she moved from the edge of the sofa, looked at the clock hanging on the
wall, rubbed her eyes and hissed as she sat on the chair close to the window. parted the curtain a little and peeped outside, her eyes searching, roaming side by side for a while before withdrawing and closing the curtain back.
she stood up, pacing around the sitting room with her hands folded across her breast.
‘‘why is he doing this to me ? why is hurting me like this? after all we have been through ?”
she could remember vividly how their part crossed. Him a lonely little boy crying by the side of her dead mother, she a young woman running away from some militants who has infuriated the northern part of the country. it was in Jos, 1993.
some Islamic fanatics decided to rid the state of some infidels ( a common name they gave to Christians and other unbelivers. the crises started with a protest from some Islamic youths, demanding the federal Government to mandate the south- East and others who are not comfortable with Islamic laws to return to their state, allowing them the right to implement sharian law in the state.
on that faithful day, they woke up to a violent crisis. sounds of guns as the military tries to bring the situation to control, pandemonium as people ran in confusion not knowing where to run to. those militants, they were every where, butchering and hacking their victims into pieces.
‘‘mama segun!!!” she heard uwa musa calling her while banging on the door ‘‘mama segun, open o o . abeg time no dey o o, you still dey sleep you wan die ?” she rushed to the door and uwa musa let herself in with the force that nearly pushed mama segun down. ‘‘mama segun, wey the sildren dey ? oya bring them make una begin go.” doyin (mama segun) was more confused ‘‘go where? how? what is happening?” she asked uwa musa who has already gone to the bedroom to gather the children. coming back to the sitting room with segun and ayomide. ‘‘ mama segun, u no no weti dey happen? abeg no dey ask question, oya make we see weda we go still find road cross you and the sidren go army barrack”
‘‘ what of papa segun? he is not yet back from night shift” doyin asked
‘‘ ah mama segun! i go leave you o o. make we go to barrack with this sidren first then u fit call your husband from there”
‘‘ segun please bring down that box ontop of…..”
‘‘mama segun abeg no pack anything o o, this people fit meet us here o o” uwa musa cut in.
as they were about leaving, there was a hard bang at the door with a force that broke the door letting in some group of blood thirsty looking young men, holding a half dead papa segun with one of his hands and legs amputated while some of the young men were chanting something in Arabic holding the amputated limbs.
‘‘way dokita woman!” one of the militant asked. his face was dark, with his teeth darkened probably out of tobacco, and some part of the front teeth already gone
‘‘ i say way dokita woman!!” he shouted again in his coerced voice.
‘‘Daddy” segun screamed, running towards his daddy before anybody could stop him. the next thing doyin saw was a hatchet raised and segun head Rolling back at her on the flour, the head stopped exactly in front of her with her sons eyes wide open staring at her and his mouth moving as if it was calling her MUMMY.
she went cold and stood like a statue with no tears nor voice left in her. as if that wasn’t enough, Ayomide who was now crying and was trying to hide behind her was being dragged by one of the men, she fought for her son not to be taking away too like the other, she cried and kicked like a wounded tigress but how can she overpower those blood sucking vampires. she was giving the beating of her life that weakened her and her last son butchered like a beef in her very eyes before her husband was finally hacked to pieces as the killers sing and dance in Arabic.
the got to Uwa Musa who quickly spoke something in Hausa language and the pushed her out of the house. doyin closed her eyes in acceptance to death which she knew was the next thing that awaits her, but instead she heard laughters and the men talking to themselves, the next thing she knew, her cloths were torn and her womanhood abused beyond mercy, being too weak to fight, she was stone cold all the while as the men took turn to abuse her sexually. as she couldn’t hold on any longer, she passed out.
not knowing how long she had been on the floor in the pool of the blood and body parts of her loved ones, doyin stood up. staggered out of the room with almost nothing as cloth. she managed to get a wrapper and tied it around her breast before moving out like a ghost in the street. bodies lying on top of each other. headless, amputated, hacked. lost children, crying and calling mother, women screaming the name of their children or husbands.
and that was how she met him, Olawale( as she later named him) was standing beside the body of a dead woman crying, with no cloth on and mucus running down his nose. with out thinking how to take care of herself not to talk of him or where she was heading to and how to get back to the west, she picked him up and ran, with the air so thick with smoke and sting of burning flesh, she ran blindly, praying that God will at least spare her life and lead her to the barracks where she can at least be safe before thinking of the next thing to do.
…to be continued