POSTED 04/04/2018 13:49:13
It was a hot afternoon that Monday
We all came back from school in group as we usually do. We parted ways when I got to my gate.
“Maami ekaso ma” I greeted as I entered into my room.
I was expecting to hear her usual response “ekaso okomi” but she didn’t answer me or even look at me as she would usually do.
I could sense there was a problem somewhere as I was a very sensitive person but didn’t bother to ask her till it was time for lunch.
“Ayo! Ayo!! Ayo!!!” She shouted my name.
I knew it was time for lunch as I could perceive the magical fragrance of her ever amazing food. She served d food and we both ate in silence. The urge of asking her what the problem was kept triggering in my heart but I just didn’t know how to start.
“Ehen Ayo” she cut me off in my thoughts. “I saw your teacher yesterday at d market and he reminded me about your school fees. I know I haven’t been able to give you d best of life and all the comfort a growing child needs but I promise to stay with u as long as I can and keep you happy.”
I always loved it when she reminds me of how much she loves me and would want me to be forever happy but I knew that wouldn’t last forever. Maami was already getting too old that it would at times be a massive fight between Sango and Shango (the gods of lighting and thunder) before she would be able to stand after bending.
Nevertheless, I didn’t want to lose her soon, she was all I had as I was told she took care of me ever since my mum died after my birth and my dad died of the shock that his lovely wife died after child birth. The death of my parents were so sudden that the villagers said I was a cursed child and should be killed but Maami ran away with me and decided to take care of me as the only grandson she had.
I missed the fact that I never got to know who my parents were or what they looked like but I felt grateful that I had Maami and she would always tell me stories about them. It was already night and the full moon seemed to be brighter than its normal glow. I finished washing the plates we used to eat dinner and was ready to go to bed. I laid on my cranky bamboo stick bed just gazing at d cracked ceiling of the mud house when Maami came in and had her normal night prayer with me.
I was all dressed and ready for school that Wednesday morning, there was an unusual kind of happiness and agility Maami had today though it was awkward but I was fine with it. She gave me my lunch that was well wrapped in cassava leaf and to my utmost surprise Maami gave me my school fees to pay and use the rest to buy baked beans. Not like I wasn’t happy that I was going to pay my school fees and put an end to the public disgrace I got everyday in school, not to talk of the strokes of cane but it came too sudden. I ran off to school because I was already late but I could still hear Maami's voice from afar telling me goodbye.
School was over and we were on the midterm break. This Tuesday was the best Tuesday of my life I said to my self as I happily hopped into the gate but that happiness didn’t last for long as there was an unusual kind of quietness in the compound. Maami was not sitting in her favourite stool outside, I couldn’t hear footsteps of Maami. I must admit I got quite scared and felt danger or whatever what I felt meant.
I dropped my bag immediately and ran to Maami's room – she wasn’t there, I checked the store room, the barn, the little vegetable farm beside my room, it wasn’t a market day so she wouldn’t be in d market. Ahh! Maami was missing!
“This is dangerous” I said to myself.
Then I decided to check the back of the house; oh thank God! There she lay facing the wall.
“Iyawo mi” I called her in a way she loved and would always blush but she didn’t answer. I bent over to tap her, there was this awkward coldness On her body.
“Maami! Maami!! Maaaami!!!” I kept shouting but no answer and that was when it occurred to me that Maami was dead and I was literally alone in this world.
No wonder she fulfilled all her promises of making me happy till she leaves me. And yes my happiest day turned out to be the worst I could never forget.
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