Written By Wanjiku Mwaurah
She walked in breathing laboriously, holding a piece of soiled clothe to her body. She grunted as she struggled off her clothes plastered to her skin by sweat and blood. She was crying.
I turned over to switch on the lights next to the bed, the little clock on the bedside silently shimmered an 11 pm figure and I sighed unsure whether I should tell her something, to reassure her or scold her. I bit my lower lip and pretended to be asleep. This was becoming a habit. Today she was even early. She normally came home around 2 am and though we never talked about it I knew there was a man involved and maybe a woman too. Maybe she was a vampire or werewolf. Do they even exist?… Drat! The movies I have been watching they always trigger my imagination. She bumped into something, a sign that she was high and I cursed her under my breath, wondering why she never quit the life she led. I hated that I was stuck with her and didn’t how much longer.
She stripped and stepped into the shower which was a few step from the bed, adjacent to the little space we called our kitchen. She had a deep wound on her side that was now flowing freely. She got under the not so wide spray of water and let out a primal yelp that she quickly stopped with the back of her hand. She stepped out of the bathroom and sank down on the floor, biting her lips, her face contorted in pain. She let tears run down mixed with shower water and stuff hanging from her nose. She was crying noisily now.
I was playing dead. Pretending she wasn’t home yet, seemed easier than to ask what happened to her. I only turned once the entire time-when I was switching on the lights then I regulated my breathing; slow and deep to really prove that I was dead asleep. When she started her crying, I had managed to let the yelp go but this crying was too much. She even had a rhythm and I figured soon as I got hang of it I would start breathing to it.
‘ Please help me’
Was she speaking to me? No it was just my mind playing tricks. I always wished we talked; after all we shared a house. We shared a bathroom. We even shared a kitchen! We lived together and sometimes in my good-moment days, I wished we could sit down as housemates and just talk- like normal housemates do. I continued willing her away with my mind; toying with the idea of leaving the room and sleeping over at Julie’s. She would understand if I called her and told her am on my way, but it’s Friday night and the boyfriend is probably visiting.
‘Please help me’
She was speaking to me! Her voice was so low I almost missed it this second time. I threw back my bed cover and stepped towards her and without speaking helped her to the only seat we had. Blood was soaked on the little rug separating the bathroom form our kitchen. I must remember to send it to the dry cleaner, there is no way i’m washing blood. I will work overtime.
I reached into the closet we shared and took an old shirt I hadn’t worn in a long while and pressed it on her side. I cleaned her up then called the campus security. I saw her protesting weakly but I had to do this, put an end to what it was I didn’t know. Maybe I thought calling the campus police would give me answers or at least demystify the mystery of where I was that night.
In a few minutes, knocks on the door and the noisy siren outside shattered into my reverie. They matched in and asked who called then they saw me. Orders were barked by the man I had been with earlier in the night and as I was wheeled into the waiting van.
I watched as my eyes rolled back.
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