It happens shortly after my 6:22 am alarm. On a Tuesday.

The siren call rattles me, because I had been falling back asleep, after being awake since 4:41am. Since then, my mind had been so busy, creating scenarios and putting me in them, with a dark melancholic tone as the soundtrack. At some point, I had been the Irene Adler of Sherlock Holmes, and in another I had been the Anastasia Steel in Fifty Shades of Grey. In another, I had been myself, my boring self with nothing to excite the life out of me. I am not certain whether I was awake or asleep at this stage.

Clumsily, I withdraw my phone from under one of my pillows, without fully opening my eyes. Batting one eyelid, I grumpily press the stop prompt, and slowly let go of it. Somehow, I stumble immediately back to sleep, and my eyes flutter to a distressful paralysis.

Willingly, but unwillingly, my body transforms into a stump. I suddenly feel limp, tired like I have been carrying a heavy weight on my back. I feel so exhausted, and in that moment, a dark cloud hovers over me. And I am caught up in a tornado, wind is hurling angrily around me, picking up sepia coloured dust and the dark clouds are so close to my head. I feel an overwhelming fear being at the eye of the storm. I am trembling and shaking rapidly, and I am trying to scream but no sound escapes my mouth. I am trying to move; my body is fighting the spell I am caught up in. I try, with my mortal energy to fight the spiritual realm I have been dragged in and grapple for my phone to call my sister – and tell her I am dying. But I can only touch it, feel it, but not hold it in my grasp. My fingers are limp.

I have a vision of it melting from my hands. Sub-consciously, I am sure this is a dream. Consciously, I cannot escape from it until it torments me to the end. A thought floats in my mind, and I think that if this is dying, I am certain my sister, Njeri, will find me. I wonder though what will be the cause of my death. Is this a heart attack? I am having a stroke? What will they say when they find my body limp in the bed, with blue unicorn pyjamas, and a cartoon calligraphed shirt?

What will they say of my head wrapped in an old stocking, of the dirty laundry in the basket at the corner of my bedroom, of the dirty dishes in the kitchen, of the half a bottle of gin in my fridge? Of the half-read Adventures of Sherlock Holmes lying on my bedside table next to my earrings I had worn to work on Monday? Here lies the remains of her, she was snatched right in the middle of life by death. Will my boss miss me? I hope he will.

I am so scared. The fear is overwhelming. This storm is closing in. I try to scream, but no sound rolls from my tongue. Not even a gasp. I am stuck, in motion. And I still feel the vibrations in me. If someone would see me right now, I am sure they would think I have been struck by an electric shock.

Crazy thoughts are whirling in my mind, and they are tormenting. I plead for life. I am not ready to die. When this happened the last time, my friend Kimunya told me to try and scream “Jesus.” I try to, and with all my soul I call out His name. But I feel nothing.

I am more scared now, His presence has deserted me or was not with me at all. And this dark presence drags me deeper, engulfing me in this storm. Now I am trying to yell “fuck” but again no words are coming out. It pulls me in, the darkness, leering because it seems so ready for me. In the fluttering shadows, I catch a glimpse of my bedsheets, which are white with speckles of butterflies and flowers.

In my stormy trance, I see the flowers trying to bloom through the bedsheets. The pretty pink petals with yellow sepals, blooming. Then the butterflies start to flutter and gain their wings to rush after the blooming flowers. I will for them to not move, they are also trying to escape. I feel a rush of power, like I have been possessed by magic, me telling them to stop. I am also affirming, that I am worth living for. I keep telling myself I will make it out alive. That God is with me and will pull me out of this. Then the flower escapes from the sheet, and the butterfly latches on it. And I try to raise my hand towards the butterfly.

My body now stills and yields into whatever this will become. I will for death to now come and rescue me. I am tired of the struggle, if it wants my life, it can have it. I can swirl in this storm and it can take me to wherever it wants to take me. I want to finally be at peace, with the butterflies and flowers, surrounded by their beauty and life. If this is what death feels like…

After all, Albus Dumbledore did say, “to a well organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.” He also said, “do not pity the dead, but pity the living, and above all, those who live without love.” At least I will be at peace. I have loved.

Suddenly, I gasp, and I open my eyes in precipitous awareness. I knew it was a dream! Everything around me is still. The flowers and butterflies imprinted on my bedsheets are still intact. My bedroom is quiet, the canvas painting of the abstract nude lady with a wine glass on my wall is still and beautiful. And the bright sun is streaming cheerily through the sheer curtains, creating yellow and orange hues.

There is a bird chirping outside.

My heart is beating so fast. Beads of sweat are lying on my forehead, I can feel them. And I feel like a heavy hand was compressing my chest. Unsteadily, I reach for my phone, and it is 6:26 am.

4 minutes of absolute agony. But then it has passed, as all things do















Photo by Marisa Harris on Unsplash