Thursday, June 23, 2011

Memories & Tears


He stood by the window, forehead pressed into the cool smooth surface, hands in a knot behind him. The rain splashed against the window, dropped off the ledge and formed little puddles somewhere below. The rain drops were frenzied in their arrival, in contrast to the slow tears that streamed down his face. It felt eerie, the only sound noticeable was the clatter of the elements against the window, he stood perfectly still. The only movement you could make out in the dim silhouette of the room was of the fingers of time itching towards eternity. The imagery of tears can be fascinating, his eyes were tinged with absent-minded sadness, his vision blurred by the build up of the little pearls of water. Running down in an almost perfect elliptical trail, the stream of tears traced a path to the cleft of his chin and the little drops plunged to the soft rug beneath his feet. His reverie was broken by the deep sound of rumbling thunder, he cocked his right ear, recognition and awareness slowly filtering back in. A rueful smile changed the features of his looks, in one swift motion he ran the back of his hand across his face and backed away from the window...

I was just a few months shy of my 4th birthday, chatting away happily with my brother and sister in the car. Dada was excited and smiling, I can't remember why I noticed but he seemed to be buzzing with new energy. He told us we were going to the hospital to see mama and the new baby. I wasn't so keen on the new baby but I wanted to see mama. I had noticed her absence and my simplistic brain couldn't recall why she had to leave and stay in the hospital overnight. I knew she worked in the hospital but she had been home for awhile since she started putting on weight on her belly. My sister had told me that mama was pregnant with that childish-grownup confidence she had and my brother didn't seem bothered so I figured that mama would eventually lose the weight. My sister kept chattering excitedly in the car, my mind drifted off to a thousand places, I guess I started dreaming as a kid.

We arrived at the hospital and I quickly jumped out of Dada's Peugeot 504, squinting into the hot Enugu sun. I walked in between Dada and Wiggy (my sister), swinging my short hands happily as I held their hands tightly. My brother (Ragfella) strolled alongside while we all kept up the mindless chatter and random observation of our surrounding. We finally got to Mama's room and I recall she looked a bit tired but happy to see us. She was carrying the new baby, swaddled in white blankets. Dada motioned for us to keep our voices low so as not to wake baby up. Wiggy's eyes lit up, I bet she was thinking up new ideas of how to include baby in her "empty milo and bournvita tin" cooking classes. I struggled to catch a glimpse of baby's face, leaning and stretching as far as my short legs would allow. Finally Mama lowered baby for us to see properly and I was fascinated. Baby looked fragile and very fair and the first thought that crossed my mind was that she was too small. I could'nt understand how she could be so small when Mama's stomach was so huge when she was carrying baby inside her. I didn't know exactly how to voice my observations so I waited for Ragfella to say something. I looked up to him, not just because he was taller than me, but he was older and wiser. He had a quizzical expression on his face too, then he said in Igbo, "ukwu nwa di ka ukwu okuko"...(translated as "this baby's leg is like a chicken's leg"). Dada and Mama burst out laughing and we all joined in.

I wasn't sure I could ask my own question, so I bottled it up. On the ride home, I kept wondering why I didnt see any toilet bowl or big bowl in mama's room, how else could she have "poo-pooed" baby out?


  1. LOL. Now that's cool. Is it an excerpt from an upcoming book? Maybe, maybe not. All in all, nice

  2. iLove it.....'ukwu nwa di ka ukwu okuko'...lmao..classic

  3. An upcoming book? Interesting concept, never really thought that far, most of my ramblings are normally real life stories about

  4. Hilarious! Your brother said that??! kai.. reminds me of my engli-igbo as a child, "mummy acho m e follow gi" (mummy i want to go with you)

  5. Engli-igbo! Classic. Lmao @ "mummy acho m e follow gi"