When things happen we hope that time will make everything better, and by better we mean less painful and would not sting as much as it used to. Well, after a while it becomes easy to think that you are safe and everything is good now. Not for me. Every time I read that note, it hurts all over again. Every time I read that note I am reminded that I will always be a slave to the present, because the present is more powerful than the past, no matter how long ago the present happened.
You see, memory is what enslaves us, but memory plays tricks. Memory is another word for story, and nothing is more unreliable.
Sitting alone and sipping whisky for the first time one sunny afternoon, my mind played with the memory of the morning my mother disappeared. It occurred to me that the story I had come to believe might actually be terribly unreliable. What if my mother wasn’t tired of being my mother anymore? What if my mother didn’t leave me? What if she wasn’t missing at all? What if my father knew more than he told me?
The thoughts about the story of that day being largely incomplete consumed me wholly, and after a while it hit me. What if the sound that woke me up that morning wasn’t that of my father crying? All of a sudden, my feelings about that night seemed like a dream. Like it all happened to someone else and I was only made to watch. The more I drank, the more I remembered things I may not have seen or experienced. I was a ghost until I tasted alcohol. I’ve been a sleepwalker, sad somnambular, hands outstretched to strike the solid thing that could awaken me to life at last.
Still sitting under the sunlight sipping more whisky; in that light, at that height, everything became a precise charcoal line. I could see my parents arguing, though not loudly, about a matter so not important, at least not to me. I saw my father grab her by the arm and pull her forcefully. I saw the surprise in her face, she was sorely afraid. He stared hard at her and couldn’t resist the temptation to strike her. Her eyes twitched even before the blow landed on her left jaw and she bit hard on her lips and tore them, up and down. She landed on the floor with wet eyes and mouth glowing red in the well lit room. She put her hand over her mouth perhaps to touch the pain; conductive scarlet threads beneath the line, of fate, heart and mind, her palm bleeding light.
A shadow rained over her and pounced on her, pressing firmly against her throat. She wanted to fight back; she attempted to, but decided against it. What was the point, it was probably better that way she imagined. In her heart though, there was still expectation, a clearing in the woods. But it ends the same way, no matter what, leaving you to suck salt. She yielded and nothing mattered any more.
I saw her face and I knew she forgave him, because she loved him.
Memorable can be purchased HERE on OkadaBooks
Iweka Kingsley is the author of fiction novella DAPPLED THINGS and the Founder of Africa-OnTheRise.com Winner of the 2016 African Blogger Awards for “Best Blog about Africa” and the “Best Social Issues and Active Citizenship Blog”. He is a creative writer and communications consultant based in Lagos. He also volunteers as a Grant Advisor with the Pollination Project in the United States, an organization dedicated to making daily seed grants of $1,000 to development projects across the world.