The stench of sweaty sex and cigar filled the dark small room that was scantily furnished. On the bed laid Eniola and Hamza haphazardly wrapped in sheets. Eniola stared at the ceiling as she chewed on the cigar stick inhaling its formidable smoke as she stared at the slow motion ceiling fan. Hamza made a move and opened his eyes. He smiled at the love of his life. Why he loved this girl so, he never knew why. He had come to realize that the ethnic difference did not even affect his feelings for her. The communion of these two souls was just unbelievable to his friends especially his brother, Malik.
Eni…I love you so much..and I would want us to be together forever’…..I want to go long term with you’
He said with his beautifully toned Hausa accent.
Eniola sat halfway the bed still inhaling the smoke from the cigar with her eyes closed. The feeling calmed her nerves. She loved him too but enjoyed the relationship as a ‘casual thing’. She regarded her career more than Hamza which was quite unfair but she didn’t mind that he cared. It seemed self-centered but that was all she had and lived for. The world of journalism was her reality. To her, the rest of life was fiction and an unattainable fairy tale.
Come with me to the states where you have your rights and freedom to do your job without being unjustly queried.’
Eniola smugly looked him in the eye. She was his first love. He remembered when they first met in the university in Kano during a general course he had to retake. What even enthralled Hamza to Eniola was that as a Yoruba girl, she spoke flawless Hausa and she was smart and strong willed. She was an orphan who worked her way through school.
She had just got out of jail two days ago after completing her 3 years jail term. It was a messed up situation she was caught up in. She was among the journalists who were sanctioned to the press court and was accused for slander against the government. Going to prison wasn’t fair. She stated the truth about the happenings in government and then was tried in the court for libel and slander. “It’s a crazy country”. She told herself. She was whisked away in the Black Maria van and never returned. Until now.
During her jail term, she thought about Hamza. She thought about her life. She was supposed to be the hero in this story. Hamza never stopped visiting her though and as usual Eniola being proud, never liked Hamza coming to see her in her helpless state
Hamza has moved on and was getting married to Zara. It was his time to be a man under the pressure of his parents. This was an extremely tough decision for him to make. It still pained him the way things didn’t turn out well between him and Eniola who had already broken up with him while in jail. Nonetheless he still cared and loved her. It didn’t change their relationship over the years.
After the rendezvous with Hamza straight out of jail, Eniola was up to get work done. Picking up from where she had stopped.
Eniola got a tip that there was a press conference at the residence of the head of state that evening she left Hamza. She was supposed to have an interview with the head of state but was kept waiting by the visitors who stayed for a very long time. She later got to know that the visitor was a very bosom friend. From the noise coming from the room, she knew that they were all military men.
It was apparent that she wasn’t going to be able to have the interview that night but she still hoped she would. She was patient. Eniola slept off and awoke around 2am to hear a distress call.
Being ambitious, Eniola lurked around to see if she would get something or anything for the news, she wanted a hot story on her column for the day. She observed that the noise was getting quiet and there was an aura of strange calm. Nonetheless she tried to calm her nosiness knowing very well the guard watching her was very alert.
Unknown to her, the event of the strange hours of the morning will turn out to be a historical event to be remembered. The head of state was in a state of coma. She took note of everything that happened. A dedicated soldier who kept snake eyes on her watched her reaction closely. In order to avoid publicity and embarrassment of what had happened, he offered her a glass of liquid as a sign of hospitality and was sent away.
On her way home, she felt an awkward pain in her stomach. She felt she needed to talk to someone about her whereabouts and what she had just stumbled upon. She decided that Hamza would understand.
That same hour of the morning, Hamza woke up feeling strange. He knew he needed to say his morning prayers urgently. He thought of Eniola. He looked at the picture of Zara whom he had come to love with time. But Eniola kept on coming to his mind.
Time seemed to be ticking slowly. Eniola noticed she broke a sweat but the morning was cool; day hasn’t broken yet. She had started bleeding from her nose. She was scared stiff. She arrived at Hamza’s place coughing blood. As she did so she saw her life flash before her eyes. Hamza quickly attended to her pains. He looked immaculately handsome, even the blood stains from Eniola didn’t change that. She tried to explain what kept her outside for that long, although Hamza was used to her lifestyle which he blame on her career.
Eniola was slowly becoming unconscious. Hamza kept on assuring her that all was going to be fine. She died in Hamza’s arms. She died without telling what exactly transpired that night. Only she knew the truth of what happened.
Hamza took it upon himself to give Eniola a befitting burial knowing she took a lot to the grave. He would never love another like her. This is a story no one ever knew. About love, agony and death.