WHO IS IT?
Mirror Mirror on the wall I look into you for answers WHO IS IT? The face who's stolen my voice and soon to steal my breath The face of the one who holds the answers to my predicament I know why I cannot see my face My body is dust and I have become wind Yet I stand infront of you and see a silhouette A faceless Silhouette - a feminine silhouette The face that I cannot see but she lingers The face who has left me in Limbo land I beseech you for clarity I beg of you to appease my soul I appeal for one last chance to see the face behind the silhouette WHO IS IT ?
Lucia had sent her maid to the market that morning hoping to make the best meal for her husband and her mother-in-law who had come into town the night before with a new maid… The kind of village local champions (Dumebi) who made herself known by her huge size, the thudding of her XXL feet and the absolutely giggle of her whole body as she walked her ass though was on another planet, it could comfortably sit 2 toddlers with no help! beseach
You could hear her walk across the lounge to the kitchen or outside the house… She was just a ball of energy – to ignore – Loud, brash and uncouth and she smelled of kitchen spices mixed with body sweat and a little feminine thing which made her very powerful presence nothing to ignore even if you tried. Because she was linked to the mother-in- law, she was important, a very important ally, so Lucia made it a point to pay attention to her.
She had always said to her mother-in-law that Agatha her present maid was a good maid who had lived with them for so long and she found no good cause or reason for a dismissal – but the old lady always insisted on a hard working girl from her village who will cook the kind of food her son loved eating and look after the house while Lucia worked in her boutique in the town centre or travelled around Dubai stocking her boutiques with gold jewelries and latest home decors, which made sense, but the sarcasm and the innuendo in her voice made Lucia apprehensive _ very !
Her mother-in-law’s countenance betrayed some sort of subversive secret she could barely put her finger on. Though she had lost a pregnancy earlier in her marriage, It had become impossible to conceive and bear a child for over 7 years _An issue that has always been the white elephant in her mother-in-law presence … She barely talked about it with Lucia, but Lucia had eavesdropped a couple of confrontational moments between her and her son along the lines of -;
“So what have you people tried so far, this cannot be the end of it. You need to do something and make sure you don’t end childless ”
And her husband’s passive response has always been the same…” mother we are not God, but we are trying our best”
Matter-of-factly he really didn’t want to broach the topic with his mother or anyone from his or her family… It had affected his countenance and made his moments of sporadic anger bursts so frequent that Lucia didn’t know when to speak, in her own house she threaded on laser and like a seasoned war veteran, she managed to dodge all the time or most of the time, his bullets of venomous silent winging.
His response on one occasion left Lucia stone cold watching the ceiling till dawn, the cold callous voice of her mother-in-law chasing her son around the house asking
“So you want to wait for how long… Why don’t you try with someone else… It’ doesn’t mean you do not love your wife, you can pass it for a mistake, but that will prove to the world you are not impotent…For goodness sakes barrenness does not run in my family, we the women are so fertile we can be impregnated by pollination, and the men need to be castrated because they have babies in every state. NO son of mine is sterile, Never, you need to get this stigma away from my family, you need to prove otherwise to the world”
Lucia feigned ignorance, she buried what she had overheard in a dark dark place… Never asked her husband or talked about it but kept her vigilance … wondering how long she would waste her energy on speculations.
That faithful day a few hours after dinner Lucia slowly retired upstairs to rest, she felt lethargic, her head was woozy and her breath came in gasps, plus an incredible cramping she put down to ovulation, as she lay in bed the last thing she remembered was the pain and the speed with which she flung herself out of bed to the toilets but it was too late she had vomited all over her beddings and the floor and could visibly see the bloodied contents of her vomit but before she could register it all, her mind went straight to dinner and she blacked out…
As Lucia lay on the hospital bed all she could hear in her coma were questions about her relationship with almost everyone near and dear to her_ she heard a man named detective asking questions, When she tried to scream the answers loud and clear, she realised she could barely move her lips, her hands or her legs and her eyes were sealed shut.
What was happening? there were so many people in the room – she could hear voices and could feel the tension in the room. If only she could speak _ all the visitors saw in return, was a grey pale Lucia, eyes shut, lips cracked, shabby head lifeless dying woman…
She amazingly could see a reflection of herself she could see how semi dead she looked… She could not understand why no one found the courtesy to moisturise her face or her lips or as little as brush her hair… She looked at her reflection on the bed and it looked terrible… If this was death… Then she wanted no part in it – she wanted to be ALIVE … And know how she ended up in this situation on a fine day after having lunch with her husband, his mother and the new village nanny.
She lay on that hospital bed for days, days un-end until she lost count of what month , day or year it was … the doctors came in and to inject more adrenaline and change the tubes on her body… she was fed oxygen through a tube in her neck and it hurt sometimes . She could smell her own body reeking of human decomposition and she could hear the doctor’s moan about her condition… She tried to tell them she was OK, she could feel and hear every word they uttered but nothing mattered, her body was trapped on that bed and the godforsaken room she was in… The least she could do was wake up and stare at her own face… Her half draft reflection looking back at her and helplessly shaking her own body to wake up but to no avail…
***Lucia was giving up on herself***
There was no news about her progress or the culprit … the entire house was basically in mourning… Lucia had been the backbone and source of support to everyone who inhabited her home, so her absence and the circumstances surrounding her situation had broken everyone… The night before the day of her tragic end, she had dinner with a group of friends and came home to tell her husband she was so tipsy with a headache … So she slept off the feeling… At 8 Pm the next day she passed out after dinner.
The suspects were scattered all over the trail… The doctors said she had been poisoned and the detectives were still investigating, the trail had gone cold, yet there was no one with a cause or reason to be the culprit of her predicament so she laid there listening to back and forth banter wadded in chunks of positivity and negativity as her life ebbed slowly away.
She listened to conversations of every single guest whether she wanted to or not – her wish was to regain consciousness and make known to some of them that she had heard their conversation…
Her faith sisters at the – Women of Grace – substance group had paid her a visit to pray with her. Their prayer, comments and pretend piety hung in the air like a strong stench making her helpless and hurt… she was disgusted and disappointed with the following gossip that ensued
“are you sure this isn’t witchcraft”… Asked one sister
The other’s response came dubiously “these days we cannot discredit anything oh my dear… Her husband could be selling her in the place of all the wealth and cars littered in that their mansion, I have always known something wasn’t right about that man…
“God save the poor girl or better still take her away to rest… This is too much…maybe the reason she could never have any children, he must have sold her womb first”
” No , let’s not blame the man for her womb oh, girls like this you can never tell the rate of abortions she could have committed to leave her womb damaged” came the holiest than thou sister Mary’s response
Lucia felt her tears streaming down her spiritual cheeks, she was crying and yet not crying.
How could she tell them her husband wasn’t a saint but her was good man nonetheless … He loved her like no other man will ever or has ever… Regardless of the difficulties they faced he will not betray her by ending her life… Not like this, no not her husband… She screamed for the sad pathetic gossips to be on their way but they stayed and chatted about every single thing happening in church, to their ignorance Lucia was very much a part of the conversation, very alive and yet half dead- maybe soon completely dead- soon, but before that she had to find out why and how she got in this predicament, the only weapon she had, was her listening, so she listened looking for clues or anything she could find. She had become the listener!
The rest of the time Lucia was in a remarkably vivid dream, one which much of the real world penetrated and spoke or acted in a way that made her realise how important life really was. She imperceptibly reacted to things but had no other way of physically saying, “thanks for coming” or “I cannot believe you actually said that in my condition”.
One time her husband visited and she could feel his hand entwined in hers, it was so calming and reassuring she could swear she gripped his hand back – he slowly undressed her and quietly rubbed the warm towel with her scented soap she loved so much – she for once thought it was a good place to be. A place where she could see him so tender and so loving but of what use was this when she could barely reciprocate, she even prayed that she could just open her eyes and let him see her come to life.
In the end, he dressed her up, brushed her hair and as he covered the sheets over her a drop and another of tear from his eyes landed on her face – he was crying ! she could feel her body shutting down with pain and anger to see him in that state yet she couldn’t console him- she too was crying but he will never know. He kissed her forehead and whispered – “hang in there lulu, hang on, there is hope” and the room was empty again, he had gone home.
Voices startled her and in her head woke her up or disturbed her sleep but to the world she laid there helpless and lifeless.
That night Lucia woke up – she was awake and she was alone, she opened her eyes, she saw the room through her eyes and not the hazy glare of her visions and dreams – this one was real, real time real place.
She sat up in her bed and looked at her palms – she has lost so much weight, she was pale grey and skinny but she was awake – she needed to let the doctors or someone know, but the sound of her heart monitor startled her – it was alarming really loud , the sounds came from behind her so she turned around and saw the screen and the cords connected to her chest – that wasn’t right, it couldn’t be reading her vital signs – that should definitely be someone else – the lines on the screen were flat.
The screen was showing flatlines and as the doctors rushed in she could see all their efforts on her double which lay lifeless in bed – she had departed her body – and for the first time she was a true audience of her last minute parade and life was not raining on this death parade – not today not forever – she watched the doctors cover her face with the sheets and another instructed the nurse to call her husband. “Just tell him it’s urgent ” he said and walked out leaving the nurse drying a tear from her eyes as she whispered
“weh God, this poor girl, what a life”
As family and friends found their way back to their destinations after the funeral, Agatha moved a few of her things into the main house from the boys quarters because she absolutely will not let her late madam down , she had to make sure that her master will be fine after the death of his wife – especially since she had fought so hard and gotten the biggest threat out of her way to becoming madam _ it was a dog eat dog world _ and she just ate her first dog, she never knew when it will happen but from the first day she walked into their home she knew that her master was the only man good enough for her and by hook or by crook she will get him _ all else had failed _ he was so unemotional, seduction didn’t work on him_ so she had resolved to consulting other efforts until wiping Lucia away became the only best effort – especially since the drugs she was putting in her food to make her sterile didn’t seem to cause enough damage to the couple.
She had finally reached her destination, everything else will fall into place after her mother-in-law to be left with her local village champion, she dare not leave her behind or there will be another funeral…and a wedding!
©Property of Dorothy Diamond – DO NOT SHARE COPY OR REPRODUCE Without appropriate credits.
Follow & Like My Page on Facebook @Dorothy Diamond
Twitter @Dakoharrey (PurfectEscape)
Email _ Dakoharrey@gmail.com