Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Second Chance - Chapter Twenty-Seven

“There are many who don’t wish to sleep for fear of nightmares. Sadly, there are many who dont wish to wake for the same fear.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

          The rain from yesterday still hadn’t stopped pouring. It beat heavily on the roof of her bedroom this morning where she laid awake and sleepless. It was as if the rain was begging her to let it in, almost as if it would tear its way in if she refused it an entry. Bisola laid cold and still, unmoving for the past hour, unable to lift a finger, unable to breathe, unable to think. She was having an internal panic attack which was slowly leaking outside her body, like the small droplets of rain she now heard quietly dripping down from the roof to her bedroom floor. There must be a wound to the roof, she thought­­­­­­­; her first thought for today.

          She got up to get a bowl from the kitchen to place under the leaking roof before her floor carpet becomes soaked with water. It was a struggle to walk as fast as her motor skills allowed her. She held every wall and corners leading to the kitchen, afraid she would fall. Her shoulders held the heaviest of loads; a bag of miserable thoughts that weighed more than her one hundred and forty pounds body. She wobbled down to the kitchen, on her way back, Aisha suddenly made her presence known.

          She was sitting in one of the living room couches when she noticed a shadow walk across to the kitchen. She’d at first not want to make a sound, didn’t want to burden Bisola with the troubles that rendered her restless. She usually could sleep, like a lifeless body but for the past days, she’d been unable to. Where sleep once resided, nightmares took hold now.

          She’d suspected that this was a sign of her days in the land where people sucked in air was coming to a short, empty and unfulfilled end. But she’d never stop thinking about why she’d been given a second chance to be here, in this place for the past weeks. Was it all for a purpose? Did she have one, a purpose? And if so, why did it feel like it was time to say goodbye when she’d in fact not accomplished any of this so called purpose yet? How many more of these chances did she have left?

          “I don’t know why I’m here.” She whispered, but enough for Bisola to make out her words.

          “Jesus Christ! What are you doing in the dark all by yourself?” Bisola dropped the plastic bowl. The last person she’d expected to be crawling about was Aisha. She wanted to switch on the light but was stopped by the tired no that came from Aisha.

          “I don’t know why I’m here anymore.” She repeated. “I could have just gone for good after that night but I didn’t. You found me, and I found you again and I don’t know why I had to find you or why you found me. I can’t sleep, I use to be able to, but now I…I k-keep getting these nightmares.”

          The room was pitch black, Bisola almost fell on her face trying to find where exactly Aisha was in this darkness. When she felt she’d found her, her coldness, she said to the dark space between them, “Tell me about them, these nightmares.”

          “Oh Bisola, they’re all horrible. I think its hell calling. I think I’m going to hell.” She sobbed.

          “Don’t speak like that. If you go to hell where do we expect Tunde to go to? Huh? Heaven? For all what he did to you?”

          “But all sins are equal!” she stressed. “You don’t get it. I gave up on God the minute I felt he gave up on me and Tunde rescued me instead. He doesn’t have a special place for me by his side and I think he’s letting me know now with these nightmares. It always starts like this, three men all dressed in blood surround my bed and begin to fight. Literally fight me to give up. One pulls at my legs the other at my hands while the third one stands by the door waiting. When they succeed in getting me out of bed, they throw me with such force to the man by the door. And then they start to pass me around like some toy…” While she spoke, Bisola wrapped her arms around herself to shield herself from the coldness that had since enveloped the room. It wasn’t the rain, nor the thunder sound outside that rendered her numb, it was Aisha’s recollection of her nightmares. She was terrified to her teeth and bones.

“…One throws me at the other and the other catches me. Usually I know they will catch me so I play along, but tonight when I recognized one of the men’s face in the mist of the bloody drape he wore, I screamed out so loud and he dropped me. I kept falling and falling and falling into this never ending hole until it felt normal to keep falling and that’s when I wake up. I don’t know how to explain it, there’s no proper words to describe what really happens in that room. It’s a terrifying experience. I can no longer stay in that room alone by myself and that’s why I came out here. To just stay in the dark.”

“It’s okay,” Bisola said quietly to the face she still couldn’t make out in the dark. “I can’t say I understand what you’re going through, I really can’t, but…” Bisola swallowed, “you said you remember one of the faces of the men, whose?” 

She felt the cold move a few feet away from her, she knew Aisha had definitely been with her and had moved away now. Aisha couldn’t bring herself to tell Bisola whose face she’d recognized. She didn’t want to be judged by her especially. Not only had she recognized Mr. Adisa’s face, it’d given her a clue of who the other men were.

“Mr. Adisa was my very first… I was inexperienced. Then. He was forcing himself on me and I hit him on the head with the vase on the table and he fell. I’d killed him out of self-defense. That was me defending myself. But the other men in my nightmares,” she paused, remembering the second and the third which was the last time she’d taken a life that wasn’t hers to take.

Bisola waited for her to continue. She knew where all this was heading to and the new revelation petrified her. “My job description with Tunde came with extra tasks,” Aisha said. “It wasn’t only to sleep with men, but also to take lives. I couldn’t say no. You can’t ever get away with saying no. Look where it got me. When you go in, you don’t get out with Tunde. Not alive.”

It was then and there that Bisola asked herself a more critical question. To what extinct did she have to go in order to satisfy her new employee? Murder? 

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