© Folakemi Emem-Akpan
The day the sun refused to shine began like all other days, seemingly just one more uneventful one in a roll call of them. But things would change soon enough.
In the tub, soap suds up to my chin, luxuriating in the swathe of time that was mine and mine only before baby and toddler and husband stopped their playtime and staked their claims to me, I was blindsided by a sudden rush of emotions I didn’t know what to do with.
Sadness, anger, regret and a deep searing pain that burned my heart.
Then the terror hit me. I stood shakily to my feet, my heart pounding, my tongue suddenly dry. I slid to my knees on the wet tiles, trying to understand my emotions, struggling to unfeel them.
It was at this time that the first tremor hit. There was a deafening roar that almost burst my eardrums, and I continued to slide as the building was torn from its foundation.
For a brief moment, the noise and the movement ceased. I sprang to my feet, only to realise that the room was slanted. Where the doorway was supposed to be, only a cloud of dust, thick and blinding.
Then the second tremor hit. The ceiling rained down on me, the floor beneath me shifted in finality, and I sank into the waiting arms of darkness.
Note: The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake. It’s reported that 316,000 people died as a result.