Life Is Nothingness Itself! My Only Brother Died For Being At The Right Place At The Wrong Time
The year 2012 was supposed to be the best year of our lives as a family. Owing to the way it started, we felt so relaxed that it would end well as well. But Devil had other plans for us.
Aside the Subsidy Strike action Nigerians self-righteously embarked upon from 9thof January which affected everybody, the month of January favoured my family with an international job for my immediate older brother. The good news came to us on the 10th of January and the impact or otherwise of the Subsidy Strike action lost its shine. Finally! At long last, the Good Lord had decided to throw away the bucketful of tears we have had to shed over the years as none of us after graduating from the university is able to secure a job here in Nigeria, how much more, securing a job with an oil firm in the heart of Canada.
Our shouts of alleluia were so resounding that our neighbours overheard and came in to rejoice with us on our new-found fortune. Finally!
We are four siblings; three are already graduates with our first-born searching for and being on the job-market for over five years. Kingsley had been at home for more than three years too while I have been at home for only a year and these number of years are aside the one year spent on the mandatory service to the fatherland. So you can imagine our frustrations as a family. My father had started running high blood pressure over the misfortune of his children. Save for our youngest sibling who would be rounding-off this year from the university, our misfortune used to be the major prayer point in our church while the tempest lasted. You can equally imagine our joy over the choice of live animal opted for and bought by our parents to honour and thank God for His manifold mercies on our family. If not that daddy’s pension – though, irregular at times – and mum’s support from her trading concern, we would have lost the ability to smile again in this life.
When we got the news of Kingsley’s fortune which we all claimed individually, I as the only girl of the family the onus fell upon to sneak out to my fiancé’s house where we used his laptop that has an MTN modem to have Kingsley complete other formalities for his visa and other salient requirements from his Canadian-based employer while the strike action lasted.
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Before the Subsidy strike action, we were in support of the Nigerian people but as soon as Kingsley’s travel papers needed the attention of the Canadian Embassy in Abuja which he would not be able to process due to the zero movement impact of the strike action, we moved behind the might and wisdom of the Federal government. We still make jokes of our selfishness up until the time Kingsley’s corpse was sent back to us for his burial. Life is so gross and unfair. I still can’t believe that he is no more. It is the shock that made me begin to write the tragedy that befell us in the month of August 2012 to help me reduce the pressure eating me away. My father’s BP has worsened even as my mother has developed this unknown sickness I have come to name ‘Siddon de Look’. Nothing makes sense to her again. Everything is blank wherever she looks at.
One moment, we were on top the mountain supping with the high and mighty, and next moment, we have gone back to Square One. Very mean – life!
By the time the Subsidy Strike action was suspended by the NLC, we had agreed on the date for our thanksgiving and the colour of asoebi to be worn to add colour to our day. Within two weeks, the dream was completed and concretized before our very eyes. Kingsley had virtually every member of our family begging to be amongst his send-forth party to the airport. Eventually, we all saw him off at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport on the day of his departure for Canada. After his first one month, Kingsley started making life worth living for all of us and even some of our neighbours, church members, his friends and our pastor. It was almost magical that a family that hardly had anything going for them could be able to have more than enough. He even sent daddy a pleasure car and had our flat in the heart of Surulere re-painted. My mother’s business started blossoming as he pumped-in more oil money into everything that concerned us.
Then the bad news came with a bang and out-of-the-blues and everything turned to dust. While he was taking his morning coffee in front of a coffee shop on his way to work, a gunshot cracked from across the street and he became the victim. By the time an ambulance got to him, he was already pronounced dead by a passer-by medical doctor who tried to get him resuscitated. On investigations, it was actually a kid playing with his father’s gun that had our lifeline terminated.
Even the money from insurance and the one from his employers could not be enough to wipe away our tears. We all are still in shock to the extent that the offer made to our eldest brother is still being deliberated four months after the tragic death of Kingsley my good brother whom God used to break the yoke of poverty in our family. I know that God knows the best. His will is final on every matter that concerns His children. We are no different from other families who have suffered worse fate in life.
Moral Lesson: Never put your trust in any human being and on his promises and even his achievements as the words coming out of the mouth of a fellow human are nothing but vapour. Even certain things about life cannot be helped. But in every situation and condition of life, give God all the glory.