Dave

O.O.Kukoyi is a curator of refined Neo-African products, experiences and stories_ image antenna-456228-unsplash.jpg

Dave wakes up to the sound of a swivelling chair in his room. He thinks nothing of it. He shuffles for his phone, as he grudgingly wakes up in the middle of a cold winter night. He feels like we all do on those nights when we know we shouldn't be sleeping because we have that nagging feeling we're missing out on something- something that's important to our lives. We often sleep anyways, and our anticipation is replaced by a random dream.

He shuffles his bed furiously, and is surprised when he can't find it on his bed. He is not looking of it for any reason other than reflex. ‘It's 1:20 am, nothing really happens on social media at this time,’ he thought to himself. The moment he gets up, he spots his phone on his reading desk. He could have sworn he left it charging by his bedside table. Why is it all the way on his reading table across the room?

He has that feeling again, like he is missing something important. It's a deep feeling that penetrates his soul.. You know like when you miss your last chance opportunity to see your best friend before they moved out of town, or when you miss your last chance to make amends with a lover.

He grabs it and immediately notices something different. The wallpaper has been changed. He swears he didn't change it. He thinks to himself for a minute, but ultimately decides to pay no attention to it.

We all do that with the things in our lives we cannot explain, we ignore them, and send them deep within our minds to be forgotten. But like every inexplicable thing, they always find their back- and torment us.

He checks all his notifications. There is a handful of messages from his best friend, Peter.

“Let's hang out tomorrow, I’m back from the installations. It's been a minute. There's this new club opening down the street from the cinema we should attend, I have VIP passes.”

Dave wasn't interested in going to any club, especially not on a Thursday night. But there that feeling was again, like he was missing out on something, like something was happening right this moment that could change his life. After the tragedy he suffered three months ago , he had thrown himself into work and had left out little time for friends.

"Sure" Dave replied to all of Pete's messages.

"Great, man, see you later this evening. Pete replied immediately. He was always a night owl that had no respect for sleep.

The club didn't help Dave's predicament. All the while he pretended to dance and drink at the club, that feeling was there with him. He couldn’t help but feel he was missing out on something major. The feeling was so convincing that he walked out of the club and down the street twice just to see if anything would pop up at him. Nothing did.

Finally he got back home, puts his key through the keyhole into the door, to find it unlocked. He could have sworn he locked the door when he left- but you know sometimes we forget these things. Sometimes we forget to do the most important things in life. And it's not that we're careless about those things, somehow our minds just choose to ignore them, as if it was planning for our self-destruction.

Dave pays no attention to the unlocked door. He just opens his door, removes the key and ends up in his dark flat. He stumbles to his bedroom, half-drunk from the club. He always remembers to charge his phone. It was the most important gadgetry he had, it was basically how he made his money, monitoring online auctions on eBay. Plugging his phone by his bedside had become muscle memory - it came easy to him like playing and old song on the piano. He falls asleep.

He wakes up a few minutes later to that nagging feeling like he was missing out on something important agan. He shuffles for his phone on his bed. The cord is usually long enough, and sometimes he'd sleep with the phone by him on the bed. Again his phone is nowhere to be found. He gets up to find it, there it is again, on his reading table across the room. He picks it up. The wallpaper had been changed again! ‘What the fuck!’ He swears this time he plugged it by his bedside, or did he? He was drunk when he came home anyways. He couldn't be sure. He chugs it down to one of those things- you know those things we really shouldn't ignore, but do anyways.

The next day, he chooses not to work from home. He took a stroll to the Starbucks closest to him. He sat by the window looking at people as they lived their lives. There that feeling was again, like he was missing something important like something was happening at this moment that affected his very existence. We all feel like this sometime, like we are missing something that's important to our survival. You know, like a jacket we leave behind at a bar in winter. It’s an overwhelming feeling, especially when the cold bites us. He decides to ask every barista at the Starbucks if there was any major event happening in town. There's none.

He walks back home to his door unlocked again. He can't ignore this this time, he's sure he locked it. He goes down to the security office and demands to see records of people that entered his part of the building, Maybe he'd see a familiar face. Pete was one of the only two people he gave his spare keys to, perhaps he came over.

Nothing in the records help.

He goes back up, and finds things out of place in his house, knives are in the bedroom, his duvet is in the kitchen, the washing machine had been unplugged. Maybe he's going crazy and forgetting things, he thought. We all try to rationalize the things we can't explain, and put them in a crazy box in our minds. It's the easiest way to make them disappear. He plugs his phone by his bedside again. And starts to fall asleep as he does after a long day at work.

He wakes up to the sound of his apartment door cloaking sluggishly as it was slowly being opened at the stroke of 1 am.

Next the handle of his bedroom door turns, and that makes its own sluggish groan like a log of wood being woken a deep slumber.

The room is slowly filled with a deeply unforgiving incandescent glow as a long haired woman dressed in white cotton white dress sneaks into the room barefoot. He recognizes her, It's his girlfriend; she has a smirk on her face, and vengeance in her eye.

How could she be here, she's dead, she committed suicide three months ago, and blamed him for her mental state at the time.

"Hi Dave, she said with a smile that was half guilty and half estatic.

I never returned your keys, I'm glad I caught you awake this time.

We need to talk."

Dave was found dead in his apartment three days later. He left no suicide note.

You are made of the stuff of miracles

O.O.Kukoyi