Releasing my pent-up breath, I slowly stood to my feet and made my way to the bathroom door that was adjacent to my room. Opening it slowly, a whiff of mist stung my eyes and I blinked violently, blindly making my way into the foggy bathroom.

Obviously, I wasn’t alone since I could hear Dabo singing softly in the shower and also the twins, Fubara and Boma, were murmuring among themselves by the sink. Because I still hadn’t worn my glasses, they were just little blurs in the shower mist.

Once I reached the sink where they stood, I could finally see them a little better and Fubara, still clad in his pajamas, paused at brushing his teeth and turned towards me with identical reddened eyes. “Hey…” he said quietly and I almost couldn’t hear him over Dabo’s song.

“Hey,” I managed to say, reaching for my own toothbrush.

Boma, who was still brushing her teeth, nodded her own quiet greeting and I responded with a similar nod. Quietly, the three of us brushed our teeth in slow unison as if creating the rhythm to Dabo’s solemn tune.

“There’s never been a day when your memory’s not on my mind
Especially when I see your picture – sometimes I cry
Cause you are the water that cleanses my soul
And you are the beauty that makes me whole
I’ll see you on the other side someday
I really just can’t imagine any other way
Wait for me, cause I’ll see you again in time
I know I’ll see the day when I can hold you
On the other side
I look above the clouds and I wonder what you’re doing there
When I close my eyes I can feel you everywhere
I remember you laughing and it feels so warm
Each day that is passing I’m closer to home…” — The Katinas

As she sang the lyrics softly, I stared at myself in the mirror and without warning, tears gathered at the corner of my eyes, my sister’s tear-filled voice echoing against my ears as she choked over the words.

Not liking the way my body suddenly weakened with tears and hating the way my two youngest siblings glanced worriedly towards me at my tears and noisily sniffling, I hurriedly finished brushing my teeth and ran back to my room.

Closing the door against Fubara, Boma and Dabo’s voices, I leaned back against it and the tears began flowing heavily, violently racking my body even though I tried controlling it.

Now with my eyes closed and with the thunder still roaring outside the house, the images from my nightmare began replaying in my mind, this time accompanied by my sister’s tearful song. Why was it now that after I had listened to that song a million times and it was now affecting me like this?

end of Chapter 3