The Bitter Pangs of Fear.

Someone once said to me that fear has both its good sides and its bad sides. Sometimes the fear of failure brings out the genius in you and other times, the fear of getting hurt by others makes you to shut people out indefinitely. For some people, the fear of being afraid brings forth the courage buried deep inside of them. I was a man with a truckload of fears, today it might be the fear of the future and another day, the fear of being average. I believed that fear was the greatest motivation that one can ever have and it worked for me perfectly. I became a high rank marine engineer because I was scared that I would end up as a boat repairer in my village.

I got married to the best woman on Earth, Chimamanda Edozie, because the fear of getting married to a witch made me ten times more patient than a crippled snail. There was no kind of fear that I never experienced, even the fear that I’ll end up in hell fire me read twelve chapters of the Bible everyday, six chapters in the morning and six chapters at night. The only fear that was novel to me was losing my wife and my unborn baby and that fear knocked on my door with a disgusting smile on his face.

I was brushing my teeth while she was in the living room watching her telenovelas. I cannot explain how much stress that I went through during her months of pregnancy and as the days drew near to her time of delivery, a familiar tinge of fear danced in my heart. The toothbrush was still in my mouth when I heard her scream and just as if the devil was listening to my thoughts, I rushed to the living room only to see amniotic fluid spilled all over the ground. I even forgot to remove the toothbrush buried inside my mouth. She was in so much pain that my heart ached, I quickly rushed to clean myself up so that I’ll take her to the hospital.

” Emeka rub my back o!! My waist o!!!”

The walk from the living room to the garage was filled with thunderous slaps of pain on my back from her. I bit my lip in pain when she dug her finger nails into my skin, I wasn’t angry at her for it because I knew that she was going through more pain than I was. I rubbed her back consistently until we got into the car, fear drained every living cell of my body when I saw tears spill from her eyes. I was about to start the car when I remembered that I left my phones on the living room centre table,

” Where are you going!! Let’s go to the hospital, do you want me to die here, eh!!!”

” My phones!! I need them to call the family doctor when we get to the hospital!!”

I’ve never ran as fast as I ran that day in all my life. My brain felt like shattered little pieces of broken glass, my head was completely blank, all that carressed my thoughts was the fear of losing the most important people in my life. I didn’t even know when I picked up my phones, I didn’t know how I drove the car to the hospital. Fear squeezed my nerves, my will, my faith, everything! When we got to the hospital, the nurses took her to the labour room while I reached out for my phones to call my doctor. I brought them from my pockets only to find out that I had carried the remote controls of my television and the air condition.

I slumped into a nearby chair in anger, agitation and confusion. How was I so stupid to mistake remote controls for my cellphones. I contacted the doctor through the receptionist and from there the real fear began. The more I heard her scream the more my heart made four dangerous leaps at the same time. I noticed my hands shaking uncontrollably so much that the remote controls in my hand fell down more than five times. Sometimes her screams would suddenly make me jump up and I’ll end up crashing someone to the ground. Sweat had completely soaked my pajamas, I even pissed in my trousers at some point. While my heart took dangerous leaps I saw another man walk in with a woman in labor.

After the nurses took his wife inside, he sat down beside me, relaxed on the chair and drew long breaths. How can he be so calm? Wasn’t he scared? I heard Amanda scream again and this time I nearly crashed into an old woman,

” Guy, calm down. If you continue like this you would end up with a severe case of high blood pressure before the end of today.”

” My wife’s in there!! Don’t tell me to calm down!!”

” My own wife too is in there, listen, it’s not easy but you have to be calm, for your wife and for your child. What if fate decides to play games on you, would you be able to manage it?”

What did he mean by fate and games? I sat down beside him quietly but the tension in my heart too old to leave my chest. I wrapped my head in both my hands when I heard my wife scream again, this time it felt like a hundred chords of my heart cracked to pieces in one accord. The ache in my heart had become unbearable and my soaked shirt wasn’t making it any better. Suddenly, the ache began to loosen up when a hand rubbed my back in soothing circles,

” Look, several things make a man and letting fear control you like this is certainly not one of them. I’m scared too, believe me, I also do not want to lose my wife and my child. You look more like a man controlled by fear, never have I seen a man sweat like this in all my life! You should control fear and not the other way around–“

” See guy, this is not the time to be dishing out motivational quotes, abeg abeg! I’m in no mood for this!”

Out of anger I left there and went outside the hospital, a place where I wouldn’t hear Amanda’s scary screams. I wondered what gave that man the guts to preach to me, just when I was about to give his speech a thought the doctor walked to where I was and in that split second I felt the hands of the clock come to definite halt,

” Mr Emeka, your wife just gave birth to bouncing baby boys!”

I jumped in excitement as overwhelming peace and joy greased my cold bones. Amanda gave birth to twin boys and immediately I got the permission of the doctor, I ran to see them. When I got there I saw the man who preached to me with a smile plastered on his face, with one hand he held his wife and with the other he held the little hand of his new born child. It was then I understood what he meant, we were both scared of losing our loved ones but he wasn’t soaked in sweat like I was, he had his cellphone will him and not a remote control of some other machine. He looked fresh while I looked as exhausted as fermented palm wine. Even my shoes had started tearing by the side, there and then I promised myself never to allow the bitter pangs of fear tear me to shreds, Never Again!!!

The Nostalgic Pen ❄️❄️

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