applied for that legal assistant job? You could’ve made it to the shortlisting. What if you had followed your volunteer dream around the world? You’d have the world experience you’ve always wanted. When was the last time you called mum anyways?

You don’t even remember how she looks like anymore. Yellow dera’s used to be her favorite piece of clothing when you saw her three years ago. Does she still drink Soya tea with arrow roots because she hates the taste of white bread? Does she still underline her bible with blue Bic pens?

You can’t remember. And, in a blink of an eye- it vanishes. People are screaming. You can’t feel the tightness of your jeans. You try to open your eyes but they feel like cement mixed with water.

“Madam stay with me…” A man with a calm fatherly voice tells you. He talks off some instructions to some people around and they lift you up.

Days later, when you open your eyes, you notice how bright the room is. It’s painted white with some splashes of yellow. The walls are cracked where two walls meet and the green mosquito net supposed to protect you is filled with gaping holes. The air smells of surgical spirit and medicine. The drip on your arm is tied to the stand with a piece of cloth whose color is too unclear to see.

You can’t move your leg much but isn’t this what life is all about? Seeing the cracks on the walls and appreciating them. The wasabi principle.  You’ve lost so many times but every time you’ve gotten back up. Regrets are there but you can’t do much about them. You can only live in the now. After all, you’re always a moment away from a different life, ey?

The doctor comes in and checks you. He writes in his clipboard and tells the nurse to adjust your dripping before turning to leave. You stop him.

“Daktari, will I walk again?” You ask hesitantly.

He turns around and for the first time, you notice how deeply entrancing his dark brown eyes are.

He takes a deep breath. “We’re running some more tests, I’ll let you know the results after”

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