PUTTING THE TERROR TO SLEEP

1.
I don’t want to talk about that night because the terror that came with the night was friendly, and it isn’t good, in my culture, to expose friends even if they do bad. On the contrary, when the terror ended, the eyes shored tears, and the body felt detachment from the soul. It was a feeling of decimation, like an emptiness was present, or more like a void filling a vacuum. But also in my culture, a friend isn’t meant to bring pain, and if a friend does, you don’t expose him, but you can tell of his act to your inner self, and that’s what I am doing, because you are my inner self.

2.
How do we begin to describe a pain that is not there? How do we tell of a night that’s gory despite the moon’s luminescence pave bright light through the window panes? Or rather how does a story teller tell of a pain that’s embedded in the lines of his words? How? Any answer? This muteness is sickening, it is terrifying, it is bringing the memories of the night afresh. Will someone drop the mirror to disrupt this silence? I hear the echoes already, they are frightening, like that night when he echoed, “come home son, there is now peace at home.”

3.
Well, Perhaps there are several way he defines peace. He can say peace is the marks of paradise etched on mother’s body with the blades of hell. No, I don’t think he defines peace as such, perhaps peace is the smile he gives whenever Sade leaves his room, struggling with her wrapper as tears confluence at her chins. Perhaps that’s his peace, or when I return home from school to silence, sobs and sighs taking up the conversation between mum and I. I don’t know what his peace is, but I know his peace can’t be far from a trouble.

4.
Many a time, mum reproaches me when I call his husband a beast. But then I think, does this woman still love him? Despite the hell she goes through in this haven? And then she would say, how do you want the society to see me as a divorcee? Where do you want me to hide my shame? In you? Or Sade, your sister? Then I become mute, and silence pervades, and sobs disrupt the silence, and a brittle smile escapes her mouth after she wipes the running water with her brown wrapper. But then, does stomaching this not make her as good as dead?

5.
But then on one night when I woke up the terror, he had just wobbled to the cushion to find a resting place. His potbelly belied his drinking state. The time was 11:00 pm, and the house was already a grave yard, what time is best to wake a terror if not at the wee hour? I fixed a noose around his neck, sealed his mouth, and watch him as he dangled from the ceiling fan.

6.
Mum came out of her room, Sade also, staring into my terrifying eyes and the terror dangling above. They didn’t move an inch from their doors, stark cowards. Take him down, he is dead already. Carry him to his room, and let him sleep in peace.

7.
The next morning, our doorstep ushered people inside, bouts of wailing followed. How? was the question leaving everyone’s lip. “He slept and never woke up” was mum’s response.

8.

Epilogue:
He always said during sermon on Sundays, devils are going to hell, but is he going to hell? I can’t tell because he is a man of God. But either way, I’ll leave the dead to finish this dark fantasy.

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