Hey beautiful people! I know, I know, I just disappeared like that with zero warning. I’ve been busy with school (I’m trying to get that degree). But I’m back with another piece for you guys. Don’t be scared to leave comments by the way. I won’t bite you. Really, I’m pescatarian (for this month at least).
I wrote this piece for a competition Arts and Africa held a while ago and it actually made it to the shortlist. I was super excited and shocked that I made it that far. Firstly because I literally wrote it hours before the competition closed and secondly, because I made like three grammatical errors. Shout out to Ope Adedeji (an amazing writer that I look up to) for encouraging me to do it.
I’m not sure if this is plagiarizing my own work as I submitted it to the competition but hopefully it doesn’t get flagged. Anyway, enough with the rant, you came for a quality experience with the fictional. So here it is. I hope you enjoy!
I put all my body’s weight on his chest with my hands where he had been shot like I had seen in the movies. I could still see the blood seeping through my hands like a punctured sachet of pure water. ‘Ibrahim! Ibrahim! Stay with me!’ I screamed as loud as I could without damaging my larynx.
We were together on the dirty old couch in the sitting room watching ‘The Notebook’ for the tenth time in the month when the killers barged in. They made us lie on our backs as we pleaded to trade our lives with money but they disagreed stating that Ibrahim’s life had already been paid for by chairman. I could see Ibrahim’s recently dry face sweating like he had just had a shower. I had never seen him so scared and weak in all our years together. My strong and brave Ibrahim Akanni. Olowo-orimi. There was silence for what seemed to be hours. All I could hear was Ibrahim’s rapid heavy breathing and my wheezing. I would have thought they were gone if not for the gun placed on the back of my neck. ‘Kill me and leave Abeni alone please!’ Ibrahim’s words barely came out of his mouth ‘I beg you’. One of the killers shut him up with a blow on his head with the gun he was holding. Then he grabbed me up by the collar of my overly worn ankara blouse. “Abeni, our wife, go and cook food for your visitors. Don’t you have respect?”.
I dropped the tray that held the plates of rice and stew on the floor when I heard the gun shot and ran into the sitting room. The men were already escaping when I grabbed one of them by the shirt and screamed at him to kill me too. He refused to kill me because he couldn’t ‘do a job without being paid’ . I spat on him and let them escape, running to my husband’s side. I sat next to him and cried. My chest tightened up making it hard for me to breathe as I called the ambulance. “Ibrahim you can not die on me! Do you hear me?! I spoke sternly into his ear like it was his will to be lying next to me almost dead. I stared at the clock counting down to the time google maps had told me it would take for the ambulance to reach the house and sang him his Oriki. I begged him to hang in there and wait for the ambulance but he did not. He sighed heavily and refused to breathe anymore. I continued to pump his chest even though I knew he was dead. The ambulance finally came.
“It happened at 11:48” I mumbled to the nurse who finally realized he was dead after failed attempts to revive him.
“How do you know?”.
“I was watching the clock while waiting for you”.
- Olowo ori mi – Literal meaning: The one who paid my bride-price.
Casual meaning: my love, darling.
- Oriki – praise poetry. Each tribe within the Yoruba descents have orikis exclusive to them.
**Oh! Shoutout to Sophie B, who made me pumped up to get back into writing.