“Why aren’t you dressed for work?”
“I’m not well Mummy. I feel awful. You need to take me to the hospital. I think I might be dying.”
“Afi dying. If you were dying you wouldn’t be able to knock on my door to disturb me at 7am in the morning. We would just have found your unconscious body when the cleaner went into the room to change your sheets later. What exactly is wrong with you?”
“My head hurts, I ache all over and I have a fever. It’s a very high fever because I'm hallucinating. I’ve been seeing things like Tony walking back and forth in the garden with a pair of my YSL shoes on.”
“That’s not a vision stupid girl. I wanted to borrow your shoes for a wedding today and they were too small. So he’s stretching them out for me. In fact go back to your room and shout out the window for him to come upstairs so I can try them on now.”
My YSL shoes? Stretched out? My $300 shoes? I must be delirious. This isn’t real. It’s all a fever induced dream. When I wake up my shoes will be safely in their velvet dust bag waiting for me.
“Mummmmmmmy! Please take me to the doctor. I am really ill.”
“Hissss…Afi doctor. You think money grows on trees? Is it common malaria that you want me to waste thousands of naira on taking you to a doctor? Go back and lie down in your room I’ll be there in a minute with some Robb, hot pap and medicine. I still haven't seen the illness that Robb and a hot bowl of pap cannot cure.”
I crawl back to my room, as it’s too dangerous to walk. Everything is spinning round and I think I’m going to hurl. No way in hell this is malaria. I have something rare and exotic that’s killing off my protective cells as we speak. Maybe I should inform the Ministry of Health that there might be a new super bug in town. I might be famous after all. I wonder if you get royalties if they name a virus after you. Menalaria or Menantosis? Woe is me. My head hurts too much to even fantasize about my impending fame and fortune. What have I done to deserve this(actually nobody answer that)? Maybe I’m being punished by the office crazies for being such a bitch. This might be a juju induced fever(I really need to stop watching Movie Magic).Oh gosh, I knew I should have been a better person. It’s probably that girl from Admin getting married or Miss Grabby from HR.
There’s been a whole load of hoo ha in the office about the Admin girl getting married. I’m not bitter or anything but who the hell friggin cares? Its not like weddings are a rare occurrence in this office. Every waking hour there’s an e-mail announcing someone’s wedding , engagement etc. Like I said, I don’t mix with the crazies so tend not to involve myself in their tedious plans to charter buses to unknown places, in horrible aso ebi for a 3 hour service and a plate of bad food. So when little Miss Grabby from HR came round yesterday with her begging bowl in hand, I was not a happy camper. She’s always sending annoying, chirpy e-mails asking for money for one event or the other. It’s gotten so bad I don’t even open her e-mails anymore. I just delete them all and blame it on our persistent server problems. Look you can all roll your eyes at me all you want but I so don’t do office weddings.
“Hi! Did you get my e-mail about the wedding?”
Yeah, I got it cow and I deleted it like I do all the other money grabbing e-mails you send me. A normal person would have got the hint by now.
“Really? You sent an e-mail? I didn’t get it. The server must be acting up as usual.”
“Hmmm…That’s odd. How come you’re the only one who never gets my e-mails?”
You calling me a liar girl???Don’t make get out of this chair and beat you with my laptop. Oh wait...I am lying.
“Might need IT to check your system.”
“Yeah, I really should get them to do that. That way I won’t keep missing out on all the fun stuff you guys get up too.”
Yeah right. Just go away woman. My facial muscles are starting to hurt from all this fake smiling.
“Anyway, I just wanted to remind you that the wedding is this weekend and I haven’t received a contribution for the gift and you haven’t bought aso ebi yet.”
Gift? Aso ebi? Is she friggin insane? I didn’t even buy my own brother a gift when he got married(Peanut Butter Boy, you know this is strictly for blogging purposes abi? Walia talia I sent you a present by Royal Mail but you know what your countries postal system is like. There’s probably a very happy postal worker rolling around in your Ralph Lauren Egyptian cotton sheets as we speak). As for aso ebi… She can’t possibly expect me to part with money for that Joseph and his Technicolor dream coat Ankara she’s been hawking around the office? I would rather roll up my 3000 naira, set it on fire and smoke it like a joint than waste money on that nightmare of a fabric. Is it by force? Or why do people think its ok to force other people to wear nasty ass fabric just because they are getting married? I ain’t buying nothing but how do I put it to little Miss Grabby delicately?
Couldn't really be bothered to sugar coat my sentiments today. Figured I’d just give it to her straight.
Gee, am I speaking Swahili here?
“I said no thanks. Not interested in buying aso and not a big fan of wedding gifts either. Actually it’s good that we’re having this conversation now because when I’m getting married please don’t bother getting me a gift and in return, I won’t bother tormenting the entire office with fabric they aren’t interested in and can’t really afford to buy or sew. It’s really not necessary(Especially since I won’t be inviting your crazy asses anywhere near my nuptials in the first place). “
“I don’t understand. You mean you don’t want to contribute towards a gift or buy their aso?”
That’s a good girl. You do have some brain cells after all.
“Why not? Have they offended you?”
“Of course not(They might have offended the gods of good taste and style with their fabric choices but I am merely indifferent). It’s just against my principles to buy gifts for people I don’t know. I just feel I need to have a personal relationship with someone before I attend their wedding, let alone get them a gift(Yes, I’m just a cheapskate. I admit it). So sorry I won’t be attending the wedding or contributing towards anything. I expect you all to treat me the same way when I get married.”
She stares at me like I have two heads and one of them just asked her to give us a lap dance. She mumbles something incoherent and storms away from my desk. Sure she’s off to spread the news that Mena is a bitch but do I look bothered? She’s doing me a favor. The more people that keep away from me the better my working day will be.
That was yesterday and now this. They’ve probably made a voodoo doll of me at the office and are taking turns to stick me with pins and pop me into the microwave on the highest setting. Where is that woman with a doctor? Ah ha! At last. Here she is.
“Oya take this” says mum pouring a handful of tablets in my palm.
“What’s all this mum? I need a doctor.”
“I said you don’t need a doctor. Just take this, eat some pap and sleep. You’ll be better soon.”
“Why are there so many tablets?’
“Seeing as we are not a 100% sure that it’s Malaria, the white tablets are panadol. The stripy capsules are for malaria. The blue one is for Typhoid, the red ones are just antibiotics, the yellow one is for your stomach and I’m not sure what the other blue one is. The label wasn’t clear but it can’t be bad because the packet is almost empty. Just take everything and the right tablet will deal with whatever you have.”
That’s just great Dr. Doolittle and what will the rest of the random medication floating round my body do to me? I could wake up later with a penis and chest hair and then what? Let’s see you marry me off then. I look at the little blue pill she was referring to and notice a symbol on it. On closer inspection the symbol turns out to be a V. Why does that ring a bell? A little blue pill with a V on it. Hmmm…definitely heard that somewhere befor…Oh my God it’s Viagra. This crazy woman is trying to treat me with a sex aid. God help me. It’s not the illness or the office crazies that are going to kill me. It will be my mother with her trial and error prescriptions. If there was ever a reason not to self medicate this would be it.
Forget this, I ain’t taking nothing. I’ll get someone else to take me to the doctors and after that I’ll be needing a hypnotist to erase the memory of the moment I found out my parents are fighting against mother natures better judgement to shag like rabbits.
Will Mena live to find true love? Will she make it to the doctors and vanquish the evil strain of Menalaria attemping to take over her hot body? Will Admin girl and Little Miss Grabby get what's coming to them? Find out all this and a whole lot more on the next exciting episode of Mena(I'm obviously very sick).