Tag Archives: death

How I escaped….

I had not eaten for two days; not because I was fasting nor because I am on hunger strike. It was simply because I had the unfortunate luck to be locked up in an iron bender’s shop.

You might want to ask, was I kidnapped? The answer is NO!!  My usual self was going about my normal life activities. You see, if God made you special like He created me, you would understand how very special my duties are. I am responsible for many some perceived threat  in people’s homes, it’s not that I set out to disturb their peace…let’s just say that people are usually apprehensive when it comes to me personality.

So, how did I get locked up in the iron bender’s shop? I had been in search of something to eat. I stood afar off and watched as the iron bender hit metal against metal. His apprentices were also looking with rapt attention. I overheard him shouting at one of them, from the shadows where I was hiding.

For a split second, I thought they had discovered my presence. I looked to be sure they were oblivious of my presence and sneaked inside. I ran straight into a corner and hoped I would be able to find something to munch. Just then, the phone rang.

“Hello, who is this?” The iron bender’s voice loud in my ears.

“What? You mean my wife has had an accident? Where is she now? Okay, Okay; I am coming right away.” thundered the iron bender.

He quickly explained to his boys that he would have to lock up as his wife just got involved in a motor cycle accident. They hurriedly locked the shop, all the while not aware of my presence. I was elated. This meant I was in charge for a few hours or even days. I was prepared to enjoy every delicacy available.

When I was sure I was alone, I walked out majestically from my hiding place and ransacked the whole shop. Sure I would be lucky but alas!! After about 3 hours, I knew I was done for. How do I survive without food? And even water? I looked around and realized there was no hole in sight to even crawl out from. The shop was air tight. I feared I might suffocate to death, all manner of thoughts ran through my mind. I couldn’t possibly eat the iron in the shop. That would be the death of me as I would lose all my teeth in the process. This was ill luck.

After spending approximately forty eight hours in that self- made cell, I heard my “captor’s” voice outside and I heaved a sigh of relief that at last, freedom beckons. Then I realized that my joy might be short-lived. What if he saw me? And attacked? I was left with two options; fight back or run.

As soon as the front door opened, I hurriedly made a run to escape and in that instant, our eyes met. He approached me with caution and called out his boys (apprentices) to come in gently as he had an unwanted visitor in his shop.

I quickly started reciting psalm 91. I knew it was only God that would save ne from the clutches of death. The glare in the iron bender’s eyes was deadly. Suddenly he jumped and the chase began.  Six pairs of eyes, searching for me in the dim lit shop.  I hid behind some equipment and suddenly heard a loud bang above my head.  One of the boys had hit me with a bunch of broom and narrowly missed my head. I ducked neatly into the shadows and could hear my heart thumping loudly against my chest.

I made a wrong move. I saw a nylon bag and ran in, hoping to use it as a getaway. But one of them had seen me. He carried me with the nylon and hit me hard on the floor. I actually felt some ribs break. He did it again and i hit my head this time. I literarily saw stars roving over my eyes. I quickly said my last prayers and prayed to be accepted into heaven, at least.  “Oh God!!  If I can escape alive, I promise never to go where I wasn’t wanted anymore” I muttered under my breath.

Suddenly, there was a way of escape from the bag. A hole had been made from hitting me hard on the ground. I glided out like water over a glass. I realized I was bleeding from my head and nose. i prayed not to die from bleeding. I had only come in to find food oo..

They started shouting at the top of their voices not to let me escape. They threw stones, sticks and rods. I jumped over and under them all. Before they could close the open door leading to my freedom, I bolted out and ran blindly across the road. I narrowly escaped being hit by a bike and some vehicles.

I managed to get into a deserted compound; most likely the occupants had gone out. I waited and waited to be sure I wasn’t being followed. When I felt the coast was clear, I came out from my hiding and prayed to be able to get back home to my family before I bled to death.

I am happy to be alive though…despite being wounded and battered.

RATPic courtesy Bananas in Pyjamas(PNG)

Testimony by Alzo, the neighborhood rat.

A flicker of hope???? Part II

The burial was a quiet one. Friends, family and neighbours were present and their church pastor. Ladi only stared into space throughout the ceremony. Her grief could be felt strongly. When it was over, everyone said a word of comfort to her and her brother. She only nodded; she cared less.  She simply hated everything. Why did it have to be her parents? Poor innocent people, merely looking for their daily bread? Life is so cruel.

Immediately after the death of their parents, their extended family member took Ladi and Tobe in. They thought it best for them not to stay at home alone during the grieving period. They tried their best to cheer them on and make them forget the incident but they were just inconsolable. For Ladi, the death meant the end of her dreams.

Her parents had formed a habit of saving most of the money gotten from the farm produce sales for their children’s schooling. Mrs. Bello would not buy new wrappers but recycle the old ones, saying, “When you grow up and become successful, you will buy me many wrappers that I won’t even be able to finish wearing” this thought brought fresh tears to Ladi’s eyes and sadness into her heart.

The door opening jolted Ladi out of her thought. It was Tobe, rushing in carrying clothes he had washed earlier that morning. “Ladi, so you are in the house and you couldn’t help me bring in my clothes from the hanger? You want them drenched in the rain?” He repeated himself a second time and when he got no response from her, moved closer to see what was wrong with her. It was when he moved closer that he saw tears running down her cheeks. He forgot the wet clothes, dropped them on the floor and held his sister in his arms. He knew the cause of the tears, it isn’t as if he doesn’t miss his parents too, but he also realized that no amount of tears would bring them back. It is a sad reality and Tobe made up his mind to help his sister get over her grief and become the lively girl she had once been. Ladi just kept weeping and Tobe stoked her hair and tried to whisper comforting words to her.

***********

Since the death of their parents, Ladi and Tobe had stayed with the Adamu’s. It had not been an easy transition. Umuleke village had been in the news for the past 3 weeks since the plane crash incident. Reporters had thronged the entire village. The plane company also came, asked questions and paid condolence visits to Ladi’s family. They also visited the Njoku family, they had a farm besides the Bellos. Their crops were also affected. It was a very unfortunate incident and all affected parties tried so hard to put it behind them.

Mr. Adamu is Ladi’s maternal uncle. He and his wife, tried to help Ladi and Tobe adjust to life without their parents. It had not been easy, but it is a task they determined to pull off. Gradually, Ladi came to terms with her parent’s death and decided to live again. The fourth week after the demise, Ladi and Tobe returned to school. Their school mates and teachers had been sympathetic the first week but everything returned back to normal the following week. Besides, they are not the first people to have lost a parent.

It wasn’t easy for them, their parents had saved up and ensured that their education was top priority, but with the Adamu’s, it was a different ball game. They had three children of their own and struggled to pay fees from the meager salaries they both earn as local council workers. Having Ladi and Tobe as extra mouth to feed just wasn’t easy on them. Ladi had just promoted into SSS II while Tobe was supposed to be writing the junior WAEC few months from then. The Adamu’s on the other hand had all their three children in primary school, the oldest being in primary six.

Ladi called Tobe aside one day after school and shared her plans with him. “Tobe, I know how our parents wanted us to be a medical doctor and an accountant. But death has done otherwise”. “I have thought about it and the situation of living. You know our uncle is really trying his best but it is still not easy. In view of this, I will step aside for you so that they can help train you to university level. I will go learn a trade and support. Then when I have saved enough, I will go back to school and finish up and become the medical doctor I have always wanted to be”.

“Noooooo!!!” screamed Tobe, “this cannot be happening. You are the smartest and deserve the opportunity. I am a man, let me find some work to do and I will help you through school” “I will support you until university and till you get married too”.  “No Tobe, I insist” replied Ladi. “My mind is made up. I am the eldest and I have spoken. We will tell uncle our plans after dinner”. And she stood up and walked out of the room. She went to the back yard, into the garden and cried her heart out. It wasn’t an easy decision to take but she believed it was the best given the situation of things. “Papa, mama, I know you wanted to see us through school but the cold hands of death snatched you away from us. I promise to take care of my brother and to live the upright way you have always taught me. I will not let you down” she sobbed.

In the evening, when everyone had had dinner, Ladi excused her uncle and aunt to the veranda that she had something important to discuss with them. She insisted that Tobe stayed back with the younger children when he also wanted to follow them. She started by thanking them for accommodating her brother and herself and for being their new father and mother. She particularly thanked Mrs. Adamu for her patience and love. It really isn’t easy taking in two grown-ups into one’s house. She then went on to tell them of the decision she reached earlier in the day and how she thought it was the best under the circumstance.

Her uncle and his wife listened to her speak and couldn’t utter a word. They were shocked at her decision. Mr. Adamu felt it was his fault, if only he had studied harder and obtained a higher grade in the college of education; he would have been able to secure a better job in the city and would be able to take care of them all. Because, even a blind man could see they were struggling to take care of the home. He begged Ladi to rescind on her decision, that he was able to sort it out. Ladi only reminded him that he is yet to complete the fees for his children; it would be heartless to add theirs to it. Mrs. Adamu then stood up, hugged Ladi and promised her that she would return to school as soon as things got better. Ladi knelt and thanked them and went into the house. Her uncle felt really bad but he also knew that if things didn’t change for good, something drastic would have to be done to sustain the family.