African StoriesLife and General Fiction StoriesNaija Stories

The Monster

Even as I sleep at night I still feel you cuddling me, you wake me up in the morning and while I plan my day you smile at me. In this big house with beautiful foundation stones, I’m not confident that you won’t tear them down, if you wanted to.

I remember when I used to run from you, I struggled with every breath I had and no matter how far I’d run, you’ve always been there in the walls of this house. I’ve tried to pretend you’re not there but no matter how many placebos I take, you’re quietly watching me from the seat at the corner of my room, with that gnarly smile across your face and everyday I’m reminded that no matter where I rush off to, you’ll be waiting for me at home.

Most times I feel paranoid because no one else sees you; you with your white fangs that draw blood from me at any moment of weakness. I’ve screamed out loud so many times but you must be a magical creature because no matter how hard I scream, it feels like I’m choking in a crowded street and no one can see me. Everyone seems so happy in this black and white world.

Should I leave the house I spent every second of my life building because I can’t exterminate you? Or should I give up because I know I’ll never win? How long will I run from you before I fall flat on my face? How long can I pretend you’re not there till you finally over power and consume me?.

The more I grow as a person the more powerful you become and every time I have the confidence to fight back, you completely disappear only to come back stronger than before. I’m so bloodied up from all the fights we’ve had all my life but you’ve chased me down this night and now I can’t sleep.

I’m panting as I look at you; your bloodshot eyes, your fangs and the axe in your hand, and the mirror in front of me tells me all I need to know: I’m still battling my insecurities.

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