NUMB

ONE TWO THREE. You try to count the patterns on the paper wall. The hole in the ceiling suddenly seems like a bug and you start to see it moving. Yeah, it’s moving. You stand on the bed to take a closer look, it’s still moving, you wish you were taller, so you stand on…

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ONE TWO THREE. You try to count the patterns on the paper wall. The hole in the ceiling suddenly seems like a bug and you start to see it moving. Yeah, it’s moving. You stand on the bed to take a closer look, it’s still moving, you wish you were taller, so you stand on your toes and lift up your hand to reach for the hole. You still can’t touch it. So you stretch and reach for that hole and succeed. When you do, you realize it’s just a hole and not a bug. So you fall back on the bed. You go back to your state of inertia. You look at the clock, its 10 am, you know you should get up, you know you need to get up but you’re frozen. For four hours you’ve been staring, For four hours life has stopped. You can’t speak, you can’t move. All you can do is stare, being oblivious to everything around you. You can’t hear, you don’t want to hear anything but silence. The silence is louder than noise, and you like it that way. This seems uncomfortable, but you find comfort here because you can’t feel anything. All you feel are your tears.

Your tears are warmer than any embrace ever offered, your tears can speak and you hear it whisper, ‘It’s going to be okay’ Your mouth wants to scream but your lips just can’t seem to part. Then the tears stop. You start to get cold, your warmth is gone. The voice in your head says ‘you need your tears back’. You try to cry, but the tears just don’t seem to come out anymore. You start to panic. You look round and see that bottle of gin you didn’t finish last night, so you reach for it with your hands trembling. You sip it, and then gulp it and when that doesn’t do, you drink it like a cold bottle of water. It does the work, numbs you and reminds you of your pain and the tears flow again.

It’s 1pm and everyone is wondering why you’re not up yet, You hear a bang on your door but you don’t answer. You want to but you’re too drunk to care. He calls your name. He turns the knob, he calls your phone, and you can tell he’s panicking. You can tell he’s going to force the door open. You want to get up. For the life of you, you don’t want him to see you in this misery. You don’t want him to see how weak you are, you try to stand up but you can’t feel your body. Fifteen minutes later the door is forced open. You hear your name, you see his face, and he’s nudging you, begging you to stand up. He nudges you some more, but you’re still numb, now he’s screaming at you pleading with you to get out of your misery. He runs out the door……..a tear drops and you can hear the tiny thump as it hits the bed.

He comes back with a bucket of water in his hand. He calls your name as if he can’t find you, as if there’s nothing in there, as if he can’t recognize you. As if you’ve lost something, as if you’ve lost yourself. You know you’ve lost something, you did when the man in the white robe told you you’d lost that tiny ray of hope. That day on a cold Sunday afternoon after three hours of bleeding and wrenching in pain, he said its over. He said try again. He said it happens to a lot of women. You heard him tell your husband just give her time. Hmmmm time, time time time. Does it really heal the pain or does it deepen the pain. You can’t answer that question, all you know is that this is worse than pain. It’s cold and the only feeling you have is numbness.

Splash, he pours the bucket of water. Ha! This does the trick. You start to scream and when you do, he starts to laugh and laughs so hard that you think he’s losing it, the tables have turned so now it’s your turn to nudge him, to ask him if he’s okay. Both your hands are on his shoulders and you keep asking him to stop laughing as you keep nudging on he starts to cry. You both start to cry and suddenly it starts to dawn on you that his pain is as bad as yours, the only difference between you two is that he has done a good job at hiding it. You suddenly realize that, that person who acts like he has it all together is going through his pain as well. So you hold his hand, look into his eyes and tell him that you both will get through this time together. Now it’s your time to tell him it’s going to be okay.

To everyone going through their own pain in one way or the other. You’re not alone. You never are. Let’s reach out to one another and help each other through the pain.

Responses

  1. Lauretta Ofulue (Whispering Hope)
    I cried while reading this. This is story telling at its peak. It is just excellent. Your sense of description is excellent, flawless and definitely unrivaled. I still have the tears in my eyes. I feel the same pain. I have lost so much in my life. But I thank God that I am smiling now. It is not because I am hiding it..not anymore. It is because I have moved on. But honestly, the scars are there. The pain is dull now. It is now like an ache…a discomfort when the memories are revisited. This write up….what it did…was make me revisit “me” then. However, this time, it helped “me” measure how far I have come. Pain is real…especially when you have lost so much. The beauty of life…is that we all have the ability to rise up! to roar out stronger than ever. What doesn’t kill you definitely makes you stronger…For every one else out there…alluta continua! Victoria acerta!!!
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  2. J.Amie
    “that person who acts like he has it all together is going through his pain as well” we just don’t know it.
    Thank you Tosin. Thank you.
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  3. Zelda
    grieving from a loss can be terrible. we all need each other, everybody needs to know that they are not alone. especially those who seem the strongest. a friend lost his mum and he has seemed pretty strong through it but i see the hurt and pain in his eyes that he tries so hard to hide. he is one person who likes to solve his problems himself and go through things alone. i said to him,’ you shouldn’t do this alone not because you are weak but because everyone needs someone especially at times such as this.i am here for you however you need me to be whether its to cry, talk ,be silly or just be silent’. grief is never easy for anyone. May God comfort those in times such as these.
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  4. Eddie
    This is incredibly good. The emotions draw you in and you feel the pain, so raw, so deep. I also love how you’ve portrayed the ways different people express and cope with grief. Wonderful!
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  5. Princewill
    I am known to be impassive about my emotions especially sad ones, but recently it feels like it has become too much for me to handle and it’s beginning to show. Thanks for this “To everyone going through their own pain in one way or the other. You’re not alone. You never are. Let’s reach out to one another and help each other through the pain.” Well done.
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