Pink stars stop falling

  • Beautiful darkness. I’m sitting on clouds. Pink stars are falling. Deep breaths, in and out. I’d start by rubbing it into my gums because I wanted my ascent to be slow. My ascent to oblivion. I hadn’t gotten far enough though because I can still remember my name. Adaobi . I hadn’t gone far enough because I can still hear the voices, the screams and shouts, the sound of skin being battered and bones being broken. My mother’s bones being broken by my father. I can still hear the whimpers from my baby brother as we hide in the wardrobe so that we don’t get hurt.
  • I set it in a line and inhale with such speed I almost choke. I grind my teeth. My blood is boiling. I’m angry because I can still hear the neighbors banging on the door, shouting my father’s name. But the slaps are louder. My mother’s repetitive ‘blood of Jesus’ is louder. I heap a mountain on the table, close my left nostril and inhale. The voices are fading.
  • Pink stars are falling and the darkness is caressing me. Shushing the voices. My head is in the bag. The beautiful bag that holds the beauty that chases the demons away. Deep breaths, in, out. Nobody could do much about it, wife beating is practically part of the culture. I hear my mother’s prayers at midnight. Her soulful voice singing worship songs. Her pleas and cries. I think I was the only one listening though. No “almighty and all powerful” being could hear cries. Just me.
    Silence. No voices. I’m happy but there aren’t any pink stars here. I wonder where Edu is.
    “Why didn’t Adaobi tell me she was coming over” I wonder out loud when I see her slippers at the door. I walk into the back room. It’s dark, well it’s expected, there’s no light. Is she asleep or something. I bring out my phone and turn on the torch. She’s laying on the floor. She’s probably high, my fault for showing her where I keep the coke. I take my shoes off and they land on top of a Ziploc bag. I’m about to remove my socks when I realize that that Ziploc bag looks familiar, I take my torch closer and see white particles at the bottom of the bag. I point it’s beam at Adaobi. There’s white powder all over her face and she’s unconscious. Please don’t let it be what I think. I rush over to her body. It’s cold.
    No heart beat.
    No pulse.
    Adaobi overdosed.
    Beautiful Adaobi. Broken Adaobi.
    Adaobi is dead, because I gave her a way to escape from the voices in her head, from the memories, from the fact that no one listened to her.
    She’s gone.
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