by Nilopar Uddin
There is another me inside my head that talks like an old wife. When I stir from my sleep as morning grows old, she chants good thoughts to me to chase away the slumber demons. She whispers “bad luck” to me when I inadvertently spill milk or a ladder looms over me on my path to work. When happiness overwhelms me with its soft warmth, she shivers in me with misgivings and ill-portent. I try to ignore her; try to crank up the volume of my sturdy, rational, learned self; but she is the minor me with an omnipotent presence. She remains there, crammed in a dark corner, making cameo appearances to whisper “I told you so” when rationality begins to simper.
It was a still morning in October, the year my third decade approached, and I walked out into the driveway, locking my door behind me. I took a few steps and turned to check that I had locked the door; indeed I had, and so, I began my twenty minute saunter to work. No sooner had I turned onto the main road, I felt a cool “plop” on my scalp and looked up, wondering if it had begun to rain. The cloudless sky gave not a clue, but the trickling of a wet substance down the side of my left brow was distinctly un-rain-like. I put a hand up and wiped it, looking at my palm, and stopped in my track instantly.
My track happened to be the middle of the road, and the crimson smeared across my palm made me impervious to the roar of a horn hurtling towards me. I looked up and met the gaze of the vacant body hung like a rag doll on the scaffolding above me. The driver of the black cab braked as hard as he could. Unfortunately for him, fatally for me, it came too late, and the blood of a stranger on my fingers and brow mixed with my own as my body cracked open on its impact with black steel.
As I lay splayed on black tarmac, the mini-me whispered in my ear that I should have heeded her warnings. Never look back when you leave home, she said, clucking under her breadth. You knew the door was locked, she said, You didn’t need to check. She was invariably the voice of my mother, borrowing her words, her superstitions, her panicked sense of fatality. I searched for my sanity, trying to find a mute button for the mini-me. Finally, she ebbed away, as did I, in a pool of crimson against black tarmac.
Nilopar Uddin is an optimistic writer, motivated to spill stories onto white page to free up some space in her mind.