Costume Party

Hey, how are you? I'm okay. I'm great. Typical everyday cliché. With this ricochet we normally presume that we have kept up with our circle.

I always imagine what our interactions would be like if every one we greeted with the casual 'how are you doing?' were to give a dramatic sincere disclosure of what is actually going on in their lives. Every time I imagine it, I end up with the picture of a dumb, blind world and the death of social interactions. Not because everyone goes blind or deaf or some global catastrophe destroys our information technology structure, rather because everyone eventually stops asking. As we now walk on the streets, we keep our gaze fixed on the sun despite the pain or to the ground rather than look ourselves in the eye. We stop reading our messages, we stop viewing statuses because we all now have our own unique challenges, yes our own! We now bask in and personalize them because we cannot bear to carry every other person’s burden as well. It's every man and his demon and every demon for his own man.

It's been 5 months since AJ defended her right to die- suing her life, suing her courage, suing her existence and suing her reasons to live. She wanted to die and she would not be stopped. It is my fundamental human right- she argued. ‘My right to live. My right to not live. My right to die’.

AJ, 5 years back boasted the perfect life- a career, a husband and a child- a family to call her own and aspirations to wake up to every morning. Sleek curves, straight thin legs, thick and full black hair- an essence of beauty she definitely was. Well not for long, life moved fast and happily so, no one had the time to notice- every available time was spent loving and being loved, at least that’s how she felt.

The 16th of September 2010 changed it all. She lost everything she had- her child, her husband, her legs, her career, her mind! She lost it all in a ghastly accident. It robbed her of love and life and left her immobilized.

For two years she barely managed to drag behind after life being surrounded by caregivers who really did not care- doctors, nurses and cleaners. It was their job to put up acts of concern but she could see through the gimmickry. You know, you hang around the hospital a little while and you begin to feel the truth that you are just another hospital number with two statistical probabilities- life or death and this is all you’re going to be! You get visitors but they all come because they feel they have to; because they feel pity. They come because they feel you need it but you can feel also that you are nowhere in their hearts. She could feel that she had become a burden like excess cargo that needs to be let off.

AJ’s case was made against no one but her herself and in the court of her mind. She challenged every notion that tried to convince her that she still had a life to live for; any thought that tried to convince her that there is still love. All she contemplated on all through the never-ending sunless hours of her last days was suicide! Suicide? That’s just what we call it; all she saw was a station from which she could journey to a place where she mattered- a place where she would not be a burden, a place she could live as life did not seem to welcome her existence anymore.

She only wished to be genuinely thought of, to be remembered and to be loved. She only wished to live on in our hearts. After all, it is said of the dead that they live on in our hearts. This is the battle she fought all the while.

This battle of the mind was what she had hidden perfectly in the costumes of smiles and gowns in the party of life she woke up to everyday. Five months ago, she won her case, packed her luggage, pulled out her IV line, her oxygen mask and then she took off to yonder place.

Now we can only say that she lives on in our hearts- that’s all she truly wanted.

Idakwo Fervent Enyone