Madu (The Letter of A Dead Soldier) Part 1
Written By : The Clit.
I find it difficult to pen these words to you. None of us is in a good state of mind. For 1,425 days, I have not seen you and my heart cries because I never will.
My darling, I remembered how I met you. We would always be in the same lecture hall without knowing the existence of our enigma. Until the day you competed for Miss Law. Until the day I saw your angelic eyes in distress over the announcement of the result. You failed in the competition. It was noble to lift you up immediately; those eyes of gratitude held me spell bound. I fell in love with you.
Can you remember the first day we kissed? I felt chocolate melting in our desperate lips yearning for warmth after a rainfall that afternoon. It was dark and inconsequential; we were young and addictive to the love we found. I remember those holding you under the mango tree as you gently swayed to the music of Fela Kuti during the jean carnival. I still see the imprints of our first days in love inerasable in my world.
You graduated with a 4.25 and left for England. I am not envious of your departure- humans are terrestrial beings licensed to roam the earth. I am only concerned about the circumstances behind your departure. I met Jimo, ‘our friend with benefits’. I hope you remember him? Jimo was the guy who would pray for fire and brimstone to punish our lecturers for giving him a ‘B’ in Law of Torts when he had already sorted! But Jimo was kind, wasn’t he? He was the one who would bring good and bad news from the lecturers’ offices to us.
Let me use this ink to tell you that I met Jimo at the war front at Nkwerre. Jimo had fired me on my right shoulder and had aimed at my forehead when my facial features struck his brain. He had retreated out of disbelief. After moments of silence, we recovered from the shock. There was a ceasefire; we were both commanders and the situation was out of our command; emotion demanded that we become friends that we were.
He told me that you got married two weeks after I left Lagos for Biafra. I could not believe it! The pain on my shoulders was nothing compared to that in my heart. It was intensified when I discovered that the ‘husband’ was your god father: Kosiko Aremu. The same man that would pat you in his air conditioned office and call you ‘my daughter’. The man who ‘selflessly’ paid for my bail when I was locked up after the protest. He ‘selflessly’ drove me to Ugwashiukwu when the tension in Lagos was unbearable. You were betrothed to his son. The man who paid your school fees. Your father’s best friend. What a mess! What an abuse of the holy matrimony! How could you? It is so unfair of you to disobey your father and marry his friend knowing that he was your mentor. Jimo told me that you asked the old, potbellied, alcoholic smelling Kosiko to marry you because you wanted to show your gratefulness. Grateful for the Pounds he paid for your school fees and accommodation?
I and Jimo went our separate ways after the doleful tale. The only reasonable news I got was that my boys were generously fed corn beef and bread with fresh supply of water. Some had written letters to their loved ones ambushed in Nigeria by the war. The life of a soldier is nothing but sacrifice.
I believe that waiting for execution in this dingy cell, I will not die outside the land for which I fought. A kind Nigerian soldier got me this paper and pen and instead of writing to my cousins in Russia, I am writing to you.