It took a lot of efforts for Christiana to go back to sleep. And when she did, the horrible dreams continued. She’d wake up screaming or thrashing about hysterically. And it’ll take so many efforts for Stanley to bring her out of it.
Hugging her to himself after the fourth nightmare, he decided not to let go again. Even Christiana wouldn’t let him go. They sat together in the darkness, as the generator had long been switched off.
Thanks to the harmattan, they didn’t feel hot. Stanley pulled the blanket from the bed, using it to cover their bodies where they sat at the head.
It was truly a long night spent talking in hushed tones. Stanley, being an awesome story-teller himself, thought it wise to distract her with good stories.
At first, she was indifferent to them, but as the stories rolled in, she started to relax, smile and then almost laugh out at the very funny parts.
Then they talked about other things, as she had asked Stanley what her life was like before the accident. He tried his best to paint a picture of what it used to be like. Her job, her friends, her favorite TV program and so on.
And then he went on to encourage her, saying she would get well. And things will turn out for the better.
He wasn’t sure things would be better for him though. Not if Christiana discovers his secret. As much as he loved her and wanted her well again, he knew he stood at risk of losing her. Something he wasn’t sure he’d know how to handle.
It was 4:46 AM before Christiana slipped into a quiet and peaceful sleep. It was when her hand relaxed on his chest Stanley noticed. He looked down at her closely, watching for any sign of nightmare. There was none.
Till date, he couldn’t tell how or why he got the gift of seeing into people’s dreams. He saw their nightmares especially, an ability that started since he clocked eighteen.
Jude, his cousin turned brother after losing both his parents in a fire outbreak, used to tease him with it. But Stanley never found it funny. It scared the shit out of him.
He told his mother about it, being a herbalist in her own right. But she couldn’t help him get rid of the gift. And so he decided to seek help anywhere he could find it.
On his 23rd birthday, he had just returned from the local school where he taught Maths and Physics, so as to earn money to contribute to the upkeep of the home when Jude welcomed him with what sounded like good news.
According to Jude, he ran into a man who said he could turn Stanley’s gift into millions of naira for him. At first, Stanley was confused, wondering how the man intended to achieve that.
“How did you meet him?” Stanley was curious.
“Through a friend I told about your ability”, Jude shrugged, “you could make money off this guy o. Do superhero stuff for him and get paid. That simple”.
“That simple ke. What does he even want me for? A dream interpreter or soothsayer just because I can see people’s nightmares?”
“No. I don’t think that’s it”, Jude defended, “from the way he spoke, he just wants someone who can see people’s dreams. And he’s willing to pay handsomely for it”, Jude tried to sound convincing.
Stanley laughed, “I hate my dreams. But someone wants it, and is willing to pay? Incredible”.
Stanley was reluctant to meet the man Jude talked about. But after more persuasion, especially as they both knew they needed the money for better upkeep and to support their mother, he agreed.
Their expectations were not dashed when Stanley met the man. A Fulani man, light-skinned, tall, and spoke the Queen’s English fluently. He dressed like he had the world in his palm.
He put Stanley to a test, connected some cables around him and ordered his guards to take him to a hospital where he was asked to look into the dreams of the sleeping patients. He did.
After they returned to the man’s home, the wires were taken off him and connected to a small device by the Fulani’s personal guard. Surprise and shock don’t do justice to how Stanley felt when the guard replayed the exact dreams Stanley had seen in a small, square looking device that looked like a tablet.
While the boys were beyond shocked, the Fulani laughed heartily, “we will make a good team”, he said, at last, replaying the dreams over and over again, “we should remain partners”.
But before the boys could respond to his offer of partnership, he took out a checkbook and wrote on it. Handing it over, the boys looked at it. Stanley’s eyes grew wider while Jude jumped for joy. They had never in their poor lives received a cheque or salary to the tune of 50 thousand naira. But here they stood with a cheque of five hundred thousand naira.
“I was serious when I said I’ll turn your gifts into millions”, the Fulani grinned, “do more of this kind of job for me, you get lots of that, even bigger”.
Stanley nodded. Jude was excited. They rushed to tell their then ailing mother the good news, as they could now take proper care of her hospital bills.
At first, she was skeptical, but she knew, if she was going to be alive to guide her boy on the right part, she’d have to accept the money for her treatment.
By the time she recovered and got discharged from the hospital, Stanley had quit his teaching job and worked full-time for the Fulani, looking into people’s nightmares.
A lot of the nightmares haunted him afterward. But he couldn’t stop. Not when he needed the money.
When their mother got home, she complained bitterly about their choice of income. Her complains led the boys to see her as not wanting their success. A quarrel ensued and they left their then renovated and tastefully furnished house for her. They decided to take the Fulani’s offer of a full-time job, joining their inner circle.
It was when they were taken to the underground in the Fulani’s house, that they realized, there was no turning back. The Fulani ran a cult that worked for very influential people. The dreams he recorded through Stanley’s foresight were sold, one for a million, to politicians and other very influential persons who wanted to disturb their competitors by releasing those trapped nightmares into their world and everyday life.
It was the first time Stanley questioned what he was doing. But it was too late. They had gone far. It was either they accepted the initiation rites or got beheaded and their parts used for rituals.
Almost ten years later, after graduating in the ranks from just a made dream seer to a full combat team member, he was sent out to look into the dreams of some targeted persons who knew about the cult and prayed earnestly, in whatever way they could, for the end of their wickedness .
The first person he visited at night had a dream where their daughter had a child who brought an end to the cult. It was a shocking experience as Stanley had never really had the ability to look into a normal dream. Only nightmares.
When the Fulani saw the dream, replayed on his device, he was furious. No one was going to stop the cult from taking over the country. As it were, a lot of top names, even up to the president, patronized him almost daily. He could boastfully say more than half of government money sat in his account. He didn’t need any child tampering with that. He ordered their immediate annihilation. He wouldn’t let their child, let alone their grandchild be born.
When men from the cult killed the man and his wife, what they failed to realize was that their daughter had already been born, long ago, while they were still a very young couple. the daughter was the only child they could have, due to certain medical complications.
Upon hearing about the death of her parents, their grown-up daughter, Christiana, rushed home from Kenya, where she was initially based. And after her mourning and the burial, she decided to stay put in Nigeria. The cult had their eyes on her. But they weren’t sure she’d be the daughter of such young couple.
It was when the Fulani had a terrible dream of being killed, he asked the brothers to befriend the girl and find out more.
So while Stanley approached Christiana for a relationship that fateful night at a party, Jude approached her friend. Sofie. It was the only way he could keep close enough to see what was going on.
Few months into the relationship and Stanley was sure he was in love. Not only that, he could see Christiana’s dreams. Which was like her parent’s, unusual. But with that, he was able to keep himself updated about her. He saw the dreams where her mother and grandmother talked to her about who she was and why Stanley was the man to care for her.
Such dreams gave him the creeps. But he stood anyway, determined to learn more before reporting to the cult.
Then one Sunday afternoon, after they returned from a church service Christiana had invited him to have lunch with her. After lunch, he slept and had the weirdest dream. He found he had a child with Christiana. And then the cult came after them.
They ran and were pursued. It so turned out, the child the cult was so scared of. The child that was supposed to end the cult, wasn’t just Christiana’s. He was his future son.
For three straight weeks, the dream continued. Stanley knew. If that revelation got to the cult. They wouldn’t only kill Christiana. They’d kill him too.
He ran back to his mother, not minding their strained relationship, to apologize and explain things as they were. He really needed her help.
Based on his Mom’s advice, the first thing was to relocate to the outskirts of town, even without Jude knowing. For he saw that Jude was deep in the cult. Afterall, it kept his account fat. He didn’t trust his own brother to support him. And Jude had always said, he’d give his arms to legs to ensure the cult never ends.
Stanley was left with trusting only himself and his mother. He broke up the relationship with Christiana and when asked by the cult, why, he lied, saying she was not the one. They believed him. Temporarily.
Stanley used the opportunity to find a lady to work with. He lied to the cult he was working with her to find the real mother of the unborn child they so feared.
It was Jude who later discovered the real reason for the breakup. His dream seer of a brother was trying to protect the mother of his unborn son. He alerted the cult, and first, they came after him. But he eluded them.
He knew they’d go after Christiana. But he thought he outsmarted them by going for her first. He was too late. Stanley was one step behind. His being behind was what caused Christiana, the lady he loved to so much, to get involved in an accident that caused her to be diagnosed with amnesia.
“Phew?” He sighed, then looked down at Christiana’s sleeping form. One hand stroked her hair gently. He always thought she was more beautiful while asleep. But that morning, she looked angelic. And he was happy, she was finally getting the much-needed rest.
He cuddled her closer, preparing to join her in dreamland. He’d just have to take one day at a time.
To be continued…
Karo Oforofuo. December 2017. All Rights Reserved
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