'Death, time travel and fun memories...' - Tope Tedela

Award winning Nigerian actor, Tope Tedela delivers a fiction piece of the aftermath of losing loved ones, the memories it brings and contemplating felo-de-se.

Remember…remember October 9, remember… remember the news as it weakened you, as it almost killed you…

Your final examinations were two weeks away and you were the sort who studied at the last minute but still made good grades. You thought things would have been different if you were there, perhaps you would have done something to avert the situation. You thought you would have been able to alter the turn of events.

When the news came, your world literally ended. Nothing meant anything to you anymore. You were all alone in the world. You were one with no best friends, no confidants, no one. All was gone. You wanted to ‘end it all’. You thought of the easiest way to do that and experimented with different methods; you realized that there was no easy way (out).

You asked yourself what Popsicles (that’s what you called your greatest ally, your father) would have wanted. You remembered his many words of wisdom and how they meant nothing now. He would have said, ‘Be strong’, ‘There’s always beauty from pain’, ‘Nothing happens without a reason’, ‘Take one day at a time’ and so on. However, the thought of all these words and the many that swirled through your mind didn’t mean anything or change the way you felt. Rather, they made you feel worse; they made you feel like shit.

You remembered your mum and her aloofness. You both didn’t get along well but you definitely loved each other. Christian, your brother flashed through your mind. He was a very finicky fella and you took advantage of that a lot. Like anytime the family was having a meal that you really loved, you saw it as a point of duty to fart at the table because Christian won’t be able to eat anymore. You would both quarrel and eventually have all the food to yourself.

Over the years you’ve tried to forget but the memories would trickle back in when you’re at a restaurant and heard laughter erupt from a table with a family having lunch together. You remember when your friends told you that their parents were pressuring them to get married. Strangest of all, when you perceived a certain whiff of a perfume that felt similar to the one Popsicles used to wear, your heart would almost stop beating from the pain and then the memories would come swirling through your mind. In that moment you wanted to die. You wanted to be hit by a truck. You wanted euthanasia. You’d quickly pull yourself together and say a silent prayer for strength and hope that you’d make it through.

The news that your father, your mother, your sister and in fact, your entire immediate family had been killed in the fatal accident caused by a drunk driver devastated you. You drew from your father’s wisdom and took one day at a time. It’s been eight years since the tragic incident, time hasn’t made it any better per se but you’re going stronger.

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