I came out of the final dream and lulled in the soup between sleep and consciousness. In the last few minutes before I was fully awake, I focused on one thing, her name, Bunmi.
I took it apart, held it up in my mind, rolled it around in my head, saw it spelled out in bright letters and zoomed in on each one in order. I lay on my back and without opening my eyes, I shaped my lips and said it aloud, drawing out each syllable, Boo-Mee, repeating it till I felt the pressure make my ears pop.
Bunmi lasted until 10 that morning before she called. Said she wanted to get back together. Wanted to fix things, give it another try.
My response was guarded, tentative.
Did I want a second chance? Yes, it was what I had been waiting for for a long time. But couldn’t she see that I had done it, that I had made her call?
I have been trying my hand at small things like that for months. Not quite moving mountains, but things within my range, like making sure there is light when I get home every day. For that, I focus on the local power station as I drive past it and on the transformer down the road and I picture electricity flowing through them making a crackling sound.
If I manage that for five minutes without losing concentration, it works. I know when I have pushed through because it always comes with that ear pop. The same feeling you get if you yawn or you pinch your nose shut and exhale, blowing air into your head.
When I get home and open the door to the house, I am greeted by the humming of the freezer. I did that.
But I’m not stupid, I don’t just assume because something happens consistently every time I will it to, that it is my doing. That is how people go crazy.
There are other things too.
Like traffic lights that change when I focus on them, like vendors who give me change in the exact denominations I need, like always picking the fastest line at the bank, or at the petrol station.
And if I was still doubting, this happened.
I was on the phone somewhere between Oshodi and Agege in a chaos-created seven-lane thick traffic jam. Careless of me, the window was down and I wasn’t paying attention.
A man ran towards the car unnoticed and startled me when he snatched the phone out of my hand from the open window.
His fingernails scraped my face when he did this. I grabbed at him but he was faster and pulled out of my reach.
I didn’t get out or shout to draw attention to him. I put my open palm over the spot where he’d scratched me as I watched him run between the next line of cars and jump over the median into the oncoming lane.
I felt the full force of my will. Not anger, but beneath that there was something with form, malleable and capable of being directed.
I rubbed that side of my face and closed my eyes and I concentrated on that frozen image of him darting away.
I heard the squeal of brakes and a thud as a bus hit him.
I know I did that. After all, what is truth besides the perception of one person reinforced by the opinion of another?