African StoriesNaija Stories

The Red Moon

I sat outside, I wanted to be alone but just for a bit; I wanted to feel the night air walk through my skin. I do this sometimes, most times I stare at the sky. I loved nature, especially the astrological part. I’d stare at the full moon or a crescent-shaped moon, sometimes it’d be the stars and their arrangement that gets my eye, but this time I think I was staring at a red moon.

I’m not sure if it was a red moon or just a chronic night blindness from not seeing the night sky in a long while, but I liked what I saw. I sat and observed it and it reminded me of what my friend said last night.

“There’ll be a lunar eclipse in Nigeria, but only those awake would see it.”

I wondered if this beautiful red ball-shaped moon was the lunar eclipse he talked about. I mean if I saw this last night, I probably would have known what I was looking at but it was a night after. Could it be that he got the day wrong? or was it a remnant of last night’s eclipse? or was it one of those famous rare red moons the white men spoke about?

I couldn’t decide what fantasy or imagination I’d believe this time, but the image I stared at was very beautiful, I got lost in so many frantic thoughts, I wanted to take a picture and show it to my friends and maybe say, “I saw the lunar eclipse,” or I’d probably say, “The first red moon in Nigeria I witnessed,” but I knew no one would care, Nigerians didn’t care about nature or astrology, at least not like I did. I can’t speak for everyone but the few friends I knew wouldn’t care about what colour of moon I’d seen. They were a rational bunch.

As I watched this moon, I began to observe that the thick blood-red colour I spotted on the moon had begun to diminish. I wondered what caused this, was nature confused again? or was I really hallucinating? Maybe I really had night blindness, but I felt sleepy, so probably the red moon was just a fantasy as I assumed.

Well, I’m too tired to think this through, so I guess I’ll just settle for the most obvious—it wasn’t a red moon, it was a lunar eclipse, my friend must have mixed up the date.

Thinking about this, I realized I had been admiring an eclipse and I never knew. It was beautiful. The moon was blood-red, an obvious mixture of both sun and moon. It was even most red at the bottom. It was not a full moon, so I guess the sun was a bit bigger than it. And it was a hot night, the wind was sleeping and I could feel the warm liquid that strolled majestically down my face even in the middle of the calm night.

Funny, that red moon was not a fantasy, it wasn’t a joke, it wasn’t a lie, it was just a mistold story of a lunar eclipse, but Nigerians won’t care because they are more realistic with their struggles than with nature’s gifts.

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