TRAUMA

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HouseofLivingstones Graphics

I hear her come in and ask for my note on political participation. My roommate goes on with her dressing up for evening mass. B.J makes straight for my reading table and goes through my stuff looking for the material on political participation. It’s not there.
“When will she wake up?” She asks my roommate and sits on my other roommate’s bed and just right in front of me.
“Has she been sleeping for a long time?” She followed up.
“Yes.”
“You guys don’t have light in your room?”
“There’s a power cut. It affected us and the next three rooms from us.”
“Really?” B.J stands and makes straight for the switch.
Plap! She turns it on and gboom! Smoke comes on. The switch oozes with smoke and ere jack, the room is filled with smoke. B.J is nowhere to be found now.
I’m up, with my two phones and trying to escape as the smoke goes down my lungs interrupting my respiration. The whole room is now a see through cloud of smoke. An electrocuting warmness pervades the atmosphere, even the walls are shocking.
I’m in the middle of the room. Trying hard to escape but held down by a strong inexplicable force. I struggle, I strive, my heart recites the forty sixth psalm… An unseen force unglues me, I’m free. I jump out of the room calling out to my roommate to get our laptops before leaving the room.
Outside, I call out to my roommate but she’s still trying to get the laptops.
“Joy!”
She abandons the laptop and makes for the door as the heat increases. She’s held down too, just like me. She reaches out to me helplessly- but our hands do not meet.
I stretch out my hand further, she leans forward. We meet; I pull her with all the force left in me.
We’re both out now- on the corridor. There’s a small crowd. But they are not talking about us- or the explosion.
“If you go out now, you won’t enter again until they lock the gate by ten”, a girl says.
“But I am only…” I open my eyes. B.J is right there sitting in front of me, busy with her phone. It’s getting dark but it’s bright outside, thanks to a florescent bulb. There’d been a power cut from my room four days earlier due to an explosion in the neighbouring room.
Hey! B.J looks up.
The door opens; Joy, wrapped in a towel, fresh from the bathroom.
So you’ve not gone to church? I sit up.
Don’t you guys have light in your room?
Oh no!

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