Life and General Fiction StoriesNaija Stories

The Abule Ado Conflagration

If you spoke with Uche, you’d feel what I feel right now. My heart is racing, his head is aching, our feet are trembling. The news threw us into bewilderment. But he summoned courage, picked up his phone and dialed momma’s number, but she didn’t pick up. He felt like the earth should open up and take him all in (like it probably did mom).

He tried again, this time with trembling hands. “Hello! Nwa m! Nwa m ooh!” came mama’s voice from the other end of the line at Abuleado.
Phew! What a relief. Tears rolled down Uche’s eyes as he praised God silently. I think at that moment he loved God even more.

“Mom what’s going on? Are you safe? How’s Dad? Did Adanna come over today?”

“Son, our building shook,” mama said in-between tears. “We no longer have a roof! Son, Abuleado is on fire ooh!” Mama cried out. “Everyone is safe though. Your dad is at work, Adanna and I are at home, she came here way before the explosion.”

That was all Uche needed to hear, he ended the call and buried his head into his dirty pillow. Fear had loosened its grip on him. He breathed deeply and a little slower than he did before the call.

That was when I knocked on his door and he opened. “First of all are your people safe?” I uttered

“Yes.”

“Thank God!” I responded. “Uche, I called in between sobs and teary eyes, “I watched videos. People were dying, I saw buildings reduced to wood and stones. Bethlehem Girls’ College was even affected by the inferno. You know what I didn’t see? I didn’t see an ambulance. No fire service or life savers man! Survivors assumed these responsibilities.

“Where was the government? A government that promised us security. But let’s not blame them, let’s blame life, it chose to turn its back on Abuleado today.”

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