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After Dark by chinyerevivian

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· @chinyerevivian ·
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After Dark
![poetry-688368_1280.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmPZkabfr8pwEZaGbKtXvLRASYz6DUiuKTfnpmih5wPsbS/poetry-688368_1280.jpg)
[Pixabay CCO](https://pixabay.com/en/poetry-book-of-poetry-romanticism-688368/)


Hello, there. So, it’s Sunday and time for another crazy prose and poem combo. I’ve got three stories here with similar story lines. Same with the two poems. 

Enjoy!

https://steemitimages.com/0x0/https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmfWLpH6PyFKPEkCTfhq4pqJn5QiG8Tev9UTwwWjaBCw17/RAYA%20AZUL.png

“Hail Mary... full of grace... the Lord is with thee...”  the woman murmured, her head bowed. She'd ceased to feel the pain on her bruised knees. Her rosary had become her companion since her child's ailment had taken a turn for the worse. She prayed fervently, day and night. Her life and the fate of her child depended on it. He was the only thing still keeping her in the marriage, a union with a man she had come to despise. An arranged marriage set up without her consent.

At first, she had believed she would learn to love him. Then she discovered his hatred for God and she'd lost all hope. She'd crossed path with nonbelievers before she married him, even became friends with few. But none of them had issues with her beliefs. She still shuddered whenever she remembered his reaction the first time he saw her reading the scriptures. She'd been pregnant with their child, and that day she'd realised what a huge mistake their marriage was.

Yet, her love for her child had held her back. She was a prisoner to that love, and cared very little for herself. She would give her child a complete family to grow up in, whether it was a good one or not. A virtuous woman, she  wasn't going to give the society and her family reasons to frown at her. No,  she would not fail at motherhood.
So she prayed, for herself and for her child.

***
<center>**INTERLUDE**</center>
<center>I have no words 
I will sit here and let it take me
This feeling I have no control over 
This thing calling my name and filling my senses
Whispering and beckoning to me</center>

<center>My eyes are twitching 
They are filled up and ready to spill 
Tears I have refused to shed 
Because it’s pointless to cry 
It solves nothing in the end</center>

<center>I try to forget myself in a book but fail 
It used to work but not anymore 
The words blur before they turn dark
They have no meaning no more 
I have lost my safe heaven</center>

*** 

I woke up to the dull thuds of rain drops hitting the thatched roof. The air was thick with smoke, making it difficult to breath. I tried to move my arms, but they were too heavy. My eyes burned with tears as I drew clogged air into my weak lungs. I willed myself not to choke, but it was too late; the cough shook me fully out of unconsciousness. My head felt as though it didn’t belong on my shoulders. I sensed a movement, right before I felt soft fingers on my forehead.

“She’s awake,” I heard Mama say.

“Are you sure?” a familiar voice asked. It belonged to Aunty Nnenna, Mama’s childhood friend.

“Yes.”

Mama was the only person who could tell when I was awake or asleep. Whether it was because she was my mother or because she paid close attention to me, I would never know. I liked to think it was because of the deep affection we had for each other that gave her that ability. The hard floor told me that we were in Ezemuo, the native doctor’s shrine. I was now used to the coldness of the room; the damp, rotten smell had become a part of me. This room had been my second home since I was born, long before I had my first attack.

“Mama,” I murmured.

“Don’t move, Adanneya. You are fine now,” she said, as she and took my hand and gently squeezed it. I sensed her smile.

I have always imagined Mama to have large, bright and the most beautiful smile. Although I cannot see them, I know her eyes and smile are bright, because I always feel their light whenever she smiles.

***
<center>**INTERLUDE**</center>
<center>I’m  failing at a lot of things 
They say it gets worse before it gets better 
I’m trying to believe it but I’m not succeeding 
Truth is I don’t want to try anymore 
I just want to say here and let it overpower me</center>

<center>Void, echo, emptiness 
Sitting alone in quietude 
I long for a sound or movement 
A soothing melody to beat back a cold hand 
Reaching slowly to push me under</center>

<center>I need a saviour
A dark night or an angel to rescue me
Funny it may sound for someone so strong
I cannot do it on my own now
I'm too weak to survive if I try</center>

*** 
Everyday, I sat and watched. It used to be every Tuesday, but not anymore. I've been watching them since the day he was born, sixteen years ago. It wasn't an easy birth. I had held her hand and called her a champ, which she hated, but it worked. Her hands always fascinated me. They were what attracted me that warm Saturday night. She was sitting alone in a booth for two at the east side of the restaurant, holding a wine glass with both hands. I had noticed the long fingers and the short nails before I saw the sadness in her eyes. Two months later, we were married. Then life happened. Work began to pile up for both of us. We barely saw each other. Sex became a ritual. We stopped trying to conceive. And one day, I received the annulment papers and a note. "I can't do this anymore," the note read. I never questioned it. I just signed. But that wasn't the end. A voicemail came after two weeks. We were going to have a baby; our baby. I was thrilled. I pushed and got visitation rights once every week. I would sit and watch them - she and our son. He was perfect. The curly bangs across his forehead, the mole on his small upturned nose, the dip on his upper lip and the smooth skin all helped frame his beautiful face. His eyes, however, remained closed. At first, we tried to deny it. We told ourselves that babies took all the time they needed to adjust. But anophthalmia was diagnosed. She stopped smiling. Every night, before putting him to bed, she would gently cup his face with both hands, her index fingers on both eyes, as she traced his eyebrows, and raised his eyelids. Then, she would remember the eyeballs didn't and wouldn't form, and she would stifle a sob. I began to show up everyday. She never objected. I would rub her shoulders while she read to him. Today, I sat on my usual spot at the foot of the bed, watching her slender fingers run slowly across his face. For the first time in sixteen years, I saw a warm smile on her lips.

***
<center>***Thanks for reading!***
***What are your thoughts?***</center>
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vote details (272)
@boyerobert ·
Excellent :-)
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@crystalpacheco30 ·
upvoted from the whaleshares show
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@julietisrael ·
This was extremely and beautifully written...
Got me fixated to my device
You've got such an enticing and beautiful twist.
Nice
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