Every night, Juju would wake up and scream, ‘THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!’
The first time it happened, his wife, Maya, ran screaming through the house, searching for the fire, fearing for her life and the lives of her loved ones. But when she found nothing to corroborate her husband’s words, she pounced on him and demanded an explanation.
‘Are you insane?! Where’s the fire?!’
That’s when Juju told her about his nightmare and its bizarre realness. He sat in his favorite chair eating his favorite snack, crackers and cheese, when the flames came for him. It was like the house was a matchbook that had been set on fire.
And that’s when he had woken up screaming, ‘THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!’
Maya had thumped her husband’s back and offered him kind words of consolation, urging him to go back to sleep and forget the wicked dream.
Little did she know that Juju’s nightmare and shouting would become a nightly affair.
The second time it happened, Maya acted on instinct and raced through the house, again discovering nothing. She returned to find Juju staring at her with tousled hair and his mouth wide open. Another nightmare he blurted.
She pursed her lips and lay down without a word exchanged between them. By the fifth night, she simply rolled over, placed her pillow over her head, and resumed her soft snoring.
Juju’s nightmares did not leave him. They made him lay awake at night. He feared that the minute he closed his eyes, they would come and grab him. So, deprived of sleep, the man spent his days roaming like a perplexed zombie.
Then one night, the unthinkable happened. Juju drifted off to sleep and the nightmare returned, but this time there was no fire. He lay in bed and Maya stood over him with a knife in her hand. As the blade entered his chest he woke up and screamed, ‘MAYA, DON’T KILL ME!’
A hand shot up and struck him across the face – SMACK!
Maya’s words were few but earnest.
‘Juju please! Just go back to sleep.’
But her heart screamed, ‘Idiot! Don’t make me do it!’
I Will Run Away and that’s my final decision. I’ve been a slave for too long. It’s time for a new revolution. Freedom!