Steven Eight years ago “mom, wake up” I shake my mother but she doesn’t move. I look to her bedside table and see the glass of wine and her pill bottle. My mother is schizophrenic. It’s a mental illness and sometimes she doesn’t know what she’s doing. I am just nineteen years old but I have been taking care of her for as long as I can remember. I even opted to study in a polytechnic close to our house in PTI just so I could watch her.

You are probably asking where my father is, but like you, I don’t know. He has never been in the picture and anytime i asked my mother she goes emotional on me so I stopped asking a long time ago. My mom has been living on pills for years now to suppress her imaginations and hallucinations which are caused by her illness. Last night, I got stalled because of a tutorial class and by the time I finished, it was already 9:28pm. There was a government imposed curfew and I wasn’t able to go home. I slept at a friend’s in school. As soon as it was safe enough to leave, I came home. I knocked the door and when there was no reply, I knew something was wrong.

I used my keys to open the door and immediately went to her room. I called an ambulance and they are probably on their way here by now. I try to wake her up but she doesn’t open her eyes. I place my fingers under her nose and feel faint breathes on my hand. I sag in relief. The ambulance comes and my mother is taken to the hospital. After checking her, the doctor assures me that she is fine, she is just very drunk. I thank the doctor then walk out of her room for some fresh air. Her room smells of antiseptic and everything else that permeates a hospital air. Outside her room isn’t any better but at least it isn’t suffocating. Being in there, seeing her like that, almost brings me to my knees in misery

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