The concert turns out to be a nightclub. Music vibrates around me as I sit at the bar, watching the dancers, mostly students from the university nearby. Peter has taken an interest in the girl in red gown. When he thinks I’m not watching, he'll put his arms around her waist, pull her close to him, and whisper in her ears. Sometimes she'll whisper back, casting furtive glances at my direction.
Up until now, I can feel pain in my stomach. I had tried explaining to Emeka and Chika on our way here, but they said I was having illusions. With her trademark frown, Chika had said, ‘Ifeoma, relax jare! I've never seen anyone as scared as you are.’ Now she walks towards me with that frown.
“That university slut is trying to steal your boyfriend!” she shouts over the music, pointing towards Peter and the girl in red. “You should do something about it!”
I let out a heavy sigh and then grab her hand and place it against my stomach. “The beach man stabbed me right here, in the dream! I still feel the pain! You think I should be more concerned about the girl stealing Peter than about my upsetting dream?”
“See a doctor then!” Obviously regretting why she'd come up to me in the first place, Chika scowls and then walks away, quickly.
I leave the bar and make for the exit of the club. Outside, the air is cool. I have not wandered far away when someone suddenly grabs my hand from behind.
The sound of my scream attracts stares from the people around.
“I’m sorry,” he says as I face him, and I recognize him – the barman at the club. “I overheard your discussion at the bar.”
“When he appears in your dream, it’s because he wants to torment you. Before he finally kills you.”
“I'm a native of this community, so there’s no need asking me how I know this. Before he killed my mother, he tormented her severely.” He reaches into his pocket and takes out a card, then hands it to me.
I study the card under the dull lights of the street. It reads:
Ms. Folakemi Adeniyi
The address and phone numbers are printed in smaller letters.
“She’s helped so many people around here. You must see her, if you want to remain alive.”
Footnote: This is the second episode of The Beach Man, a 400-Word Blog Series.
Jare: A Nigerian Pidgin English expression, which adds emphasis to a sentence.
*Click HERE for the next episode
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