Jumai looked at the sun and smiled. A smile finally escaped her face after a long morning. The scorching sun seemed to bring Jumai satisfaction instead of discomfort. “I am beautiful” she said, laughing loudly to herself as crossed the main road. She saw no reason for the grief alot of people wore on hot afternoons.
The sun is just as comforting a companion as the stars and moon. Half naked, with a tattered jean trouser and blouse, she lazily walked to the next closed store in New Benin Market.
It was not a market day. Alot of stores were not opened for business. She tore the sachet of pure water and gulped the content. She was thirsty and hungry. She hadn’t eaten for two days, people were not coming to market everyday due to the Governments ban. She was weak – her legs wobbly. She closed her eyes to think, sometimes, in times of hunger and lonliness, she found solace in her thoughts. In times like this, she felt some emotions. She thought about things but never cared.
‘The world is too beautiful to worry over things’
After thinking about what to think about, she opened her eyes. A couple holding hands, talking and smiling passed by the store. She sighed. Seeing them reminded her of a life she once think she had, in some place, some time, in a world she could not place. In those sane moments, somethings come to her, most times in a flash but she always pushed the thoughts out of her head. Thinking does not make my easy life easy.
She never allowed herself to stay in the “thinking” state long enough to remember anything. Thats toomuch trouble.
She got up, she had to tell herself the truth – there’s no way she would get fed sitting and thinking. Either she scavenged or begged, and with the new laws, market not open, scavenging was the only option. She straighten her unkempt hair that fell gently on her shoulders. ‘The world is tough’ she murmured. I desperately need to eat before I die. My lazy legs can’t take me far. I just hope I don’t fall before I get something. She never knew what was coming to her. She pickup a stick, and was about to cross the road to the other side when…
David Alaba was driving at full speed, ignoring the Uselu road speed limit. The call he had received earlier from Jane, his ex-wife, got him really pissed. She made his skin crawl. He hated talking to her but couldn’t stop it. The court would take away everything if he offends her, he was not ready for that, not afer all he has been through. “She wants more money, more freaking money. Gold digger. Of what use was the stupid marriage? No kids,no joy, all lies. Nothing! Just a waste of time and emotions,and now money.” He cursed. He abandoned a patient at the Psychiatric hospital, Uselu. He couldn’t see any body in his present state, seeing any patient would only worsen the patients’ situation. He pressed the accelerator as soon as he entered New Benin road. Free road today. He was glad for the new law by the Government. No market women blocking the road. As he drove in anger, his mind went back to when he first met her. She looked like the most beautiful thing that could ever happen to him. But how wrong. How so freaking wrong. She was demon sent from the pit of Hades.
He fought the tears welling in his eyes. Men don’t cry. He checked his wristwatch, 2:30. Good. Get some sleep before going out with the guys. He needed to clear his head.
The image of her torment, the sound of her lies, his invested emotions, all too powerful a torment. He shut his eyes tight. It was playing before him, that day he… He occasionally closed and opened his eyes. Now the tears began rolling out freely. ‘Maybe men should cry sometimes’
He was still sobbing on the wheels, mind afar, eyes wide open but closed, ears dead, when his foot pressed the break. Pooosh! He hit something. His sanity restored, he had knocked somebody. He would be lynched. Jane had finally killed him…
Jumai was flabbergasted. She just saw death flash before her. For a moment she thought she was going to die. As people helped her cross the road, a man, pretty tall, in a white shirt and navy