The dream is soundless; quieter than dreams usually are. It is clear, but Malaika feels removed from it all. It’s like she’s watching through glass.
She wakes with a start, sits up in her hammock, and tries to hold on to pieces of the dream that was quickly fading. She sighs and gets up to perform her morning rituals. She knows her brother will have left already. He usually leaves very early to fish with the other young men in their small lakeside community.
As her brother crosses her mind, she gets a feeling peculiar to her alone; it is almost like deja vu and it happens whenever she sees or thinks consciously of someone she dreamt about.
Her mind flashes a picture; her brother in a boat, casting a net. Her dream had been about him. She feels a sense of foreboding as goose pimples appear on her arms.
Her thick brows knotting, she shakes off the feeling and she starts to prepare breakfast. The window in their little house looks out unto the lake. The sky is aflame with sunrise and the reflection on the water was breathtaking. Malaika wishes she had a camera to capture such a moment. In the distance, on the water, she can see the fishermen in their boats. Another wave of deja vu hit her as one of the men casts a net out.
Her mind flashes another image, this time in black and white. Her brother; wearing a white tank top, sitting alone in his boat, his dark skin glistening; the water still as glass.
Her disquiet returns, this time too much for her to dismiss. Her hands still as she sights a young man running towards their back door.
Heart racing, Malaika rushes to open the back door just as the man whom she identifies as Segun- their neighbour’s son- reaches it.
Panting, he garbles.
“Malaika, it’s your brother! It’s Goke!”
As Segun mentions his name, a final picture flashes in Malaika’s mind; her brother, rowing far out unto the lake and jumping into the water. Bubbles rise to the surface as it ripples and ripples and ripples…until the water stops rippling and the bubbles stop. The water is still once again. Malaika’s heart stops as her dream comes back to her.
Dread rips through her as her mouth goes dry and she races out, leaving Segun, forgetting the breakfast that was cooking on the stove. The only thought in her mind, echoing through her soul was “I have to stop him.”
She gets to the waterside and doesn’t stop running until one of the men holds her. She sees about 3 of the others searching for Goke. His name is ripped from her throat, tearing through the air in a garbled scream. Frantic, she struggles with the two men trying to hold her back from jumping into the water to look for a brother she knew was gone. He was all she had, but she knew the search was futile because Goke was gone.
He wasn’t coming back, just like her dream.