Amara woke with a deep gasp. She felt numb like she had been pulled out a strong tide. It’s how she had been waking up for the last month. She held her chest and tried to calm herself but the more she thought, the tighter it seemed to get until she was nearly choking and gasping for breath.
“Breathe,” she told herself. It’s what she did every time she had dreams like these, the ones that jumbled her mind up so much that she saw them as nightmares.
“Breathe,” she said out loud hoping that hearing her own voice would shake her out of the strange place between sleep and being fully awake that she felt trapped in. Parts of her dream came back to her and her pulse quickened. She saw herself back in that church wearing that large wedding gown and remembered how dark and gloomy the air about her was. She remembered the faceless people that filled the church to witness what felt like her demise. She remembered looking dead ahead to the front of the aisle and seeing the silhouette of her waiting groom and how fast her heart started to beat wondering who he was and what was happening. It all came back to her; how the veil that covered her face seemed to make her feel claustrophobic like a caged bird, her trembling hands that held a bouquet of flowers that had a bee that buzzed over them, how alone she felt right before she fainted, how her fall to the ground seemed to be the only thing that woke her up.
If you’re in Kampala, copies of the book are available at Aristoc bookshops.