…and lead us not into temptation…
It had been nine years since I graduated from the University, nine good
years. No job, nothing! But yesterday, I got a mail from Anakowa
Corporate Company to come to Niama for a job interview.
I almost burst with joy. I was so happy, my family was happy for me, including Onyeojoo, my step mother.
I had to leave Akono, where I lived with my family the next day, in
order to meet up with the interview. I called Enyi, my best friend, and
she was happy for me.
‘I am so happy for you, Udo,’ she said
‘Thank you very much, Nne. Don’t worry, your application would be approved soon, and you too will leave this village.’
‘Amen,’ she said emphatically. ‘But Udo, I don’t think you should go.’
‘Na talk be that? Why shouldn’t I go?’ I asked.
‘Udo, I had a dream that you left this village and never came back, you died.’
‘God forbid, Enyi, I reject it! How can you say I shouldn’t go because
of an ordinary dream, ehn? Abeg no spoil my mood o. Just pray for me and
I would be all right,’ I said and ended the call.
Preparations started and I started packing, Mama kept on thanking God as though I had been offered the job.
‘Nnem, at least an interview is a good sign that you would get the job, and get married too.’ Mama said.
…but deliver us from all evil…
‘Nnem, go well. Don’t worry, you would get this job. God will be with you,’ Mama said.
‘Amen, mama. Pray for me.’ I kissed her cheek and entered the bus.
The journey started and we left the park.
I put on my headphones and enjoyed the beautiful scenery as we journeyed
on. When we got to Loko, there was a heavy traffic, and I sensed
danger. Enyi’s words started playing in my head, and I was scared. I had
forgotten to pray against it, so I started praying within me.
Then I saw him.
He was clad in the type of cloth men from the defunct Ashare Rebel Group
wore. He was holding a big black bag, and my sixth sense told me it was
what I thought it was…
I kept my eyes on him as he moved among the cars. He stood four buses away from ours, and clicked on a remote like detonator.
I counted within me as I had always done.
10… 9… 8…
My heart was racing as I counted.
Everyone in the bus was screaming, buses were trying to drive past him.
Some had left their cars and ran for safety.
5… 4… 3…
I jumped out through the window and ran with the others.
The bomb exploded.
I could see the parts of damaged cars flying around.
And it hit me.
I found myself at the foot of a tree, with my right leg no where to be found.
Oh! the pain.
I heard the faint sound of my ringing phone. The screen had been destroyed but I could see who was calling.
She must have heard the news.
I wanted to answer, to tell Mama that I was fine, that I would be fine.
My hands were so heavy.
I was drifting…
With the Lord’s Prayer on my lips.
Anastacia Onyinyechi Azuma is a student of the University of Lagos. She
is a writivist who enjoys reading and writing amongst others.
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