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BN Prose: When Things Took a Turn by Fisayo Talabi

Fisayo Talabi



Katherine sprinkled the content of the plastic bottle she was holding in her right hand, all over the living room. She laid more emphasis on the framed picture of Lawrence’s mother, hanging on the wall, just beside her and Lawrence’s wedding portrait. Some of the Holy Water splashed on the wedding picture, and thoughts uncontrollably flooded her mind. She held the bottle tight, staring again at the photo.

She had been twenty two, and Lawrence, a thirty year old lawyer. Their marriage had begun before their wedding because they had been living together with a daughter. Like every other relationship, theirs had started out well, but things took a turn when he got that big break in his career. He had gotten a job as a legal adviser for an oil company which fetched an above average standard of living for their family. Things took an even turn when Lawrence became radical and said he no longer wanted a comfort zone job, and that his passion lay in active Human Right practise. He partnered with an old friend from Law School, and they set up a Legal Practise for International and Municipal Human Rights Enforcement. He became so buried in work that he got himself immersed in ensuring that Justice was manifestly seen to have been done. The name Lawrence Adegoke, soon became top shot in the country. He soon began getting official appointments and political offers, which he mostly turned down. He always said they were trying to buy him over.

Those offers soon began to translate into threats. When these threats made no impact on Lawrence, the perpetrators moved to threatening Katherine. This forced Katherine to sit her husband down and talk some sense into him. She had gotten a phone call the other day warning her that if Lawrence did not hands off a particular pending suit, she would be burying her husband sooner than she would like. Anyone who knew Lawrence could figure that he was a strong force whose mind was almost impossible to convince. The more Katherine tried to convince him, the more determined he became to take on the suit.

When his Partner was appointed as a Justice of the High Court, things began to take another turn. Katherine remembered that her husband called it networking of an immense betrayal. His life began to go down the drain bit by bit. He could not even afford to pay supporting staff, and the once thriving Firm, became a sole practitionership which was struggling for survival. Her gaze shifted from their wedding photo, to her mother-in- law’s, which was just next to theirs. The older woman, since Lawrence’s set back, stepped into their home and sought to do the undoable. She wanted to conquer civilization with illiteracy, by asserting that Katherine was responsible for all the problems in Lawrence’s career. Of course she had no grounds for her argument other than the fact that Katherine was an Ijaw woman who could not have a son.

Today was Friday, and as usual, Katherine had just returned from the morning mass. The bus dropped her at the gate of their estate, so she had to walk down to their house on Awolowo road. The house was empty. Lawrence had travelled to Abuja for a meeting at the United Nations to deliberate and propose some legal affairs, and their daughter was at the boarding school. Her mother in law, who had come to set up her tent in their home, was also not around. She had been out since the previous day. Katherine remembered what the Reverend Father had told her. She brought out the plastic bottle containing the Holy Water he gave her after the Mass, and begun sprinkling all over the house. Perhaps it was God’s timing that Lawrence’s mother was not at home. She began singing, at the same time saying the Joyful Mystery on her rosary, when she found a wooden stick with red fabric fastened to the middle, gently placed under her and Lawrence’s bed.

“Holy Mary mother of God!”

Just then her She heard her phone ring. She thought it was Lawrence because he had called when she was on the bus, to inform her that he was inside the United Nations Building, and that the meeting was for 10AM. It was her sister, however, on the phone. She told her to put on her television and change the channel to CNN. Piers Morgan was on. Her eyes ran swiftly to the headlines scrolling across the screen and then, more things began to take a turn. There had been a bombing in the United Nations Building in Abuja, and members of the religious sect; Boko Haram, where being suspected. Just that morning at the Mass, the Rev. Father was preaching about how the end times were fast approaching, and that floods in ibadan, and problems in Libya were signs of the end time. She ran for her phone and dialled Lawrence’s number.

“The number you have dialled is not reachable at the moment. Please try again later.”

Fear gripped her skin deep, as calls began coming in. She did not want to imagine what already circumvented her mind. She brushed the thoughts away, rigourously sprinkling more Holy Water. Things took a turn when CNN announced that some people were feared dead. As the headlines scrolled across the screen, she recaptured her life scrolling away, in bits and pieces.

It was Friday afternoon, August 26 2011.

Truth caught up with her when Lawrence’s friends brought his body to Lagos. Reality found her when her mother-in-law began wailing and blaming her for pushing Lawrence to go for the meeting in Abuja. Katherine, wrapped in black, held her daughters hands, as the Reverend Father sprinkled Holy Water on Lawrence’s coffin, and as she looked away, she realised things had begun to take another turn.


Our heartfelt prayers go out to the families of those who lost loved ones as a result of the bomb blast on August 26th 2011. You will always remain in our prayers. May the memories of those who lost their lives live on and may God grant peace to Nigeria.

Fisayo Talabi is a lawyer with an absolute zeal for writing short stories. @fisilicious on Twitter @fisayotalabi on Instagram


  1. Chubby cheeks

    September 15, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I was sooo carried away. May their souls rest in Peace

  2. kiki

    September 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    May they rest in eternal peace. may all those who sponsored or masterminded this bombing never find peace in their lives and in their families.

  3. moi!

    September 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Eternal rest grant to all those who perished in that bomb blast o lord.And may God’s perpetual light continue to shine on them. May their souls rest in peace. Amen.

  4. Mirabella

    September 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Very touching…..may the good Lord give her and d families of every1 dat lost a dear 1 the grace 2conquer deir tryin period….

  5. anonymous

    September 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    God almighty shall not let evil go unpunished. For the innocent lives lost that fateful day..may their souls rest in peace and God in heaven be with all the loved ones left behind.IJN amen.

  6. Lue

    September 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    oh my……………………….the things boko haram do.

  7. chinx

    September 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Really moving article, nice piece. God almighty grant the souls of the departed eternal peace. Deliver Nigeria from the grip of corruption, Amen!

  8. lolade

    September 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm


  9. connie

    September 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    May Almighty God grant her strength to carry this cross And bear this loss. May her husband soul and others who died find peace in GOds kingdom, and those responsible for this never experience joy or peace for the rest of their natural life, and may Sorrows and depression be their companion every day of their life’s

  10. furious

    September 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    its so sad what Nigeria is turning out to be and innocent souls are the ones feeling the brunt. these bombings are politically motivated, they are sponsored by wealthy Nigerians. funds that could be diverted to helping people with health challenges. i think its time we gave these sacred cows the rawlings’ treatment.maybe, just maybe then PEACE will return to this country.

  11. cathy

    September 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    eternal rest grant unto them oh LORD and let perpetual light shine upon them

  12. dee

    September 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    very nice and the writer carried us along. May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace and may God deliver Nigeria from the hands of these evil people. Amen

  13. cool deter

    September 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    very touching. may his soul rest in peace.

  14. BUNMI

    September 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    May Almighty God grant the departed eternal
    I pray such will not happen again in Nigeria

  15. Iphie

    September 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    May God heal her broken heart. RIP Lawrence

  16. ada

    September 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    this write up whilst interesting, has really fallen below bellanaija’s usual standard. the grammar is atrocious.
    “warning her that if Lawrence did not hands off a particular pending suit”

    • Tiki

      September 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      I was afraid to say the same thing; I am beginning to feel like an English teacher on BN. I wonder who does their spell and grammar check, or if they just publish it straight off the writer’s notepad.

    • Jay

      September 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Couldn’t agree more.
      “She wanted to conquer civilization with illiteracy…”

  17. Rebel

    September 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Awww, Rest in Peace Lawrence! and as for that mother in law – utter illiterate schewzzzz!

  18. theodora ikem

    September 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm


  19. aw

    September 15, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    AMEN! so sad 🙁

  20. Aibee

    September 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Awwww. I almost imagine someone havng this exact experience. God help Nigeria.

  21. Nomy

    September 15, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I like the tribute to the blast victims! But aside from that, this is the first time i am unimpressed by a bellanaija prose! Good tribute really but it could have been better! Just my opinion o!

  22. Tommie

    September 16, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Vry wndrfl piece….welldone!I am so shocked dat a few pple flt ds piece was crap,n evn went 2 d extent of calling it “atrocious”,”falln below BN standrd” n also bein “unimpressd”.Well,opinions differ based on “LEVELS OF UNDERSTANDING”.I bliv d focus shld ve bin mre on d lives dt wre lost,n d severity of d situation dt befell Nigeria on dt particular day,n nt on d lack of writin skills of d particular writer.*i wonder wht dy can evn write*
    Just my opinion 2 o!

  23. anonymous

    September 16, 2011 at 4:01 am

    What happened to the stick wrapped with red cloth that was placed under the bed? do you guys think the mother -in-law has something to do with it? and for what? destroy their marriage? Men that was scary when i read it, couldn’t believe that kind of thing really happens especially in this day and age.

  24. faith

    September 16, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Am not a writer so culdnt see any of d mistakes…I J̲̥̅̊u̶̲̥̅̊s̶̲̥̅̊t̲̥̅̊ followed d writer τ̅☺ d end n had tears in ♍γ̲̣̣̥ eyes…very touching…

  25. Tommie

    September 16, 2011 at 4:14 am

    Very wonderful piece…welldone!I am so shocked dat
    a few pple flt ds piece was crap,evn 2 d extent of calling it
    “atrocious”,”being below BN standard” n bein “unimpressed”
    Well,opinions differ based on LEVELS OF UNDERSTANDING.
    I bliv d focus shld ve bin mre on d severity of d situation dt befell
    Nigeria dt particular day n not on d lack of writin skills of d writer in que.
    *i wonder wht dy can evn write*
    Just my opinion 2 o!

  26. T.M.

    September 16, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Very wonderful piece…welldone!I am so shocked dat
    a few pple flt ds piece was crap,evn 2 d extent of calling it
    “atrocious”,”being below BN standard” n finally sayn dt dy r totally “unimpressed”
    Well,opinions differ based on LEVELS OF UNDERSTANDING.
    I bliv d focus shld ve bin mre on d severity of d situation dt befell
    Nigeria dt particular day n not on d lack of writin skills of d writer in que.
    *i wonder wht dy can evn write*
    Just my opinion 2 o!

  27. giggy

    September 16, 2011 at 9:13 am

    so touched and scared! people who think this write is below standard should write theirs let’s read.

  28. Dee Mist

    September 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm


  29. achi

    September 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    very touching….may his soul rest in perfect peace..Amen!

  30. Teris

    September 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    stories of our time. sad.

  31. C'est LaiTizzy

    September 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Wow……….dis is so so so touching. May the souls of all the faithful departed thru d mercy of God rest in perfect peace. Amen

  32. samsie

    September 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Is this a true story?I hope not.

  33. franka

    September 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    this was a very lovely piece!weldone

  34. mekhi phifa

    September 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Guys we are purpose 2mourn not castigate the writer… gezzzz!

  35. AJCiti

    September 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Reading this makes me so sad and so angry at the same time. I have opinions about the idealogy that drives these people to do such things but I will just not say anything… God be with this woman and her family.

  36. Gloria

    September 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    So touching… close to tears,may their souls rest in peace.nice piece too

  37. adeola

    September 24, 2011 at 11:05 am

    very touching

  38. Evolet.

    March 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Beautiful and very touching. Those that think this article is below par are silly and insensitive. The attention you are craving for only makes you pathetic. Its a beautiful tribute. Thumbs up to the writer.

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