Until his girlfriend entered the room one day and caught them in bed together. She had not needed the sight of him chasing after the other girl to know he would choose her. His girlfriend had walked out of the room and he had left her there, lying between the sheets, clutching her stinging face. She had packed her things and left the room.
She decided to try again at home. It had been such a long time and they would have probably changed. She was heartbroken to find out her father had become worse. He screamed at everyone when he was in a bad mood and called them all vile names, even her mom. She hit a block. She didn’t know what to do anymore, she considered ending it all but she quickly realized suicide is only for the strong. She was running mad.
It was on the day that she learnt suicide was not for her that she met Nnenna. She had waited till it was dark as if that would do anything and had crept to the less travelled part of the bridge close to home. No one had seen her climb and as she debated her choices, she had felt someone grab her arm. In the softest voice anyone had spoken to her, the person told her,
“Why would you do this? Is it worth it?”
“Yes!” She had screamed. “Yes, a thousand times. Whatever love I cannot find on this plane is surely available where I am going to. It cannot be worse. Nothing can be worse than this!” And she had burst into tears.
Nnenna had known what to do. She had somehow known words wouldn’t get her anywhere and had instead, pulled her down and held her while she wept. She wept for all the love she had never gotten, she wept for her mother who was not a mother, she wept for herself and the little girl who was lost inside her and she wept because she knew, deep down inside her, she would never have the strength to take her own life.
Nnenna turned out to be a therapist who had just graduated from the university. They became fast friends and Nnenna taught her how to love herself. Nnenna taught her how to look inwards and see happiness. She taught her to be self-dependent. She gradually regained her sanity and became happy again. She laughed more, she didn’t mind her father’s screaming, she didn’t mind the fact that her mother didn’t love her and that every boy she met wanted to have sex with her. When she felt herself going down the wormhole again, she heard Nnenna’s voice in her head telling her,
“Don’t look to the past, look to the future and rebuild yourself.”
Then Nnenna died.
Nnenna had been on her way to see her family in another state. She never told Tinu anything about them. She only said both her parents and five siblings were all alive and well. She had been summoned and on her way to answer the call, a trailer had crushed her car and she had died instantly. Her family attended the funeral and didn’t look like a family should. They all wore sunglasses and didn’t cry, not even the youngest one. She found it weird but she didn’t talk to them, she didn’t know what to say.
She found herself alone again. She tried to keep her strength, she tried to keep the darkness away but she found that she couldn’t push it back. She could only watch, helpless as the darkness enveloped her again. This time, she knew, she was never coming back out.