This is true. I had just arrived home. I went upstairs to the fourth floor of my apartment door. I rang the bell. No one answered. I then remembered an extra key I secretly kept under the doormat: I took the first step inside. Something odd. An emptiness. It was then when I realised that my mom was the life of the house. Normally I would enter the house only to find her talking on the phone, watching televisions, eating, or even arguing with dad.
Then I phoned. No one answering. Then my father’s voice, short and abrupt.
“Is mom there?”
But it was no good. I left the house and made my way down to my cousins. My aunt greeted me with tears in her eyes.
“Are you crying?”
“No dear.” But I knew she was.
I went inside and sat with my cousin. She was the same age with the same interest. We talked for hours apparently she knew all along. She did not show it though. How could she have shown it? How do you ‘show’, when you are only 15?
I still felt the feeling of awkwardness inside me. I felt lonely. I then went upstairs, home, and sat on the bed. I got out a pen and a pencil and started writing. I must have slept or dozed off because the phone then rang. My sister whispering:
“I know, dad wouldn’t let me talk to mom.”
She was my grandmother. She had been sick for months and locked up in a room at the hospital. The cancer was taking over her body. Overwhelming her. I had visited her the week before. I still remember the slow walk to the room, and how she laid there, motionless. It was my first time to see her since the disease. How should I act? What should I say?
I walked in and bent down towards her and gently placed my lips against her wrinkled, pale forehead. I hope she felt it and knew it was I, she did not react though. She did not even lift an eyebrow. Everyone in the room was silent as I walked in. We were all petrified, but I got a chair and smiled trying not to show her our disappointment.
She loved me, I knew. Even though when she was sick, and could hardly speak or think, she offered me something to drink and insisted my mother hand me a soft drink. This made me wonder, she will never change. She will always be the Teta that used to hold me close and care for me, my godmother, my guardian, my life. I was old enough to understand that she would never get better: I had to make the best of the state she was in. My daydream was interrupted:
“Aghghgh,” soft, tender screams
She was in pain. I left the room instantly. I could not bear to watch her in that state. Nurses rushed in and for a moment I could not hold in my tears. I stood outside the room listening. Suddenly, her screams stopped. So did my heartbeat. I opened the door and peaked inside the room and saw the nurses giving her general anaesthetic that made her sleep. There she was, an old angel, sleeping, breathing heavily. Her head was tilted to a side on the pillow, and her body was resting motionless. She was wearing a white nightgown. It was that image that Teta left me to remember her by.
I never saw her again.
Through out my journey back home all I could think of and see was Teta, poor, old, hurt Teta. With me in the car, was my grandfather, her husband. He was hurt and upset, of course. You could see how depressed he was just by glimpsing at him.
Anyways, I was now sitting at home and having just hung up with my sister I was worried. I walked up and down the corridor, my hands were shaking, a sense of fear was striking me. I am only a child of fifteen years old. I had no idea how I was supposed to act. I then calmed down and realised that what I was thinking might not necessary be true. I should not have jumped to conclusions. Then I phoned once more. Instantly she answered.
“Mom! What’s wrong? Why didn’t you answer me the first time?”
“I was busy.”
“Why? What is wrong? Tell me, I can handle this.”
But there was nothing to worry about. She was sleeping. It was later that I had to face it. As I sat down an hour later I heard a key enter its key lock. I heard the key turn inside its key lock. The door opened, and came in my mother, all dressed in black. One look at her and I understood. The way she looked me in my eye, and when I looked back I could not see hers through the constant running tears. Her own mother has past on. My own grandmother has passed on too. My mother slowly approached and hugged me:
“Teta has passed away! I am sorry”
But that was not all. In came my sister after her. She was screaming with agony, I felt sorry, yet I froze in astonishment. I knew yet I was surprised. I did not cry though yet. I just panicked. My mother then walked went to her room and I followed her.
“Its okay to cry my son!”
But I did not I did not want to in front of her she was already too weak and feeble. She needed us the most and I sat next to her and held her close to me. I wanted her to feel that I was there for her no matter what happened. I could not hold my self any longer. I cried. So did she.
“Will you remember her?” She gently asked
“Of course I will. I swear I will.”
I then stumbled down to my room slammed the door and asked god:
“Why god? Why her?” I knew though that it was better off for her, she was in pain and suffering but It was not better for me I will miss her. I must not be selfish though.