“I’d be going home on Friday to pick some documents so I can finish this registration once and for all”, Kome said as she struggled with the buckle of her wristwatch.
“You will give me this your wrist watch when you come back o” I retorted.
“Givenchy nii, but I’ll see if I can get another one when I get home”
“Ok o just know that even if you don’t give me, I’ll steal it. I am a go-getter like that. Ask anybody Bola most preferably” I replied with a straight face that she laughed at.
“na you know, abeg I dey go joor, I wan go snap passport”, she answered turning away swinging her hair in the air. I watched her wiggle her waist. I was going to make fun of her behind but she was too far when she looked back and flashed a smile. “Shuuu”, I said to myself.
If only I knew that it would be the last time I would see that smile, I would have said good-bye, I would have pulled her for a hug, I would have taken a picture, maybe even collected the wristwatch. The next I heard of her, Kome was dead- Died in an accident on her way home, Kome died in an accident with all the dreams, with the entire mission un-accomplished When Liz broke the news to me; I was disgusted that she would think someone would die just because she didn’t like them.
“Why would she die? she can’t just die like that?” I kept saying. I just couldn’t stop the tears even when I was trying to console Liz who was killing herself for not being fair to her, she felt like the devil himself.
“Kome, please come back, I swear I’ll be nice to you this time”, she would say before letting out a loud wail.
Bola on the other hand didn’t cry out loud; the liquor stopped her sobs halfway and she wasn’t easing on it. I know Bola too well; no Jupiter could take away the bottle from her until she was done with the grief. I still hear her hearty laughter as though she is behind me, I remember her smile, I still see that pimple on the top of her left eyebrow and I want to press it for her. Kome is still the closest person I know that died; I don’t know how I would get over it. Occasionally I’d snatch the liquor from Bola and take a long sip from it. It was the only way to sleep although I’d still wake up in the midnight to join Vivian in her silent sobs.
We decided to organize a candlelight session then go for her burial. It was hard pulling off a candlelight session but Damilola was of the greatest help as he mobilized many people to come out. As I walked through the procession in my black jalamia, candles in my hand, tears running from my eyes, it occurred to me how many times I had seen people holding candle-lights sessions and I paid no mind to them. I felt wicked, sorry and selfish at the same time, my knees just went weak and I didn’t know when I fell. I sobbed uncontrollably when I read my eulogy, as I couldn’t believe I was reading an eulogy for Kome.
Here is the eulogy
God’s gift to us
So beautiful a soul heaven needed you quickly
So lovely your smile, I wonder if you smiled in the last seconds of your death
The world owes you to smile again
I would love not to cry
But it hurts to know that we would have to survive without your hearty laughter
I hope when you get there,
You’d become welcomed with a million smiles
I hope you’d help us find a direction in this blind maze
We are going through.
We are going to miss our gift
And yes, we are going to cry
We would weep
Cos we only understand what is open to us.
Our gift was snatched from us by the Giver
Who we cannot question
Goodbye my friend,
I probably didn’t make it through the fifth line, when I broke down in tears. Even as I write, I cry, I would stop here. Just hope I would be a better woman next week.
P.S: I am a writer although I might not be able to tell my story adeptly but I can do that completely and truthfully.