Hi Hard Girl,
So, last week was a no-show. I apologize for that. I promise not to make this a habit. Gradually, my responsibilities are doubling, but I will do my best to bring you new content every week. Keep your fingers crossed.
Since we are still in the month of mothers, enjoy this fiction. I will love to hear your thoughts on it.
Sesinam grew up knowing her father, Mr. Ametefe, as a mother, nanny, confidant, and everything to her and her elder sister Deladem. To her, he was a superhero, the man who had a solution to everything. His only shortcoming was that he could not make or download a mother. The family was lucky to have an Aunt Akorfa who frequented their house to do some of the womanly stuff and more importantly make sure her father did not succeed in razing down the house.
Unlike her friends, Sesinam did not know what the love of a mother felt like. She never had anybody fussing over what she ate, wore or what friends she kept. She always wondered why she had only one parent. Her inquisitive self could not accept the status quo, she asked countless questions as she wanted the truth.
As smart as he was, her father evaded all her question. As she grew, the questions became more intense and bugging. The desire to know her mother turned from anger to resilient bitterness. She did not understand why she was being kept in the dark. Strangely, her elder sister, Deladem, was not fazed by the absence of a mother. How she managed that was a mystery to her little sister. Was she being impossible and stubborn? Or is there more to it than meets the eyes? Sesinam rationalized
“Dad, can I speak to you for a minute?’ She asked, giving him her infamous you-don’t- have-an-option look. She was on vacation and had resumed the quest to know who her mother was or is (if she were still alive). With a sigh, he dropped his feet off the couch and patted the space next to him. If she was not asking any of her numerous bugging questions, she was his heartbeat. Deladem hardly speaks to him because of what happened some years ago, an issue they have silently agreed not to talk about. How he wished things had been different. If he could turn back the hands of time, he would have done so.
“Sesi, you are a spitting image of your mother. A year after you were born, I was called from work to come pick up Deladem from school, which was strange. We arrived home only to see your mother lying on her back with you on her chest, both of you asleep. This nerve-calming scene almost made me forget her offense of making you sleep in that posture. Tried as I could, she would not wake up from her slumber. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. This wound has refused to heal, hence my reluctance to tell you all about her.”
Her world came crashing. All her life, she wished deep down within her that she that some way, somehow, her mother will be alive. Maybe she went on a long trip overseas or just maybe, Aunt Akorfa was her mother who is trying to prank on them. Too many western movies make everything possible in your fantasy world. That did not quite add up because she had a family of her own.
Mr. Ametefe took his daughter into his arms and consoled her as her sobs rocked him and lulled them both. To her, now she had some closure. To him, he had succeeded in getting her off his back for some time.
One can, therefore, imagine her shock when five years after that live changing confession, she stood over the dead body of her mother.
‘Cancer?’ She heard her father whisper scream “When? How? Why? Where is she now?” he paused to listen to the voice at the other end of the phone. “Okay, I’ll be there soon.”
As soon as her father drove through the gate, she flagged the next taxi and asked the driver to tail his car. She did not understand why her father did not inform her about the only mother she knew. She was not ready to lose another mother. She wanted someone by her side when she finally walks down the aisle, someone to bathe her babies when they start coming. Who will give her tips on how to keep her marriage with her kind of temper? Aunt Akorfa is the only one to chide her anytime she went wrong. “God, please keep her safe.” She managed to say as she entered the ICU only to find every family member that mattered present.
Aunt Akorfa, though present, was standing. Obviously, she was not the person rushed to the hospital. On the bed, however, was a woman who looked familiar. It was like looking at her own shadow. Her memory vial opened and she recognized her. She was in the old pictures stashed away. Could it be that she resurrected? “Who is she?” She enquired, startling all present.
She flared up after being told the truth, this time by her elder sister.
“For 22 years you lied to me. You watched me ask about my mother for 17 years and fed me with lies just to shut me up.” She screamed.
“I had to…” Mr. Ametepe tried to explain.
“Do not even think about it. You had to…? You only thought about yourself, not our feelings. All the times when I needed a mother to talk to when Aunt Akorfa was unavailable; when I needed someone to tell me being a late bloomer was normal and not a disease; when I needed someone to teach me basic home ethics. I had a mother and the only time I got to meet her was on her death-bed, how comforting. You all knew, yet kept me in the dark; Oh, God! I am stupid”
Her father took a step closer and tried to touch his beloved daughter. Sesinam, however, leaped backward to avoid any form of contact between them.
“You had no right to keep it away from me”, Sesinam hurled more words at him. She had been talking minutes nonstop, only pausing to wipe away snot resulting from crying too much. Evident in her eyes were bare emotions, palpable of them all being, hurt and betrayal.
Her father understood how she felt. He would have done worse if he were in her shoes. But hey, he did what he had to do.
“You lied, you lied to me!” Sesinam finished. There was a prolonged silence. Sesinam cast her eyes around the room, peering into the faces of all her family members present with the hope of getting an answer. Anyone?
Finally, her dad came through. “Sesi, this is not how I intended to let you find out about this. I’m very sorry.” Now, she allowed her father to touch her. He in turned bent down and leaned in closer to his daughter. The next words he was about to say are words he had bottled up for many years. They brought him nothing but unpleasant memories.
“Sesi, your mother cheated on me. She did it with none other than my brother. My blood brother. I couldn’t bear the pain and shame. She betrayed my trust”. Mr. Ametepe paused to see the expression on his daughter’s face. It looked like she was coming around now. He was almost in tears.
“To me, they were both dead.” He said mildly, hoping to calm her down.
“No matter what she did to you, it did not give you the right to keep me from knowing her. I can’t fault her for what she did because she did not do it to me. But I blame you for denying me the opportunity to know her. That is all on you. My mother was dead to you, so you made her dead to me as well? News flash, dad. You are also dead to me.” Sesinam retorted and stormed out of the ward.