They say when you are young you feel invincible like death is an abstract and intangible phenomena, like nothing can touch you; but the older you get the more aware you become of your own mortality, so you slowly start to calm down. That statement is so true. I used to love speed, climb on an okada, plug your headphones in and shut the whole world out while the rider speeds with reckless abandon, the wind hitting your face. Or driving a car and feeling your blood rush as you overtake multiple vehicles at high speed.
Now? Don’t even try it with me if I’m in your vehicle. I’ll will kick, I’ll scream, I’ll shout, I’ll pray, I’ll cry, I’ll pant, I go make noise pass woman, I go give you beta drama… Mehn this life na once o, I’ve seen things so don’t blame me.
I was involved in a motor accident on the 22nd of September, 2007. I was traveling home for a funeral or something, and I sat on the right side by the window looking out. About three fat women sat in the middle of my row, pressing me tightly against the side of the bus like chewing gum. It was a really uncomfortable ride and I didn’t know when I slept off. I woke up suddenly just in time to hear the front tire of our vehicle burst as our bus fell on its side and summersaulted multiple times out of the road. It happened so fast, seconds later there was another loud bang as a vehicle I could not see rammed into us. I lay on my side, the weight of three fat women and one normal dude crushing my windpipe. The right sleeve of my shirt was completely shredded, my arm was bleeding, and then I noticed that I couldn’t see out of my right eye.
The window had broken and shards of glass littered my body, I could see tiny bits of glass in the injury on my arm. I lay there pinned, blood dripping from my eye and arm as I listened to shouts of people outside who witnessed the accident. People came together and tried to raise the bus, I used that opportunity to climb out of the window. When I came out of the bus I discovered that I was missing my bag and a shoe, so I went back into the bus to look for them. More than a few people out of concern stopped me to tell me that I was bleeding from my eye, I calmly told them ‘I know’. I found my properties and took a bike to the nearest hospital. I had to pay for hospital card and some other stuffs or else they wouldn’t have attended to me (they were rejecting patients from the accident), all the while I was bleeding out. Eventually they told me that they had no anaesthetics and that they would have to stitch the wound like that if I didn’t want to lose my eye.
My entire eyelid was hanging out like a piece of suya, blood dripping down my face and soaking my clothes. Eye that I already thought I had lost, I agreed to the operation o, and that is how they stitched my eye back together as if they were sowing a piece of cloth with needle and thread. I can’t describe the pain that I felt, I think it’s better you imagined it. My face was red from the pain, the tip of my ears were burning hot, tears were falling out of my good eye. They now used bandage to cover my entire eye. After the operation, I paid and I left casually like nothing happened. The whole experience was just too surreal.
The conductor died, he was hanging by the door when the tire burst and so he was crushed multiple times each time the bus tumbled, a lady lost her legs, and those fat women? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure they walked away without a scratch. I ended up with a scar above my right eye, and another on my right arm. I suffered severe PTSD in the years that followed. When I feel like a vehicle I’m in is beginning to move a little too fast I start breathing heavily like I’m being suffocated, I start sweating, my heart starts racing, and I grip the armrest very tightly. I always expect the front tires to burst and the vehicle to summersault. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but it’s still there. You dare not drive with excess speed if I’m with you and if I’m the one driving biko just calm down – we’ll get there when we get there.
Till next time,