The Crying Soul..
By Mary Odiong
I got married at the age of 23, then, I knew very little about what marriage was all about. I later found myself enjoying the union because my husband was and is still my best friend. Life wasn't very easy for us but we were contented since we knew how to manage our little resources.
My husband and I were running a 'family business'; we bought easy-to-sell commodities (plantain, fruits, palm oil, vegetables and other items) at the local markets and resold them to buyers who came from Port Harcourt, Aba, Onitsha and other towns in Nigeria, it was a profitable trade.
After three years of marital union, it dawned on us that we were still alone without a child. Personally, I felt I was not mature enough to conceive, but my husband insisted on seeking help medically, this we did and both of us were certified 'free from child-bearing issues'. We went back and stayed another three years together, yet no child. By then, I was already 26 years old.
My husband's friends started making jest of him, some were advising him to get a second wife, this, he committed to flames. We prayed and fasted and believed God for a miracle but it seemed very far away from us. We never lost hope!
At 28, I conceived. The news of my conception to my husband seemed the best news he had received in years. As days went by, after the first trimester, I started seeing blood stains on myself. I returned to the doctor we once visited years back.
At the clinic, the doctor looked at me and said "all is not well with you" . This was followed by series of scans and at last, the fierce looking nurse said to me "I'm sorry ma, you lost the baby".
That was the first time I heard of the word 'miscarriage'. I cried bitterly and was not ready to be consoled. The cause of the miscarriage was womb related and I was told that once I manage to give birth to one child successfully, that will be the end of my motherhood, this means that I will have just one child.
I got the consolation from my husband whose voiced echoed "when there is life, there is hope".
Fast farward into the year that followed, I conceived again and later on, gave birth to a baby boy, Nonso. He grew up in the fear of God as we gave him the best in academics and morals.
After his secondary education, he sat for and got admission to study in one of the universities in Nigeria. He was all we had so, we gave him every attention necessary, but not pampering him into uselessness.
In one of the Christmas periods, he came home from school to visit us, we warmly received him and he hurriedly prepared to step out to watch a football match at the nearby viewing center.
Barely ten minutes after, we heard a big bang that sounded like a gunshot, and yes, it was a gunshot. Little did I know that my joy, my all, the only son I lived for was murdered in cold blood by an officer of the Nigerian police force.
I heard people screaming on top of their voices at the junction close to our house, I rushed out to the scene where the shouts came from and Lo! Nonso was on the ground in his pool of blood. policeman with the inscription F-SARS tried to run away but the youths held him.
What did my son do.? Nothing! He was shot because he looked different from others and had gold chains on his neck. "Your son na yahoo boy" ranted the F-SARS officer as he tried to escape from our midst. I cried but Nonso was already gone. I regretted ever allowing my son to step out. But come to think of it, does he not have freedom of movement ?
Will I ever get justice for the death of my son? When will this police brutality and killings come to an end? I am heart broken even as I narrate the story of my crying life. My soul knows nothing but cries, cries of a lonely woman, cries of Nonso that lies beneath the earth under my bed. Will I ever be consoled? Will justice ever come?