“What is going on, why are they covering their nose? And I can’t even perceive anything, maybe I’m suffering from a catarrh without knowing it, that’s why I can’t perceive the odour” Rose thought
and continued working majestically to her department, filled with joy and happiness that God had wiped away the tears from her eyes. He had saved her family from tribulations that visited them by sending Nduka who sent 300k for her parent’s treatment.
When she entered her department, the lecturer was already having a class. She seek for permission and then entered.
Immediately she entered, the silent atmosphere was interrupted.
“Oh my God! What is that smell, its so horrible?” A student said
The unpleasant odour brought disarray in the lecture room, and the students began requested for permission to step out of the lecture room.
“Nobody is leaving this class. What kind of disrespect is this?” The lecturer shunned.
But when he wanted to continue with the lecture, thinking it was just an ordinary fart, breeze swept the smell straight to his nose.
“What is that smell?” He asked, covering his nose with a handkerchief
“This is now getting out of hand, is it me or?” Rose wondered.
Those sitting close to her started looking at her offensively.
“Rose, I think you are the one smelling. Sir, I think she is the one that has polluted the class. Immediately she entered, the atmosphere changed.”
So those who supported the speaker, spoke up: “Yes, its true. She is the one and they started demanding for her to leave.
“Rose, we are not being disrespectful here, but is it true?” The Lecturer calmly asked, and stepped outside to spit.
“Is it me or, I thought I am not smelling yet” Rose asked, sniffing herself.
When the lecturer came back, most of the students were complaining bitterly, requesting him to send Rose out of the class.
So the lecturer asked Rose politely to step out of the class, to know if she was the one smelling.
So she shamefully and reluctantly stood and then left.
It had already occurred to her that she was smelling, but what kept her wondering was why she couldn’t perceive it.
When Okeoma approached her, she blurted: ” Mercy, are you the one smelling? But what happened? “
“Its a long story Okeoma, come I will explain everything.”
“Rose, I am sorry, I can’t move closer, but can’t you perceive it? Did you fall into something, like a pit toilet?”
The two friends were still discussing when the lecturer came out: “Rose, I don’t know what’s up with you, but i suggest you go home and take care of yourself. As for the quiz, it will not hold again, so you don’t have to worry about that”
“Oh thank you sir” Rose appreciates
He nodded and left.
And the two ladies continued with their conversation.
“So Rose, haven’t you had a bath? Even if you have not had bath for one week, it’s still not enough reason for you to be smelling like this. This is too much. Pease, I can’t stand this. I am now feeling sick already. I know you fell into something but you don’t want to tell me. You need a strong warm bath, once you are done with that, you let
me know” Okeoma said and left.
Rose stood confused, watching Okeoma leaving.
“If I am smelling this bad as they claimed, why is Nduka not complaining about it? Or is there something going on that I am not aware off? Anyway, it will definitely be the effect of the prayer. And since the quiz will not hold again, its better I return to Nduka’s place.” She concluded and then stepped out to leave.
As she was walking out from her department, she saw Nduka entering her department.
“Is that not Nduka? He came to pick me? Which mean means he knew”
“Here you are, I have been checking all the departments in this school searching for you. Stop standing there, hop in” Nduka demanded
And Rose entered.
“Now tell me, what are you doing here?” Rose became curious
“I just figured out you will need me, you know you have not had a bath, so I understand how you will be feeling” Nduka explained
“Which means you knew that I am smelling badly, why didn’t you tell me?” Rose flared
“Off course you should smell, you have not had a bath for days, so its normal. Focus on the prayer and neglect people’s reactions, they are all pranks the enemies are playing on you to make you slide in your prayers. So don’t fall for their tricks, Beauty.” Nduka incited
And Rose maintained silence.
Mekus was surprised to see Nduka returning with Rose: “Oh man! He did it” he softly blurted, watching them smiling as they entered inside.
Mekus who couldn’t wait to hear the gist of how he found her approached: “Guy, how come?”
“Mekus, I am all in this desire of becoming rich, and once I set out to do something, I must surely get it. As for finding her, it wasn’t that difficult. You know that her staunch smell has made her very unique, so I quickly figured out that their will be a chaos any place she stepped in, her new identity will wreck havoc in the atmosphere. So I began going from one department to another looking for a place there was a pandemonium” Nduka narrated as they laughed out together
Mekus hummed and said: “Well, its a good thing she came back. And please, make sure she doesn’t step out of this house ever again, we are nearing the completion stage”
“Right on that my friend”. Nduka affirmed
After that day, Mercy began hallucinating terribly.
Her first shock was very close to refrigerator.
She wanted to get a chilled water from the fridge, and saw that same hand she saw in her first dream opening the freezer.
She felt cold with goose bumps raining all over her. She then rubbed her eyes to know if it was just an imagination.
And then she saw nothing, she hummed and got the fridge.
As she was grabbing the water, she felt presence of someone..
And she quickly turned, but saw no one.
She heard a faint voice laughing.
“What is wrong with me? Am I suffering from malaria or something?” She wondered.
“Anyway, its just my imagination. Its playing pranks on me” she said grabbing a glass, pouring water into it.
On lifting it up to drink, she saw colony of cockroaches squeaking inside.
And she screamed, threw the cup and ran inside the room.
She was sweating profusely.
The whole strange scenario started becoming clear to her.
“No, this is strange. Something is definitely wrong with this house. I can’t stay here any longer. I really can’t. I have to leave. I must leave before Nduka comes back, because he won’t permit me to leave. What kind of prayer is this, are you sure Nduka and his friend are doing something funny with me? No no, I must leave, this is enough, this house is cursed, I can’t” She said, gathering her things to leave.
The author of Dirty Sleep: Ngozi Lovelyn O.