Sep 30, 2011

The Words Mama Never Said

                                                                                                 December 1988
Dear Diary,

Today I sit, indite and recall blissful but vexatious memories
Pleasant but painstaking events
All within this spherical world
How words yet so easy to comprehend
When out do not diffuse in peace

As they pierce you deep
Making it hard for regurgitation
Today my aim is to pay what I owe to the past
My salutation
And acknowledgement
Of the words mama never said

"Wait here. I'll be back" Mama whispered into my ears before rubbing my coarse hair with her palm.                                  
       She pulled out a hat -the one she always placed on my head anytime I accompanied her on one of her many walks around town and a blazer, the only remains I had of my dad from her sac bag.

    "Have this on, by the time you are done. I'll be back" She said addressing me in a calm voice as she handed over to me the hat and the blazer.
      "No! Can't I come along too?" I said stubbornly, wanting to have my way. By this, I hoped that my thick headed display could get her to yield towards my desires.
      "You must wait here patiently” She placed her hands on my shoulders. “Do not dare argue young chap okay?”
   “Okay” I struggled to curve my lips into a smile while I watched her adjust my hat. I knew that if I continued being too chatty I could trigger her wrath in no time hence, I folded my lips in - the best possible way I knew to quench the flames almost whirling between us now.
      She heaved out a sigh when she noticed I remained mute. 
      "You know I love you and I want the best for you" Her hands swept my body from heads to toe and before I knew it, she drew me into her arms squeezing out all the life I had inside of me. 
   Her words did not ring in my ears as having any similarities with a confession instead; it was as if she needed to assure herself of the fact that she really did love me.
      "I love you too mama" I said sheepishly.
She smiled once I said this and I did the same just to keep her continuous smile going. 
      "Naughty boy" She said touching the tip of my nose "Of course you love me. Now who wants some ice cream?"
      "Me!" I said screaming with all the energy I got inside of me. She always played this ruse on me whenever she felt compelled to have me do something I would rather not do.
      "So do as I say and I would be back with your strawberry flavored ice cream".  
I nodded in response as my mind now was only set on the idea of receiving the ice cream.
 After some moments passed by with me in deep thoughts, mama decided to cheer me up and break the long silence that seemed to last longer than usual.      "Should we play our favourite game?" She inquired. 
I knew right away what she spoke so joyfully about "Hide and seek! Mama mi hide" I said in the finest of pidgin.
   "Only around this vicinity" She said in a frank tone
   "Yes!" I responded happily.
   "Okay I am counting, go, go, go!!"
I took off without hearing the words "One, two, three..." from her mouth. I was overwhelmed with excitement to be the least concerned about if I should have taking off once she was all done with counting. I was going to receive my ice cream I thought while I searched endlessly for the perfect spot to hide. I had stayed hidden in that spot for about ten minutes and once I noticed she had not come searching, I crawled out of my hiding spot shouting.
      "Aha! You lost again"
I had expected to see her seated in her usual corner like she always did with her legs crossed but she was nowhere to be found. She must have misinterpreted my words I thought. 
      "Oh no Mama mi hide, mi hide" I murmured to myself. 
      "Yes! To the ice cream man" I finally remembered she had made a promise to me. I ran like never before believing I would meet her there.
      "Hello sir, did you see my mama?" I asked the man who sold ice cream hoping he could be of help.
      "Ali?" He asked while squinting his eyes.
      "Yes sir" I said impatiently not even caring about how he knew my name.
      "Oh your mama left you this, you gonna have it?" He said pointing at the ice cream
      "Nix sir. I do not collect stuffs from strangers. Did you see my mama?" I asked with so much impatience this time around.
      "Calm down son. I am no stranger. Your mama left you this awhile ago. She knew you would come running here. You gonna have it?" 
I remained quiet for some time trying as much as possible to digest what he just said.
      "Sir where she headed to?" I asked ignoring his previous statement.
      "I do not know my little friend; she left you that note thing". He said bringing out a paper from his pocket. "You know how to read?" 
      "Yes sir" I replied as I rapidly collected the note from his hand. I opened it and the writing on the paper, I recognized immediately. It read

"My dearest son, I must depart from you immediately. I cannot give you full details about my sudden departure but please abide with this man. He is an old friend of mine and one that I trust".  
      "What does it say son?" He asked frowning.
      "How do you know my mama?" I asked with anger in my tone still dwelling on the fact that they barely knew each other. He was a gold digger perhaps, I thought silently.
      "You stubborn. You remind me a lot of your mama. She is just as stubborn as you are"
Once he said this, I became calmer. I could not understand why but he seemed to know a lot about my mother and because of that, I felt somehow comforted. Maybe I would be able to be with her again. 
      "Your mama and I are friends, long time friends. He responded, almost as if he could read my troubled look with his defected eyes. "So what does it say?" He asks impatiently
      "She wants me to dwell at your abode" 
      "That's a serious one" You know how to work? Hard work?
I was not certain about his definition of hard work but I just said yes for the fear of not having anywhere to stay. I was only ten when my mama said those words to me "Wait here, I'll be back" I treasured it even though they were mere words lingering in the air. To me they were the last words uttered by a respectable woman - the one I adored. And therefore I was going to relentlessly wait for when I could stand face to face with her, feel her warmth for a bit and ask "What was the reason?


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