Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 3

“Eureka! Eureka!! Eureka!!!” her mother’s voice rang across the empty hallway. “What is it this time”, she thought to herself. At 17, she’s stuck with the responsibility of taking care of her ailing mother. She had not had a reasonable amount of rest the whole week. The Final examination to graduate from High school was coming up, and she needed to study, but alas, time is never on her side.

Maybe I should run away to the city, then my life would be at least better”, she would lament. As if her mother knew all along her thoughts, she would everyday praise her for the care and service she is rendering. “My daughter, you’ll grow up to see your own children do the same for you. If not for you, I would have been dead, you know I have no one”, she would always tell her, amidst the tears rolling down her wrinkled cheek.

Standing at an incredible height of six feet, her ivory toned body shining with each reflection of the sun, artistically plaited; a single partition runs through her silky long hair, there was no doubt she had been uniquely carved by the Creator himself, and yes with much attention to detail. However, that was not the only gift she had! Her intelligence surpasses the wisdom of the ideal kings. She had represented her school, the only High School her small town owns, in competitions within and outside the state. These competitions have opened doors for her, in receiving countless numbers of offers in scholarships from prestigious schools in the towns around, and she’s confused if she will ever further her education. Mama needs help!

Breakthrough came after the immediate completion of her final exams, a well renowned university in the Big City had developed interest in this super intelligent damsel. They had sent her two envelopes; one containing the Letter of Admission, and the other the money she was going to use for her transport fare. She had been called for a brief interview, and also the visit would serve the purpose of touring the great school. Her excitement knew no bounds, depriving her of sleep, but only now it wasn’t a problem and so she never complained about it.

Finally, the decisive moment came. To go, or not to go!

“Mama, I will only be gone for a few days”

“Eure…”, her mother calls her by her pet name. “…please consider my plight”

“But Mama, this would not be the first. I’ve left you a number of times and nothing bad has happened”

“I fear you’ll never return”

“How can you say such thing? You know I will!”

“Then stay”

“This is to better our lives, Ma. This is the opportunity we’ve been praying for. Should we miss it?”

After a long while, Mama gave in. “I’m sorry; you’re no more a little girl. You have become a woman responsible for her own decisions”

“This is not mine alone Mama. We’ll make the decision together, you and your little girl” A soft chuckle finds it’s way out of her mouth.

“I knew I could always be proud of you!”

Three days later, farewell was said, each party soaked in tears, mucus and whatever other bodily fluid existed. She boarded the bus that would take her to the Big City. She had heard a lot, and she was pleased about the fact she was going to witness it first-hand.

For the few days she stayed, she managed to have all the fun she ever could. Pictures were taken, souvenirs were bought, new food and dishes were tried, the fashion trend of the city girls was copied, and she was living the life. Sadly, every good thing must come to an end, and so the homeward bound journey began. 

She had totally forgotten everything about herself these past few days, she was free, free from the constant cries of Mama, free from the secluded life she had lived, she was able to be herself, at least if only for a few days. She wished she could have stayed longer. These thoughts permeated her mind as she imagined how she was going back to the life she once had left behind. The thoughts of Mama could not escape her. “How is she feeling now?” “Is she able to cope by herself?” “What if something terrible had happened?”

Finally, she dropped at the bus station and continued the rest of the journey on foot. As she approached the house, she saw a group of women all dressed in black, wailing and weeping. “What could have happened?”, she thought to herself. “Well, I guess I’ll find out”

One of the women ran towards her direction, and she could read plainly and clearly the message as it has been engraved on her face. “Where’s Mama?, “ she screamed, flinging the box she had carried with her sideways, hitting an innocent boy who happens to ride by on his bicycle. “What happened to her?” Not a sound came out from the women. Infuriated, she grabs one of the women by her blouse, and almost tears her out. “Tell me what happened!” Still no answer! The poor woman manages to free herself from Eureka’s grasp, but not without the greater part of her chest exposed.

“I’ll never forgive myself," she thought. “And she warned me not to go. Why didn’t I listen to her? Why did I have to follow my stubborn will?” Unable to cope with the guilt of her mother’s death upon her head, she decides go the same road she had gone. That way, she’ll walk up to meet her, and then she’ll be able to ask for forgiveness. He plan was to be carried out on the main bridge that connects the two neighboring towns together, in the early part of the morning where not a soul would be awake to rescue her. Just as she was about to take the leap……

“Eureka! Eureka!! Eureka!!! Wake up you lazy girl”, her mother shouted, standing right above her head. Sweaty, she lets out a disgruntled sound. “Why did she even name me Eureka when I can’t find it, freedom!” she wondered. 

Auf Wiedersehen,

Ayokunle Falomo.