I was running. Behind me, I could hear the footsteps of the local police officers getting closer.
Not bothering to turn to check how far behind me they were, I willed my legs to move faster. I couldn’t allow them catch me.
Someone was waiting for me at home and she had no one except me, to look after her. If I were caught, she would definitely not make it past the third day.
With the picture of her helpless body lying cold on the floor, my legs felt rejuvenated and within minutes, I was safely behind the doors of my house.
Once inside, I quickly bent over and took deep breaths. I needed the oxygen after running for many miles. After two minutes, I stood up. The action was enough to make me wince. My ribs were hurting and there was a burning sensation in my chest area. I must have broken a rib or two.
I painfully made my way to the window at the other side of the room, while willing my lungs to take careful amounts of oxygen as I didn’t want to make the pain in my ribcage more unbearable.
The street was deserted. There was no sign of the police men who were chasing me earlier or anybody for that matter.
I was still looking out the window that I didn’t hear her come very close to me till she gasped. She must have noticed my tattered appearance. I turned.
“Seun, what happened to you?”
It was she, who asked. My mother. She raised her right hand to touch the bruises which on my face, while her left hand was rested in the cane which supported her weight.
As I brought my eyes to her face, I saw her frail eyes looking sad. That was enough to break my heart and strengthen my resolve.
Damn corona, damn this lockdown.
“You went out again.”
It wasn’t a question. She knew. I smiled and hugged her.
She didn’t hug me back and I knew why.
But I couldn’t help it. She was very ill and I was just a student without a dime in the world to take care of her. I would rather get caught by a dozen policemen, for breaking into another closed supermarket, than for her to die of hunger even before the cancer kills her.
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