Dear Zara (5)

by Jennifer Nwanede

Five months had gone by since Zara lost her baby; still she couldn’t get over her death. Maybe she felt the pain more this time because the baby had stayed longer than the others did, giving her false hope of a happily ever after.

“I want us to seek for spiritual help, for it is now obvious to me that this isn’t ordinary,” Tobe told Zara as they watched a program on the television in the sitting room. Zara was jolted by Tobe’s statement. Never, she thought, she would rather die than seek for spiritual help.

“I don’t think there will be any need for that, what with all the fake pastors and prophets we have these days, they will just end up defrauding us of our hard earned money. Besides, all the medical reports certified us fit, I believe that this is just a phase of our lives that will pass and by the grace of God, we’ll smile in the end,” Zara tried to convince Tobe, faking a smile.

“I know we’ve been wading off seeking spiritual help all these years because the medical reports certified us fit, and I for one don’t believe in all these pastors and prophets because like you said, a lot of them are fake. But right now I’m not sure of what I want anymore. But if you insist, we’ll give it a try one last time but if it is the same result, nothing will stop us from seeking spiritual help,” Tobe told Zara, giving her a warm smile.

The days that followed were terrible. Zara began to have the dream again and this time around, it became intense. She began to have panic attacks and gradually, she began to slip into depression. All efforts by Tobe to get her to share her problems with him almost proved abortive, but with time, she began to open up to him. She told him she was depressed because she was afraid of losing another baby but she never told him about the dream. They talked about possible solutions to their problems and Tobe suggested they consulted a therapist and Zara agreed.

 “I wish I don’t have to leave you all by yourself, but I have to be at the office for the presentation. I won’t be long and I promise to call you every ten minutes to check on you,” Tobe told Zara, giving her a hug, worried about her state of mind.

“You worry too much. I’ll be fine and I promise not to do anything rash,” Zara assured Tobe.

Despite the assurance, Tobe felt skeptical about leaving Zara all by herself. As he made to leave the room, he looked at Zara one last time with pleading eyes. Zara nodded her head and it was obvious she understood what he was trying to say with his eyes. A voice in Tobe knew that leaving Zara alone in the house was not a good idea but he had to be at the office. Different terrible scenes of Zara trying to hurt herself kept playing in his head but he quickly pushed them away. He made a resolve to call Ada, a friend of Zara’s to go and check up on her but he never did.

 Few minutes after Tobe left, Zara drifted off to sleep again. She woke up drenched in sweat, she had had a very terrible dream and this time around she was being chased by terrible looking babies, with dripping blood on them. Zara knew that the time had come. She got off the bed, staggered to the bathroom as if in a trance and stepped into the bath tub as she turned on the tap.

All her life, she had been dished one form of misfortune after the other. It was as if her “Chi” sent her into the world to suffer. But eventually, her “Chi began to bless her. First, she emerged the best graduating student both in her university days and also in law school, thereby fulfilling her father’s dream of producing the first female lawyer in her village. Then she met Tobe, the most caring and amazing man she knew on planet earth. She felt nothing could ever go wrong again, but then her past came calling.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and months turned into years and eight years of childlessness and miscarriages. She had turned down all the spiritual options given to her by both family and friends, claiming that it was God who gave children and in his own time, he would bless them with a baby. But the truth was that Zara knew the cause of her predicament, and she also knew that her past had finally caught up with her.

Because up till this day, no one but Zara knew that she was the one who had actually killed Chike.

She had buried that part of her life and had never told anyone, not even when Chike’s ghost had begun to hunt her and cause her to have miscarriages. She was carrying a burden too heavy for her and it was gradually wearing her out. As she sat there in the bathtub, the water from the tap caressing her body as it filled the tub, she wished she could fight this time like she had always done but she was too weak. For the most part of her life, depression had become her best buddy and this time, she decided to yield to its soothing touch with the hope that she would finally find the peace she so desired.

“I am sorry Tobe, for all the pains I have caused you, for all the wasted years. I am sorry that I am not strong enough to handle this pain anymore. I hope someday you’ll find someone who will give you the happiness I couldn’t give you. I wish you all the good things that your good heart deserves. Please find it in your heart to forgive me. I love you Tobe and you will forever remain in my heart. Goodnight my darling husband.” She let the tears run freely, as she immersed herself in the tub and drowned.

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