Too many waters have indeed passed under this bridge. The red-brown of walls and hues of indigo on paths to dyers’ homes have become the stuff of funerals, the despondent and those dreadful workplaces.
It has been three days since the burial and ten since I found my youngest son’s body in a pool of faeces and vomit. I have grown tired of being asked how my heart is faring. How does a heart fare at times like these?
My oldest child would not look me in the eye; he fears I may recognize the mix of grief and relief his’ carry. If only he would look cautiously, he will see that it is not his secret alone to keep. I wear mine in dark corners of rooms.
Efuna, I do not pine for you. We made a pact we both must honour.
Adulthood makes fools of us all; it makes martyrs of some and beasts of others and we each have a hand in which we become. You should have chosen carefully. My child, a woman’s life is difficult. She bears the weight of her children’s choices. It is only fitting that she be allowed a veto in such lives; adults or not.
So I strolled into your room and requested your audience, I said to you “a child’s fingers are not scalded by the piece of hot yam which his mother puts into his palm”, I presented you the empty calabash; that ancient symbol of a people’s desire for a life that has outlived its usefulness. In a final demonstration of self-piety and perhaps cynicism, you accepted and here we are. Why the tugging?
Efuna, I am the mother-duck that has left behind her corrupted late-budding duckling. It is the way of things that surround us.
Here is another lovely story by one of my friends for a competition. Please vote for her by clicking here.
PS: I’m dedicating the Fiction Friday Posts in November to my friends who wrote for the competition. Please be kind and vote for the stories you like.
Have a pleasant weekend!