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.