by Nnorom Azuonye
That snowy morning I was on a high. I knew I was going to be a part of something that could make a difference to so many lives. Important actions are never without their risks. I understood this very well and I was prepared for whatever might happen. I picked up the placard I spent half the night writing, tucked it under my arm and walked boldly out of my room. The nearly sub-zero winds slapped me around, but I didn’t mind. Every step I took brought back to mind the question my girlfriend, Cynthia, asked me a million times the night before, ‘Ajoanu, do you have to march?’ and each time I had replied, ‘Yes. Somebody’s got to tell them where to stick the cuts, and fee hikes’.
I went. I protested. I chanted. I waved placards at red-eyed policemen barricading us into a small square. They were constricting us like huge snakes. “Pythons. Bloody pythons” I shouted at them and they turned on me. Three policemen versus little me. One hit me repeatedly on the head with a baton and broke my skull. Two hit me between my legs with batons and smashed my balls. One testicle per policeman.
Now I am laid out like a roughed-up duvet, supine upon a hospital bed and the jury is out on the state of my brain. I will know in a day or two if my brain is screwed. With what is left of it though, I understood from Dr Patel that my chances of becoming a father someday are truly gone with the march. I now have the rest of my life to analyse my actions and determine for myself - in due time - whether the price I have paid is worth cause, or the cause worth the price.
©2010 Nnorom Azuonye