Life can be unfair……
I knew my friend from our childhood, we lived in the same village, went to the same school and church. We were inseparable. She was from a well up family while mine struggled for a meal. I remember she used to pack two lunchboxes, she made sure I had a lunch meal everyday at school. She would tear her good clothes just to have an excuse to give them to me.
To cut the story shorter, God blessed her and she traveled abroad for further studies or lets say, future life in the land of golden opportunities. When she was there she never forgot her home country, she started foundations which she funded. Though far away, her presence was greatly felt in the community, the widows and the orphans were her burden, she fed and educated their children. She built them proper houses. Yes, that was Mercy, my best friend. Oh let me not be selfish not to mention how she helped me set up my first shop, I knew I was always first on her list.
Mercy just like her name was merciful, she contributed greatly in Church projects, the Reverend Father always referred to her as his precious daughter. As it happens to most girls, time came when I met my sweetheart and we moved to the city where we started our family. I only made it back to the village once a month to check on my old parents but kept close contacts with Mercy.
One Saturday as usual, I drove to the village.Since I moved to the city and had a better life, I had already shifted my parents to a larger farm from the old village though I had to pass through the old village to get to my parent’s new home. It was cold and not very many people were on the roads. I felt a chill run down my spine but blamed it on the cold weather. I drove past a group of women who only stared at me even after loudly shouting greetings to them, maybe they didn’t recognize me since I had a new car and maybe the city had changed my looks. The same happened with another group. No, this is not usual, the usual thing is for them to make sure I bought soft drinks for them from the shops with the ‘city money’.
I parked outside my mothers compound but instead of her to joyfully welcome me, tears rolled down her eyes. “Whats wrong mummy? Is everyone all right” she continued crying. A feeble hand pulled me towards the gate. It was my father’s hand. “We are sorry my daughter but these news also got to us this morning, I knew you would come and that is why I didn’t call you” Dad was beating round the bush and with my heart now pounding loudly, I needed a straight answer on what was going on.
“Mercy’s mother is no more, her house burnt down two days ago when she was asleep. I had gone there this morning to check on her as its my usual weekend routine only to find ashes instead of a house. ” My younger brother was now narrating. I had asked my brother to keep close check on Mercy’s mother too. “Which morgue was she taken to?” I asked. “The story is sad sister, nobody rescued her despite her screams neither nobody took her bones to the morgue. A young girl told me how the villagers refused to rescue her saying the night was too cold, some even said the money sent by Mercy was devilish and its the devil who had come to collect his dues” He continued but now my mind was not listening.
How could the villagers not help the old woman after all her daughter had done to them? I had a hundred questions which went unanswered. A saying from my mother tongue says ‘once water pours on the ground, it cannot be recollected’. I was here and had to do something. We drove to the horrible site with my brother, I called the police so that we could all meet there. The bones and skull were collected and we did all the necessary paperwork to have them well preserved in a morgue. I called Mercy and gave her the bad news. She was to be fly home in a few days.
My family helped Mercy prepare for the burial which was to take place in the next four days after her arrival. The day came and all dressed in black picked the body from the mortuary to the burial site. That is when reality of life dawned on us. No one was on site, only a handful of my brother’s friends who had helped prepare the grave. The Reverend Father had an excuse of abruptly not feeling well , only God knows where the villagers were. We did all the necessary and had the bones and skull six feet under.
Mercy was dumbfounded that she flew back abroad that very same day in the evening. She never halted her assistance to the widows nor the orphans nor the church. I once called her and asked her why after all they did to her. “God calls us to do His work, how we do it will determine our judgement, they did what they did and that’s for them to straighten up with God, I am doing my own focusing on my relationship with God” She explained actually informed, no, she taught. “Okay dear, Have a nice time” I hang up.