Monday I had serious work to do on the internet. There was no network in my court so I went upstairs to another court. I sat there till almost 4pm. I later left the office. On my way to the bus, I […]
I had serious work to do on the internet. There was no network in my court so I went upstairs to another court. I sat there till almost 4pm. I later left the office.
On my way to the bus, I saw a colleague from Asokoro. He was trekking down.
“What’s with this your Osama look?” I teased, because I have always been intrigued by his heavy beard.
He smiled affectionately and said “which Osama look?”
“Why is a senior officer like you walking on the street of Garki under this hot sun?” I asked again
“I just came down from a cab at the junction”
We wanted to say more, stay and chat as usual, teasing him to no end but he was in a hurry and i was in a hurry as well. He walked away but he turned to stare back at me just at the same time I turned to take a look at him too. Our eyes met and we both walked away in opposite directions.
I worked from home.
We were in the bus when the news broke that someone died while on the training ground at national stadium.
Everyone was lamenting while I kept saying
“Abeg who is this guy?”
They said Isaac.
I said “abeg, who is Isaac?”
They told me his department. I still insisted that I didn’t know him. By now, one lady, who was part of the training the day before was weeping hysterically.
Then someone said
“You know him. Tall Isaac. He was in Garki on Monday”.
All of a sudden, it registered. For indeed, I knew Isaac but never imagined it was him that death snatched.
The tallest man in my office, larger than life, handsome, international volleyball champion.
So I put my two hands on my head and said ” Mo daran”. That was the only word that came out of my mouth. He was the guy that turned back to look at me less than 48hours earlier.
When I was in Asokoro, he complained that I never used to greet him so we became friends and I made it a duty to greet him every time I saw him.
He told me how he went to represent Nigeria in Doha as a volleyballer. He told me how he started playing volleyball from ABU Zaria. He had come to the clinic that day but we didn’t finish the discussion. I later got transferred to Garki.
He told me he was a coach in gwarimpa where he stayed.
He had died while they were on training at the national stadium, abuja. The office has a judiciary association games coming up later in the year. They went for training twice every week. He was the star of the volleyball pitch. He had won many awards for the court in previous outings. He slipped and hit his head on the hard pitch. It had rained that morning. The ground was wet. In fact, it rains everyday in abuja now. That was all. Blood was gushing out of his head when they rushed him to National Hospital. He went through surgery but didn’t wake up after some hours. He died on Tuesday night, 24hours after I saw him.
Wednesday was sad for me but as usual, I couldn’t cry. But since that day, I see his eyes everywhere I go. Since that day, I sleep with the light on in my bedroom. Its a bad thing when you can’t express your grief immediately. Its worse. It lives with you permanently unlike those who rolled on the ground and cried.
Later, I had to prepare cause list for our next sitting day. I was alone in court with Milord. When it was few minutes to 4pm, I went to see him
“Good day Milord.”
“How are you, Yetunde. You want to go?”
I couldn’t hide my smile. Yes, I seriously needed to go. I had a free ride with a sister colleague.
“Very well, Milord. I don’t know if you need anything before I go”.
“No, no. You can go. We will see tomorrow”
“Alright My Lord. Good bye sir”.
I switched off all the lights and kept the diary. I asked someone to help me lock the court by 4.30pm. I rushed out.
I had my first train trip to Kaduna.
I woke up very excited. I have never been in a train in this my innocent life.
I will write about this in a subsequent post. Watch out for it.