It has been raining all night. The climatic condition of Accra had been unfavorable for a few days now. It was quite severe. Flooded water had encroached into the neighborhood houses of my friend, Juliet, who was living with her parent, at least 500 meters from my family house.
Fortunately, the rain stopped. It was 7:12am on Monday. It was almost school time, but I had barely prepared. A better part of the dawn was spent on my bed thinking about my school friends..
“Jude, Jude”. I heard my name from the living room.
“Oh my God! What in the world is going on? Why is this kid disturbing me”. I muttered.
Few minutes later.
“Jude, Jude”. A matured voice called my name.
“Its mummy’s voice”, I said to myself.
I reluctantly got off the bed and headed to the living room. Breakfast was ready.
“Why haven’t you taken your bath”, Mum yelled.
“Ummm! I! Ammm”. I muttered.
“Now, go take your bath. You’ve got no time. It’s almost school time. We got to go”. Mummy said.
I hesitated. I turned my face toward the Television. The moment I turned back to look at mummy, there was my Daddy, standing. He looked straight to my eyes. I was eluded in my own stupidity. I hurried to the bathroom.
In a couple of minutes, I was dressed up for school. I joined my family at the dining table for breakfast.
Fifteen minutes has passed. Mummy picked the car keys. It was time to go.
As usual, I took the front seat. I filled my mind with thoughts on the possibility of seeing Juliet when I get to school.
Meanwhile, on the way,
“Jude! Look! Here is the toy car you told me about”, John interfered.
“Jude! Juuuuddeee!” He called again.
“Aha!” Mum said
“Oh! Sorry. I passed out. So what’s popping dude”, I replied.
“It’s gone Jude. I needed you to see that toy car at C3 stores, downtown, but you delayed”.
“Sorry dear. I will check that some other time”.
The car stopped.
“You’re five minutes late, let’s alight”. Mummy said.
Mother took us to the school gate.
“Take good care of yourselves and don’t get injured while playing”. She said.
“Love you mum” we said.
“Love you too”. She replied.
We all went to our classes. In a couple of minutes, the class teacher entered.
“Good morning everyone, hope you all had a wonderful weekend” He said.
“Yes, Good morning”, we replied.
The teacher checked the daily attendance and walked away. We were taught various subjects like social studies, mathematics, French language, Verbal Reasoning and Physical Health Education.
The school time master rang the bell. It was break time. I was in no mood of taking snacks and drinks. The usual fun with football, tennis and handball was off-course because my friend Juliet wasn’t in school.
Jack had been my trusted friend from kindergarten. A time came that he was shifted to Class B, while I stayed in class A, due to the much number of students, but still the same level.
Jack called my attention, stating that Juliet couldn’t come to school due to the flood hazard experienced yesterday. He pointed out that much of her family goods was damaged in the flood water.
“Did you meet with her yesterday?” I said
“Nope! But I saw from afar”. He replied.
“I got to get some candies. Wait for me dude”. Jack said.
Waiting for him was like standing on the highway for hours.
When Jack returned; “sorry, I was distracted by those naughty footballers. This is for you”.
He handed to me some sweet candies.
“Thanks”, I said.
“Just put on a smile and study your books. You can go check for her later today. Maybe she and her family had relocated”. Jack said.
“Fuck! What did you just said? Relocated or… now, I just wanna be alone now”. I said.
“Oh sorry. I didn’t mean hurting you. Have a great day. We meet later. Cheers”
I look down to the ground viewing the walking Ants as Jack turned to walk away.
“Wait”, I said
“What’s that”, he replied
The school bell was ranged again. Time to get back to class.
I reluctantly raised my head to statuesque. And at that moment, I saw one of the school Aunt, heading to class 4. An elderly woman with children, whom I knew. Her dress code reminded me of mummy’s lifestyle. She was wearing a pink suit on black skirt and shoes. What caught my attention was the color, pink. That was mother’s favorite color.
I had known my mother from when I was just two year. I can vividly remember some events that occurred when I was just 2-3 years.
My Mother was a diligent civil servant, respectful, humble and pious. She had been very understanding and supportive in family issues. Before she got her job with the state Government, paying family bills was difficult. My Daddy, taught in a high school, so making up enough money to Carter for a lot of things was hard. But Mum’s Job aided in fixing things up. She taught me by her lifestyle that, “impatience will get me into trouble, but godliness and contentment is great gain”.
Check this out:
“Anytime you kneel to pray, remember my mother. She’s got a heart disease. Drugs aren’t helping sufficiently”, I said to Jack.
“OK, let me see. I’m gonna do my best on that”, he replied.
“Kudos to you”, I said.
“Take care of yourself well”. He concluded.
Jack walked to his class. It’s wasn’t Juliet’s absence from school that was making me inactive, it was a remembrance of my Mummy’s health.
I quietly walked to my class.
I had difficulty understanding what was taught in class. My body was seated, but my soul was somewhere else.
The closing bell was ranged finally.
“Oh! Yes!” I gave a sigh of relief. It was time to go home.
I recalled vividly, the time was 13.00 GMT + 1. Mother was at the school gate waiting for us to come. My siblings and I got into the car while she drove us home.
It was past seven minutes. We all alighted from the Car. I dropped my school stuffs in my room and silently walled out.
Everything was silent except the door. It made a distinctive sound that called my Mum’s attention.
“Hey where are you going to”, She said.
“I wanna get some chocolates”, I answered.
“Alright, you watch the road and Take care”.
“That was smart of me”. I said to myself.
But I knew where I was going. I walked for three minutes to Juliet’s home. It was a ghost neighborhood. I saw nobody. The water level had subsided. I walked to the main gate while I struggled with the muddy water.
“Perhaps someone is inside the building”. I said to myself.
After several attempts of knocking, and no response, I gave up.
To cover my innocent lies, I bought some candies at the store close to where I lived and walked back home.
I met John crying.
“Huh! Why are you weeping”, I said
“Mum had an attack and was rushed downtown to the Hospital”He replied
“Attack! Oh no! Common, she will be fine, now stop crying”, I said.
I didn’t know that it was that serious.
We waited for about six hours. Dad didn’t come home. My eldest sister, Jane, also wasn’t at home. It dawn on me that something worse has happened.
Although, as a little boy, I wasn’t religious, and I didn’t consider praying as a good option to what was going on.
On the eightieth hour, that was by 21.00 GMT + 1, we say Dad with some family friends. They stepped into the living room without saying a word, while My Dad walked to his bedroom. Everything was quiet.
John and I went to Dad’s bedroom.
“Dad, where’s mother”. John said.
“She at the hospital”. Dad replied.
“Hope she’s fine”, I inquired
“Sorry, please give me some time, I need to rest, we will talk later. OK”. That was his last replied. He was not in the mood. We knew he was hiding something.
“Let see Jane”. I suggested
She wasn’t indoors, so it took us outside our home building. There she was, silently sobbing. John ran to her side, I followed. I recalled the warm embrace, then the Cat was let out of the bag.
“She, she, she… couldn’t make it”. While she sobbed.
I fell to the floor.
“So it’s real. Why didn’t I see the handwriting on the wall earlier today”.
Tears dropped down my face.
My only hope was gone. Its two years now. Life has never remained the same. Things have drastically changed. Thoughts of Mummy’s lifestyle filled my mind.
With the help of friends, My Daddy later remarried. Living with a step mother isn’t funny. My siblings were given to close family relatives. I stayed for awhile but I left to grandma’s home at the village. I can’t tell if what I did was right, my continual troubled mind force me to leave home.
Since she passed away, I had not been comforted. In church, late last year, I was told to let go the past and concentrate on my future dreams. One of my good friends admonished me that I can’t succeed meaningfully if visiting the past is what I often do.
Its like I’ve got to pick up the pieces of my life and move on. If you’ve got anything for me, please do see me. Don’t just pray for me only, but try and visit. Your presence is highly needed and valued in time like this. Hope to hear from you, or see you.
Its me, Your friend
This is a true life experience of a friend.
Have you experienced the lost of a loved one, and its hard for you to forgive yourself, and let go the past? The person you once love, passed on unexpectedly, and it’s like the world is going to crush.
I bring unto you “GOOD NEWS”.
ALTHOUGH CIRCUMSTANCES will not be the same, but just cheer up. Forget the past memories and look forward. Everything will be well. It can be hard, but you just have to look up.