Two Imams are standing at your feet. They initiate the prayer. Al-Fatiha and others follow suit, quietly. Everything is happening so fast, you can’t blame them, your religion teaches the burial of a body as soon as possible after death. The prayer is ending now.
Your eyes flip open.
They are usually the first to restore whenever this strange sickness that only you know about occurs. Not even your husband knows. It started two months ago, the night of your last delivery. You suddenly had lost control over your body that night. Words couldn’t proceed from your mouth, neither could breath from your nostrils. Your heart had suddenly stopped. Your muscles were not going to flinch despite trying so hard. It felt like someone was pinning you to the hospital bed, leaving only a part of your brain to work, because you were fully conscious. It started from 8pm, just around the time the duty nurse left, till 8am, when you finally gained control over your eyes. Twelve hours incapacitation. Gradually, all other systems in your body restored. You told no one. This unknown phenomenon has happened to you five times now. You’ve succeeded in keeping it from your husband until yesternight, when he came into your room to attend to the crying baby. Seeing your dead body destroyed him. It didn’t take too long before relatives began streaming in to mourn you.
They blamed it on postpartum problems. Quickly, your body was given a final bath in preparation for burial. All, including your new baby cried till dawn. Your eyes are now working. The small crowd can’t see you, but you can see them through the slightly transparent white cloth you have been wrapped in. Two ladies stroll near and spray sweet smelling deodorant upon you. You want to cough, to tell them you’re not dead but you can’t. You wish someone will just lift the wicked fabric covering your eyes, so they can see you. Slowly, few hands lift you. Seconds later, you feel yourself being lowered. It’s your grave. Your mind is screaming, but no one can hear, not even you can hear yourself. A shrill cry pierced the air. You recognize the sound, your first child, Fatima, 9 years old. One of your legs suddenly jerks. Unfortunately, its strength is too little to break through the tight white cloth.
An Imam starts to recite another prayer.
“O God, forgive our living and our dead, those who are present among us and those who are absent, our young and our old, our males and our females. O God, whoever You keep alive, keep him alive in Islam and whoever You cause to die, cause him to die with faith”He finally ends and instructs that the grave be covered.
You then hear another voice. It’s your husband’s.
“Can everyone give me some seconds alone with my wife …I need to speak to her.”
You become relieved as he walks closer and stops near the grave. He bends and starts quietly
“Errm… You really think I don’t know you’re alive? Hehehe…I know you can hear me, I know you can, witch! …Die!”
Your brain explodes. How did he know? He stands at last and strolls away.
“co.. cov.. cover ..cover her up…” He stutters through a false sorrow. Shovels of sand are now raining over you as you lie, helpless and confused.
Written By: Soogun Omoniyi.
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