I woke up very early this morning with a stomach ache. I sat up for a while and contemplated on what to do about it. I decided to go to the bathroom. Once I got there, I was unsure of whether to sit on the toilet seat or place my head over it.
Suddenly, I began to sweat. Hot beads of sweat started popping out of my forehead and dripping all the way down to my chin. Unable to stand or sit, I sprawled on the floor with my face lying against the cool tiles.
I remained there for a while, rolling my eyes to the back of my head, savouring the coolness of the floor, the subtle smell of disinfectant used by the cleaners.
Silently, I listened to the noises inside my stomach.
I don’t know how long I lay there but nobody came into the bathroom. Gradually, the pain receded and stopped eventually.
I got up as if nothing had happened, stretched and entered the shower. I reached for the hose and switched on the water.
My eyes closed mechanically as I savour the warmth of the water cascading all over my body. Maybe I scrubbed. Maybe I didn’t.
I turned off the shower, stepped out of the bathroom and went straight to my closet. Many thoughts flashed through my mind as I searched through heaps of clothes and bras and panties and ….
A simple gown caught my attention and I pulled it out.
As I was getting dressed, the pain was mildly coming back. I quickly moved to my bed, laid face down, quietly pondering on what could possibly be wrong.
I did a mental checklist and asked myself a few serious questions. “Could something I might have eaten upset my stomach? Did I eat too much? Am I just having an allergic reaction to something?” I heard myself talking to myself.
Deep in thought, sleep caught me off-guard. I can’t say how long I slept before my roommate woke me up with a gentle tap. The pain had returned.
“Aren't you going for your morning class?" she asked.
"Something is wrong my stomach," I replied with a yawn.
I was surprised when she said, "Suck it up Lawee!"
I tried to keep my head up while speaking with her, but I couldn't take the excruciating and gut-wrenching pain any longer.
The pain was so severe my eyes began to water. I struggled to go back to sleep. After what felt like hours, my eyelids began to get heavy and I fell asleep.
I slept for almost an hour and thirty minutes. In my dream, it was hot and humid but raining at the same time. I woke up disoriented and soaked in my own sweat. My bowel exploded in a breakdance marked with awful growling noises… echoes of stomach ache that started at the break of dawn.
By Laweesah Abubakar