My life is fulfilling and not many people can say this. I feel it most when tending to my rose garden and I feel it even now, though not as potently as in my garden—nothing could beat that. I stare blankly at the rough, unpainted surface of one of the concrete walls bordering my dank cell, distractedly murmuring my favourite poem because my mind is wandering to a memory:
The stairs leading to my class are low, painted white on the treads and blue on the risers with flower pots touching the walls and risers of each consecutive step. Flowers were anathema to Mrs. Odogwu so it was only natural (at least to me) that my love for them should increase exponentially. To her, I was a stubborn and willful child. Invictus was her favourite poem and everytime we’d recite it, from the third line of the first stanza to the end of the poem, she would give me an intense look of dauntlessness, like she was warning me. Strangely, I felt like she was talking to me, or rather, about me.
I was captured two days ago along with other volunteers of The Local Humanitarians and some members of the Ikeagu resistance. It happened while we were helping with the aftermath of the attack against the resistance during their peaceful protest. The chatty jailer tells us that we will only leave our cells if the rescue team successfully or unsuccessfully negotiates our release with the tyrant. I did my job with all my heart because I love it; not many people can say that either. A guard fumbles with the keys at my door and I gently fist the rose bud produced from my pocket. As my right foot leaves the concrete floor and makes contact with the solid earth outside my cell, I begin to recite in my mind:
Out of the night that covers me
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.