by Paul Washington Uduk
“He felt his skin grow cold and begged his soul to leave his body but it didn’t budge; his consciousness was in pure awareness now.“
Eric stood shocked as he read the paper in his now shaking hands. His heart struggled to leap out of his chest so that it could beat even faster than it already was. His hands involuntarily shredded the paper to bits and he made for the door, completely enraged!
Thoughts ran across his mind. He couldn’t make out what they signalled to him. All he was concerned about was getting to the hospital; the hospital from which he had gotten the letter.
Three years ago, the hospital had diagnosed Eric with HIV. The news completely devastated him. Being a newly wed at the age of 28 and also being at the peak of his career, his world had been shattered. His wife left him and announced to the world that her ‘careless, promiscuous husband’ had put her health and life in jeopardy. The scandal ruined his career; he faced utter discrimination the kind he had never experienced in his entire life. Now, how could the hospital turn around and say otherwise with a mere letter claiming “mistaken occurrence”?!
Eric made it to the hospital. His eyes met with the familiar face of the hospital receptionist. “Where is the doctor?!” He shouted. The receptionist was so startled; her heart grew quiet for at least five seconds before it resumed rapidly pumping in her chest to compensate for the lost cycles. “Evening sir”, she managed to say with her now dry mouth.”Get a doctor out here now” he responded. Eric sighted a doctor and quickly made his way towards her. “Yes! All you incompetent people” Eric spat as he approached.
Ill-aware of a janitor walking with his back with trash in a trolley, Eric collided with the janitor. He crashed into the trash and sent its content into the air. He felt pricks in several regions in his body. Trying not to imagine what caused the pricks, he sat up on the floor and to his horror he saw a clinic needle standing firmly in his skin, then another and another. He felt his skin grow cold and begged his soul to leave his body but it didn’t budge; his consciousness was in pure awareness now.
As he stared at the needles on his body, it dawned on him that rather than be grateful for his exceptionally rare situation he allowed his presumptuous attitude take the better part of him. Had he been more self-aware to the stream of thoughts, perhaps he would have controlled the situation better.
He sat in embarrassment as the needles were removed from his skin. He swore he was infected now. Eric sat there, completely drenched in shame. He made all the assumptions based on things he thought he knew and allowed ignorance blindly lead him to the expressions of emotions. Now, he regretted this. At that point he vowed he would never say “No” to the responsibility of having to control his thoughts because they directly shaped the actions he projected to the world, everything and everyone.
Paul Washington Uduk studied Chemical Engineering at University of Benin. He is a musical vocalist that cares about the art of writing and writes articles on his blog: www.basicpulse.blogspot.com.
30 Days, 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.
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