Burial for two


It was the last period of the day and the subject Ruth dreaded most owned that spot. There was never a need to call him. Mr Olalere never missed his classes. He was always punctual, unfortunately punctual. But today, for the first time in Mr. Olalere’s teaching history at our school, the class captain had to go get him. Justin, the guy that seats three columns to my left, pleaded that he shouldn’t remind Mr Olalere but the coconut head did so anyway. Whether he was trying to be a good student or was just outright wicked, no one knew.

“Now we’re going to take 0 as the origin and draw the vectors on a Cartesian plane. Then compare triangle PQR with the triangle ABC.”

Ruth yawned in submission to heavy eyes. Sleep was near. She knew but she fought hard to remain eyes open for the sake of her buttocks. 

Then he stopped.

“Who watched the news this morning

No one?

A youth corp was butchered this morning

He was my friend…close one 

We talked till late last night. Had no idea those were his last moments”. 

Everyone was in shock. 

Mr Olalere was not the type to show any emotion. He could keep the straightest face amidst high pitched shrieks and screams due to his ruthless strokes but that morning we could see the sad smile his mouth managed to form. “It’s fine” he said but it didn’t sound fine at all.

He was trying to regain composure- appear unmoved but he was failing terribly at it. 

“He had gone to kano to prepare for his mother’s burial. He ended up getting butchered by the notorious fulani herdsmen who lacked mercy” 

It was the fact that he had spoken to him the night before that hit Ruth. No premonition, one couldn’t make such a wild guess and now the burial would be for two. 

“Does God allow this kind of suffering? I mean He doesn’t hand over to us something that we can’t handle.” Ruth asked her sister back at home. 

“Do not question God, you have no idea how he runs his affairs” Her dad once told her. “Only God understands why some things happen”. 

“But why on earth did Mr Olalere come to teach in that condition.” Ruth asked through teeth clenched in anger and eyes wet with tears. “Because life must go on. If we stopped and refused to move on, if we decided to look back two more times and dwell on what has happened in the past. The future will become the present and life will pass us by. The earth doesn’t stop revolving for anyone.”

Her sister had clarified.

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