The last time I saw mom, she looked so beautiful. She wore a flowing white gown, and was fast asleep inside the box in the center of our living room. I wondered why there were so many people in the room. Couldn't they see she was sleeping? But I was only 7, and powerless to chase them away.
But they said she wouldn't have minded the crowd. She was accommodating. She was kind. She was a good person. They taught me about my mother. And I drank in the information, like Nna Eruo used to drink his palm wine. I became obsessed with any information about her. I collected the photographs, and the obituary newspaper clippings. I collected her books, and even her employment letter. Anything to feed my curiosity. But my thirst has refused to go away.
The last time I spoke with mom was on the midnight of the last day of the year. I recall she called me to her bedside and taught me how to greet 'Happy new year.' Little did I know that it would be the saddest year of my life. They said I must have been dreaming, for she left us on the 28th. But I know what they don't know; she came back to say goodbye.
But why did she have to leave so early? Can a good person be that mean? How could she abandon us? They said I would understand when I get older. But I know what they don't know; you never come to terms with such a thing.
Monday, August 16, 2010
I remember my first time. She was so good that there was none of the awkwardness associated with first attempts.
I had approached her with trepidation, because I was just 13, and I knew I wasn't ready for the affair. The room was dark because I didn't want to see her and lose courage. Her scent was overpowering, she was fresh and undiluted, and so I had no trouble finding her in the dark.
I didn't hesitate as I grabbed her; the first drops of the palm wine tickled down my throat, and I winced. Not from the penetration, which was smooth and gentle, but from the agonizing pleasure that caused my body to go into convulsions.
I shivered, I arched my back, and I barely succeeded in stifling the scream that struggled to break lose off my clenched teeth. I wiped my tears, and grinned from ear to ear. I could now hold my head up as a man.
And then, the door crashed open and grandpa stood in the doorway, his white beard bristling with rage. The scent of our intercourse hadn't escaped his uncanny sense of smell. He was furious, especially because for him, the rituals of a priest and his sacramental wafer were nothing compared to that of mixing the raw palm wine with the right quantity of water. “Nwata aruo ala,” he bellowed.
And for the first time, I offered no excuses. For the first time, not even a whimper as the strokes of the cane hit my back again and again. I had discovered manhood. I had discovered an unrivalled source of pleasure.
Well, so I thought then, until I discovered sex.
But then, that one is another story.
That I will tell soon.