Just breathe. That was all Sam could do.
Breathe. As she lay sprawled on her bed, her body feeling heavy and the suffocating island humidity surrounding her, the only thing she could do was Breathe and try to regain her composure. She wanted to think happy thoughts, but every time she tried, any positive images were invaded by a sinister onslaught of more menacing memories that made her heart thump painfully against her chest. So instead, she focused on her breathing. Suddenly, a dull thump coming from near her dorm room door startled her, inciting a frightened gasp from her and more painful heart thumping.
Could it be them? Was my husband sold out? God this can’t be happening! The soldiers are supposed to be on watch! Isn’t the barracks safe anymore? I thought there are no more insurgencies from the known terrorist group?  Frightened but resolute, Sam sprung up from her bed, walked across her small room and opened the door. There was nobody on the hallway but she could hear voices outside of women wailing over the corpse of their loved ones, children crying and yelling.
She shut her door quickly, but as quietly as she could. She leaned against it and closed her eyes.
How did I get myself into this mess? All I wanted was the truth. I love my career!
More painful heart thumping.
I’m trapped.
Suddenly, an idea popped into her mind. Frantic, she rushed to her desk which had a small printer and her laptop, a gift from her husband. She quickly typed in her password. She found the files she was looking for, and instinctively looked around as her anxiety reaching boiling point. Every noise, no matter how small could signal danger. She hesitated.
Is this a good idea? She looked around again and paused for the moment.
I don’t have any other option! She clicked “print”.
Thirty minutes later, she had 7 thick stacks of paper on her desk. She was starting to feel a little better” if that was even possible”. Methodically, she placed each stack into large brown envelopes, taking time to seal each of them tightly. “I have to get this to the minister table, she murmured”. Just as she was sealing the last envelope she heard a knock on the door. She froze “ petrified “. The person knocked again but didn’t say anything, Sam’s eyes darted around the room, keeping her breath as silent as possible and hoping that whosoever it was at the door would walk away. She suddenly felt her phone vibrate at her back pocket.
Someone had just texted her. She slid her phone from her pocket and looked at the message. Her brow furrowed in surprise and relief as she saw who it was from. “ Dami is still alive” Are you in your room? Am the one knocking on your door! Sam’s shoulder relaxed as she threw her phone on the bed and walked towards the door.
She took a glance at the large envelopes on the desk, and instinctively dashed to hide them but the knock on her door was persistent. She rushed back to the door, feeling reassured and swung open the door and smiled at her visitor.
It wasn’t her visitor!

Whitney Edna Ibe is the Executive Consultant, Life & Mental Health Coach, and Writer/ Editor at Whitney Edna Ibe Consult (Blog),, The Social Talks,, and Mental Wellness Society International. She is in charge of consultations, services, and implementation.

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