When it comes to fate, there are no coincidences. But when coincidences repeat itself, you think it’s destiny and accept it as your fate. It was our second meeting in three days, and the dawn of the day looked like we were holding the hands of time.
She found it psychologically impossible to suppress her emotions, with anxiety written all over her face. Her eyes were half opened, and her messy hair showed how dribbled her mind was.
As a therapist, meeting patients who wear emotions on their face as if it were a make up for their past deeds, makes my job less intriguing. But hers was different. For the first ten minutes she stared at the frame behind my desk, glaring at the man on the cross with keen interest. Whether the picture made her partly happy or utterly sad, I don’t know, and neither conclusion was reassuring.
“People like me end up like that, right?” she said, without taking her eyes off the picture.
“Must I answ—uhmm … ma’am, you haven’t told me why you’re here?” I replied with my trademark smile, which in itself stopped the foetus of anger in me from developing. The session was the longest session I have ever had, yet she was unwilling to make herself clear. Ironically, she acted the same way three days back.
“Do you believe in miracles?” she further asked. Which I saw as a calculated attempt to add to my frustration.
“Why should I?” This time my high temperature was competing with my voice. But she ignored my words and kept talking. Her voice was full of horrible moments.
“I was fifteen when I started seeing and feeling the physical sensation of things that are not really there,” she started.
“My father thought I was insane while my mother called an ogbanje (spirit child). The situation became worse when I raised a false alarm a year later. That day, I thought I saw my elder brother in the pool of his own blood. But I was wrong. What I saw was only visible to me. Our neighbors advised my parents to take me to the hospital in our town for treatment. On getting there, they said I was hallucinating, and prescribed drugs for me. But two months after then, we all saw my brother in his pool of blood. This time it was actually real.”
“The death of my father’s only son made my father slip to the street of depression in a local bar every night. He embraced what he called his pain killer, and drank every bit of it. My mother on the other hand was wallowing in self pity while all these were going on. This made everyone in my life wary of me. They said that I was possessed, and did all they could to avoid my presence. But that wasn’t the end. This time I saw what I thought wasn’t real. My father was lying lifeless. He hit his head on the floor after drinking himself to stupor. To me, it was like a delusion.
“It wasn’t real, or so I thought. So I ran out and patiently waited for my mother who looked like the shadow of her former self to come home. At that moment, I thought I was slowing losing my sanity, and tried hardest not to call for help. But my mom’s face told the story of a sad reality when she saw what I thought was another delusion. It was too late to save him…
“Jesus! The gravity of what happened made me fall in love with Him. They said He’s the father of the fatherless, brother of the brotherless and mother of the motherless. So I spent the next quarter of my life reminiscing and seeking His face in church. Indeed I found comfort in His words, and He truly shared my burden.
“I was a new creature in Christ when I met Paul. He was the youth president of our parish. His tall height, hazel eyes and weird sense of humor made him different from his peers. As if it was meant to be, we were fond of each other. Though I wasn’t really into him, for the first time in many years I felt loved by someone.
“This time it isn’t the same old story, From the day I said yes to his marriage proposal, the happenings of time past kept flooding my memory. I’m talking about the scars inscribed on my skin. They tell the story of a young woman whose past is a terrifying nightmare, and present is an unwanted daydream. The tingling sensation keeps me awake at night, and fills my head with bittersweet images.”
“I want to escape from the pain that chains me …what should I do?”