It started as a Tuesday like any other but it would end like none other. She had gone to bed the night before with a smile on her face and a flutter in her heart because she had just ended her sweet midnight talk with her hubby. He was away in another region, serving the country by protecting its environmental interests. He was to return in 13 days and they had both been counting down anxiously; they couldn’t wait to be in each other’s arms again.
But a dawn later, everything changed. She would hear the most unexpected and heart-wrenching news ever. Her world shattered with a phone call and the pieces began to cut her deep with the other frantic calls that followed. Then a part of her died when gory photos of what had happened to her dear husband started circulating on Facebook. She threw up all the anguish that boiled up in her.
What had happened during the hours between the night before and the morning after? Was he destined to leave this world the way he did at such a young age or did his guardian angel lose a bad bet the night before and had to forfeit his watch duties the next morning? It just didn’t make sense.
He always appeared neat and responsible and that was one of the reasons why she felt attracted to him the first day they met. Why anyone would assume he looked like an armed robber, she would never understand.
She had always found lynching stories troubling but never had she imagined it would one day hit so close to home. She wondered how he must have felt as he was being beaten senselessly by strangers who would otherwise greet him with respect if he was in his army uniform. Did he think of her and their two sons as he resigned himself to his unfortunate end? Leaving the comforts of his home and office in the city to serve only to be lynched to death and burnt like trash by the people for whose sake he was sent was a story in bad taste.
Now she had to live with the image of what was left of him because some people thought it was cool to take photos as proof of presence instead of rushing to his rescue and others thought it okay to share the photos across the World Wide Web in order to show their pity and anger. Thank goodness that her children were too young to be signed on to Facebook. It would have haunted them forever.
Nothing broke her more than the photo of the woman lighting the match to torch the stark naked and senselessly beaten body of the father of her children. Her image was imprinted on her mind’s eye for life. How dare she, a woman who had held life in her womb, sentence someone to death in such a gruesome manner? A part of her wished that her son would feel what she was feeling one day but that wouldn’t bring her husband back. He was gone forever.
She looked at the people who had come over to sympathize with different eyes. She couldn’t help but wonder if they were the people around her husband at the time someone called him an ‘armed robber’, would they have acted differently or would her husband be doomed to death the same way?
Murder! She wrote boldly in her diary. May they all find justice, especially the woman with the lighting match.
Image courtesy: Penciled Celebrities
In Memory of Captain Maxwell Mahama- May his soul rest in peace.
©Josephine Amoako 2017
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