The Cough

The Cough

She was an ND accounting student of a 
polytechnic in Lagos. Her secondary school
friend was also in the same department as her. 
She is not so close to her friend. The friend 
has some strange things around her which made 
her try as much as she can to distance herself 
from the friend. 
The friend once told her that she sees the 
scorpion on her birthday. No matter where the friend
 is on her birthday she must see a scorpion. 
That sounded strange to her. She felt the friend 
ought to do something about it. The school organised
 a beach get together once. She and her friend went 
to the beach with the other students. 
The friend looked at the water and said she will 
drown if she touches the water. The statement was so
 heavy nobody doubted it. The friend stayed far off 
the water till they all got back to school.

For these reasons and some others, she stayed off 
more from the friend. Whenever the friend offered 
her something to eat she turned it down. One day 
she brought cake and offered her. As usual, she 
turned it down. It was as if the friend was waiting for it. 

Friend: "I knew you would reject it. 
I had noticed that you don't take things 
from me like you used to"
She: "it's not so. I just don't feel 
like eating cake"
Friend: "eat this one and remove my doubt
 that you don't take things from me again."

She fell for it. She collected the cake from her and ate. 
That very night she dreamt that the friend gave her cake 
and it turned to Amala (Yam flour) in her mouth. 
She woke up the following morning with a severe cough.
She didn't link the cough to the dream. She thought 
it was just a normal cough like any other. She went to 
the pharmacy for a cough syrup. She completed the bottle
 of cough syrup the cough did not go. People started 
suggesting stuff to use that will cure the cough. 
Bitter cola, honey, lime and quicklime amongst other
 things were recommended for the cough cure.
 Nothing worked. It got worse. 
Her sister decided to take her to the hospital. 
Maybe the cough is a symptom of some unknown disease. 
The doctor tested and treated her for malaria. 
Some antibiotics were also given. 
The cough reduced minimally.
 Immediately the dose is completed the cough resumed.
 It was getting to weeks now. 
Then she started thinking it is not ordinary. 
Seems village people are involved. 
Her mum attends a white garment church. 
She informed her mum of the cough. 
The first question her mum asked is if she 
had any strange dream around the time the cough 
started. She then recalled the dream she had. 
She told her mum the dream. Her mum took her to 
the white garment prophet. The prophet went into
 trance and revealed that she had been poisoned 
by her friend. That her friend wanted to initiate
her into an occult. She was confused 
by this revelation. 
Why would someone poison a new member to be? 
Besides she had not seen the friend since the 
cough started. The friend does not come to school 
regularly. Also, she had not had any dream after 
that first one. The prophet gave her a mixture he 
called "antipoison". 
She used it as directed but the cough persisted. 

She was fed up and embarrassed with the cough. 
The cough became a nuisance. 
Everyone around her kept asking "you still cough?"
 It has been going on to six months that she was coughing. 
A friend of hers that attend the fire ministry 
brought anointing oil to her one day. 
The friend told her she will be healed after 
taking the oil if she believes. 
She was ready to believe anything to be healed. 
She took the oil with faith. The cough did not go 
immediately. It took some time. 
She could not tell exactly when she stopped coughing. 
All she knows was that she realised 
she stopped coughing after a while. 
She wondered what exactly cured her of that cough.

Abike, March 2019