All Eps

Long Journey 5

So last time round, Paa Yaw had a sudden attack and passed out on the floor. Is he gonna die or nah? Let’s find out!

Nana Opoku whistled to himself as he walked towards Mr. Yeboah’s house. The housemaster had earlier instructed him to take some items from one of the other housemasters and take it to the house as soon as possible, during the prep period.

An intermission he was pretty grateful for, considering how tough the elective maths questions he was trying to answer were turning out to be. Even though Elikem was doing his best to help out, it was still proving quite difficult, so the break was well appreciated.

As the crickets were in full voice all around, with not a soul around the house, he walked leisurely, fully intending to take his time. His whistling came to an abrupt end, however, as he noticed the lights in the house.

Looked like the unfriendly guy was at home.

He let out a loud groan of exasperation. “How did I forget that there was a possibility I’d see that stupid bastard again? For all you know, he’s going to tell me some serious trash bi just to increase my heart rate.”

Standing there for a few seconds, with the items in hand, he sighed. “Ah well, if he tells me trash this time round, I’ll give it to him.”

Filled with a sense of confidence, he marched up to the front door and knocked hard.

No response.

He knocked again.

Still no response.

He shook his head. “Must be asleep or something… wait, he’s not locked the door? Ei!”

Opening the door, he came to meet a very unpleasant sight.

There lay Paa Yaw on the floor, clearly unconscious, in a pool of vomit.

In spite of the nasty pile before him, he rushed over to the unconscious man, turning him over. Things were not looking good at all. He quickly grabbed his hand and held his wrist to check for a pulse.

It was faint, and quite irregular, but it was still there.

Heart pounding, he said to himself, “Oh, thank God he’s still alive! Now I need help. There has to be someone around who can help me get him to the hospital ASAP.”

Straightening the unresponsive body on the floor, whilst grimacing at the puke on the floor, he moved out quickly, running to the nearest house. Knocking loudly on the door, he was gasping as the lady of the house opened the door, seemingly startled at the loudness of his knocking. “Madam, good evening. Sorry to disturb you, but there’s a problem at Mr. Yeboah’s house. There’s a man who needs to be taken to the hospital as soon as possible.”

***

“Alcohol poisoning??” Araba said in disbelief.

Alfred nodded. “He took too much alcohol, and with it being on an empty stomach, it worsened the situation. He’s currently in a pretty critical situation at the moment. Hopefully, he should be out of danger soon.”

“Oh, Ewurade Nyankupon,” she lamented silently. “Why? Why won’t this man get his life in order? Now he wants to kill himself?”

“Hmmm, I don’t know what to say now, Araba. I don’t know what to say. I’ve complained enough. Besides, what matters now is that he makes it out, and is safe from any kind of danger.”

***

By the time the boys were getting ready for lights out, the whole house had heard of what Nana had witnessed when he went to the house. Although Paa Yaw hadn’t really made any attempts at annoying any of the boys after the stern warning from the housemaster, quite a few of the boys were not so forgiving. Take the Robbie guy, for instance.

“Nana Po dey force oo. Ibi like the man no do am anything before. Like ibi me wey I see am for ground top, like some kicks paa he go receive,” the boy said out loud as he moved through the dorm, his voice displaying a bit of contempt for Nana’s ‘Good Samaritan’ actions.

“Ah, so like you go kill am for there?” one of the other boys asked.

“Hoh, I go finish am for there norr!” Robbie responded rather fiercely.

“Massa, you naa, you know sey you no go do. What Nana Po do be the right thing.”

“My guy, I no dey talk sey Nana Po no do the right thing ooo! I just dey talk sey like ibi me wey I go see am for there, like that be where I go show am sey he no go fit fool plus me. Idiot like him…”

As Robbie descended into another bout of savage profane attacks on the man, with those in his corner heatedly disagreeing with him, James, who slept at the top of the bunk bed he and Nana shared, came and jumped up onto his bed. Looking down at Nana, who was clearly oblivious to what was going on, he said, “Chale, Nana, forget Robbie. I never see nigga wey he dey like hold grudge so.”

Nana shook his head. “I no dey think about am sef. We all no dey like the guy, but in such a situation diԑԑ, help be necessary.”

“So you clean the place finish?”

“Yeah, chale. Nasty job paaa. The way the guy vomit put the floor…” he shuddered as he thought of how he had to clean up all that mess.

“Chale. Sudden sickness anaa?”

“No idea. I just catch there wey I see am for floor top. Passed out. Whatever the case be, I dey hope sey he go survive. I still no dey like am, but chale, human life be precious commodity. You no fit put your emotions first then do make somebody die.”

***

It was morning. Paa Yaw opened his eyes as he awoke from a rather uncomfortable sleep, riddled with weird dreams that he couldn’t understand or even fully remember.

He had regained consciousness the previous night, but had been too confused to really understand what was going on. Now as he lay there on the hospital bed, only one question went through his mind.

What happened to me?

He didn’t have to wait too long for the answer. Twenty minutes later, his cousin came into the ward with a basket, obviously filled with his breakfast.

“Good morning, Paa. I hope you’re feeling better this morning,” she said as she took the chair by the bed and sat.

“I’m feeling weird, but it’s not bad. But Sister Araba, I don’t fully recall what happened. How did I get here?” he asked.

Araba sighed. Shaking her head as she began to speak, Paa Yaw could already sense the “I’ve-given-up-on-you” vibe that had engulfed her and Alfred since that day the complaint by the boys was brought forth.

“You went drinking, didn’t you?”

He put his hand on his chin, as if to try and remember, then nodded. “Uh, yeah.”

“Well, that’s what happened. You drank too much alcohol. On an empty stomach. What happened to you was a case of alcohol poisoning. You know, that thing that killed Amy Winehouse? You nearly drank yourself to death. I should have unloaded my frustrations on you at this point, but… what’s the use? At least, you’re alive. I thank God for that, because I’m not ready for any funeral. I don’t need the spirit of premature death hovering around my home when it has no place there.”

It looked like she had more to say, but then decided not to. She got up and gave him the basket, and stated that Alfred would be coming to pick him later in the evening, when he was to be discharged.

As she moved to exit the room, she briefly turned to him.

“By the way, you should be thanking God that one of the boys happened to find you in time. Alfred asked him to take some items from one of the other housemasters and bring it home. From what the doctors said, had there been a delay, you probably would have brought a funeral to my doorstep. So if you pray, you can thank God for that.” She turned to leave.

“Wait!” Paa Yaw called. She turned to him. “Which boy was that?”

She eyed him in surprise. “Why would that be your concern? Don’t you enjoy being nasty to them?”

“Please, Sister Araba, I beg, I just want to know.”

“Fine. Nana Opoku. The boy who sweeps the compound. He found you passed out cold and managed to get Mrs. Gyampoh to bring you over here. So you can thank God for his life. I’ll see you later in the evening.” She left.

The boy who sweeps the compound…

The memory came back to him. That early morning he saw the young man busily sweeping. The crude and uncouth manner in which he asked him those unnecessary questions. The truth is, Paa Yaw just found pleasure in being a jerk to others at times. He just liked being rude sometimes. The reality that this victim of his, however, had helped him when he needed it the most, cut him deep as he thought about it.

That young man saved my life…

Hmmm… you think there might be a change of heart in there somewhere? Well, let’s find out in the next episode!

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