THE LIFE I DIDN’T WISH FOR (EPISODE 7)
AUTHOR/WRITER: TERIBA NIMOTA I.
I was in the kitchen trying to cook a pot of concoction rice with palm oil as the main ingredient which has always been our savior since Thy kingdom come when I heard my name
Oh Mummy I’m coming, let me light the stove.
Saturdays are always good to me. At least I get to spend enough time with my mother and Sunkanmi. Even though we don’t have money, we still make ourselves happy in our own little way. Mummy I’m here, I said to her.
Oko mi (my dear) I don’t feel okay at all, please boil water to make pap for me when you’re done cooking my mother said.
Mummy I will but before then, try to lighten up a bit, I don’t like your look I said to her.
She looked at me with a smirk on her face. Oh my mum! If only I was old enough I would buy you the world, I thought to myself. My mum has been feeling this way since two days ago when the last rain feel. It has filled our room as usual. If only she had listened to me when I told her to lay on the bed with Sunkanmi while I sleep on the floor but she insisted. She always wants to take care of us not knowing I want to take care of her in return too. If I wasn’t home, she would have done all the house chores by herself despite the fact that she’s sick. She’s so hard working. I turned back to give her a look thinking she would look at me in return so that I can tell her everything will be okay but she was lost in thought.
Oh my God is it just me or is she really looking this way?? My mother looked so old, older than her usual self while she sat on the stool in our backyard. Not only was she looking old, she also looked small and unkept as she tied a navy blue wrapper around her chest with one side of the wrapper loosed making it seem like her breast is going to fall out of the wrapper if she makes a slight movement. What could be wrong with my mother? Could fever make someone have such a drastic change within a short period of time?? Could something be weighing her down?? I know she’s thinking of how to make a better life for us. Oh maami I’m sure if there was a problem, she would have told me. We don’t hide anything from each other. Nothing will happen to my mother, l said shaking my head in disapproval bringing myself out of my thoughts. I gave her a look again but she doesn’t seem to realize I’ve been standing there all along.
I went back to the kitchen to start the preparation of my concoction rice while I sing “Mummy oh oh oh wa pe laye, Mummy eh eh eh wa jeun omo, e ni ba ni ko ni ri be a fo lo ju, a kan lapa ko si enu trailer a run tu we” (Mother, you’ll live long, mother you’ll reap the fruit of your Labour, whoever says contrary to these will be disabled and will die of an accident) While singing, alot of thoughts crossed my mind again. What if something is really wrong with my mother and she’s not saying a word to me? Who will cater for us? Who will be there for us? Olorun ma je I said so loudly not realizing I spoke out of my thought.
The pot of rice was done I was about boiling the water for my mum when she walked passed me telling me it’s getting late that I should be quick with whatever I’m doing so we could eat on time. Hmmm was the only thing I managed to say because I was too busy concentrating on her trying to figure out if something could really be wrong and she is not telling me. Her look was all that seem different, she looked weak but still walked the same. It’s probably the fever I said to myself. I served our food and the rest of dinner was silent with a heavy sigh from my mum breaking the silence. I looked at her immediately and she looked away as if she was trying to hide something from me. She hid her face even when I was going to take our plates to the kitchen. I ignored her because I didn’t want to push further. It was dark and the power has being seized. She was already on the bed when I walked in. Oh my God, it seems it’s going to rain again, I went to get wrapper to cover my mother. I was about covering her body when I felt her temperature. What?? I drew away from the feeling of her body, it was as if I dipped my hand into an oven.
Mummy you’re running temperature I said to her
it’s nothing Sholape I’ll be fine.
Mummy lets go to the hospital
Rara ooo with which money?? She replied
Mummy but …….
don’t worry oko mi, it’s Nothing, before tomorrow, I’ll be alright.
Okay, I said.
I sat on the floor, praying the rain doesn’t fall while I watched my mother and brother sleep. I was determined to watch them all through the night but I soon fell asleep as nature can’t be cheated.