That night, the dream came again.
I was 10 years old again. My brother’s killer leered at me when i got to the door step and opened the door. I could still hear my brother’s weak voice saying “Mabel go back” over and over again as the blood seeped out of his wounds. Then the animal came towards me. “Come here little girl. Do you want to share in your brother’s fate?” Then he grabbed me and I screamed. I woke up drenched in sweat.
It was 3am and I was the only one in the room. My roommates had gone for all night studying in preparation for their papers.
I had been having these dreams since the tragedy that happened to my family when I was 10.
On that fateful day, I had come back from school to meet a man murdering my eldest brother by striking him with a machete. The radio in our living room was tuned high to a fuji music tape while this was going on. I guess it was to make our co-tenants in the building not to hear my brother’s screams and later my screams. Yet, I believe people should have heard us. It was also at a time when people had not yet come home. To this day, I hate the sound of fuji music.
When I got to the door step and saw the blood, I should have turned back and called the neighbours to come and see it but I made a mistake I would forever regret for the rest of my life.
I used my spare key to open the door and went in to know the source of the blood. I screamed when I saw that it was flowing from the body of my oldest brother like a tiny stream and a man was striking him with a machete. I knew him. He was one of my brother’s friends. My brother moved with a rough set of youths involved in thuggery, stealing, hard drugs, smoking, prostitution and pimping.
He leered at me when he saw me. “You want to join your brother, little girl.” I heard my brother weakly trying to tell me to go back but my fear was over ridden by my brother’s sorry state. As young as I was, I knew he was going to die and I tried to touch him but he used the little strength he had to push me aside and weakly said: “Get out. Call the neighbours.” The maniac was laughing as he watched us. He blocked the exit.
“You will see what I will do to your precious sister,” he said to my brother.
He dragged me to a sofa as I screamed for help and he tore up my school uniform. Then my underwear. He stuffed my mouth with my torn clothes. All this was happening while my dying brother watched helplessly.
Suddenly, I heard the noise of someone trying break the door in. The door suddenly burst open and I fainted.
I was later told that one of our co tenants who we call Mama Alagbo, wanted to borrow matches from us and noticed the blood. Then she raised an alarm and people gathered to investigate the cause of the blood. They found out that the door was locked but loud music was playing so they got suspicious. One of them ran to the nearest police station which was only a stone’s throw to call the police. They then broke the door open. I heard that it took three policemen to subdue the maniac. Police said the murderer was under the influence of some hard drugs and he was on a revenge mission for a purported drug deal gone wrong. My brother was rushed to the hospital but he died on the way.
He was later tried and convicted for murder. He was sentenced to death by hanging. I was called on as a witness during the trial but I was unable to say anything .
My father blamed himself, I think. He sometimes said if we were not living in an area where ruffians lived, maybe my brother would not have been involved in what happened to him. My father tried to make it up to his family.
He was a carpenter before this incident but he was able to save some money to start an auto spare parts business. He was quite successful and we were able to move from that area to a better part of town. But we never forgot.
I had nightmares almost everyday for a year. My father took me to different doctors until we met Professor Harriman. She encouraged me to let my emotions out. I had not cried since that incident and i blamed myself for not raising an alarm when I saw the blood. I used to wonder if my brother would have survived if i had been able to raise the alarm earlier. Professor Harriman urged me to let out the grief at the loss of my brother and the sexual molestation. I was able to cry for the first time in a year. The nightmares reduced. But they still came back sometimes. Like today.