The day started like any other day, the sun came up and the birds sang. I got up from my bed and looked out through the window, Mum's car, a yellow Mercedes Benz 200 was packed outside. That way I knew she was still in, I got up, jumped up a few times as a form of exercise then I headed for her room. After the usual greetings which requires me to prostrate till my chest almost touches the ground and she in turns showers me with prayer, I went out to check my rabbits and fish pond.
From there I went out on my early morning jogs to the stadium, I came back around two hours later and the Benz was gone, now I have the whole house to myself. I went to the kitchen to get my breakfast of yam and egg. It was a usual thing, it's either yam and egg or bread every morning, that was after we fought tirelessly to get pap off the list.
After my meal, I went over to my laptop, it was game time. After playing Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) for an hour, I went out for my usual class. I teach some young and amazing kids computer appreciation and it usually takes my time till 3pm. I usually get home around 4pm because I trek back home just to enjoy the quietness of the lonely road.
When I got home the yellow Benz wasn't back, I went straight into the kitchen and made some noodles. Just as I settled down to eat I heard the car honk, I immediately got up and went over to open the gate. The moment mum came down from her car I knew something was wrong. First it was her hair, it looked so unkept, she wasn't wearing her glasses, I could also see her eyes were red and swollen. And when she entered the house I was expecting her to complain about my eating in the sitting room but she didn't. All she said was that I pack my bag and also pack a few things for my younger sister, because she was in the boarding house and that we are going to Offa, our home town.
I knew something was wrong and I also knew the only thing that we have in offa that could get mum messed up like this was dad, so I picked up my phone and called home. There I was informed that Dad was dead.
I took the news just like any other news, I sat down thought about it for a minute or two. Then I made up my mind it can't be true, how does a man like him die, a man whose presence fills the entire house, my entire livelihood, am man who was so humble that he gets up from his meal just to attend to visitors. I packed and we began the journey home. My mum drove and I sat just by her side.
She asked if I have heard about what happened and I said yes, just then tears started rolling down her eyes, that was the first time I saw her cry. I pleaded with her not to talk, and let's get home. Deep inside me I knew it wasn't true, a man like him can't just die. There was no thunder, no lightening not even rain or whirlwind, nothing to mark his exist so it can't really be true.
We began the 1 hour journey home, through out the entire journey different calls kept coming from family and friends, far and wide. And yet I felt there must be a misunderstanding, maybe Dad was playing a trick, a man that used to say he was a cat with nine lives so how could he die just like that.
As we approached our gate, I saw lots of people outside watching and waiting patiently like they were expecting a miracle and even though it was getting dark they still waited.
Just has we drove in, I saw one of Dad's closest friends driving out of the gate, the look on his face knocked me so hard that I started doubting my conviction, was this man really dead after all?. I felt if Dad was indeed playing tricks on us he really took this too far. I noted that and promised to tell him.
Just has the car packed I came down, leaving mum behind I headed straight for the sitting room not paying attention to the wails and cries from people around me, not noticing. I walked hastily into the sitting room and was about calling on him when I saw him.
Wrapped like a mummified body, lying helpless like some kind of package someone left behind, an out of place artifact. Lying there was the most loving and caring man I ever knew. Jovial and fun to be with. Lying there was the man who charged me to enter the wild world that he would be always be there with me.
In the room was everybody yet I was alone in my own world. We all took turns in praying for him but I couldn't say anything, I could talk, couldn't cry, I just stood there like the whole world has been paused. Like God wanted to undo what he did, and just like Lazarus he will be brought back to life. And then little by little, bit by bit people started exiting the room until I was the only one left. Its been hours and yet I was still standing. With nothing else to do, I took a newspaper and started reading to him.
Memories started flooding in, from when he thought me how to play tennis because nobody else would, to steaming beef, to telling me about the civil war. To the hundreds of novels he bought so I could learnt to read. To the daily jokes he told me, making fun of himself so I could laugh
Lying there was my Dad and he was indeed dead and the whole world didn't stop, it was just like any other evening and it ended just like it. The following morning the sun came up and the birds sang but not for me, I was blind to the sun and deaf to the birds.