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An Almost-Love Story

I left after three hours, but after that I found myself checking on him constantly, every 30 minutes or so. He kept saying he was fine. But a few days later, he ended up in the hospital. When I went to visit him, it was a shock — I had never seen a “sickler” before. I saw the yellow eyes. I saw how skinny he was.

He kept wincing from the pain, but putting up a brave act. “They’re saying my kidneys are failing and stuff,” he finally said. I was so freaked out.

A few mornings later, I planned to go back and bring him some Ogbono soup, his favorite. It’s a concoction of ground African bush mango seeds, cooked onions and crayfish with dark, leafy vegetables swimming in bright red palm oil. The plan was for my mom to make it but to say that I made it. So we began cooking the soup. Then we boiled water to cook semolina flour for fufu to go with it.