the lights out by Owojuyigbe M.A.O

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
a grueling tale somewhat...sit back and have your mind blown

Submitted: March 14, 2012

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Submitted: March 14, 2012

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LIGHTS OUT!!!

Dressed in an all black outfit and a rather sober mood, I had walked behind the remains of the one person who had over the years managed to remain my best friend. As flashes of lightening lit the horizon closely followed by deafening roars of thunder, I reviewed the details of his life in my mind. He had been the product of one huge nightmare…a rape. His mother (God rest her) had been raped during a robbery incident at her father’s house where she then resided. When ’lade (for that was her name) discovered she was with child, she wept bitterly from deepest within her soul. For her, abortion was not an option, she decided to keep the pregnancy and have the child who would grow to be best of friends with me (at least in the future). He was born a few hours before my very self, in the same hospital wherein my mother was delivered of me. His mother and mine became instant friends as they discovered kindred spirits within each other whilst sharing the same maternity ward.

As we grew older (as best friends since birth), we watched his mother suffer silently as she battled what eventually took her life; until eight years after, when she moved on to wherever the dead are camped. Much later, I got to know through my mother that ’lade had been infected with the yet incurable and deadly HIV virus during the rape. Barely two months after ’lade’s death, her aged father soon followed suit. My best friend was devastated. He was all alone in the world, with no other known relations alive. Seeing this, my parents decided to foster him. This indeed gave me great joy.

Fortunately, he was untainted and untouched by the illness that had not only ravished ’lade’s mortal body, but had also claimed her beautiful life. Yet, due to his fear of the deadly disease, he rarely talked to girls, let alone engage in sexual activities. He detested ‘flings’ (as we were apt to call the act of coitus). He did not even believe in the use of condoms. My best friend believed condoms were not a hundred percent safe; and as a result of this, he would as always preach total abstinence from sexual activities. During our High School days, I would on several occasions flaunt my numerous sexual affairs and escapades in his face, dangling before him the juicy fruit of iniquity. In response, he would sniff at the air, and on second thought, sneer at me. In his campaign against HIV / AIDs, he never shared sharp objects, not even with his best friend (me). He also had this mortal fear of renal failure, which had claimed his grand – father’s life.

I had only just returned from a trip abroad when I remembered it had indeed been very long since I last paid a visit to my long – standing buddy. Six years had gone by since our finishing from the University; and in those six years, I had seen him constantly and often for five years until I had received a job offer from a foreign – based company. On impulse, I set out to his last known address, but he had moved out. Luckily, I was able to locate the address of his new apartment. He was in, although asleep when I rapped my knuckles on his door. When he did open, he seemed rather genuinely surprised; yet, a tad pleased to gaze upon my near - brotherly face. I did not prolong my visit which lasted just a mere three hours beyond necessary; after all, I felt that for once, my dearest friend was not really pleased to see me. During my visit, he told me about all that had transpired during the one year in which I had been away. He did vaguely mention some kind of accident he had been involved in, barely six months before. I had asked for more details, yet when he was not forthcoming with it, I decided to let it lie…I lay off. Although I had a foreboding that all was indeed not right, I decidedly did not want to bother him… did not want him reliving bad experiences. I promised to visit him the next Monday (which was only by my reckoning, now five or six days ago).

The door was shut but not locked. I stepped in, after moments of rasping hard on the large wooden door. His room was as neat as he had always kept all his rooms, but he was not within. Perhaps, he had stepped out to purchase a thing or two. I needed to use the gents. As I opened the door, I noticed his huge mass fully clothed in the tub, his wrists slashed and an envelope bearing my name on the tiled floor beside the tub. By now, his body was already cold as if touched with the kiss of death…colder than a dog’s snout. The bathroom reeked with the unbearable stench of death which by now filled the air. Tearing open the envelope which housed the letter addressed to my person, I began reading with tears brimming in my eyes. It was indeed a successful suicide attempt. He had planned it only days before I had most surprisingly showed up at his doorstep. I looked at his corpse and mouthed the question… “Why?” I asked. His corpse stared back at me as if mockingly. ‘Dead men don’t talk’, it seemed to say. I read on.

He had lost a lot of blood in the accident and had been very close to death before he was rushed to a nearby hospital. In the rush to save him, he had been transfused with an AIDs infected blood. A few weeks later, ’lade’s son had been diagnosed HIV positive. For weeks, he had wept himself sore. He knew he could not cheat death a third time, like he had done twice before. Since the Elder statesman (i.e. God) wanted him badly, he would hasten his own death and meet the maker faster than the old man had anticipated. He would end this sad and disastrous life of his that had become not only a wash – out, but also an annoying black – out. I sobbed louder. My wails which were loud enough to drown a thousand sirens soon attracted the unsuspecting neighbours. Soon, the police arrived and his corpse was driven – off in an ambulance… and although my wailing soon subsided, my anguish soon became double – fold.  I alone arranged his funeral; my parents being dead while we were yet university undergraduates. I alone walked behind his coffin… now, I was indeed alone.

In that one second that it took the dark sun – glasses to cover my tear – stained and rather red bloodshot eyes, I finally understood what my friend had meant when he had written that his entire life had been a brand new black – out. His life had indeed been one whole drama, act by act of rather tragic scenes… with his death being the drawing of the curtain on the final act of entirely unhappy scenes. As the Reverend (who had been provided by the Government) eulogized, I watched my friend’s body being lowered by undertakers into the roughly dug rectangular grave… his name and heritage perishing with him… I watched on… a lone figure in the torrential rain. As the rain dripped off my long black overcoat and the tears burned as they streamed down my cheek, I fingered in my pocket, his suicide note… sorry I could not have done more for him. His entire life and the coupe de grace which had so tragically ended it could have been summarized in the words of our one – time house master… his shrill voice echoing in my psyche. Clearly, I heard those words again – words that had once symbolized and epitomized total darkness…

LIGHTS OUT!!!

A dull ache filled my temple…

 

By: Owojuyigbe M. A.

© 2010

 


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