Good mothers protect their children from danger. They know, just know when anything evil would happen to their child. Then they pray about it, they don’t just rely on the subtlety of the hands of fate. In tears and anger, they fight. They stop whatever evil is about to befall their child.
How then didn’t I notice my baby fading away? How couldn’t I tell that Derin was about to be stolen from my hands?
‘Oluwasekunderin’– God has turned my tears into laughter. After years of trying hard to conceive; testing out the conventional and unconventional; enduring spiteful glares of family on all sides; God finally blessed us with you.
We had tried everything and finally just when I nearly gave up I bargained with the Lord. It works, and it did.
“If you give me this baby, I would never forsake your cross. I’d give you my life”.
I remember when we got the news, your father and I couldn’t be happier. I remember his eyes, wide and bright, glazed over with tears. You brought us more joy than we thought we could take, and you were everything to us.
We were back from church, like any other Sunday. Your father needed to go back to work, to finish off some things. You were supposed to be inside, safely tucked between the sheets. I should have known you would come out when you heard the car. I should have made sure you didn’t.
It hurts too much, Derin. I need you to come back.
Maybe I shouldn’t have let my mind drift off during the sermon. Maybe I should have shouted “Amen” with a little more fervor.
Your father was reversing, he didn’t, couldn’t have, seen you. You were so tiny. You were running towards the car, he didn’t know, couldn’t have heard you screaming “daddy!”
It was too late when he finally saw your tiny body. It was too late to brake, too late to stop what was going to happen.
I loved you more than I loved my breath. You were everything to us.
Why would you give us happiness only to snatch it away?
Your body was just lying there, on the hot concrete. As if you weren’t the embodiment of our combined dreams. All that blood…I still dream about it. Horrible red, I’ve never been able to scrub the stain out.
Your head was smashed. The head I had carefully patted just that morning. Unrecognizable. I couldn’t stop myself. I ran towards you and held you in my arms. I hoped so desperately that my maternal hands would hold some healing power. That God will see my pain and you would be brand new.
But they didn’t, and He didn’t. Instead my dress became soaked through in blood. My baby’s blood.
I don’t know what happened after that. I just remember being in a white sterile room with an old man in a white coat.
He was saying something, telling me not to worry. It would be fine. For a few seconds I tried to remember what had happened. Then his words hurled it back at me with full force. I went crazy. I ripped out the tubes form my hand and thrashed on the bed. He tried to stop me but I fell on the floor and I wailed. Tears just weren’t enough. My heart drummed to pain, a dreadful black veil draped itself over my life.. I knew he was wrong. Nothing would ever be okay again.
Your father is sorry. I know he is. His eyes are dead now. Dead. Cold. His laughter no longer rings around the house; but you were the cause of that laughter remember?
It’s just like the days before your birth. But now it’s worse. Worse because we know what it’s like to taste happiness, worse because the air is thick with pain, worse because your ghost hangs around the house.
Worse because your father thinks I blame him. Even worse because I can’t say with full conviction that I don’t.
They’ve tried to take you out. They’ve cleaned out your room and removed all your toys. They even repainted the walls. But can they ever clear out my womb? Can they wash out your fingerprints from there? Can they rip out your memory from my heart?
”the sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken Spirit”
Am I broken enough, Lord? Would you bring my joy back to me?
Derin, you want to come back don’t you? I want you back. I need you back.
Come back to mummy honey. Mummy wants you back. Mummy needs you…