Jamilah’s body coiled, as if burned by an ember glazed rod. Her deep earth skin was feverishly hot and sweat was pouring down her Somali forehead. She clenched her teeth and placed a tentative fore arm between the void of her thighs. A gurgle emerged from the depths of her throat and desperate moaning sounds spilled out of her mouth. ‘Ahhh..oooOoo’
She shivered and felt her throat tighten, as the air languorously slipped out of her lungs. The panic- she couldn't’t feel the familiar rise and fall of her lungs. She grabbed at her neck and clawed at its frail layer of skin...
Her fingers drew blood but Jamilah could not feel the searing tingle. She was fighting an internal battle with an enemy that had been dormant in her pit for nearly 2 months. Foolishly, she had left her guard down, hoping that the hibernation would be prolonged.
A fool- yes, a fool she has been to believe that disease could be cured with blindness, or that demons could be swept under the rug. Imprudently, she had tried to conceal the knowledge of the evil in her, in far corners of her mind.
But ‘It’ was awake, sucking her soul dry. The ‘disease’ was rattling inside her body-breaking ribs, puncturing kidneys and slashing arteries. Jamilah felt her body exploding from within. She cried out to God and began rocking her torn body back and forth, sobbing uncontrollably.
Distress was plastered on her somber face.
‘I can get through this, I can get through this, You can do it yes, You can, Jamilah, You’ve done this before...’ she screamed, pounding against her ears ferociously.
Jamilah slid on her curved belly and pressed herself against the cold floor. The wooden planks were freezing as she never turned on the heat when she slept, but tonight, she couldn’t feel its chilliness.
Her body was ignited and Jamilah was convulsing in an epileptic manner. She began crawling to her dresser, still feeling the snake-the disease rumbling inside of her.
She couldn’t hold off much longer.
'I have to find it, I have to get to the rosary… 'she thought.
‘Ahhhh!!!’ she cried out, as a shooting pain numbed her entrails.
She was close to the dresser, she held unto its handles and pulled herself up. Her eyes were furtive, searching for the beaded sacred pendant. At last, just as she felt herself succumbing to the disease, she saw the familiar twinkle of the turquoise beads.
She moaned out relief and grabbed greedily at the rosary. It burned in her palm, as Jamilah fell down to the ground. She felt the resistance of the rosary and remembered that she has fastened the chaplet with a security pin, to the bottom of her jewelry box. The beads spilled to the wooden floor, solitary and obtuse.
The rosary was reduced to scattered globules; meaningless and powerless.
Jamilah screamed and sobbed uncontrollably. She knew all was hope was lost.
Without the rosary, she was weaponless against an opponent far too strong for Jamilah to fight alone. She thought bitterly how only minutes ago, she was sound asleep in her bed, curled into lavender sheets that smelled magnolia and soap.
She didn’t remember what she dreamed of- she was only reminiscent of the raging force that shattered her out of her sleep…
She stopped fighting, and lay restless on the floor as the ‘disease’ infiltrated her mind. Jamilah closed her eyes and succumbed to the darkness.