To Live Is To Die: To Leave Is To Say Goodbye

By Aniebiet Philip Effiong 5 months ago

There are times when darkness becomes too heavy, and what do we do when the night outweighs us? -- Micheal Ace.




When reality comes knocking at Your door, what do You do? When all Your strength fails You, what do You resort to? How long does a man cloak his tears with laughter? For how long shall he smile just to make others smile? When You experience rejection the umpteenth time, what comes into Your mind?


A thought of suicide comes into Your mind? No. Suicide is not the solution, they say. Not even an option for the brave. Suicide is a sin. What cankerworm would eat You so deep to the point of suicide?



Not how You were dropped out from the University on Your second Year -- not how You would be serving Your country today wearing a white polo and a khaki trouser -- not how You watched Your mom being dragged by one woman she owed in the market.

"Madam, if you no pay my moni, you no dey go"

"Aunty abeg. I go pay you tomorrow"

If depression were to kill You, then, You would have gulped into Your throat two bottles of sniper the day You watched Your Dad throw a knife at Your Mom. The blood. The tears. The pains. The groans.

You don't think of suicide when You know that something is eating You. Something is eating Your heart. Heartache. Pain. You patiently wait till it eats the last junk of Your heart.


Notes have been written; of love, of rejection, of depression, of suicide. All these have led to one thing -- Death. You don't need to write these things before You die. Or, writing these things can't even serve as an antidote to Your death -- it won't stop You from dying. You will die. Soon. Maybe tomorrow, or a day after. Or next year January.


You call Your friend who stays at Calabar. Idara. She's happy seeing Your call. She knows You'll make her laugh again. She knows You'll make her happy -- building a beautiful empire of imaginations and fine pictures in her head with Your words. She says You sound like an OAP. You smile. 'Becoming one is my dream. I shall become one, if only I live to see the future'. You want to become many things. You want to become an OAP, You want to become a Professor, You want to become a husband, You want to become a Father, You want to become a Landlord. But Your chances of becoming any is slim because, anyday, anytime, You will die. Young. Soon.


You are still battling with heartache. Silently. You're now one step away from six feet. All You think is how to stroll happily into six feet. You want to die. No. You don't want to die. But You'll soon die.

--Make mistakes. Fall. Arise. Dust Yourself. Learn. Move on.

--Laugh. Always. Make others happy. Also, be subservient.

--Shroud Your pains with laughter. It's Your secret. Tell no one.

--Become a child of God. Serve Him with all Your strength. Unrepentantly.

Then You die.


You have difficulty breathing. Dyspnea. Is like Your ribs will break. You can't breathe well. You just know that the pains have finally eaten the last part of Your heart. You writhe and wriggle in severe pains, holding Your right chest with Your left hand. Breathing through Your mouth. Notes are written in turns. You take Your turn.

'To my loved ones, far, near, known, unknown, weep not for a man who lived his days well. I know You will all miss me. My troubles. My jokes. My talks. The moments we shared. I thank You all for everything. Like every human, I was born. I was loved. I have died. Goodbye.'

You die.

Saying g o o d b y e.



Death is a silent response,

To the call of memories,

You leave when Your breath

Is called. -- Mbafeno.

(c) Aniebiet Effiong 2019

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