All my life I’ve always had a dream.
I dream to one day become a doctor.
I wish to save lives.
To find a cure to a deadly illness.
Cancer. AIDS. I love to see the suffering end.
I longed for peace in the world also.
But everything changed for me last week when I discovered my mother’s dream.
It was not an unusual dream mothers had. But it was surprising to me.
Very so, because I hadn’t known she needed to have that dream.
My mother’s dream was that I’d be alive.
That I’d survive.
That I’d be with her always.
So last week I disposed of my earlier dreams. My mother’s dream became mine.
I dream now, only of one thing. To stay alive for her. To make her dream come true.
Or at least preserve it as long as I could.
I do not now dream of an unknown miracle. I do not think miracles were made for me.
I felt it today again, this morning in the bathroom, the big sign. Below my lower abdomen, a great burning, then at my limbs, a tingling sensation. Like the biting of cold.
A great threat to my mother’s dream, I knew.
But I bore it all and did not tell her. I would not. I would not tell her that another sign has appeared.
That it has become worse now. The pain.
Terribly worse. That she may have to find something else to hold on to.
Maybe a different dream this time. A wish that I would come back, whole and healthy, with blood that is normal and cells that are rightly shaped, after I’m gone.
It wasn’t my plan to fall and faint at school this afternoon. I had tried to fight the numbing feelings as they come, sweeping past my sides like harmattan wind.
I fought the drowsy feelings they brought, the heavy wooziness.
But eventually one came, a great fast one, and swept me over.
I stared at my mother now, sitting beside my bed.
The smell of drugs and all that hospital stuff was strong in the air.
The door opened.
A man in shirt and trousers came in. His double-armed tubular instrument hung on his neck.
He checked me with it and then called my mother.
They were stepping out. My mother was going outside with him. I did not want that.
I wanted my mother with me.
The time was close, I could feel it already. Like I did in the afternoon, only this time I felt it like a multitude of waves. Gusts of white and grey swirling round me, covering me up.
‘Mommy,’ I called.
My mother turned. Her eyes were red.
‘Obim. A nam bia, let me talk with the doctor, inu?’
I shook my head.
She walked back to my bed. ‘Do you want anything?’ she asked.
I shook my head. ‘Just hold me.’
She did. She gripped my hand tight and her tears started to come again.
I still saw her tears and heard her wailing many seconds after the doctor checked me again with his tool and turned to her and shook his head.
I still saw.
I still heard.
Even when the nurse came and covered me over.
I still saw.
But I was no more.
I drifted away with the breeze.
Might return as a wish.
I love you, mommy.