The Woman I Want To Be

I’m late coming back home from school, SS3 isn’t as chilling as our successors made it look. What’s with taking your studies more serious than ever and all the extra lessons after school and even during break period. WAEC, JAMB and whatever exams i’m to write, be sure that i’m coming for you. Me will smash you, not the other way around.
I open our door and step in- we live in a story building, house is as tidy as ever and i even perceive a nice aroma and i know my mother has been busy. Despite the fact that i have a good reason for being late, i still feel a little guilty, stressing her when i’m supposed to make life easier for her. ‘Mom i’m home’. I call out to her. I hear her footsteps sounding softly on tiled floor. I follow the sound and meet her half way, at the dining room. She smiles and hug me, i breathe in the scent that i’ve always associated with my mum. It’s soothing, she’s soothing, her frail body soft, i fear if i tighten my hold on her she’ld break. I try to break free, she chuckles lightly and rubs her cheek against mine. ‘And how is my angel? You look tired’. She tries to collect my school bag, i move away from her. ‘No mum, thanks mum’. She smiles while shaking her head at me. She moves to the kitchen, ‘Well, let me put your food for you. You came right on time…..as always’, she says slyly. I laugh as i head upstairs, ‘I love you mum’. ‘Love you too honey’, she replied. That has always been our way. I tell her i love her and she tells me she loves me too, i always got a charge everytime she ended it with ‘honey’ even after all these years. She’s been my guide and confidant, my very best friend, without her in my life i wonder how it would have been. Cold, dead. Okay i’m being dramatic but those words describe my feeling everytime i think about how my life would be like a week, a month, a year from now without her in my life. I know i have my dad also but i don’t think he’ld be able to function well without her to lead the way.
My mum is/was a strong career woman, she never let anything keep her down. Even when there was no money or any child forthcoming, she didn’t play the victim. Instead she encouraged my dad. When i was really young, i used to watch her and my dad just sit together while she caressed his face or stroked his hair and even then, i guess i saw how powerful the magic was, i wanted to be a part of it so i always scrambled my way towards them, climbing my way up to where they were and my mum would laugh, my dad would just pick me up and they would both tickle me. When my dad was frustrated about the lack of money and was always in anger mode, she didn’t let it faze her, she stuck to her guns, told him i was getting scared of him and that whatever was going on, they would both handle it together. I still remember her saying, ‘As long as we are together and God is for us, it will be handled’. Just like that and that episode was over. He smiled more, created time for me, for our family, above all, all became well. He broke down in the past, she was there to hold him, if he broke down now and she isn’t there i wouldn’t know how to deal with it. Even now when he’s home, though he tries to hide the fear and apprehension, i still see it lurking behind the mask of happiness and calmness. He doesn’t stay so long in the office anymore and he rarely travels. His assistant does that now. My mum stopped working a year ago after her cancer became serious and even then she didn’t let me know about it until later, she said she didn’t want to steal my last year as a senior in secondary school but i would give it up if it would guarantee my mum’s presence in our lives for a long time to come. The doctors say she has breast cancer and is at the last stage. They say it’s too late to fight it and can only give her drugs to reduce the pain. I guess she thought if she ignored it, it meant that the cancer didn’t exist? We are aware now and i and my dad are not leaving her side, you couldn’t push us away with the strength of ten bulls.
After a refreshing shower, i head downstairs and stop short at the foot of the stairs. My mum and dad are hugging, food already set on the table, his bag at his feet. From my position, i watch as a tear trickle down his face, he raised his face and placed a kiss on her forehead. He sees me standing there, watching them and holds out his hand to me, a smile lighting up his face, without hesitation i move towards them and join in the hug. It tells me that no matter what, we’ll always have each other.
*
It’s been five years now and today is my valedictory service. I’m standing with my father, a photographer is in front of us taking our picture. We lost my mother four years ago and though she isn’t with us, memories of her with us as a family will always remain in our hearts. The impact of her life and death in our lives made me realise the type of woman i want to be, my mum. Though i might make mistakes, it only means i’m human.
I love you mum! This one’s for you
Cheese



One thought on “The Woman I Want To Be” by Vanessa's writings (@Vanessa)

  1. Fiction, right?

    * It’ll be nice if a character’s words can have a paragraph of its own, separate from the narration and other characters’ words.

    * Always type ‘i’ as ‘I’.

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