Loneliness. Its all that surrounded me these days. It was like a big dark halo above my head and my arms couldn’t just extend high enough to pull it down. I had a permanent sombre mood except when Paps came in. Paps, she lit up my face like the fourth of July every single day at 9 o’clock. She was the cleaner that changed my sheets every single day. She didn’t miss a day. Part of me thought it was because it was her job but I later came to realise she found me interesting. It didn’t come as a surprise to me though. I found me interesting too. Weird huh?
My best hours of the day, apart from Paps’ time, was late afternoon when Junior dropped by with the nanny. My little piece of heaven; he made my days despite my current predicament. There’s one thing I loved about being a mother to that little boy, it was an unbreakable and untamable kind of joy that just springed from within. It didn’t need no pushing or any sparks. It was just there always. Junior always found a way to make my evening. Despite his young age and of course the irony surrounding it, he still managed to make mummy crack up. Being bedridden for months now, I got around to learning the sound of his footsteps and when they were closer I would break the prettiest smile ever to hide all the agony I felt inside.
Today he was early. I didn’t get to prepare that superwoman type of smile but trust me a mother will always find a way around everything. He was happy which was good because today I needed him to distract himself with his own joy. He hopped onto the bed and hugged me tightly. I tried as hard as I could to hold him tight until he muffled, “Mummy can you let go now. You’re hurting me.” Haha, I know baby, I know. I didn’t mean to hurt him but I just never wanted to let him go. It hurt me to know that somewhere at the back of his mind he knew mummy might never come back home.
“Mummy, tomorrow is my birthday!”
“Yes honey, It really is. Are you turning 20?”
“Haha, not yet mummy. I’m only seven.”
“I know love. I just thought you’d grown bigger last night”
“Wanna guess what wish I’ll make when I blow my eigth candle?”
“Let’s see, err, that your front teeth would grow back?”
“No. I wish that God would heal you mummy and bring you back home.”
Wow! This was totally beyond my adult control. It was more of an involuntary reflex. I couldn’t help it. My lacrimal glands betrayed my otherwise motherly instincts. He couldn’t understand why I kept stroking his hair and crying. He was confused. I was too. All I knew is that my condition didn’t give me any pain. Junior’s welfare was all that mattered to me. The knowledge of having no one with him was painful. Like I said, my life was a lonely one. My only visitors were Paps and Junior. But again, I didn’t care. As long as my baby knew how much he meant to me and seeing his face alone worked magic on my wrinlked one. It’s all I could ask the Almighty for.
Goodbye. I hated them a lot but Junior had to go home, do homework and prepare for school the next day. He looked at me before he jumped down and said, “Mummy will I see you at home on my birthday?” I looked at him and tried not to tear up. I couldn’t find the right words. I choked on my own words and I just managed a smile and a slight nod. He smiled big and said, ” I’ll not say goodbye because I’m gonna wake up in your bed mummy. Laluu❤!”
Seeing him disappear into the corridor holding the nanny’s hand made me a little jealous. It had been long since I held his hand and walked with him to the swings. My baby was just seven but he’d learned to sail through life without mummy being there all the time. It hurt me a lot to have to raise him that way but if I had another way out I would take it. The slightest possibility of not making it home for his birthday drilled holes into my heart. Even more, I felt guitly for not telling him the truth. As much as I hated goodbyes, this one was inevitable…