“This is a final boarding call, for flight 992 to Lagos, please proceed to gate 5”. “This is a final boarding call, for flight 992 to Lagos, please proceed to gate 5”
He bumped into her as she ransacked her purse. Smiling, he apologised, “Sorry, I need to get to gate 5.” She smiled in return and nodded, “So do I, I just need to find my husband! He gets so excited about our Abuja trips, and its all for Kilishi! “she laughed. They both power walked to the gate, where a pretty young lady checked their tickets and ushered them through.
“Miss, my husband is back there, he just went to buy some kilishi, would the pilot mind waiting a couple of seconds for him?” The hostess smiled in response, “Madam, we cant keep the gate open just for him, but I’ll try to stall the pilot, okay.” “Thank you, so much, you’re a doll!”
The plane was crowed and full, as she made her way to her seat; 34E. In the next aisle was a pretty lady and her three adorable children, who just made the entire cabin crew, ooh and aah over them. They busied themselves in peaceful merry making, causing their very pregnant mother a headache.
“Please sit still for mummy, we’ll be in Lagos soon and I promise, I promise to buy you some ice cream” Their father said and as soon as he said the words ice-cream, they snapped into their seat, humbled, and focused on the coloring pads the hostess had provided.
“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. We are set to leave…”
She glanced at her watch and then the door, how long did it take to buy kilishi? She got up and craned her neck towards the door and there he was, smiling triumphantly. “I got enough kilishi, for aunty Rosa; you know how much she loves it, I got for Uncle Benite and I got for my boss, before you lock me out or even seize the entire bag” He poked her playfully as he handed her the bags of dried beef. “You know your oga all too well” she smiled
In front of them, the attendants went on to show the safety routine, as most of the passengers quickly made quick phone calls and sent text messages.
A flash went off right in front of her, inquisitively, she craned her neck and watched two young girls, giggling and taking pictures of themselves. “Put the first one as your dp, I’ll put this one as mine!”
She rolled her eyes and poked her husband, “Small children, see how they are enjoying life! Probably just done with their NYSC, heading back to be spoilt by mummy and daddy!” He smiled at her in response, “You know that the only reason why you’re saying that is because you’re going to do the same to your children as soon as you get home, I saw all the dresses you picked up from Maggie’s store!”
“Sir, we are about to take off, please fasten your seat belt and turn off your cell phone, please.”
“Just be at the airport, that’s all I ask, I’m not asking for a lecture as to whether I went to church or not. Just be there!” he flipped the phone shut and fastened his seat belt, giving the hostess a mean growl as he did.
“Some people can be jerks, ehn?” she whispered to her husband.
“Thats not our concern. Taking her hand in his, he said “let’s pray” , they both bowed their heads and said a quick prayer.
“I cant wait to get back home, not back to work, but home to my babies.”she rested her head on his shoulder.
“I am all about work, you forced me to take a break and I feel refreshed and alive and I have the energy to pump into the proposal. Oh, its going to be huge. Mr X wouldn’t know what hit him.”
“I dont doubt that!” she yawned, eavesdropping on the neighbours newspaper.
“Are they just going to turn a blind eye to Nigeria’s core issues and assume their patchwork outlook would do anything?”she asked loud enough for him to know that she was addressing him.
“Madam, Nigeria just needs for us to pray for her. Prayer, prayer and more prayer!”
The rude gentleman behind her snarled, “Na only prayer, we need action. It’s all the prayer that has us in this situation, blind faith!”he hissed.
“Nigeria is selfish, she wouldn’t let any one help. She’s too proud and ends up hurting whoever tries to help.”One of the young girls replied.
With that, a full argument broke out, with half the plane offering their opinion.
“Sorry, but I’m trying to get these kids to sleep and your arguments aren’t helping, please dont be offended.” the pregnant lady adjusted, uncomfortably in her seat.
As if on cue, the pilot came on the PDA, “This is your pilot, we are making our gradual descent into Lagos state, we should be landing in the next ten minutes, please fasten your seat belts and stow away your trays.”
She held her husbands hand and smiled affectionately, “Thank you for taking a break and flying away with me to Abuja, I love you so much”
She planted a kiss on his cheek and as she did the plane vibrated violently. She looked out the window but no clouds were in sight, so it couldnt have been the turbulence.
Rows behind her, she heard a woman begin to pray out loud.
She glanced at the mother beside her, who joined hands with her husband in making a protective embrace around their children, whispering assurances to them and saying prayers for themselves.
The plane made another violent dive and began to tremble even more violently.
She looked at her husbands face and she knew. An eerie silence came over the plane and for a split second as she rested her head on his shoulder, listening as the plane went into a frenzied commotion she let herself hope. Hope that she would once more see her children, her mother, her sister…
She held on to her husbands hands,looking tear eyed into his eyes as flames slowly licked through the plane and at them, before exploding into a fiery ball…
*I chose not to put up any names as I did not want to disrespect any of the passengers on that flight. *
May their souls rest in God’s perfect peace.