Buchi stretched lazily on her the chair; yawning widely. Glancing at the bedside clock, she was surprised to see that it was 10:30pm.
‘Good heavens’, she thought ‘didn’t think it was so late’. Standing slowly, she flexed her muscles, cracking her fingers and toes. She shivered a little noting that the night was cold. Walking slowly to the windows, she looked out. The night was pitch black and the night creatures were out. Their sounds screamed into the silent night, each trying to over shadow the sounds of the other. The cricket chirping seemed to be the loudest of all as even the croaks of the frogs gave way to the sound. She shivered again, thanking heavens for the light, heaven only knows how anyone must have survived without electricity. She picked up the novel she was reading, tempted to continue. Set in the old Edwardian period, the heroine was captured by the villain who was madly in love with her. Her husband the hero , who she had to marry because her father ordered her wasn’t even aware that she had been captured. The beauty of the novel was that they were just discovering their love for each other before she was snatched from her home while her husband had traveled for business. It was a sappy book, but whatever mehn, every once in a while every girl is entitled to a few sappy moments. She looked at the bedside clock, it was now 10: 40pm.
‘I’ll just read till 11:00’, she said as she settled down eagerly to continue her reading.
* * *
She was cold. She snuggled deeper under the covers, loving the feel of the thick warm duvet over her body. She didn’t want to wake up, her dream was an interesting one. She was the heroine, torn between the new love of her husband and the old girly infatuation she used to feel for her abductor. Her husband came in with a flourish, anger etched on his handsome features and she felt like she would swoon from the force of the feeling she felt while looking at him.
‘Morning Missy. Would ‘ye like to take yer morning bath now?’
She frowned in her sleep, thinking that the reply didn’t sound like what her beloved would say. The frown quickly turned to panic as she realized that that was a real voice and not one from the dream.
‘eirk’, she shrieked as she jumped/fell out of the bed. The sight that greeted her eyes as she fell nearly had her heart stop beating. Everything seemed out-of-place, the bed was not her student bed but a king size four poster antique bed. The room was not hers at all. It was designed as it would have been in the old English period.
‘Ma’am, are yer alright? You look mighty frightened now, all pale n all’. The speaker, obviously seemed like a maid. She moved towards her and Buchi flinched from her touch. ‘Oh dear’ she said, obviously upset.
‘Where am I’? Buchi said hoping for an answer to this confusion. ‘Why missy, yer in yer room. Where else would ye be?’
‘No….this isn’t….i mean…where are we?’ The maid looked even more puzzled. ‘Are ye well ma’am? Would you like me to get Dr. Jenkins for ye?’
‘Dr what’? Buchi stammered. She looked towards the door. This was wrong, so wrong. She knew that she wont be able to leave without the maid getting worried so she nodded. At her nod, the young lady smiled sympathetically and stepped out of the room, closing the door softly behind her. Buchi bounded to the door and bolted it firmly. She walked to the window and looked out. Instead of the hustle and bustle of cars and okada’s in Lagos, she saw horses and carriages. White kids donned in coats, mini hats for the boys and bonnets for the girls loitered in the street. This looked like a scene from Sherlock Holmes. Panic set in as she realized that she wasn’t even in Nigeria at all. A knock startled her.
‘Miss Woods are you okay?’, it was an elderly man’s voice. At her surname she rushed to door, hoping someone could give her answers. Cautious she walked to the door. Who’s there she asked.
‘Its Dr. Jenkins’ the voice replied. She sighed; more confused than ever.
‘I dont know a Dr. Jenkins’ she replied. ‘Just open the door’ the voice said to her, soothingly. Suddenly she needed to put things in perspective.
‘Er, doctor Jenkins, what date is it’ she asked tentatively.
‘July 1 dear’. ‘July 1, July 1’ she whispered trying to think hard. It was June 30th 2012 when she went to bed the night before. She looked towards the bedside table, seeing her two phones and the novel she was reading. She snatched her blackberry and pressed it. The battery was drained on both phones. She sighed in exasperation. A persistent knock drew her back to the door.
‘Dr Jenkins’, she called out. ‘Yes dear’, he answered wearily.
‘what year is it?’, she asked.
‘Why, it’s the year 1904, the year of the great King Edward!’
That was the last thing she heard before she crumbled to the floor in a dead faint.