Pain shot through her stomach as she bent down to ease herself. The pain had been constant for a while now but she was still not used to it. She got up gently, using the wall of the bathroom as support. For a while, she felt light-headed and held the wall like it was her lifeline. When she was sure the bout of dizziness had passed, she left the bathroom and moved on shaky legs slowly so as not to fall. She stopped at the kitchen, checking every nook and corner to see if she could find something to fill her tummy but everything screamed empty. She opened the medium sized water drum and almost fell on her knees to say a thanksgiving prayer when she found water there. It was a surprise the drum had not gone dry like every other container in her kitchen especially since she had been living on nothing but water for two days now.
She took a big bowl and scooped a large amount into the bowl. With unsteady hands, she carried the bowl into her room. When she got there, she set the bowl on the bedside table and made to sit on the bed slowly. Gone were the days she would plop into her bed with her belly full and no care in the world about breaking a bone or feeling dizzy. She missed those days when she had so much to eat, throw in the dustbin and give to some of her neighbours that she liked. Detoun had always boasted to those neighbours that she would never lack anything at home and that was exactly the reason she was locked in her room, drinking water like it was her favourite fruit juice. Sitting on the bed, she picked up the bowl of water and the sachet of sugar she had found in her box miraculously. She put a generous amount of the sugar in the bowl, stirred it with the bottom of her eye-liner; she was too weak to go back to the kitchen to pick a spoon and drank her makeshift lunch in one gulp.
Detoun dropped the bowl back on the table and laid down on the bed. Her stomach was full for that moment but she had that night to worry about and the next day. She picked her phone lying beside and checked for any new message. No message. Her mom had promised to call her today after she had sent her pocket money into her account. Sighing heavily, she dropped back the phone on the bed and willed herself to sleep but her subconscious had another plan for her.
“Detoun, what kind of useless pride is this, ehn? Instead of you to go and meet Tolu or Solape to borrow you some money or even give you small foodstuff, you are here drinking water and sugar”.
She ignored the tiny voice and fought harder for sleep but the voice would not relent.
“You know this is stupidity, ehn? Leave this room and go and ask them for help. Asking them for help will make you less of who you are abi? You are just so proud that it is pushing off the cliff and you have refused to open your eyes to save yourself. Maybe when you die of hunger, you will then start biting your finger in regret. Pride is not a thing to be happy with o. Better off your imaginary high horse and ask for help”.
Detoun tossed and turned on her bed still begging sleep to rescue but sleep was supporting team subconscious. When she could not bear it anymore, she screamed with the little strength she had.
“Oh, shut up. No one asked for your opinion. I’m not dead, you know. I can take care of myself”.
Her subconscious laughed hard, a sound that pierced her heart.
“Deceive yourself all you want. No one will miss your pride ass anyway when you die. More room for humble people to breath.”
She could not bear it anymore. She held her head in her hands and started to sob. Her subconscious was right. What was that thing her mom had always told her? Pride comes before a fall? Yes, exactly what was happening to her.