The City by @DxSama (Imobong Emah)
The feel of the evening breeze wakes me up, and I stretch my legs as I look towards the setting sun. I take a few moments to savour the colours of the sky, before I decide to move. My belly feels heavy, weighed down by my unborn children. Of course, the expectant father is nowhere to be found. The men never stick around once we’re knocked up. I guess it’s their nature.
“Titi, are you going now?”
I turn and hum to acknowledge Ireti and she follows me. Like me, she’s heavily pregnant. We’re not friends, just two wandering souls who came to the city in search of a better life. I was told there was more in the cities, and I guess I’ve always wanted to see just what adventures lay here. Besides, it’s getting dangerous in the forest settlements now, with the seasonal drought, food shortages and wild animals looking to kill us.
There’s a certain fever to the city as we approach. The smells are numerous, although not so much as to block out the strong scent of food that draws us in, and the loud sounds and shifting winds are disorienting. But I press on. We have to find a place to eat and rest before morning, and while I’m not sure how easy it would be to accomplish this in our new environment, I cannot afford to be defeatist. Ireti squeals as she narrowly dodges a fast-moving object, and I laugh. My friends who had been to the city told me to expect such, so I was prepared, somewhat.
After about an hour, we find a peaceful area in which we plan to spend the night. There’s food nearby too, which is always an added bonus, and we inspect our accomodations before we set out to eat. The pregnancy hormones have pushed my appetite from peckish to voracious, and I waste no time digging into my meal. Ireti spends a bit more time trying to find a suitable place to settle and eat. My abdomen stretches from the combination of both food and fetuses, and just as I’m about to retire for the night, loud bang erupts and rigorous vibrations shake me out of my food-induced stupor.
I waste no time thinking about what caused the noise and take off immediately. My heavy belly slows me down, but I force myself to try and get as far away from the directiob of the noise as possible. I had been warned about the many dangers of the city, about the violence that often left many unsuspecting people dead. I’m a good distance away before I have any thoughts of Ireti, and in a pinch of curiosity, I turn to see what has become of her. What I see grips me with horror. Her body is mangled and lifeless, her limbs bent at unnatural angles, blood and guts smeared across a ridged wall. I turn in panic and confusion and try to get farther away, but it seems the wall is approaching. Another similarly ridged wall flanks me from the other side, and I scream as they come together to crush me. My belly ruptures as blood pours out, and the walls separate, leaving me to fall to the ground, broken and helpless.
As I feel my life slip away, I think of my unborn children. Perhaps, in a world so cruel and wicked, it was best that they never lived to see it.
“Did you get it?” Imoh asks.
“Yes.” Olamide replies, wiping the blood on his hands against the bedsheet before settling in again.
Imoh laughs. “Seriously, you need to get insecticide. The mosquitoes in this room are too many.”