I looked at her confusedly “mummy tayo, what is happening? What is cancer?” I asked, looking at her like a lost child asking for direction.
” Haa, Ewaaaaa, hmmmmm” she said as she wiped her tears.
I stood directly in front of her, looking at her, expecting her to explain to me
“Ewa”she called out my name. “ma” I answered, she stretched forth her hands, held my hands and pulled me close “you see” she paused, looking for the right words to say. “Your mother will be fine”
“But what is cancer?” I asked, still not convinced with the response she gave.
“Uhmm, can…cancer is just a sickness, don’t worry she will be fine”
I nodded my head in agreement but deep within me, I knew there was something she wasn’t telling me. The doctor watched silently with a pitiful look.
Maa’mi got well gradually, she was discharged the following week. When she left the hospital, some things changed about her, she was quiet and depressed. sometimes when I get back from school, her eyes would be swollen as if she had wept from morning till evening.
“Could it be the cancer? But mummy tayo said she will be fine” one day I summoned the courage to ask her what was wrong. “Maa’mi, what happened to your eyes?” I asked because I didn’t want to jump into conclusion
“My eyes? Ehmm, something entered my eyes when I was cleaning the house”
I knew she lied but I didn’t want to go further. “Hmmm, maa’mi, please be careful when you are working”
“Thanks my baby” she gave a fake smile and hugged me.
I thought she would be conscious of herself knowing that I was beginning to suspect, but it grew worse, maa’mi would wake up in the middle of the night to weep, in the morning her eyes would have been swollen. I wasn’t enjoying the whole moment. We began to live like sadist in the house.
One day I overheard mum discussing with tayo’s mum in the sitting room.
“Where is ewatomi?” tayo’s mum asked
“She is asleep”
“Okay!, So how is chemotherapy going?”
There was a pause for about 50seconds
“My dear, it is not easy, it has started affecting my hair, I have to tie scarf everywhere so that tomi won’t notice” she answered. Her voice was shaking as if she would break into tears anytime soon
“It is well, my friend”
“Did you just say well, how is it well, I will die anytime soon, who will take care of my daughter, I have no relative, nobody and you are saying it is well,I am beginning to think the lord has forgotten me ” maa’mi shouted and broke into tears
“Mama ewa! Mama ewa! Keep your voice down, you will wake tomi oooo, hmmmm. You will not die in jesus nam….ehn EWA!”
She didn’t notice I had been standing at the door for about 5 minutes. Maa’mi looked up immediately and covered her mouth.
To be continued