He finished eating his breakfast and was now set for work.That was when it happened.The sound of a distant explosion.Despite how distant it was,the vibration could be felt.His wife stared at the direction of the sound,fear in her eyes.
‘What was that?’ she asked.
It was a rhetorical question.They both knew what it was.
‘Sounds like a bomb’; said her husband,knowing she was hoping for the answer she wanted to hear,and not the annoying truth.
‘Where are the children Nevan?’
‘Its six A.M,Duniya.They are sleeping.Let me go and wake them up.’
‘I’ll go and check how matters stand.If the threat is only in a certain area,I’ll call and inform you.If not I’ll come back.Right now.’
‘No Duniya.Don’t go out.There is…’
‘Keep quiet.You need that medical check up today.I have very little here’.
He got up,adjusted his black tie and the collar of his white long sleeved shirt,and adjusted the belt of his black trouser.He knew it.He was getting a little bit overweight.Six A.M off to work,seven P.M back from work.When he returned,he was too tired.He could never get time for some exercise,but that wasn’t the problem right then.He walked out of the parlour,walked up to the black gate of his three bedroom flat,opened the padlock to the gate with the key and left the padlock dangling upon the door as he stepped outside into the mornings cold.It was past six and there was hardly anybody about.He walked down the sandy,peebled road until he reached the main tarred road.He hailed a neighbour as he drove back down the main road,steering into the bend unto the peebled road.The car stoped beside Duniya,and the driver wound down his glass,angrily.
‘Where are you going?’asked his neighbour;’They have blocked all the checkpoints in town.Nobody is allowed to move about.’
‘Really Babban Zeechat?But it hasn’t been more than twenty minutes since that bomb exploded.’
‘So what?The police and soldiers are always on night duty.Once such a thing happens,they recieve communications ordering them to prevent movement throughout the town.You already know that.
Duniya shook his head.
‘But I really need to withdraw money from the Bank.My wife is ill.Plus other things are needed.’
‘Don’t go out’;said Babban Zeechat,shaking his head,’There is Nothing out there.You can pray all you want but no matter how fervent your determination you’re never going to get anything out there.Look up at the heavens,no one is watching over us.Maybe later the Helicopters will appear out of the clouds.Be reasonable,stay at home.If anyone tells you otherwise,then that person’s you’re worst enemy.’
Sadly,Duniya shook his head.Wonders shall never cease.
They were silent for a while.
‘Get in,I’ll drop you off right at your house.’
‘Thank you.But I’ll walk.I need the exercise.’
Babban Zeechat noded.He drove off.Duniya walked back slowly towards his house,thinking about these things.When he got back,his wife was waiting.She stood on the veranda in front of the parlour,staring at him as he walked in and closed the gate,locking it with the padlock.She stared at him.
He shook his head and shrugged.
‘No movement.Looks like the Government will formally announce the curfew later.Today we’re stuck.’
She fell silent.
‘Till the liqour do us part.’
‘What do you mean by that?’
He didn’t answer.
On the second day,everybody was prevented from going into town,and few we’re pleased to stay at home.Thinking…of all the problems,seeking solutions.People in front of their homes,muttering.Children were playing.Oblivious.
Duniyas wife had a retail shop in town and every evening she loaded everything into her volkswagen car and brought the goods home.There was enough foodstuff in the house to last them for two weeks or a bit longer.People complaining,listening to portable F.M Radios or staring at the screen of their T.V at N.T.A,A.I.T or Channels T.V news updates.Long live the terrorists.Though in their eyes,they were seeking Heaven.
On the third day the once lively city of Kaduna did not come back to life.All the prophecies of those who claimed that the time of darkness would be past by this very time and there was hope found themselves in unbelieving silence.There was anger,and hate floated through the air.Even so were the events of the third day.
On the fourth,fifth and sixth days people were getting hungrier,and many were begining to taste death.The sick died of their wounds and ailments,for all the hospitals were closed and the few Chemist shops around the neighbourhood were either insufficient or out of stock.Duniya had to help many of his poor hungry nieghbours by giving them food.They were grateful.
It is said that one cannot starve if he sleeps over a trove of buried gold.Yet on the morning of the sixth day,Duniya got a visit.It was a Millionare Director at the Department of Petroleum Resources.Banks were closed,he and his family had run out of money.
‘Please,Duniya’;he said,his voice very weak,sitting on a cushion in Duniyas parlour,’Help me and my family.I’ll repay you,you know that.’
Duniya looked at him.This man drove an expensive Hummer Jeep and Duniya had stopped greeting him with ‘Good Morning Sir’,because he never returned Duniyas greetings whenever he drove past his house.Now here he was,sadly squeking,’I'm hungry’.Duniyas wife Nevan stared at her husband with an angry warning in her eyes.He knew she had been complaining about helping people.Their food was in limited supply,they must keep it for their children.Finally,Duniya sighed.
‘Give the Director some food.’
His wife stared at him with hatred,but tried a false smile while saying,’Fine’,as she walked away to their store.When will this be over?
On the seventh day,the rest promised by the State Government did not come,for bombs and gun attacks were still happening.It all ended days later,when reason and cautious action brought back peace.Many celebrated and hailed white liquor for watching over them all those days.But they all knew the peace was like the Biblical proverbs;the dog returns to his own vomit and the pig,after washing,to her wallowing in the mire.
Later,the Millionare never paid back Duniya any money.He was busy.He did not have time.Soon,Duniyas wife needed an operation and he did not have enough money.He appealed for the widows mite,from all the neighbours he had helped.He recieved a most astounding response from his neighbours.No one gave him a kobo.
Even so it was,thus were the events,of the seventh day.