The sudden screeching sound from the tyres leading to an abrupt stop and screams from the numerous passengers of the bus brought Joy out of her deep thoughts as she held on to the seat in front of her to support herself from being thrown overboard. Her heart was racing very fast from both her thoughts, the noise, screams and heavy sound that brought her back to reality. A bus which was ahead had suddenly stopped and their driver nearly rammed into it. Joy gave a heavy sigh as she wondered how she could have been so lost in thoughts and missed out on everything happening around her. She adjusted herself and stayed focused till she got to her last bus stop. She still had a fifteen-minute trek to her office which she usually used as an opportunity to meditate or pray but this day was different as she slipped again into her memories. Her dad whom she hadn’t seen in a while looked at her with blood stains in his hands and on his body. The look on his face appeared to her like he wanted her to say something to the people around him, she could sense he actually didn’t do anything bad, but the several noises she heard suggested otherwise. She was really very young but old enough to understand something terrible had happened. She attempted going past her father to see what was inside but the women won’t let her. One of them pulled her back as she covered her eyes with her palms. Joy struggled with her but she was well overpowered.
Uzor had not come home in two weeks, Ada had begun to lose her mind, she talked to herself a lot and said things that were incoherent to Joy, she never really had a relationship with her mum as she was always crying and abusing her. Her once beautiful eyes constantly had bags above and below them, her dad only gave them money for food which they never had enough of anyway. Joy was lucky to be in school due to the free education package for all public schools by the then government in power. Her uniform had permanent scars close to her bottom area from overuse. She had even patched them with several colors of thread show could find each time a tear occurred. She heard her father screaming” I swear I did not kill her” ” I met her in her own blood” “God is my witness” he said aloud and quite convincingly. Noone believed him but Joy did.
Uzor had returned home a little before noon to pick one or two things usually his clothes. He knocked severally on the door but no one answered, so he went to the bedroom window to shout as usual for her to open the door but Ada still didn’t utter a word. He became furious as he began to kick the door with his leg in anger. A neighbor who had seen Ada earlier that day wondered why her husband was always this aggressive about everything as she went her way minding her own business. Several people in the neighborhood already knew about their numerous fights and threats to kill her. When they heard him swear to kill her again that day, they were not surprised. Uzor eventually broke down the door and stormed into his home like an orangutan tearing his apartment as he headed for his room screaming Ada’s name. He searched everywhere for her but by the time he got into the kitchen, he saw blood, lots of it, Ada had a knife buried in her stomach as she struggled to speak. Uzor’s eyes opened wider as he let out a very loud cry “JESSSUUUUSSSS”, “AADDDDAAA”…. Loud enough for people to hear.
At first, nobody did anything. When Uzor began to beg his wife to forgive him in loud cries as he called on people to help him beg her; they were left with no other choice but to go in to see what was going on.
Another tap on Joy’s shoulder brought her back to reality again. Clara had sighted her from a distance as she walked slowly and calmly towards the office, Clara had increased her pace just to catch up with her. Clara’s touch made her scream out like someone was going to snatch her handbag. This made Clara laugh so much but Joy only gave a smile, a second look at Clara made her laugh so loud as she saw her swollen eyes and remembered how she cried on phone earlier in the morning. “How you dey my friend,” Joy asked her friend, “Omo, my house don turn to abattoir o, e be like say dead cow dey inside” Clara responded as she described the smell oozing from her apartment. Joy gave a louder laugh again as she imagined what the place smelt like.
– Bunnmi Olaoke