LETTER FROM HEAVEN
I have heard them say that when one is close to death you begin to have flashes of your life but I never took this school of thought seriously.
It was the 3rd of June, 2012, I was on-board the Dana Air 992. I noticed that the hostesses had begun to act strange. Our plane was going to crash 4 miles to landing, I kept praying that the angels would carry us in their wings and hold the plane from crashing. There was panic everywhere; it was like we had just being told there was a war but then this was worse, it was a war between our lives and death. A war we weren’t prepared for and it was crystal clear that we were going to lose this war never to fight again. It is often said that a wise cripple is never caught in the midst of a fore warned battle but we were never notified of this battle.
First, the plane clipped off the roof of a house and I felt my heart separate from me like a child is separated from the placenta at birth. We were going to hit the ground and be like the victims of the ill-fated Belleview and Sosoliso plane years ago. We were going to lose this battle but I held on to the hope that there might be survivors and I would be one of them since I was young and had a lot to achieve. I thought of the many testimonies of people who have had death experiences but were sent back into the midst of mortals to fulfill destiny. I clung to this hope like a man would cling to his lost but found love. Then we all began to scream like screeching birds just as the plane crashed into something; a building and we hit the ground.
I woke up in the delivery room of a hospital and I see a woman cuddling a new born baby girl with pride in her eyes and no strength in her bones ‘mum’ I said. She couldn’t hear me. This would be my first time laying eyes on her aside the beautiful pictures dad showed me. I made to touch her and I found myself in our living room in Garki, Abuja. I saw dad teaching me to walk like a lion teaches her cub to hunt. I beamed and made to sit and I saw my first day at school, dad kissing me goodbye as tears trickled down my eyes. I saw myself and my best friend Rita when we had just finished our SSCE and how we celebrated like we were on top of the world. All these visions came like a mirage as I saw myself in my matriculation gown when I became a bonafide student of Covenant University and I could see the pride in dad’s eyes as I heard myself promise to make him proud.
Like a prophet seeing endless streams of visions I saw the happiest day of my life: July 22, 2011 as I was released as an eagle to soar from Covenant University. My dad smiling and saying ‘I wish your mum was here, she’d be proud’. I saw that tinge of tears in his eyes as he hugged and congratulated me.
Then I am at Ekiti where I had my Orientation camp for my National Youth Service Corp as a Lagos Corps member and I saw and heard my hysterical laughter at maami market as I had fun with friends.
Then I am at the airport again. I saw me sitting with dad at the lobby and admiring this beautiful woman with cute dimples who laughed with no inhibitions and her four kids as we waited for our plane to commence boarding.
I moved close to myself and said ‘Vicky don’t board this plane’, I said this with the hope that I could save myself from going to the battle ground of a war I was going to lose. I saw the way I hugged dad and promised to be back to Abuja immediately I signed my monthly NYSC clearance. The joyful and spontaneous laughter of thee pretty woman pulled me to her again. She laughed with so much excitement, laughter so full of life that it seemed to come from deep within her belly. I moved closer and asked for her name and the names of her children. The children looked were cute like their mum and they were like little pumpkins, they made me feel like having my own children just as the momentary fear of child birth crossed my mind.
I am back in the plane and I try to get back into my body with no avail. I see the little pumpkins lifeless around their parents and I make to scream but it sounds like a whisper. I see people outside trying to take pictures of our plane. If the rescue team will come now some of us might still have a chance to live. I see the pretty dimpled faced woman and her infectious laughter at the airport fills my head like a song on the radio. I make an attempt to pick up my BlackBerry so I can call dad to come get me out of here or at least ping my friends, but my hand won’t take hold of the phone just like the wind can’t take hold of a house. Then I cling to the hope that maybe if I get up there I would be returned then I’d beg for the life of others on this plane especially the children like a slave would beg for freedom from his master. But all my hopes are dashed and spilled away like milk to the ground. The plane catches fire and I try to drag myself out but my hands can’t take hold of my lifeless body. I find myself outside the plane, there’s no way I can be returned or beg for life since our plane is on fire; we’d all be burnt with no body for our spirits to return to. We’d be lost to our loved ones like a sheep is lost to his shepherd. The rescue team arrives and I scream at them but they don’t respond.
‘if you had come earlier’ I shouted at them but they ignore me as they run around trying to see who can be saved more like medicine after death.
I see dad dialing my number and saying ‘Vicky I know you won’t leave me like your mum did.’ ‘Dad I am here,’ I say but he can’t hear me. I try to touch but he doesn’t feel it. For the first time I see dad cry and I say ‘dad I will beg for my life and come back to you. You are my world dad, I won’t leave you’ but he doesn’t hear me.
He starts to throw things and screams ‘VICKY!’ and I respond but he doesn’t hear me just like a deaf man wouldn’t hear the voice of the town crier. I don’t even know how to comfort him with no body to return to. Then a being more like an apparition appears to me and says ‘Vicky, it’s time to go, your time is up.’
In memory of Iniobong Asuqo (1989-2012) a fallen Eagle who met her end in the ill-fated Dana Airline Crash on the 3rd of June, 2012. Covenant University loves you and you remain forever in our hearts Iniobong. Rest in his bosom, till we meet never to part.
To all those who lost their lives on the 3rd of June, 2012; due to the ill-fated Dana Air 992. Those in their houses or in the plane. May your souls rest in peace.
WRITTEN BY: OLUYOLE OLUWASEYI