Prose

HALF MAN, HALF SPIRIT

I woke up from sleep panting like I had just concluded a marathon. Sitting up with immediate effect, I turned on my touch light, scouting the room with my eyes. In a matter of seconds, I had covered every inch of the room, yet the palpitations were still evident. “It was just a dream, another nightmare”, I tried to reassure myself.

I vividly remember the first day I had had this dream, it was the exact day I had gotten admission into the University. I had brushed it aside with the conviction that the alcohol I had forced down my system was beginning to take its toll on me. I wasn’t the type that enjoyed drinking but I had to. It was the only way I knew how, to celebrate my admission into the faculty of Medical sciences after two rigorous years of trying.

Going to school from home had been my make as I detested boarding schools even before my secondary education. Without much adiue, I had greeted the hostel with my presence the moment I crossed over to Enugu Campus[UNEC], the professional citadel housing the college of Medicine alongside other professional courses, as the off campus apartments were way more expensive than I thought.

Having a repeat of this horrifying nightmare on my first night in the hostel wasn’t funny. I was beginning to believe the scary stories of ghosts in the hostels. “But do they appear in dreams too?” I was scared to my bones. My body was literarily shaking from fear. The worst part being that my roommate, Abigail had gone back home to get the rest of her stuff, leaving me alone in the room.

Breaking Dawn was like an answer to prayers as I had kept vigil the rest of the night. I scurried off from bed, said a brief prayer as I was too afraid of closing my eyes for a much longer time. Grabbing my headphone, I went for my early morning jogging, Shaggy’s strength of a woman caressing my ears, momentarily calming my nerves. How much I needed the reassurance it gave me!

A few minutes later I was back to my room. Hurriedly gathering my things, I prepared for school and rushed out. Even with a calmer demeanor, I still avoided having to spend much time in my room. As I made my way down the streets, I plugged in my ear pods with Lucky Dube’s Crazy world blaring in the highest volume. Music was fast becoming a good way of drowning my grief.

The sight that greeted me as I walked into my classroom left me transfixed, my books falling off my hands and decorating the floor in different directions. “You again?”, I had blurted out before taking note of the female student giving me the what-is-wrong-with-you kind of look at the back of the class. Cold shivers ran down my spine as I bent to pick my books. Something was definitely wrong, that I knew but what it was, I couldn’t tell. I just couldn’t wrap my hands around it.

The next few days were uneventful and I was beginning to erase the entire incident from my memory while focusing on swimming through the warm embrace of campus life. Being a second year Medical student, Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry were already enough trouble on there own and I had no plans of complicating issues for myself any further. For a best graduating student in my secondary school, I was beginning to ask myself if I actually have what it takes to survive in med school.

The first ever weekend was stacked, quiet and boring. I had lots of topics to read and I was fast growing tired of sitting at a spot. “What is going on with you, come on, just take a few minutes break after which you get back to your books” Abigail intervened when she got tired of starring at my sad face. I managed a smile but maintained my position.

Abigail was a law student, a smart one at that. One week with her and I have learnt the hard way to sit up, to actually reason with my brain. She was in her penultimate year and it was always a thrilling experience for me, having to ask her questions while I watch her supply the answers. Her amiable, heartwarming and supportive personality kept me glued to her side. She wasn’t only converting me to a lover of hostel life but also fast becoming my best friend.

Our discussion turned sour when she tried to pull me to my fit and without any prior knowledge, I disappeared and reappeared immediately but behind her. The shock on her face was palpable..we all felt the same way I guess. “I know what you think, you want to leave the room for me alone, you want to avoid me, you want to report…” I went on and on. “And how do you know what I’m thinking?”, she was now facing me with the most horrifying expression I have ever seen. The Abigail in front of me was nowhere close to the Abigail I was happily chatting with a few minutes ago.

I opened my mouth to talk but no words formed. What exactly was I to say to her? I was as confused as she was. My efforts to make her understand that were fruitless as her piercing gaze left my brain in disarray. My mouth kept opening and closing with no sentence forming. I was stuttering, for the first time in my life. Like a shock wave, I felt a cold shiver run down my spine, the exact feeling I had experienced the last time I encountered the man from my dreams.

“I know you are here, show yourself!” I screamed, venting out my fraustration. “What do you want from me, why do you keep appearing to me, why are you bent on fraustrating my life?” I was beginning to feel dejected, as though my last strength just flew away. The shocked Abigail looked from me to the wall where my eyes were suddenly fixed, then back to me. Her expression wasn’t surprising as I was certain she couldn’t see the man.

“You shouldn’t be scared my dear, I’m certain you know that already. The questions you have asked, I’m sure you know the answers too because just like you, I can read minds and also have the power to disappear and appear. “We are the same you know” half man, half spirit” he smiled. There is so much more you are yet to discover: the ability to take on a different face, hide your identity etc. We were fortunate enough to have these gifts entwarted in our human nature, I have come to embrace mine and I’m simply here to help you harness yours…

As he went on and on, my mouth remained ajar, I was too shocked to make a comment. I had suspected that something was wrong when this particular guy started appearing to me in the same dress but I never thought its analysis will be this in-depth!