#Article (Archive)

Through thick and thin

Mar 1, 2012, 2:06 PM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

This short story is dedicated to all Epileptic patients and their families for being there for each other through thick and thin. You deserve something better. My heart goes out to you.

Your eyes meet, and she hurriedly looks the other way. You begin to wonder is that her? You always sit here, at the same time waiting for her to pass by so that you would start asking yourself, “Is it her?” Today, she has donned a white trouser with a golden silk chemise tucked in it. Her shoulder-length hair swept into a bun, a Calvin Klein wrist watch tied around her left hand and a black leather bag in her other hand.

She walks gracefully with her high-heel pumps without tripping or missing a step. Her waist sway sensuously, and you can’t help asking “How was I able to live without her?”

If not for her dark slanted eyes, and her heart-shaped lips…and her long slender neck, you wouldn’t have believed that it is her.

She has the look of what you and your friends in high-school would call “touch me not”.

She moistens her lips with her tongue and hums a tune you vaguely remember.

She was your childhood sweetheart, and it was her dark slanted eyes that caught your attention.

You sat together at the same desk, but on different chairs. Your arms always brushed because you are left-handed, and she is right-handed. You went to Junior School, and you shared the same class, the same desk and bench. Your hands continued to brush, sometimes you both knew that one of you did it on purpose, and you would steal glances and smile on the sly. She had a knack for Arts and Craft. Everybody paid her for her to do their drawings, but whenever you dipped your hands in your pockets, she would tell you that she would do yours for free. Yes, her kindness, and her quick temper was what you liked most.

One day you came to school, late as usual, and you saw a crowd in the middle of the classroom. Curiosity got the better of you, and you rushed to see what was happening. To your dismay you saw her lying flat on her back…painfully writhing on the floor…her hands and feet flailing in the air as if she was fighting an unseen opponent. Chills started running down your spine, you were sick in your stomach, fear pulsating through your veins. You were terrified.

“I’ll kill you today, leave me alone,” she kept saying to no one in particular with her eyes closed.

“Leave me alone,” she kept repeating.

No one tried to do something. She rolled from one end to the other; her knickers would have been revealed if not for the shorts she wore underneath.  When you wanted to do something to save her from her misery, you couldn’t move. Her mouth became blood-filled; she kept yanking at her hair and tearing her uniform……the uniform she proudly cherished. Tears streamed down your face when you knew that you were helpless.

After what felt like an eternity, some teachers came to her rescue and took her to the nearest hospital.

“She hasn’t gone into a fit for a very long time,” said an onlooker.

“Poor girl, I don’t know why it is happening to her now,” said another.

The following days in school became hell because she wouldn’t sit near you and avoided you. You wanted to hold her and assure her that everything was alright…that you wanted her for who she is and not what she is…that you would be there for her through thick and thin, but she gave you the other cheek. It broke your heart.

The days turned into weeks then into months and years, and here you are watching her walk past. At the corner of your eyes, you see a man standing beside a Cadillac, patiently waiting for her. She walks up to him, and they share a hug and a kiss. You hurriedly retreat to your car as it dawns on you that she is gone for good.