Celina jerked up her head, for one minute she thought she had fallen asleep but on second thought she did not think it possible, this was like an unending nightmare, like a dream she could not shake off. Every time she is jerked out of dark thoughts, she forced herself again and again to come out of those thoughts that seemed to gnaw at her and suck her into its dark vortex. Celina jumped up and walked slowly around at first and then began to pace as if by increasing her speed she could run away from what it was that was after her.

She sat down again and pulled her knees up, resting her chin on them, there was noise around her but Celina could not concentrate, she could not even feel anything, it seemed her mind was blank, she often heard of the out of body experience in church but now she knew it was possible, it was like she was seeing everything going on around her but could not participate.

The crashing of pans and pots yanked Celina out of her daze and her first thought was of her younger sister Kelly. It was even worse recently, in the past two weeks, Kelly cried herself to sleep every night and Celina could not take it anymore but there was nothing she could do.

“Celina! Celina!” Christina Bishop’s voice bellowed from the kitchen downstairs, she glanced quickly at Kelly and thanked God that she was still asleep, she only whimpered but went back straight to sleep.

The noise continued downstairs as she suspected her mother was trying to get some more drink, Celina stayed frozen in the room for a long time waiting for the noise to subside, indicating her mother was passed out. Before long, the noise indeed subsided and Celina took a deep breath.

In the past two years since her father passed away, her mother’s drinking became worse, sometimes, Celina wondered why, her parents never really loved each other, her father Byron Bishop was an honest man, loving and hardworking but unfortunately, nothing seemed to work out well for him, he lost money in investments, he lost money in scams, he lost his job, his business went under, this continued for years but he never gave up, Byron Bishop never believed in God but he was persistent and determined and working hard was what led to his death.

Christine Bishop always blamed her husband for the state of their finance or lack of it; she always sang that it was God’s punishment for her husband because he did not believe in God. Every time something went wrong, Christine Byron will bring out her bible and read out a verse that mentioned God was punishing Byron for his unbelief

“And the most painful thing is that he is punishing me too for marrying you Byron Bishop, God is punishing me too for marrying an infidel such as you”, Christine will say and she would spend the next hour or two praying and asking God to forgive her

This was all Celina was familiar with, all she heard was God was punishing her family because her dad did not believe in God, but Celina did not care, she loved her father, though he spent little time with Celina and Kelly because of his work, those short times were the memories that had kept Celina sane in the years after his death. Two years ago, Byron became ill and in a few hours, he passed away, Celina was thirteen years old and Kelly was ten years old, and their life was shattered.

Thinking about it now, Celina wiped the tears from her eyes, at first, she was so mad at her father for leaving them, then she was in despair and at times like this, she grew mad at her father.

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