The bed lamp is flung to the ground. On impact, it bursts; darkness seizes the room immediately, the plug violently pulled out from the plug by the TV. She screams to the deaf ears of the night, how fucking selfish of it. A yellow, warm tinge light from the street lights across the street brushes on her mother’s curtains. The curtains, still packed in the upper compartment went missing one night, from her mother’s wardrobe.
It is just a coincident, her naïve mother would scream at her unloving husband who during that night was in the very same room she stood in, fucking a prostitute.
She jumps off the bed, untangling herself from a blanket that hung her tightly. She switches the rooms light on, at once, kicking the warm street light to the gutter. The fucking light is too bright, she thought, the bed lamp hid her sins in darkness. Her clients would demand the light to be on, she would insist on it being off, promising to suck them a bit longer. She never saw herself being the lady of the night, only a dim skinny image of a girl flagging customers down the dark corner in her street. Big bellied horny bastards whose lonely wives are soaking wet from overly emotional romantic books, but not tonight he was working late, so he said.
She tosses her pillows to the floor. She screams, intermittently, stepping away to the door. Where the fuck is this spider? In the bright lit room, her skin is crawling spiders. Where the fuck is this spider, she curses into the concrete white walls. One day the walls will repeat that same curse to her, when they begin closing in on her. She stares into her naked body. Tattooed above her plump arse was an angel. Often, to remind herself, to cleanse herself, she would stand in the nude in front of the mirror with her back turned to it, and stare at the angel tattoo. It restored something in her. Without thought a tear falls down her cheek, it violently thrashes the black mat. She does not own her body.
The spider, she thinks to distract herself.
She holds her red heel with the right hand, with the left, she tosses her clothes aside, drapes, not really clothes, at least she has to cover her arse and breasts, she always maintained. The right hand is still sore from the time her boss smashed her hands with a hammer. How fucking cruel. It is business, he had said. The client refused to pay, she had screamed. She lied, that bitch, her boss would later reason to warn his other girls. She cannot find the spider, where the fuck is it? Was it ever there? When she was barely ten her father showed her how to kill a spider, when the fucking spider appears she will smack it hard, splatter its brains, blood and the tiny legs on the white wall, the floor, wherever. The memory of home haunts her. The fucking spider must be here, in the corner of her eye, while soaking wet her pillow with tears, she had seen something move. But home, that memory that always haunts her, kept her awake on nights when her clients were husbands. But also the memory of her dad, absent on most nights, where was he?, it never occurred to her that in that very room she entertains her clients, her father also frequented it, before his favourite girl was tossed on that window to her death by her boss. She plunged head first. Her brains splattered on the pavement. Arg, it is just some bitch’s brains, passer-bys lamented the next morning. They hate the brothel, the place is the devil, they prayed for it. The night had fallen silent; it was pure, hiding its demons in the dark when the girl plunged. The darkness did not see anything; it could not retell the night.
The fucking Bible, she yells.
The fucking church, she yells.
She has stopped looking for the spider. She found underneath the bed, a photo of her when she was about 13, two years ago, in it she was posing with her little brother, mother and father in front of the church. She was in her white dress, it came above her ankles, now she imagines it coming up to under her knees.
Was the church down the road still standing? My friend Ayo, does she still live opposite the church? The shop I used to frequent and buy sweets from, is it still there? Do you miss me?
She questions her mother, whose mouth remains wide open, dry of words, shaking on the phone.