I went to clean our new apartment by 4pm. It’s wasn’t like our former one but it was OK as long as we had a roof over us. I was planning to go to bed when I got home. I took dinner and had my bath. It was my study time but hey! Exams are over! I just sat outside gazing at the stars and thinking of what the future had for me when I heard someone’s footsteps. I turned to see Grace in her pink pajamas that made her look like a doll. “Shouldn’t you be sleeping Grace ? ” I asked as she took her sit beside me.
“Shhhhhhhh don’t wake mommy” she replied placing her tiny fingers on my lips. “What are you doing out here Rose?” ” I’m just watching the sky sleep”. “It’s not sleeping. Look it’s many eyes are staring at us”. “They are called stars Grace”.
“I know” she said frowning.
“But why is that one shining brighter than the others? “. “Oh that’s a satellite not a star”. “But Prisca said her elder brother told her that the Americans wanted to make a star but theirs need up being brighter than the normal stars”.
“Prisca’s brother is a dummy ” I replied. I hated that boy! He always bullied me back in primary school. “Hey ladies! Enough with the chit chat, it’s high time you both slept”. It was mum, I guess our noise woke her up.
“Good night mum” we both chorused.
The sound of a gunshot woke me up. I thought it was from my dream but a second, third and fourth one made me think again. Grace was sleeping soundly beside me, oblivious of the happenings around her. I just wished I could sleep like that. The door flew open and mum came rushing in. “I’ll be watching over you two tonight ” she said as she sat on the bed making the mattress sink in. “We’ll be fine mum” I tried to reassure her.
“I know, God will watch over you”. She kissed my head and I went back to sleep.
Noises outside my Window woke me up. I went outside to see our neighbors discussing, mum was with them. I went back inside to get breakfast ready. I will be going to the market with mum. I was almost done when mum came in. She told me we would stay at home since no one knew what would happen that day. She went on to tell me that three people were killed during the night. Unfortunately, I knew two of them. One of them was the son of one of the fighting brothers. This only meant one thing; the war was just getting started!
A total of five people were killed by the end of the day with a greater number injured. The town was in disarray. Nobody dared left their houses, even the houses were no longer safe for its occupants as the thugs were now breaking into houses. The next morning troops of security agents called Special anti robbery squad(SARS) arrived. We were happy that peace had finally arrived. But how wrong we were! Not only did they go about arresting innocent citizens , the number of casualties increased tremendously! This time they were all innocents. Two men had to take refuge inside our house while the security agents were moving about arresting and killing. Mum said the town wasn’t safe anymore so we fled by night to a neighboring town called Edume. We had no relatives there so we just went into a Catholic church where we were warmly received. We were given a room to sleep and we were provided with excess food during the three days we spent there.
We returned home when we heard things had settled down. Everyone went about their normal activities like nothing ever happened. This time around, majority of the thugs lost their lives but as expected, most of the casualties were the innocent ones who stubbornly stayed behind. I really couldn’t fathom why one will see a tree falling and wait to catch it. Rumours had it that about six of the security agents were killed during the fight. But others said they were up to fifteen or twenty, some even said fifty. That’s the problem with rumour ; you never get to know who is telling the truth. I couldn’t help wondering who stayed behind to take head count. We all thought it was all over, that it was just a nightmare which we would joke about someday; but we were do wrong ! It was only getting started.
To be continued tomorrow