When Chike poured himself a drink that morning to celebrate the recovery of his sick mother, he never imagined he was toasting her to the land beyond. Now, seated in the room’s only chair, he felt his hands continually shiver, not from shock, but from the reality of shock’s aftermath – the haunting darkness. They were like two and three, Chike and his mother.
The tears did not come, like he had imagined they would when she eventually crossed the border of existence. The pain he felt could not be expressed by tears – like an understatement of his grief. A few drops here and there was all he could summon, the pain had dried up all that was left.
Chike knew life would continue, he could already sense the inhumane beast called survival pulling him up from his hearth of mourning. The transition was inevitable. Yet, he knew that all was never going to be the same again; the egg was broken, no magic could stitch it up. All could never be the same again.
Chike flashed back into the archives of time, he saw a beautiful, angel-like light peering into his eyes, nudging him to grow up; cheering him up when he fell; staying awake when his end seemed near. It was that beautiful, angel-like light that gave him life, nurtured the life in him, and assured him through life itself. The loss of that light was not a tragedy in itself – it had paid its dues. The real tragedy was the darkness that it left behind.
The sun was closing shop for the day and the dawn of the evening added its gloomy weight to the already grieved room. Chike stood up and proceeded to light up a candle as his world seemed to stumble before him. He lit up the candle and the room sprung into light. Chike sat back and watched the little white stick carrying a flame of fire.
Swishing and swirling, the wind tempted the candle to extinguish its fire. For a moment, it would look like the candle was going to give in; but never, it never did. The candle resisted and continued in its formidable strength, determined to live on. Though, sadly, sooner or later, the candle would be exhausted and together with its power of light would vanish into oblivion.
As Chike observed the burning candle, he hoped it would burn forever and never leave him in darkness. It was never to be. The candle got to its grave and calmly buried itself. Its death was inevitable, despite the power of its light and love. Another candle had to be lit up.
Most of Chike’s neigbours had more than one candles. So, when one was exhausted, they had little to worry about. For Chike, it was not the same; his father died ten years ago and now, his last candle had succumbed to the dogma of nature. All was never going to remain the same again, unless another candle was lit up again.