Sadness is an emotion we can not help sometimes. emotions I believe exist for a reason, but being in one perpetually, expecially a nagative one can not be a good thing..
Jan 1st will always be a date I will never forget, not eeven if i tried. what had been the most memorable holiday we had without Maa turned out a nightmmare in the middle of the day.
The day had started as normal as any other, I could be described as a baturiya when it came to keeping to time, I would have made a very good time keeper in secondary school and now that I think of it, our time keeper was one of those bookworms that would die than miss a minute of class, Mr Midala had to purnish him one time to get him to do his job…one he was too happy to pass on to anyone who would be passing by the bell when he peeped through the window. By the time the second set resumed, Sani was Time Prefect only in name.
I digress. Get used to to me digreesing though, it’s my forte.
So, we had planned to leave Donga on the first, Zuwairah and I, becaue the roads would be free as opposed to the 2nd of january when the holiday would have been really over and most people would be journeying back to various destinations. I had been packed since the night before and was ready in no time once it was morning only for me to go for Zuwairah and the others who were at Daddy Yello’s to meet none of them ready, none of them had even taken their bath!
“Laa! har yanzu baku shirya ba?!”
Zu looked at me like i was from mars. “Saurin me kike yi?” She was surprised i could be ready that early.
“Go and baf jo!” I yelled at her. Hajarah could not believe I was that audacious, was I crazy, yelling at my older sister like that? older sister took no offence, probably because no offence was intented.
“Ji sister fa, sai kace itace babba”, she grumbled.
“just go get ready”, I yelled, the laughter in my voice got everyone giggling.
We were finally out the the by 9 oclock am. daddy had asked Hajarah why she would not stay.
“Ba kin gama service din ba?” He queried.
“Na gama. Aiki fa?”
“Ba za ki nema anan ba?” she gave him the kind of look Zu gave me, the one that asked without using words if I was from mars? Yes, that one,
“Daddy kenen. zan je idan ban samu ba zan dawo”
We walked to the car laughing at the old man, who came back to the village to look for a job?
All the kids had allready taken their positions in the car by the time we got there, the girls versus the boys if you like, except for Aisha because she loved the Sienna, Halimah just didnt get a space in the jeep…and off we went, “Allah kiyaye hanya” permeating the air. Oh, and Zuwairah jnr cried like she would die if we left her behind, we could hear her calling out her brother’s name as the cars backed out into the road leading out of town.
One hour later, with Donga, Wukari and Zaki-Biam behind us, just as i put my head back settling into a comfotable position for sleep, Bala stepped so abruptly on the brakes i was forced to ask, “yaya?”
“Su wadannan sun yi accident” he said.
Thank God for almost empty roads, or we too would have ended up in one. Bala turned the car around and I would never in a million years, have been prepared for the sight that awaited us. all that flashed through my mind when he said “acccident was the car veering off the road after almost hitting, but missing a bike, a dog, a goat or a pig….we’ve always had those, always almost happenning, but never. What I saw a car turnrd upside down. It had spilled its pessengers and lugagge, yams and sugar cane were all over, boxes were thrown far into the bush…Fatima was sitting near Ummi, she seemed alright, Ummi was still breathing, a thin line of blood ran from her mnose to the mouth, I called her, she answered, Khairat was no where in sight, I called out but there was no answer. i saw her futher on in the bush, satisfed that she was still breathing, I sent Halimah to go stay with her. I called out to Zu, she answered me from the car, she as still strapped in and so was trapped…her and the driver both. Of course I saw Hajo, but I didnt bother calling out to her because I knew she wasn’t going to answer me, she was not going to answer anyone even if she wanted to. I took a peek at her face, she looked at peace, it did betray the fact that the inside of her head was empty, like a calabash after eveything has been taken out of it. Empty. The top completely removed and the mass and matter there gone. She was gone.
“Abdul! Ina Abdul?!” I screamed. My 8 yr old newphew was missing.
“Somebody dey here”, someone offered. Another brought him over from across the road. he was breathing. “Thank God!” I muttered. the Road Safety Officicials had arrived by now and efforts are being made to get Zu and the driver out. finally it happened. The driver is motioneless and Zu kept asking me to stretch out her arm for her. I looked at it, it wasn’t folded.
Now that all pessengers have been accounted for, all that crossed my mind was how I was going to tell Daddy that Hajarah was not going to get a job anywhere, and that she was going back to Donga alright, but not alive.
Jan 1st, 2014.
Everyday I realise that it could have been worse. we lost 2, more survived. We can either be happy for life or sad for the loss, but I choose to be appreciative for the life that kept us and thankful that death that spared us more.