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IT was eight o’clock in the evening and the day’s wearying activities had come to a close in Kimberland.

But then, the voice of President Jimi Jacobs on the TV sparked a brilliant firework panorama in the sombre sky of Kimberians’ frame of mind.

All the broadcast stations in the country picked the president’s press release at that time, as President Jacobs himself made an official address to Utopia’s offer.

The president’s words rolled out in a composed, decorous candour as he calmly read his speech.

‘Good people of Kimberland,’ he began: ‘it is in the spirit of mourning the loss of our dear countrymen in the city of Mountana, that we have decided to address the pressing issue.

‘We earnestly pray that God in His mercy will comfort us in our grief and give us fortitude to bear the irrecoverable loss.

‘This is what our administration have to say to the offer from the multinational Utopia to rebuild the Mountana City in subsequent months.

‘We say that Kimberland do appreciate the gesture but we are refusing the offer. Kimberland is not ready to forget the loss of our countrymen yet.

‘Nor shall we be in haste to erase the vacuum they have left behind in the sands of time.

‘We shall not do the ex-citizens of Mountana a disservice by wiping their footprints out of the ruins of Mountana in a blink of an eye.

‘The instant rebuilding of the city means to Kimberland far more than an ultrasonic redevelopment: it means an obliteration of that which one do not miss.

‘Of what essence, then, is the rebuilding of our ex-city by a foreign body where we ourselves cannot yet refill the empty spaces our lost brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, and indeed friends and family – when we cannot yet refill the spaces they left empty.

‘Therefore, before anything can be made to sprout again on the soil of Mountana, it is our patriotic duty to get to the root of this tragedy and find the exact cause of the disaster that claimed a whole city.

‘And this exactly is what we shall do.

‘Besides, if the minimum days we spend to mourn the dead in our culture here in Kimberland is three; how long, then, shall it take to mourn eight hundred thousand people?

‘Presently, I Jimi Jacobs am not at my best because I am still mourning; and so, I will not be able to do the calculations for our intended benefactor.

‘But one thing we are certain of is that the mourning had only just begun.

‘Fellow citizens, let us cry out our hurt in tears and scream out our heart of pains. Let us go through the grief without holding back. So that we can all get over this and become a happier people tomorrow.

‘May the souls of our departed 800,000 countrymen rest in perfect peace

‘Long live the Democratic Republic of Kimberland.’


Mia had just finished watching the president’s address on TV in her room at a guest house.

Teo and Mia had both retired to a neighboring district to Mountana City. After their tiresome survey of the Mountana ruins earlier that evening.

The two had lodged in a guest house to repose for the day.

Mia was relieved at the president’s words. She heaved a sigh and muttered. ‘At least, our president didn’t lose himself in the international fanfare.’

Unlike the relief Jimi Jacob’s words brought to Mia, the press statement had rather infuriated Teo.

Teo had thought the president’s tears at the mass funeral were only crocodile tears.

The young man always had the idea that trusting a rotten goblin was far better than trusting a politician.

And he believed his father as the President of Kimberland was no different.

Losing his girlfriend Foye in the Mountana tragedy had taken a big toll on Teo and he harboured a ton of anger for his father.

His father the president seemed like the right target to pour his frustrations on since Foye died.

He reasoned that the big tragedy wouldn’t have happened without the Kimberland president not having a hand in it one way or the other.

With how infuriated Teo was at Jimi Jacobs’ speech, sleeping would be almost an impossible feat for him now.

But he couldn’t stop himself from being really angry.

Mia was about to lay down her head to rest for the day when she remembered Teo’s pills.

Mia had taken Teo’s pills along with her when Teo headed out of his home the previous day.

The young woman had been bothered about Teo’s health when Teo suddenly headed out dressed up like he was going somewhere a little far.

She had been bothered Teo may suddenly faint and had packed all the medicine she could find on his table in the living room.

Since Foye died, Teo had been relying on sleeping pills for rest at night and Mia being his caregiver knew this.

She decided to put a call through to the reception for the room service.

Mia preferred to send a staff to the young man rather than go to his room and hand him the pills. She reasoned going to a man’s room at night could be suggestive.

Room service soon came up for Mia. And Teo’s sleeping pills were sent to him.

And Teo could sleep like a child through the long night.

And wake up by sunrise to fight like a man.

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Copyright © 2020 by Kayode Olla

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