1 Week After the fire,
Saturday, 2:30 p.m.; 3 years ago
I did not attend my funeral. None of us did. That’s because:- (a). There were no bodies to bury. We were burned beyond recognition and the government decided to bury us in a mass grave, (b) we were getting infected with the HIV/Aids virus, all of us and, (c) we were not allowed to be seen in public.
I was the first to be wheeled out of the OR. I was in time to catch the live broadcast of the funeral. I struggled to see through the haze of delirium that had besieged me immediately I got out of anaesthesia.
It was a very emotional funeral. All the twenty-two victims of the Kenyatta National Hospital fire tragedy drew politicians from every corner of the country, even the retired, including the president. Such a tragedy had never being witnessed, not since the Sachangwan tanker tragedy in 2009.
We were being buried in a mass grave on the scene of the tragedy. I couldn’t stand the sight of our partially interred remains being paraded.
Mourners and grieving relatives collapsed during the sombre ceremony. Well, those who even cared to know that their ostracized drug addict was a victim.
The president cried during his speech. It really was a tragedy.
Cabinet Secretary for health services said that stringent measures were to be taken to ensure nothing like that ever happened again. He even talked of sensitizing the public about disaster response in case they were caught in such a situation in the hospital.
All those who stood to comfort and encourage the bereaved families told them that the country was sharing their pain. They wouldn’t have been further from the truth.
“It is very sad,” the president said. “These young men and women had just completed their treatment and ready to go back to the society as good citizens. Since the government started the fight against drugs many of our children have been saved from this menace. It was so unfortunate…”
I tried to lift my hand to pull the endotracheal tube to scream that I was alive. I never made it. It was like I was frozen in time and space, like an embalmed cadaver. My hands were fastened to the bed with straps I realized I couldn’t break, not even in a thousand years.
I watched helplessly as the ceremony went on religiously, lies about our death being peddled by the government.
“You can’t do this, Angel. You’re killing yourself,” the infirmary nurse told me. “You are dying.”
“What does it matter? I’m already dead anyway,” I said.
“You can stop it,” the nurse said. “Just do what you are supposed to.”
“I won’t. For how long am I going to kill people for this government?”
“As long as we want you to,” the nurse replied. “You want to see your next birthday, just go to Moscow.” His eyes went to the ceiling. “Our father who art in the fifth floor says so…”
“I am not a killer…”
“You CD4 count is deteriorating; you need to kill for you to live…”
“No, you mean I need to kill so that you may increase my immunity. I think I’m going to pass this time round.”
“You very well know that you are not sick, you want to die of HIV/Aids?”
“Yes, God…” I said.