…a page from the book of many pages.
‘For God sake, why would you go allowing that dog to chase you? See your right knee, the last one is yet to heal up, here we are again. Why would a a kid volunteer himself to be chased around by a dog all in the name of fun?’ The young woman in her thirties lamented as she applied some medications on the fresh cut on the little boy’s knee.
Feeling the reaction of the iodine on his wound, the little patient wanted to protest by crying, but he dare not. Early in life, he was made to understand that every man should endure the consequence of his action without constituting nuisance to the next man. His mother pulled him up gently and led him to a seat. After he was seated, she continued from where she stopped ‘that would be your office henceforth, when your friends come, tell them you have retired from the daily exercise of being chased by a dog. You are neither a cat nor a rat.’ All the while, the addressee bent his neck and focused on his not so serious effort at breaking one of the tiny blue buttons fixed to his shirt. Considering his total silence and countenance, a stranger at the scenario would be deceived to believe that his remorse knew no bound. Actually he was remorseful- remorseful about the ‘new’ injury on his knee. But deep inside of him, he was unrepentant about his love for being chased by the neighbour’s dog. After all, the dog itself was enjoying the daily habit and the injuries sustained by him and his two friends on those missions were not as a result of the dog’s attack but their falls in the race process.
‘Hey, hey, let us go,’ the short guy beckoned from outside. It was three days after he was assigned to an office without function by his mother. Really, he was on his throne of grace sitting before the two other kids came. He could see their silhouettes through the louvres as they moved up and down to ensure that their tiny voices reach the one whom it concerned. From his office, different from his usual jump, he gently struggled to reach for the door. Unlike the initial injuries he suffered, this was way different. He was finding it hard to walk and a touch of fever had managed to get its luggage in his lanky body. He had two doses of analgin injection at the hospital earlier that day. He limped to the door and opened it. Something was different, his two friends had folded papers fastened to their knees with rubbers to prevent suffering similar fates. He managed to smile upon noticing this but the weakness would shorten the smile’s lifespan as he felt pains even on his cheeks. ‘Take, pick paper inside and use this’ Dotun, said kindly as he offered him a long tiny rubber. ‘No, I cannot go today, I am sick’. He replied as he grabbed one arm of each of his friends to touch his neck. ‘Sorry, but try. We won’t stay long.’ Feeling too weak to survive the least of arguments, he turned back and shut the door. He then limped back to his ‘office.’
‘I think that his condition is not improving, he is finding it so hard to walk and he is getting weaker’ his father said as he bent before him adjusting the bandage on his knees. ‘I thought as much, I don’t know why a cut would lead to such level of limping’ his mother said in a troubled tone. Considering the impressive professional reputation of the staff at the Catholic hospital in the town, the father suggested taking him to the Catholic hospital…
‘…so, the limping has nothing to do with the cut on the knee. The analgin injection is the problem in this case. The fear is, even with the surgery suggested, he may never get to walk normally again. So, the surgery would prevent further damage to his limb but it may not make the difference of letting him walk as he used to.’ The doctor declared right before his parents.
The boy grabbed the message, he was trying to also grab the gravity it holds for his dream. He had dreams and he needed those feet- he needed his psychological feet and his physical one. But with the development, won’t the absence of fit physical feet affect the psychological influence on his race in life? His mother started sobbing and the father became the consoler general on both sides…
Three days after, he was moved to the theatre on a wheel chair. He looked into the eyes of the doctor and saw fear. He saw the route that lead to the uncertain destination. He was less than 9, but he did not want to be pitied due to his situation. He heard about the travails of the limping Waheed in his sister’s class, he was told about the emotional torture Waheed endured everyday in the hands of his colleagues. They taunted him to run and made a mockery of his uneven running style. During the debate session on Fridays, Waheed’s chair was always placed at the left corner of the stage to prevent him from the roughs and toughs of the other agile and fit students. On that stage, even without any performance, Waheed became a celebrity of circumstance to look out for due to the inability of his colleagues to understand the gimmicks of life. He was told how others envy the special treatment, but he wanted to work to be special, he did not want life to make him a special victim of circumstance. He burst into tears as the doctor approached him on the stretcher and placed his left hand on his left shoulder. The doctor did not say a word- maybe he was too young to be admonished that disability was not the end of life or that promising him that the surgery would make the desired difference would be an unprofessional lie. The doctor looked up to the nurses and nodded his head, and they moved him to the theatre bed…
Fifteen years later, he was searching for a document in his father’s library, his attention was caught by a green file placed at the right corner of the shelf. He picked the file and opened it. A duplicate of the decision signed by his father lied awaiting him all the years. It was the document signed by his father that the surgery that would make the unknown difference be performed on his little son. He sighed, picked up a pen and looked at the crutches placed beside him- without them, walking was almost becoming impossible…
The crutches were actually the ones in the photograph inside the file. The little boy became the author of this piece.
‘Author: Not necessary.
Dedicated to the physically challenged,
I wish our world could be wiser than it thought it is,
I wish men could realize that the more we chase life, the chances of catching it diminishes,
That when you have fit legs, they are not meant to kick the one aided by crutches, That when you have eyes; they are not meant to watch the blind walk into a pit, That as soothing as the breeze of life seems to be, it ages us to make us realize; That youthful agility is but for a moment, That the wind of age would call and we would only watch others do what we were fond of doing,
That others would watch us reap the consequence of doing what what we were fond of doing.