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Moonlight Publishing

MERCY - By Vivian Ikeh

It had been a whole week since I last talked to Mercy; We were fighting again and the worst part was I couldn't even remember what the fight was all about.

Maybe I liked another girl's picture accidentally or because she caught me staring at a pair of ass, which for the record were the ones who obstructed my view and hence left my eyes no option but to try and look 'through' them– its always one of the two, but we have never fought for this long. Never!

I paced slowly around my room, my phone pressed firmly to my ears as I dialed Mercy's number for the hundredth time and received the same response: Not reachable.

"Dinner is ready." Kojo said, his head poking through my door.

"Okay." I said, halting Infront of him with the phone still pressed to my ear.

"Are you..." He looked away for a bit, it was as if he was contemplating if he should talk or not, "Are you okay Bayo?" He finally said, fear written all over his face.

I didn't realize it at first, I was to engrossed with the call I was trying to make to realize that Kojo, My Senior brother, had left the comfort of his room, not to mention his beloved Xbox 360, in other to inform me about dinner.

Ordinary Dinner!

Immediately I Knew He knew me and Mercy were fighting, I mean, that had to be the only explanation for Kojo's sudden niceness; he is only nice when I'm down, both physically and emotionally, and lack of Mercy was a recipe for a whole lot of emotional downs.

I nodded slowly as I tried to figure out why Kojo, my brother that feared nothing, not the Devil and not even that which was worse: My Dad, looked like he had a new fond relationship with fear.

Ever since my twin sister's death I'd had bad cases of depression and this was also the case whenever me and Mercy fought, which Kojo was well aware of. It's not so bad that I start contemplating If I should have a cool drink of Hypo or maybe Sniper–or perhaps both–but he knew how badly it affected me.

I plaster a big fake smile on my face, hoping it doesn't crack before he leaves my room.

"Don't worry about me Kojo, I'm okay" I said.

A small smile spread across his lips.

"Okay. Don't take to long."

" I won't " I said.

Immediately he shut my door I returned to my phone, sent an extra long apology to add up to the ones I had already sent, before I went downstairs for dinner.

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Mom had this smile on her face as if a gun was placed on her head and she was ordered to smile, Dad was exceptionally quiet while our last born, Kemi, sat very still in her sit.

I was scared. This wasn't my family.

Like most Nigerian families, we had a Father devoid of emotions that thought as long as he provided money for our wellbeing, he had automatically won the award for Father of the year. Mom on the other hand was a ray of sunshine, but she too had her own issues; she was too pressurising.

Kemi was the trouble maker of the house, with her unending jokes and her loud arguments and even louder gossips.

I stared from one face to another, wondering if they had been an alien invasion I had missed, that led to the swapping of my family.

"Thanks for dinner." I said as I rose up from my chair, after I had finished my spaghetti. Everyone was still acting weird. Kojo still had traces of fear embedded underneath his strained smile, and the rest of my family where still acting like another family.

I decided to take a stroll, each step digging deep into the gravelled road as my thoughts wandered around, trying to find out how best to fix me and Mercy.

After walking for what seemed like forever, I found myself at the main Road; cars, buses and keke's battled for dominion over the road, as they blasted themselves with deafening horns and overtook each other. I took a Keke to Awolowo Junction which led to Mercy's street, dialed her number again and like always, the woman with the thick American accent, informed me Mercy didn't want to pick my call under the guise of 'The number you are calling is not available at the moment.'

I froze when I reached the gate of her house. Plastered on it were various posters, but the one that caught my eye was a picture of Mercy that I had taken myself. It was during our one year anniversary, she had worn her short, black gown which complemented her brown skin, and a pepper-red heel that I had gotten her on her Nineteenth Birthday, almost a year ago.

I slumped on the floor, tears gushing from my eyes as firm hands raised me up from the dusty ground. I looked up to see a teary-faced Kojo.

Mercy's Mother came out of the gate and when she saw me her own tears flowed freely as she took me in an embrace.

I wanted to scream but instead, "Where is Mercy?" left my lips.

She looked at me as though I had grown an extra head, and then burst out crying louder as she screamed:

"She's dead! My daughter is dead!"

I didn't believe her words, I simply glanced back at the Obituary with Mercy's smiling face looking down on me. The date of her death was a week ago.

"How?" I asked, my voice a whisper.

Mercy's Mother stared at me as if i had become mad.

" Bayo she died in the bike accident that you both had." Kojo said with a bewildered look on his face, "Don't you remember?"

Everyone is acting weird today. I definitely missed out on an alien invasion.


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