It’s that time of the night again. The voice is back. Peter is in his room alone. He’s sitting on the floor. Used tissue papers and pictures are strewn around me. Pictures of him. His family. His friends, everyone that would supposedly miss him when he’ gone.
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He sees a piece of broken glass lying by the nightstand, before reaching for his phone and calling George for the nineteenth time.
It doesn’t ring.
He’s out of airtime credit. He tries to borrow.
The message on his screen say he still has an outstanding debt, he’s owing MTN 2000/= already.
Peter dials *165# and checks his mobile money account balance. 0.00, but he sees he has a bonus of MTN to MTN call credit, so he starts searching for a friend that uses MTN.
He finds him, Johnny..
He uses the code, and then calls him.
Johnny picks, but starts to do that thing Peter told him a lot of times that he’s not comfortable with.
After exchanging greetings, he goes quiet.
Peter says “hello?”, and he goes “You talk, You talk, I’m listening.” Then goes quiet again.
That thing makes Peter feel somehow, like he’s disturbing, and should be done quickly so he can return to whatever he is doing.
He has a painful sigh before saying. “I was just trying to say hi….”, then he drops the call.
He doesn’t call back.
He turns on his data, and checks the long epistle of his situation that he had sent to Ben and Peterson on messenger.
And they are both online.
Peter understands, it’s not their fault. Everyone is busy with their lives.
Everyone is moving on.
No money these days, he’s messages now stay two days before they are replied.
He stands and walks into the bathroom, not before smashing his phone on the floor.
He turns on the tap.
The cold water hits Peter’s palm and he suddenly feel with the goosebumps an overwhelming cloud of sadness spreading all over he. His legs give way, and as he rests his hand on the sink for support, his eyes hit the mirror, and he hears it again.
“Wait a minute Peter. What exactly are you doing?”
Peter’s hands lose their grip. He hit the floor and starts writhing.
“He means, of what use is all of this to you, life and all?” it continues.
“Do you not see that you are not wanted here? He means, you have tried to call people. Do you not realize how irrelevant your existence is to those around you? You’ve been sitting there for hours now, how many people have come to check on you? Your own family! I thought you said you wanted everything to go?,’’said Peter.
Peter thought you said you wanted peace?
Are you reconsidering now?
You’re chickening out?
Listen man, you don’t have to. No need. Calm down. Remember that your mind is made up.
Walk into the room, pick up that piece of glass from the floor, you’ll know which vein to cut once you place it on your wrist. Or better still, check Google.
Oh! That’s true, you smashed the phone. Ok, just slice the whole darn thing, one will be the correct one.
You just can’t give up the freedom you seek now. You can as well get a rope from the store.
What? no no, it won’t be your fault. Nobody would blame you. Yes. That’s right. Nobody will.
He’s meaning, if they really care enough to be so concerned when you’re at peace, why aren’t they here for you now that you are troubled?
Yeah, you’re beginning to get it. They don’t care! And they’re not hiding it.
Even your family. Haven’t it crossed your mind why your father treated you so bad?
You mean you haven’t wondered why when your mother looks at you, it seems like there’s an untendered apology lying in there, in her eyes, somewhere?
Are you blind to the fact that in five children from your father, you’re the only one light skinned?
No. It’s not from your mother’s complexion. Why are you then the only one that carried it? Do you not see that you are paying for a crime you only became a part of by being born?
Yes. You get it now.
You are not his child!!
Exactly! If you’re not accepted in your own home, how will life accept you? Do you see it now?
That’s why the university isn’t taking you. All your younger siblings have been admitted.
That’s why all the employers are rejecting your application.
No! It’s not because of your educational qualifications. Are you the first 2nd class upper degree holder to apply? Have they not been taking people?
Ok, now tell me why Ann, Esther, Edith and Joan rejected you?
Do you now see that charity begins at home?
Stop trying Willy. You have tried enough. Stop trying to fight it.
Your efforts will yield nothing. It is not your fault.
Go and rest. Take a break from this shithole that you were innocently put into.
You have been brave with your life, now be brave even in rest.”
At this point, Peter is sobbing uncontrollably at the realization of all these truths. It all makes sense finally.
Funny how all the answers you seek are inside of you.
You just have to connect to the right voice.
Slowly, he rises like one possessed by some evil spirit, and walk into the room. As he reaches the nightstand, there is a knock on my door.
The stupid one.
*knock! Knock!! Knock!!!*
“Willy come help me zip my dress.”
Peter stares at the door with bloodshot eyes. This useless girl will not disappear from here now.
*knock! Knock!! Knock!!! Knock!!!! Knock!!!!!*
“that’s why Peter hates knocking on you door. Every time it will be as if somebody should kneel down and beg you to open it. I beg now, please come help me zip my dress Willy.”
“WHAT HAVE I DONE TO YOU!”
“He said come help me zip my dress please.”
Peter tries to walk to the door, but he hears it again. The voice. Faint this time.
“Oh soldier! Have you come this far to fail now?”
“PETER, I BEG COME OPEN YOUR DOOR. YOUR FRIEND JOHNNY IS HERE. NOWHERE YOU WILL HAVE TO OPEN, MTCHEEW!”
Peter walks to the door, open it.
He has never been angry and happy to see someone. But as he looked at Johnny, that’s how Peter felt.
Peter leads him out into the sitting room, and we sit down.
“Oh man, what’s up buddy ” he begins, “What happened to your phone? That time you called me, my mind was not functioning well I was very sleepy …”
“You failed today” Peter hears the voice say in his head. “But no worries, consistency begets success.”
PS: A few weeks ago, five to be exact, a friend of mine had considered suicide after falling into depression due to the excess pressure exerted on him by his family. He graduated from college in 2014 and had not gotten any ‘white Color job’ as desired by his family. With no biological parents, he had tried all possible ways, hustling here and there to no avail.
Then finally he decided that he would end his life since he considered himself useless.
I do not know of any government emergency call Centre where such people can call, talk to someone and perhaps get the kind of support system they need.
Therefore, It has been on my mind for a while, as a burden. But I guess fear or whatever has held me back.
But this morning, after this #2000 rolex that I have just eaten, I see a clear call for it. A need for it now more than ever.
Depression is suddenly on the rise, (among young people especially) and unchecked leads to being suicidal.
So here it is. Do you need someone to talk to, with?
Someone to listen to you without prejudice?
Do you also have stories of experiences that could help someone in this kind of situation?
Send me an inbox message, and I’d gladly tell your story. Trust me, it’s worth telling.
Written by Eninu William Tel: 0783642052
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