She looked at him on the bed.
* * * * *
‘Thrown out of the house. Yea, just like that.
Another bottle of beer, please. Thanks.
I know you are a stranger: your bag is more than evidence. Listen still. She gave me just enough transport to go back to the village. To all that poverty, to a hopelessness. C’mon!! Please, waiter, bring another bottle for my friend here.
What? You shake your head. You don’t want a drink? Then, by all means, take some meal or whatever you want, please. There’s little or nothing to life than a celebration of now. Tomorrow is a parcelled box that might turn out a gift or bomb!! Hee hee hee!!
Well, don’t fidget like that. If you would take nothing, at least keep this little gift.
My phone is ringing. Excuse me, please. Oh, it is my sister.
Hello…Yes…You threw me out, why do you want to know?…Well, not as if you care but I am in the Sewuese Bush Bar…Yeah?…But seriously, can I come back and leave tomorrow? You know it’s late… Okay, don’t worry! I wouldn’t come back again or beg you for money!…Hmmm… Bye!
That was her.  Hmm. My friend, I would be fine. I would go home. I only find it sad that I wouldn’t be able to take anything to my fiancée and all those my little cousins. While I was away, they might have been content and kept hoping. You know, the little children used to call me Daddy. Daddy, when you come back, we would get books to write in school. We would get uniform and stop wearing this tear-tear.Hmm… Friend, there is hope. There is hope.

//
Thanks for listening to me, even silently. Sometimes, we need this. I would go to the village, there might be no farms in a land desecrated by oil spillage or no fish in waters flowing with chemical slime. Still, there is hope and I would cultivate that hope. Indeed, many times, a glorious surplus has germinated from hope’s harvest.

Wipe your eyes friend. They are red. Concern for me? Don’t worry. Don’t worry, I will be fine. Take care. Remember hope! Life’s essence is a continuous reliance on hope. It only ends at the final darkness.
Hey, why do you run so fast…?’
* * * * *
NEWS FLASH: There has been a bomb explosion at the Sewuese Bush market of the Gbatuma Cantonment. So far, casualties stand at three dead and seven injured. The bodies have been deposited at Mfe Hospital with the injured receiving treatment in the same hospital.
 
She shivered!
 
* * * * *

//
The bodies were charred beyond recognition. She recognised the medallion in what remained of the clenched fist. He had promised to never let it go. He kept his word. An intense feeling of guilt rushed from within streaming slowly out of her eyes. She looked on but saw nothing. She held the charred fingers wondering at the black figure that lay in front of her:

‘If only…’
Someone came and dragged her away. She struggled but after a while allowed herself to be taken away, the medallion in her hands. She thought to herself: So, I forsake him once more, even in death. Why? Why? Why?
 
* * * * *
She wondered who was calling:
Sniff Sniff ‘Yes? … Speaking … What is it?!! … Yes, I am there … You want me to come and take my brother’s dead body? … Hmm? … Yes, I am the woman in the red dress? What?…’
* * * * *
She looked at him on the bed.

//
She rushed and hugged him. He smarted at the pain of her bear hug. She understood and moved back to look at him. She was too stunned to say a word. He was in obvious pains. She smiled at her younger brother. It didn’t matter that he was a University drop-out any more or that he only wanted to become an artist or was it poet she said. That was something she strongly disagreed with. It didn’t matter that he was badly burned. She had never been happier to see him. Little mattered; her only sibling was alive. That was all that mattered.

‘I gave…the medallion…to…to…shortly before the…take off…and ex…ex…ex…’
‘Don’t worry, don’t talk.’
She walked to the bed and kissed him on the forehead:
‘Rest, brother. There is hope.’
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Su’eddie Vershima Agema won the Association of Nigerian Authors’ Joint Prize for Poetry 2014. He blogs at http://sueddie.wordpress.com, @sueddieagema on Twitter. He can be reached at eddieagema@yahoo.com.
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