Suddenly she opens her eyes, sweat dripping from her scalp down to her waistline, her heart beating fast, she could feel her thumbs throbbing.

She sighs, moving her left hand around her face, then slowly breathing to calm herself down. She just had a scary dream.

It was easy to recollect the dream because it was actually a memory. A memory of what had happened hours ago. She blindly moves her hand towards her bed side table to pick up her phone, sighing from frustration after seeing the time. She mutters “2:35”, and then hisses.

Ariel had told her not to worry about the woman from the fashion store and she had tried her best to do so but she wasn’t completely trusting of Lola. She needed to win the presentation not just because she wanted to beat Lola and also not just to prove Kelvin, her ex-boyfriend-manager wrong but for herself, she needed to make herself happy.
Stop worrying Bodun, relax, she tells herself, she tries to put herself back to sleep closing her eyes and taking her mind through the last episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles she watched, when another kind of discomfort descends on her. What is it again? she wonders.
She is sweating, this time around not from fear but from pain, she has a tummy upset. With her eyes slightly opened she finds her way to the toilet, the pain she feels in her stomach as she defecates is alarming, she is fully awake.
After it seems she’s done, she cleans up with water and goes back to her bed. With her eyes wide open she picks up her phone and goes to her Instagram page, as she scrolls through her timeline she begins to wiggle from pain till gradually she finds herself kneeling on the floor, she can no longer ignore the pain she drops her phone and rushes to the toilet, again.
It seems her intestines would come out of her, she traces her food intake from the previous day and she’s quite confused because she didn’t take anything sugary even at CJ’s party, she had after all been faithful in her weight loss journey, though slow it might be.

Getting back to her bed she checked her phone for the time, ‘Jesus!’ She exclaims
It was 4:00am already, Bodun usually left the house by 5:00am on Mondays because of the usual Lagos traffic. She had to go take her bath now if she planned to get to work this year. She felt like crying “why do I feel like crying?” Bodun asks herself, the stomach pain suddenly increases but this time the pain is specific.

Standing up from the bed she goes to switch on the room light and then it finally dawned on her. The reason she felt like crying was there on the bed with her waiting for the darkness to cease so she could see. The tiny shaped map of a country created by the blood stain that had come from her, her menstrual flow had started, how could she not know? Well, she had an irregular cycle.

Like someone who had seen a ghost, Bodun stood still as her possible day played out in her mind and it was not looking good, looking bad would be an understatement, it was looking terrible! It was going to be filled with pain!

Like an addict, she begins to search for her painkiller tablets in her drawers . Bodun’s menstrual cycle was irregular and accompanied with severe menstrual pain. She had a case of dysmenorrhea. She usually went to a clinic to take painkiller injections, sometimes two days in a row and sometimes three.

Where is this medicine na Bodun was beginning to cry. Before the real pain started, the fear of the pain overwhelmed her. Yes! She saw the medicine and scurried to the living room to take water to use two tablets. After using the tablets she went through her wardrobe to pick a change of clothes, panties and a sanitary pad, walking to the bathroom she was beginning to feel the pain increase.

First, she placed the sanitary pad on her panties then she put on a shower cap, stepped into the bathroom, took off her stained wears and soaked them with detergent in a bowl. Afterwards she turned on the hot and cold water shower knobs, with the warm water she could stay in the shower forever.

In the wink of an eye the water suddenly made her feel irritated, the pain became unbearable and she couldn’t stand straight anymore, she crouched and the warm water from the shower fell directly on her waist, she was almost kneeling. She stepped out of the shower, dried herself up with her towel and wore the already padded panties. She wore the extra large tee shirt she brought out of her wardrobe and walked to her bed.

Now I have to change the spread, Bodun hissed from all shades of frustration. She took of the bed sheet but couldn’t bring herself to replace it. The pain had spread from her waist to the sole of her feet, she didn’t realize she was already rolling on the floor and crying. She began to place her body in different positions looking for what angle would bring less pain. Ariel often teased her and called it “searching for network”

Daylight was beginning to creep in slowly, she heard the speaker of the mosque from the next street blare the sharp sound it did when turned on and she had a fair idea of the time. It dawned on her that she wouldn’t be going to work not just today but the whole week as that’s how long it took her body to recover from her period.

I should text Mrs. Adedotun and inform her I won’t be able to come to work today. She crawls to pick up her phone to text her unit head.

Good morning ma, how was your weekend? I’m sorry but the usual has happened so I won’t be coming to work this week. Thank you for your constant understanding…Bodun

She clicked the send button, dropped the phone and continued groaning in pain. After a few minutes her phone buzzed, her unit head had replied

Morning Bodun, I’m really sorry, we really need to find a solution to this issue. But you do know your absence means we’ll have to give the job to Lola. Take care of yourself, see you next week

“Jesus!” Bodun shouts putting her hand on her head. Amidst the pain she had completely forgotten about the presentation today and suddenly she had an epiphany, this is it, this is what the woman was talking about, this is what she saw. The woman’s words echoed
“Blood, I see blood! Pain coming for you soon! It will destroy everything, your hopes and dreams, everything you have planned for! Blood!”

The scary woman was right after all. Her painful and heavy period was going to prevent her from going to work and nailing the presentation she had planned for, which meant Lola would be the one to attend the CEO’s meeting. Everything she had planned was truly destroyed.

My village people have gotten me. Bodun whispered as tears poured down her cheeks.

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