Leila threw herself upon her bed, weeping into her pillow. Her body was exhausted and her mind was restless, why would her parents do this to her? She was only 24 and marriage was the last thing on her mind, she wanted to focus on her studies explore and travel the world before finally committing herself to someone in marriage.
‘I will fight them if I have to but I will not be forced into a marriage I don’t desire to be in,’ she thought at the back of her mind.
Amidst her thoughts, Leila’s eyes grew heavy and she felt the grip of exhaustion- she dozed off.
It was a cold dark evening the air was sharp and brisk, the coldness of the night pinched at her skin making it raw and numb. Leila’s mind wandered in all directions, she had no idea where she was.
Everything seemed a little too strange she was standing barefoot in the middle of nowhere & her clothes were replaced with red fabrics.
She looked around and all she could see where trees in front and to either side of her. She was suddenly alarmed, this place was awfully quiet, how was she going to get out of here alive?
Eventually she started walking around aimlessly trying to find a way out, she was cold – the air she was inhaling made her insides freeze.
She had only walked for five minutes when she heard a very loud amplified sound like heavy breathing. An unreasoning fear swept across her body and she stood still shivering and shaking, at that point the wind became fiercer and the air harsher, Leila knew she wasn’t alone in the forest, she could feel the presence of someone watching her from behind, afraid to look back she began to run as fear pumped adrenaline through her veins.
As she ran, she heard loud curdling screams from behind her but she didn’t stop, she ran as fast as her body could take her.
She suddenly came to an abrupt halt when she heard another scream louder now and the voice sounded strangely familiar.
This time around she turned and came face to face with a man in a heavy black cloak not too far from her. He was holding someone by the neck and sort of strangling him. ‘Owen!’ Leila gasped trembling when she saw the person who was being strangled.
Ha! Ah! Ha! Ah! Ha! ‘A loud pearl of laughter bounced against the trees.
Owen chocked and gagged in his grip fighting for air. Leila was horrified at what was going on but she couldn’t move anymore.
‘Owen! No!’ she screamed as tears of fear and frustrations spilled over dripping down her cheeks.
As he continued to tighten his grip around Owen’s neck, Owen’s eyes rolled back into his head then he let out a breathless moan and collapsed to the ground and did not move further.
‘Owen,’ Leila screamed, she wanted to run to him, she had to save him from this monster but before she could do that her eyes snapped open and she was back in her room lying on her bed, her room was dark though she didn’t remember switching off the light.
‘Could it all have been a dream? It seemed so real. What did it mean?’ Oh Owen, she had to call him to see if he was okay.’
She tried to get up but her body was paralyzed it was as if someone was holding her down, she couldn’t move her arms and legs neither could she speak, this experience was similar to what happened the other day, Leila was frustrated what in God’s name was happening to her, she thought about praying in her heart but she didn’t know how to, her parents were not religious and she too had followed in their footsteps, she couldn’t remember a time when she had prayed in her life, doing so now would be a sign of hypocrisy. I
She lay still staring at the wall waiting for this awful experience to end when all of a sudden the door in front of her opened, it wasn’t just a little push it was as if someone had opened the door completely then she heard a huge bang and the door slammed shut.
After a while, she was aware of a familiar strong presence in her room & she began to see movement, she could feel his presence coming closer and closer, she tried to scream again and although she felt her mouth moving, no sound emerged. She was desperate she needed to get herself out of this situation before he harmed her, but how would she do that. Just then Leila felt like someone was touching her and she began to panic, it was kind of a human touch she could feel it all over her body and then there was a weight on top of her body and a breath on her neck.
‘No,’ she screamed but to no avail. Shortly after, Leila felt a hand stroking her thigh followed by a sharp pain that radiated in her back down in her upper left thigh.
After a few moments of excruciating pain, it was gone and she was able to move.
To be continued…