by Mhembeuter Jeremiah Orhemba

March 13,2021

Dear Deceased Brother,

Everyone in UNN is talking about you and the circumstances surrounding your death. I know so because I expect it. I know so because your suicidal death reminds me about Akachi and the unkind promulgations that followed, that still followed. I know so because a group of students passed by me and what filtered into my ear was the word ‘suicide’. I know so because a number of boys crowd my room and they are trying to comprehend the mystery behind depression and suicide, and I’m curled on my bed, bracing from cold, from the demeaning words being laid in contemplation of the events that led to your death.

They are saying you were a Biochemistry student, a third year student, and that you mixed relaxer and hypo, that you jumped from a height. They reach for grains from the past and say that Akachi’s was a case of possession. I also know so because I pass by the room Akachi habited before his death, and at the room after that room, I hear the word ‘suicide’,again. I halt and listen earnestly. Although it is a jumble of words, everybody talking at the same time, I garner enough to know they are talking about you. They discuss you, suicide, and Akachi.

The rain graced us early afternoon and so it is cold. Thought about your death is disheartening and unhinging. I never knew you but, curled on my bed, I cannot help but feel assailed by regrets and guilt that while you were battling with heaviness, I was with my friends, laughing and discussing religion far into the night. That while you were close to putting an end to it all, I was oblivious, probably battling selfish desires. It makes me feel like I should have been there, could have intervened maybe because your death hurts. It hurts, especially in the face of ignorant, self-righteous comments.

Brother, I was not going to write again for who-knows-when again. But engulfed in the cold of the evening, unsettled by thoughts about what could and could not have been for you, moored by the buzz your suicidal death has awakened, I couldn’t help but open my laptop and bleed on paper, write to you. I don’t even know the logic in this piece anyway.

Nevertheless, I pray you find peace wherever you are right now. That God shows mercy. That I move on too, though fully aware that anytime I hear the word ‘suicide’, thoughts about you and Akachi will fly back into my face, and that thoughts about what could and could not have been for both of you, will haunt my soul mercilessly. 

The rains have begun again, a lazy drizzle. It is a mourning song.

Rest thou in peace.

From another tumultuous soul,

M. J

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