The sound of sirens blaring in the distance had become familiar background noise in Lagos since the country’s economic crisis began. In the midst of it all, Adanna had found solace in her work as a nurse at the local hospital. She had always been passionate about helping others, but in these times of hardship, it felt more important than ever.
One day, as Adanna was finishing her shift, she received a phone call from her mother. “Adanna, have you seen the news? There’s been a bomb blast at the stadium where the presidential candidate is holding his rally.”
Adanna’s heart sank. Her parents had raised her to be politically aware and to understand the importance of democracy, but the election had become a source of tension and violence in recent weeks.
“I’ll call you back, Mama,” she said, ending the call. She rushed to the TV in the break room and turned it on. The news report showed chaotic scenes of people running and screaming, ambulances racing to the scene, and injured people being carried on stretchers.
Adanna felt a sense of dread wash over her. She knew that the hospital would soon be filled with victims of the attack. She gathered her things and headed back to the wards.
As expected, the hospital was in chaos when she arrived. Patients with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening were being rushed in by ambulance and car. Adanna, along with the other nurses and doctors, worked tirelessly to stabilize the patients and provide them with the care they needed.
As the night wore on, Adanna was exhausted but too wired to sleep. She sat in the break room, sipping on a cup of tea and scrolling through her phone. That’s when she saw her.
Her name was Chika, and she was a journalist reporting on the election campaign. She had been at the stadium when the bomb went off and had narrowly escaped injury. She had posted a message on social media asking for anyone who had witnessed the attack to contact her for an interview.
Adanna hesitated for a moment, but then she picked up her phone and dialled her number. She had been a witness to the bombing and had seen firsthand the horrors of the crisis. She felt compelled to share her story.
Chika arrived at the hospital a few hours later, and Adanna gave her a detailed account of what she had seen. She listened intently and asked her thoughtful questions, and Adanna found herself opening up to her in a way she hadn’t expected.
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As the interview ended, Chika thanked Adanna and turned to leave. But before she did, she paused and turned back to her. “Can I buy you a drink sometime?”
Adanna was surprised but also intrigued. She felt a connection to Chika, even though they had only just met. “I’d like that,” she said.
They exchanged numbers, and over the next few days, they spoke on the phone and texted constantly. They discovered that they had a lot in common – both were passionate about their work, both loved Nigerian music and food, and both were determined to make a difference in their country.
On their first date, they met at a local restaurant and talked for hours over a plate of jollof rice and plantains. They laughed and joked, and Adanna felt like she was in a bubble, separate from the chaos of the outside world.
But when they left the restaurant, they were reminded of the reality of the situation. The streets were crowded with people protesting the election, and the air was thick with tension.
Adanna and Chika walked hand in hand, navigating the crowds and avoiding clashes with the police. As they approached Adanna’s apartment, they heard the sound of gunfire in the distance.
Adanna turned to Chika, her heart racing. “Stay with me tonight,” she said.
Chika nodded, and they went inside. They sat on Adanna’s couch, watching the news on TV and holding each other tightly.
As the night wore on, the sound of gunfire grew louder, and Adanna realized that it was coming from her neighbourhood. She knew that she couldn’t stay silent and watch from afar. She had to do something.
“Chika, I have to go out there,” she said, standing up.
Chika looked at her, her eyes wide. “Are you crazy? It’s too dangerous.”
Adanna shook her head. “I have to help. That’s what I do. That’s who I am.”
Chika stood up and grabbed her by the shoulders. “Okay, I’ll come with you.”
They made their way outside, joining a group of residents who had banded together to defend their neighbourhood. They were armed with nothing but sticks and stones, but they were determined to protect their homes and families.
The situation was chaotic, with protesters clashing with police and armed gangs roaming the streets. Adanna and Chika worked together, helping the injured and trying to calm down the people around them.
As the night wore on, they were able to make a small difference, helping people find shelter and providing medical aid to the wounded. When the violence finally subsided, they returned to Adanna’s apartment, exhausted but also exhilarated.
As they lay in bed together, Adanna felt a sense of love for Chika that went beyond anything she had experienced before. It was a love that was born out of the crisis, but that also transcended it.
The next day, as they walked hand in hand through the streets of Lagos, they saw evidence of the previous night’s violence. Buildings were burned out and windows were smashed. But they also saw signs of hope – neighbours helping each other rebuild and strangers sharing food and water.
They knew that their country was facing a difficult time, but they also knew that there was love and resilience in the hearts of the Nigerian people. They held each other close, feeling grateful for the love that had brought them together, and hopeful for the future that lay ahead.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Kemi Adewale is a young Nigerian writer and journalist. She has always been fascinated by the power of storytelling and the ability of words to connect people across different cultures and backgrounds.
Growing up in a small town, Kemi often felt disconnected from the larger world. She turned to books and writing as a way to explore new ideas and connect with people from different walks of life. As she grew older, Kemi became increasingly interested in journalism and its ability to shine a light on important issues and spark meaningful conversations.
In 2021, Kemi began working as a freelance journalist, writing articles on a variety of topics, including politics, culture, and human interest stories.
Kemi’s writing is characterized by empathy and insight. She has a knack for finding the human stories behind the headlines and for giving voice to the voiceless.
In addition to her writing, Kemi is passionate about community service and has volunteered at several local organizations that work to empower women and children in her community. She believes that writing and journalism can be powerful tools for social change, and she is committed to using her talents to make a positive difference in the world.