Dreams from Yesterday II – short story

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“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” ~ Walt Disney

Read the first part here

Hayden moved like his knees were just hinges, wobbling to and fro on the soft center rug before falling on his padded bottom.  Then he clapped like it was all part of the plan and rolled to his stomach to get up again.

“Adorable” Harriet mused as she was lost in fascination.

Her own child. Hers!

Harriet got up from the sofa in the living room to pick up her son as he crawled towards the TV console where a glass fishbowl rested. The boy giggled, waving his arms for the pick-up he knew was coming, but before he was hoisted high, he was on his bottom again.

Scenes like this relieved all the stress of everyday commute and nothing else mattered as far as she was concerned.

Then a shadow moved in the curtains.

“These weren’t the times that welcomed shadows” Harriet brows collapsed into a frown as she held her son tightly.

Her eyes darted around the room as the shadow moved across the curtains and then stayed still, melting into the curtains. She could hear her own breath; short and shallow.

She was sure something moved.

Then it moved again.

Her heartbeat quickened as the curtains were ruffled by ominous and yet gentle wind.

The silence that accompanied that moment was deafening and Harriet kept her eyes wide opened, unblinking. The stillness was scary, as though something really bad was about to happen.

She could feel it.

She held on tightly to her son.

Then the shadow emerged.

Harriet Screamed her lungs sore.

*****

Harriet’s scream came from a place of terror, telling of a mind lost in absolute fear. Her head throbbed like a jackhammer in service.

She thrashed her legs in bed pushing the duvet away from her body as though rebelling against her very existence. Kunle held her in his strong arms so much that she could barely breath. He was barely awake himself.

“Its only a dream. It’s a nightmare” Kunle muttered with urgency.

Now fully awake, Harriet heaved her body out of his arms, before holding her face in both her hands.

Tears trickled down her face.

“Why did she wake up?” she questioned no one in particular, neither did the words escape her mouth.

Kunle watched her in silence. The silence that was only broken by the irritably loud shrill of the bed side alarm. It was morning already.

Relieved, he handed a cup of water to his wife.

That morning Harriet could barely concentrate at work. Her dreams were becoming irregular.

When she checked her diary, she realized that the last time she had the dream no longer followed the pattern she thought she had figured out. Months passed before the next one and she couldn’t fathom why.

The highlight of her day at work was the phone call she received from her closest friend Chioma, second only to the compliments about her shoes from Dee that she always looked forward to.

Dee thought that her white Bennet Tuscany leather high heel stiletto was to die for. She expected nothing less after all it set her back a couple of thousands.

Chioma had been away from Lagos for several months. She had travelled on an official assignment in Abuja. Along with partners in her law firm, she played the lead role in the infamous legal conundrum that dominated the political headlines for many months.

They had been friends since childhood and shared every single detail about their lives. Nothing slipped through the cracks. Until recently when secrets became too much a burden to share.

Harriet never shared her dreams with anyone, she swore to take it to her grave.

Chioma was returning from the federal capital territory in a month and was excited to share the news of her arrival with her.

Unlike Harriet, she was heavily pregnant, out of wedlock, and was hoping to put to bed in Lagos where she would be surrounded by friends and family.

Harriet was her closest friend, and she was hoping she would hold her hands during the pains of contraction. They had promised each other to share that critical moment since the day Harriet was diagnosed of an autoimmune disorder which caused her body’s immune system to attack normal body tissues it would normally ignore, costing her fertility.

For many months a shattered Harriet cried her eyes sore as though the tears would keep her soul alive in the furnace of the overwhelming sadness and pain she felt. She was inconsolable.

As she ended the call with her best friend, her day brightened, declaring that colors matter, inviting her eyes to let them in.

She was going to share in the pain of childbirth.

****

13th December 2013

Hayden was saying his first word.

“mama”

It happened when Harriet was feeding him. He bounced in his high-chair like he was dancing to music only he could hear. His head and arms went up and down while his face was a picture of concentration. The flavors in his mouth seemed to be causing him so much pleasure he couldn’t stay still.

The boy was a bundle of energy.

Harriet watched as her son’s face dissolved into a crestfallen look when she puts the spoon to her mouth to blow air to cool the cereal, but then starts a celebratory bounce again as the spoon approaches his partly opened mouth clamping his lips around it.

She loved him. He was hers alone!

When she heard his first words – mama, her heart melted. The love she had for him quadrupled.

“Who else would he call?” She grinned before placing a wet kiss on his cheeks.

“I love you Son”

She packs up the food can and heads to the kitchen. She had learnt to never stress herself with doing the dishes. Not in her dreams.

She dumped the bowl and empty food can in the kitchen sink.

Then she heard the sound, an unmistaken stridor, followed by a constricted cough and then wheezing and gagging.

Her son was choking!

Harriet hurried out of the kitchen in a mad frenzy to behold her son writhing in pain and clutching his neck.

“No!” she screamed.

She ran too fast her right legs tripped on the center rug. The same one she had no problem walking on every time. Her son’s toy was the culprit.

She fell face down helplessly.

Blood was starting to drain from Hayden’s lips as it paled. His eyes started to roll into his upper lids. Her son looked helpless clutching his neck.

While she laid on the floor helplessly, held down by unexplainable forces, she realized that she had no idea how to help her son.

It sure seemed like she was unprepared to be a mother that very instant.

Harriet screamed.  

****

She woke up on the floor in her bedroom, knocking over the bedside lamp and cabinet as she found her voice in a maddening scream.

“Hayden!!”

Kunle woke up with a start looking around the bed for his wife in the dark.

“Harriet!”

“Hayden” she screamed.

“Who is Hayden?”

Harriet looked at her husband and succumbed to the fainting spell that the throbbing headache in her head offered as escape.

Please follow the concluding part of this enthralling story here.

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15 thoughts on “Dreams from Yesterday II – short story”

  1. Pingback: Dreams from Yesterday I – short story – Akin Akingbogun

      1. It’s still a dream again, and she’s screaming her baby in her dream, still awaiting the next part, getting interesting .

  2. Pingback: Dreams from Yesterday III – short story – Akin Akingbogun

  3. Ahhh this dreams are becoming troubling. Hayden must not die oooo, why do I feel like appearing into the scene and performing a maneuver for choking. Lol

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