Six in the morning finds me awake. My broken window lets in breeze and I feel more cold than it really is in the small room. In the cooking pot of porridge, I empty a cup of milk and stir then sit and watch it boil. After a few minutes, I switch off the gas and empty the porridge into an old black flask and pack it in college bag. As I head out, I pick a long woolen scarf and drape it around my neck to keep off the cold.
Once outside, the reality of how cold it is hits me. It’s drizzling and the day looks sad. The clouds are covering the skies and it actually looks earlier than six thirty in the morning. Typical in any cold days, the traffic is mad. The cars don’t seem to move towards town and I count myself lucky because I am headed to the opposite of town. I find my way around the cars and cross the road to the bus station. My hands are cold and my african hair is frizzy. My throat hurts from inhaling cold air and today I am grateful my shoes aren’t leaking in any water.
After about ten minutes, I hurriedly board a Kenya bus service bus and pray that I am going to be in time for the seven thirty visit at the hospital. I seat next to a young woman who smiles at me and I quickly turn away. I am oblivious of any happening in the bus after I hand in the thirty shillings for my fare and I am grateful I can actually afford it. My thoughts drifts to the flask in my bag and I remember I haven’t eaten anything and my stomach growls at the thought. I smile at how illogic it is to be allowed to carry porridge and not food so as to avoid poisoning of patients.
My thoughts are cut short by the young lady who wants to alight and I discover we already there. I clumsily get off my feet and rush out stepping on someone in the process. I don’t have time and I can hear the person curse me. At the gate, the guard lets me in with no check up thanks to the several times I have been there in the last few days. I rush towards ward 5A and the nurse on duty gives me a pitiful look. I totally understand that. I look haggard and I feel tired. My hair which isn’t my strength is already looking worse. My eyes are red due to lack of sleep and I am sure I am lucky I don’t fall asleep when walking.
I give her a weak smile and walk into the ward. The hospital smell still gets to me but it’s much better than the chilly weather. Patients look at me as I pass by and turn away every time i say hey. I am sad for myself but put on a brave face. When I get to bed sixteen though, I am no longer sure of how strong I can be. I recheck the number again and all my strength drains out of me. The bed is neatly spread and there are new sheets. I can no longer stand on my feet. I sink into the neat bed and let the tears fall.
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