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New Friend's Facebook Cover Photo.

There are good people in the world.
There are bad people in the world.

I’ll try to tell you what happened on 24th March – 26th March 2016.

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24th March, 2016

It’s Thursday. I have just published a post on my little space – MOURNING 21. I get shares and comments, I’m happy. My birthday is coming. I’m counting down.
It’s 11:00pm and I’m about sleep when I get a text from “E”.

UNCLE Y IS DEAD. BULLET. CAR. FUELING STATION. BANK. ARMED ROBBERS.

I begin to shake. It’s so late. And so I text “N”.

UNCLE Y IS DEAD. BULLET. CAR. FUELING STATION. BANK. ARMED ROBBERS.

I do not know when I drift into sleep with tears flowing…

25th March, 2016

It’s Friday. I’m in shock and denial. Uncle Y can’t die. I call mum to confirm but she doesn’t pick. I call baby sister and she tells me. My heart is breaking. But I still have to go for GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE. It’s a long one. We chant. We do the liturgies. The alter is stripped of all decorations. Every where is solemn. Christ died for us. The choir renders soulful orthodox hymns.

It’s 1:00pm. I’m so hungry. I decide I won’t eat meat and so I opt for indomie and egg. I’m about to begin my food when I see the link. “C” has sent me the link. Uncle Y’s story is on a major blog. I open it and throw my phone away at the gory sights.

BLOOD. SKULL. DEATH.

I begin to cry.

It is Uncle Y who would always ask if I have started eating ewedu soup.
It is Uncle Y who would stay with my daddy as brother goes for surgery, praying and talking.
It is Uncle Y who would always drop daddy and mummy after every fellowship.
It is Uncle Y who would tell me that the current Governor of Osun State was his roommate in Poly.
It is Uncle Y who would make me understand that under God there is no tribe, gender etc.
It is Uncle Y of whom I would say : My Uncle just died. Even though he is from the West and I from the East.

My Uncle. My Uncle. Funny man. Gone in a twinkle of an eye.

It’s 2:00pm. I am tired and weak. Exhausted from too much crying when I sleep off.

I’m having a dream. In the dream, I have just heard that Uncle Y is dead. I’m in pain when I start writing a blog post. Then someone comments and tells me he is in heaven. More like shows me.

I jerk from my sleep.

I’m sweating profusely.

But there is peace within me. Because I know Uncle Y is in heaven. Smiling. And wishing we would stop crying.

26th March 2016

It’s Saturday. I wake up feeling depressed and angry. Angry at the wickedness that is Nigeria. Angry that an innocent man would be shot dead for no just cause.

It’s 6:00am. I can’t sleep anymore. I read my Bible but I can’t pray. I mumble some words to God and take my books to the reading room.
It’s 3:00pm. I’m still in the reading room when I decide to check Facebook. I have not been able to post anything since the news of Uncle Y’s death. I am scared that his children may see it and I can’t afford to be happy when my friends are sad.
I see a post :

What is the thing that makes you work so hard. That one thing that keeps you going?

My comment : MY DADDY!

I’m still scrolling and feeding my eyes when I get an inbox. A young man saying he saw my comment and was curious about my comment : MY DADDY!
I explain to him. I see that he has sent me a request and I accept. His cover photo left me jaw dropped. Plenty beautiful books. I summon courage and tell him that my birthday is tomorrow, 27th March, and that I wouldn’t mind getting a book from him as a birthday present.
I’m hoping a miracle happens because I wanted to make a long post on Facebook, updating about the books I want for Birthday and urging people to get them for me as gifts but I forget about that because of Uncle Y. And so, I’m hoping that a miracle happens.
My phone beeps. It’s new friend. He asks if I’m in UI and I say yes. He asks for my hostel and I tell him and next thing he says “I’ll be there in thirty minutes”…

Hmmm…

Thirty or so minutes after, I get a call. He is in front of my gate.

I tie my headscarf because my hair is a mess, I do not rub powder because I do not care, I put on my glasses and run out….

In front of the gate is a green sienna car. I’m in awe with the stranger. This new friend. This Internet wonder who just showed up. He opens the car and I see books. Books. Books. Books.
I have no words. And so I give him a hug. I give this stranger a hug. This new friend a hug.

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I thank him a million times. We talk about books. I show him a book app. I tell him about my beloved and dearest roommate and sister, Chinelo Nwangwu. He says he will loan me some (two books at a time) and so I grab Measuring Time by Helon Habila and Fine Boys by Eghosa Imasuen (because I read half of it online). He finally gives me FISHERMAN by CHIGOZIE OBIOMA as the Birthday gift.

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He observes that I use the words “depressed” and “cool”.  I smile and I keep thinking to myself :

The joy of being spontaneous.

What if I didn’t ask this stranger?

I apologize for talking too much. But I’m too excited and I do not stop talking.

He promises to come back on Monday with the gift while he leaves me with FINE BOYS AND MEASURING TIMES.

God took Uncle Y and brought this stranger into my life.

After the goodbyes and the promise of coming back on Monday, I run to the room, to Chinelo…screaming and panting :

There are good people in the world. There are bad people in the world.
There is beauty in the world.
There is ugly in the world.

In the midst of the excitement and happiness, I remember that I didn’t take pictures with him. I make a mental note and promise that I’ll do that on Monday.

I sit down and begin to type this post….

Mourning 21 Part Two…

Last Lesson of 21 :

There are good people in the world. There are bad people in the world.

May God rest the soul of Uncle Y.

May God bless this new friend, Akintunde Aiki, who has restored my faith in humanity.

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Love xoxo

Adriel©2016

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