A Mist in The Crowd: Atinuke’s Beginnings

The day was intense already. There was no need to figure it out. She waited as millions of people like ants walked towards her. Of course, they weren’t walking to stand right in front of her, even though it felt so. It was an overwhelming sight and when she paused, bodies smudged on her.

 

The light

Atinuke woke up from her dream. She has been having this recurrent dream for three days now. She sensed that something may be wrong. In her family, it was a common notion to be suspicious when you have the same dream over and over again. Her grandmother had said once that it meant the dreamer was living in an alternate reality which could be a good and a bad thing.

Grandmother had said many things, but one thing she pestered on was that all dreams must mean something. Atinuke sat on the bed, beads of sweat forming and rolling down her silky skin, she wondered. How come this dream means nothing?  The more she pondered on this, the more confused she was. The sun rays bore through her window into her room and she stared at it. It was the distraction she needed. Occasionally, the trees formed a shadow, blocking the rays or becoming tiny and dancing to the tune of the wind. She stood up.

Grandmother

Mama Ariyike was almost always quiet. Only her children and grandchildren knew how much of a talkative she was. She always had something to say for everything. Sometimes it was an advice, other times she just made statements simply because she felt obliged to.  Nowadays, she has been forgetting a lot and that most certainly upsets her. Her eyes followed the dancing sun rays. She heard a knock on her door.

Mama, it’s me.

The voice said.

Mama Ariyike tiptoed to her door and opened it. The door creaked in exhaustion as it was being opened. She let out a wide smile when she saw Atinuke and gestured at her to come inside. Atinuke took off her flip-flops and sat on grandmother’s bed.

Grandma, I have a question… what does it mean when you see yourself standing in the mist of a crowd and facing them. You’re not walking with them, you’re just standing and watching them move on with their lives…”

Grandmother sat and listened intently to her granddaughter. She listened to every breath, each pause in between and watched as her lips moved and stopped and moved again. She nodded after Atinuke was done talking and started.

You see, this is quite easy. Only that you lack understanding. This is why you cannot see that which is obvious. So, my dear sweet child, you need unterstanding. You also need discernment. So let me start by saying that this dream simply meant that you are indeed a rare child. Not only will you be different, you will also always feel alone and different from everyone else. So, you see my child, this is a cross only you can carry, but you decide how you handle it.

Atinuke sighed. She just didn’t feel the answer was satisfactory enough.

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