She is alone upstairs– the girl. The old lady is sitting downstairs doing what she usually does –staring out like she is blind.
Two women , alone. One whose husband is dead and who in her mind thinks her life is also over. The other one whose husband is away but who is full of hope for the future.
The girl has turned one of the dark unused rooms upstairs into a nursery- painting it with bright colors.
I groan inwardly .. bright colors like these have never touched my walls. She is busy knitting something. She has installed too many lights upstairs. The old lady has started complaining about the electricity bill. I enjoyed the arguments.
The girl is big and ungainly now, walking slowly and patting her big stomach. I hear her singing and talking to the unborn child. I know from the conversations that her husband is expected in another week when the child is due to be born. They seem to have many plans for me. Knocking the back wall and building in more windows is one of them. She also wanted the front porch opened out to “let in more light”.
Of what use is light to those who love the velvet touch of darkness? I know she is terrified of the attic upstairs and the bats who inhabit it. She tried cleaning it this afternoon but came down screaming.
Ah..! the wind has picked up now. The trees around me are swaying and nodding their heads at me. I know they want me protected and preserved the way I am. We have defied time and change was not going to touch us..!! A window swings open letting in the cold wind and the lashes of rain drops. She tries to shut it. I refuse to cooperate. She struggles with her knee on the window sill.
And then the lights go out!!
She is feeling her way around for the torch. I could tell her that it is not here but in the attic where she had left it this afternoon while fleeing from the bats. She walks around the room her hands holding the walls, knocking into the furniture every now and then and shouting with pain. I am enjoying the moment. A flash of lightening lights up the room. She looks around and quickly realizes that the torch is not here.
She is inching her way out towards the stairs that lead downstairs. She stands at the head of the stairs looking down at the steps swallowed by the darkness. I want to laugh out aloud. She does not realize how much more powerful I am in the darkness. She is walks down carefully holding on to the wall next to the stairs. The steps are slippery with the rainwater that has splashed in from the ventilator above.
I know that it is now or never…
She misses a step and screams as she rolls down the remaining stairs.
The old lady gets out of her melancholic trance and rushes towards the stairs just as the door to the landing of the staircase bangs shut in the breeze. She hits her head and slips down the wet floor knocking her head on the hard stone tiles on the ground.
“Aunty Aunty.. are you okay ? “ groans the girl.
I glare angrily at her. She is sitting up now and dragging herself towards the next room where there is a telephone. She has forgotten to bring her mobile phone with her when she started walking down.
I can feel her fingers fumble on the dial trying to call someone.
“Please… send an ambulance.. There has been an accident in house no 11 on the 6th main road “ she says as she collapses near the phone.
I look at the trail of blood around the floor . Two unconscious women- one bleeding from her head and another from her womb
I feel powerful and victorious….!! I roar along with the thunder that crashes down from the heavens. Whoever said that I was an stack of bricks and mortar did not know my power…!!
I have fatally injured not one but two human females….!!! Who could have got away with assault so easily?
( to be continued)