She could not believe that email and she was sure that she had let out a scream. She felt so weak….heck, she could not feel her feet or her whole body for that matter. Her mother and sister rushed to the room and held her on her sides. She could hear them asking what was wrong but she was totally unable to talk no matter how much she tried. They put her down on her bed and she was now hyperventilating and shaking. Her sister started to panic and told her mother that they had had a discussion earlier on and it may have upset her.
“I do not think so. The last time she was admitted to the hospital she kept having such episodes. It could be recurring. We need to take her to the hospital.”
“She was admitted? Why didn’t you tell me? What was the problem? Could be she received some news on her phone. Let me check.”
“Could you have cared if I had told you then? She will tell you herself once she gets better. Let us focus on taking her to the hospital.
Rael’s phone had locked the phone screen and could only be unlocked with her fingerprints. Her sister held her fingers up and managed to unlock the phone.
“Mum it looks like Rael has lost a colleague by the name of Collins.”
It seemed like Rael was waiting for this to be repeated to her for it to sink. The moment Priscilla said these words; she started to cry profusely saying that could not be true and that she could barely breathe. Priscilla decided to check her bag to see if she could get any medication. She was a nurse and she could tell that her sister was suffering from a panic attack. She confirmed her fears when she found anxiety, sleep inducing and antidepressants medication in her bag. She took an anxiety pill and gave one to her sister.
“She should be much calmer in the next ten minutes. I will sit beside her mum; you can go and continue with your chores. She will be fine.”
“I am staying here with you two. I cannot work knowing that my daughter is going through this. Kemunto has been through so much gaki. Just go and check up on papa. I do not want him to find out this is happening. It is not good for his health.”
“Okay mama. I will be back. Just hold her and encourage her to take deep breaths.”
Priscilla found her father enjoying sugarcane outside the house and he signaled her to sit beside him.
“I am so happy that you and your sister are back to talking. My heart feels lighter. Seeing you talking and laughing together has been my prayers.”
“Now that you are happy papa, will you go with me to the States?”
“Will they agree for me to go with my cows, chicken and farm at the airport?”
“Why are you and mum so stubborn? Your farm and all the animals in it will survive without you for two weeks. Alternatively you and mum can come visiting in turns.”
“I never leave my wife alone. She cheated on me once, she might do it again. Where is she by the way? I have not seen her for the last ten minutes and I did not hear her announcing that she was going to the market.”
“She is in the house. I left her talking with Rael. Let me go and find her to inform her that you have missed her. And papa, please drop the cheating story. It is too old.”
“Go get me my wife.”
She found Rael much calmer and they were hugging with their mum.
“Never scare me like that again sissy. Mummy, dad is asking for you. Your presence has been missed. I will take it from here with Rael.”
“What does your dad want now? Anyway, let me go before he starts shouting all over the place. I am so glad that you are here for your sister. I do not know what could have happened if you were still not in talking terms.”
“It is God’s doing mama. I am glad we found our way back to each other. Now go and find your husband. Come here sissy. My laps are warmer than mama’s. I promise.”
“Hehehe! I am in shock Priscilla. I cannot believe Collins is dead. I am even afraid of asking what happened to him. We were not in talking terms but things were getting better between us. He was very good with what he did at work and that made him a better asshole. I need to call and know what is happening. Where is my phone?”
“I have your phone. I need you to be absolutely calm before accessing your phone. I am so sorry that this is happening babe. I am sorry that you have had to undergo depression and anxiety on your own. Mama tells me that you were admitted. I am not going to ask what triggered it but I want you to know that I love you and I am here for you.”
“Thank you sissy. I am so glad that you are here and that we are here. Seriously though, I need my phone. Not knowing anything will just heighten my anxiety.”
“It is okay. I will give you your phone but after you find out everything, you promise me that we will go out and grab some drinks or I will give you some sleeping pills to allow you some rest. Whichever sounds fun to you, I am good with it.”
“You want us to drinking here in Kisii? Who are you? Of course you know what my option is. Give me my phone.”
“Say it. I want to hear your option loud and clear.”
“Drinks of course. That goes without saying.”
She took her phone from Priscilla and started going through her texts trying to find out what had happened to Collins or if all this was some kind of sick joke. All she could find was a lot of condolence messages and messages informing her of his death. She was so scared of calling anyone but she knew that she had to do it. She called a few people but none of them were picking up. Finally, Liz of HR picked up and she sounded like she had been crying the whole day. They had an on and off relationship with Collins and Rael immediately felt terrible for calling her.
“Hi Rael, I guess you have already heard”
“Is it true Liz? What happened?”
“I had to go view his body for me to believe it Rael. Seeing his body lifeless and cold, really hit me hard. It is suspected that he committed suicide. I think the pressure we gave him since the day you reported him became too much for him to handle.”
“Suicide? Collins was so full of life and nothing shook him. I am so sorry Liz. I did not mean to upset you.”
“Yeah, when everyone was at the morgue apart from you, we knew you felt guilty for what you did. We do not blame you so just you know.”
“Liz, you of all people know that I took leave to come visit my ailing parents. Again, this is heavy for you so I will not talk much. I am sorry and I will see you when I get back to Nairobi”
Rael could not understand the way Liz had the audacity to subtly blame her for causing Collins’ death. Most people had absolutely refused to see the pain that man had caused her. They probably would have believed her if she died. That aside, she was shocked that Collins had committed suicide. He was the strongest, hard headed person she had ever met. What if she indeed caused him to commit suicide. This was too much for her to handle.
“Let us go grab those drinks Riri”
“One hug and you feel free enough to use that name again? Let us freshen up, eat then we go.”
“I am not hungry.”
“I am sorry if whatever I have listed came off as options. They are not. You get into the shower first and I will wait here just in case you get another panic attack. Please leave the door slightly ajar”
She took a shower and was glad that she had carried the anxiety medication because she felt absolutely calm. She however could not stop thinking about how Collins looked lifeless in the morgue. She wondered how he committed suicide…asking Liz that question could have been very insensitive although that bitch had been very insensitive to her. She hoped that what had happened would not make her get punished at work. She stepped out of the shower and found that her sister had already chosen for her what she was going to wear.
“I hope I will fit into those jeans. I keep getting fatter every day”
“It will fit. We need to talk about that weight though. Hurry up. We are going to get fucked up today.”
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