THE TRAVELER- A Short Story!

Me, I laugh at you.

“Why?” You ask.

Tonight, one minute to the eve of my 33rd birthday, I’ll die. Jesus died at 33, why not me?

“You’re Jesus now,” you scoff.

How dare you laugh at me? We shall see who laughs last.

I won’t die on a cross -no, nothing dramatic like that, though I do wish I could beat that. Your Jesus takes the crown for that one, you see. But it’ll be my cross, and my pleasure, which I’ve carried from birth until now that’ll kill me.

You don’t believe me. You’re still laughing. Watch!

My death will shock you. I’ll stun you by the method I choose to leave this world. You’ll wonder why I left my sleeping husband on the bed we’ve shared as man and wife for two years, walked to the kitchen, and after drinking a full glass of water, plunged one of the knives -the very set you gifted me on my wedding day, so deep in my chest, you’d think I wanted to excavate my heart. You’ll wonder why I didn’t write a note to explain the darkness that haunted my soul the days, maybe years, leading up to now. You’ll hate me; you’ll wish you could somehow drag me back from the land of the dead so you could box me in the ears for leaving my three month old twins – a boy and a girl- whom I claimed were the light and the joy of my life.

Are you still laughing? I didn’t think so.

By the time I’m done with you, your nostrils would flare in anger amidst your tears. Your bitterness will move you to anger at God. Yes, your God with whom you say there’s no grey. Why didn’t he prevent me, you’d ask? You’d quickly realize your wayward thoughts and ask for forgiveness for blaming him. After all, he could smite you in anger like your preacher says. But you need a punching bag, so you’ll point accusing fingers at the devil. He is a lesser threat than your God. My death will leave you so confused that your silent rage at God would feel like fire in your bones until you’re burnt out and numb. But I’ll be gone… gone faraway. Maybe heaven, maybe hell. Who cares? Not I. Does such even exist?  I laugh at the theory. But you can’t touch me where I go. Not you. Not your anger.

“Who are you?” You ask in wonder.

Who am I? The question is, what am I? Haven’t you heard of me? I am only a traveler, a child-woman who must have the best of heaven and earth. I journey between the spiritual and physical world at will. My will. That’s my purpose – the destiny my whole heart embraces.

It hits you. “Emere!” You scream.

I laugh. Tell me, who is laughing now?

Note to the Reader:   For non-Yorubas, Emere is a mythical creature who comes to earth as a human but leaves the world on a day of joy so she can bring grief to her loved ones.


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