Diana had been ignoring my calls and chats all evening after I saw her on Tiktok in my brand-new crop top and I wanted to squeeze the life out of her. Like any other siblings, we fought over almost everything and then we would laugh about it later. The little fights are what made our sister bond even stronger and now, nothing makes sense without her presence in the house.
As I alighted the noisy matatu and walked home, anger was written all over my face, I had pretty much-rehearsed everything I was going to tell. I had spent the time on my ride home trimming my nails, in case we needed to dig into each other’s skins if things got out of hand. It was an unwritten law; trim your nails before a fight so we don’t leave scars on each other.
Just the previous week, she had recorded another Tiktok with my wig and we hadn’t squashed that beef completely. Weirdly, I had brought her a hotdog because she often craved them while on her period. These hotdogs were my little bribes to her so that she would help me lay my edges and style my knotless braids. I was due for a work event that evening, so the hotdog would come in handy after our fight.
I called Diana again when I got to the gate so she could throw me the keys through the window, but she still won’t pick up. I did a little hiss; it was our code for announcing our arrival, but she didn’t peek through the window. I wondered how long Diana must have been asleep, for her to ignore my calls. Luckily, the caretaker appeared and opened the door for me.
As I approached our house, I noticed the red bathroom lights were on; and I thought to myself that Diana might just have woken up. We always went into the shower with our phones, and we always listened to music while in the shower. An ardent Sautisol fan, she was listening to one of their classics, when my call interrupted the music. The phone rang at the last second and she didn’t pick it up. By this time, I was already running out of patience, so I resorted to knocking on the bathroom window.
“Diana!” I shouted, knocking angrily at the window.
“This is not funny anymore! I have a work event in three hours!” I screamed all over again.
There was no response, and I could smell burning plastic from within the house.
“Diana! Are you okay?” My gut feeling became restless in a split second,
“Diana! Diana! Diana!” Can you hear me?” Still, there was no response.
I ran to the metal door and tried hitting it loudly to get her attention, but there was nothing, except the smell of burning plastic. Her phone kept on ringing when I called and went unanswered every single time.
My noises had already attracted a few neighbours who were trying to open the door that was locked from the inside. After what seemed like ten long minutes of my life, it occurred to me that my little sister could probably be in danger. Everyone in the crowd supported my bid to break down the door, as the smell of plastic was choking me even more as time passed by, The caretaker hesitantly helped break the metal door and my heart sunk to the floor when the door flung open.
Diana was lying on the floor, barely breathing. “Don’t touch her!” She’s been electrocuted. A lady at the back screamed, pointing at the burnt shower head. Luckily, right outside our gate, is a private hospital and they immediately swang into action. It was probably the longest night of my life, as the medics advised me to stay away from my sister whose fate was uncertain.
I whispered silent desperate prayers to God, begging Him to save my sister’s life. Memories came flooding my mind, the fights we shared, the fight I had been preparing for and the horror of living without my sister. Since the passing of our aunt who took us in; we had remained each other’s only family and we had promised to hold onto each other.
Luckily, calls to heaven were being received that evening and contrary to our earlier assumption, Diana had not been electrocuted but hit by a shock. The impact of the shock and knowing how scared she is; she fell and hurt her head, and went unconscious almost immediately. Honestly, it was a miracle that she was alive and she was immediately referred to Kenyatta National Hospital.
Five weeks later, I’m afraid to walk towards my little sister because she was coming back home in a wheelchair. While it’s a relief that I didn’t loos her; I have been awake most nights, trying to figure out how she will make Tiktoks while in her wheelchair. I feel terrible, that I didn’t arrive sooner that evening to save my sister. Her smiles have lessened and she stares into space for far too long. Often, I’m afraid to ask her questions that might trigger emotions from her past.
The first week when we came back home, we held each other as we cried silently and I reassured her o my love and support. Lately, she has been setting up her ring light in different corners of the house, I guess, finding a way back to herself bit by bit. Even though our lives have drastically changed because of her broken legs; we are hopeful that everything will gradually fall back into place. Her dependence on me, as she tries to find herself in her new body, staggers our progress, but I’m glad that she survived
None of us has tried to switch on the instant showerhead. It will probably never happen, but it gives me solace to know that Diana acknowledges my support in this new normal. I hope she can grow back into Tiktok stardom; so she can show the world that her talents aren’t limited.
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