She whispered from across the room. It was loud and clear despite the annoying sound of water dripping from the faulty tap. Israel said nothing but closed her eyes and sank deeper into the bath, her head just above the water whilst her hands held onto the sides of tub as she took deep breaths.
She whispered once more but this time, it was closer, Israel could feel it. She could sense her presence and there it was, a chuckle. Israel snapped her eyes open to be greeted by pale green tiles and silence. She reached for the bottle of scotch and downed the contents despite the salty mix of her tears, mascara wearing off and pain ripping her heart. She exhaled and her mind registered her drunken state. The room spun slowly and her thoughts jumbled up together but weighed in heavily. Alcohol did not help the pain, she still felt it and in desperation to be numb, she gulped the remnants at a go and threw the bottle at the wall across the room, sentencing it to ultimate destruction. It seemed like she had thrown a piece of herself away so she screamed and pulled at her face.
“You’ve become undone.” The voice whispered. It was a warning but for some reason, Israel felt like it was mocking her. It angered her greatly although it was the truth.
Tears streamed down and she sniffed. She looked up and saw her finally. She was seated in her adorable white sleeping gown Israel remembered her to be fond of, legs crossed with a solemn expression. Israel leaned back and envied her. She was pure, untouched and innocent, unaware of the worldly treasures and it’s empty promises. As she sat there, Israel wondered how it must feel to leave this world and say goodbye to its cruelty or better yet, never knowing it at all.
“Soon,” she concluded. Her emotions now heightened fluctuated between self – pity and regret then graduated to pain and finally, anger. She longed to be dead to the world but the silence and finality of death scared her.
“Penny for your thoughts? They look kind of hefty.”
“What do you want?” Israel spat; irritated by the fact that someone who never faced life was judging her.
“Tell me Angel, Did you forget how to fly?” Israel remained silent. “Or you just gave up on faith?” Israel closed her eyes and started laughing. She laughed a long throaty laugh and as it climaxed, it faded into silent screams and sniffs and after one deep breath, She screamed. “Get out!”
“Does it hurt? Carrying the world’s troubles on your shoulders like that? With not a friend to share, your pain they will bear.”
“It’s been awhile since your smile reached your eyes and a long while since you’ve loved yourself. Tell me; the fame, the fortune, was it all worth it? Was it all just to get here, to get to this very moment? I know you’re suffering but if there’s one thing I hoped you’d learn from me, is you should never give up on life especially when it has clearly not given up on you.” Israel remained silent.
“You are not going to set an expiry date for yourself dear. You are on a mission. You are the truth. You are way more than your shortcomings…”
“Leave me alone.” Israel begged, her ears drummed, the room spun and she placed her hands over her ears, crying, begging and pleading for the torment to stop.
“The clouds may not have run out rain yet but the sun is definitely going to shine. It always does.”
Her final words weighed and the room went silent. Her body quivered and head pounded, it was hot from her mind being blown into several pieces and all she wanted to do was to be left alone for the ground to open and swallow her up.
After a while, she opened her eyes to be greeted by the sweet face of the friend she lost way too soon. Israel finally allowed herself to find comfort in Teni’s presence and they both smiled wearily at one another, certain that the storm was over. Teni leaned in and for a split second, Israel saw her pain reflected in Teni’s eyes and shame took over. She was somehow transported back in time to the night on Teni’s balcony when Teni was determined to fly.
“Promise to reach for the stars?” Teni asked. Israel had found the exercise odd but Teni’s childlike faith rubbed offon her, so she promised. Together they closed their eyes, spread their arms out and let their imagination take them to places they had never been before.
Being confronted with the past and transported back to reality, she realized she had failed. So she sobered up and leaned closer. She stretched out her hands to ask for forgiveness. But Teniola simply bent down and kissed her forehead. All was forgiven and Israel took that second to hold on to her and linger, to take in her aura but as her eyes opened, she found herself surrounded by the deafening silence of water.
First published on August 2, 2015 – Lucidlemons.com