UF Personal Essay

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The smell of a Nigerian Christmas is intoxicating. The sulphur-like pungency in the air tells of nearby fireworks. Or is it egusi soup simmering on an open fire surrounded by friends and relatives? For once, whilst on holiday with my family in a different hemisphere, I can forget my financial worries and simply inhale.It is 1:00 a.m. My family is driving back to our rented apartment after witnessing festivities on Bar Beach. My mother steers the wheel; my brother and I sing renditions that jostle Nat King Cole in his grave. We are a tight unit; we have clung to ourselves like survivors on a raft since the divorce. My voice breaks on a high note like a thin reed. My mother laughs; my brother laughs.

Suddenly, I am trapped in a tunnel of sound. I do not feel our small SUV swerve towards a stony side-path. I do not see the flash of midnight blue streak past. But I do see the blue truck collide with the saloon car before us and the driver of the latter soar out his car window like an ejected missile. Smoke envelops the wreckage as our vehicle cautiously approaches. A few moments and that is all. I exhale.I later learnt that the driver of the truck was intoxicated. While he was opportune to flee the scene, the victim lay comatose...

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