Little Lamb

     

The thumping of my heart against my ribcage clouded the thoughts floating around in my mind. I was certain my heart had reached my throat. The grass smelt of early morning accumulated piss from different bodies desperate to find relief.  I rested against the wet mahogany tree in my grandma’s yard and curled up by its trunk. Lanky fingers and sweaty palms covered my mouth in time to conceal my screams. This was how she liked to wake me. I cowered as my eyes took in the darkness in the room. It was a dirty game she liked to play; choke the life out of me by making me run from her. She called it ‘catch the lamb’. She would tuck me into bed while singing her favourite lullaby as she traced the sides of my face with her lanky index finger, her nail leaving a tiny line where she’s been till she reaches my lips. ‘Run little lamb for the devil is coming’. Her tone was mawkish.  The linen nightwear I received from a friend had been in the cold salty liquid. The electricity company chose the best time to restore power as I slipped out of my nightwear and headed to the bathroom. I filled up the white paint bucket with lukewarm water from the drum and stared blankly into nothing. I looked up at the showerhead rusted from lack of use. I had abandoned it the day she tried to catch me there. She had messed with my mind and I felt like I was drowning. I had screamed ‘Blood of Jesus’ while scampering to wash the soap off my face. Her mocking laughter pierced my eardrums. I could hear the squeaky sound of the fan blades as they chased one another. The pastor who visited last week emphasised on the different ways to pray. He was driven by the passion as he baptised with spittle as he spoke vehemently. His lips were rosy pick and that was all I needed to be lost in the thoughts of whether they were as soft as they looked. I didn't see a point talking to someone who didn't care, but I let him speak on anyway. I began to wash as I relived her nightmarish games. She liked to chase and I was used to running. 'Maybe you should stop.’.

      I let the water drip as I made my way back to the room. My body ached as I lifted each leg to wear my pants. My mother hated them because she said it hugged my butt and Christians do not seduce other people. I loved them because they were the only ones who did not need adjustment after I decided to starve myself, so I could lose weight and run faster. I made my way to the bus park to join the queue to work when a young boy who had on gloves and a face mask, stopped to ask if I wanted to buy face masks. I scoffed and continued to make my way to the park where people were surprisingly absent. The buses had been abandoned, bags and shoes of different people were scattered everywhere. Wares were overturned into the gutter and food sellers had abandoned their stalls. The little boy was gone. I searched my bag and realised I had left my phone under my pillow. She enjoyed when the chase affected my day. She said it was the way she knew she still had it. The air became stiff and my chest tightened. My joints ached with every move. It became so hard to breathe that I had to cough to get some air into my lungs. I rested against a dirty bus, smearing my white shirt. I loosened my braids to reduce heaviness. My vision had doubled, but I saw them run towards me; men in white protective gears. Before they reached me, I was down on the floor with her bent over me mocking me for being so weak.  ‘Now you have got it, little lamb’. She whistled as she walked her away. As my eyes closed, I could hear her singing that song. The sky reflected the colour of my soul; grey.

My bed was wet when I woke to the squeaky sound of the fan blades. It was strange for her to visit twice in one night. She had never come and not want to chase me. I dragged myself to the sitting room where my parents were, eyes glued to the TV. Without looking up, my father pointed

‘You, there’s a virus out there. Don’t let anyone cough near you, sneeze near you, or even shake you. That your guy that you are always sneaking around with, put it on hold’

'I don't have a…' My mother looked up and sent daggers my way. I was not in the mood to argue. 'Yes daddy'

The man at the meeting the previous day had sneezed so carelessly that I felt it on my lips; the boli woman had cleaned her snort with her wrapper and the back of her hand before handing me my change; realizing I had left my handkerchief, I wiped my sweat off my face with my hand. She was back. I could hear her whistling as I felt my temperature rise. 'Now you have got it little lamb'. My head felt heavy on my neck. Her voice was loud… run little lamb for the devil has come. I jolted from my bed, gasping for air. I reached for my phone under the pillow. It was 2 pm. It was day 3 of isolation and I had since then had all the symptoms. It was a dirty game she liked to play; fear that one. She liked to take all my worries and make them chase me.

‘Maybe you should stop running… little lamb’

 

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Adetutu Adedoyin is an avid reader and storyteller. Her writings focus on issues regarding emotional wellness/psychological wellbeing and vulnerability.  She possesses a detailed descriptive ability that transports her readers into the world of the characters. She blogs at www.tutuable.wordpress.com where she journals her thoughts. She tweets @thecrowniscold

 Image credit: Wallpaper Flare


Comments

  1. Good read and has a deeper meaning if one actually tries to ponder on it.

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