(A Tragic Story)

When martins banged the door after leaving, she sat down on the sofa and wept. Halima was pained, she couldn’t ever imagine missing Bola’s wedding, or that she didn’t want to believe she was about to. Her best friend for that matter: she and Bola had been friends ever since. From the time they were kids. They had daydreamed a lot, imagining how their future would turn out to be. “I would love to marry a wealthy man, maybe a banker” Bola would say excitedly. “Oh! I would love to marry a fair and tall man and maybe an Engineer” Halima would continue from where Bola stopped. They would then laugh at each other’s silliness and run out to continue playing hide and seek with other girls. 

As they grew, they discovered that they were already so attached to each other. They were getting along with each other quickly; the world seemed interesting and more promising to them. Luckily, they kept being neighbors and even attended the same school. 

They had to part ways after secondary School. But Bola and Halima never stopped getting in touch with each other. Although Bola moved to Enugu to continue her studies in mass communication, and Halima remained in Abia for her own Bachelor’s degree program where she studied nursing, they made efforts to be inseparable.

They always had a little get together at the end of every month in either Bola or Halima’s house. The both parents of Halima were still alive, while Bola’s mum was the only parent she had; her dad had died of a sickness long time ago. Mama Bola always shouted for joy whenever Halima came around; she would hug and shout and shout saying “BLESS YOU MY DAUGHTER!” Then she would quickly run into the kitchen to bring out the food which she had prepared for them. She would garnish the soup with flesh and other assortments, to the extent that they chewed and became tired. 

Once, bola had to go on her knees to plead with her mum;

“Mama please have mercy on our teeth, or we won’t visit next time o” she said. After laughing and laughing, she would then promise to reduce the meats and fishes and bones which she usually added to the soup. And the next time they visited, she would serve them soup which had twice the amount of flesh than the previous ones they’ve ever eaten. Then she would go into the room to laugh at them as usual. She would come out after a while and sit a corner watching them while they crunched and crunched with determination, struggling to see if the stubborn meat would go through their teeth, down their throat and into their stomach.

Years passed, and it was time for Halima to marry. It was a coincidence that her dream man came through for her. Martins was an Engineer who just got registered and certified as one the previous year. Bola couldn’t stop crying for joy; it was a day of mixed feelings. Mama Halima wept while papa Halima kept smiling and kept saying “All is well my daughter”.​

 And when the coupled kissed that morning in church, reality set in for Bola, who understood that her friend was now on a new level. It had many implications; she wouldn’t be visiting anyhow, and even if she did, Halima would obviously prioritize her husband before her. she had to adjust to the new lifestyle and hoped for her own dream man to come sooner.

As the insecurity in the country increased, people had to be back home even before 6pm to protect their life. Martins and Halima had relocated to Abuja due to the nature of his Job and the demand. He helped halima secure a job and life was going on smoothly until good news came dancing her way. One of the days, Halima came home from the hospital where she worked. A message popped on her screen.

  “I finally got engaged bby, let’s have a Video Call; M so excited!!” It was a message from bola. Halima calmed herself down; she didn’t know if she was more excited than Bola. She had really been waiting for this day to come. She believed her friend would finally become as happy as she was. She changed into her house clothes and video called Bola. They chatted and shouted, they talked about so many things, ranging from the harsh weather condition, to Bola’s fiancé. “I really love his expeeennssssiivveee perfume” Bola said out of excitement, stressing the word EXPENSIVE to make Halima know it was really expensive. 

“Bola calm down, it’s just a perfume, it’s not gold” she replied

“Ehn leave it for me o, I love him so much” bola replied.

  ​The wedding was in some months time. It would be a massive one, where mama Bola would shout and shout again; where Mama Halima would weep again, and papa Halima would smile and tell Bola again “All is well my daughter” everyone anticipated it.


  Halima lost her Life that morning, a day to the wedding.

  Before Martins banged the door and left, these were his words to her “I don’t want to lose you, the roads are dangerous these days for any of us to make movements, and the venue is very far” It was still like a bombshell to her. She sat down on the sofa and wept. Two weeks before the wedding, all the airports Nationwide were shut down temporarily because of the new development in the climate. It was an action taken by the aviation minister till further notice. “NO!!!” Halima cried, “I can’t miss this” she sobbed. In the true sense, the insecurity had risen to its peak and even in broad day light, armed robbers, kidnappers and other crime lords operated especially on Federal highways linking one state to another.

  ​“My love, please I don’t want to lose you, I’m really sorry for this and I’m even supposed to attend this programme, it’s just that it is going to be a great risk embarking on such.” Martins said in a cool voice the night before she died. She begged and begged. “Nothing will happen to me Martins, Even if you don’t come, I just have to go. She’s more than a sister to me” He refused. She decided to go without his consent. That night she quietly packed her things while he slept. To him, he knew Bola, and he knew how close his wife had been to her. He felt bad for everything, but there was little chance she would survive or come back alive if she made the 9-hour journey to Bola’s place.

  ​After he went to work that morning, she left. She sent Bola a text message immediately the journey started. “I just left, I’ll be there by evening” she was determined to make bola happy even though it was a bit at the expense of Martin’s. The wedding would take place the next day. It was after four hours into the journey that it all happened.

Martins came home few hours later; he had forgotten an important document. He found the door locked and was a bit confused. “Could she have gone to buy some things in the market?” The Halima he knew wouldn’t pay deaf ears to his instructions. He opened it with his own key; He shouted her name severally, and then he called her phone. It rang; Halima didn’t want to pick, she let it ring on. She decided to pick up; she was ready for the worst. “I’m on my way to see Bola” she muttered. Before he could speak in anger, frustration and fear, he heard screams and shouts over the phone. “Halima, what’s happening? Are you Okay?” he heard something like a crash. Yes it was a crash.

 An oncoming Trailer had collided with the bus; it crushed everyone to death.

  He sat down; he tried comporting himself, it looked like a movie being played. He recalled what they had talked on, the previous night. He would never forgive himself. He slumped.

  ​The wedding was to be the next day. Bola waited and waited for Halima, she called but to no avail; she called again, but no one picked; it rang and rang. She called martins and a doctor Picked up the phone. “He just slumped and was rushed here about an hour ago, please do you know the whereabouts of his wife?’’

  That night, the news showed the accident scene; it was horrible, the newscaster tried to compose her self for the scene was so horrible that she almost wept. Three events had taken place on the same road that day; an accident, an armed robbery case and an Abduction. Bola who had become frustrated since morning happened to sit and stare absent mindedly at the television. She had called and called, she had searched and searched, she had informed the police, maybe the car must have been attacked by armed robbers. She had prayed for the safety of her friend.

When she saw the news on TV, she took time to digest everything in, then she blacked out. She woke up on the hospital bed; her fiancé standing beside her. “Martins said he ordered Halima not to leave due to the high level of insecurity these days, and he expected her to inform you and plead on their behalf for not attending”

She was quiet for a while. Bola didn’t know about this, if not, she would have discouraged halima from coming. At that point She regretted allowing halima to embark on such a trip. 

She became weak again and wept silently; “oh Halima, what have you done”. She couldn’t imagine waking up in the hospital on her wedding day. She blacked out again. She awoke some hours later, screaming Halima’s name all over the hospital. After several minutes, she got tired and blacked out again.

Mama Halima wept and wept, she was speechless; Papa Halima remained quiet as tears rolled down his eyes. All wasn’t well anymore. Mama Bola stayed with Halima’s Parents all night; she remained quiet, that was the best she could do; Halima was like a second daughter to her. Few hours later she began sobbing. 

 Bola, still recovering; chose to be alone and process her emotions. It would take her months and even years to become stable again. Of course it did.

She got married to her fiancé a year later.



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