One Dark Night

by Mazuba Mwiinga

Chapter 3

It was now a week after her deadly dream, and Bridget was still very disturbed at the whole turn of events. She had tried to puzzle it out on her own but it seemed as though the more she tried to hide her feelings the more sad and worried she became. Then she could not take it any more and thought of confiding in her friend Esther.

Esther was her child hood friend and age mate. At eighteen years old they both were Grade 11 pupils at Chikuni Girls Day High School. From the time they became companions as small girls in village Chikuni, Bridget and Esther never failed their friendship. They were as close as the buttocks and always supported and defended each other even in times when one of them was wrong. In class they were both brilliant though Esther was doing better than Bridget in most of the subjects. But this did not mean that Bridget was dull. If she wasn’t on position one then she would be at two and Esther at position one. In sports the two girls were very active and reliable as well. Because of this closeness they became known among the pupils as ‘birds of the same feather’.

On the other hand, it was not only their intelligence and activeness in sports and school work, but also their attractiveness that made them very popular not only among the pupils but also the villagers around Chikuni. Though Esther was not as beautiful as Bridget, still she was one of such up coming girls one would not manage ignore a glance when she passed. She was a grossly-skinned girl with dimples perforated on both sides of her cheeks. When she smiled her front upper teeth showed a well caved gap between the two broad front teeth. Her nose always shimmered with droplets of sweat. She had a smooth round face full of stack. Her hair was naturally dark and she always kept it pig-knotted. Her body was medially structured though her legs were a bit thick yet smooth and very calling.

Bridget was a girl you would never fail to ask for an outing even when you were a stranger or was married successfully. She was so attractive that many men found themselves gulping bulks of saliva whenever they came across her. She was naturally light in complexion. Her nose was as pointed as an ice cream cone. Her eyes were glittering like one who is about to shed tears of sympathy. When you looked at her closely she was always full of laughter. Her face was live and smooth. On both sides of her cheeks she had rightly dug shallow holes which appeared and reappeared every time she talked, smiled or laughed. This identical mark with her friend Esther had made boys and men call them ‘the twin dimples’. When she walked, her lower body structurally zigzagged from one end to the other like one who is calculating her steps. On her chest, well curved horn-like breasts protruded like a ripe cucumber. Her body always let out a scent of green guavas.

At this time of their education Bridget and Esther were already busy preparing for their Grade 12 examinations which were due in a year’s time. Bridget was always dreaming of becoming a journalist while Esther wished to be a medical doctor. That’s the reason Bridget loved Literature and English language very much while Esther’s favorite subjects were Mathematics and Biology. But now Bridget’s concentration on her studies for the past week was very low and extremely disturbed. The event she experienced lately had robed her of her happiness and flavor for life. She was worried lest something demonical happened to destroy her life completely and shutter her dreams for ever. She then thought of sharing her sadness with her favorite and best friend Esther.

It was mid afternoon when she left home to visit her friend. Esther was just about to leave home as well to buy some salt at a haggard shopping village called Mundale when Bridget arrived. Esther’s mother invited her in the house, for Esther was still dressing up in her bedroom. After her preparations Esther came out, greeted her friend and told her that she was going to Mundale to buy salt. She invited her to go along and Bridget said that she actually had nothing to do at home that’s why she had to come to spend some time with her. They then set off for the market.

As they walked talking and laughing, Esther discovered that her friend was not as participative as she was fond of. At first she thought that may be she was just being too sensitive but then she could see even on the face that Bridget was having something up her sleeve.

“Mwana are you fine? You look so down faced as if there is something troubling your mind”, Esther asked.

“Oh!” Bridget exclaimed. “I am ok Esther. It’s only that I am feeling a headache but I am fine really”, she added.

“No Bridget. You have been a long-time friend and I have come to know you very well. If you don’t tell me, who are you going to tell? Anyway may be I am just being judgmental I am sorry”, Esther replied.

“There is nothing to be sorry about mwana. That’s why I have come to you”, Bridget said as she stood looking at Esther worriedly.

“Don’t tell me that you are …..”

“No I am not pregnant Esther. You know I have never had a boy friend in my life before”.

“But what is the problem mwana? Are you sick?”

“I don’t know how to explain it Esther. I am very puzzled and worried.”

“Why? What is puzzling and worrying you Bridget?”

“It’s this dream I had last week my friend.” Bridget said, and started narrating her ordeal to Esther in all details and colors. Esther was quiet for sometime after Bridget finished talking and then reassuringly said, “Oh, Bridget this is just a dream; its, one of those biological developments happening to our bodies. You know that you have never slept with a man in your life before and you are now running to nineteen. Such experiences are common to us females. Maybe you have been thinking a lot about sex of late. Have you forgotten your Biology notes?”

“No Esther. I have never had time to think about men and their dirty games before. More over, I have never admired any man in my life. I value school more than anything. But what happened last week was more than just a dream Esther. I am very convinced about it”, Bridget lamented.

“But did you tell your mother or any elderly woman about it?”

“How do I tell them Esther? They will just give me the same answer as yours. May be worse than what you have just told me. Anyway I don’t really know what to do now. I am confused and worried”.

“I am very sure too Bridget that this is just a mere dream. Don’t just be afraid of anything because nothing will happen believe me mwana”.

“I can’t believe you on that one Esther. I went to bed dressed in my usual clothes but to wake up stack naked. Not even a pant! And you tell me that I was dreaming? No my friend I have never seen dreams that undress people. Not even a wet dream mwana. Its mysterious and confusing”, Bridget complained.

“Bridget, don’t demean your Biological knowledge. Have you forgotten that there are people called dream walkers? They can be walking for long distances without knowing what is happening to them. Some in the process can even undress themselves and walk back home, enter into blankets and sleep as if nothing has ever happened. It’s possible that something of this kind did happen to you mwana”, Esther insisted, this time more serious than before.

They reached the shops and went into No One But You Shop where Esther bought what she went for and they walked back home talking of different issues and tissues about school, family and girls’ nitty-gritty.

As they were about to part company a young tall man who had been following them from a distance all along caught up with them. He greeted them and Esther asked him why he had been trailing them.

“Me, trailing, you? It was not me”, he refused.

“I saw you Ben. You have been following us from home I just didn’t want to tell Bridget. It’s only that I did not recognize you at first until now”, Esther argued.

“I saw him as well I just didn’t care about it anyway. I thought he had his own way as well”, Bridget chipped in.

“So, how are you the twin dimples?” Ben asked.

“We are not twin dimples James. What’s your problem?” Esther replied.

“Where are you coming from anyway?”

“You know where we are coming from because you have been following us. Why do you want to pretend?” Esther remarked.
“Bridget what’s up? You look so upset. That’s not the way you are. Are you sick?”

“Hey it’s none of your business Ben. Why don’t you just pass, the way is here please”. Esther said.

“My, heavens! I am not talking to you Esther. Am I? I am talking to Bridget madam”, Ben protested.

“So what! She is my friend.”

“Her being your friend is not a guarantee that you are her spokesperson. Are you? Bridget is she your mouth piece?”

“Mouth pieces are my lips Mr. Sir”, Bridget answered. Looking at Esther she said; “Boyi I am taking this way. Let me rush home or else mum will be angry at me.”

“Okay my friend but please remember what I have told you. Don’t put it in your thoughts.”

“Bet on me boyi I have taken care of your words thanks very much, I am at least relieved now”, Bridget said.

“Don’t mention it my friend. What are friends for anyway”, Esther replied as she walked away leaving James standing near Bridget.

“Can I escort you?” Ben asked Bridget.

“What for? I am not afraid of walking home alone, moreover its still daylight. No thanks”, Bridget refused and started walking as Ben followed behind. Fearing suspicions from the public Bridget stopped and asked him what he wanted from her. Ben asked why she had not said anything on the letter he had written to her.

“What did you want me to say? The letter was just expressing how you feel about me. Or you wanted me to say thanks for all those silly compliments?” Bridget remarked.

“I am sorry if at all I offended you. But there is nothing I can do. I said in the letter that I love you. And every man who puts such a statement to a beautiful girl like you expects an answer but you have been quiet.” Ben explained.

“What do you mean you love me Ben? Is this one of the misplaced words in your mouth? Why don’t you go and tell it to your mother or your sister if you are in love with it? Love to me means nothing. Moreover I don’t love you Ben. Are you satisfied now?”

“Listen Bridget, it’s not a matter of satisfaction here; it’s an issue of affection, care, need, passion, like, fond of, dying for, no sleep at night, longing for you. It’s all about crying for your presence in my life Bridget. Understand me please. I love you more than the word itself. I can’t remove you in my mind and thoughts. I know you hate me; but why should you do that? Why Bridget, when I have never offended you in my entire life so far, apart from just expressing my deeper feelings about you. Look, luck knocks once at a person’s door. And it’s up to the owner of that home to either open the door or not. But there are people on this earth my dear who opened doors to strangers without knowing that they actually were inviting Angels in their homes.

“Look here my dear girl. Whoever you are or whatever you do, when you really want something it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe and it’s your mission on earth to fulfill it. You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his destine. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love; the love that speaks the language of the village. No reason Bridget is needed for loving. One is loved because one is loved. Sometimes Bridget, we really have eyes but are too blind to realize what we are doing. It’s only after we have fallen that we wake up and see what has happened to us. I know you are so beautiful that almost every man in this village wishes to have you to themselves. But it only takes a little bit of humbleness and critical thinking to see who is genuine and who is not.

“I have personally seen beautiful girls like you Bridget, so pompous and proud about their beauty, become laughing stock of the village because of their choices. They used their beauty as an anchor for survival. It’s only now or never my dear. You don’t know what tomorrow brings. If you are not careful you will just get pregnant to a mad man who will not even take care of your child. Make hay when the sun still shines. Every blessing ignored becomes a curse because life is generous to those who pursue their destiny. Remember that everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time. No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it. Today I may look and act like a fool but tomorrow you will remember my words. I have said this…………..”

“Shut your beak Ben!” Bridget thundered angrily. “That’s enough nonsense to me. Go. I say go! I ………

“I will not leave until you tell me something. If you don’t then I will follow you up to your home and ask your mother or father to let me talk to you”.

“What!? That’s a joke I hope”

“I never joke in this way. I am damn serious and I am going to do it. Tell me off so that I leave you in peace”.

“Okay Ben, listen; you have told me a lot of things. And I am too confused to think over them. Give me time and I will come back to you. Are you now happy?”

“I trust you Bridget and I expect you to do so accordingly. If you don’t come back to me I will come back to you. Good night and have more sweet dreams baby…. ”, Ben said and turned to go.

Bridget looked at him as he disappeared behind the tall grass. The sun was by now going down towards the western hemisphere. For the first in her life she came to admire him. She did not know that he could talk so much sense as she thought he did now. Sometimes she was finding herself in such dilemmas of hating men without any reason in particular. She was increasingly becoming worried that may be she had a feminine problem. She walked home feeling lonely and worried about her past dream. Ben’s words scared her very much. It’s like he knew what happened to her in the night two weeks ago. Could he be the one who had come to her?

She silently walked home trying by all her mental thoughts to puzzle out the worries she was carrying. What if it wasn’t just a dream but a real act of sex while she slept? And what if it turned out that she is pregnant or maybe infected with these diseases? How will she tell the tale to all those who showered her with blessings of being a good girl? At this point she could not fathom such thoughts. Tears of sorrowful fear and worry dripped down her cheeks freely. The thoughts were too strong and disturbing to be let go. But what choice did she have in this matter? It seemed that all her life spirits were too far away on a journey unknown to manage to come to her rescue.

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