It’s been 3 days since I heard my mom and her sister planning to send me away. I could not sleep and I decided to just walk around the house in the middle of the night, I heard them discussing in the living room and crouched behind the couch to listen, I was not shocked to hear I was the topic of discussion as I often am, the shock came when my mother didn’t stop Aunt Titi bad mouthing me she even agreed with her. I felt a pit in my stomach when she agreed with her suggestion to send me back ‘home’ they both agreed it was time for me to return to my roots.

All of this was very confusing, this is the only home I have ever known. As long as I can remember I have lived here alone with my mother and Femi my little brother and hated Aunt Titi who was always loud and spoke down to everyone around her when she visited just because her husband has some ill-gotten money.

I didn’t sleep that night and I haven’t slept the many nights since, even the thought of my 17th birthday on Sunday has not dragged me out of this funk. What could I have possibly done wrong? What did I do that was so bad that I am going to be sent away? Was it my grades? I’m not the smartest in my class but I’m not stupid either, I’m just right around the middle of the pack, I know I could put in more effort but I just don’t.

London is cold at this time of the year, although I can’t think of a time that it is not, we can’t play football anymore because its slippery outside, my mom is weary of bruises so she warned us not to go outside. Femi and I are home after school today as mum has gone to work and he wants to play football, I have told him mom said no but he insists and it is getting irritating, I’m trying to watch Manchester united on television but he won’t just let me concentrate. “fine go outside, but only for 15 minutes after that you have to go take a bath, mom will be home soon” he runs out the door visibly happy and mutters something incoherent, I can hardly hear it and frankly I don’t care. The lights dimmed a bit and I got a familiar feeling, terrifying but familiar, the hairs on my neck stood and I got Goosebumps, this is not good, I remember every time I get this feeling something bad happens, I suddenly feel dizzy and sick to my stomach, I take off my glasses and try to control my breathing but I remember Femi is still outside.

How long has he been outside? While I’m thinking about this, I hear him yelp in pain. I try to get up to my feet but a fresh wave of nausea washes over me and I fall to my knees, the room is spinning now and I can’t breathe properly, everything goes dark. When I wake up, I feel light, like I have lost weight, I look around and I am shocked to see my body lying there motionless on the floor. I look at my hands and feet but they are still there, I can’t make sense of what is happening.

I remember Femi’s Screams of pain so I rush to the door and try to yank it open but I can’t grip the handle instead my hand passes through, scared! I drag my hand back and again it just goes through; I decide to go through it as I am determined to see my brother. When I get outside, he is on the floor clutching his shoulder, but motionless, his mouth opened but no words coming through them.

Everything is stuck in place even the air is still.

Written by : Tobii Sanwo

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