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CURVED: The Almighty Zoya Asha Ada Imani

Brianna Baptiste, Columnist

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I see Jerry look up at me from the bottom of the stairs.

“Come on, Jen”, he says as he peers up at me with eyes that suddenly resemble ones of a puppy.

 

I took that first step and I instantly felt a chill run down my spine.

“Maybe I should get my jacket out of the car?”, I said as I began to turn around and go back up the stairs.

 

“You want Rick to like you, right?”

I stop and turn back around slowly. He knew Rick was my weakness.

“Well how the hell do you expect, him to like you if you can’t even be on his level of edgy?”

 

Seconds felt like minutes as thoughts rushed through my head. “You’ve never had a boyfriend. Let alone kissed a guy. You’re a disgrace. It’s time that you woman up.”

Slowly but surely I start to migrate down the stairs ignoring all the chills and spooky shadows on the walls.

 

Jerry’s grin get wider the closer I get to him. Clearly he’s excited but I’m terrified. “Be edgy, be edgy,” I repeat to myself over and over to just get down the stairs. I finally make it to the bottom. There’s this musty, dingy, gray cloth covering where the door should be. I push past it as quickly as possible. Once I surpassed the cloth, it was instantly pitch darkness.

 

“Jerry!” I scream.

“Jerry’s gone, scrumptious,” a familiar voice whispers in my ear, sending another chill down my spine.

“Rrrrr-ick is that you?” I respond even though my lips were trembling with fear or maybe I was just that cold. There’s no response but I could tell someone was close. A little too close I might add. I could feel it.

 

I try to dash in the direction of the door or at least where I thought it was. Before I could get two steps in, there was a hand over my mouth, a pair grasping my hands and another pair grabbing me by my feet. I swore I was screaming but honestly, who knows? Or would ever really know? I felt numb, cold, feverish even.

 

I was thrown onto something so soft, at first I thought maybe this was all a bad dream and I was really in my bed. That thought was instantly put to rest when two bodies placed themselves on top of mine.

 

“Let’s have some fun, scrumptious”

The room, my mind, my body, my soul, all became one.

 

Suddenly, a light flashes making me believe I was blind. I come back to Earth just to see myself now hovering over these guys and I can see them!

“How did I get up here? Am I flying? What’s happening to me?”

It feels like adrenaline was running through my veins. I took one glance at Rick and Jerry and saw the fear I caused in their eyes.

I have to run. Before thinking it through, I had already crashed through the basement window and was soaring through the skies. I hear every bird’s song within 30 miles. I can feel the speed of light graze my skin. It’s amazing. This is what I’ve the waiting for, the change of a lifetime.

 

***

You’re probably wondering how I’m not freaking out. I guess I probably should’ve started at the beginning.

 

It starts with a chest, a treasure chest that is.

 

I was ten years old and I swear adventure could have been my middle name. It was a scorching hot summer day in 1960. You know, being a black kid in this day and age, outside wasn’t really the safest for me. So mama always kept me indoors unless there was school. The house had to become my playground. Each day another part of the house was a different conquest from the day before.

 

On this day, I was a pirate. Mama was in the kitchen cooking dinner for when Papa got home. Staying out of her way was the key. Therefore, the attic was the new adventure for that day. It’s the farthest room from the kitchen so why not?

 

The attic had this beautiful antique vibe to it. Knowing there was so much to explore was exhilarating.

 

There was one window in the room. The sunlight peered in as though it was an angelic lighting scene in the movies. There could’ve been angels singing but who knows? I was too mesmerized to even notice if there was.

 

With my eyes stapled on the box, my feet were moving forward as if I was being sucked in. That alone should have been a hint to me.

 

There it was. This chocolaty brown, beautifully engraved wooden chest in the center of the attic. It was singing to my soul. Like it was meant for me to open. You know when people talk about what love at first sight feels like? Yea, I’ve never experienced it either but it had to have felt like that moment.

 

I try to open the box but it was locked. Sealed shut. There wasn’t even a keyhole. “Think Jen, Think. Is there a crowbar anywhere?”

 

As I searched the room for the nearest tool, I remembered a story Grammy used to tell me.

***

When I was a toddler, Mama and Papa were both working, so I had to spend my day’s sometimes-even weeks with Grammy. Mama used to take care of Miss Sarah’s kids and Papa, well, Papa was just being Papa.

 

Every night Grammy told me this story. She said it was about our ancestors and that I’d need it someday. It was the most magical story I’d ever heard at the time. She told me that Great Grammy Evyette, her mama, wasn’t from this planet. She told me that she wasn’t always that little old lady staring into nothingness in her rocking chair. Great Grammy Evyette, was the savior and she wasn’t no mere 105 years old either. She was 305 years old.

 

Our planet is where saviors are born. Each person born on this planet was the savior for another planet or sometimes (if they were special) they could be the savior for an entire Universe. We come from a planet called Zane. Zane is the birthplace of all your favorite heroes.

 

You’re born with a birthmark in the shape of the planet you are meant to save. For five years after your birth, you train and learn techniques that will help you save your unique planet. All the qualities needed to be the leader you are meant to be are instilled in you. Once you pass inspection, you’re body is transformed into an embryo and then teleported and implanted into the organism meant to birth you on your new home country.

 

Once born on your new planet, you go through life with no memory of your earlier life. Your powers emerge once the higher beings on Zane believe you and your planet needed you most. If you reach adulthood before emerging, you stop aging until you do so. Only after you emerge, will you start to age again.

 

***

After reminiscing about Grammy, I knew then what I had to do.

“Zane” I say pretty skeptically. Nothing happens. I start to wonder, if I’m going crazy.

“Zane” I repeat but this time with more confidence. Again, nothing happen.

“I give up” I thought to myself, deciding that the attic was a boring place to hang out anyway. I start to make my way to the attic door when the attic floor started to tremble. “Oh My God! It’s an earthquake.” The trembling increased until it felt like my brain was shaking inside my skull. I felt the floor shaking but nothing was moving in the room. It was as if the trembling was only happening to me.

 

I threw myself to the floor to hopefully make it stop. The chest slowly opens. Out creeps an organism so cute, I literally wanted to give it my heart. It resembled a mix between a baby bunny and a kitten. Obviously, it was not from here. “How did it survive in that chest?”

 

Before I could even come up with an answer to my own question, he, she, or let’s just say it, was speaking.

“The Almighty Zoya Asha Ada Imani, it is a pleasure to meet you. I have been sent to warn you that you are early. Your mission is not yet ready.”

My thoughts were moving faster than ever before. I was confused. What mission was he talking about? And who is The Almighty Zoya Asha Ada Imani?

“You are probably confused. Let me explain.”

He told me my family history and what my task will be in the future. He told me that I was born to save this planet. That no matter what, remember that I was meant to be great. He couldn’t tell me when I would emerge but he did bring peace to my soul.

He and the chest, disappeared into the darkness of the attic corners. He says the chest will appear again when I emerge.

***

Soaring through the sky, I knew this was who I was meant to be and I knew exactly where I should be. The Attic.

I crash through Grammy’s attic window to find the chest exactly where I encountered it decades ago.

“Zane” I say triumphantly.

“The Almighty Zoya Asha Ada Imani, it is time.”

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CURVED: The Almighty Zoya Asha Ada Imani