ADIKA OKEZIE – In memory of a lost gem


It is quite amazing how the strongest bonds can be forged between two individuals within the shortest period of time.

She is frail and lonely, I am idle and bored and it’s a long vacation
from school.

Memories from our time together are grey and almost forgotten.

Faded memories from our visit to the Umuahia War Museum
decades ago. Memories almost as dusty as the Museum itself.

Try as hard as I best can, I still cannot pin point the exact moment
we became inseparable.

Most nights I tiptoe to her room, the ever present smell of tobacco hanging in the air. My sole aim was to listen to her snores just to be sure she is sleeping tight.

whisper in the dark as I retrace my steps to my room.

A few nights I feel a tinge of jealousy at how soundly she snores, I wish I could sleep so soundly myself.

I am yanked out of my slumber by the sound of shattering glass.

My feet must have failed to touch the floor until I get to her room
because I was there within split seconds.

My brain quickly processes the scenario;  she is sprawled in a rather uncomfortable manner on the cold tiled floor, her cane not far from her and the broken bouquet of roses I got her the previous day next to the disarrayed table.

Then I noticed for the first time the pool that is beginning to form beneath her.

She winces in obvious pain when I try to help her up.

The nurse later tells me that elderly women who fracture a hip are
five times more likely to die within a year, Google confirms this too.

However, I am certain Adika would beat the odds in her usual
unstoppable self.

I struggle to blink back the tears that blurred my vision, as I watch
her being lowered into the ground.

Yes! I am not ashamed of crying.
African men cry; even for their grandmothers.

Adika Okezie

*Written by Emenike Ekeziem Hamilton