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So finally I get an article from a guest writer. Kovie (kovieparker.wordpress.com) is here to bring some female spice to 19th Street and I do hope she can keep visiting her room here more often. Enjoy!!

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They said “You’ll only feel a prick, just one prick and it’ll all be over”. After the pain will come the feeling of satisfaction, the deed is done! Just one prick; like the nurses would say before they gave that injection. It never felt like just a prick. After days and sometimes weeks of suppressing the symptoms just so mama wouldn’t find out, the malaria finally wins and you have to make that inevitable trip to the hospital. First they tease you with the cool feel of the stethoscope as the man in glasses looks over you from what seems like under his nose, a little poke here and there as mama watches keenly, concern in her eyes. Then this man in white overalls, looking like an angel but actually sent from the world beyond to inflict pain on defenseless victims, sits down to write down his verdict and your sentence. As he passes the white slip to mama, you know your fate is sealed. “Just a little prick and it’ll all be over”, the nurse says as she prepares her instrument of pain. As the needle pierces your skin, the scream forms somewhere in the back of your head and somehow forces its way through your mouth as the pain shoots all over your body. You have no control over it. There’s no feeling of satisfaction after, the effect leaves your legs paralyzed, except that by some miracle, you can still walk.

 

“Don’t be a chicken, after the first shot of pain the feeling is priceless”, the other children at the stream say to you as you stand on the bank of the stream on that cold harmattan morning. “Jump in”, they say. Finally, you give in and dive into the icy cold water. Ten thousand swords pierce through your entire body in a second. As you make your way out of the water, you’re shaking and shivering, your teeth clicking to the rhythm as your entire body sings from the pain. Guess who’s still a chicken.

 

Oh and don’t forget what they say about childbirth, “Just a little pain and when the baby comes it’ll all be worth it”… Well, let’s just say it doesn’t look like a little pain to me. As she lies in bed screaming her head off, her legs spread from here to Timbuktu, more screaming, and then a head the size of “felele football” forces its way out of a hole the size of a peephole… Definitely not a little pain!

 

All these images flash through my mind’s eye as I lay very still, expecting the worst. Then their words taunt me: “It’ll only be a little prick” they say. “Be a big girl, you’ve come of age”. “All the girls have done it”. “One prick and it’ll all be over”. “Just one prick”! “There may be very little blood or none at all”. “Come on don’t be a chicken”. I make up my mind to block the pain, to go numb, I close my eyes, force my mind to shut down. Then I feel it, from somewhere far away I feel the prick. I wait for it, for the pain. I want to scream, but nothing comes. Just a prick and it is over. As she passes the mirror to me, a smile finds its way to my lips, then a big grin as I look at the second piercing on my ear lobe.

For the first time, they were right. It was indeed just a prick. The feeling after, priceless!

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