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Sleeping With Yesterday (Episode 25)

Posted by on September 19, 2016.

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Malik places a hand on the doorknob, ready to turn it and push the door open.

Dayo looks at him one more time, watches as his hand turns and as the door swings open, creaking like something without a voice suffering so much pain. And they see.

The two men see Nnafuka on the wall. She has her head on it as if she is listening to something in there. In her hand is a metal plate that Dayo remembers to have seen almost everywhere he has been in this hospital. It is the same metal plate that nurses carry syringes and injections in. Nnafuka constantly strikes the wall with this metal plate, screaming above a voice that is normal, “Hard. You don’t know how hard it is. How hard it is. Yes. How harder it has become for me to remain on this earth without a child of my own. No, you don’t.”

Harrison is behind her, his hands held up level against his hips, guarding against any sudden move that Nnafuka might make anytime.

“Ma, I think you should calm down. You can try with me. Believe me it will work.”

“You are a pig!” Nnafuka turns suddenly swinging the metal plate against the opposite wall, narrowly missing Malik’s face. When she sees her husband, Dayo, and Malik standing there, she quits sobbing out of surprise. Instead she puts her hands together and begins to rub them against each other.

Dayo asks Harrison, “What do you mean she can try with you?”

It was then that Harrison turned around and saw them. Sensing what is in the air he smiles, shrugs and says, “There is power in the Word, sir. Only if she believes.”

“Young man, she does not seem interested in your Word. For Allah’s sake would you excuse us?” Malik walks close to Harrison, a way of prompting him to leave the room. Closer to Harrison his nose catches a scent that is feminine, a scent that he remembers so well but, for one reason, finds hard to recall its source. Harrison remains standing there, quite frozen out of fear and surprise.

“Um… Ok-k-kay,” he stutters. He brings his hands to move up and down, a pleading sign for Malik to calm down. Malik follows the movement of his hands up and, down, he discovers that the zipper on Harrison’s jeans is open. But before he can say anything Harrison storms out of the room.
Dayo looks at Nnafuka.

“I’m so sorry, honey,” she moves towards Dayo. “So sorry about all of this. This young man, he came in here talking about the word of God…”

Someone moves outside, stirring the hair on Dayo’s back. Dayo quickly covers Nnafuka’s mouth with his hand. In her inability to say more Nnafuka’s eyeballs roll in their sockets. When they are sure that it is nothing, Dayo says to her, “Nnafuka, this is not time for this. I need you to pack your things, anything you have in here, and let us get out.”
It is either the taste of Dayo’s hand on her lips or her own confusion at Dayo’s words that makes her mouth taste like salt to her.

“What do you mean?” Nnafuka asks. “You said you were going to get me some food and a change of clothes.” She is about to take a few steps back to ascertain what is going on when Dayo’s hands grab her by the waist.

“You need to trust me on this, Nnafuka.” He looks deeply into her eyes. Nnafuka’s eyes lock with his, but the fear in hers distracts her. She suddenly feels hot inside. She suddenly feels that guilt weighing so heavily within her. She suddenly thinks that Dayo, her own husband, has been briefed on the death of Doctor Abiola’s son and on the circumstances surrounding Helen’s death. She convinces herself that she stands at the center of her judgment. Then she calms down – a way of deceiving Dayo into believing that she is now calm – before suddenly, from the depth of her being where extra energy lays in wait for use, she hits Dayo’s face with a fist. She hits him again – loosening his grip on her waist – and breaks out of his hold.

Dayo’s back is on the wall as he tries to recollect himself. In the haze that the blows have brought to his eyes he hears Malik’s voice scream, “Nnafuka, Nnafuka.” He sees a shadow throw the door open and he tries to stagger up but falls back on his buttocks.

To Be Continue

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