The usual 15-20 minutes’ drive from our Island church to Mainland home took nothing less than an hour and thirty minutes today. The traffic jam was massive; it was like the whole Nigeria was moving from Island to Mainland at the same time. This is because of the muslim celebration coming up later in the week. Island market is known to be the home of all things, everything, ranging from cloths to jewelries to shoes, bags and even foods and drinks all have their abode in the Eko market.
I got home famished. Thankfully, mum had persuaded dad to treat us to KFC on our way home, so we all had our packs. As we got home I settled with my plate of fried rice and crispy chicken, washing it down with my bottle of coke. The last thing I can remember is mum waking me up to go and lie down in my room.
There wasn’t much talk from the principal this morning on the assembly. He is a Muslim, he is probably already in the festive mood, which is just by the end of the week anyway.
Hmmm, that reminds me, Khadijat better come through with some really big treats this time around. All that crap about how many her father’s friends are so many and so the meat cannot get to us would not be accepted this year o.
During break, Tammy, Ozomma and I joked about banishing Khadijat from our group should she not reserve Salah meat for us this year and in the stead reserve stories. We were all laughing and having a good time when Niyi….came to excuse me from amongst my friends. The way he looked at them all, took excuse and led me out of the cafeteria by the hand, you would think he was going to propose to me the next minute. My cheeks had gone red from blushing. I just followed him like a zombie.
Mehn, Niyi should be given the award for the best actor in the universe. Who would have thought that after all the drama at the cafeteria yesterday all he wanted to give was bad news.
I can’t wait for lunch break to tell Ozomma, Khadihat and Tammy the sad news. Before I finished talking to Niyi yesterday they had gone back to class and we really didn’t get to see after school as we all had other engagements with various teachers.
At lunch, I broke the news to my friends, but before I did, I first asked when last they saw Tricia and which of us had actually taken our time to check on her, since she has not been coming to school. Sadly, No one!
We are all so fond of each other, we forget others and rarely notice any other person who is not a member of our clique. Well except Niyi, – cute, intelligent and super neat head boy whom I am in love with, or rather, who is in love with me …well whatever! Oh damn, should I be thinking about love when there is a more pressing and really sad issue involving my friend at hand?
School closes for the break today. Of course, Tricia was not in school. We haven’t told any other person about the demise of Tricia’s mother because we aren’t sure whether she would like to.
During recess, we all took turns to try her number on Ozomma’s phone which she sneaked into school but her number was switched off. How do we know if it’s okay to visit her? Niyi had told me that he knows and is sure of the information because his mum works for Tricia’s neighbor.
At the end of the day, by the time we all parted there was still no luck in trying to get Tricia on phone, so we all copied her number, decided we would keep trying over the holidays. Whoever reaches her first, tells the rest and we would plan our visit to her home.
I woke up around 11:30am to a text message on my phone from Tammy that says she has been able to reach Tricia, but that she is not around today and would be back tomorrow. I forwarded the text message to Khadijat and Ozomma and they both replied it with ‘I got it already’. Oh well!
By the time I got out of my room and walked towards the sitting room, I could perceive the smell of smoke and meat, I looked out of the balcony and I saw blood littered everywhere….ehn, who is killing ram in our house?
Apparently, mum and I later found out that our new neighbors are muslims and are the ones killing the ram. The excitement in the air was palpable. By the time mum and I joined the celebration with our neighbors downstairs they were already back from the morning celebratory prayers and the ram which had being slaughtered was being cleaned, portioned and given away in large chunks, while some were being dried, fried and cooked.
It was really nice bonding with our neighbor’s and we all had lots to eat. I particularly liked the part where I and the other kids were out in the streets to give large chunks of meats to the less privileged. It was an awesome feeling.
We are seeing Tricia later today, trust me Dear Diary, I suck at consoling people who have lost a loved one. What do I do? What should I say? How do I say it?
I googled…yes I google! I had to; I do not want to be caught saying the wrong things. So I read that the best thing you can say to a grieving person is ‘I’m sorry for your loss’, Other cool things to say are:
-‘Let me know if there is anything I can do to help or what can I do for you’
-‘It’s ok to cry and it’s okay to hurt’
-‘I miss (insert name) too’
-‘I don’t know what to say (Honesty is always best)’
-‘You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers’
-‘Let me know when you want to talk’
I shared this info with Tammy and Ozomma. Khadijat is not around. She and her family travelled for the Ileya festival.
By the time we were leaving Tricia’s house today, her dad was practically begging us to check on her again as he hadn’t seen Tricia in such lively mood since the demise of his wife, her mother.
On our way to her place, we had shop for chocolates and biscuits, we also got some juice. Tammy brought a movie along and as soon as we got there, we all took turns to hug her and picked our favorite lines from the internet article to say to her. We helped with the cleaning of the house as the house was now dirty from receiving a lot of visitors.
Then we all took her notes and helped her with the assignments that she had not done. Tammy slot in the movie disc in Tricia’s daddy’s laptop and we all settled to see the movie in her room, snacking on our chocolates and biscuits. By the end of the comic movie, we were all laughing so loud and Tricia was more alive than we met her.
Thank God our visit had an impact.