I hear voices in my head, they speak to me, they tell me, they direct me and make me do things. I hear voices in my head, telling me to make it stop, to make it stop.
Most times I hold my head in my hands and hide inside mamma’s walk in closet, sometimes it is quiet in there. But other times it’s where the voices become louder, clearer.
i remember when it started, I was five years old, grandpa had come visiting . Grandpa was old and weak, grandpa used a walking stick, and he likes to hit it to the ground when he walks . it makes that
“tap tap tap sound” and then he would wriggle as though he is about to fall, then he would cough and beckon to me for support.
See, they didn’t like grandpa and when I asked them why they told me that, he reminded them of their uncle bart .
Uncle Bart used to make funny sounds when he sleeps. I had laughed at the time, why they hated their uncle bart just because he snores. But when they had made me put my finger to the pin, drawing blood, I had cried.
So I followed Grandpa, as they told me to, I had held his hand as they told me to, and we walked around the compound because walking was exercise and good for his health.
And then when they told me to push him, I didn’t want to.
But tom, mike and Belinda, they stood behind me, sometimes when I don’t want to do what they want me to, they come by themselves and make me.
Grandpa was standing, talking to me about history , about the weather and asking me what I wanted to become, but I didn’t answer him, because before us was the pool, and grandpa didn’t know how to swim.
“push him” they said
“But grandpa doesn’t know how to swim ..” I cried
“If he doesn’t go in , you will’
“That’s fine, I can swim”
“Who says anything about letting you swim’’ they nudge me forward, again and again and again until I was only a few feets away from grandpa, he was facing the pool.
“Push him stephen’’ they echo, back in my head
I close my eyes, stretch my hands forward and push grandpa.. I saw him struggle as he went underwater, I saw him raise his stick and let it go, I saw him fighting for breaths, I run and reach for him, but they..they hold me down, they laugh at him, they sneer at me… they hold me down and then they push me forward.
“Look at him, look at him…tell us if you are not happy he would be gone, didn’t you say you didn’t like grandpa because he scolded you once, didn’t you say you didn’t like him when he threatened to take you away from your mum when you misbehaved..look at him now, he is gone..arent you happy??”
And then I remember and smile, truly Grandpa was a pain..and so they let me go, I watch him stop struggling.
I go back into the house and tell mum
Grandpa was buried a week later
But you see the voices in my head, they don’t stop, they speak, they make me do things.
Aunty Meg had come with her new boyfriend, we had been playing basketball , he was a good sport, so good I wanted to keep him.
But they didn’t like Uncle Max,
And so when we both went shopping, not so far from the house, I kicked my ball into the road and went to pick it, I saw the car coming, I pick it and stand…I wait
Uncle Max turns and sees me, he turns and sees the car, the car doesn’t see us, or rather the driver was drunk, he was drinking as he pulled the corner. I see him, I don’t move, I start to cry, Uncle Max runs, he runs , crossing the road to push me off, but he is crushed under the car.
I walk home.
He is buried a week later
I hear those voices still, it is getting louder..they are getting more excited.. and me, me? Their will is mine..
My little baby brother is here, mother dotes on him, father adores him.. I hold his hands and I smile
Finally I have someone to play with, someone to look up to me and love me
But he begins to cry, at night, and they hate noises, they do. I close my ears, I didn’t want them to hear him,
But they do, they see, they hear, this voices in my head, they speak to me, they make me do things
But I wanted to keep him, I wanted to keep my baby brother
But they wanted the noise to stop, they wanted him to stop. So I went in to the room, looking down into his baby bed
“SSSssshhh please stop, please stop crying” I begged
But junior, junior doesn’t listen
“Make it stop, make it stop” they say
I carry the pillow, the pillow under his head and then I place it over his face..
“Stop crying please stop crying” I beg
But all I hear is more screams, and then I place it down harder, with both hands I press it down as he struggles, I don’t stop until all I hear my heart beating.
I place the pillow back behind his neck, and then I went to sleep, my tears soak my bed
They buried him a week later, mother was never the same again
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Now, I am staring at father, watching up at him as he fixes the light down at the basement. And then the voices comes again
“Kick him’ they say..”See if he would get up if he touches the ground”
I don’t think, I kick it
“Stop it “ he says looking down
I hit it again “Sorry father” I say, and when he isn’t looking, I grab it and pushes it, father and the ladder falls.. father gets a broken neck. He dies on the spot. And they bury him a week later.
They never like to keep the dead for much longer or less.
Now, It is just me and mother at home now.. she is in her room, asleep.
And the voices in my head are speaking to me. I get up and put on the gas, and allow it stay on for an hour.. I allow it leak into the house , I shut the windows..
Then I take a match stick, a bottle of ligour , a cloth with which I tug it into it’s mouth..and I leave the house..
I walk a small distance, I light it , I turn and throw it, I run, a little distance and then I turn
The house went up in one big bang.
I don’t blink, .
I sit down, now in the open I sit down, and waited. Mother’s body was burnt to ashes, she had a close casket service of songs.
I was the only surviving family she had.
It’s a week now, I am in social welfare services ..A family wants to adopt me.
They are loving, they seem happy, they seem to love me
They begin paper work for me to be released, they tell me they are taking me home today and I would love it there. I smile, I hear the voices in my head speaking to me again.