Rashid rushed inside his house before his mind could rush out of him. After he snapped the door shut, Nikiwe dressed in a night gown emerged from the bedroom to meet him. “Where have you been? She asked. She looked like she had already started with her sleep, sounded like it too, and his arrival is what woke her up. 

“Did anyone come here?” Rashid asked. 

“What do you– no, no one came. What’s going on?” She also asked. “Where have you been?” 

He gave no answer. He rushed to the windows and flicked the curtains to look who’s outside. 

“Babe, what’s going on?” She followed him. “What are you doing?” 

Rashid dashed to the windows of the lounge, flicked the curtains they clipped off the railings. 

“What the hell are you doing?” She was tugging at his sleeves. 

He had his face pinned on the glass of the window, with eyes so open he was checking at every single detail of the lawn outside. Any sight of movement. Something. But all appeared normal. But isn’t that what they want you to see and believe, that all is normal?

“What the hell is happening?” 

“Someone, someone,” he kept muttering. 

“Someone? Who?” She forced herself past him to also look outside through the window. 

“Someone. There’s someone.”

“Who’s that someone? There’s no one here, you not making any sense,” said Nikiwe. She made to hold him but he shoved her on the shoulder without looking at her. 

“There’s someone,” he muttered. 

Nikiwe rechecked through the window once again. It was a normal static view of the lawn and the empty street ahead, the tall red gate of the opposite house across the street facing them. 

“Look, there’s no one here. You not thinking straight. You just…”

“So you think I’m crazy.” He looked at her with big teary eyes. A demon inside of him might come out any second now. 

She quaked. It would be best to speak calmly now, not provoke him or challenge him. Or else..

“All I’m saying is look,” she beckoned at the window. “There’s nothing outside there.” 

“You don’t understand, okay. You don’t know what happened,” Rashid said. “I’m not crazy.” Hands to his head. 

“Then tell me what happened?” She sounded calm and gentle he knew it was all a rue to get him talking. Wouldn’t she think him even more mad after he’s told her all that happened? Getting thrown out of the pub for causing a scene and spitting at Owethu’s face, thinking it was Joshua Smith. 

“Baby,” Nikiwe held him. “Tell me.”

“No,” he said. He made up his mind to never share what happened. But you know women, once you arouse their interest to some knowledge it’s hard to deaden it. They’ll probe until some secrets are revealed. And Rashid knew that telling her would further convince her and the others (she gossips a lot, even her colleagues would know about his hand injury) that he’s indeed crazy. 

She kept nagging for him to tell her what happened. “It could be important,” she said. 

“Just let it go, will you?”

“How am I suppose to just let it go? You come here acting all weird and paranoid, now you clipped off the curtains and I have to fix them back. You obviously seem bothered by something and keeping it bottled will make it worse. What affects you, affects me too. You remember what Dr. Kroentz said. You must always talk,” said Nikiwe. Her words were followed by silence. 

She stood and watched him, what she said didn’t do anything. 

He won’t talk. A lot was going on inside of him, his mind – the dangerous place. Rashid was too overwhelmed to think of a lie he’d use to quench her curiosity. That’s because there was nothing else he was thinking of except the events that took place at the pub. 

Nikiwe chose a direct approach this time, a leading question one that’ll make him spill it all out. “Did something bad happen? Your lost your temper again didn’t you?” 

His face changed at the question but he still maintained his silence. 

“What trouble did you get yourself into? Just tell me what–” 

“Nothing fucking happened!” Anyways, she would not relent. So Rashid told his wife all that happened. 

“Oh, my God,” is all Nikiwe said after hearing it all. “This isn’t good.”

“I know,” said Rashid. “I thought Olwethu sent one of his guards after me. I swear it felt like someone was behind this whole time. I was being chased. You right, this is not good.”

“I’m not talking about that,” Nikiwe said. “I’m talking about you.” Her wide eyes pointed at him. 

“Me? What did I do now? Enlighten me, please.” 

“This –this is a relapse. First it was the punching at the wall. Now it’s this. You not okay,” she said. You not okay, a polite way of saying you are anything but normal, in his case, sane. Nikiwe kept talking and talking, convincing him to return to his meds, to make new and immediate appointments with Dr. Kroentz. “…or else you’ll do something worse next time and you’ll regret it…” Nikiwe kept talking. Rashid drowned I’m her voice. He lost his head. And he’s temper. He doesn’t remember what happened afterwards but he remembered beating her again, and this time around when she dropped to the floor he used his feet on her. 

Once the sound of her was no more, Rashid’s head cleared and he went off to sleep on their bed where’d she’d later join him.

Tell us: crazy people don’t appreciate being called crazy. Why do you think that is the case?