Your Brief Bio:
i was born on 14th January, 1987 in Anambra state, Nigeria. I have a degree in Biochemistry (Bsc, Msc) and in Publich health (Msc) from Madonna university and University of Lagos respectively. However, literature gives me an indescribable joy. Reading and writing gladdens my heart.
Tweet-Style Story Summary:
WET is a story of a young boy, Ekene. Ekene was left exposed by the very first person that should have protected him, his mother. Rather than being encouraged, the mother cursed and insulted him for his bed-wetting behavior(enuresis). That led him into emotional recluse and subsequently burdened him with low self-esteem. His younger sibling scoffed him, and his schoolmates did the rest of the damage. Thanks to one of his classmates, H2O, who though infamous for same crime but rather had a proactive approach towards it. He encouraged Ekene and eventually helped him to put an end to his would-have-been notorious abuser, Anthony
The night was his nightmare; scary and depressing. It wasn’t about the imaginative ghosts that existed in every corners of a child's world at night. Of course, like every other child he had the impulse to shake, flee or run for cover when power ceased at night, when heavy wind activated a tree into 'spirit' dancing, when a naughty ruminant decided to make nuisance of itself in the dark. But he was left more devastated, scared, forlorn and weak with what came from within.
Like every other of his peers, he was normal until he began to feel abnormal. He was normal and felt normal till the air around him became polluted with scolds, judgement and unhealthy comparison. His feeling of abnormality degenerated into a disease condition the day his mother irretrievably released the virulent pathogens encapsulated in her words:"you think you are still a child? Borrow a leaf from your younger sister". Adaku giggled before she pinched her nose tightly, as if she was protecting her nostrils from a visibly air-borne carrier hovering aboard. He lowered his head and in an instant, tears and rejection took possession of his countenance, fear took over his mind and gloom became his bedtime friend. He was left in a lurch. "Take that mattress outside and come back and soak the bed sheets", his mum slurred as she stormed out of the room. She had never said such words to him before. She had always laughed it off and dried the mattress later in the day. But that day, she felt different. And from that day, she never felt otherwise about his uncontrollable bladder movement while asleep. From that day, he began to make conscious efforts to stop but he couldn’t have as much control in the subconscious. Night time became scare time.
He began to dread the night. His daily activities became blighted by the memories of a mattress drenched in his urine. He would remember the soul-depressing anxiety with which he stood up in the dead of the night confronted by his mess. It usually started like a dream. In such dreams, the desire to pee always seemed unquenchable. His dreams were usually unreal but the peeing dreams defied the odds. So real they were that they even left stinking evidence at his crime scenes
He slept on the same mattress with Adaku and Obidi, so he would carefully tiptoe out of the bed and noiselessly removed his wet shorts and put on a new pair. But the change was never enough to offer him the cover up he desperately craved for. The stench and the visibly wet floor always gave him away. The more he tried, the more he dreamed and the more his dream reared its ugly head into his 'miserable' world. Reprimand confronted him every morning and depression gained an opportunity.
He began to believe that he was abnormal. His incontinence was frequently described by his mother to be a consequence of laziness, stupidity, idiocy, hopelessness and devilish. His self-esteem began to wane and his mental wellbeing suffered untold abuse. The rainy days always took his now humiliating statistics to a shameful high. The cold and lullabic weather easily lured him to sleep and with the same ease woke him up midway to behold his incontinence.
It was Friday and school closed early as lessons were not held on such days. They were already playing soccer when the cloud darkened and they knew their game was about to become a lot more entertaining. The downpour as expected was heavy and they had great fun. When he went up to change his shorts, he was met at the door by his younger sister, Adaku who sarcastically asked him why his shorts are dripping with urine. In a fit of rage he shoved her and she fell onto a stack of stainless dinning plates etching some minor cuts on her juvenile skin. Her cry was excessive and tears flowed as if the eyes were the most affected from the fall. He quickly gathered his acts and became that lovely brother he had ever been. He drew her closer and caressed her injuries and assured her it was nothing. Of course, mother heard about the push and saw the minor cuts. She dressed the wounds with iodine and said nothing to him. That same night, it happened again and the next morning, his mum said everything that kept bottled up in an unpleasant burst. When the words dried up, she began to imprint loud-sounding slaps on his hunched back while he took the mattress out to sun dry. It was rainy season and the mattress never really dried up. So for about three days, he slept on bare floor while Adaku and Obidi slept alongside mum and dad
His admission into St. Stephen's Grammar school brought a feeling of relief to him. He was finally set to leave home. Away from the early morning denigrating comparisons with his younger ones. Far away from those harsh and soul-depressing words that emptied him of himself and left only a sack of flesh with locomotive tendencies behind. He loved his family and they loved him too. But his mum had let his incontinence, an involuntary exercise to build a wall between them. A wall so high and so thickened it effectively blocked off and bounced any incident rays of love. His father never uttered any word in anger but neither did he offer any words in defence of the growing abuse.
The boarding school would provide a shield and a shelter from the daily venoms his mum spat every morning he wetted the mattress. It would also provide a solace from the sarcasm that followed any night of 'holy ghost dryness' as his mum usually described it. He was so optimistic about finally leaving home. And maybe the incontinence was a household demon that chose to torment him. It would be no more once he left home.
He woke up with palpitation in his heart that morning. For over a week now since he left home for boarding school, the incontinence seemed to have varnished like he previously predicted. Within those early days as a boarder, he had seen some of his classmates bedwet and the shame that accompanied the act. He lived up bunk so he dared not let this thing happen. Just a night before, one of his classmates that stayed up bunk wetted his mattress and the ammonia-stained liquid trickled down and drenched the 'senior' directly under. The 'senior' jumped out of the bunk with an intimidating rage and the rest that happened that night was history. So when he woke up that night in the middle of a dream, his heart pumped faster as he discovered the reality of yet another dream. He looked at his alarm clock which was set to wake him by one o'clock in the early morning and the time was 3:2am. He overslept. The night was cold and he slept like he never did since he became a boarder. The dormitory was still pitch dark and the grandiose silence was complementary for a clandestine cover-up to be executed. Gently he lifted himself from his mattress. He checked the extent of the incontinence and it was total but somehow hasn't permeated all through. He meticulously climbed down from the bunk and began to quick-fix his mess.
First, he removed of his wet knickers and dropped it alongside the soiled bed sheet into his iron bucket. Then he wore another pair of knickers and sneaked out of the hostel to wash them. Just a few rub of the wet fabrics against itself and he rinsed and spread them at the spreading zone. Cautiously he tiptoed back to his dormitory to complete the cover-up. He pulled out another bed sheet from his box and spread over his wet mattress. Then he found a dry spot on his mattress and curled himself up. Sleep has departed him and he silently prayed for the time to drag and his wet mattress made dry. He thought he couldn’t stand the insults and humiliations for bedwetting. His very own nuclear family made him feel less human and forlorn and so the entire world would surely crucify him. His eyes were fixed and his thoughts were dotted randomly on his graphic crime scene and no line of thought appeared to best fit. He wanted to surreptitiously slip out his bed from the dormitory and allow it to air dry a little and then possibly sneak it in before the thickness of the dark is lightened. But he instantly recalled how one JS 2 student was caught in the same act some days back. The JS 2 student was already sneaking his damp mattress into the hostel when luck ran out on him and he was met at the dormitory door by the house captain. The slap for loitering around in the dark, the scold for bedwetting on his mattress at such an age, and the punishment that followed the next day made him quickly jettison the idea.
One of his classmates was notorious for his bedwetting habits but he never cared. H2O as he was fondly called never hid his penchant to wee on his mattress during sleep. He slept soundly and proudly woke up to whatever the night hatched and the morning revealed. Then while the others are running off to have their early morning bath, he would bravely take out his mattress outside to sun-dry and he would only bring it in when it is completely dried. H2O and his incontinence was almost as certain as sun rise in the morning. To the extent that his 'senior' bunkmate had to sacrifice his privilege of sleeping down bunk just to avoid the consistent nocturnal baptism and re-baptism as if his own original sin was not properly washed off by the ecclesiastical waters of baptism. Because of this confidence, H2O was never a subject to the abuse like his peers, who innocently tried to cover up their acts in every possible means. Failing anyway on many occasions.
In the darkness of his night and shame, he wondered how H2O could exude such boldness on the same act he was tongue-lashed by his own mother, cajoled by his own sister and inevitably bullied by his own self. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he wished his bedwetting habit should disappear or at least, to have the pride of H2O. He would become amazed when H2O told him later in life how his parents never scolded him for bedwetting. How his mum always told him to be proud of himself and that one day, his bedwetting will stop even without any conscious effort to stop. He would later learn that H2O as he was sarcastically called then now owned a famous bottle water company inspired by the otherwise-infamous sobriquet.
Around 5:00am in the morning, alarm clocks began to sound from different corners of the dormitory. Many students set their alarm clocks to ring at least thirty minutes before the rising bell for ease of preparation for the early morning devotion. The first sound of the alarm brought his wandering mind back his present precarious condition. Bodies began to stretch, hands wiped off drools instinctively and eyes began to open. In few minutes, legs began to shuffle, noses began to perceive and mouths opened and insults, taunts and rants began to escape, landing unfairly on those new junior students who were still not masters of their own biological system. When one of his corner mates rhetorically asked what smelt, he knew his game was up and he almost raised a hand to accept the responsibility but the blame was instantly heaped upon Okoye another serial offender who coincidentally was guilty as charged. Okoye as usual was cajoled and he tearfully took out his mattress to dry although they wondered why the smell persisted even after that. But no one suspected anything. He felt pity for Okoye and his own guilt haunted him the more.
He on many instances that morning wanted to report his crimes to his bunk mate but he resisted the urge for several reasons. Anthony his bunkmate had boasted some days that back that it would take him a nanosecond to castrate any junior student who tried to bathe him with his urine while asleep. Anthony was too muscular and so his threats looked more like a completed task. He would later become privy to the widely known but never publicly told tale about Anthony's academic woes. Anthony had repeated all his classes, some even thrice. The school authorities had managed to grant him weak passes up till his SS2 class. Had Anthony not been expelled after a fight with the geography teacher later, he knew probably that they would have become classmates
.When Ekene told Okoye in confidence some days after the incidence of that night united them, that he had been covering up his mess, Okoye was rather impressed. They became partners and swore to help each other. They shared ideas ranging from how to stop or at least minimize their wet nights, how to wake each other at nights and how to cover up when the uncontrollable happened.
Anthony was still fuming with rage when H2O came back from the bathroom after having to wash his wet clothes and spread his mattress to sun dry. In his jovial and carefree manner, he asked if a war was about to start between the students and the villagers as had it been rumoured in the past. But when he saw Ekene's teary eyes and moving mattresses, he unmistakably got the message. Unlike his peers, H2O was excessively confident and quick. He passed without saying another word until he got to a safer distance and then he started his mischief: "Ekene, don’t worry jare. Person wey dey beat you, him think say we no know him story too". Ekene and of course most of the junior students had learned about Anthony's academic woes, and so there was nothing new except for the bravery to say it in his face. The bravery was daunting enough however, H2O had more humiliating information to disclose. Before Anthony could utter some threatening words, H2O had already done the damage:"abi you think we no know the stories of how you often slept and urinated on your school uniforms during class?"
The outburst of laughter was spontaneous. Just as spontaneous as H2O's quick feet that took him beyond the devouring grip of Anthony whom he left fuming in his wake. Ekene couldn't believe that his face could smile. He couldn't believe his shame would leave almost instantly. He couldn't believe the other students giving him thumbs up for start the fire that consumed the 'almighty' Anthony. As if that wasn't enough blow on Anthony, another unidentifiable (at least to Anthony) junior showed from another corner of the dormitory ; "ANTHO!!!!!!!!! and the chorus was unmistaken and all-inclusive: "BAPTIZER".
Anthony became the grandfather of junior 'baptizers'. Ekene became more confident and through the years, his incontinence became less frequent until they eventually faded away. But what really didn't go away was his low self esteem. His inclination to subjugation