I woke up this morning to my mum crying. I could hear her sobs from our room. I pressed my phone’s power button and there it was. The reason for the sobs. I guess the pain never really goes away. Maybe we just learn to live with it and get used to it, but it never really goes away.
For my family, every 14th November has been a very sad one for us for the last three years. The day holds and brings nothing but bad memories for and to us. I have come to accept all that has happened, or so I think, and I hope that the rest of my family, mum especially does the same too. Even though it is a bitter pill to swallow.
Two weeks to 14th November three years ago, my big sister had returned from school and had shown us all the engagement ring on her finger. Her boyfriend of three years popped the big question, and she said yes.
It was a happy moment for all of us. My big sister said they’d be coming for introduction in two weeks, so our parents swung into action making necessary preparations.
The introduction was scheduled for the 17thbof November which happened to be a Saturday. On the 14th, my sister asked me to accompany her to the city market to buy her dress for the introduction, and also to pick a few things for myself too as the bride’s only sister. We set out early to return before the scorching sun would start unleashing its rage and venom on the inhabitants of the earth.
We combed the market going from a stall to another seeking the things we needed. Some stalls, we bought from after a little back and forth in bargaining, others we left without buying because the price didn’t align, while others had us going and returning when we got worse prices elsewhere. Usual shopping behavior.
We were already leaving the market to the park when we realized we didn’t buy body sprays and perfume.
My big sister told me to wait for her while she quickly rushed to get our usuals at the nearest stall.
No sooner had she left than I heard shouts of “ole! ole!! ole!!!”.
I turned to see what happened, and there was my sister being dragged by a mob.
I was confused. I ran to where they were but wasn’t allowed access to her.
I cried, pleaded, and wailed “my sister is not a thief, we came to the market to buy things”. I was saying in a loud voice, but the angry mob looked like they’d kill me if I said anything else.
In tears, I quickly put a call to my dad who was home at the moment. Being that we lived not too far from the market, he arrived at the scene in no time.
“This girl na tiff”
“fine girl like this dey tiff”
“make una burn am, so other people like her go learn”.
“Chai, this fine girl”.
“so na tiff you dey come this market dey tiff”.
“make una bring tyre and fuel”.
I heard several voices in the mob said.
My sister cried and begged to be spared.
It all just didn’t make sense. Nobody was saying what happened, but they were all calling her a thief and suggesting that they lynch her.
By the time my dad arrived at the scene, my sister was already up in blazes. She screamed as the fire burnt her.
The smell of a burning human filled the air.
My dad stood transfixed to the spot he stood. My tears couldn’t be controlled.
Our world came crumbling in milliseconds.
By the time we got home, the news had already reached him as people gathered in our house to sympathize with us.
My big sister was the calmest in our house. She never talked much she was very homely and accommodating, smiling was the only thing she did most times.
People on our street called her Adamma. She was so beautiful and down to earth. Her voice was angelic and soothing.
She didn’t deserve to die that way, and no, she isn’t a thief.
We still don’t know what exactly happened and what went missing, and why my sister was nailed to the crime.
It’s been three long years without her in this house, and her aura and presence is still felt around the house
Some people say it’s village people, others say it’s just bad fate. My family counts it as a tragedy.
Three years today, and it hurts just as much as it hurts on that eventful day.
The pain never goes away.