I, Gabriel 4

When Jennie comes over to where I’m learning to sit from a lying position, I cease the chance to talk to her.

“Hi, Jennie?” I whisper and she presses her purple teddy tightly to her chest, immensely blown away. I place my pointer over my lips and give her a prolonged ‘sh’ sound as a sign she shouldn’t let the cat out of the bag yet with her eccentric hysteric mannerism. She gets it and calms down a bit but still looks apprehensive. She sure knows babies my age only gurgle and coo. They don’t converse meaningfully.

“How are you,” I whisper again to get her flap her tongue but her main focus is my mouth with an intermittent glance over her shoulder at my mom and hers, probably wishing they could wiretap my eloquence.

“How could you do that? You’re just a baby” She asks, her voice shaky. I feel happy that she responds.

“This is okay Jennie. Some babies talk early and some earlier than others. I know I’m freaking you out but understand that this is how I am.” I whispered

She keeps mute, looks at me as if I’m one hell of an unearthly being and back at them and makes to skedaddle.

“Don’t go away, Jennie. You can talk to people, right? Say your mind, ask questions, contribute to discussions, right? I’ve been longing since I turned two months to express my opinions just like that but I don’t want to scare them. It’s not everyone that can stand an eloquent infant. That’s why I chose to talk to you, Jennie. I feel you’re strong at heart.” I stop when I notice her eyes bulge and her face become disorganised by the horror movie before her in such a way that amuses me but when she slumps on the floor fainted, I freak out. Mum and Elina rush to the scene and carry her to the sofa. Mum calls the emergency and as we all wait for the paramedics to arrive, they both ask, “what could have happened to her,” and mom keeps asking if she was ill.

As I look at her lying there as though dead, a thought crosses my mind. I know that when she wakes, it will never be the same again, I will always be a weirdo, she might stop coming to our house too.

Well, I guess I didn’t quite know Jennie well. Now that I know she shakes like a leaf too, just like all of the – mom and others, I’ll never distress her with my eloquent chatter. I only wish my self-revelation living in her memory could vanish with her present unconsciousness state so that when she wakes up, it will be her usual peaceful happy childish life.

~~~~

Published by

Florence Ezekafor

Impacting lives through creative writing

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