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Sleeping With Yesterday (Episode 28)

Posted by on September 21, 2016.

Sleeping With Yesterday

Dayo lifts himself and looks to his left hand side. There is Malik, eyes open, staring determinedly into his own eyes; head open, allowing the free flow of blood that continues to gather around.

Dayo stares at Nnafuka as she asks, “Is he dead?”

Nnafuka’s hand is trembling. Her hands still hold the chair as if it is the sole pillar she has at the moment. Dayo struggles up as though he has just realized himself. He does not know when he beats his hands together in the fashion of one whose hands are sandy. He bends over Malik and touches his neck, feeling for a pulse. There is nothing. He shoots his eyes to Nnafuka, the two balls big from fright, bare as flesh.

He lifts Malik’s head and, somehow in the subsided bleeding, he sees himself staring at Malik’s skull. It is now that he says, without looking at Nnafuka, “He is dead.” And he stands.

“Oh my God!” Nnafuka gasps, dropping the chair, closing her mouth with both hands which are quivering like strings.

Dayo looks round the room now as if he just came into it. In every corner of the room is something that either belongs to him or Nnafuka or Malik. There is one pair of shoe. There is a bed sheet, the same that was used to cover the bed where Nnafuka lay. On the bed there is blood too.

The sight of blood on the bed reminds him of Oshogbo, his village. The same place where he grew up to learn slaughtering fowls and goats and sheep for deities such as the one which his mother and father believed served as their custodian.

At first, as a growing child, he had allowed this fear within him, this fear of blood, to be the leading factor in all he did. In the farm he took great care not to cut the earthworms with his hoe. In the house he could not get himself to hunt for the rats that abided in secret holes there. One day, in his father’s laundry shop, Iya had come in and had sighted a wall gecko at once. She commanded Dayo to bring the broom. When he brought it, “Kill that thing” was what Iya had said to him, pointing at the carefree lizard on the wall. Then she sat down, wrapped her hands in her laps and waited. Little Dayo stood there for eternity, his hands shaking, his eyes on the wall gecko until the lizard crawled back into the ceiling. Iya’s fear was confirmed that day that her son, her only child was slowly turning into a female. Then she decided within her to make him tough.

That was where Dayo’s familiarization with blood started. The first animal he had killed was a cock. It was Iya’s intention to have him kill that cock, not that there was any need for it, because when Little Dayo had began to shake – the knife in his hand, the cock tied up at his feet – his father had come out and told Iya to let his son be, that he would become a man in his time. But Iya had not listened. She coerced and beat Dayo until he bent down, held the cock’s neck and sliced its throat. Then he left the thing and ran away, calling his father – the half-dead cock flapping its wing around the house.

He came to bring himself to kill more including sheep and goats, but once he left Oshogbo his soft side returned like an old habit.

His soft side had been there until now, now that Malik’s blood stares at him in the face. He grabs Nnafuka’s hand and says to her, “Let us get out of here now.”

Nnafuka nods.

They march towards the door until something halts them. It is a knock on the door. Both of them freeze, facing the door, uncertain of the next line of action, waiting for whoever that is knocking to open the door and face them and to see the corpse in the room.

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One Response

  1. Interesting nxt pls

    by Fabulous on Sep 21, 2016 at 9:45 am

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