Adamu instantly delivered a hot slap upon his own face. He woke up with a terrible start and looked around, like he didn’t know where he was or who had just slapped him. He had been sleeping and a fly had flown into his ear. After a few minutes, he slept off again.
He slapped his throat and almost toppled off his chair. He was awake again but he hadn’t fallen too deep in sleep this time to be so disoriented. He swore in his mother tongue and adjusted his position on his swivel chair, which had a missing wheel. It seemed the flies took the hint and let him sleep for fifteen straight minutes.
After fifteen minutes, one of them decided to have no more of that and….
This time, Adamu’s reflexive slap sent him sprawling, clean off his chair and hard onto the cold terrazzo floor. He had hurt his left elbow but he didn’t get up. He didn’t cry out in pain or curse in frustration. He just lay there beside his fallen chair like they were both soldiers of the same war dying together on a battlefield. He remained like this, motionless, for ten minutes with his eyes fixed on the fluorescent lights. Not one single fly flew close to him.
They know perfectly what they’re doing, he thought.
He got up and picked up his chair. He looked around for a moment till he saw a glossy paper envelope. He emptied it, flattened it and made a cone with it. He had made a fly swatter. He then went to lock the door of his office and for the next ten minutes he occupied himself with coldly and methodically murdering all the flies in his office.
There weren’t as many as he thought for he managed to kill only about a four of them. But when he was satisfied that he had killed them all, he went back to his chair, determined to get some repose from his lunch break. With a smug smile on his face, Adamu promptly went to sleep. Twenty blissful minutes of deep sleep passed.
It would take Adamu three months before he found out that there were actually no flies buzzing in his ear and he had a medical condition.