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Sleeping With Yesterday (Episode 33)

Posted by on September 23, 2016.

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With one leg out of the window, Dayo attempts to lift Nnafuka up so that she can cross her legs over the window. His effort does not pay off. Nnafuka is heavy in spite of her lean figure. The only way that the effort gets Nnafuka is that her legs lift from the ground for some seconds. Then they return.
In the firm grip of Dayo’s arms Nnafuka feels her face pressing against his shoulder. Her nose scoops up the smell of blood on his dirtied shirt. It is both Dayo’s blood and that of Malik. It is the same blood that he and Malik had drawn as they were in the fight. The smell of blood on Dayo subsides occasionally and Nnafuka identifies the smell of sweat. She tells herself that Dayo has sweated and shed blood for her; and these things are enough.

In trying that first time to lift Nnafuka over the window, Dayo’s mind reels back to the words of the horoscope book which he had seen in Nnafuka’s wardrobe. The book had said, albeit not in clear words, that he would be in a difficult position where the only choices left for him would be to either absent himself and keep clean hands or the go in and soil his hands out of what he feels inside. Inside him something plays like a radio, and that is one consciousness – the consciousness that Nnafuka had done the things she did because she was after his happiness, the happiness of this family; and there is no way that he can abandon his wife to go through hell alone, even if it means ending up in prison with her. It is this radio-like broadcast within him that keeps hitting the roof of his heart, drowning the sounds of his conscience.
He tries again. This time Nnafuka puts her own efforts. It is her buttocks that touch the window first. Dayo holds her for support. With much effort she lifts her left leg over the window, throwing it out to be where Dayo’s right leg is. She can feel the ledge under her foot outside, but she does not trust how strong it is.
“I’m scared. I’m scared, Dayo.” She panics and attempts to bring that leg back into the room. Dayo gathers her shaking head unto his chest. He keeps saying, “Honey, honey, honey. Listen to me. We can do this. You can do this,” – his way of trying to get her to overcome her fear. Nnafuka will have none of it. She furiously throws her head from left to right, tearing out two buttons on Dayo’s shirt.
“I cannot do this, let us go through the staircase, the staircase…”
Dayo barks her name, “Nnafuka!” She is frightened by the voice. Dayo notices the fright in her eyes and adds, “Don’t you want us to have a child? Don’t you want another Seun?”
Fresh tears gather in Nnafuka’s eyes. “Seun?” she says. “Yes, I want. I want another baby.”
Then we are going to make this jump before the police come here.
“Okay.” Nnafuka swallows the thick salty saliva in her mouth.

At that moment, in the hospital compound, nobody dares look up. The sun is at its peak, pouring heat down. People are walking from one end to the other. Some of them stop each other on the way and trade greetings – bending on their knees and staying squatted in the Nupe tradition. Nobody looks past the gigantic mango tree at the two figures – Dayo and Nnafuka – straddled on the window like children bent on a rough play. If anyone would have seen them it is the security man at the gate who, with a chewing stick in his mouth and a rubber kettle by his side, keeps casting a glance at the sun, watching its movement to know when he will run off for his prayer. But he is distracted by the way people start looking towards the gate in reaction to a siren sound coming towards the hospital.
He stands and looks, taking in the sight of a Peugeot pickup truck with its headlight angrily on. He winces at the way some men are perched on it like birds. Soon he realizes that the men are in uniform. With their caps and their guns he is convinced that they are policemen. He does not care about asking them questions. He rushes to the gate and tears it open. The pickup truck zooms in, spraying black smoke on the security man. The man coughs and forces his vision through the smoke to see that in the open body of the pickup truck is a shirtless man whose hands are cuffed. The truck parks with a screech and the officer-in-charge steps out from the front seat. He whistles to the security man who runs to him.
From up there Dayo casts his eyes down, staring at the handcuffed figure that is Abdul, his gateman. Nnafuka follows his gaze, looking at the policemen surrounding the pickup truck, their guns at the ready.

To Be Continue

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One Response

  1. good

    by Anonymous on Sep 24, 2016 at 6:44 am

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