“I am tired of the tears. I am tired of the sorrows. I am tired of the fear and apprehension. I am tired of being tired. Just #BringBackOurGirls”- Aisha Yesufu, Co-Convener, Bring Back Our Girls.
Azanat is missing!
We have checked everywhere we could think of, even the oddest places that would not even hold a needle. Rationality isn’t just common in a situation of pandemonium, especially when an Elizabeth’s lone child strayed from under our tentacles.
“Where could she be?” Rhetoric!
Her mother, my aunt, the younger sister of my mother, was already throwing herself here and there, stomping barefooted carelessly; howling, beating herself by the hips repeatedly, her hands flaying mid air only to collapse them heavily on her cranium. Her wrapper, thrown away leaving her lower region exposed to all eyes, but thank God she had a cycling short on that provided a cover for her private. But who cares to look at the color of her lingerie? Everyone was just looking for Azanat. Our GRA settlement became unsettled as everyone joined in the search.
“She is a girl of four years old, wearing a flowery knee-length dress with her hair parted into two with red ribbons holding each bond”, we gave the description as sufficiently as we could.
My father called the Toll-Free line of the State Emergency Service. The old man would almost put those guys on the alert even if he’s climbing his wife, in case he gets exhausted and needs help. We would always make jest of his strong faith in that alarming and heartbreaking system. They asked him to go to the nearest Police Station to lodge such complaints as it has to be done in person; it is a case of a Missing Person. Hurriedly we all ran down the street to the Police Station.
“How long have you been looking for the girl?, the officer at the counter asked.
“About five hours now”, my old man answered.
“Well, I understand your plight but I am sorry we can only book this case after twenty-four hours as that is the law”, the policewoman on duty said, with her body language devoid of any empathy.
“Is there any way you could just help us by putting your men on the alert, in case…?”, said one of the men that had joined us in the search.
“No!”, she sounded flatly unconnected and pulled out a file from under the desk she was sitting on to continue with what she was working on without looking up at the faces of the people before her. We walked away from the station dejected. We had to prevail on Aunty Isabella as the action from the police made her madder. Her bawling became louder.
On our way home we continued our sleuthing; searching every nook and cranny. One search team to this side. Another to that side. The disappointment became graver when our search coalesced to nothing on our arrival at home. Aunty Isabella wouldn’t stop rolling on the ground -swinish; a mother’s rage. The world became still for her. All she wanted was Azanat.
A call was put through to Azanat’s father. The call couldn’t go through because he was offshore. He works in oil-service firm. He is the Senior Manager, Production & Distribution with many other responsibilities on his lap. Many times he forgets himself; only sipping wine to keep himself abreast of himself.
The search would continue the next day but Aunty Isabella’s wailing wouldn’t let us leave for bed. Even if we had gone to rest, the melancholy of a grieving woman would pervade our dreams. So we must stay awake to find Azanat. Who knows when the bridegroom would come? At that point, Aunty Isabella became numb to whatever was going on around her. Antidotally:Azana is the only revitalization.
We went back to the police station, first thing in the morning, though few hours before the complete cycle of a day. “The police should be the best apparatus to beam such a search”, one of us said, but we were dispassionately told to just wait for the moon to complete its cycle and we came back home searching the more. Each neighbor imbibed the emotions but much as we tried, no one can personalize the virulence of the agony, “she could be anyone’s”.
Just at the dawn of weariness we heard a toddler crying by the gate. We rushed to the scene to kill our curiosity. Lo and behold! It was Azanat all by herself, a pack of biscuit in hand.
Her mother sprang in joy, lifted her and carried her inside, “she must be hungry”.
Queer observation: her blouse was drenched in blood.
Her innocence has been taken away.
A President was killed.
Just at the blossom of his life.
Slaughtered to the murdering pleasure; wicked ego
His blood splattered the earth
In his homeland
His wife taken away
To a distant land of despair
Far away into the jungle
Of gnomes and aliens
His doctor and lawyer friends
All died with their dreams.
An Alchemist of note
This land was deprived of the best
Not by pilferers
The maddening hedonistic
Pen did it.
Taken from What Suzzie Wants (yet to be published) by ‘Debayo Coker.