FORBIDDEN PURITY

Adhan was being sounded by the Muezzin at the Mosque. It was the first call to worship that evening. Iqama,the second call to line up for prayer, would soon burst out of the huge loudspeakers at the peak of the mosque. The children and adults at Mohammed’s house always looked forward to Adhan, especially this holy month of Ramadhan. Mohammed was a stounch Muslim who saw to it that his family observed a strict fasting.

Everybody in Mohammed’s house looked forward to Ramadhan. Not because of the spiritual naurishment it brought along, but for different reasons. The children loved it because of the feast it promised every night. But Gaucho loved it for a different reason. It gave assurance of more visits to the mosque, which meant he could see Liz more often.

Liz was mildly Catholic. Adhan always meant something for her. It meant it was time for her love to blossom. That first call always found her feet scampering towards their private spot. It was a dark corridor hidden behind tall buildings, close enough to her house and the Mosque, but far enough from the curious eyes of neighbours. She knew Gaucho would soon arrive and her heart was threatening to pop out of her chest. It was their second year now. The beginning of Ramadhan marked their anniversary.

She saw a shadowy figure approach. Her heart was at it again. She could hear her heartbeat now, loud, fast but with rhthmic beats. That was how it had been during the past year. Always waiting for Adhan to be sounded then awaiting in the dark corridor, excited but scared. What if someone followed her and raped her? What if Mohammed, Gaucho’s dad, found out about their little arrangements and followed Mohammed there? Those thoughts always scared Liz. Thats why she had to be sure the shadowy figure approaching was Gaucho, to determine her next action.

It was Gaucho alright, but he was walking funny. He seemed uncertain, as though he wished he would never get to her. She could feel the distance between them increasing as he drew closer. Her heart rate felt it too. Her breathing was faster and her eyes misty. There was something about Gaucho today, she just couldn’t place a finger on it. She tried smiling but it soon melted into a frown. The love of her life was infront of her but her legs refused to go to him for an embrace. It was as though they had grown roots.

Gaucho felt weak at the knees. He could tell she knew something was wrong. They had always feared something would form stumbling blocks in their love path, but never had Gaucho imagined it would be this big. He held on to the rails beside him for support. His head felt heavy and he felt something that was as warm as a tear fall. It had to be that he was crying. His knees gave in and he fell with a thud on the hard gravel. He supported his head with his hands. The thoughts were making it too heavy for his kneck.

Liz watched as the nightmare unfolded. She was now sure she didn’t want to hear what Gaucho had to say. This was bad enough. Her heart went out to him. She went over to where he sat miserably and held his free hand. He couldn’t bear looking at her. they both broke down and wept. At the breast pocket of his Kanzu, a piece of paper was popping out. Had Liz seen something like Fly Emirates? She reached out and removed it from his pocket. It was a plane ticket alright. But why would Gaucho have a ticket.

“Dad found out!” Gaucho managed amid sobs. That explained so many things. No Muslim was allowed to associate with Christians, atleast not the was Gaucho and Liz did. It was Haram. It was a sin.

Liz nodded as if she understood any of it. It pained her that love so pure was forbidden by religion. She questioned the legitimacy of Islam and the doctrines of Christianity. Both of them had been willing to conform to whatever religion just to be together, but that meant being branded outcasts. It meant losing family and all the people they cared about.

Gaucho’s dad was determined to save himself from “humiliation”, even if it meant ripping Liz’s heart apart. She felt it breaking into tiny pieces that scattered allover, it would take an eternity to collect them back together. Their fate was sealed. Their destiny was decided. Accepting it was the difficult part. They sat there, locked in a tight embrace and feeling like they would conquer the world. But deep down they knew they were two helpless children at the mercy of religious fanatics. Soon adhan would be over and Gaucho would be back in their enormous bungalow behind huge iron gates. But till then they had to make the best of this moment. They had to feed each other’s eyes with enough of each other to last them a lifetime.

It goes without saying that nothing would be enough for these love birds. United by love separated by religion.

It got me thinking just how many love impossibles are there just to please other people. How many people break up because other people felt they were not meant to be. Society, religion, circumstances and distance among other things drowning pure love. Then two soul that were soulmates are left wandering looking for suitable replacement.

I dedicate this to all the lovers that fought or are still fighting against all odds to be together.

Based on a true story.

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WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS

Grace held the shirt to her chest and collapsed on the floor next to the washing machine. She was suffocating. The walls were closing in on her now and the floor was running towards the ceiling. She felt dizzy and nauseated. She couldn’t take another look at the evidence in her hands. This mark was not faint, it was so visible as if someone had purposely put it there. Bright red lipstick at the color of a white shirt was not a mistake, it was intended. Someone wanted to make known of her existence. It hurt from the depths of her heart. Her mind was in a turmoil and the heartbeat was resounding. She fought tears but her throat hurt, so she let them flow.

She had previously suspected a strange scent on her husband’s clothes, then later brushed off the thought as a probable change of cologne. She has seen a faint lipstick stain the previous month, but she couldn’t bring herself to consider her husband a cheat. He had been a God-fearing man before then. He had been the best husband any woman could ever wish for. He had been the best daddy to their two children. Then he had lost his job and the drinking had started. It was for the fun of it at first but it had slowly grown into a habbit. He was on the verge of becoming violent. He didn’t want to be there to help the kids do their homework like he used to. He had developed the habbit of demanding rather than asking politely for things like he used to. Whenever he got into the house, change was felt, not the positive kind, the kind of change that makes one wish he would go back to who he had been.

It was now evident Grace was just simply the mother to his children, the woman that did laundry, washed dishes and made his meals. The woman that maintained a clean house. She was simply a voluntary househelp, who deserved nothing close to love and respect. She was an object. She was property he had acquired after paying the bride price. He now had eyes for other women. Maybe younger, prettier and roudy women. He didn’t even bother keeping it a secret.

She had to face him. Nasty as he would be, enough was enough. She wouldn’t sit back and wait for STDs or HIV. She had done everything a supportive wife ought to have done. She had even paid the bills when he lost his job. But that had meant she had no right to repremand him when he didn’t do things right. He would get angry and claim that she was disrespecting him because he didn’t have money, or because he did not have a job. They no longer discussed problems because he would end up walking out on her and coming back drunk. The cheap beer had a stench but she still shared a bed with him like the good wife she was. She still woke up at wee hours to open doors for him and warm his food. She still washed his mud- drenched clothes. She still performed her conjugal duties even with tears in her eyes.

But it had come to this! She had to face him. She mastered all the energy and will she had left to finish doing laundry. It was difficult maintaining a smiling face for the children when they came running playfully to her in the kitchen. She hoped they would never find out she was breaking from the inside. She hoped they would be sleeping when their dad came home, because she suspected a possible rise in voices. And it was so.

“It is your fault that i cheated,” her husband had said that night when he finally got home. She had done everything for him. She had been the pillar when he sought solace in bars. And now he blamed her for his unfathomable acts. She was blazing mad. He was not even sorry. He felt because he was a man, he was allowed to project his frustration on sex outside marriage. She had a duty to understand him. She had a duty to wash lipstick off his shirts. She had a duty to clean him up for other women to see. Because she was a woman. Because she, like other women, was an object. Because she had been bought for a price.

Then they say women have devalued men. That women have overstepped their limits. That is a totally barbaric and backward view. It is an uncivilized social ignorance. A woman is a being that is many things beyond a beautiful face. She is an intelligent being, capable of love, care and compassion. A woman is not just the physical, she has a mind and a soul. She has feelings and she gets hurt. She is a flower that ought to be tended with tender love and affection, not have petals plucked over and over until the flower withers . A woman is so many things not just beautiful.

Inspired by Carol, my Pep talk mate

IN THE COCKPIT OF A CRASHING PLANE

It was a stary night. The candles were lit in the doorway and roses spread neatly up the staircase. I saw a shoe at the bottom of the staircase. It was a lady’s shoe. It was my shoe. The second shoe was at the second staircase. Then the red dinner dress he had bought me for our first anniversary was spread on the fifth, sixth and seventh staircase. It was a beautiful dress, not to mention expensive. Then came more and more red petals. It was the fifth anniversary and everything made sense.

From the door knob hang a card that read “I love you to the moon and back, forever and for always yours”. This i had received on our second anniversary. It had been accompanied by a banquet of pretty white and red roses that had made half of the women at my work place jealous and the men envious. That was the day i had received a promotion. Call it a double potion of blessings. That was about the best foreplay i had received in an eternity.

I turned the knob and walked into the bedroom. It was an awesome mastersuit with memories plastered on all the corners of that room. At the door were his shoes. Then his tie, his single breasted coat then his belt. I followed the clothes splattered allover the room. A big banquet lay on the bed and more candles had replaced the bedside lamp. The bulb had been changed to a romantic blue one. The dim lights, the candles, the stars and the soft music were just the perfect fifth anniversary night. Except he was not there. He probably didn’t even remember it was our anniversary. He didn’t even seem to remember having been a bridegroom at any wedding. That memory was long gone and replaced with wild nights of reckless drinking and random women. He was probably at his usual joint in a strip club wasting away at the mercy of a con or stripper.

I had tried crying myself to sleep, but even sleep evaded me that night. My closest friends that night were anger, disappointment, betrayal and self-doubt. Where had i gone wrong? I had never imagined it would ever get there. It had been so perfect the past four years of our marriage. It hadn’t been my fault that we had had one miscarriage after another. I needed support and comfort not loneliness and betrayal.

I had lit the candles and bought Champaign hoping to revive and collect the pieces of what was left of my marriage. I had hoped he would even come staggering drunk even just to notice the candles, or the petals or atleast the post card at the door of our room of passion.

I had bought myself roses because i missed the Déjà vu. I had pretended he was there the entire night after my eyes were dry from crying. It was 2.00 AM now and i had lost all hope of his coming. I was married to myself. The house felt bigger and scarier now. The beautiful stars seemed to share in my pain. The moon was crescent but i felt like it had purposed to smile at me.

I wished there was a way i could make it right again. I had even tried accompanying him to those joints but i had ended up getting humiliated after he got drunk. Everybody there now knew how wrecked our marriage was. I couldn’t dare show my face in those joints. Our plane had nose-dived and the pilot was fighting for his life at the ICU. Our ship was sinking and the captain was drowning with it. Nothing else was to be done. There was no love lost between us any more, or maybe it was one sided.

And tears started stinging again. That was all i had. Tears from memories lost long ago. I let them flow and meet up with my running nose. My mascara flowed down with them as i watched in the mirror. I wished those tears could wash away the flaws of my failed marriage. Clense it and make it whole again. I wished those tears could mend my womb and make conception possible. I let them flow because they were all the comfort i had. I was weeping now and the clock was ticking. Soon it would be day break and my swollen eyes would tell it all.

LONELY IN A FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD

Footsteps were heard in the hallway. It sounded like the tick tok of a clock in the silent banking hall. First came the peep toe stiletto with neatly pedicured nails peeping shyly. Everybody turned to look. The stilettoes continued their tick tok up to where i stood at the writing counter. I noticed the shoe then the nails. The curiosity of a cat set in and i followed as my eyes led me upwards. The Blue peplum bodycon dress to match the nail polish did not disappoint. I wanted to look away but my eyes led on. It was now getting to the “staring” degree – i couldn’t afford to be caught staring at a fellow woman, it would insinuate something. But this sight was an envy of many. I just had to see the face that graced this masterpiece. I really wanted to. My eyes bowed to my will and my gaze went back down to the yellow designer handbag matching the shoes. It was beginning to get matchy matchy, the good kind.

I am not gay. At this point i felt the need to emphasize that. This beauty was self imposing though. It was beauty in its solid form. I had to continue scribbling my account activation form or else my pure intentions would be misinterpreted by the stunning sight right in front of me. Then i saw a tear fall on whatever it was she had been writing on. It was followed by another tear and finally they were torrential until her nose started running too. By now everyone was staring, including me. I was wondering what would be imperfect in this perfect creation of God. For a moment there i had been envious of the composure. Everybody else decided she was more than they could handle and looked away. I mastered all the courage i could and talked to her, she looked snobbish.

To my utter surprise she turned and hugged me, as if we had always known each other. She practically needed a shoulder to cry on and i let her use mine. Then i led her to the washroom, i figured she needed privacy and thats the best idea i could manage given the circumstances. There maybe she could talk it out to this stranger, me. I had noticed the scribbling on the page and i could almost tell what the crying was about. She had really been struggling to write her name where she had thought it needed to be. The letters seemed like little shapes that anyone could barely make out.

In the ladies she revealed being embarrassed at her inability to read or write. She was illiterate in a world where literacy was a basic need. It had pained her that she could not spell or write her own name. She was too old for school now, she thought. Obviously, she really needed to be taught basic things like the alphabet and a few numbers especially to help her get through this digital era.

I offered to fill the forms for her. Just then i realized just how much the simple things are a blessing. I had always taken my being educated for granted while out there, someone was wishing they could atleast write their name! I realized just how many things are God’s favour but we are ignorant of it. Like being brought up in a proper home, or being physically and mentally fit, or having our own children or having an education we can brag about!

I had so much to wish for and so little to be grateful for, so i realized. That was a wrong drive. Thats why i reach out to you today, be grateful even for the nails on your little toe, or even the single strand of hair in your head. I have personally been struggling to get my hairline back to no avail, be grateful that you have yours and can do a bun on your hair. There is really so much to thank God for. Even when you are at your worst, grumble less and show more gratitude. For if your are grateful for little things you will remember to be grateful for bigger and greater things.

I am grateful that you are reading this. Thankyou.

AT THE HEART OF THE INEVITABLE

It was summer again, but that morning was chilly. Pindrop silence ensued. It was an important moment for the town, and the church. Kneeling, the christians bowed their heads in adoration. Searching their souls in readiness to right their wrongs. Julie knelt, staring right up at the crisified Jesus. He looked down on her mercifully, so she felt. She saw the tears in his eyes and cheeks. The blood stains were visible on his face. The crown of thorns that seemed tighter than before were staring on gleefully. Julie shifted her gaze to his hands. The nails were still there. By then tears were cascading her cheeks in torrents. She wanted to hug him and tell him everything would be fine. That sorrow and sadness gave her a drive to attend confession. She was a regular confessor, but the previous turn of events had been a temporary setback. She made a decision to visit the confession box.

Adoration was over and the believers dispersed. Julie was left behind to see a priest. She stepped into her side of the confession box and knelf facing the semilucent window that hid her face from the priest the other side. She stared around the tiny familiar box-like room. This was where she had always come to pour out her heart. Those four walls of the tiny confession box had held her deepest secrets. She wondered if there would be a priest on the other side listening. There had always been. “Forgive me father for i have sinned, it has been 6 months since my last confession,” she began. This was the moment to unburden her heart. She was carrying a big secret that was weighing her down. People had even started to notice her loss of weight. She had no idea who to share it with. The traumatic stress was overwhelming.

As tears fell down her face, she confessed her infidelity. The sermon that day had seemed to talk to her. It had been about the Samaritan woman who had failed to give Jesus drinking water because he was was Jewish, an enemy tribe. Jesus had asked her to bring her husband and she had denied having any while she had five husbands. Jesus pointed it out and she felt embarrassed and amazed by that stranger who knew her secrets. However, Jesus had asked her to turn to Him because he was the water of life. Julie was that woman. She sobbed out her heart until her words were incoherent. The priest on the other side of the translucent glass sat listening sileny like they all always did. At some point she had almost thought she was talking to a wall. The she finally hit the nail on the head and the “priest” sprang to his feet.
She had spilt the beans, the cat was out of the bag now. It felt like a load had been lifted off her shoulder. It had been difficult admitting it to herself but now she felt optimistic. She was HIV positive and she had accepted it! She had been taking her medication as instructed although she couldn’t bring herself to break the news to her husband. On more than one occasion she had rehearsed the conversation with her husband in her mind, but somehow she had always lacked the knowhow. She still didnt know how she would face her husband, but atleast she had renewed hope. She now has renewed faith. Sooner or later she would bell the cat, she just had to know how.

She was stirred back to the reality of possible stigma when the door of her side of the box flew open. Her husband stood at the door, dressed in priestly robes, sweating and breathing heavily. His eyes were redder than beetroot and he was shaking profusely. He looked like a possessed man. His face registered so many emotions that Julie couldn’t interprete. He seemed hurt, broken, angry, disappointed even suicidal. She had never, not even in her wildest dreams, wanted him to find out like that. She felt his pain. It was her fault but she was also suffering. She had seen much more promiscuous women that had escaped unscathed. She had been unlucky. But still, her husband didn’t deserve to find out like that. He didn’t even deserve the virus at all!

They stayed there glaring at each other, both too awestruck to speak. Did they even have words to say to each other? She even worried that her husband had always been the “priest” in the other side of the confession box. What other secrets had he known? She wished to diffuse in thin air and avoid that confrontation.

Most couples that could be discordant end up parting in death because of fear. One spouse finds out they are infected but they cant bring themselves to inform the other, eating healthy and hoping for the cat to bell itself. The other ignorant spouse continues to waste away and finally succumbs to the virus. It leaves one wondering why a spouse would rather be widowed than fight the virus together. The onset of the problem is that the bearer of the news is branded the origin of the virus. ” You knew you had it that’s why you took the test” is one of the nasty responses an already devastated spouse has to endure. Fights could develop hitherto. Word would soon go round and the disguised stigma would set in. A spouse would rather keep it to themselves and hope that somehow someday their partner will learn of their status on their own.
It is not right, but who will bell the cat?

BROKEN BY INNOCENCE

He looked up to her and smiled. That was about the prettiest a smile could ever get. Her heart was beaming with jubilation. He was the one. A perfect masterpiece of God’s creation, or atleast she felt so. Their gaze held for a while ,then she broke it, bending to kiss him. Those too were the softest lips she had ever tasted. She wished they could stay like that forever; him staring up at her and her holding him close as if in tight embrace. He was hers. And she was his, a bond that nobody could ever break. Till death do them part,and even then, she would love to spend the afterlife with him.

She had almost forgotten the dispair she had experienced, the backaches and acute contractions of labour. All that was behind her now. She forced back a tear that was threatening to ruin the moment. The only emoji allowed right that moment was only a smiler, any other would be a spoiler. He was as light-skinned as his daddy. He had by now closed his eyes in protest to the bright light that he was obvioisly not used to. She toyed with his hair and stroke his cheeks fondly. She marveled at just how adorable he looked. She could almost see him riding bicycles and playing in the rain. She felt like she had silently received the golden buzzer looking down at this bundle of joy.

“His grandfather will be proud,and his dad will be overwhelmed,” she thought to herself as she dialed her cell to call them. The reaction was just what she had expected. “What is it? Grandma or grandpa?” The receiver had said. She knew both grandparents were standing under a tree like they always did while making calls for better network reception. Grandpa had put her on speaker so as to tease grandma, they were like teenagers those two. She could practically hear her father-in-law’s excitement as he recited the i-told-you-so to her mother-in-law. It was all joy. She finally got home, received with all the singing and dancing by villagers. Grandpa led the choir before asking to “hold himself”. As the culture dictated, the firstborn boy born to any son was named after the father.

He was a beautiful boy. Every villager had a gift for the baby. Tea was made in larger cooking pots for hospitable treatment of visitors. Everyday was an epitome of celebration. Even drunkards passed by to eat but disguising it with “bringing greeting for the baby”!! The joy was illuminating.

A month passed by and the crying couldn’t stop. Solutions were sought, medicine was given but still the baby cried on. The forehead seemed larger and the eyes started getting sucked into the skull, until the iris could barely be seen. The breastfeeding was a problem because nobody could get the baby to stop crying. Nobody had ever seen this before. A seer had to be consulted. This was not normal. Somebody had to do something. A mother’s instict had to take root. She rushed the baby to hospital. Grandma rushed the problem to the seer she knew.

The baby was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus. With an uneducated mother like that, the doctors couldn’t explain the condition to her.she was given a surgery appointment and asked to go home. They almost collided head on with her mother-in-law at her doorstep.she was rushing to give news from the seer.

Holding the baby in her hands during her journey home, she had felt cheated. Why would anyone subject her baby to surgery while he was only three months old? What kind of illness was that she had never heard of? That the doctors didn’t have a name for? Her son had to have been bewitched. It had to be her mother-in-law, to appease her unmarried daughters Her anger and frustration went out to her mother-in-law. At that moment she saw flaws in how her in-laws looked at her and her son. She remembered how they had resisted her marriage to their son. She even remembered the tiny disagreements they had had. Every mile closer home was a mile away emotionally. By the time her journey was over so was her relationship with the family she had married into. She had made resolutions that would cause change. A turn of events.

It was a fatal coincidence that her mother-in-law was telling her about seers just when she had witchcraft accusations lined up in her mind. Her outburst was to her relief. It was however a nasty insult to her mother-in-law. She didn’t even notice the palm of her hand landing on her daughter-in-law’s face in a resounding slap. She only came to her senses when a slap landed on her own face. As fast as she could, she placed the baby on a nearby chair and rolled up her sleeves. That had to be the day she would teach that witch a lesson. In the spur of a minute they were rolling on the ground in a serious exchange of blows.

Women are known to scream while fighting. It is that which drew the villagers to their home. Some cheered on while others were afar yet trying to talk them out of it. Nobody seemed to want to interfer with the combat. A stronger woman finally showed up and tore them away from each other. One thing followed another and an elders meeting was called. This daughter-in-law had to be cast out. She was a disgrace. The husband was called to give a verdict, he was too humiliated to oppose. His wife on the other hand was too dismayed to care. After all she didnt want to be part of that family any more. But still she forgot that she needed their financial support.

One elder stood and spoke. He said that they had all made a hurried decision out of anger and frustration. He pointed out that they were dealing with a young couple in a contemporary world, the 21rst generation. Their set rules and regulations for traditional use were not applicable. He requested for another sitting after they had all  given it a good thought.

The sun was peeping shyly in the western horizone, and the cows were beginning to call out for the evening meal. Elders spoke in low tones, each having separate thoughts. The topic of discussion sat in the kichen holding a crying baby, while her mother-in-law stood under a banana tree consulting with her agemates. A decision had to be made. Somehow, some day, they all had to come to a consensus. But whatever it would be, the cracks in the family pot were beginning to show. An innocent baby had broken a family.

WHY HOLD ONTO STRAWS WHEN HARDWOOD BECKONS?

Hullabaloo lent the air when the junior school results were released by the then CS for education. It was the festive season and that was an additional reason to celebrate. The meat was tastier than i remembered. The music sounded more melodious. The presents and congratulatory messages kept flowing, i almost felt bill gates rich. My opinions were respected more and for a brief moment, i was the queen in that small kingdom. Soon it was all over and i was whisked to high school.

Nobody was really keen on my performance because i had already proven to know how to go about studies in junior school. High school was a shocker. No teachers spoonfeeding us, nobody writing notes for us on the whiteboard. Nobody was telling us what to do. I staggered for a bit then soon regained my balance. And then the worst of the time happened.

Just when i was about to sit my final exam, me together with a quater of my classmates got suspended. It was for a stupid reason, but it still hit my dad real bad. His reaction took me aback. He got so angry that he beat me up infront of my cousins and siblings. The humiliation was overwhelming. I cried like a baby, not out of pain, but out of humiliation and anger. At 17, i felt too mature to receive a beating. But so they say, a child will always be a kid to their parents. Its only now that i realize dad was doing that out of dispair. He has probably expected me to be too busy studying to be caught in stupid mistakes. He was scared that i would embarass him, he was probably looking forward to more hullabaloos and jubilation after those results too.

That should give you a picture of how angry dad can get. I look back and feel like i am that “prodigal son” in my family. Because only 2 years later while in campus, i received important life changing news. I sat gloomily on my bed conteplating on my life. That felt like the beginning of a long nightmare whose ending was not vivid. I was drowning, then floating, then drowning again. I seemed to be losing balance. My hands were allover looking for any form of support. Holding on to stands of grass that kept weakening under my strong grasp and finally cutting loose. I was suffocating while everyone else seemed to be breathing just fine. I felt like i was in an alien planet where nobody seemed to notice me. I was a zombie walking around, looking alive but feeling dead.

What i dreaded most was facing my dad with the news. My mum is less strict and kind of dynamic, but dad!! He is another level. As i sat there that day in high school came rolling speedily back at me. I felt the tears, shame and dispair once more. I could almost see his face and all the emotions inscribed there, visible to whoever wanted to see. Once more i had let them down. The only two people that deserved nothing less than peace.

It was only at the end of my second trimester that a counsellor appealed to my reasoning. She said that having a baby is a big thing and one neeeded all the support they could get.She said parents were bound to get angry but they would still understand. She even mentioned possible death. Now every shity thing i could accomodate, but death? I was too young to die. My future seemed gleem yes, but still i wanted to live through it. Even just for my baby. So i finally broke the big news, first to Mum ofcourse hoping somehow she would tell dad and save me the fright. To my utter surprise, she told me she wouldnt even cough a word to him and i had to do it myself.

Should i text? Should i call? Should i wait till mum rethinks her decision? Should i just show up unannounced and let him deal with it? Or should i just stay where i was and skip telling him at all. I was at a crossroads. Too many roads that somehow led to the same destination. Some were rough and bumpy but they seemed the easiest to travel on. After an entire week of route evaluation, i settled on texting, despite the fact that dad could take a week to see the text or even not see it all . So i had to call to tell him to check out the text.

To cut the long story short, or did i make a short story long? He finally read it and sent me money to go home. His attitude this time was a resounding astonishment. He was the supportive dad, even mum was the best. A part of me felt like they were actually looking forward to being grand parents. Dad driving me to the clinic for check up, mum advising me on what to eat and baby shopping beforehand. Life was easy and happy. The life i had envisioned and the one that was unfolding were not related, they were not even friends!

Dad picked mum and i up from hospital when the baby finally came. Even when i got cracked nipples and couldnt breastfeed dad made sure the milk formula, which was damn expensive, was always available. He could even buy diapers! Maybe you dont see a biggie in that, but i do. Daddy is the typical African man that believes in chores for women and men being different and uninterchangeable. So him doing a woman’s chores on my account was flattering.

More often than not, those gestures brought tears to my eyes. Not bad tearing, but tears of love and joy. Sometimes the baby would refuse to sleep and mum would hold her for me while i slept. Dad always made sure fruits and soup were available. Mum bathed the baby for me when i was scared to hurt her. It was easier being a mum because i had two assistants, not to mention their will and dedication.

They were my pillars of strength. I wondered why i had held on to strands during my first two trimesters, while hardwood beckoned at me for support. It is that hardwood that built my faith in God once more. The timber for my parenting foundation was extracted from that wood. So you can bet it is as strong as Noah’s ark. And i will always feel indebted, though they never expect payback, for the love, care, support and strength.

My little munchkin and I. The reason for my purpose