As I squirmed from one side of the bed to the other; immediately I heard Father and Victoria calling out to the doctor simultaneously. I had not moved for two days, so even a wink from me would have injected some amount of hope into Father and my twin sister.
Finally, I became conscious and like an "action movie" my mind replayed how I was hit by an "Aboki" driving an ugly lorry. We all waited in anticipation for the doctor to pass 'judgement' on my poor self. Dr Smith looked me in the eye and said "Victor, you are eighteen right? " I nodded sheepishly in agreement. "You have to be a man" he continued. "Oooh 'oga' tell us the main point" my father retorted impatiently. Dr Smith took a deep breath and said "I am sorry, you are paralysed". Honestly, I do not remember any other thing he said afterwards because those last three words shot me like bullets. I died that day.
Ever since then nothing mattered to me anymore. Victoria said the doctor assured that it was not permanent; I would walk again; but I never wanted to hear any of such words.
Sometimes when alone in my room, I tried to stand up from the wheel chair, which I always referred to as "my seat of doom", but the pain was so much that I gave up trying. I think the accident did not just paralyse my legs but my dreams, my joy, my life!
I changed completely, it was like everything around me was frozen; even my academics. I do not know why, but my life was ruled by fear and uncertainty; that kind of fear that would make you forget how to spell even "cup" in an exam hall. I almost became a dullard.
Four years had passed, Victoria and Father stood by me.They always told me I would walk again and I always cut them short. Victoria in particular was my hands and legs because Father went for official trips most times.
Whenever the song "My helper ooo" was sung in Church; my mind went to Victoria because through her God sent me an angel.
On this Friday evening, Victoria went to buy bread for dinner and I was alone at home. Suddenly, gboa! A bullet was shot at window. All I knew was that I saw myself down the stairs panting heavily. Soon after, Victoria came in; looking at me with so much astonishment. "Oh you heard the gun shot too right? It was shot at our window" I gabbled. "What gun shot? Victoria asked in what sounded like a whisper; Victor you are walking!!"
That was when I agnized I was on my feet! I was more amazed at myself. The fear from the gunshot did not make me realize I ran down the stairs.
With all the strength in me, I muttered "Victoria I will walk again". Victoria's face was mixed with a smile and tears in her eyes as she said "No Victor, you are already walking!
A police man rushed and interrupted the "flow", "Do you live here? He asked, before waiting for our reply, he told us he was sorry for mistakenly shooting at our window. Without caring to know the actual reason for the gunshot, we accepted his apology and dismissed him.
I did not just walk but I ran for life; what my people would call "Oso ndu" in Igbo language. For real, that was how I discovered that all these while, my legs were ready to walk again, but I gave up on myself; afraid of trying again, afraid to fight anymore. Life had taught me that sometimes we need to fight that war that brings peace.