I had always loved life, always loved the beauty of sunrise, always loved the joy and fun of youthfulness but not today. Today my only desire was death and a quick and merciful one at that.
But it looked like I wouldn’t find any mercy in death. My assailants were determined to make sure that unbearable pain was going to be my only entourage to the great beyond. There were mad screams in my mind that my mouth couldn’t call forth. I wanted to scream till my lungs burst, wanted to tear myself from the grip of the two men who seemed to be having all the fun in world as they dragged me out but all of that died in my throat the very moment we got outside.
Nothing in the world could have prepared me for the horror that greeted my eyes as I was dragged out towards the open field just outside our dorm – the same open field adjourning the male dorm and also directly opposite my schools admin block.
Bodies in various states and stages of dismemberment everywhere you looked. How could they do this? Ya AllaH! What kind of human beings are these? How could one human cut another one in bits like lamb chops without a jar to his conscience? If this is a dream please Allah let me wake up please I can’t stand this sight. Please!!!
But alas, it not a dream it’s an abiding horror, one that would stay with me for many, many days.
What kind of exposure would have prepared me for these? What kind of training? This whole thing can’t be real. The sight was both gory and repulsive yet I couldn’t resist the temptation to just look if only to see if I could recognize anyone of them. Some of the faces I saw – dead faces – were frozen in terror – the last shape their facial muscles took before life was snuffed out of them. Others were disfigured beyond any form of recognition the pain of their final life sucking machete blows still etched on their faces. Recounting this horrible event is really making relive it.
As I looked harder, past the deformities and all, I began to make out the faces of a couple of friends, friends that just yesterday were still running around school shouting and creating the memories they would have carried with them to adulthood. Memories they would have recanted in the future they came into these four walls to acquire. And now, those memories and the future in which they would have recanted it ended abruptly with the forceful swing of machetes. The extremely intelligent Gambo, the very hilarious Dogo, the very articulate Labaran. Oh! Boys who would have grown up to be the very light of the North. Great minds taking in the very information they would have needed to liberate the North from the unrelenting grips of poverty, disease and poverty all butchered like diseased animals. Allah! How can you sit up in the heavens in the face of this? How?
It was like walking in a horror movie cast by Hollywood. Words would always prove insufficient to describe something the mind cannot fully comprehend. Only the human soul can tell. Only the very depth of the human subconscious can reveal the things that such experience could create.
I thought they would lead us out to the open and then take turns molesting us but they were herding us towards the bank of 4 wheelers the brought for the operation.
Halima – The Death of a Dream 7& 8
The Halima Series is written by a good friend Chukwuemeka Ezeogu