Sola, get water for your father to wash his hands, my mum shouts. I don’t blame her. She had just finished making pounded yam, efo and stew out of the 5k my mechanic father gave her on Saturday. Sundays were the only days we had very good food to eat. We leave church and come home to make pounded yam. Never did a Sunday go by without pounded yam. Though at times, it could be just pounded yam and stew. But today, it was with efo. My mother managed to get a bargain from the women who sold fish, shrimps, beef and shaki. We haven’t had such a meal in a long time. Business wasn’t moving for papa.
I was so looking forward to the meal. Just get my father the water, and I would settle down to my own meal.
That was the last thing I thought, before I saw the plane crash into our house.
IK: Oh babe, I am on my way to your house; came that ping to my phone this afternoon.
Me: *replying* Expecting you. What do you want for lunch?
IK: Make me jollof rice. You know I don’t ask for much. And put some Star into the fridge.
Me: Light no dey o. And I no sabi on gen.
IK: Nne, when I come.
And so I set about making jollof rice. I had a small quantity of tomato puree left and so had to add more pepper to give it colour. I had barely finished cooking when IK presses the bell.
Whew I thought. Just in time.
I rush to the door to open and with IK came the fire.
It is Evangelism Sunday in church. We had been walking round trying to talk to people. Nobody seemed to care.
Tolu and I then decided to knock on doors and talk to people in their homes. If people on the streets won’t listen, those in their homes should. So we start knocking on doors.
Some answered nicely and told us they were Christians. Some were very rude and chased us away.
Tolu was getting tired and asked that we return to church. She couldn’t take it anymore. I convinced her to let’s try one more house then we return.
We climbed up to this house and knock. A young girl of about 10 comes to open the door and as we stepped in, we heard the scream.
My uncle and his wife just got in from the village. Mama sent me to go get some cold drinks because as usual, we hadn’t had light in weeks.
I left mama, papa, Nneka, Kelechi, Isi, Nnamdi, uncle and aunty in the house and head out.
I got the drinks at the beer palour down the road.
I start heading home.
Then I spot Amaka from a distance. You see, I have a crush on Amaka and have for long been trying to get her attention. She just wouldn’t talk to me. With cold drinks in hand, I felt like a big boy. I hear Amaka can drink and likes guys that drink. Though I don’t drink, I was going to try it today just so she likes me. I was ready to face mama’s beatings when she discovers her drinks were less.
So I open up a bottle with my teeth. She is getting closer. As I take a gulp, I scream.
Sad day yesterday and everybody seems focused on those in the plane. Nobody seems to remember those who were in their houses on a Sunday afternoon going about their normal duties and their lives are forever changed. Some families might have been wiped out. Some people might have escaped and didn’t die with their families because they were out of the house at that time.
I don’t pray for the dead. I can only pray for their families. Both for the families of those on the plane and those on the ground. May God comfort them and above all forgive our sins in Nigeria and heal our land. Too much blood.