“What is iT?” Nduka asks in sheer confusion, touching Rose, who closed her eyes with her hands, shivering in fear.
“You… Its you! Who are you?” She asked looking all scared at Nduka, slapping off his hands from her body.
And Nduka switched on the bright light, looking at Rose who was looking strongly terrified.
She then looked at him closely and said:”You…you…I saw your face, it was all….all….” And Rose became confused, it fell down on her that it was a dream.
“What is it Beauty? You woke up screaming, its like you had a terrible nightmare?” Nduka asked
“Yes, it seems like it, but it looked so real, I have never had such a horrible nightmare in my entire life.” Rose said, still looking at him, with fear gripping her heart.
“Beauty, its a normal thing for one to have strange dreams when he or she is observing some prayers, which means our prayer is already working. You will be seeing different kinds of weird things in the dreams, and sometimes, you will be attacked in the dream, they use mostly, the faces of those we love. So don’t worry, I am with you, nothing will happen to you.” Nduka poured her convincing words, making Rose believe that it was normal to have such strange dreams, she even determined to embark on the prayer for that full 7 days.
After the deep thoughts, She went back to sleep.
“I really can’t wait for this ritual to be done with. As for my father, I will make him regret for ever insulting me.” Nduka said and started imagining himself becoming so wealthy, contemplating on the honorary name he would loved to be conferred with in his village. And then, he laughed softly and said: “I just can’t wait”
So the next day, the ritual was already taking effect on Rose.
She can’t perceive herself smelling, but others around her will.
The odour that oozing out from her body was becoming offensive and Rose was pretty unaware.
Nduka went to his friend,
Mekus and said: “Man, that girl is smelling like death. I can’t even stand close to her.”
And Mekus laughed: “You were laughing when Oshimiri gave you the task, and you think it was as easy as ABC, so it’s your task and you shouldn’t complain, remember, no skipping, it must be done consecutively, or else there will be a disaster.”
“I understand man, I rather do it than remain poor and be receiving my father’s insult all my life. As you see me now, I am even ready to eat a decayed animal just to be rich. I have always known that nothing good comes easy. So I am ready for anything”
“Good. Until you finish your task” Mekus said.
The second day was successful, and Rose had another weird dream but she flagged it off as a normal thing, that her enemies were attacking her in the dream, but she never knew that she was already transforming, spiritually.
So on the 3rd day, Rose was already smelling badly, and she was oblivious of it.
About 10am, she received a call from Okeoma who informed her about the quiz they were to have.
“Are you serious? Oh my God, I really need to be there.”
“Yes, you need to, you know you missed the assignment and the seminar, so you shouldn’t miss this one as well” Okeoma said
“You are right. I will be in school soon” Rose said and then disconnected the call.
“Now, how do I leave here without taking a bath? And that prophet strictly instructed
that I shouldn’t bath for 7 days. This is weird, but I have no other choice than to do it. Since its for my own protection. And besides, I’m not even smelling, maybe I will just spray perfume, nobody will notice that I have not had a bath for 3 days now” Rose said, changing into another cloth.
She then went to Nduka who was shocked to see her dressed up.
“Beauty, to where are you going?” He asked
“Um…I want to reach school, I was informed about the quiz we will be having this afternoon, and I can’t afford to miss it”
“Really? But is it a must and you are going without even informing me about it first? Is this how we will live when we finally get married?” Nduka said trying to be aggressive
Mekus touched him and lowly said: “Remember, you shouldn’t force her”
He then sighed and said: “Rose dear, remember we are still doing the prayer and we shouldn’t skip a day.”
“And you think I have forgotten about that? Is it not for my own benefit? Don’t worry, once the test is done, I will return here straight away, OK.” Rose said, leaving
“Just allow her” Mekus whispered
“Alright, and please come back soon”
“I will” Rose said and left.
“Mekus, please tell me, if she refuses to return, I mean, if we skip today, what will happen?”
“Death. You will die Nduka, if you miss a day”
And Nduka’s heart flipped. ” Oh my God, don’t you think there is every possibility she won’t come back today. She does not know she is smelling badly, and when her friends taunt her about it, she will be induced into taking a bath. Now, I am worried “
“Nduka, you have to prevent that from happening.” Mekus advised.
“And we allowed her to go by herself? I should have taken her to the school myself. Let me call her now” Nduka said, calling her number, and it was switched off.
“Mekus, I am finished, I am scared, I don’t want to die yet” Nduka feared
“Nduka, stop panicking. Let’s hope she returns.”
“Mekus, I need to look for her, I can’t just sit here. The girl does not know she is smelling badly, and I don’t think she can stand the mockery and insult that will be poured on her. And the worst thing is that, I don’t know the name of her hostel and the course she is studying. It didn’t occurred to me to ask her. Mekus, is this how I am going to die?”
“Nduka, the only thing you should do now is to have faith.”
Nduka became nervous, and remembered his mother, and all the things he promised to do for her when he becomes rich.
He imagined how she would cry if anything should happen to him.
“Oh no! This shouldn’t happen, Beauty, you must return, I can’t die without doing anything for my mother.” He said to himself and then asked Mekus to give him the car keys, that he will go and look for Rose.
“Nduka, you are not going anywhere? You might be implicating yourself, what if they hold you responsible for anything that will happen to her after? So Mr Man, don’t be stupid, don’t allowed to be seen with her”
“Mekus, I better die trying than stay here, not doing anything.”
“Alright, if you insist, but remember, don’t force her, or else, all your efforts will be ruined, Oshimiri don’t give second chances.”
“I won’t let any of that happen” Nduka said and left, with all determination to finding Rose.
Rose boarded a bike going to school, on their way, the bike man became uncomfortable.
“Are you perceiving anything?” He asked
“No, something like what?”
“Its a very offensive odour, oh my goodness, I feel like throwing up”
“Are you serious? What’s that smell that I can’t even perceive it?” Rose asked herself
So when they reached the school gate, as Rose alighted from the bike, the man realized she was the one smelling.
“Oh no! Who is this? She is not smelling like a human, is she a demon in human form? I must flee from here immediately.” The man revised and then spade off.
“Come and have your money. Hey, you! Your money?” Rose shouted, but he ignored her.
When she turned around, she found people sniffing, some were covering their nose with handkerchiefs.
And she started wondering why she can’t perceive anything…
Dirty Sleep is written by Ngozi Lovelyn O.
To be continued..
Warning: No part of this work should be copied, used, reproduce, redistribute either electronically or manually without prior permission from the author.