THE LIFE I DIDN’T WISH FOR (EPISODE 9)
AUTHOR/WRITER: TERIBA NIMOTA.I
I had just gotten back from school when I saw a lot of people outside our compound which is so unusual. Immediately, I started having various thoughts. My mind quickly went to my Mum. Is my mother the reason why people are standing? Could my mother had died? No this can’t be, why am I even thinking of death?? She’s just sick right?? Everybody gets sick which is just normal. But then again, my mother has been scaring me with her words. She says things like “you should learn to take care of yourself” what if you get back from school one day and you don’t see me”?? “Be a strong girl” could this be the day my mother was talking about?? I stood there lost, I couldn’t phantom what was going on. I didn’t realize I was crying, Until Iya Titi called my name.
Sholape, you’re back from School??
Did you misplace your money?? Because you’re crying like someone has taken what belongs to you.
Oh I said touching my face. I smiled.
No ma, no one stole my money..
Okay! She said in return.
Iya Titi is our neighbor who sells things next to my mum’s shop.
Excuse me Ma, what’s going on outside here I asked?
Ha don’t mind these unserious boys, they had a fight earlier, it was a bloody one. The police had just left here. They are all here talking about the fight she said.
Oh I managed to say, hearing that was a relief for me. At least I know nothing has gone wrong with my mother. I should have thought of that earlier when she greeted me casually. If something was wrong, I could have tell from her face. I smiled at her as if to say Goodbye silently. As if she was reading my mind, “Your mother is inside” she said…
The door was wide open so I didn’t bother knocking or shouting my mother’s name as usual. I just entered the room. I was confuse when I saw so many footwear at the door. Hmmm who could the guest be? I thought to myself. When I got inside, I saw my uncle and my aunt but my mother wasn’t there with them. I greeted them cheaply while thinking of where my mother could be looking up and down as if I was in a strange place. Just when I was about to ask where my mother was, I heard her voice from behind
I looked back smiling so hard like I just won a trophy. Her voice sounded so weak. She was walking towards me with the help of her other sister due to the fact that she can’t stand alone or even walk alone. I didn’t mind, I went closer to give her a side hug. I know she’s not in the right position to hug me like before, at least my mother isn’t dead as I’ve imagined. The only truth is that she’s critically ill. She looks like someone that might give up anytime soon. She looks like she’s been stressed over the years, like she’s carrying a load that is unbearable. I shooked my head at my thought as if to disagree with something while I smile at her. She smiled back and said “Oko mi,(my dear) how was school today”?? I took her hand trying to help her lay on the bed. She was obedient. She laid carefully while my aunty used a pillow beneath her head and another one to guide her. It was as if we were all taking care of a baby. I was about to tell her how school went and gist her like we do every day when my Aunty signaled to me with her hand..
I moved closer to her.
Yes ma, I said.
“Sholape, we have to take your mother to the hospital, she doesn’t look good at all. We have to act fast so that we won’t be put to blame later” She said.
I looked up at her, thinking of what to say. They were so many questions I wanted to ask her. What does she mean by put to blame at the end?
Okay ma, there’s no problem. I’ll change into something decent and go with you. No Sholape, you can’t go with us, Remember you’re still writing your exam and you have to read. Don’t worry, I’ll give you the address to the hospital. I learnt you have two papers left, once you’re done, I’ll ask Tayo to inform you. You’ll come to the hospital to see your mother and I know before then she will get well. At this moment, I was swelling with tears but I didn’t want her to see me crying. I gave her a weak smile saying Okay!
But you know I don’t have money ma, how are you going to pay for the bills?? She looked at me stupidly with and arched eyebrow as if to say “cut the crap, no one is asking you for money” she just smiled and said don’t worry, God will take care of it. I smiled and told her thank you. I wanted to ask her if my father is contributing to all these then I remembered my mother’s siblings and my father aren’t close they don’t like him at all for the ill treatment he has given my mother. So they’ll rather do things without him. I left going close to my mother. I squat beside her, holding her hands, smiling and crying at the same time.
I looked at her once beautiful face which has grown old all of a sudden. I couldn’t stop my tears, I didn’t want her to see me this way. I’m supposed to be her strength not her weakness. It was too late, she was weeping uncontrollably now. We were both crying together while she moved her head from left to right.. I didn’t want her to cry, I tried to stop crying while I forced a smile at the middle of my tears.
“Everything is going to be alright, was all I could say. Tears had consumed me, I buried my head on her chest crying so hard saying “everything is going to be alright”.