Arrow of Fate
By Yusuf Abdulwasii
My name is Aminah Yusuf, according to my grandmother, my parents met in Abuja in 1973, they got married in 1974 and had me the following year. Following the economic situation in Nigeria, my mother, a qualified nurse, sought for visa to travel to the United Kingdom to work. She got it and relocated, my father joined her three years later. I was left with grandma by my parents who planned to come for me as soon as they settled down.
My grandma loved me so much because my was her only only daughter of the three children she had, she also was her eldest child. My parents were still communicating and sending gifts to grandma and I from time to time. One evening, I came into the house after playing with my friends to see grandma crying. She tried to clean her tears as soon as she saw me enter. It was too late; I had already seen her tears as she slowly bent her head to wipe her tears with the edge of her wrapper.
Grandma! I screamed as I rushed to hold her. What is the problem? Why are you crying?
Nothing dear, she said and held me close like she was trying to console herself. “My leg hurts me so much. Remember I told you I had arthritis? It’s hurting me seriously, she said.
I rushed into her room and brought out the balm she normally used any time the pains started. Grandma gradually composed herself and deceived me into believing that her leg was really the problem. About two hours later, my uncles started coming into the house, each with swollen eyes. They tried to fake smiles at me as I came to greet them. They were all gathered in the parlour and spoke in a very low tones. They stopped speaking anytime I passed by and pretend to say something funny. Then I was in second year of junior secondary school and grown enough to differentiate between good and evil. Something was definitely wrong, I told myself. I made up my mind to hide so close to the parlour as soon as any other visitors came in. I wanted to hear have was causing the tension. Nobody was happy yet they didn’t want me to admit it.
A sister to my grandmother who was living in Imo state came back a few days to be told the sad story. She assumed I would have been told of my mother’s death. So she continued screaming and cursing death for snatching her niece, my mother.
So that was it??? The whole tension, the grandma’s bad mood and the fake arthritis pains? My mother’s death was the reason all these visitors came around? I fell to the ground and began to cry. My grandma and uncles rushed out to hold me. I was heart broken as much as my grandma. She could no longer look into my eyes because of the pain in them.
My mother was buried abroad, living my father behind according to the letter he wrote to grandma. Two weeks after the burial, I went to back to school motherless. My friends and teachers consoleed me in their own way. Though things could never be like before but I managed to carry on. At least I still had my father. My mother’s demise further arrangements to take me to London, I focused on my studies and came out with good grades. My grandma’s love was so strong. She was there for me and spent most of her pension allowance on me. To her, I was still that daughter she loved so much. I reminded her of the daughter.
As if my mother’s death was not enough…
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