QUAKE

© Folakemi Emem-Akpan

The day the sun refused to shine began like all other days, seemingly just one more uneventful one in a roll call of them. But things would change soon enough.

In the tub, soap suds up to my chin, luxuriating in the swathe of time that was mine and mine only before baby and toddler and husband stopped their playtime and staked their claims to me, I was blindsided by a sudden rush of emotions I didn’t know what to do with.

Sadness, anger, regret and a deep searing pain that burned my heart.

Then the terror hit me. I stood shakily to my feet, my heart pounding, my tongue suddenly dry. I slid to my knees on the wet tiles, trying to understand my emotions, struggling to unfeel them.

It was at this time that the first tremor hit. There was a deafening roar that almost burst my eardrums, and I continued to slide as the building was torn from its foundation.

For a brief moment, the noise and the movement ceased. I sprang to my feet, only to realise that the room was slanted. Where the doorway was supposed to be, only a cloud of dust, thick and blinding.

Then the second tremor hit. The ceiling rained down on me, the floor beneath me shifted in finality, and I sank into the waiting arms of darkness.

Note: The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake. It’s reported that 316,000 people died as a result.

8 comments

  1. I had plans to read this post on my way to work on Friday before tragedy stuck.

    It is a short but engaging post. The Haiti Earthquake is still very fresh in my memory and how the world gathered in solidarity was really heartwarming.

    R.I.P. to all those who lost their lives in this and other natural disasters. They will always be remembered.

    Please keep up the good work, Folakemi. Words are powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. May each of these souls continue to rest in peace.
    This is amazing as I was looking forward to reading more.
    Thank you for this beautiful piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for your comment. Indeed, we hope survivors are doing much better today and people who lost loved ones are healing.

    Like

  4. It’s sad that a day that’s going to be filled with horror begins pretty much like every other day, with the sunset. No prior notice, no announcement, no “hey brace yourself up, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride”.
    Well, I hope the survivors are a lot better now and those who lost their loved ones in the disaster have come a long way in the healing process.
    Well done ma’am.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One can hardly capture the extent of the terror and trauma survivors go through when one hears this in the news. It’s hard to grasp the depth of the pain and loss of people who had experienced this. One can only imagine, and yours, Folakemi Emem-Akpan, has taken us close to the hell it always is. We only hope that time has given the survivors of that disaster succour and a reason to continue to live.

    Thank you for this beautiful piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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