Editor’s Note: The below account is based on a true story, as told to the author.
September 5, 2014
1:35a.m: I had been sitting here under these streetlights since yesterday, hoping to see him once more. While strange stares and whispering sounds seemed to be coming from all angles, I would await my child.
Just yesterday, I held him in my arms and told him how much I loved him. He smiled at me so angelically and showed me life, assurance and a nod of approval at my undying love. I told him “I will do anything to protect you,” but I was wrong.
That was yesterday. Gone now was our happy home which now seemed to be filled with fear and confusion. I would await my child.
9:00a.m: I’d been told by the security that I should go home, “There’s no need for you to do this to yourself,” he said.
I’d already started removing each and every strand of my hair that I plaited last week, and had even removed my shoes. Now my throat was sore from crying with tears that kept falling by themselves. I’d lost so much since my baby left; I wouldn’t mind losing more until he could come home.
September 6, 2014
After realizing that everyone in the house had been kept inside, and not just my baby, I couldn’t keep from wondering, who rocked him to sleep?
I tried spying through one of the bedroom’s windows but was caught in my tracks by a security guard. I was again told to, “go home and stop doing this to yourself. It’s for your own protection; you could catch the deadly virus too.”
September 8, 2014
10:00p.m: Someone had called an ambulance for me; they said “I look unwell.” Others who passed by me thought I had lost my mind; they thought I’d always been this way.
I drew a picture out of charcoal and asked the security to give it to my son, but they refused to take it. They murmured something about, “him not needing it anyway.”
Three clothed bodies had been removed from the house; I’d counted each one though I had never been to school before.
September 11, 2014
7:00p.m: I felt very sick; no one had come to my aid. A lady who knew my son in the community explained what happened to me. She said his baby sister invited a sick relative to their house. The teenager was unwell for weeks, and his family decided to bring him to the city for treatment. He died in their living room the day after his arrival.
No one told me that a sick person was at the house, and like every normal day, I dropped my son to his baby sitter. I’m a single mother who only wanted the best for my child, so I went in the market to sell everyday. I just wanted to make ends meet.
September 13, 2014
The security informed me that the house would be quarantined for 21 days. A boy infected with the deadly Ebola virus died in the house; and so had his parents.
Oh God, my child. He was inside there, what could I do to get him out of there? So far I had counted four bodies being removed since last week. Whenever I asked or inquired about my son, I was told to “go home”.
September 14, 2014
I saw the Ebola task force spraying the house today; unlocking the doors. I’m so weak, but I’ve managed to run closer to the house to see my son. This time, they didn’t stop me. The house is empty.