The two souls stood, recognizing the familiar beats. They danced in unison, the older soul moving with agile steps, the younger one jiggling away with all joy. It was a meeting of two souls in love; souls that couldn’t function if the other one couldnt. It had been a long time coming. The younger had thought she would be lonely forever but finally, what she had longed for had come and she wished she could dance forever. They sat together, talking about things both of them had missed in the life of the other since the short while they had been apart. They shed tears for those they had left behind and wondered if perhaps, they had been too selfish; not caring to think about the feelings of those who remained mourning. Yes, the younger loved her husband but there was love greater than the world understood … they couldn’t be blamed, could they?
She had left me; how could that be? She, who was meant to see to my burial when death called, she who was meant to put my estate in order after my demise. But what did she do? She left me without informing me. They say it was a drunk trunk driver that crushed her to death in her car on her way from work. I wasn’t even privileged to talk to her one final time. I am not ready to say good bye but they say I have to. Please, tell me how! She was my first and only child which I had had after so many miscarriages even after I had given up hope. She brought joy and light back into my previously saddened life. She brought back respect from my husband and his family members, she gave me back my voice. I watched her crawl, saw her first tooth shoot out, watched her take her first step, heard her say mama for the first time and smile that charming smile of hers at me like she knew she was my world. I became very good with hair just because of her; She had a full head of hair. I enjoyed dressing her up, loved putting a lot of ribbons in her hair. When she had to start school, I remember shedding a tear as I turned back at the gate after she had settled into her class.
She grew into a beautiful teenager; my sunshine. I had no reasons to cry over her. She did, said the right things appropriately. I couldn’t believe my luck. She got into the university at age sixteen, graduated at the top of her class, making me more proud. At the right time, she brought home a husband. “Mama, meet preye, he is my friend.” She had said shyly. Of course, I knew better; after all she had never introduced any such friend to me before, so I knew this friend was the one! As expected, we did things the right way when it was time. My sunshine! My baby went with her doting husband to have her own family. Again, I wept!
And then, that dreadful phone call on that disastrous day. That call that told me senseless stories of how my daughter, my sunshine had been hit by that truck driver. I couldn’t understand. Everything seemed incomprehensible. The explanations sounded stupid, my daughter was a careful driver, had always been. So there was no reason why that should have been her fate. I remember the rush to the hospital, the look of distraught on Preye’s face as he faced me to comfort me, the look of shock on mine as I refused to accept what his eyes were saying, what his eyes said were greater than any which words could have. It was true that my sunshine had been taken away from me! I saw it! I saw what was left of her. They had taken my light and left me in darkness. My own best friend! She had gone with the three months old baby in her womb; my second grandchild, maybe it would have been a boy. We had mourned the death of her father together. She had been brave, consoling me and telling me not to grieve as she had my back. Those days were made more bearable because I had her. Now, my comforter is no more.
I refuse to cry. There are no more tears. The grief within me is too great to unleash itself in a torrent of tears. The pain is heavy, it weighs me down, it slowly seeps life out of me. Everyone is surprised that I do not cry but they do not know. Preye is weighed down with his own loss, he can barely function. I do not even ask him how he copes but I envy him- at least, he can cry. I cannot! I wonder if it would help that their daughter, Adaba was a spitting image of her mother. I sleep and wake but my being is pointless. There is nothing to look forward to anymore. I would never smile my sunshine smile at me anymore; that warming smile had always helped to ease tension. I get up and wander down the hall, my lonely feet carry me to Oluwatamilore’s room. I open the door gradually and I see my sunshine studiously doing some work at her table. I stay there awhile before she notices my presence. She smiles up at me and ask me why I had not announced my presence. I smile but say nothing. She doesn’t know how proud she makes me. I slowly snap out of where my mind had journeyed, “Tamilore isn’t here. They say she is gone and cannot return” I tell myself. I move further into the room, staring at the familiar space. Her reading lamps, her teddies, all still remain in the same position it had been when she lived at home.
I walk towards her bed and there she is in her purple pajamas. She is really here! It is her favorite one. How she loves the colour purple! She moves further into the bed, pats the bed and beckons me to join her. I smile and coil up in the bed beside her and then i realize that I am home. My sunshine has come to lead me home; a place where there was no grief, but so much laughter and happiness. Perhaps, I shouldn’t go with her. Maybe, I should stay to care for Preye and Ada but my Tamilore was so lonely and I was too. Maybe I am being selfish but I cant stop to think about that. I lay down with my hands around her. “ I have so much to tell you” I say as I drift off.
… Ours was a love between mother and child; a love so incomprehensible but a love so true! Ours was pure!