Fiction: Life In Waste

December 30, 2015 Fiction , POETRY / FICTION

By

Onawale Femi Simeon

 

 

When my father died, I didn’t know how to cry. Maybe it was because I was no longer a child, and that am about to become a father of an eighth month old foetus: the scan revealed a girl.

But since that day, a terrible weakness has eloped me. A weakness that has tangled my mind and thoughts. And so my wife had to bear an extra burden.

It is amazing how we had easily switched roles. I used to be the comforter and she the victim – Since about two months ago when the pregnancy started weighing her down and draining her out. The one to rub her back, to help her up and down the stairs of our duplex, help her bathe. The one running to get her favourite lunch – fried chicken and potato chips with a constant chilled hollandia strawberry. I was happy doing it, for the woman that has blessed my soul with so much love and joy.

But since my father’s death, she gladly slipped into my shoes even though I was using size 45 and hers was size 38.

Early in the morning, she would be up doing breakfast, checking out what I would wear. Ready to bathe me. Singing melodious songs with her light voice; like a Coza chorister. Even though her feet are heavy with the pregnancy. She treats me with so much loving care, that I often feel like a Bom-boy. She pragmatically became the mother I never had.

She made every arrangement for my father’s final burial – from the catering to the cinematography, to the invites. I didn’t know a thing.

Which was two weeks after his death.

My father never re-married after my birth claimed my mother’s life.

I lived with him in a sequestered environment somewhere between the borders of Ibadan and Lagos. Not until I left home for Unilag. I never returned home to stay longer then a week. He was a laconic man, always being precise and never circuitous. He always did his cooking. He rarely laughed. He was a man of hidden sorrow and agony.

I knew he got lost due to the death of my mother, though he never made it known with words. For how can a man who owns a large cinema house in the metropolitan of Lagos hate to stay longer than half an hour in front of a TV set?

He never disallowed me to socialise as a teenager. Though every house in my street has a tall fence and a security dog.

 

I used to wonder why he spent so much time alone in his room.

Until, I stumbled upon his door unlocked and saw him lying face up, a trail of tears down his temple like the hand of a spectacle.

I realised he is a fanatic lover who can’t love twice. I never wanted to be like that. Not until I met my wife.

The priest was at my right-side holding the bible with his left hand reading a few passages from it: of consolation and of promises of paradise. A crowd formed around the edges of the six-feet freshly dug earth. A few people assembled that I share a surname with – they are called families. But I do not know them. And a gathering of my father’s friends and mine. All mixed up.

The coffin was opened upon my final request before it was laid to eternal rest. I survey the only face I had known for so long, the face that bore a very deep memory – of our silence confabulation, even of our talking of just the whisper of the breeze, motionless of the mouth and of stiffed tongue.

And in that moment, I became unconscious of my physical disposition.

And my consciousness was a scene among clouds before my father. A few inches apart, I longed for him to say something. He was cladded in a cherubic apparel.

His face suddenly broke into a cherubic smile. And suddenly I was looking into a woman’s face – with a deep conviction that it was my mother.

I lost my wife and the baby.

I just got out of rehab after eighth months. It sure corrected something in my head – cause I no longer attempt suicide and I no longer cry aloud and wildly. Beforehand I had spent six months somewhere between heaven and earth – purgatory probably. I went into a coma upon confirming Setemi’s death.

It’s fifteen months already. I have recovered from my father’s death, but am still praying to be recovered of my wife’s death.

And if you happen to stumble upon a bushy-headed fair man with sunken eye-balls at the bar. Who looks like a man from the era of Moses. Do not mind me.

And if you happen to be driving and I cross your path. I do not care, for to die after this hell is to be reunited with my Love. To lose my life on this earth is to find it back with my love.

 

I do not give a care for I have lost my Queen, my Wife, my Love even, my All.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Onawale Femi Simeon

Onawale Femi Simeon is a Nigerian writer with an unquenchable passion for short fiction and poetry.

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