“BLACK FRIDAY” is a flash fiction written by Ruth Bamidele Adetayo. It is dedicated to all the families out there, who has lost a loved one in the service. #FallenHeroes
I awoke from a nightmare, screaming for my father with sweat trickling down my body. My mother rushed into my room, in a panicked state.
“Bunmi, what happened? I heard you scream. Are you ok?”
“Maami, I had a nightmare. It's– it's”
My lips quiver interrupting my speech, as images from the nightmare flitted in my mind, as if taunting me.
“Calm down Bunmi, talk to me” Maami urged me to continue.
“I saw Baami. A man shot him and he died instantly.”
“Ha! Olorun maje! God forbid!” Maami exclaimed in Yoruba. “Bunmi, oya dide! Get up, let us pray for him. The devil is a liar”
We prayed like we've never prayed before, but it did nothing to alleviate my fears. A dreadful feeling gnawed at the pit of my stomach.
I sat at the dining table, absentmindedly eating my breakfast as my thoughts travelled to Baami, who was away on peace keeping. My father is a lieutenant in the Nigerian Army, and wasn't home often. The thunder clap jerked me out of my reverie. I peered out the window, watching the dark clouds as it rained heavily.
Maami stood up from the dining table, after sighting a black van, bearing the army emblem pull up on our porch. A heavy knock sounded on the front door, and our eyes connected for a second. I could clearly see the worry etched on her face, and the feeling of dread returning, settling in my stomach, making me nervous.
Another knock followed and mother rushed to open the door to reveal two men in uniform.
“Good morning ma'am, is this the residence of Lieutenant Kayode Adebanjo?” One of the men inquired from mother.
“Yes, it is.” She replied hesitantly. “I'm his wife, how may I be of help to you?”
“We're so sorry to inform you ma'am, but your husband was assassinated last night in his hotel–”
“No!” A sharp scream pierced the still air, interrupting him as my world faded into nothingness.
January 13th 2017.
I stood besides Baami's grave, while the general droned on about how daddy died for the service, and he wouldn't rest until his killers are brought to book. Memories of past events replayed in my mind. I had slipped into unconsciousness and was rushed to the hospital immediately I heard the news of Baami's death. I prayed really hard for it to be some kind of a sick joke.
Baami was going to come back, he promised to buy me a teddy bear. He has to come back. I thought to myself, while lying down in the hospital bed.
Peering down at Baami's coffin inside his grave, I was hit with the realization that my father, my best friend, my first love, my hero, is gone forever. I could feel my world shattering all over again, like it has been, since the news of his death.
A sob escaped my throat as Maami instinctively wrapped her arms around me.
“Bunmi, we'll be fine. I promise you.” She cooed in my ear.
I couldn't help the wail that followed, because I knew it was a lie. Our lives had just changed forever.