I stared stonily at her lifeless body which had finally floated to the surface. The waters had claimed her and it was not new. She was a sacrifice to Yemoja. She had not been the chosen one but she had been a sacrifice. The flowing waters were designed by patterned salty foams. The cold wind blew my shirt, making it billow like a parachute in the air. I could feel the sharp sand in my hands as I sat down and allowed the waters flow into my shorts.
It was early morn and the moon shone like its purpose was to entrance you in all its glory. It was a full moon. I didn’t know what I had been doing there. The waters had seem to call me to it. Was I suicidal? It was the white clothes that caught my attention. White bodice that showed the young swells of innocent breasts. Her face which had been stiffened by death was forever etched with sadness. A sadness of impending end. Deep in the contours of her face were the sad lines that had followed her till the end of her journey. Her arms lay limply by her side as if she had offered no struggle as she offered herself. There was something horrific about it but I stared on as if enthralled by the vision of death.
I could see her, stepping in, right leg first into the water. The water rising steadily as she went in deeper until all you could see was her slender neck and the plaited hair strangled with black ropes of rubber standing separately from each other. She turned and looked back at us where we stood by the safety of the shore, her face imploring and beseeching as if she was calling for one of us to save her. There was anguished hope on her face before she turned again to the waters, death. She plunged in this time as if she couldn’t wait to meet it and there wouldn’t have been anything anyone could do to save her. There was not a single ripple as she melted into the darkness of the murky waters.
That was when Labisi broke free of the crowd and ran towards the water. She was screaming my name to save the girl. Labisi my lover. She dived in trying to save her. How could she not know it was tradition? That the girl did not need saving. She had gone in self-will, an offering to Yemoja. Alas, Yemoja took not just one offering but two that day.
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