Based on a true story.
“God, not like this. This isn’t how I’d planned it. God don’t let me die like this.”
Those were my exact thoughts as I stood naked in the shower, sponge in hand, lather all over me, listening to the ladies’ screams breaking the silence of the early morning.
Before now I had planned an elaborate escape. If they came for us through the compound I’d lock myself in my room. Of course they would set the house on fire (as was their custom) and wait for us to come out so they could butcher us, but I wouldn’t give them that satisfaction. I had planned to break in through the kitchen ceiling and crawl to the very end, the part that hung over the primary school fence. I’d break through it and go over the wall. I’d thought of everything that I wanted to fit into my back pack: My original school certificates, laptop, a few favourite books and some clothing. Maybe Aeon, If I could carry her. It would be pretty awkward running for my life with her in my arms but she was my first guitar, I wasn’t going to give her up so easily.
God, not like this. I had my things packed and ready for the time they would come for us, but not when I was in the shower. How in God’s name was I going carry out my escape plan naked and with soap bubbles all over me?
I ran out of the shower, grabbing my towel. I quickly opened my door and looked out. The ladies were still screaming. This time I could hear them clearly: “They’re coming! They’re coming!!” Students were running back to their flats.
I’m not much of a scaredy cat. I didn’t scream, but inside me was panic. Adrenaline kicked in and I went back into my flat.
I flung my towel. Time to get stuff to run in. Shoot, I hadn’t prepped for that. I flung on a sweater and wore a pair of jeans, realizing that didn’t have the time to look for a pair of panties to wear. On with my running shoes and I was good to go, good to go, good to go, sir! I didn’t go for Man O’war training for nothing.
It was freezing cold outside. Freezing and windy. The wind was blowing sand in the air and with the fog that had settled in, it was quite difficult to see clearly. I ran outside my compound to see if there was anyone I could recognize, besides my screaming neighbors who had either locked themselves up in their rooms or run to the hills (We had this very huge stony hill behind our flats and we all had agreed that it would be one of the places to run to, if we had a chance). Students were standing by the road to see what was happening. The crowd was waiting to see who – or what – was coming. Everyone was in head-warmers, gloves, sweaters and mufflers wrapped around their necks and lower faces. I remember someone’s jacket flapping in the wind, and for a moment it looked like a scene from an action packed movie. I joined them by the roadside and looked in the same direction as everyone else.
It was very windy and with the fog that had settled in, it was quite difficult to see clearly. Soon I could see that the words the girls screamed were true: they were coming.