A sombre mood engulfs the whole place. The atmosphere is all tensed up. For a few seconds, there is silence, an awkward type of silence. However, some sobs are audible as the brown and well polished mahogany coffin is being lowered six feet under.
“Unto dust, shall dust return. Unto ashes shall ash return.”
The all too familiar words are uttered by the bald, short, pot bellied beardy priest donning a purple robe and white collar as he throws a handful of sand on to the coffin. Loud wails pierce through. No one can believe it. Everyone wishes that this was all a bad dream that they will wake up from. More like a nightmare. The all vibrant and bubbly Jay lays cold and dead in the coffin. Sharon, Jay’s girlfriend is particularly disturbed. Jay’s life came to a snap end right before her eyes. She is unconsolable.
Jay and Sharon met in a very unexpected manner. They were both students at ADB University. It was during one weekend when Sharon had gone to the nearby supermarket to do some shopping. Jay had also gone to do the same. At the cashier’s counter, Jay was right behind Sharon in the queue. As Sharon was paying, she found out that she was 20 Shillings short. She contemplated on returning one of the items but Jay who was impatient decided to pay the 20 shillings. Sharon at first resisted but eventually gave in.
After her items were packed, she waited for Jay outside to really thank him. Unfortunately, Jay was on a phone call as he was coming from the supermarket. He just waved at Sharon before rushing off. “Wow, what huge ego? Just because of a mere 20 bob? NKT!!” Sharon said to herself. That incidence disturbed her mind but after a few days, she forgot about it.
Weeks later, she goes to visit her friend Lisa who lived in a neighbouring town. They had not been friends for a very long time but their friendship was really blossoming. By this time, she had told Lisa of the supermarket incidence. Lisa laughed and said, ‘That was one rude guy.” As they were engaging in a chit chat, someone opened the door. It was Lisa’s brother. Lisa went to check who was at the door. “Uh, hey bro? You never told me you’d drop by. Anyway, welcome.” The brother comes in gets to the kitchen to get himself a glass of water.
When he got to the sitting room, Sharon almost pounced on him. “Mr. 20 bob!” Lisa was somehow shocked but she related with the supermarket story before bursting with laughter. “So, you are the Mr. 20 bob?” Lisa asked his brother Jay. Jay immediately remembers the incident and apologizes to Sharon. The three of them now laugh about the incidence. “As a way of showing my apology, why don’t I take you out for lunch next weekend?” Jay requests Sharon. ‘I will think about it!’ Sharon answered rudely but deep down she was calm. They exchange phone numbers.
They go on their date as planned. In time, they got to fall in love and date. One common thing about them is that they love going out. They would go out, get drunk and generally enjoy life.
On the day before their first anniversary, Jay did not text Sharon. He did not pick any of Sharon’s calls. When Sharon called Lisa to ask her of Jay’s whereabouts, she said that she was also looking for him. Lisa also sounded worried. On this day, Sharon went to bed albeit sad. She barely slept, she was worried about Jay.
When she woke up the next day, she could not even remember that it was their anniversary. Lisa called her and convinced her to go to her place so that they could look for him. They called all his friends. Lisa even pretended to call her parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and other relatives informing them of Jay’s disappearance. Having called everyone and lost all hope, Sharon started crying. ‘Maybe I teased him too much.’ She started blaming herself. Lisa comforted her saying it was not her fault.
At 5p.m, Jay comes in. Sharon is overwhelmed. She runs and hugs him tight. ‘I missed you baby’ she managed to say as tears ran down her eyes. She didn’t even bother to ask him where he had been. All that mattered was that he was safe. Lisa also hugged them and it was like a group hug. Jay winks at Lisa and Lisa goes to the bedroom. She emerges with a red dress and hands it to Sharon. Sharon seems confused and before she could say anything, Jay said, ‘Happy 1st Anniversary Babe.’
Sharon is speechless. Jay now explains to her of how they had hatched the whole ‘disappearance’ plot. The phone calls allegedly made by Lisa to her parents and other relatives on Jay’s disappearance were all fake. She remembers the events that have taken place within the last two days and hits Jay on the head. A friendly kind of hit though. Jay takes her out on a surprise date. She wears the lovely red dress Jay bought her with the help of Lisa. All these events were too much to take in. They enjoyed the date before heading out to have more fun.
They went to one of the nearby clubs and drowned a few bottles. As they headed home, they took selfies on the road side. All in all, they had a good night and even had plans of making it better. However, as they walked home, Jay suddenly saw a vehicle approaching them. The vehicle seems to have lost control. He got a hold of Sharon and threw her away from where they were. Unfortunately, the vehicle ran him over before he could run. Sharon made a shrilling scream attracting a huge crowd.
Jay had been crashed to death. It was an ugly site. Sharon could not do anything. She could only remember how Jay had saved her. Their Anniversary had turned sour. The driver was angrily beaten by the crowd before the police came in to save him. Sharon accompanied them to the police station recorded a statement from Sharon. She called Lisa who rushed to the police station.
Lisa tearfully took a glance at her brother’s mutilated body before going home with Sharon. There was awkward silence between them each with her own thoughts. Sharon was so fond of Jay that she wondered whether she would ever find anyone to love the way she loved Jay.
Even now as she throws a handful of soil into the grave, alot of thoughts run through her mind. Why did he have to die right before my eyes? Of all other days, why did he die during our anniversary? She cries as an also overwhelmed Lisa tries to calm her down.
Wills she ever come to terms with Jay’s death. Will she ever find peace?