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Sameer knew that it was the end of the road for him, not because of the old train station that stood in his way, but because of the labored breathing, he’d been experiencing for months now.
Sameer wondered if it was possible to feel your life and soul seep gently out of your body. Was this what people experienced before they died? Did Abba and mother experience this too before they died? Anyway, it was for the best. There was no more strength and energy in him.
All the fight was gone out of him. He was ready to sleep the everlasting sleep. It had been two years of sadness, longing, and hardship. He could recall the very day he had left Zaria, with nothing except the clothes he had worn and the books he had clutched in his hand.
It was the month of May, the month of doom. It was a cold night and the gentle night breeze caressed his face softly. He’d almost slept down there. There was an aching in his bones, in his heart that would never stop.
Somehow, he knew there was nothing left in the world that would feel and soothe his aching heart. There! The twitch again! Behind his knee, it had never stopped and this time it was stronger and Sameer knew why.
The laughter of baby Fatima called out to him again and he walked slowly but firmly to the sound of her voice. He had been hearing her voice called out to him for a long time now, it was finally time to touch it, and hold her. He couldn’t wait to go back to before.
In the next world, everything would be perfect, like it once was. Plenty of love and hugs to go around. His feet were swollen, dry, and chaffed. He could see the blood dried on his foot, the shoes were new. A gift from a local NGO that provided shoes for the less privileged children.
He’d been grateful for it. If he was going to die today, he was sure there were still good people left in the world, people like Grace, Hakeem, and the twins. Sameer approached the nearest train and saw that the back fender was open. Good! The place was quiet and the old guard was sound asleep.
It seemed the universe was in tune with his plans. The twitch again! Sameer smiled sadly as he climbed into the train and laid there peacefully. The notes were clutched firmly in his hands and after twenty minutes of lying there quietly, Sameer felt weak and peaceful.
His body felt like it was floating. This was it. Oh, he never knew death was so peaceful. With a last final effort, he took the notes he’d been writing and began to read the first page.
There lived a professor and his wife living in …a mini palace, their house was filled with love and laughter. If only the world was like the house of this professor, people like aunty Larai wouldn’t have existed….and if they did…they would know love…
He read till asleep, the everlasting sleep enveloped him.
“Yes, death. Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace. You can help me. You can open for me the portals of death’s house, for love is always with you, and love is stronger than death is.”