“Our True Self” By Chidera Ifechukwu
David always wished that the world was a dream; a dream that you choose to wake up from when everything becomes too hard for you. So rather than suicide, you just will yourself to wake up in another world or era. If that were true, David would have woken up a long time ago. His mind was nowhere in the present as his face turned towards the sun’s reflection on the window, avoiding it from his face by only a small fragment, his hands resting on the table as he’s body is curved slightly. The sound of movement behind me robots him to stand too and leave the class, dreading for it all to end so soon. As he left the class, a lot of people called out to him, especially girls that have tried to get with him. He wouldn’t deny that he was good looking, tall for his age at 6ft 5inches and had a lean body that he toned over the years with workout exercises and gym for a while, although he was losing the muscles gradually.
“David”. He turns to see Melody and Michael approach him. The double M were twins and his only friends per se. Although they were of the opposite gender, they had this weird fetish of dressing in the same style which distinguished them.
“Hey, what’s up”, he says as he shakes Michael and waves to Melody. She leans towards him as he moves back a little.
“Don’t you look adorable this morning”, she says playfully as she tries to touch his face but he dodges quickly, grabbing her hand instead and holding it. David hated people touching his face.
“I don’t want to get pimples”
“I’m only dragging your cheeks”
“God knows where those hands have been”. Michael snorts as Melody gives him a glare. David laughs as they have their twin banter until his phone vibrates in his pocket. Taking it out to see the message, his eyes immediately darken.
“Hey guys. I need to head home now”
“Already?” Melody says
“Why don’t you stay? Maybe finally play soccer”. David cringes at the suggestion. The last time he had played outdoors was well in primary school.
“Nah. You know I hate dirt”
“What do you even like at all?” Nothing interesting, he wanted to say but bites his tongue. He waves bye to them and quickly leaves, entering keke to take him to the gate. After what felt like years, he stood in front of the door, contemplating whether he should just go back and give an excuse. He entered anyways to the sound of fighting in the parlour.
“You’re a bitch, you know that?”
“Are you saying you didn’t sleep with her?!”
“And what if I did”. The sound of a glass broke as David watched his parents arguing, the television on with Telemundo showing on the screen. From the looks of it, his father just got back from work and haven’t had a moment’s rest.
“I hate you! You’re just a lazy fat fool with nothing going for him”
“Really. Mrs. I-read-medicine. What do you have to show for it? All you do is sit all day and watch this stupid channel”
“Because you said you would bring in all the money, not go and fornicate like someone without a brain”
“David”. He jumps as he turns to see his elder sister, Winifred, standing by the door.
“I made Abacha if you’re interested”, she says like there wasn’t a fight happening in the next room. But he supposed she was used to it. Neither of them can remember the last time their parents had a proper conversation. He’s about to answer when his name is called.
“And what about David? Is this how you want to lead by example?” He hears his father chuckle.
“I don’t know what you are talking about but that thing is not my son”. Everywhere was silent all of a sudden. He watched his sisters’ eyes flash red with anger and then sadness for her brother. He could feel his mother held her breath at what her husband has just said. He was staring nowhere at first and then he laughed, causing his parents to jump in fright as they look towards the door to see a side of his body.
“Don’t look at me like that Winifred. We already knew what he thought of me”, he says pretending they were not listening and goes upstairs saying he would be down to eat the food later. He locks the door quietly as he sits on his dressing table, staring at himself in the mirror as the tears cascade his face, staining his blue shirt which he didn’t care. Then carefully, he begins to wipe his face, removing the mask that concealed who he truly was, whom his father hated. He carefully watched himself as piece by piece, the façade falls off until all that is left are the slashed marks on his face, his eyes drooping slightly and uneven, his lack of eyebrow and the discoloration on his nose. This was truly himself, and he was a monster.
Chidera Ifechukwu is a student and a passionate writer. She blogs at https://lonelyheart2016.wordpress.com