I stopped short as I walked into the room to find Mide seated on the bed by the window, looking out into thin air. Her face was flat and her eyes had sunk in, leaving an illusion of dark hollow circles. Her hair looked like she had just been in a fight with an animal from the wild, a very fierce one at that. Mide looked forlorn and lost, most vividly, she looked terribly wounded…
“Mide, Mide” I called her name, startling her from her state of what must have been a reverie. She turned to look at who it was, and seemed kind of surprised or was it happy to see me standing at her bedroom door. I couldn’t tell for real, her expressions were hard to read.
“Oh Uju, why have you come?” she started to speak as she rose to welcome me.
Why have I come? Was that the right question to ask a friend? I silently thought to myself
“Well, I came to visit, it’s been long I heard from you and even when calls were dropped, you never answered nor deemed it fit to return them. What’s wrong Mide, what’s all these rumors going around town about-” At this point she quickly made to interrupt my statements.
“What stupid rumours eh, answer me, what stupid rumours? I see, that’s why you’ve also come isn’t it , to get a scoop of the story, so you also have what to share with…”
“No, not at all, I fired back, “whats wrong with you, why have you suddenly chosen to be so cold and worse still made yourself less accessible, people are sick worried about you, about you and Michael, I’m your friend Mide, you tell me things. Why are you refusing to be open now. You’ve changed, you’re dying and he’s respon-”
“No, he loves me, everything he is doing is for my good, he wants a better me and that’s why he…” she answered defensively, her body trembling and her eyes in hot tears as she did so. “That’s why”, her voice was softer now as she tried to continue , but it seemed as if she couldn’t bring herself to say the words, they just hung loose at the tip of her tongue.
“That’s why what Mide?”
Almost immediately, Mide broke into full tears as she found herself crumbling to the floor, while simultaneously hitting her head against the bed in the process. But she didn’t seem to care. It appeared to be a thing she had gotten used to. I watched her for a while as she sat back there in what seemed like torture, looking very much unkempt, distressed and distraught. It suddenly made me wonder if she had had a proper bath, any bath at all or even a good meal in the past few days.
That’s why he hit you Mide, not once, not twice. He hit you. The words to her unfinished statement came crawling into my mind as I sat down beside her to comfort her.