Time passed as I sat outside, too afraid to go into the house, too afraid to see the face of a broken woman who had been broken enough before. I found myself drifting into memory lane. I went to a place where I saw her, as if nothing had changed, as if time had stopped in the pulse of death and everything had not changed. There she was, Belana! the special one, the one who could call on me at anytime and I would respond. I saw the first time I met her, we had gone to the same school and through acquaintances we met on one cold winter afternoon three years prior. Later that day, at a moment when I least expected my phone rang and I couldn’t realize the number. I answered and on the other side of the line was a voice, stammering and almost about to mount an offensive in the other direction and retreat. “He-ll——oooo, is this Corey?” I answered the question affirming that indeed I was Corey. She was beyond the state of fear found in most people on the first phone call to a person they have never spoken too. “It’s Belana, we met this afternoon and I took your number. I hope I am not interrupting?” I remembered her; her voice was just as I remembered, soft with a distant giggle, inquisitive and full of affection for other people. We started talking the memory started fading from right in front of me; every word said slowing vaporizing from my ears. Memory lane rolled a tear down my cheek, but I quickly wiped it away, how could she be dead, not her, sorry not her! Emotions were becoming too hard to hide, to deep to keep under lock and key like I had done for most of my life. Night was beginning to settle and I started making my way back home on foot.
The cries of my friends’ mother were still as clear as glass in my head. With every step I took on my way home, I hoped I would arise from this bad dream. Being too familiar with nightmares, I wanted to believe this was a dream that I could wake up from. Afraid, stripped and left naked, my very fear of losing people close to me had finally surfaced. I hoped I could wake up from this with a racing heart, call Belana and hear her voice but every step, every small rock and gravel pressing against my foot reminded me all too well that I was not dreaming. I made it home and had to look at my mother as she asked why I left so abruptly. “Belana passed away this morning, that’s why I left.” She couldn’t find words to say, for it would have been like talking to a black hole. I went to my room and sat in the dark. This looked all too similar; I had been in this place before. A place where all that I love, all that I hold dear ceases to exist and I am left in lingering darkness where all I can do is bleed, be crushed, be consumed by emotions and fears I had fought so hard to get out of my life. Life before Belana, Adrian, Liandra, Michelle and Josephine was a tale I closed the page on, a story called Disturbia. Too consumed in hatred and dementia, love did not exist in me then! I lived in a world of despair where to be happy meant I had seen the sight of blood and smelt its aroma pass by with the passing of the wind. A world where pain was the order of the day and peace came only with death. In a bid to save a fading life I fought back to feel human, to feel like I am alive again and for the years it felt good to be human but this blow was proving too heavy. My heart still hurt, cardiac arrest could find me and I would not oppose it for I would have rather died than to confront what was to follow in the next days. In the silence I sat, listening to the hypnotic tune of my analogue clock going through its paces. Soon enough I found myself at a place all too common for me. Time and time again I had used the tune of the clock to put myself in a hypnotic state where I could dramatically increase my thoughts and emotions. I found myself in memory lane again but this time Belana was accompanied by all my friends. Michelle, cheeks glowing like polished brass, with a smile cutting across her face was the first to catch my gaze. We had met through Liandra and Michelle had proven to be all too sweet, not as confident as she is now but not so easy to bully considering she had a masculine figure that dwarfed that of most boys her age and he punch left doors and people in regret of mere existence. She was hugging Belana as they looked at me. This looked all too familiar; I had taken a picture of them during lunch one day with the same exact pose. The picture came right in front of me and I felt my heart being crushed as Belana started fading from the picture. Pixel by pixel as if she had never existed. In the blink of an eye Liandra came into sight. Nicknamed Captain Caveman for being too blonde at times, Liandra was in touch with her emotions and she stood out. She did not concern her simple life with too much that went way over her head but she was a simple paced individual who had a wealth of emotions to share. A picture came into my sight; Liandra was sitting with her boyfriend while Belana stood behind them. Like the person she had been Belana always towered strong over people, always a strong pillar to call on and held love not found in a common gift shop. Again, Belana began to disappear from the picture, slowly becoming invisible and all I could do was just watch. A tear attempted to rush down my cheek but I drew it back, I couldn’t cry, not today, not ever! For all my life I lived in denial of my emotions, my father had taught me that showing emotion is a sign of weakness and even now I could not show my emotions.
Next, Josephine and Adrian caught my attention. A picture came in front of me, Adrian and Josephine were sitting in a chemistry lab and Belana was sitting some paces behind them but she came out smiling in the picture. I gazed at the picture remembering her smile and her soft sense of humor. I almost got rattled when Belana in the picture waved at me and disappeared as before. Emotions were now alive in me, and physical pain was almost becoming unbearable. I rushed back to my consciousness to try and calm down, to try and find reason but today my emotions would have none of it. I placed my hand on my heart and I could feel its racing pound. My mind had become an entity of its own, flooded in processing images, conversations and events with Belana, trying to find an answer. My lips began to move, I was singing a song she loved. “Unochemeiko, chema, cheeema, chema, cheeema, chema ini ndiripo. Unosuweiko, suwa, suuuwa, suwa, suuuwa,suwa ini ndiripo.” Over and over I repeated the words which in English said “Why do you cry, cry, cry, cry, cry when I am there, why are you sad, sad, sad, sad, sad when I am there.” As I sang in the dark my mind caught the last conversation I had with her. This was on the 11th of December and I had called for some advice. My sister was coming home, I had not seen her for 11 years and today she was coming home. I was afraid I would not recognize her but Belana spoke a thought that got me through the day, “No matter how long it has been you can’t ever cut the connection you have. You will be fine. Just take it one step at a time as if nothing ever changed.” Had I known I would never talk to her again after that day I would have never put down the phone.
Like a cassette in a recorder, the conversation quickly disappeared and my mind rushed forward again going through everything that had Belana in it. Her laugh echoed in my ears reaching deep into the crevices of my mind. I had waited eighteen years of my life, eighteen years of a horrid life to have the few friends I had and one so close to me just fell of the map after three years. I could not comprehend it, it was all too fictionist and unreal. Again my mind caught another conversation; she was talking about wanting children when she was older. She had already named them all and knew the kind of father she wanted for her children. It crushed me more as I heard so clearly, her enthusiasm and zeal as she went on about her dream. I quickly rose up and opened my eyes, trying to get a grip on myself but it was already too late. A voice came into my ear. I knew the voice, I had heard it before. For eighteen years of my life I had heard the voice every day. “I told you, you can’t escape me. I shall have you or I shall burn all that you hold dear.” I tried to deny it but the voice became ever so clear and a fear crept into my spine. “You can’t hide from me forever; I will have you or burn all that you hold dear.” Of all the people who knew me, my five closest friends knew something that I never told most living souls. During the eighteen years of my life before the time of great change, I had a ruthless and destructive split personality that ruled over me with an iron fist. This thing feared nothing even to death and it had lived in my mind, making me hate everything around me and making me inhuman. My heart felt as if it had paused, trying to make a greater sense of things, this couldn’t be, this was a memory too vicious to come now. With the passing of the wind the voice was gone as if it was never there. My heart was chilled and my mind in a state of fear. He lived in my lack of love, in my hatred for affection and warmth and now that those feelings were creeping back he wanted to come back in.
Time passed as I tried to calm down and not go into a state of deepened fear. Eventually I lay on my bed and ventured off to sleep but no dream would come. I had never been much of a sleeper, no rest would come with a burdened heart and a fear I had just remembered. Day break caught me having just indulged in an ounce of sleep but what did it matter, a heart shattering day was what I was faced with.