Jide had wondered why everyone seemed to ignore him even before the funeral procession began. He saw all his childhood friends around, moody, teary eyed and refusing to talk. Even Kebiru, the notorious school bully was seen with traces of tears in his face. Was this some kind of game? Jide thought to himself. His mother was sobbing uncontrollably while being comforted by her friends. Even though he couldn’t understand why everyone was bitter, he walked up to his mom and put an arm around her shoulder. She seemed to be really soaked up in grief not to notice him at all. Jide thought everyone was acting strange. Immediately,  a white huge casket was brought in by four young men who were Jide’s church buddies. It was then Jide realised what the sorrow was about. Someone close to his family was dead. Maybe very close, for it was his mom who was being comforted. Why then was he unaware? Had the family found him unimportant to be told? But his friends, they knew. Something was definitely wrong, Jide concluded. He quickly made for his friend Tunde. He could see bitterness and anger all over Tunde’s face.

“what’s going on man?” Jide quizzed.
Tunde simply looked up and shook his head.

“Talk to me man, I can handle it”
Tunde was now looking at the ground, ignoring Jide’s question.

“Damn” Jide said aloud.
He had wanted to scream so loud to draw everyone’s attention but figured out he couldn’t deal with the embarrassment after wards. The words of the priest were now firmly heard.

“Friends, death is inevitable. No one knows when it would strike. It could happen to anyone, young or old. Our consolation is that our young boy lived a life worthy of emulation, and so from dust to dust, ashes to ashes we all must return”

It was then reality hit Jide hard like a tsunami would a beach house. Of course everyone was present at the funeral except Femi, his brother. No, his twin brother. It had been two years since he last saw Femi. God! So Femi was dead. Grief took hold of Jide when he thought about their huge disagreements. Femi was the bad guy. He wasn’t cut out for Education, so he dropped out of school and took to the streets. He rose quickly through the ranks and soon became the junior street lord. A street Lord indulged in various illicit affairs and that was a sore spot in his relationship with his brother. Jide soon spotted six huge looking boys at a corner smoking with every abandon. They were Femi’s buddies, yet they were smoking at his funeral. So much for street love, Jide thought to himself. He came closer to his Mom. Her sobs had heightened when the casket was lowered. She was muttering something about her boy being only nineteen, and that he was already in his final year at high school. Jide was immediately shocked. Femi wasn’t in any high school so it possibly wasn’t Femi who was dead. As if to confirm this, he saw a haggard looking Femi surface around the funeral site puffing a cigarette. As soon as he was seen, the crowd became silent. The sobs died down. The reaction turned from sorrow to shock. Jide was puzzled. He looked down and a little flyer caught his attention. It was captioned “Passed on to Glory” Its content however, gave Jide the shock of his life. Neatly printed were the words “Jide Badmus – Aged 19” and beneath this was his favorite photo. So he (Jide) was dead. Was that why no one talked to him? They weren’t ignoring him. They simply couldn’t see him. He was a ghost, and this was his funeral. He saw Femi light yet another fag, he now fully understood why everyone became so silent. The crowd was shocked as to why Femi couldn’t even show his brother his last respects by behaving well at his funeral.

 

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