Image from Michael Chiunda
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My Heartbeat

The strong aroma of ground coffee and toasted bread woke me. With my
right eye squinted and the left one completely shut, I reached for the
blinds. The waking light was still too bright and I dragged the blinds
till my upper body wasn’t in direct sunlight. Running my hand across the
bed I pulled back a layer of blanket. It was a beautiful December morning
however, at room temperature the covers were still conveniently warm. I
was in striped ankle socks, a Highlanders’ soccer jersey and black
knickers.

“What’s in your bowl?” I asked in a croaky voice.

“Oatmeal.” Garikayi replied with a shrug. “Apparently you are out of
Cerevita or Cornflakes. Or anything worth having in two minutes in this
apartment. Saka totamba iri kurira. Iyoyo kanjiva.”

“It’s too early to be giving me a migraine babe or a heart attack” I saw
his facial expression change, “So what am I having?” I steered the
conversation away from a train wreck, while I pushed myself from under
me so I sit up straight.

“Coffee and toast. You can have it with the margarine too if you’d like.”
I could see the bread and coffee, napkins, soya milk and some homemade
cookies in a rectangular wooden tray on the dressing table stool.
Garikayi had even placed a plant in a glass vase. For the culture.

“Muku brought some biscuits last night, a gift from the Ms.” he
continued.

“Isn’t she just adorable?” I commented.

“I know right, every boy needs a girl like her” he grunted.

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Very funny. Should I be expecting Madhorofiya Socials? Or
maybe stand-up?” I interrupted his poking, “Funny guy, funny guy” I said
mockingly in a Julius Malema voice.

“Before you have that I strongly suggest…” he stopped mid-sentence, as
he reached for something in the bathroom, “You brush your teeth?”
That was one of my fonder and more recent memories of Garikayi I had.
Now here I was, in the Avenues Clinic, on my way to recovery. They had
called it a miracle and an act of god, but I knew what it was. The love
of my life had given up his heart so I could live. Literally. The only
living thing, the only reminder of him was beating inside of me. As my
mind wandered, drifting between ‘why’ and ‘why not’, the door screeched
swinging wide open.

“Good Morning Luisa” the gentleman spoke in what I would describe as a
water-voice, “I am Doctor Simemeza” the water-voice spoke again. This
time it wasn’t the voice that caught my attention, but his tailor-made
scrubs. Give this guy a baller-cap and a couple chains and naMwari he
would be set for a T.ShoC rap video.

“The nurses tell me you have been recuperating excellently after the
transplant.”

By then my eyes were teary again. I was sure he knew the circumstances
leading up to the operation, the organ donor to be specific. He came
round the hospital bed, handing his notes to the nurse, and
simultaneously taking off his spectacles tucking them in his pocket.

“No need to get all upset” he said in a monotone almost rehearsed
response.

“Bloody hell!” I snapped, “The hell I’m not.”

“You just came out of a great ordeal, one…” he hesitated.

“One?” I broke the prolonged silence, “Is there anything else?”

He looked back at the nurses, who had a grim-like expression. I could
not be sure. He eventually made eye contact with me, with a more relaxed
expression than the nurses. Less worried of them all perhaps.

“Your life isn’t the only one the hospital is nurturing” he finally spoke
pointing to my belly.

Apparently, the love of my life had given up his heart so I could live;
and give life. How about that.

A miracle.

By Michael Chiunda

The article was written by Michael Chiunda. Who was born in Mutare, a small mountainous town in the Manicaland province, Zimbabwe. He graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a degree in Administration. . Click on the icons for more information. Email, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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