“Precious! The lecturer is in class. Let us go”
Bolade called out from the window. I had already slept over studying. I was engrossed with a novel last night so I did not get enough sleep. Bolade hurried into the vacant class I was to carry the handbag she earlier told me to watch over. I grumbled as I stood from the chair
“Move your long legs and let’s go for lectures. When I told you to sleep yesterday night, you were bent on finishing the novel. Silly ass, come on! That serves you right”
She pushed me out of the class, I floundered.
Bolade was my best friend and roommate. I had known her since the day I wrote my UTME a year ago. My cousin (Mama Fresh’s grandson) had introduced her to me as his best friend because we had chosen the same institution. We had met again during the Post-UTME till we finally resumed to the school.
We became roommates and she had always asked if I was doing alright.
“John has told me a lot about you and I really feel for you. Just feel free to tell me anything, you can confide in me”
I smiled “You really think I need all that sympathy?”
“Trust me you do. I can’t bear what you are going through, you will be fine yeah? Do you need a hug” She walked towards me and hugged me as gently as she
At first, I thought she was putting on all that act but I later realized she was sweet and obviously, was raised with love. She acted like a sister and showed me love which I was pleased with. She really thought I was in so much pain and hurt and I wasn’t living the life I wanted but…I wasn’t feeling all that at all.
I was not the all-smiling type, I liked being alone and loved keeping to myself. When she notices I am alone, she thinks I am sad and would always think I am too hurt to cry and that I was crying internally, well, I was busy thinking about something much more pleasant. Funny enough I loved all the care
I learned to start speaking up when I wasn’t pleased with something and I really learned to confide in her. To a very large extent, she changed my life and forced me into her chirpy and butterfly world. I started smiling so well. More importantly, I made more friends and this even assisted me in my pursuit of thinking less of my situation.
The day Mama Fresh died, I thought that was the end. The only woman that never abandoned me. My mother and father in one person. She treated me as her own and had assisted greatly in relieving me of my childhood traumas.
She called me!
She told me to sit by her, all she told me was she was stressed out, yeah I believed. She asked about my school and all, I told her I was perfect but I forgot to ask her if she was doing alright. If age hasn’t been consuming her, I never knew!
She looked all fine and she acted all fine.
“My baby, let’s go to my room, I need to rest my body, I feel really stressed out”.
“Yes Grandma, you need a lot of rest o, and all these jeans, Jewelries you are wearing, don’t you feel too tightened and uncomfortable?”
I walked her into her room, she took off the choker hooked round her neck. She packed her gold-colored hair backwards with a rubber band. She was really Mama Fresh, she never lost to trend, her lifestyle so vogue, hardly would you not see her wear designers, even to her under wears.
“Yes, do not mind me, my old time crush came around, so I had to look all dainty, you know”
I laughed at my grandma acting all girly. “Grandma doesn’t know she is old o” I mocked.
She laid on her bed smiling at me. She signaled to me to come sit on her bed, beside her. I have always loved every moment with her.
“You are really growing into womanhood, my dear Precious, I only wish I can just hold on till the day you get married”
“Hold on for what? Grandma, don’t worry you will stand in for mom and dad for me jo.”
“You speak just like your mother” As she spoke, I rolled my eyes. I have always hated to be classified with my mother, or even bear any trait of my father.
“Grandma, I take after you, no one else”
“My daughter, hmm. The time will come when you won’t have to deny your father and mother. Blood they say is thicker than water”
“Grandma, they say…not you” I interrupted.
“I wouldn’t even imagine myself ever living with any of those two. It’s just so obvious they don’t love me”
“Sh-sh…my baby girl, who told you they don’t? It was just circumstances and don’t forget, I told you your grandfather forced their marriage”
“Oh I see!” I mocked. “Dad never loved mom but he got her pregnant and he wanted to abandon her the way guys do but he wasn’t successful. Am I right?”
“Hmm…” She said nothing. She probably realized I was old and wise enough to know that is the relationship trend. To get a girl pregnant and abscond!
“She should have probably taken contraceptives before or even aborted me instead” I thought out.
“My dear, let me tell you something.” I knew it was a pep talk, I frowned.
“Grandma, I’m listening”
“Your father and mother remain your parents. No one can ever take their place, even if they no longer exist. They bore you” Though, my eyes were wet, I tried not to cry. I had given up on tearing over my parents. Giving up on them has made me strong. Actually yes.
“They actually love you. I am very sure wherever they are, they always think of you and at the same time, time has flown my daughter. Guilt has taken over. It might be so difficult for them now to come looking for you, you know that right?”
“Grandma no! My parents are happy! They have beautiful families! All over Instagram and Facebook, I see them…and their families. They are happy! At my own expense! If I exist in their lives, I would only be the bearer of the specters from their past!”
I thought I could hold it much longer, I exploded in tears.
“My baby girl…” Tears trickled down her face.
“I understand how you feel. But for my sake and that is my only and last wish. And I implore you do it for me”
That sounded so weird, but while profusely crying, I paid attention to what she was saying. At least the only reason why I do everything I do was for her. She was the only joy in my life. I could do anything she wanted. I only hoped it was in my favor. I hoped…
“I want you to forgive your mother.” This got me in shock, I paused.
“At least, your mother and your instinct would plead with you on behalf of your father. But at least for a start, accept her as your mother. Do not ignore her when she comes again. My daughter, just that thing I ask you do for me, so I might rest well”
There was nothing I could say. Memories flashed in my head. I rose from my grandma’s bed, bent to kiss her on her forehead and left saying nothing. My world was shut. Emotionally, I went deaf and blind. I was not going to hear anything else but I know I heard something when I was moving my exhausted self out of her room. I heard her voice, getting fainter and fainter.
“Precious, please wait, come back”
I never knew death was already pulling her away. She was just 62! We had a big birthday party three weeks ago. She had called it Sweet Sixty-Two and we had joined her to call it that way.
My shut world collapsed. That was the only person I had in my life. It was all my fault. I sought tears but I didn’t find. And of course, sleep won’t budge. Rain came heavily, so early in the morning the next day, I ran to hug her. That was when tears heeded. I cried.
But it was too late…she had gone but she hasn’t left.