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Fate – In Memory

 

I sat behind my curtains and watched him. The ashewo boyfriend of mine.

 

He had been there for over two hours; outside the apartment I shared with Monica and Hauwa. He stood there, squatting every now and then to relieve his legs. He stopped knocking a while ago and I just ignored what I hoped was his last call.

 

Really, what did he want?

 

To apologize for sleeping with that slut of a girl Yinka? Was he drunk? Crazy or what? Did he think I wouldn’t find out?

 

“Did you think I wouldn’t find out?!” I said, half out loud. I was sure he could not hear me so I was understandably scared when he raised his head and looked directly at where I was hiding. I gave a little jump.

 

He looked around at the gate in a listening attitude before turning back towards the house and bowing his head. How could he?

 

“How could you?! How could you…after everything….” To my horror, I broke into tears.

 

I had gone through so much only recently. So much. For his sake.

 

I sobbed quietly, head bowed. I was thinking about the baby I lost only six weeks ago. ‘Lost’ is the word I feel more comfortable using, because while I hadn’t intentionally aborted it, I had used some drugs I knew wasn’t good for expecting mothers. What did I think was going to happen?

 

But I had not told him about it. I didn’t even tell him I was pregnant.

 

I was wrestling…I had been wrestling with so much after that; guilt, hurt and insecurity. And I couldn’t tell him; this guy who I loved so much.

 

At some point I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with him and so I asked for some space. I should have told him – I should have. But I thought I was protecting my man from what was my own carelessness. I told my bestie Nneka about it, and she agreed with me. But I didn’t think he would go ahead and do…do…

 

Sigh.

 

Wiping the tears as best as I could, I peeked outside the window again. He was still there, but now he was on his feet, typing something on his phone. Maybe he was sending another of those text messages. It didn’t matter. My phone was switched off.

 

“You should speak to him you know,” someone spoke over my shoulder. I jumped before I realized it was my roomie Hauwa. I woodenly kept my face towards the window because the crazy girl had a habit of walking around naked in the house. And while she had the body for it – I just didn’t think it was normal.

 

“You can look. I’m not naked,” she said. I couldn’t help laughing.

 

I turned to look at her and indeed; she wasn’t naked. She looked like a pin in an envelope in a very large t-shirt; a gift from her brother, and I could see shorts peeking from underneath it.

 

“Thank God,” I muttered.

 

“You should say something…” she started again. I interrupted her.

 

“I don’t want to say anything to him! Na by force?! Whose side are you on sef?”

 

She leaned over and spoke into my ear, “I’m not concerned about him. He’ll be fine. It’s you I’m worried about.”

 

I followed her with my eyes as she left.

 

The squealing of tires called my attention back to the window, the dust cloud alerting me to the presence of a car. Some seconds later a blue Toyota Camry materialized in front of the house. It was one of his friend’s. He walked towards the vehicle, and I could hear the low murmur of voices.

 

It sounded like they were arguing.

 

He turned and looked directly at me before getting into the car. I heaved a sigh of relief as they drove off. My head was pounding so I went into my room and took a couple of Panadol tablets. And then I lay on my bed and tried to sleep.

 

I thought about Hauwa and what she said to me earlier.  I thought about Nneka and how she’d refused to tell me about my boyfriend and Yinka, even though she had known for a while. I was mad at her; I was still mad at her but I had to understand that was her way of protecting me. Maybe she thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

 

One of my lecturers who taught us Logic had a habit of telling us girls that the idea of a heart ‘breaking’ was totally ridiculous. He would say ‘all your heart does is pump blood. It does not feel – it cannot feel. All those your Mills & Boon rubbish…”

 

I wanted to ask him at that moment to explain why I felt so much pain in my heart – why the left side of my chest hurt physically. I wanted to ask him to explain the pain away; to tell me it’s just my imagination. After all, the hurt I was feeling wasn’t logical, right?

 

Thanks to my boyfriend. My thoughts drifted back to him and the tears started to trickle slowly down my face and unto my pillow. Stuffing the edge of my bed cloth into my mouth, I bit down on it to keep from sobbing aloud and continued crying…

 

A loud scream jerked me awake and I flew into a sitting position before hurrying off the bed, almost tripping in the bedclothes. I pulled my left leg free without slowing down. The scream…

 

It sounded like Monica.

 

I ran out of the room and almost collided with a crying Monica and Hauwa who was holding her with one arm and trying to cover her mouth with the other hand. Hauwa also had tears in her eyes, and then I started to feel afraid.

 

“What’s wrong? What is it?”

 

They continued walking, Monica looked away, crying quietly while Hauwa addressed me over her shoulder.

 

 

“Something happened to one of her friends. I’ll come and gist you now,” she said as she led Monica towards their room. I walked back into my room to lie down, but I found I was trembling so I sat on the edge of my bed and switched on my phone. As I waited for it to load, I heard the house’s main door open and footsteps came towards my door.

 

I jumped up in agitation and opened the door. It was Hauwa and Nneka – and Nneka was crying. She was crying hard. Immediately I started crying again. This was really bad. I couldn’t talk – I couldn’t ask her what the matter was and she refused to meet my eyes.

 

“Hauwa?” I mumbled through a tear-logged throat. I couldn’t stand any more of their silence.

 

It was Nneka who answer.

 

“It’s…it’s him,” she said. I just knew she was talking about my boyfriend.

 

I passed out.

 

*************************************************************************************************************************************

 

That was seven months ago.

 

I am standing in front of his grave now; my boyfriend.

 

They burned him and three of his friends alive. They said they were thieves and cultists.

 

I can start to tell you how sweet and innocent my baby was; how impossible it was for him to be anything remotely like what they accused him of. But there would be no point. He is dead and gone, and nothing anyone or I say will bring him back.

 

It’s not like you would believe me anyway.

 

That terrible day when I heard, my heart stopped beating. I wasn’t hospitalized but Hauwa says I kept fainting. She said she had to make sure she was standing behind me anything I left my room – so she could catch me in case.

 

I can smile about it now. However, for a long time I felt so guilty I wanted to kill myself. I couldn’t stop thinking about what could have been if I had just let him into my room that day. Everyone (Nneka and Hauwa) said it wasn’t my fault but it took a while before I could stop blaming myself.

 

I still think about it. What if…?

 

I met his parents; his mother is so beautiful. The first time I met the woman – someone had pulled me out of the group of students that went to visit them and introduced me as his girlfriend. She had hugged me to her ample bosom and cried so hard.

 

She practically adopted me into the family; I’m on my way to see her now.

 

I really did love him. Unfortunately it took for him to die for me to realize I would have forgiven him anything – anything to stay a while longer with me.

 

I’ll move on, not because I will forget him but because that’s how it works. But I don’t think I’ll ever forget him, or stop thinking about him at some point. We’ll see.

 

Rest In Peace, baby.

 

I love you.

 

 

In Remembrance of the four…The ALUU 4: Tekena, Ugonna, Chiadika and Lloyd.

The ALUU 4

The ALUU 4

They say the people we love only truly die when they die in our hearts.

Words fall short – but God speaks in silence.

May He comfort those they left behind.

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47 responses

  1. Nneka

    Now my heart bleeds all over again for this loss.

    October 7, 2013 at 6:04 am

  2. Well written. I felt all the pains she felt after reading the epilogue. This is a great piece. Life could be better appreciated if we accommodate a thought for people’s loved ones.
    May God console the families of the ALUU4

    October 7, 2013 at 6:46 am

    • Amen my brother.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      October 7, 2013 at 6:53 am

  3. ibrahim Ganiyu

    Nice one bro. Love the perspective. I shudder everytime I remember those guys and the idiots who killed them in cold blood. I always have to work hard to push back my anger at that crazy act. Let me not “pray” for their killers again abeg!

    October 7, 2013 at 7:20 am

    • I feel you bro. It is painful.

      I hate to imagine how their families feel…

      Thank you for reading. And commenting. And all else.

      October 7, 2013 at 7:21 am

  4. Blaize

    Wao! Even the broken hearted can be consoled by this. Well done Seun.

    October 7, 2013 at 7:27 am

  5. Oreva

    I’ve got tears in my eyes!!!!! RIP where ever you are!!!

    October 7, 2013 at 7:30 am

  6. Words truly can’t express. May tнє peace of tнє Lord be upon them,aηd His justice follow their killers.

    October 7, 2013 at 8:51 am

  7. M

    I remember vividly how it began. First with pictures of them being tortured, naked… and it went on till that of their lifeless, battered n burnt bodies cropped up. This came along with different stories of why it happened, some even justifying the atrocious act.
    The pain that came with everything quadrupled when i saw the video, my inquisitive nature subjecting me to a sight that gave me daymares for a long while.
    I wept for their souls then, for that of those who loved them dearly, for the lost ones who perpetrated that act and for the human race.
    And now my heart weeps all over again for their undeserved pain, torture and death.
    No one deserves to go through that, no one. But then again, the world has gone crazy. *sigh*
    Sleep on dear ones and may the peace you’ve found, flow to the hurting ones you left behind.

    Oga Seun, God bless you.

    October 7, 2013 at 9:08 am

    • Whoa.

      You write poetry? You should.

      Nice. Thank you.

      October 7, 2013 at 10:05 am

  8. This is how stories are told… Totally connected.

    Sigh.. Such a waste.

    May their souls rest is peace..

    October 7, 2013 at 9:35 am

  9. beautifully written. God bless you Seun for painting this picture afresh in our hearts. this is how story telling should be….Ample correlation.

    October 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

    • We should not forget.

      Thank you so much!

      October 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm

  10. Gloire

    Recalling the incident got me so sad, had to take a walk.
    The ALUU 4. Remembered. Always.
    “… They say the people we love only truly die
    when they die in our hearts …”

    Well done, Seun.
    Sent you an email. Seen it?

    October 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    • Yes ma. Working on it.

      Thank you.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm

  11. So heartfelt and poignant. Very well written, considering the fact that you wrote it from a girl’s perspective.

    October 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm

  12. Nice one brother. A couple of typos ” behind me anything I left my room – so she could catch me in case.” and in some other places too…check them out. How are u keeping?

    October 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    • Yeah man. Oversight.

      Will correct that. I’m okay.

      Thanks bro.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm

  13. Deep sorrow… I remember never wanting to watch that video. Thank God I never did. I remember being angry at anyone who turned it to a joke. Yes, I remember reading how bright their future was. It was to me like a dream… What happened to those young men. If only they were laying down their lives for a cause! But no, a people living in the dark dared to have a ball! I told myself it was a dream. For eternity there will be no words sufficient to describe that ordeal. I have not forgotten… It became clear to me why I’m here… Seun, thank u for remembering.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm

  14. You are such a fantastic writer, you make a story come alive.

    October 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm

  15. This was supercool. Loved the twist….. forward into the future -the graveside. Nice work.
    We pray for the country.
    Bravo, writer!

    October 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    • Thank you so much.

      Yeah – Nigeria needs us.

      October 8, 2013 at 4:08 am

  16. What happened to my previous comment???? 😦

    I love love your writing. Well done, you simply bring life to the characters in your stories. Thanks for this poignant reminder, often times we are tempted to see victims like these as just statistics but they are sons, brothers, friends, lovers… And we will never forget, only then can we affirm that it will never happen again. May God comfort the loved ones of the departed ALUU4 and may this only cement our resolve to be better people. We will pray for Nigeria, but we will stand up for we are Nigeria.

    October 8, 2013 at 6:54 am

    • Whoa. Only me?

      Yes o! The sooner we realize that Nigeria is all us – the betterrr!

      Thank you!

      October 8, 2013 at 7:17 am

  17. Like I always note, I’ll rather take my time to read your works than do it in a rush, and…the wait is always worth it.
    For the #Aluu4, may their souls find peace, and their killers find what they deserve. Its a shame how we waste lives, brilliant lives, in this country and perpetrators go unpunished. It only serves to make more of it happen. I hope Nigeria gets it right one day. We cannot go on like this.
    God bless you Seun, your ink won’t go dry, and your works will live long after you’re gone.

    October 8, 2013 at 8:26 am

    • I am blessed in several ways. The fact that you take time to read my stuff – and don’t regret it?

      Awesome. Amen. Amen. Amen.

      God bless you too bro. Thank you.

      October 8, 2013 at 8:45 am

  18. I am indeed surprised to see that a year has really passed and no one has paid the price for the collective barbaric acts of that community on these four young men.

    A sad reminder that justice continues to be a myth in Nigeria.

    May their souls rest in peace.

    October 8, 2013 at 10:33 am

    • It is depressing to think about, isn’t it?

      Amen! Thank you.

      October 8, 2013 at 11:17 am

  19. I actually remember letting go of a girl I was thinking of dating at the time because she tried to justify the lynching. Even after she saw thelpe video and started to think differently, it still didn’t help.

    That was how badly it affected me.

    The sad thing is the world is steadily movingin the direction where humanity is gradually being stripped off us all fibre by fibre.

    May God help us all.

    October 8, 2013 at 10:47 am

    • ‘The sad thing is the world is steadily movingin the direction where humanity is gradually being stripped off us all fibre by fibre’

      Bro. You have no idea how right you are. Scary thing to contemplate!

      October 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

  20. Reblogged this on Malcolm's Blog and commented:
    A year has passed, yet justice continues to elude the family of the brutally slain. May their souls find peace and may the peace of the Lord console their families.

    October 8, 2013 at 10:58 am

  21. sefiya

    Beautifully written

    October 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm

  22. Hmmm…it’s so sad, the things we do to our fellow humans…
    Thanks for making us remember and to feel it more, they are not mere numbers, they meant the world to someone…and only the pain is left…
    Well done sir

    October 12, 2013 at 10:17 am

  23. Nurain

    Extraordinary piece! The story practically consumed me whole. I think the arrangement is as close to perfection as it can get.
    Well done!

    October 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    • Thank you.

      So much.

      God bless. You.

      October 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm

  24. Adeleke Julianah

    There’s no time I remembered this incident and not feel a cut in my heart.
    Although, I did not know any of them, i felt the pain of humanity. What barbarism caused in our community and country. I still can’t forget the vividness of their ordeal.
    May they find peace in the afterlife.
    And may God comfort their loved ones…

    October 7, 2015 at 3:07 pm

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