What are the odds?

Hi, this is my contribution to a Short Story Day Africa prompt.

Short Story day Africa – Writer Prompt

Zaina glanced at her sleeping husband and then at the bulky belt she was to wear to Jumat prayers, eyes closed, praying seemed futile and sleep wouldn’t come, it was as if sleep knew that something was going down today.

Adamu began to stir, he always woke up a few minutes before the muezzin called the prayer, sixteen months old and his body seemed in tune with life in the bush, she smiled at him as she pushed his thumb back into his puckered mouth. The one good thing to come out of this mess. Gosh, she thought, I’m a 15 year old mother, what are the odds? That was her father’s favourite phrase, said solemnly when anyone was fretting about anything. When mama thought the rains wouldn’t come, “what are the odds that we’ll all starve?” he said. When her sister Felicia had refused an arranged marriage and mama began to wail, throwing herself on the floor as if someone had died. Papa calmly said “what are the odds that her life is over? I’m sure they’ll be others.

Husband was awake.
“Make we do am one last time before you go see your friends for Janaa” he said chuckling.
“Yes sir,” she said fingering the object concealed beneath her hijab.

It went in like a hot knife in soft shea butter, he let out a gurgle as life and air rushed out of him.

What are the odds that I’ll make it home? She thought strapping Adamu to her back.


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