I am reading ‘The God of Small Things’. It is beautiful in ways I wouldn’t know how to describe. It is a book i will read once and never again. The themes don’t resonate with me. Somehow I think it influenced this story.
I like that this is short. I am tired of writing long convoluted stories.
Odion knew she should not be driving, not in the state she was but there she was anyway. Dodging crazy Okada riders and molue bus drivers as they conspired to prove what she already knew; that she had no business being on the road, at least not at that moment. Still she muddled on stubbornly, refusing to let the tears that stung her eyes fall, refusing to break, refusing to give up.
There was no one at home when she arrived so it was safe to fall apart. And fall apart she did. It was raining outside; the heavens choosing to mourn loudly with her but when she shook her fist at them and asked them questions they couldn’t answer, they quietened down with guilt.
By the time her mother came home, Odion had gathered up all the evidence of her falling but the thing with mothers was they saw through every facade and disguise ever known to man.
‘Where is your ring?’ The older woman asked after her daughter had welcomed her.
And Odion fell apart again. This time though, her mother’s bosom was there to give her a soft landing.
‘Atta says there is someone else.’ She said when she finally got her voice back from the sadness that had stolen it.
‘They work in the same office. He sees her every day and I, only on weekends. That was all it took Mama, seeing her every day. He saw her every day and forgot to save some of himself for me. He says he is sorry. He says he never intended to hurt me. The Ghanaian bastard! You were right Mama, I should never have trusted what I did not know. He asks that we still be friends. He says I am the sister he never had, the one he begged his adoptive parents for all these years that they never gave him. He tells me I will find someone else to love. He assures me it will be better than what we had, truer that what we ever had. He even joked about being godfather to one of my kids. Imagine that Mama, from being their father to godfather. I am not even sure whether that is a downgrade or an upgrade.’
Mama Odion said nothing, just cuddled her child till it stopped raining. She was not sure when she started singing long forgotten lullabies or when her own tears started to fall. They would stay that way for a while, mother and daughter, wrapped around each other. Being a mother meant knowing how to prepare wounds for healing and so Mama Odion held onto her child knowing fully well that every extra moment she held on was another step down the road of recovery.
Later that night when Odion was fast asleep and safely ensconced in her dreams, Mama Odion picked up the phone and texted:
‘Thank you. I know it was hard to do so thank you very much.’
‘I didn’t do it for you. I did it for her. I did it for myself. But know this; I will never forgive you for as long as I live.’ The person texted back.
‘That is okay. I can live with losing one child but I cannot live with losing two. That was why I gave you up in the first place-so as not to lose you both to hunger. I made peace with my choice a long time ago, my Akhere. I love you both but I chose her. Goodnight Atta.‘
Once she saw the ‘message received’ notice on her phone, Mama Odion deleted the texts and joined her daughter in a dream where love didn’t hurt and mothers didn’t have to choose between love and love.
Song of the day: Christina Perri – A Thousand Years