Google does not answer every question. A fire outbreak nearly does. Or at least tries. On Otedola Bridge, the explosion is a bridge into five songs:
Parabolas of anxiety. A woman who hated math recalls her math teacher’s voice: Diameters split every circle into half. Everything splits now. Diameters of horror split her irises. Parallel lines do not meet. Veins furiously stick out from her forehead and neck. The perpendicular bisector of a chord passes through the centre. The agony of death, of breathless twins, is a bisector too. A shadow passing through the core, the centre of her being
Abandonment is not always sinful. It’s not all about dumping a little potential feminist in the gutter right after birth. Not always about neglect/ steely teeth/ clenched fists/ slamming chests/warring bones/broken thighs. Abandonment is also jumping out of your lifetime’s savings – your favourite car – with a rising adrenaline, slamming the steering wheel, beating steely teeth and aching bones, simply to save your lungs
A Harvest festival
Festival of ecstatic voices. Like mine. People like me who take this bridge everyday but were fortunate today, descending a minute before the explosion. Life becomes precious at this moment, even if existence is costly. People who never shared testimonies now do, an escape becomes a wicked boss / an aching stomach / eternity in the toilet / forgetting a gadget/ everything nothing until now. Things daily provoking irritation/cusses/ curses become blessings.
Terror gives a gift of fame to communities. Like Chibok and Dapchi, beyond an engraved memory onto both history and Nigerian hearts, Google shall suggest ‘Otedola Bridge Fire’ once you type the first few letters. Tomorrow, this bridge shall become an unofficial tourist centre, a story on everyone’s tongue.
We do not know whose eyes are best to rely on. Some say the fire licked unlucky souls and 45 vehicles, some say 47, some say 54. Diversity even among the best of journalists. Multiple stories of one story, but thankfully, they all acknowledge a fire.
Google does not answer every question. A fire outbreak nearly does. Or at least tries. For those who will kiss empty beds, those who would remember June 28 with red eyes at tombstones, those who would forever fear oil/gas/all inflammables, guard your heart from flammability.