James Omojasola’s story
He hated birthdays. He loved the fuss people made about him and the love they showed. He loved the cakes he always got from his several female admirers and the bottles of wine his male friends gave him. He rarely threw parties but people always held a party for him. He was loved by a lot of people and his birthday was a chance to show it. But there was one thing that ruined it all, everybody always talked about his twin brother.
He had not talked to John in four years and had not seen him in five. He always tried to block his brother out of his mind but their birthday was a day he could never do that. First Facebook people tagged John in all his pictures, then people would upload pictures of both of them all over the internet. Then there were the jokes about his brother being more handsome than he was even though they were identical.
James sat at his dining table eating a bowl of cereal when his phone rang. It was his mother. She said the most amazing and funny prayers. A couple of years ago, a wife had joined the prayer points. He smiled and answered the phone.
“When did you last speak to John?”
James was surprised at the way his mother sounded. She did not know about the fight with his brother. Both of them had lied about it. They never traveled to visit her at the same time and always hung this on conflicting schedules. And since she would rather have one at a time than none, she eventually accepted. She’d always suspected something was up but they had both been great in their lying. But this question sounded more aggressive than her usual manner.
“I talked to him two days ago,” James lied, as usual.
“James,” her voice was breaking, “I cannot believe you would lie to me like this.”
“What are you talking about Mom?” James knew their secret was out.
“John just told me you have not spoken in five years!”
“John told you that?” Why would he?
“I have failed as a mother. My only children are fighting and I did not know,” she said and started to cry.
James knew this day would come but he had no plans for it. He just hoped she would demand they get back together and that would be the end of it. Of course, they weren’t going to.
Five years ago, James had made the mistake of falling in love with John’s girl. John wasn’t exactly in a relationship with the girl but he was making his moves. James knew about this but the girl liked him better and he liked her too. They sneaked around for a while until John found out. John did not shout or scream, he sent a text. “You are dead to me” and that was it, they never spoke again. He wasn’t with the girl anymore but it did not matter, he and his brother were done.
“Stop crying Mom,” James said. “I have tried to reach out to John but he’s not ready to reconcile.”
He had reached out, three years ago and he was done with it.
“John called me this morning to tell me about the fight.”
“If you don’t know why yet, I must have raised a fool.”
James nodded, “I will call him.”
“I am traveling over tomorrow. If you people do not reconcile, I will join the fight and not speak to both of you again.”
“No Mom, you don’t have to travel here. I will call him now and we will be fine.”
She spent another five minutes praying and threatening and demanding. When she ended the call, James knew what he had to do.
He dialed his brother’s number for the first time in three years. The call connected and he waited as it rang. There was no answer. Maybe John wasn’t ready to… His phone rang, John was calling back.
“Hello brother,” he said.
It was the best birthday he’d ever had. He didn’t have any parties and he didn’t get any cakes or bottles of wine. Maybe because his phone was off. He spent his day alone with his brother. When you had not talked to your brother in five years, there was a lot of catching up to do. He could not imagine what stupidity made him think he could go through his life not speaking to his brother. That was over now. Family was everything, he would never forget that.
The car in front of him stopped and he stepped on his brakes. He had not even noticed the long line of brake lights in front of him. They would be here for a while. A man limped on to the road in front of the car ahead of him. He was probably one of the…
12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
James Omojasola was one of the 30.