‘God and I have decided that you no longer have need of your soul.’ With several hands over my face, this was what I last heard before I jerked awake from the dream. My name is Adeoye. I am the last child, the only child of fourteen children and I will be fourteen by twelve midnight.
The last time I saw Fatimah was twelve midnight two years ago. She was my older sister by two years. That night, she held my hands and told me to be strong. I asked mum where she went, she pointed to the sky and with a smile and a protruded belly, she said ‘The unseen called her home, son. Two years from now, you will see her again’.
Mum called where they went ‘home’. She calls here ‘home’ too. This unseen must be a wicked menace for calling these one’s home.
Fourteen is a sacred number in our family. My father is a drunk. He told me that it will take fourteen months before mum’s protruded belly suppresses. He comes home walking disorderly and Iya Sobande, our neighbor said she sees him drink fourteen bottles of beer every night. She also said I cried for fourteen days after my birth and that fourteen men have asked for my mother’s hand in marriage.
Tonight, it is dark inside. It is 11:27pm and there is a column of gentle breeze rising like a host of fighting warriors. I am sitting under a full grown moon and countless number of stars. Galaxies and blueness colouring the endless heavens. I want to speak to this unseen before he calls me home too. I want to ask him why he is full of hate for a happy home. I want to beg him not to call me home. I remember those he had called home begged him too. He is just lonely and takes people home for companionship.
It is twelve o’clock and everything is silent. I can see my body lie helpless on the field but I am in my mother’s belly. I can hear her murmur a hymn as she holds my cold body;
‘Day by day and with each passing moment, strength I find…’
Her song is sad but in few months, I will come again and exist in another belly after fourteen years.