by Femi Maderera
“The voice came, without a physical body this time… ‘Talk to me,’ the voice said.”
It finally hit her. She lay curled up in a fetal position, wishing she could talk about it, imagining lying on a therapist’s couch and talking,wishing she could shave off her burden. Depression finally made sense. The topic was no longer something someone else’s felt. Her tears; her heart weighing down on her pounding chest. She wiped the eye water and curled up more. She was restless, irritable and bored. She opened up Laura Prepon’s Huffpost Live interview. Perhaps, Alex Vause, nee Donna Pinciotti will cheer her up. She smiled at Laura’s gesticulation but she wasn’t free. Her eyes kept connecting with Kris Jenner’s live broadcast, which didn’t help matters much.
The voice came, without a physical body this time, into the bedroom, climbed into her queen side bed and sat next to her, mimicking her, laying its head on the head board. The voice wasn’t a therapist but it could be. The voice made her forget her head playing a slamwar with ache. The voice extended its left hand and drew her close, offering its shoulder.
“Talk to me,” the voice said.
She shook her head, the screwed up nostril working its magic again. She didn’t know where to start. Didn’t even know if she could talk about it or explain it. She just needed a miracle: to be able to share without enunciating. But, she knew it couldn’t happen. She raised her head from the voice’s shoulder and slid down the bed, rested her head on the pillow that was propping her up. She closed her eyes, her face parallel to the ceiling. She put her right hand on her stomach and dreamt black.
Her fluttered and her hands somehow journeyed to Huffington Post’s article about celebrity scientologists. Somehow, Laura Prepon had transitioned into scientology. She wondered the connection as the voice simmered away from her peripheral. The only scientologist she had known was Tom Cruise. She was surprised to see Catherine Bell, Elisabeth Moss, Jeffrey Tambor, Daniel “Danny” Masterson and other non-known faces were scientologists. Danny was raised as scientologist. So, that’s where the Laura connection came from. Oh wait, Laura is dating Christopher Masterson, Danny’s brother and converted to scientologist. As she wondered about the religions with many controversies, myths and rumors, the voice reappeared.
“Are you willing to talk now?”
She flicked over in anger. How dare the voice pester her? She now wanted to sleep and forget. She also ached for a drink. But she can’t because that will require going out to buy the drink. Which she can’t do that because her rental car had been towed by her apartment even after she had put the decal the apartment rep had given her on it; the very reason for her present state. It was the last straw on her back which had fallen to the ground and trodden by the camel. For a few microseconds, she had forgotten. But the voice had reminded her. She hated the voice now. She scrunched her face and turned to let it know. It shrugged and reminded her that it was there because she conjured it. It wasn’t going to leave until it was completed. She pulled a pillow and stuffed her face in it, prolonging the inevitable.
The voice tried again. “Are you willing to talk now?”
She mustered everything and said. “Will this be over soon? I can handle the occasional bad luck. But pilled bad lucks, too much for me. Four car accidents in three months, two cars badly mangled, being broke like no tomorrow, the amount of bills I paid this week is too much. I can’t buy grocery even though I just got paid this Friday. My parents are angry with me, thanks to my series of bad lucks. My body can’t take anymore crash impact, is currently acting up thanks to an untreated whiplash form the last accident where the car spun three times. At the third, I remember that my third crash had happened because I didn’t hit the brake. So, I did, to stop the spinning. Instead, it propelled the car forward and impacted the roadside divider. An car rental rep had me pay insurance money that I didn’t actually need. To cap it all up, I couldn’t find the rental car in the parking lot as I was ready to go to church. I had that dream before. Reality, far worse. The office is closed on Sunday. Have to go to work tomorrow. Don’t know which rental service towed the car and dread the amount I have to pay for having the car towed. I am broke, sick, lonely and a disappointment to my family. I am tired and depressed. And I am sleepy. So, will you leave me now? I really, really want to sleep. I fear the next disaster staying awake will bring.”
“Is that all?” the voice said.
Is that all? She couldn’t believe her ears. Perhaps the sleep was clouding her comprehension. Because there was no way the voice had trivialized her experience? What’s the point on conjuring it if it could be darn supportive of her?
“Well, you’ve done your job. Now, scram,” she said waving her hand. Her hand hit the headboard though. The voice was gone, to her head, where it resides with other characters. The clouds thundered outside, inviting her into dreamland. Maybe if she accepted, she will wake up and her predicament will be like Virginia Wolf’s The Mark on the Wall where the protagonist’s trouble and over three thousand words were just about a snail on the wall. Perhaps when she woke up, her problem will be that minute. So, she succumbed.
Femi Maderera works 9 to 5, lives with Debby, a Siberian Husky, and writes whenever she can.
30 Days, 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija