Death. A constant phenomenon that'd embrace everything living on the surface of the earth. For we humans, the best way to embrace death is at an old age and in a peaceful manner. No one wants to die Young and unfulfilled. But one may ask what a fulfilled life is; what are the qualifications to live a fulfilled life. Another may also ask the question of where our souls go when we die.
Religion answered the question by telling us there is another life after here and it is up to an individual to choose where to end up by living up to expectations of the principles of his belief. Sad enough, no one has been able to justify the assertions made about religion about where the soul goes after death.
Breaking it to the nearest logic, the question then is where does the shadow go when light creeps in? What happened to darkness when illumination overtakes the atmosphere? Do they hide in shame, waiting for light to get tired? Or do they wait for the night to come so they'd blend with the time??
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These are questions Ahmed asked himself while carrying out his fourth Adulation for the day before the evening prayers at the mosque. The uncertainty of his soul finding a place of solace after death made him uncomfortable. From where he sat, he cancelled the prayers he was to go for; he couldn't pray with such mindset of uncertainty because his prayers would be like water poured on coco yam leaves.
He stood to leave. Plugged in his earphones and walked away gently through the back of the mosque. He needed to think about life and what it has offered so far. On his way, he saw obituary posters of young individuals. 23, 26, 22, 31, 28.... were the exit ages written on them. He became more bittered and convinced that this life had nothing to offer for if it had, it won't take the lives of those it has something for. The other end should be sure but where the soul goes is still what he is yet to unravel.
He got to his rented room and brought out the keys to the room when he discovered the door was open. His roommate, Christian was home. He opened the door and walked in gently with his face down. He didn't realize the changed sound of the ceiling fan until he unplugged his earphones. It was his roommate, dangling alongside the fan suspended with a rope round his neck. Ahmed couldn't hold the shock that fell on him. The thought of how Christian, a jolly good fellow would take his life was a mystery to unravel. He was lost and at the same time, devastated because his friend was always happy even in odd circumstances.
"Was he expelled? Did he loose anyone? Did His girlfriend break up with him? Did.... What could have happened" were the questions he kept asking himself for hours as he watched the body of his friend turn in circles. He came to random conclusion that Christian sought way to find out where the soul was heading after death. But he wasn't sure. Be needed to find out himself.
He rushed to the drawer near the bed and poured out a handful of pills from his medications. He wanted to follow Christian and tell him that he understands his plight and the reason behind the act. He wanted to tell him that he wasn't alone in this cruel world of uncertainty. He wanted to tell him that he still cherished their friendship.... He needed to go.
Just as he was about to throw the tablets to his mouth, a beep sound came from his phone. Resting to it, it was a text from his mum which read "I need you tomorrow, make out time for me.".
On seeing this, goose pimples took over him and he was left in a state of dilemma on whether to leave or to live. But one thing struck him hard. His mother needed him that's one sure reason to live.
Julius Tunde Ige is a poet and who centers on issues that concerns the society and humanity and has published two anthologies to his name. He is a student of Mass communication and has two anthologies to his name.
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