Like her father, Zainab is unhinged!
I know zay well enough. She used to be full of humor, graceful and elegant. We'd been buddies since 2011, courtesy of Lanre, her late cousin. Zainab has been in melancholy mood lately. She'd been struggling to find balance within her own being. I had spoken with her severally about what had gone wrong, in fact I had jokingly asked what demon she was contending with? Nothing. She'd always say. She'd shrug off my concerns with a casual nod making a smug face, with cute smile saying it's nothing. You'd see triviality written all over response. It's almost like she doesn't care, anymore. I was worried but didn't want to push her to divulge anything, especially if she's not ready or probably processing the best way to spill what's troubling her frail mind. I'll wait patiently, she needs time, I'd always caution myself, excusing her continuous mood swings and lapses in routines.
Zainab is a fine, spirited lady, she exudes so much goodness which depicts her best parts, but she's not without problems of her own as everyone's, especially after her mother's demise few years ago. She had only turned 25 at the time and since then hasn't remained the same. Her mother's death took a toll on every phase of her life. Worse, was her mental health. Mrs. Amira Suleiman epitomized womanhood, a symbol of the perfect woman to her daughter, but she died a slow and unpleasant death to cancer. She was bedridden for long, laboured with the disease for nearly a decade, losing her self, husband and every property the family had acquired until her death.
But, its been years now and Zainab is 30+, she's graduated school, no good job yet, although she's at the tail end of her NYSC program. But she isn't hopeful about anything. She now wallows in despair and pessimism.
Zainab, the eldest of 5 siblings, a late mother and an unhinged father who had left them, is on her own.
Her father Mr. Suleiman Shinkut had walked away from his family years ago when things fell apart in his life and impacted his family. He had lost his job and couldn't fend for himself and family, his health was in shambles, not forgetting his wife's cancer predicament at the time. He became a troubled man, often depressed, drunk and always injured from fighting at the pub. As things grew worse, it made him unhinged. Dementia, the psychiatrist. said in his diagnosis.
Now, Zainab had managed to navigate her way through the struggles and hurdles of life, taking care of herself and 4 siblings, combining academics with side hustles, and in between struggling with inconsistent futile relationships which had men taken advantage of her and her situation. Zailani even promised her marriage but bailed on her soon as he got what he wanted. And now; no man, no job, no marriage, no nothing. Everything is falling apart. Ontop of it all she's beginning to slide into interminable depression, just like her father.
To make things worse, on the flip side, her friends and close aquaintances have been finding love, getting married, raising kids, working fine jobs in elegant offices, buying flamboyant homes and she'd see and hear stories. She imagined they're living the perfect life, her dream life.
"I'm happy for them yunno, she'd always say, but when will it be my turn she'd ask again and again''. God has disappointed me she once told Lola, a mutual friend of ours. To be fair, I've felt same way too. I'm so happy for my friends but deep down my heart I wonder if I'm ever going to be celebrated in life at any point. Like, at what stage does it get better for me I'd ponder on.
Believe me, I understood Zainab's plights. But how can I help, even I, have demons of my own. it is well, I usually say after long talks of encouragement.
Last Thursday, at the office editing my boss's business proposal for an ICT contract we were bidding for and my phone rang, it's Zainab, why is she calling this early? I've always felt uneasy when she's had to call like that. I worry she's sliding slowly to her death or worse. I couldn't take the call, my boss was all over me. As soon as I got the job done, I immediately rang zay back, and it was Zara crying "you need to come home, Anty Zainab has lost it, she got up from her bed screaming, throwing tantrums all over, saying all sort of uncouth words to everyone. She even injured herself, bleeding profusely uncle". I was loss for words and confused. So I asked where she was, and found out she'd been taking to a psychiatric facility at Sabon-Jero with help from good neighbors.
I got there and my friend Zainab was all different, she was held in chains like a thief, strapped to the bed, couldn't move, she really lost it, I mumbled. I couldn't speak to her, she doesn't recognize anyone anymore her sister said. What is happening I muttered to myself with tears rolling down my cheek?
My friend Zainab is unhinged, just like her father. it is happening, again!

© jk writes!