When they arrived,
my little ones were fast asleep.
Mama had just finished cleaning the kitchen.
The air of the day’s celebration had left the house.
I was sharing the entire day’s events with Ella on WhatsApp.
I heard a loud thump on the door! I felt my heart swell in my chest
My baby sister sat up with apprehensive eyes and trembling hands
I could hear my heartbeat, but breathing became harder
Then I heard Mama scream “Check the back door!”
Papa rushed downstairs to check if it was locked
We never open that door, but today we did…
The women wanted to use the clay oven
Traditional food was not good with gas.
I heard someone scream,
then footsteps again.
A few lazy twists,
A few turns.
I heard a cock crow.
It was morning.
I sat up on my bed.
Ada was still sleeping.
Not sure of what I had seen,
I ran to the kitchen to confirm my fears.
Mama was already shouting orders around.
My brother was running an errands. Papa was not at home.
I retraced my lazy steps back to my room to avoid the errands.
All my fears were in my head. Alas it was just me again, dreaming.
I checked my phone. Ella’s messages; ‘Are you there? Please get help!’
We are under attack. Please get help! I hear them coming to my room!
It was her last request, and the first one I did not respond to.
Image: Augustus Leopold Egg