The palpable fear that has gripped the residents of Port-Harcourt is not unfounded. At the last count, no less than ten young ladies have met their sordid deaths in the hands of an unidentified killer. The pattern is as similar as it is curious: young women of a certain age range are found bereft of breath in random hotels within the city’s metropolis. Cause of death—strangulation. The unsettling story does not end there; it takes on an eerie dimension with the murdered ladies spotting a white piece of cloth tied around hand and neck. By now, one would have thought that law enforcement agencies would have some answers relating to these inexplicable murders, but that’s merely wishful thinking.
My mum once told me the story of how, during the early years of her marriage, a friend of her friend had expressed concern over her “apparent” childless state. My mum’s friend had stared at her with a mixture of shock and amusement. “She has three kids already,” she announced to this individual. It was their turn to be surprised; they had had no inkling that my mum had even one kid, let alone three. They had been so certain of their impression that if the new information wasn’t from one who was so close to my mum, they would have doubted it was true.
Individual mystery is getting scarcer by the day. Our lives are an open book because it is no longer fashionable to keep mum on one’s activities. The virtual community continues to prompt us to share— and we succumb— letting friends and foes alike into everything that defines our essence. Gone are the days when circumspection was an unwritten rule. The times when one made moves in silence are long forgotten, and though some people still hold onto the holy grail of a life void of incessant displays, these lots are a negligible percentage.