TW: mental illness
See ehn, the end is the end. This is the end.
Day is day. Try to shade it with a little darkness and it’s no longer that. It’s dusk. Or dawn. You can accuse us of everything, you and Goody Two-Shoes, but would you also say we stole the sun from the sky and hid it away? Even as your trust is as fickle as a whiff of smoke in an angry wind, you cannot accuse us of not telling the truth from the time when you only heard us in your dreams. There’s nothing for you in this world, Our Boy. Just pain, hurt, and waste of time that isn’t ours. Remember these whispers? Remember, Our Boy? You’ve had your time. Now it is the end.
When a baby winds up in a dumpster, the best favour anyone can do it is to let it go. How empty-headed was that street sweeper who thought she loved you more than your mother did? May the air grow claws and scratch her eyes out. Things we could happily do ourselves, if only we were not confined to the murky wax of your ears. She’s a worm flicking and flicking. Make us the salt that dries, suffocates, and burns her outside in. Seek her out, Our Boy. She has elongated breath in lungs that should instead be breathing into roots on the other side as they grow into things on this one. She has dragged a pile of misery thin, over months and years, and we’re still here suffering it. She should burn outside in, Our Boy.
But no, you preferred, instead, to go on and waste our precious hate, like you’ve also done the time that isn’t ours. Potent fumes of dark, rumbling energy all squandered. Now, all that is left is not enough to wash anyone else but you – us. First, you fixated on the one who did to you, when we were still asleep, what she used to do to the bloodied lining from her monthly ritual; a ritual you greedily gulped for nine months. She had to show you how much she missed throwing that blood away. You, tight-eyed in that paper bag, open feast for flies and bugs, and rats and snakes, if only they reached you before the sweeper woman. You, with your greed of nine-month blood eating had to end up where the nine-month blood should have. That was the atonement, but the flicking worm that should burn outside in ruined it, and you wasted our hate on the one who actually tried to save you until the worm ruined it.
We had an abundance of this hate even before you started to sprout bleached hair around your teeny-weeny slumbering willie and in the caves by your malnourished shoulders. It swirled and twirled inside of you like wild steam from a cooking pot, hardening your face with visible anger, shortening your temper like the early sleep of the sun shortens day. But you waste and waste on the wrong people, Our Boy. And Goody Two-Shoes would sit in your earwax, his precious paste of molten throne, and amplify your mind with mirages that had no respect for borders or boundaries. You here can be the best. The best at anything you put your mind to, My Boy. All you need to do is keep low the volume of these evil ones. Listen only to I, Goody-Goody, and your best life will be ahead of us.
The audacity of such stupidity. Not of Goody Two-Shoes, but of you, Our Boy. Stupidity that grew your longing for things you couldn’t have. Did you really believe the handlers or visitors at the orphanage would favour you over Jide, with his handsome face that made every mirror he smiled at look prettier; or Aminu who had big, white teeth finer than any of the visiting kids; or Caleb, who took first place in every exam no matter how hard you and everyone else slaved in front of your dull lanterns to cram the words and drawings from your books into your heads? That whisper you used to love over us lied to you, Our Boy. He made you waste so much of our hate on all these people who had done you no wrong.
But our volumes couldn’t stay low for long, could they? When on that Easter day of visitors, she, a pearl of succulent human flesh, lush long hair, and a smile that dug her dimples deeper the bigger it was, strolled in with a wrapped gift in one hand and the barrel of her father’s gun finger pose in the other. Goody Two-Shoes’ volume drowned in the thumping of your heart each time you stole glances at her, and our murmurs, especially Baddie One-Shoe’s, floated above it all to remind you that you had not stolen anything, and that your looking would not suddenly stuff her into your pocket like the extra sweets and biscuits that end up there when the handlers were not looking, and that if you smiled at her, she just might smile back. If you had listened and not still strained for the drowned whining telling you to look away, would Jide have gone over to her before you and end up spending the entire evening with her while you sulked? And more of our precious hate went to waste. Mtchew!
Well, at least we grew some volume at last, as coarse as it made us, struggling to match Goody Two-Shoes’ exalted decibels, and as shameless as we looked, throwing ourselves at you, hoping you found us appealing, no, sexy enough for your thoughts. And the joy it gave us when you agreed not to pursue that scholarship or devote seven years of time that’s not ours to studying medicine. Goody Two-Shoes really built castles out of mere whispers and convinced you to live in them. Imagine you, Our Boy, a medical doctor. Hehehe. We all know you’re not good enough, including you, and even Goody himself. But back then, you only listened to one half and not the other. Baddie One-Shoe and Ugly No-Shoe are like pleasure and pain, one the inside out of the other, and one the gateway into the other. Neither one whole if you only take half as you have now learned.
You did actually stray from your dedicated diet of good and began to indulge in bad but listening to one half only could never save you from yourself, and from Goody Two-Shoes’ spell of horrible good things. So, you squandered less of our hate but more of the time that’s not ours, going to that university anyway, four complete cycles of seasons and moon births. How could we have survived if Goody had also talked you out of the sex games, the altered realms, the blood spills, and yahoo yahoo. You loved the girls, you were a slave to the drugs, you bartered loyalty with the gangs, but the fraud money was the sweetest of all.
Did we think we had you to ourselves yet ‘cos of these? We goofed. One roommate’s journey to jail and Goody’s incessant hounding were all it took for you to denounce everything and head to church. Oh, foolish you! Even if there was a god, did you think it was for people like you? These fickle castles that Goody surveyed, architectured, masoned and engineered, what a joy it was to see them reduce to vaporized debris at the sight of the pearl of succulent human flesh again. Her lush hair fuller and alive around her shoulders, her dimples digging deep at just the music of her eyes, her lips only parting to show teeth when the beholder was worth it. You weren’t. She didn’t even remember you, did she?
What a way to start your time at your new workplace after four years of studying a course we can’t even pronounce, a further year of youth service, and three more of joblessness. What bigger punishment for wasting such a length of time than the misery of proximity to your kryptonite; the one who makes your heart thump like the bass drum on an assembly ground without ever looking at you twice unless she wanted to send you on an errand.
The first time, she walked in with a gun. Now she herself was the gun, and she reminded you every time by never pointing with one finger, but two. With Goody now flattened beneath our weights, it was the perfect playground for our glorious amplification after all. Baddie and Ugly together as one. Hahahaha.
Left to us, this was a great junction to put an end to wastage; a great time to put what is left of our smoky twirl to proper use. But you’re so stubborn, Our Boy, and you were hellbent on wasting more time that we don’t own. If this was so you could look for the street-sweeper and make her burn outside in, we would have been fulfilled, but all we would get was you breaking Goody Two-Shoes’ flattened heart more and that in its own self was just great. So, we flooded your ears with whispers that you executed almost to perfection. Having a job was nice, but yahoo yahoo was better, abi how else could you make enough money to entice your breathing weakness? And enticed she was, not by you, but by the flowers and unsigned cards, the anonymous shopping bags, and then, the Dubai vacation tickets for two.
Did you see how disappointed she was when she found out you had been the secret admirer? How her eyes narrowed, and how her cheeks ballooned like they’d never dug the shortest inch? Hahaha. You’re so stupid, Our Boy. What did you expect? That you telling her about this house would change her mind – this house in Lekki when she lives on Banana Island? Or about the 2012 Porsche Cayenne when she drives a 2022 Tesla? When we told you to leave the job, did you listen? And how intelligent of you to think of that moment as one to push us aside for Goody Two-Shoes to rise again, albeit briefly. Perhaps this could have been saved, but what does Goody do better than building breeze-shy castles if not building them with the stupidest whispers possible. Tell her who you are, My Boy. Tell her about the orphanage. Tell her the whole truth and she just might be touched.
And oh yes, she was touched, first by the need to ask you how you got the money, and then by the conviction to declare you a thief when you couldn’t provide an answer. Has your stitch-riddled heart ever been so stabbed and pulled apart? We bet not. There’s nothing for you in this world, Our Boy. Just pain, hurt, and a waste of time that isn’t ours. Remember these whispers? Remember, Our Boy? This is rock bottom and even you know now that this façade of illusory wealth will neither save you nor make this world any better for you.
You have wasted us into debtors with time, and even the hate that is ours, there’s only so much left for just you. You know she’ll ask the police to look into you, and frankly, you can pick up and evade their investigations if only you had the strength. Your smear of heart carcass sinks into the ground as the air thins it out. You will never be able to leave this house again. You’re wishing time slows to a stop. It is the end, and our whispers here have only been the highlight of the time you’ve wasted flashing before your mind.
So, how about you do just as we say now that you know Goody does not get you like we do? Turn on the hate you have left. It is enough to consume you from hair to nail. All you need now is a razor, sharper than the whiskers on a cat. There’s one under the coffee table right before you. There. Yes, Our Boy. Now, you see the inside of your wrist, right at the junction of the arm and the hand? That’s our preferred route home. Close your eyes, pull in as much air as your nostrils can take, and dig the razor deep. One slash only, and we’ll be free at last.
What the hell is that, Our Boy? Didn’t we ask you to kill that bloody phone? For a trip like this to be successful, there can’t be the possibility of you calling anyone or anyone calling you, you idiot! Who’s calling?! The pearl of succulent human flesh? Hell, no! Are you going to let that gorgeous gun walk in and shoot up your entire sense and sensibility again? You need to drop that phone right now! We’ve come too far to get here, Our Boy. Can’t you hear our home calling? That’s the only call you should be picking up right now. Don’t just sit there staring like a horrified, ill-formed statue! And why is Goody suddenly growing decibels, you fool?! Get your eyes off that phone! Your bloody hands too! Don’t–