The face of The Virus

The moment my brother came tumbling into the house with a sprained limb and a bruised arm at 7:20 pm is the day I realized how serious the government was with the recently enacted Covid-19 movement restrictions. Anne, my twelve year old sister was reading a book in the living room. I was sprawled on the sofa, the only comfortable seat we had in the house, having a little chat over the phone with Christine, my High School sweetheart who had apparently decided that she no longer wanted to be my girlfriend. I could tell from the tone of our conversation that a thick shadow of doom was already looming over our relationship. I was having a hard time trying to convince her that I was still the best guy suited for her in the whole world. She was obviously not getting the concept straight into her head because her replies were already causing some little balls of sweat to form around my nose. It would soon be a heavy perspiration and I knew it. My brother stormed into the house startling everyone. A swirl of cold air followed him as he banged the door behind him. He was from one of his little errands mother had always warned him against. Not that she was against his going out. Anthony is twenty three, freshly graduated from Moi University with a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, still hunting for a job which obviously wasn't coming by any time soon. Mother did not just want him to come into conflict with the law enforcing officers, especially past the 7 pm curfew time. Today, he was meeting a friend whose name he had refused to disclose. It was his business. He limped to the store- room, panic- stricken and in pain. His left arm was bruised and he had a slight bleeding on his forehead. A minute later, we heard the distant wail of the police siren. Anne lifted her eyes from her book and smiled. "I had warned the ever righteous Anthony that he would soon be broken if he kept listening to the theories of that crazy brat he keeps for a friend," she whispered. "At this rate, we may some day pick him from the streets on a stretcher." I didn't say anything because somehow, she was right. Jusper's reasoning was quite absurd. He was our conspiracy theorist. Each time he came around with Anthony, he would keep ranting about how the whole thing about the virus was a hoax. My brother somehow believed him. But two days later, they came for Bobby's father; Big Ted. He was my neighbour, a very fat man who owned the only private school in the region. He was rich, at least according to the standards of the neighbourhood but he was also nice and kind. He had sponsored some few orphans through high school and I had been one of his beneficiaries during my high school days. Three days ago, he had travelled to Migori County, one of the areas which had registered a considerable number of cases in the entire region around Lake Victoria. He came back with a mild flu, but his temperature started soaring. He called the hotline and they came for him. Anne saw them. I saw Bobby in their compound two days later. He was distraught. The entire home was out of bounds. They had been isolated. He needed someone to talk to. Word had spread as it usually does in our village but this one spread faster. Big Ted had tested positive for the virus. The entire village went wild. Through the window, I saw Bobby waving at a few people who happened to pass by on the road. They huffed. Didn't wave back. I saw him return his hand, disappointed. This was Bobby, whose father had been of great help to the people. Who had stood with the people in their greatest hour of need. Selfless and honourable. But this was no regular time. People were afraid. Jusper went quiet. The virus had come and people knew it was death. But Bobby was my friend and I knew there and then that this was the time to stand with him. I called him. I saw him lifting his head with hope, looking at my direction. I waved at him and he waved back, cheerful this time. We just stood there, everyone in his compound, staring at each other, waving. He was crying. He was afraid. "You'll be fine, Bobby," I shouted. I saw a smile between the tears. A glimmer of hope. "Yeah," he said and went back into the house. Five days later, word came as a rumour, then a whisper through everyone's ears, then we heard the wails. Big Ted was no more. Things had changed for everyone. We formed a zoom meeting for the sake of Bobby. All his friends were there in solidarity. We talked to him. Encouraged him. During one of the zoom sessions, I went to the window and saw him looking at the direction of our house. I waved at him again and nodded. He knew we were together and he was happy. After the burial, we never heard the police siren again. They probably realized that they no longer had any job to do in our village. At 6:30 pm, everyone was in their house, including Anthony. Interestingly, Jusper went quiet and started putting on his face mask. He had seen the face of the virus.

comments button 0 report button


Subscribe and stay tuned.

Popular Biopages