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Lost by Bukola Odeyemi

By Nkem Egenuka on Tue, 20/06/2017 - 15:14

Bukola Odeyemi shares a short story on loss, pain, despair and death. Enjoy!!!

Mololuwa was an intelligent, energetic, beautiful, smart and lovely young lady. She was mama’s first and only child whom she loved dearly. 

Her life had been a struggle. Born into a home where there was little or nothing to feed on was the toughest anyone could experience. They lived on the moment, fed on whatever they saw without complaints; mama should never catch you complaining.  She taught her to always give thanks to God, but to Mololuwa even God knew how hard that was. So she never complained, at least not to mama’s hearing.

Mama sold fried fish and yam to earn a living, struggled day and night to get her through school. During Mololuwa primary school days, she helped mama whenever she was back from school, she’d hawk, with “show glass” singing her self-composed song as she hawked around the neighbourhood and she always  sold all. Mama was pleased and always promised her a sound education even if it was the last thing she’d do.

They didn’t have much. No! That would be understating the fact that they didn’t have anything, but she was content. Even though, the so called rich kids in her neighbourhood would laugh at her tattered clothes whenever she watched TV at their house; mama couldn’t afford one, or even when the wind would sweep by and mockingly lift her clothes to show off the hand stitched pants that mama makes her, while she played a game of “suwe” or “ten-ten”, she still wouldn’t be bothered.  She was strong. She had to be strong for mama, because all they had was each other.

Years passed, Mololuwa gained admission to the university. She was beyond ecstatic because soon all of her dreams would come true. She dreamt of graduating, serving her country (NYSC) and securing a good job so she could care for mama and herself. That was her plan and she pledged to   protect it.

Four months later, she became ill. The "off and on" stomach pains she had being feeling weren't just cramps, they'd been symptoms. Her kidneys were failing her when she needed them most, and next thing she knew she was hospitalised. Mama couldn’t come all the way from far away small town Badagry in Lagos, so Mololuwa was shipped back home like a luggage. Mama couldn’t recognise her. Surely this skeletal looking girl wasn’t her Mololuwa. She could barely talk, let alone walk without assistance.   It didn’t make sense how a person could go from being perfectly healthy to being near dead. Day and night, mama prayed and cried. Mololuwa’s heart broke; how will a weary girl comfort her worried mother? Life just wasn’t fair.

Mama was spending all her income on Mololuwa’s hospital bills and upkeep, and had to sell her properties to meet up, but her health kept deteriorating. Mololuwa wondered if “she still had God” like her name defines. 

Mama had no one to run to. She had raised Mololuwa alone, nurtured her alone, now she’d watch her die alone and bury her alone.

Mololuwa stood looking over her lifeless body. She stretched her hands to give Mama a comforting touch, but all she felt was void. She knew now that she was lost. That she was gone never to return.  Mama didn’t lose her though. It was quite the opposite. She had lost mama. She blew one last kiss into the air for her mama as she turned and walked into the light.


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