RAYA (A SAGA)

When the sun sank, Sumaya started waking her up. She had been calling her name for like twenty minutes now. Raya was not even close to opening her eyes, unusually. Sumaya started getting worried but the only positive thing was that Raya was still breathing. She slept at 2pm and instructed Sumaya to wake her up at 5pm so that they could study for their end of semester exam. The more Sumaya shook Raya’s body like a bottle of syrup, the more Raya’s breath became heavier and louder. She didn’t even turn and looked heavier than usual. Sumaya tried opening Raya’s eyes by her hands but she couldn’t seem to be making any efforts. She lifted up her hand, it was heavy, couldn’t get more than two inches up. Her legs looked paralyzed since they were too stretched and no matter how hard Sumaya tried to turn her, nothing moved. Sumaya decided to sprinkle drops of cold water on Raya’s face and that is when all hell broke loose.
Raya stood up in anger, screaming to Sumaya asking her why she was disturbing her peace. “I am just waking you up for studies, you have been sleeping for more than three hours now and… ” before she could finish her statement Raya was right in front of her with a knife on her left hand directing it to Sumaya’s chest. Sumaya could not run, the hostel room was too small for her to even find a hiding place. She did not understand what was happening, Raya has always been her best friend since high school and they had never had a quarrel. In fact, Raya pleaded with her to wake her up by 4pm for Asr prayer. Before she slept, she said she was not feeling well and feared she might oversleep. She said she was feeling dizzy and could only see blurred images. Sumaya noticed Raya’s weird behavior since morning that day. After the First Class was over at 10am, Raya said she wanted to go home back in Mombasa. This did not make sense. They were in Kisumu, University where they only went home during school holidays and on emergencies. She decided to ignore her because she thought it was the usual once in a while every student used when they feel fatigued or homesick. While saying that, she was seated under a bamboo tree that was behind the dining hall where people hardly pass by.
“Raya, why are you sitted here?”
“I am just resting, I feel tired”
“let us go and rest in the room”
“I do not want to go back to that room; I want to go home there is an emergency call”
“What is happening at home? I can help you get a sick sheet then when all gets well you will come back, but first, we need to go to our room and take your bags. Let me call your mother”
As Sumaya was removing her phone from her pocket, Raya stood up and stopped her.
“You will not understand, she is not even the one who called me, leave her alone. Forget about the phone call”
Sumaya managed to convince Raya to go with her to their hostel room where she made lunch for two but Raya didn’t eat. She claimed she was too tired to eat and kept on insisting on wanting to go home. She realized she was falling asleep so she asked Sumaya to wake her up at 4pm for prayers, where she would then make decisions about going home.
As she was fearfully trying to calm her down she found her way to the door knob which she hurriedly opened and ran outside. She locked Raya in, rushed to the rooms on the ground-floor to call some Muslim friends who knew Raya for sometime too. Some which knew her from primary school. They all came in to fill the small hostel room that hardly accommodated four people, and found Raya seated down on the floor crying. The knife was back at its place. Everyone sat down too and they all started interrogating her one by one. They asked her why she was crying and she cried more. One of them took a glass of water and gave her to drink. To at least replace the tears and cool her throat. Another one, as if remembering a similar scene from somewhere else took the glass and whispered recitation of Surat Al Fatiha then gave her to drink. She gulped a sip then started sobbing. “They do not like me” she started saying in between the cry. “Who doesn’t like you?” Zaina, the elder of the Muslim Union sisters of the University, asked her. “All of them, they do not like me, my mother and my entire family ” she replied while still crying. This time the sobs became less. She started making weird sounds while shaking her head slowly; increasing the speed in seconds she was almost spinning. One of the five ladies decided to recite Quran as a shield of her fear and the sound made Raya cry louder, kicking her legs in pain as if trying to shake of dust from her body. The reciter recited more, louder now as Raya cried louder too. Sumaya could not hold back her tears and she busted out crying in fear and confusion. The room was locked from inside because the reciter said it would be a shame when everyone saw the scene. All the other ladies were covered in fear, two of them hugged each other while one covered her eyes with her hands as if scared to see what would come out of the recitation and cry. Sumaya hugged her legs while her chin tightly rested on her knees at the far end of the lower bed. Suddenly, Raya’s head hit the floor with a bang and she went mute.
She fainted.

This Article Has 11 Comments
  1. Hassan says:

    This is a true story somewhere… It has reminded me of things in school. Thank you for such good read.

  2. farida says:

    good stuff ,waiting to know how it all went with raya…

  3. Mboto says:

    Its a really nice piece, always a fun my dear

  4. Fatma says:

    Nice piece.❤

  5. Swabah says:

    Nice one… Can’t wait for the next episode❤

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