Tag Archives: trauma

The Scream – 2

 

“I’m not going to die here,” I said to myself, “not yet, not on the street like a dog. I’ll see my family and say goodbye to them. I’ll find out what happened to me.” I said to the bright sun and the looming night. I have no idea why I had the thought that I was not yet dead, but it gave me hope, enough to have a little strength. A dark shape appeared above and blocked what little light I had left to see, and then it spoke.

“Pele Aunty, sorry, what is your name?”

“Funke” please, help me. I raised my right hand and he touched it.

“Calm down, I’ll help you. Your phone is dead. This is it” I couldn’t see anything. Do you know any number I can contact? I nodded.

“Okay”. I gave him my brother’s number. My dad was my first thought, but I could picture him falling apart. He would first rush to the toilet and back. Then he would go again, maybe three times before making up his mind on what to do.

“The number is not available. I tried it twice. Do you know another one?”

My tongue was getting heavier and getting hard to swallow. My throat was shutting down the passage to my voice box. I recited my dad’s number. “Couldn’t he just get me out of here first before calling a family meeting? His voice broke into my thought. “Hello, omo yin Funke, your daughter had been hit by a vehicle at Ojoo. Can you hear me? Hello, he cut the line. I can’t reconnect with him.”

“I’ll give you another one, my mother’s.” And I did.

 “Hello, your daughter has been hit by a vehicle. Yes, she was in an accident. We are taking her to UCH now, join us there. Hello, hello, she is not responding. The line is on but she is not talking.”

“My sisters, I know my sisters’ lines too.” He called them both but they all disconnected at the mention of UCH.

“Do you know another one? Funke, answer!

“Yes, yes— 0805—5—” it was becoming awfully difficult to speak, to think. I couldn’t remember. The number was in there somewhere, my brother-in-law’s but I couldn’t remember. Everything was dark and hot like my head. It was too dark to see anything. I couldn’t see the rest of the number. My mind was being wrapped in a thick blanket.

“Hello”, his voice hauled me back again, from the deep dark hole. “Somebody has called back, I think it’s your father. “—ehn, meet us at UCH, your daughter had been hit by a vehicle. Yes, we are going there now.”

“I told you to calm down, I have contacted your father, he would join us at the hospital. I’m going to get a taxi now. My own broke down, but my friend is near. I’ll just call him. I’ll be back.”

I wanted to tell him not to leave me but I couldn’t see anything. So, I closed my eyes maybe the dream would fade and when I opened them I’ll be home in my bed.  My waist kept burning, and the warm thing kept trickling.

I remember the man’s voice. Was I hit? But how? Where was I coming from? And where am I? Why can’t I remember? Did he say Ojoo? Okay I was going to school, to UI for a lecture walking with my friends? My friends, where are they? Were they hit too? I have to ask him.

When did I leave home? Home, my head was too cloudy. No feedback was coming from the main database. The warm fluid wouldn’t stop trickling between my legs. My legs! Why can’t I move or feel my left leg? Then another realisation set in, the heat was coming from my leg. It was in my left leg. Now, I wanted the dream to stop. The chill was overpowering me. I was becoming the chill. But I have to be strong, I just knew it. It was all I had to do, all I could do even as the bright light was being swallowed by darkness just like I’m being swallowed by the chill.

The Scream 1 (Excerpt From South West 1)

I am cursed. I am not sure of much for now but of this one fact; I am cursed. And by the time you finished reading my story, you would believe me.

This was my first thought when I came to, I was not sure of that too. All I knew at first was the sun was bright, and fierce, intending to scorch. It was searing, everything was hot my body was ready to combust. However, I was cold too, somewhere within I could feel a weird chill clutching my heart.

The noise was too much, too loud; so many people speaking, screaming in one voice but different tongues. I couldn’t get up, couldn’t move anything, save my right hand. Some parts of me were missing, numb or malfunctioned. The first on my list was my waist downward. I couldn’t feel it.

Later, I was with my sisters; we were sitting outside, chatting and laughing. I do not understand what we were laughing about. Then I was in our backyard arguing with my brother. He became upset walked in and banged the door after him. I hissed and stormed into the kitchen.

The kitchen transported me back to the street, I looked up and saw Taiwo. He was my childhood friend, I hadn’t seen him in six years. The last time I saw him I hadn’t seen him in ten years. The Six years ago was in Ife at Adventist School of Nursing. I was standing at the gate and then I saw him, but I only waved at him because I couldn’t stop to talk to him.

I was heartbroken. I felt dumped all over again by the guy who disappeared with my heart three years before. He called me that day to tell me why he broke up with me. I had spent those years thinking it was all my fault. I should be relieved that it was not my fault after all but I wasn’t. My heart was being smashed all over again.

That was the last time I saw Taiwo until that day on the street where I wanted to buy Daniel Defoe “Robinson Crusoe”. We hugged and exchanged pleasantries. Then I was back home with my younger sister. She wanted to come with me to the campus to print her project work. It would be cheaper there. And then everything was bright again, and hot.

Then I had a bizarre thought; something had sliced me into two. Everything froze at that moment. I felt something warm trickling out of somewhere between my thighs; it was oozing in a strange beat, the same with my heart as if it was being pumped by my heart beat. A nightmare was my next thought, I needed to wake up, but I couldn’t move, every breath was like the last. Something terrible is wrong with me; I had no idea what. I wanted to cry but I had no tears, I was as dry as clay soil in the harmattan.

Maybe I died and landed in hell that would explain the noise and the absence of anybody to help or tell me where I was. Nobody came, there were so many people, voices everywhere but no one to help. I felt so tired, thirsty and feeble.

“I’m going to die or I’m dead already, and in hell. But why is my mouth filled with sand and stones?” I felt like I was hit or pinned by something. A strong cold hand gripped my throat and clutched my heart; it was fear. The night was beckoning fast though the sun was still shining so bright and fiercely hot; I was not ready for its embrace.

 

 

 

 

The Scream is an excerpt from “South West 1 – A True Tale of Loss, Family, Fate, and Faith. “I would appreciate your honest comment. Thank you.

 

Horizon

I time travelled
I moment moved
Through freezing fog
Through stilled air

Where dreams blend with reality
Where souls battle in serenity
In the deep of the night
In the depth of despair

I crossed the seven hills
I crossed the seven seas
Where lost souls hover endlessly
Where cursed souls wail in peril

I saw where the earth
And the heaven unite
There my journey begins

I Remember (1)

I remember her eyes. There was something eerie about them. I can almost see her now like I did four years ago. She was dark and thin, but there was strength in those eyes, in their depth. The way she blinked and widened them….I still get goose bumps whenever I remember them. She was feeble but her upper arms were strong; thin, but steady like her icy eyes.
I was about to jump into the waiting cab when they flung opened and our eyes met. Mine held, even when hers dropped to straighten her floral skirt. I hardly stare or take much notice of strangers but for some reasons I was glued to that spot. I was frozen. Now, when I think of it, I still have no idea why I paused.
When she looked up, I looked away, embarrassed like a child caught peeping through a key hole. Then I saw a young man, maybe her brother judging from the same set of full upper lips and oversized nose. He looked worn out in a dirty jeans and faded t-shirt holding her wheel chair. I stepped back to give him room, just realising then that I was blocking the way. I couldn’t stop myself from watching their well mastered performance of moving her from the car to the chair. How she folded and shrank her body into a ball, her hands hugging her chest to make it easier for him to lift her into the wheelchair. I was enthralled. Then our eyes met again. I turned and hurried on to get another cab even as the driver was calling me to come back. As I was about to to step onto the cab, I glanced back and our eyes met, again. Hers hardened and then widened, with contempt? I have no idea. I wondered why at first, then I realised she must find it irritating. I wished then that I could show her my thoughts. Or maybe she was offended that I didn’t take the cab? I sighed and closed the door.
I tried not to look to my right as I rode to lecture. But I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering to her. I pictured her bathing, dressing, growing from girlhood to womanhood. I wondered if she had a boyfriend. Will she have children, know the joy of motherhood? Then I saw another boy hopping on one leg and a wooden crutch. I wondered what happened to him too, was he born that way, or an accident? How does he survive every day knowing tomorrow would be the same? What does he do when in danger? Who looks out for him? Who takes care of them all? I didn’t have to wait for long to find out. As I didn’t return to my home or bed until four months later. I spent those months in a surgical ward with a front row view watching “Behind the Scene of an Amputee Life”.
Now, I know.

My Birthday

To me, this day is more than a birthday, that’s too ordinary. But what could make a birthday more than an anniversary of the day in which a person is born?
A Rebirth?
A second chance at life?
I got both, because if the devil had his wish I would exit here the same day I entered it. And I would be labeled so many evil things and more. But the Lord in His infinite mercy gave me life, again.
A birthday used to be just the celebration of my birth. When I ended one year and started another. After my twentieth anniversary it became, “what’s the big deal? Everybody has them. Someone has one every day.”
And now, there are so many thoughts and feelings attached to this day: happiness, apprehension, panics, blessing, anxiety, and gratitude, their incessant and persistent attacks can be so overwhelming and frustrating – A time bomb waiting to explode.
Over the years, I’ve learnt to accept them, feel them all, sort out the real from the imagined, and forge the strength to beat the delusion.
Today, I woke up again with the dread of facing the long day, my birthday. Because I had a doctor’s appointment, today of all days. Memories of my birthday not too long ago in surgery and ICU flooded my mind like rushing water. I was going to see the doctor who hacked off my limb on my birthday. I wanted to hide in bed all day. But then, I armed myself with the remembrance of all I had to be grateful for. The little things like sneezing without pain, stretching without whimpering and turning without grimacing. I’m grateful for the blessings of the people in my life who never let me feel bad about my life for a second. When I think He seems too far away or uncaring, I see Him in them. These little things make me realize just how blessed I am, and how much good I have in my life. They outweigh the bad.
Today, I realise that good or bad, there are benefits to everything; one simply needs to find them.
And that, birthdays are more than celebrating the inevitable passage of time.

The Old Album

When I found the album it was caked with dust. I wonder why it looked like a relic of the Second World War, I had flung it to the back of the closet, where I couldn’t reach it. But now I can, I’m much better, stronger and steadier. I opened it and was surprised that it opened to the last picture I saw. It was the picture I took at the front of our old house on my birthday five years ago, before everything fell apart. Except it looked nothing like me. I was darker, simpler calmer and very innocent with big eyes; uninteresting and young, but of course I was younger. I was dressed in a sky blue shirt and a dark blue knee-length jean skirt.

It shows the legs, nice, shapely smooth calves. I had nice legs, I know it and people said it too. They looked awesome, but they didn’t feel like mine. The last time I saw the picture, my whole body went still and everything around me too. My heart wouldn’t stop hammering at my rib-cage. My eyes were so heavy with unshed tears, I wanted them to drop to at least mourn their dead mate. But they wouldn’t, so I flung it.

Today, the picture look so unreal and so far away, a lifetime away. I looked down at the left limb where the rest of the leg was supposed to be. It stopped mid-air like a frozen raindrop waiting for someone to press the play button. And the right leg has put on a muscular and fierce looking armour; wearing protruding veins and scars, its warrior badges in place of its former sexy look.

The residuals of the traumatic experience has faded into occasional nightmares and buried amidst counsels of accepting the present, look into the brighter future and forget the past. I closed the album and stared at the face looking back at me from the mirror on the wall and wished she could tell me what this is, healing, denial or acceptance?

Insomnia

Sleep took its flight
I embraced the light
Memories of the day
Sway gently in the moonlight
Ghosts of the past
Waltz into the present
And together
They mock the future
Who lies patiently
In a mist of uncertainty
On my rumpled pillow
My eyelids pinch mercilessly
As the long night
Fades into daylight

(C) Olufunke Kolapo, 2015