Nne’s security kitchen door did me strong tin today. I almost went into the white light of the land beyond.
I don’t do well in small spaces. It’s why the windows are my favourite things in a house. I want them open, I need light, I need space. It’s so bad that I avoid dresses I have to remove by pulling them over my head. If I didn’t love T-shirts so much, I’d never wear them. Anytime I pull a dress over my head and it hooks for more than one second, I stop breathing and get an instant headache.
So, imagine me today when the security door to the kitchen shut and the handle came out and I couldn’t open it. My phone was inside the bedroom. The key was on the other side of the door.
Full-blown panic attack.
Everywhere went dark for some seconds. Then my heart began to beat so fast, I had to clutch my chest because I was afraid it’d rip its way out of my chest. I literally felt my blood pressure go up and true to form, that familiar pain exploded in my head.
I jiggled the door handle over and over. Two more tries and I couldn’t open it. The pain in my head increased so bad, I nearly passed out. I couldn’t breathe. Tears smarted my eyes.
I could already see the blog headlines.
“Popular Facebook Collapses and Dies in Friend’s Kitchen: no foul play suspected.”
“Days after eulogizing friend on Facebook, popular Facebook writer dies in same friend’s kitchen.”
To stop myself from fainting, I shook my head, ran to the window to gulp air and spoke to myself.
“Meme, you can beat this. Meme, breath. Breathe. Breathe.”
Minutes later, I tried again. Same result. Yekpa!
“I’m finished,” I shouted.
“You’re not finished in Jesus name,” said the voice in my head.
I fell to the floor, wrung my hands and cried, while still taking deep breaths. Then I dragged myself up and went to the window again to see if someone would come by. Yahweh, please don’t let me pass out before help comes.
That’s when it hit me from nowhere.
“The Holy Spirit is your present help in times of trouble.”
Why hadn’t I remembered my best friend? My desperation was evident in the way I quickly clasped my hands together (haven’t done that in a long time).
“Holy Spirit, please help me open the door. Thank you.”
Just like that, my breathing slowed down and my heartbeat too. It was almost magical. I felt so good, I stood there for a few minutes. Then I went to the door and gave it another try. It didn’t open. The panic bloomed in my chest again.
“It’s not opening!” I said.
I tried again and very clearly, I heard Him say, “Push it down.”
I pushed the handle down.
“Push it forward and then turn the handle.”
I did. I heard a click. The handle engaged with the pin and the door swung open. I’ve never been so happy to see the sun. All thoughts of hunger fled from my head. I kuku went inside the room and lay down, so the headache could fade off.
That was a close one. Thank you, Holy Spirit.