I cannot remember clearly but I think I was still in primary school. It had been a moody day with the sun hiding behind thick clouds and the air so damp I could smell the thick aroma of rain. Somehow, I was the only one left at home: my elder siblings had gone off to be with their friends at the dam nearby; my father, as usual, was with his second wife in another town (read here) and my mother had just gone out with my little sister. I had always been the type that was comfortable in my own company, or I was just too lazy to get dressed and leave the house, but it was typical that I was home alone.
As expected, the rains began to pour in abundance. There was lightning and thunder and rain and ice with rough winds and freezing cold. I welcomed the distraction as I looked for basins and buckets to retain the water leaking at many points in the house. I placed the biggest plastic basins in the sitting room where the leaks were more and turned every small mirror upside down. There was a big dresser in my parent’s room on which stood a large mirror that had mirrors on its side that opened like a two-way door. Whenever it rained, my mother would ask us to cover the mirror up with wrappers. I never asked her why but I guess it had something to do with lightning, broken mirrors and superstitions. When I was done placing buckets and basins under leaking points, I went to go cover my mother’s mirror.
That mirror was very distracting. Because of the two door-like mirrors by the sides, you could see three different reflections of yourself, all from different angles. It was magnificent! So even though I had the wrapper in my hand, my village people had plans for me: I kept it on the dresser and looked at myself in the mirror, imagining that I was acting a scene in a movie.
As I looked, it began to thunder aggressively outside, as though the weather was not in support of my decision to use the mirror instead of covering it. In retaliation, I screamed at my image in the mirror, telling the thunder that I could make noise too.
As the thunder got louder, my screams pitched higher. I was screaming at the top of my voice, looking at myself in the mirror and holding my ears so tight, this time imagining that I was in the middle of a horror movie where I had supper powers that could swallow thunder. The thunder was stubborn but so was I! I would take a breather and listen to the intensity of the thunder and then I would scream my turn, louder each time.
I was screaming so loud so I did not hear the door open. I only heard a loud “What is it?”
It was my mother’s voice. I turned in her direction and saw raw fear in her eyes. She was dripping wet and her eyes were popping out of their sockets like half broken coconuts. She spread her hands in front of her, the way mother’s do when they are asking “why me?”, motioning for me to tell her what the problem was. “What is it? Why are you screaming?” she asked again.
I didn’t say anything. I began to laugh. The situation wasn’t funny. I was only laughing because I knew I was done for. My mother was going to take me for deliverance because this was not normal. All the demons using me to torture her would be flogged out by force.
It was a typical case of “this one is strong!”
Many years went by, but pay the price for that foolishness, I did!