It’s funny how time still passes when something horrible is happening. It’s even funnier how people continue living their lives oblivious to the fact that someone somewhere is going through a lot of pain. This has made me to wish that could pause sometimes. People should stop sometimes and really look because there is a lot to see.
It was a lazy afternoon. All afternoons were lazy these days. My mom and I were chatting in the veranda. She had just asked me if she was getting old. I had laughed silently because I knew it was a trap. If I said yes, she would tease me and if I said no, she would scold me for lying. I wondered why she had even asked me in the first place when she already knew the answer. I was indecisive. I was still thinking about what to say when I heard his scream. A high-pitched one that could have broken the glasses around if we were in Hollywood.
He was in the next compound, the compound that belongs to mechanics. I think his name was Ezekiel. He would always smile politely at me when I greeted but would say nothing for it seemed like he was a man of few words. His shirt was on FIRE! He was on FIRE! I watched as the bright orange flames leaped up his body like acrobats at their very best. I watched as they licked at his skin with insatiable hunger. People were screaming but Ezekiel was still the lead screamer. I was petrified. I think I was screaming too but I couldn’t hear my own voice. My throat was dry. My head felt heavy. My body was hot. People were pouring water on him till the fire died. In its wake were red angry burns to avenge its death
Time hadn’t stilled or frozen; not even for a second. I walked back aimlessly into my house. I saw my baby brother lying on the sofa. He had slept through it all. He wore a peaceful smile on his face. In that moment, I understood that that was just how life was. People went about their own lives wearing peaceful smiles on their faces unaware of what others were going through. This oblivion is inevitable and it doesn’t make us cruel. It makes us human.