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Fiction

Toll

Shouldn’t we be on the same side, working for a better world for us all?

Damn, my belly stings!
I’ll hold on though. Surely I can fight ‘it’ off,
Long enough for this young lady
Hovering over me to fix me.
Her words are reassuring,
Telling me to hang in there.
I’ll hold on. Surely it’s just like sleep:
I’ll fight it off; this sleep won’t take me.
What the hell though!
Why did they shoot at us!
I thought we were co-citizens.
I thought we were supposed to be
On the same side: all soldiers
Fighting for the better of our country.
What the hell!

Damn, it’s getting dark!
Why is it so difficult to move my hands
Or my legs? Why won’t the words
I still have to say come out!
I want to tell the young lady hovering over me
To tell my mum who lives at Jakande
That Tunde – me – loved her and Dad
And Gbenga and Taiwo and Kehinde,
That I believed we could have our voices heard
And have the country we dreamed of,
In my lifetime or in my children’s lifetime.
I wonder if there is a God.
I wonder if he is watching right now.
I wonder if I’ll get to meet him.
I have a lot of questions.
Damn, it’s getting dark…

Damn, this young man is gone!
Is there a God? How could he watch
As this otherwise gentle soul is ended?
How could he watch us fight for everything:
A decent living, hell, even a right to live!
His ID reads “Tunde”; he looks at-peace now.
He was trying to speak but death took his words
Before they could become sound,
Leaving but two words: bad government!

(Originally written on the 22nd of October 2020, inspired by the #EndSars protests that took place in Nigeria then.)

Disclaimer

This is a work of fiction.

Credits

Photo by Ayanfe Olarinde on Unsplash

By Chetam

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