Saturday, 24 October 2015

The girl who could have been my sister

photo sourced from
Just outside my hotel, across the road, in the dry chilliness of central Abuja, I saw a light skinned well curved woman run after a dark coloured SUV that was zooming off. The street was well lit but lonely. And Catholic establishments like guest houses and pharmacies flourished on both sides. I saw her strut back to where she stood. I watched her strike a pose under one of the street lamp poles as the sepia tone rays lit her up like a candle. My heart froze when she looked at me. I spun on my heels and walked briskly into the hotel and back to my room where I watched from a 'safe' distance, the window. I would see many more versions of this midnight beauty in the course of my brief stay in Abuja. And the celebration of my new career will not be as sweet because beside me is a girl who has been left no choice than the prickly mercy of brief insensitive lovers. A girl whose heart may never know aspirations beyond breakfast and dinner, or worsestill, just breakfast. And yes, this same girl, came to Abuja because, like me she once thought that it held greater chances of a better life. This same girl who could have been my friend, my neighbour, hero, mother, sister. This same girl whose stare terrifies me. Whose presence makes me uneasy. Just outside my hotel, at some place the Abujans call Wuse, I saw a dream that has been dazed once too many times by life, but still insists on reliving every night in the chilly dryness of Abuja, smiling beautifully beneath the sepia light with SUVs and smaller autos stopping and zooming off. Some day, inshallah, I shall cross those roads and take her hand to some place other than Abuja, and show her something better than her streets, bigger than the love she has known, brighter than her nights... because she is my sister. And interestingly, she is part of my part of my life.

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