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Okezika vs Zika Virus

Prompt: 

Feb 2

Think Global, Act Local

‘Think Global, Act Local”, Write a post connecting a global issue to a personal one.


 

Looking back on how everything unfolded, I imagine that life was playing one terrible game on me. I do not know when I lost control of my fate, when everything I did was a pre-destined step towards ushering me into this unbearable pain I feel in my heart. 

No one can enter this room. I cannot let anyone enter, not even Jude. I fear that if I see anyone right now, it would become more real to me that I have nothing else to live for. I have not taken a bath since he died… I just wrote ‘died’. Died… Died… Died… Died… what? 

The more I write it the less I believe it. 

Oh, I was talking about when I think I lost control of my fate. I think that was when Jude and I were stupid enough to visit this ‘All Things Love not War’ website. He had proposed to me a little over a year ago and all we could do was talk about the wedding and the honeymoon and our marriage. EVERY FRIGGING DAY! Maybe if we talked about more important things like our taxes and trust funds and toothpaste and toilet seats, we would not have seen that stupid website with its stupid stupid suggestion – suggestions that led me here. 

On the website, they suggested ‘50 fun things you can do before you say I do’. We were trying them one after the other until we got to the one where they said to ballot all the letters of the alphabet and both pick one together; whatever letter we pick, we’d choose a country that begins with it and go there for our honeymoon. We did it and picked ‘B’. I remember both of us saying ‘Brazil’ at once and then laughing and laughing and laughing. And although at that time, it felt like cosmos was laughing with us, in retrospect, I realise it was laughing at us. 

We did the wedding and it was amazing. We went to Brazil three days after to commence our 3.5 months honeymoon. My terrible emotions aside, it was amazing. I remember Jude telling me that we had to conceive our first baby in Brazil, so we’d tell him he was conceived in South-America and oh what a shame to the South Americans that he couldn’t be born there. So we tried and we conceived our baby there.

One day, I woke up with a low fever. I didn’t think anything of it as I thought it was just normal morning sickness. Jude made me some tea and told me to go back to bed. I slept and when I woke up it felt like I had gone to the farm and had worked my whole body. My body ached and I had a headache. When Jude came in, he almost dropped the plate of nuts he was holding. As he asked why my eyes were red, I started to itch. It felt like a bad dream. But because I did not want Jude to worry, I told him I just needed to take a bath and rest a little. By the next day, we both knew I was not morning-sickness sick. I got treated at the local clinic and I got pretty better… but the rashes persisted almost throughout. 

At the beginning of the fourth month, we returned to Nigeria. There was a celebration of relatives blah blah blah. 

I had an ultrasound and the doctor said he thought something was wrong with my baby. I thought to myself, ‘We have come to Nigeria. All the while in Brazil, no one thought anything was wrong with my pregnancy’. When I asked the doctor what was wrong, he confessed that he wasn’t quite sure but that there was something wrong with the formation of the baby. He asked me to keep coming for several tests. Money grabbers, I thought.  But I kept going. One time, he said my baby’s body seemed to be growing faster than his head. Another time, he said that he might have made a mistake; that it was my baby’s head that wasn’t growing at a normal pace. And yet, another time, he said he’d seen something in the amniotic fluid, but that he did not want to conclude as he had never seen anything like that. ‘Like you’ve ever seen anything’ I muttered to myself. 

Jude and I went back to that cursed website two days before I delivered my baby. There was a featured article on the site that said that choosing a baby’s name by both couples under the midnight sky was good luck. So, even though Jude and I already had his names written in our family diary, we went ahead to wait till midnight and chose a new name for our baby. Jude asked me if we could name him after his great-grandfather – a strong hunter who lived for so long the villagers thought he had been there before the world began. I agreed and in the cool midnight breeze and under the midnight sky, we both whispered, ‘Okezika’. Then I said, ‘Wait o… What’s his name for short?’ Jude said, ‘Zika na… That’s a no brainer.’ 

I delivered my baby 4 months ago, two days after Jude and I let the evening wind carry his name far across the world. 

Okezika, died 20 hours ago. 

His head was way smaller than his body; he had a shrunken head and an incompatible brain. He was not going to make it anyway. 

The doctor said Zika was one of the children who have died and are currently dying of Zika Virus. How interesting… Zika vs. Zika. Zika won. Zika lost. 

He said that it was caused by the aedes aegypti mosquito; a mosquito I must have encountered in Brazil. Blah Blah Blah….

Oh, guess what notification I just got? An email subscription from the cursed website – ‘8 Reasons Why The Zika Virus is not a Joke’

Tell me about it… 

 

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