21 May No Ordinary Day
Today’s post is dedicated to the victims of the Boko Haram bombing in Jos. May God grant their families succor and bring an end to Boko Haram’s reign of terror..
No ordinary day.
It started out like an ordinary day. My mother wanted me to get some Irish potatoes from the market that afternoon on my way from school for dinner and she gave me some money for that purpose. I was ecstatic. We were going to have potato chips. My favorite. Mum did know just how to spoil me, especially since Dad died a year ago. I was supposed to be the man of the house now and I intended to discharge that duty with dignity.
As I got to Jos main market, I saw some women selling potatoes by the roadside.
“Nawa ne?” I asked them hoping they would not cheat me. Mama would not be pleased if I brought home less than was expected.
“200 naira,” one said. I shook my head. It was too expensive. Perhaps, if I walked a bit further on I would get a better bargain. As I walked towards Ahmadu Bello Way, admiring the shops and coveting a phone of my own, I idly wondered if I would be able to finish my assignments from school before my favorite soap: “Sweet and sour.” I saw another man selling Irish potatoes and I walked over to him. His Irish potatoes looked bigger and better than those of the women. As I stepped in front of him, that was when I heard it. Or maybe more accurately felt it. It rocked my lanky frame.
The next thing I knew, I was on the ground and potatoes were on top of me. I couldn’t see the potato seller. I could hear screams and I saw things flying about, bloodied things that looked like limbs. I wanted to get up. I wanted to run but I couldn’t move. My leg…my right leg. I couldn’t see it. Where was it? I heard a piercing scream which sounded eerily like my own voice, and all was black.
When I came to, I was on a bed with white sheets. The hospital, I thought. I saw other people in the ward, their low moans filling the open ward. My mother stood by my right, smiling at me and crying at the same time.
“You are alive,” she said. Before I could reply her, a bolt of pain shot up through me. And I instinctively looked down. It was not a dream. My right leg was gone. In its place was a bandaged stump. I put my head back on the pillow and shut my eyes. Mum was muttering something about bomb blast and the evil Boko Haram group. I felt sad that I was unable to buy the Irish potatoes that were to be our family’s dinner.
I was hit by a sudden realization. There was nothing ordinary about that day.