Welcome to another episode of The Shorttales Club. The crew delved into a heart-wrenching tale written by Deborah Oluniran Adeniyi. It is titled We Will Talk About Other Things Instead, first published on Kalahari Review.
Deborah Oluniran Adeniyi writes from Nigeria. She is a graduate of Educational Psychology, Guidance and Counselling and an alumnus of Chimamanda’s Purple Hibiscus workshop.
Her short stories weave around the twists and turns that characterise the mind and reveal the underpinning emotions behind real-time actions.
Considering that less is often said about mental health and its intricacies, Deborah’s stories have unintentionally tilted towards the arch of this topic without being too glaring. This way, stories, issues, topics that are uncomfortable to talk about are brought to life.
Deborah is a freelance therapist.
We use the word dream to talk about positive things. We have dreams about our futures. We aspire to greatness and call it “our dream”. Then there is the dream that takes place when we close our eyes. And everything is all rosy. Until it is not.
A Nightmare Maybe
There are few things worse than knowing that every time you shut your eyes to go to sleep, you will be visited by your worst nightmare. This is the reality of Nimi, our character in this story. She is plagued nightly with a recurrent nightmare of having lost her memories, mothering a child she does not remember having, with zero recollection of whether she has any other family or not.
There is the self-reproach she passes on herself when she comes to realise she might have had the child out of wedlock. There is the fear that she could hardly take care of herself, much less another living being. And there is the torment that comes with not remembering. At some point, we are told that it was only after Nimi got to the ATM machine that she realised she could not remember her pin.
Though for us, only a short period of time passes, in Nimi’s world, it has been weeks and weeks of confusion, fear, frustration and the dilemma of what to do.
Losing What’s Not Yours
For someone who was vacillating between keeping this unknown child and ‘drowning it in the kitchen sink’, Nimi demonstrated how strong the bond between her and the child had grown when she wailed, hit her head on the wall and begged that her baby be returned to her on seeing that Mama Bola was trying to steal the child.
Cryptte describes it as a certain kind of chaos. Oz believes we can never truly understand how debilitating mental health is to its victims and Fresh says it’s scary to be stuck with your demons with no power to put a stop to it.
All in all, we agree that Nimi was living in hell, just inside her bedroom.
You can find other stories by the author in the link provided below.
https://linktr.ee/deborah_oluniran?subscribe Stories by Deborah Oluniran Adeniyi
If you’ve enjoyed our chat and would like to continue the discussion, kindly follow us on Twitter and Instagram @shorttalesclub to share your opinions.
See you next time!