I hear voices that resonate in my ears, but my mind is too lazy to process them. Stolen things, I hear, are sweet, and these few moments of short stolen naps are sufficient proof. While others chatter about everything and nothing in particular, all I seem to do is snooze and drool. It’s the best thing to ever happen to me on a day like this. Honestly.
I didn’t sleep last night cause she would not let me sleep. I didn’t sleep the night before that either. These days, her screams are incessant. She talks of ghosts, of evil creatures waiting to gouge out her eyes. She says some people are after her, so she hangs on to me like grim death. She claims my being by her side will scare them off. I’m sandwiched in an awkward position on her bed, between her warm body, limbs flung carelessly over me like I were some Valentine’s day teddy bear gift, and the cold wall that fences our corner. The ankara wrapper we made into a curtain to fence the other side of the bunk almost totally shields us from the rest of the world in Room 6, making the situation even more embarrassing. I can’t help imagining what some of our amebo roommates might be thinking.
Last night was much worse than the one before it. I was just about entering into the sweet part of my beauty sleep when she jerked me awake with slaps on my buttocks. I almost fell off the top bunk in fear.
‘Come down!’ ,she ordered.
I looked around and saw that everyone was asleep except Bilikis. Tanya too was up, of course: that one never sleeps. I quickly shot a glance at my watch which is always strapped to my left wrist, even when I’m in bed. It was 1:15am.
I just slept some thirty minutes ago. I wanted to scream.
‘You will sleep by me tonight.’ ,she said with so much confidence after I had got down and was now standing before her. She continued. ‘I had a bad dream again. I cannot sleep alone.’
Senior Emile made it sound like she was doing me a favor by asking me to sleep by her. Infact, serving as her bunk mate, to her, was a privilege I was supposed to cherish with my existence. I obediently pulled my wrapper from my bed and lay beside her, my eyes now widely open and stripped of every remaining piece of sleep. I kept playing the words I should be saying to her in my head; no courage to spit them out.
‘Sinemile, Please this is awkward. Nobody will understand if they saw us like this and you know how our dorm girls are.’
She would crack my skull if she heard me. Just earlier in the day, she warned me in anger against this name I call her. Sinemile’s threats should never be taken with a grain of salt. But she couldn’t hear me now, could she?
‘Excuse me Sinemile, I’m not your slave. Can you allow someone to do this to your younger sister? See me as your sister for once now, haba!’
I got bolder.
‘Sinemile, what is your problem sef? Abeg lemme alone jor…’
I was still doing my typical mind monologue when I heard her scream:
Ori iya mi oooo!
NB: ‘Ori iya mi o’ is translated ‘Oh my mother’s head’ in English. It’s originally from the Nigerian Yoruba language.