Monday, 12 August 2013

Soldiers of Fortune - JUNE 8, 1998.

Everyone jubilated the day Abacha died. I remember the day like yesterday. I was 5 years old. It was during the math class the news came in. The female teacher in the other class screamed. I thought she had seen a snake. We all rushed out like small midgets. Our teacher too. "He is dead. He is dead". She kept saying. Then there was a total disarray. Mrs Kalu and her gang were singing and dancing. Others jumped up and down. Mr Bright smiled like he killed the man himself. Headmaster came late. Actaully smiling in his favorite suit. They didn't flog Abah when she threw stones at the monkeys in the cage. I didn't understand this happiness. Teachers kept congratulating themselves, hugging each other while us children stared in confusion. I pulled Miss Hadiza's dress with questioning eyes. She was crying. " The wicked man is dead, baby. Nigeria is free" was all she said and carried me up in her arms.I didn't understand but I didn't want to spoil the moment. She had never carried me before. So I enjoyed the moment in silence suckling greedily at my thumb. That night I saw him in my dream. The one they spoke of, chasing all of us in school. He wore a soldiers uniform and had a terrifying face. I was screaming his name as I ran for my life. I woke up in the pool of my sweat. I never spoke of the dream to anyone. It was the morning after.

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