The Dilemma of the He and His House, House? – Adedapo Adeniyi

“…and that’s the story of the house.”

The room went dead silent, with only the silence living, breathing, roaming about.

And then slowly, the claps, the wows, the crying, the cheering, somebody stood up and yelled,


He reveled in the satisfaction that came after telling the story of the house again. His house.

He stands up with a grin and hovers across the room, returning gentle pats and nods from his guests, a lady runs up to him, kneels at his feet as she sobs, he crouches, cups her face in his hands and smiles at her, only when she returns it does he stand up and walk away, leaving her transfixed, staring at him.

He traces his hands across the walls, feeling its pulsating skin, he gazes up towards the ceilings, seeing the stars, watching them gradually transform into clear blue sky as the sun cuts through into his vision. The magnificence captivates him as it does everyone else.

“Tell us again sir, the story of the house”

He turns to see a man standing atop the center table, gesticulating with a cup of yogurt in his hand

“But I just told you”

“Yes, but we want to hear it again”

“Don’t you want to tell it to us again?” a woman, Northerner, maybe Hausa, she holds his hand as she says this to him, he’s always loved the way Hausa people speak English, he smiles to himself

The voices start to bleed into each other until it’s almost incomprehensible, everybody wants to hear the story of the house

“I’m sorry but I-I can’t,” he says

The voices, all of them, stop immediately

“But why not?” the Hausa lady next to him asks, if she was smiling before, if, it has melted into a cold frown

“I can’t remember”

“You can’t remember why or you can’t remember the story?” the man on top of the table asks

“No, no, it’s the story, I can’t remember it,” he looks around, everybody is staring at him, he walks over to one of the walls, it is still alive, the house is still murmuring, still unsure, he finds comfort in that

“But you just told it to us, that makes no sense”

“Why don’t you want to tell us?”

“Did we do something wrong”

“Tell us the story”

“The house, the house”

They’re all talking at the same time again, he can feel the panic gripping him, he prays for help, that maybe a hand will stretch itself out of the walls and hold him, pull him in, but that doesn’t happen, nothing does

“I can’t remember the story, I wouldn’t lie to you,” he says to them, they grow quiet again, but of course the man who has so comfortably refused to get down from the table speaks up

“How can you not remember the story of the house you created?” his puzzled look travels across the room, everybody is asking him questions with their eyes, the same question

“No, no you’re all mistaken”

“Mistaken how?” A woman from across the room yells out, next to her is the Hausa woman, when did she disappear from his side?

“I didn’t make this house”


“Ah okay, so all this a joke, you oga are very funny,” and the table starts to rock as he bursts into laughter, everybody joins in except him, he doesn’t understand why they’re laughing, something very wrong is going on and he’s in the middle of it

“Excuse me,” he mutters under his breath and starts to walk away from the room, he gets to the door when the man atop the table yells

“WAIT!” he turns back to see that the man is no longer on the table, he is now the man beside the table, the red faced, very angry man beside the table


He turns and runs out of the room, he thinks he is rid of them, free, away from the surrounding insanity that has just passed, but it hasn’t

He is back at the beginning, the same room, the exact same room, and the man is still beside the table

“YOU CANNOT ESCAPE US!!!” his voice growing progressively louder

He sees the people surround him, cluster around him, arms outstretched, it feels more like they just want to touch him than grab him, time halts for a second

And then the hold, one hand, firmly on his wrist, then two, and suddenly everybody’s holding him, he feels them lift him, he feels them carry him across the room, he feels them, he feels them, he feels them, and then they drop him.

Everybody is staring at him again, moving backwards slowly but in sync until they have him surrounded.

The table has disappeared but the man beside it remains, he steps out of the group, he seems to be their leader of some sorts, with his red fila, he is the man in the red fila.

“I am not their leader, I am not anybody’s leader, we just want you to tell us the story of the house,” he says

“And I’m telling you that I don’t know it, or I can’t remember”

“And we are telling you that’s impossible”


“Because you built this house”

“I didn’t build this house, I don’t know how to build anything, I’m just a man”

And with that sentence, a gasp picks up somewhere in the room, and it passes itself around and grows louder andlouderandlouder andlouderandlouderandlouder, a woman faints

“NO!” the man with the red fila yells, he is yelling again


“THEN WHAT AM I?” he yells too

“We don’t know, only you can tell us,” he is no longer yelling, he even bows his head in some subtle form of shame

“I say I’m a man, you say I am not, I ask who I am, you say you do not know, I seem not to know either, well then what do any of us know about anything?” he asks, addressing the whole room

“Only what you tell us oga” somebody from in the room yells out

“But I don’t know anything” 

“That’s where you’re wrong, you know everything”

“If I do ‘know everything’ as you claim I do, I can’t seem to remember any of it”

“Then let us help you remember,” a woman from the midst of the crowd has walked up to him and stretches out her hand for him to take, he looks at her feet and sees she has no shoes on, he looks around the room and registers that nobody has any shoes on, he then looks at his own feet and again, no shoes, he stumbles back, confused

“We are more connected to the room this way,” the man in the red fila says, and the whole room murmurs in agreement

“Who are you people?” he asks

A series of responses rise up

“We are everything”

“We are nothing”

“We are us”

“We are you”

The last one comes from the woman who walked up to him, he looks at her, and the radiant smile on her face, he looks straight at her

“And me, me, who am I?” he asks, her smile grows wide, even more radiant as she answers

“You are who you are”

“That makes no sense,” he protests

“Does anything?” she asks

“Come now, let’s show you the house,” the man in the red fila says as he walks in front of him to open the door.


The door opens to reveal a hallway, they walk into it and across it, the man in the red fila being the only person in front of him, he looks back to find everyone else trailing behind them. As they approach the end of the hallway, he starts to hear these beeping sounds, and see all these vines spread out across the walls, both the vines and the beeps become more and more pronounced as they progress, he is convinced they’re going to walk into a green room of some sorts, but all that disappears when the door opens. 

They have found themselves in a room with vines flowing everywhere across it, and wires, somewhat connected, existing together and then he trails himself to the center of the room to behold a tree so grand, so elaborately breathtaking, so captivating it feels like at that moment the tree is all there is

“The Tree First, The Tree Of Machines,” the man in the red fila says to him and starts to walk, he follows him, he looks back to see nobody’s following them, they are inhaling and exhaling at the same time as if in some rhythmic trance, this is as far as they go

“This tree has been around since the beginning, the first of all, it is the body’s heart, it gives life, it gives light, it was never made to be rooted in the present, as it grows it evolves, the tree will always be ahead of us, it is no longer just tree, it is aware, it as much machine, the future, the recognition that our needs have grown beyond fruit and fire, it sees all,” the man in the red fila crouches and touches a crack in the floorboards, there is a dried leaf next to it

“We don’t know if the house is dying because the tree is dying or because the tree is living”

“What’s going to happen then?” he asks, the man in the red fila smiles at him, stands up and walks to the heart of the tree to show it to him, a fetus, as developed as a baby would be, suspended in a pod filled with some liquid, part man, part machine, with the soul of the tree

“We will wait for him to tell us, he is the bridge, we’ve never been able to talk to the house, he will change that, he will change many things, we don’t know but we’ll wait”

“But what if he’s some killer, come to end all, or he’s comes to turn you against each other?” he asks

“We will wait.”

They walk back to where everybody is gathered, still inhaling and exhaling, the man in the red fila turns to him

“There is much about the tree I haven’t told you, but you know all, and besides we haven’t much time, do you remember now?”

“No, I’m sorry I don’t,” he replies

“Well then we will show you somewhere else, we will take you everywhere until you remember”

And then he opens the door and walks through, they all seemed to have snapped out of the trance and are following behind. They walk to the end of the hallway and before the man in the red fila opens this one, he takes off his cap, he is now the man holding the red fila.


The door opens and the man stands at it, holding it, waiting for him to walk in, he does and once that happens, the door shuts, leaving only him in the room, it is dark

“It’s okay we’re still here”

“Where are you?” he asks

“Around, this is a room you must enter alone”

“Where am I?”

“Don’t you see?” and as he says that, the room is filled with light, revealing that he is surrounded by mirrors, the door has disappeared and all around him are reflections of himself, the voice comes again

“These are The Mirrors Of The Infinite Self,” the voice says and is received by other voices from all round the room

“The self is one”

All say

“The self is infinite”

All say

“What does that mean?” he asks

“This is where we come to look within, to find ourselves, to find the self, and see it,” the voice tells him

“How do I do that?”

“You must look”

“Look at what?”

“Your self”

He turns around a couple times, oblivious to what he’s supposed to find, surrounded by his reflections

“I can’t see anything”

“You’re not looking!”

“I am looking, the only thing I can see are my reflections”

“THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE ONLY LOOKING AROUND YOU”, the voice is yelling again


“Inside, the self is not an external being, he is within, find him there”

He stops moving around, takes a deep breath and closes his eyes

There is nothing, absolute nothingness, everything has stopped

He opens his eyes, finding himself in the same room, he sees the reflection of himself in the mirror, along with countless ones behind him, he raises his right hand and makes contact with the mirror, at first nothing happens, he is staring at himself, for what seems like forever, until a second after when he feels himself staring back at him, back into him and then the glass melts, and he pulls himself in, and then under until he’s sinking in glass turned water, water turned ocean, there is no surface, there is no depth, only the ocean.

He is sinking, there is no end to it and he has let go, he has given into, he sees a figure above, lying lifeless, he starts to swim, to push himself upwards, he pushes and pushes and pushes until he gets to the top and the face is recognizable, he is looking at himself, his own cold eyes, he pushes, he must save himself, he is almost there, and then in a blink he’s gone, there is nobody above him anymore, the illusion has dissolved, gone with the ocean, he still pushes, he cannot afford to sink forever, he gets to the top and he emerges.

He opens his eyes, finding himself in the same room, he is completely dried, he looks into the mirror to see that the self in it is dripping wet, confusion seeps in again, he does everything he can to compose himself, he stands completely still and attempts to block everything out, he stares at his reflection, he stares into him but does not allow him the leisure of staring back, he overpowers the false him, until behind, his true reflection, dry this time, turns around and walks over to the soaking wet him, pushes him and as he falls he shatters into an infinite amount of pieces, the false self is gone. Now he must overpower the true self that is his reflection so that he is all that is left and if he is all that is left then he becomes the true self indeed.

They find themselves in a deadlock, with no one relenting, both convinced that they are the true self, fighting, until a realization happens, a becoming so powerful the room starts to scream and shriek, the very essence of the room of the mirrors of the infinite self trembles, and as he stares into the eyes of his self that is the reflection, the glass cracks, and in every one of the fragments, there he is, their stares intensifying, the desperate need to overcome. And then he pulls them in, he pulls them in, the selves that are his reflections that are himself, and then they all disappear, and when he looks into the broken mirror, he sees nothing but clear glass, and when he looks around him and the room, he sees nothing but clear glass. He is the only self left.

He opens his eyes, finding himself at the door, he opens it and walks out to the hallways, to find the man holding the red fila and everyone else behind him, they all stare at him, waiting for something, it comes

“The self is one,” he says, looking around he sees they’re waiting for something else, it comes

“The self is infinite”

“Do you remember now?” the man holding the red fila asks

“No, but now I know I must,” he replies

“Then you are ready for the next room.”


When they get to the end of the hallway, he finds himself at the front of the door, he turns back

“Go in, we are right behind you,” the man holding the red fila says to him, the people around nod in agreement

He opens the door and is greeted by a gust of wind and a light so bright, it’s almost blinding. He walks into the room and looks down to find that he’s walked into the sands, they are everywhere, one would think he was in the desert but when he looks around he sees walls that reminded him that he is still in the house and when he looks up he meets the skies, blue and constantly spiraling, as alive as the walls.

He looks across the room to find the source of the light and he is lost to curiosity. He walks and the sand makes sweet love to his toes and with every step, he finds himself even more conflicted as to if it is hot or cold, there is an air of comfort all around, the panic from previous rooms has dissipated. And then he gets to the painting.

At the far end of the room, there on the wall lay a painting so indescribable in its glory, so marvelous in its beholding that your eyes would see nothing but light, this was art you could only see with your soul, he stood, transfixed, in its magnificence, bathed in its grace, of colors and textures that didn’t even exist, of images unseen, unable to be conjured by the psyche, void of everything that is, I will stop trying to encompass it in words. It is the truth.


“Aei tee har eh ipse oump vornostroi aallaa aalae”

He looks backs to investigate the cry, an incomprehensible utterance he cannot even start to process, deep inside him he knows it’s recognizable, but that’s where it ends. It came from the man holding the red fila, he is on his knees, gaze to the painting, he sees behind him a few of the people, and he thinks to himself if this is all of them and that maybe some claustrophobia made them appear more than they really are

“Way the turning and my itch the upside down obsess
To frown a dish through the light and be null over all”

One says

“Leave allow through the light of most time against
Blood is between like symbiosis suffocation alone”

Another says

“Limbo subjection, follow us willing
Sick and minute through the light fickle summer”

“Dreaded catharsis through the light fluctuating hallowed
The separate invite for glass saw dirt”

Some uncanny poetic recitation for the painting, he supposes, and then it happens, they start to wail, some shut their eyes, some have their eyes rolled back, a woman writhes in the sand, a man starts to frantically itch his hair, the wailing continues, he is torn between intrigue and discomfort. If this is truly his house, what madness did he create?

He looks back to the painting, the cause of this ritual he finds himself in the middle of yet unaffected by and in turning back again, everyone behind him has disappeared, only to look up and find them, floating, bodies barely making contact with the swirling blue skies that only a while ago seemed so far away. Except the swirling blue skies are no longer swirling and he is frozen in time, a hallowed image, the painting behind him, sandy feet, bodies levitating above him, and the skies the skies the skies, out of it emits a somber tune holding a millennia of melancholy that is in turn holding true hope, and just as the skies start to swirl again, the people fall to the sand and the music disappears, leaving only the hope, only the hope, and then he sees why their future couldn’t be waived by his reservations about the tree and its offspring.

The light from the painting grows brighter and brighter, he turns his gaze away from it, they all do the same, except the man holding the red fila, who has found himself on his knees again, captivated by the painting, his lips forming into a smile, his forehead forming into a collection of veins, evidence of his strain, a drop of blood escapes his nostrils, and another one, it becomes a steady stream, he lets go of his fila, it gets swallowed by the sand as it falls and he is no longer the man holding the red fila but the man with the bleeding nose. The light overwhelms the room and leaves it pure, he opens his eyes to find the man with the bleeding nose still looking at the painting, he goes to him and helps him to his feet, he looks into his eyes and sees in them, clear as day, clear as when he first saw it just now, the painting.

They exit the door and he sees that some of the people did wait for them outside, he makes a mental note to inquire on the number of them at a more convenient time, whenever that might be.

“Only two rooms left,” the man with the bleeding nose says to him

“You’re not going to ask me if I remember?” he asks

“No, I already know you don’t”

“Then what was the point of taking me to that room?”

“Your soul”

“My soul?”

“Yes, we needed to show you something familiar to your soul”


“What did it do you when you looked at it?”

“I don’t know”

“Do you recognize it?”


“You are closed to the knowing, you should open yourself”

The man’s last words play over and over in his head, he starts to think about the inception of the house, and that even if the people are saying the truth and he actually built the house, he can’t have made the painti…
He looks through the window to his left directly at me

“Stop fucking narrating everything”

I disregard him entirely.

A woman runs up to him, takes his right hand and puts it on her head as she says a silent prayer, she smells like pepper, baby powder and boiled yam, she starts to sob, the man with the bleeding nose goes to pull her away from him, he turns her face to his and says

“He cannot save you, he cannot even save himself,” and then
“You must go now oga, there is no time”

“You’re not coming?” he asks

“No, but she will go with you, this is not a man’s job,” he says and uses his thumb to wipe the blood from his nose as he beckons to the Hausa woman, she walks forward and approaches the door

He follows behind her and when they get to the door, he asks

“What’s behind this door?”

“Fear,” she says

The door swings open and cold air escapes its prison and engulfs him, he looks inside, it is pitch black, the cold travels through his body, he is unconsciously trembling, she walks in, seemingly unaffected, he turns for a last look at the people and sees they’ve all placed a finger on their foreheads, and in front of them, the man with the bleeding nose has become the man with blood on his forehead.

He is pulled in.


He is paralyzed, lost in the blackness as it feeds on him, an idea of some hell, he is oblivious to his own consciousness, only that he is lost that he is lost he is lost. And then he is pulled again, out of the blackness by her, the Hausa woman, she found him, behind him the cloud of tar he was just saved from, he sees on her face the look of pure terror, he knows she has just left a blackness of her own, he couldn’t save himself, she is strong.

“We must go,” she says to him

“To where?” he asks

“To see it”

“See what?”

“You’ll know when we do”

“Why can’t we just leave?”

“We can’t leave”

“Why not, don’t you feel it, the darkness, the cold, the evil, the fear, you said it yourself, wouldn’t it be better if we just left now before something bad happened?”

“You don’t get it, you’re not listening to me,” she shivers as she says this, she is more afraid than she is cold

“We. Can’t. Leave.”

This is the end, he feels them progress closer towards certain death, there is no escaping this place, this very real place, and to think the abyss was a state of mind. The Hausa woman is in front of him, leading the way

“Do you know where we’re going?” he asks


“You’ve been here before?”

“Many times, yes”

Two questions pop into his head, the first one, why has she come here many times? and the other, if she’s been here numerous times before, why is she as scared as he is? he doesn’t ask her anything

“We’re close,” she says

“How can you tell?”

He feels a shadow behind him, only to look back and see nothing, he continues behind her, he feels it again, they’re being followed, something is watching them

“Ghouls,” she says
“They’re everywhere”

“What do they want?” and with every passing second, he becomes more aware of these creatures

“To feed on your fear”

He feels a touch on his shoulder, cold breath on his neck, a bite to his ankle, they want to eat him alive

“You mustn’t think about them, it gives them power,” she tells him

Something taps his shoulders, he looks back to meet the face of the dead, a grey, skeleton-like figure, translucent, it grabs him by the shoulders and passes through his chest, it taps him again and this time when he turns, the ghoul touches his head

“Close yourself, you are too open to us,” it says in a chilling whisper, he looks around in search of the Hausa woman but she is nowhere, he feels the ground underneath him crack, he looks down to find that he is at the edge of a mountain, a rather high one, there is no bottom, only the black. The ghoul reappears at his side

“Jump,” it whispers to him
“We will catch you”

And out of the nothingness, they emerge, ghouls and ghouls and ghouls

“Yes, catch you”
“Don’t be afraid”
“We are here, trust us”
“We will take you back”


And he does, he falls and falls and falls, he falls for so long he starts to pray for death, he starts to pray that he is welcomed by the hard earth and that his skull breaks into a million pieces and he dies a final death, one there is no coming back from, he prays for a quiet, an end, it does not come, they never catch him, he will fall forever, he will pray for death and not find it, till the end of time.

He is pulled up, saved from the fall, found again

“If you get lost again, there is no coming back,” she tells him

He looks around, he cannot feel the ghouls but with the cold air comes echoes of their laughter, they are laughing at him, they think him a fool

“We are here”


And then he sees it, his senses are attacked, all he can hear are screams of torment, all he can feel is freezing fear, his body starts to vibrate so intensely it feels like he is being separated from himself, it smells like decay and in his mouth he can taste maggots and the blood of the dead, his mind is poisoned and sentenced to rot, he sees it. This beast towering over him, with a presence so strong it is killing everything around it, it has done this since the beginning of time and will do so until the end of it, emitting its blackness and engulfing all in its evil, this beast and its evil, the beast is the evil

He turns and starts to walk away

“You cannot run from it!” the Hausa woman yells to him

“No no, this is a dream, a bad dream, that’s what all this is, a nightmare”



He does, he looks around and registers that he is in his room, in his panic he rushes up, sweaty and drained, he stumbles his way to a mirror, he looks in it to find that his eyes are sunken, dark circles all around them, the room is bright but he still fears that he might be in the blackness still, he goes to the door and opens it, there is nobody outside, there is nothing awaiting him at the other side, he is free.
He shuts the door and goes back to the bed, he tries to breathe a sigh of relief only to find that he cannot, he cannot breathe, his lungs contract, his throat tightens, fear grips him again, he runs to the mirror and not only are the circles around his eyes darker, his flesh is seemingly drying up, turning his face into an appearance of death, he is dying, he goes to the door and opens it to find the blackness. He is pulled in.

She grabs his hand and pulls him to the front of the monster, he is grabbed by fear, possessed by it, he has become the fear and it has become him, all existing hope is gone, he cannot breathe, she forces his eyes open and his gaze up

“Look at it”

He looks

“Let it take you”

He lets it

“You have to give yourself completely to it”

He does so

“Let it feed on your mind, bring out that which you have forgotten, it will take your thoughts and hold them prisoner, deconstruct them so it can feed on you, tear you apart over and over”

All hope is lost

“NO!” she yells at him with a voice so loud he is pulled out from his descent into torment
“I didn’t say you should let it take your hope”

“Don’t let it take your will”

He doesn’t know what to do, he stares at her, she grabs his face and turns his gaze back to the beast

“Now take what is yours”

What is his?

“Your memories, everything”

What is everything?

“The beginning, the house, remember”

He has to remember

“You have to remember”

“Quick before it’s too late”

Too late?

“It will take you if you don’t take back yourself”

Take back

“The house will fall”

The house?


“You wouldn’t let that happen”

No he wouldn’t 

“No,” he says
“I wouldn’t”

He exhales

He is pulled apart.

He is brought back together again, he is inside the beast, it has roamed his mind long enough, it is time for him to invade its own. The sensations of death remain, stronger than ever, but he does not let it define him, his nose and ears are bleeding, there is a piercing pain in his skull, he touches his forehead and feels a hole, an opening prying itself wider, he starts to run, he knows where he must go, his mind is overcome and his body is weary but he goes on, he will get to the end of this even if only his toenail remains

The cold is gone and the heat of a blazing fire has taken its place, he boils, he gets to its head and the hole in his forehead is even more defined, the pain even more exalted, he backs away and the pain seems to ease for a second, as soon as he steps forward he is attacked by it again, he knows now, he knows where to go, this torture is his compass and he will use it. He walks and dies as he does, dying ever so slowly, ever so painfully, this beast’s overpowering presence senses an intruder, it entertains it, he falls, he crawls and dies as he does, belly to the ground like a snake, dying ever so slowly, he looks ahead to behold a glimmer of light, coming from some sort of keyhole, doors have keyholes, this is his way out, he feels an air of refreshing relief come over him, he crawls and crawls and crawls and the pain, oh the pain, he starts to laugh, he laughs and laughs and his hand reached to the light coming from the keyhole but his fingers come in contact with a key instead, there was no light behind a door, the key was the light, he grips it and pulls it out, it releases from some flesh into his hands, the beast lets out a wail of agony, the key was at the center of its head, the forced removal of it has caused it pain, it has never felt pain, the darkness trembles

The light is now in his hands, the pain has stopped, he feels himself live again, he touches his forehead hoping that the gash will have started to heal itself, it hasn’t, he traces his finger around it, and then traces his finger around the keyhole he just pulled the key from, they are one and the same, he knows what he must do and he immediately plunges the key into his head, his eyes widen, he remembers everything at once, his brain almost cannot contain all the information that it is getting but it does, he sees everything, he becomes the light, the darkness collapses around him, he reaches for the door and opens it, he steps into the hallway and looks back at the blackness, he reaches into it.

He pulls her out.

The man with blood on his forehead comes up to him, hoping to help, he is about to stretch his hand out when he sees that he needs no help, he sees it in his eyes, he knows now, he knows everything

He turns to the Hausa woman in his arms

“The cold, I know you felt it, the fear, I know you felt it too, but the pain, you seemed so alienated from it, how?” he asks

“The beast feeds on fear to cause pain to whoever, he takes their mind hostage to prey on their hope, hope comes from belief,” she pauses and looks around before staring directly into his eyes
“I believe in nothing”

She is the radical

“Do you remember now?” the man with blood on his forehead asks

“Yes,” he replies





“Which of the why’s?”

“All of them, why did I create the house, why am I living in it, why these rooms, why are you here, why are all of you here, why am I here?”

“We don’t know”

“I know”

“You do?”

“Yes, or rather I know who does”

“Then we will wait here”

He looks across the hallway to the door at the end of it

The last room.


He walks down towards the door and as he’s approaching it, it creaks open by itself, he invites himself in and shuts the door, he senses the end coming, the grand conclusion. It is a furnished room, a bed, a couch, wardrobe, desk, mirror, mirror, he walks around inspecting everything, tracing his fingers along until he gets to the mirror, he looks in and that’s when he notices a figure behind him, she wraps her arms around him

“I’ve been waiting for you, ” she says

Her voice crawling into the very core of his being


He turns, she places her hands on his face and with her thumb, she wipes away the lone tear that escaped his eye as their gazes met

“For me?” he asks


She takes his hand and leads him to the bed, they both sit down

“It’s been forever,” she says

“I don’t even know what forever is anymore,” he tells her and then continues
‘I’m sorry, I know you, I know I do, everything is telling me I do, but I just don’t get it, you’re different, I look at the rest of them, touch them, yet I feel nothing, but with you, I feel everything, why?”

“Want me to tell you?” she asks

He nods his head

She tries to stand up but he holds her back

“No, please stay here,” he pleads

She relaxes back into the bed

“Where do I start?” she asks

“The beginning.”


“There was a man, and he loved, as most men do, he loved a woman, oh he loved her and all he did was love her, dedicating himself to the act of, and she loved him, and it was souls and purposes and lives intertwining, it felt like they were the only two lovers in the world, and nothing else seemed to exist but their love for each other, and the world disappeared, or perhaps they just did, existing in a netherspace where only their selves lived in togetherness, until one day she woke up and died, just died, no graduality, no precognition of, just sudden death, leaving him alone, tethered from existence, he went mad, his death came slowly that it felt like it wasn’t coming at all, he went mad, he had to die, he had to kill, he had to live, or give life to, he went mad, and this madness defined all that he was for he was nothing without her, and this madness grew into a sentience, and it whispered his own thoughts back to him, and he obsessed, he gave into the obsess, and one day the madness told him to bring her back, and the madness told him that he could, they needed somewhere to live and as he had poisoned the netherspace with all of his melancholy, he built a house, and it was his, and then he brought her back, out of every thought he’d ever had of her, out of every memory of her that lived, and she lived, she lived as she once had, to love him forever, this time completely alienated from the idea of death”

“The house, it’s for her, it’s for you,” he says, tears in his eyes, her hands in his

“It’s for us,” she kisses his lips and embraces him

“You have to go, they’re waiting for you,” she says to him

“I don’t want to,” he tells her

“But you have to, the house will fall”

“Let it, I will build it again”

“You don’t get it, if the house falls, the beast will be free and this time you may not be able to escape it”

“I will worry about that when it comes, I just want to be with you”

“I’m not going anywhere, I’ll be here forever for you”

“I’m not leaving, I love you, I’ll never leave you again”

“You won’t, you’ll never leave her, but she did, her death wasn’t your fault”

“What do you mean?”

She stands up and lets go of his hand, she walks up to the mirror, stands in front of it, looks through it to him and then turns back to him. She places both her hands on her forehead and peels back on the skin, he watches, perplexed, he wants to run up to her, oh he desperately wants to go to her and save her from all this, he doesn’t want to see it, whatever it is, he’s seen too much, what did the madness do to him? what did it drive him to do? she pulls off the skin till she gets to her neck and when she lets go, the rest of it falls off to reveal what he’d been dreading all along, the figure standing in front of him isn’t her anymore, it’s him

“You could never bring her back, never, you tried, again and again and again but you just couldn’t, so you made a projection of her, but a projection that was in itself you”

“No, no, this can’t be happening,” he stands up and backs away to the door

“This was always the embodiment of your perception of her, you knew this, you accepted it, you are you, this house is you, she is you, everything is you”





“She’s never coming back but you’ll have a ‘her’ forever”

He opens the door and races out



“Let’s go”, he says to the people, he passes through them to the next door, his heart racing, he opens the door and they’re back in the room from the beginning

Oga, I’m thirsty,” the man with blood on his forehead tells him

“Somebody give him something to drink,” and as he says it somebody walks up and hands him a cup of yogurt

“Will you tell us now?” the Hausa woman asks him

“I thought you didn’t believe”

“I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I won’t entertain a good story,” she says, a smile plastered on his face

“A great story”

“Gather around everyone,” he says, they’re already gathered


“In the beginning, there was nothing, I was all that was, and then I was joined by an idea, and then another, until there was a cluster of them, and I felt a need, for the first time, the need to give these ideas a home, and that the home itself was one of these ideas, so I built the house”

He pauses, looks around, unsure as to his own words, a manufacturing in real time, there is excitement all over him, he has them

“The first thing I put in it was the tree, I gave it evolution, that it would grow as I had, as alive as I was, and that in time, it would change the house, and its offspring, a son, would come to save the house, to communicate the divine to the people, that the house would never die but constantly rebuild itself, a newness over and over and over”

“And then after I created the tree, it gave the house breath, and men roamed the halls, and they lived, but they had no selves, so I created the mirrors, that they would look in them and find their selves, unique to each, connected to all, one and all, never ending, the absolute truth”

The excitement continuously intensifying, he is reliving the creation, they are experiencing it

“And then the ideas clustered again, but this time, a certain purity, a blinding purity was all I could feel, all I could think about, and while previously, I’d attempted to break down the execution of my ideas, this time I knew to do it exactly as I saw it, so I painted, and I gave the painting as a gift to the people, that they may find a connection to their souls, that through their light, they would live a hope of life and goodness”

“After the painting, a period of what seemed like a storm of darkness overcame me, and it was the end of all, something I’d suppressed since the beginning, a vile spirit that threatened to kill, I had to disabuse myself of it, so I took all of it from my being and it became the beast, a necessary evil that would allow the light to exist as a contrast to, as there is no light without the dark, and it was an embodiment of fear and memoria, the living crisis of death and all its forms”

“This is the part where I felt the house was complete, I had worked and now I was to live in my creation as one of, but I strived for more, and then it came to me, the reason I created the house”

He looks in, taking a deep breath, edge of their seats, this is their favorite part, this is what he dreaded, the truth

“I created it for her, I couldn’t love her in nothingness, we would need somewhere for our love to live, so I made the house, our home, but I knew, I knew she’d never agree to come, she’d gone, stopped loving me, ‘died, ’ that’s what I called it”

He cannot run from the realization

“She left, there was nothing left to live for so I left, ran, the house is my escape, and she’s here, a ‘her’ that’ll never leave, that’ll love me forever, a warmth, a togetherness you’ll never understand, coexistence, I-I-I loved her, a love you’ll never understand”

He’s crying, he touches his face to feel the wetness and he bursts into laughter, he cannot stop laughing, he looks around as he laughs at the faces of people frozen in anticipation

“You’ll never understand, you’ll never know, she’d hate me, she’d kill herself if she did, I’m nothing don’t you understand?”

He’s hot


He yells

“If I cannot love her, I am nothing, so I made her, I made a ‘her,’ one that would never leave, that would never stop loving me, all of her good, one that longed for me as I longed for her, and she’d think of it as stemming out of her self, that’s the beauty of it, the beauty, the beautiful beautiful beauty” 

He stops now

“But you see I had it all wrong, I didn’t create the house for her, or for us, I created it for me, and I didn’t create her to love me, I created her because I needed to be loved and she was the only one who could, absolutely, something to live for, a meaningless meaning to my existence, this senselessness I created to be God, this house is my madness, I will reject it forever but I cannot destroy it because it is the only thing I’ve ever loved that isn’t her, and after this I will alienate myself from the knowing of all this and live through the house again, my curse, my beautiful curse, and that my wonders, for your amusement and entertainment, my conflict, my insanity and that’s all it was and that’s all it will ever be and that’s the house and that’s the story of the house”.

The room went dead silent, with only the silence living, breathing, roaming about.