As I sat writing about my day’s adventures, i could feel the cold messaging my spine where I sat reclining my back. It was night, the sky was engrossed with darkness, but still, it was beautiful because in the darkness there was light, as the moon shined so brightly and magnificently, that even the sun from where it rested should be in awe of such brightness, so using a torch for me was not necessary. And from where I sat, i could watch the stars twinkle at every second, the clouds taking different forms at every intervals, sometimes it became an animal or maybe some objects, I just couldn’t tell, the breeze paraded its usefulness elegantly with pride like a model seeking for attention, and there I was too, still writing and going through my stuffy diary, until I came across a story.
This story is one of a kind. At first, when I was told, I marvelled thinking of how everyone went on a compulsory holiday just because something had visited mother earth.
“Grandma, was it that big, did it come from the space on a spaceship with armies and weapons to kill?” I asked, but my old granny had laughed clumsily displaying her toothless smile, and wondered what such of imagination I had, but in spite of the way she marvelled in return, I got no reply to brood over my imaginations. “But granny…”
“Shhhh. You ask too many questions.” She said lighting the lantern, closing the windows and placing a then five year old child on her lap for a story story time.
Blessed memory to my irreplaceable Granny, I thought as I read through her story.
“Long time ago, not too long though. Something unusual visited the earth, they called it a virus, some said it was the corona virus, while others called it Covid-19, but i called it a mystery without a definite origin.
We thought we were safe, but little did we know that the visit was going to cause a disaster that will claim the lives of people, those we knew, those we didn’t, and most especially those we loved. After a while, people got sick because they were infected by this mysterious visitor they called the corona virus, perhaps it had went on a visit to their houses, nobody knew, but all we heard and saw was on the news.
I stopped reading, and laughed, remembering how I made grandma pause severally with my silly talks intertwined, ” but mam’ma, they shouldn’t have let the visitor in, they would have locked their doors or called the police, and what a funny name for a visitor like that, co…roo..n..na,” I stammered intentionally and continued, “it should have been called a name like power ranger, Avatar, Ninja, or something else, not corona virus.” But Granny laughed, and I wondered why, but inspite of my talks, she continued knowing I would never understand.
“The worst came. People died, not just people, but a lot of people. The graveyards murmured silently, crossed their hands in unbelief, and wondered what had happened to the land of the living. The sanctuary got depopulated, while the cemetery expanded in its population from time to time, everyday people died.
Schools closed, our children couldn’t play with their friends outside their compounds and exhale the stress that they had inhaled from learning alphabets and numbers that were quite confusing. every parents were afraid for the safety of their children. I was too, I was afraid for your mother and her siblings, anytime they coughed more than enough or had a mild fever, I worried.
The adults were stopped from working, neighbours couldn’t gossip about their fellow neighbours, or talk about the lastest wrappers and stylised blouse that were invoke, and the men couldn’t talk about their nagging wives or the new trend of making more money to boast their businesses.
Good friends couldn’t visit each other, elderly ones couldn’t tell the young ones stories like before, we couldn’t embrace, shake, or touch those that we loved, or even worship God in our various worship centers, we all maintained social distance and isolated our body, spirit and souls in our homes.
Everyone stayed indoors, and we watched reality from our homes. It was a serious lockdown, and when this visitor kept on infecting people, it was consistently extended, that everyone thought we would be locked indoors forever till the end of time.
Sometimes when the weather was damp, the sun was mild and calm to behold, I would sit on your grandfather’s rocking chair close to the window, sobbing for those victims that were unexpectedly visited like a thief who came uninvited in the dusk of the night, for all those that had died hoping that by the time the pandemic was over, they will be just fine.
I lamented for the health workers also, risking their lives and trying to save others day and night. For the homeless and those that hungered, starved and were malnourished. I cried for the poor, who had no money, because they fed their stomachs and that of their children’s from their daily income, I lamented for everything that went wrong because of the great havoc our August visitor caused.
But in all, we prayed, knowing it was only God’s mercies that could save us. As we continued to observe every preventive measures, like washing our hands, coughing into our elbows, wearing nose masks and the others.
Although we all stayed at home, some of us took the chance to learn new things, others didn’t because theu felt staying indoors was boring or learning wasn’t necessary. Some learnt poetry, wrote stories, faced those lingering fears of theirs, meditated, got closer to their families and to God the more, read those books on their shelves they shunned, learned how to smile, forgave and made use of those moments to heal their wounds, renew their spirit, and basked in love.
Indeed, just as they say, nothing lasts forever. With God’s help, mother earth overcame the pandemic visitor and it flee for it dear life, and people came out from their homes, and it felt like a new beginning for us all.
People were healed, changed, forgave and moved on from their past, and also grieved for their loved loves they had lost.
In the end, I say the visitor came for a purpose. Inspite the deaths, people were left healed.”
And that was the end of Granny’s story.
“Granny,” I said rubbing my eyes with my fingers in sleep.
“Yes my child,” she answered, placing me on the mat that laid on the floor.
“I loved your story, and I hope the world will remember this story. But you didn’t tell me the tittle.”
“It does have a title, because everyone sees things differently, so little one give it your own title, tittle it in your heart in your own way.”
“I don’t know what to call it Granny,” I said thinking.
“When you grow up, you’ll,” she said covering me with her wrapper and adjusting my head to fix in the piillow underneath.
“I love you Gran…” I said as I slept off
“I love you too David,” she kissed me on my forehead, off the lantern, and went to bed too.
And on my diary, I had titled it “The mysterious visit”, as the magnificent light of the moon dimmed, I hurried my feet into my bed waiting to explore the next day.