By Owooluwa Favour
“Good morning mum” Kate greeted her mother sleepily. Her mother was a career freak, a woman whose job came before her home in her scale of preference. That wasn’t the first time Kate had waited for her mother to speak to her.
“Mum, I need to speak to you about something, just spare me five minutes please” she pleaded with her mother however, deep down inside, she knew she was going to get a negative response again.
“Ugh! Not again, Kate, it is 12:30 am for Christ’s sake. I am very tired from work, I just need to rest, maybe tomorrow, just maybe. Sleep tight baby” Kate already knew the lines, it was something she heard every day, her mother said while walking in a direction to her room.
“Now I know why dad left her” Kate muttered angrily. Kate’s father divorced her mother some years back, he couldn’t keep up with her behaviour. Kate was still thought back to the memories she had with her father when she heard the sound of her mother’s heels approach her, “oh no! She must have heard me,” she reflected.
“What did you just say young lady?” her mother asked frowning.
“You heard me, mother, I’m not scared of you, not anymore! If I were Dad, I would have done the same. I…” A sudden slap shoved the remaining sentence Kate’s throat. Kate held her hot and stinging cheek in with both hands.
“You know nothing about my relationship with your father young lady, you won’t speak to me that way!” her mother fumed.
“You slapped me?” she asked calmly in shock still written all over her face.
“Oh yes, I did! And I will slap you a thousand and one times again. You don’t talk to me that way, I am your mother, I birthed you” she shouted at her daughter with an ‘I don’t care look’ face.
“What did you just say, mother? Really? You are just my mother by figure and not by attitude. True mothers create time for their children, but no, not you! You neglected me for years, we never have a heart-to-heart talk. I mean, how can we when you leave for work by 6 am only to come back by 12:30 am the next morning. Mothers are not just mothers by mouth or disciplinary actions, they are also friends and companions to their children, they are also counselors,mum, counsellors! Every single time I try to tell you my problems, you tell me you are busy. You give excuses like ‘I work my ass off for you, pay your bills, give you the best life, good education. What more do you want? Well news flash mum, I need a mother, not some woman who is just a visitor and figurehead in her own home. Wait, did I just refer to this as ‘home’? Sorry, I meant a house. I have lived three years of my teenage life waiting for your counsel but guess what mum, I’m done! I am going to live my life as you live yours, I’m going to live my life like I don’t need to report to anyone, I’m going to live my life like I don’t care! Sweet dreams mother.” She eyed her mother and stomped to her room as the tears rolled down her face. She had seen it all, tolerated it all, now, she wanted freedom.
Kate smiled through tears as she heard her mother shout her name from the sitting room, her face was already used to bearing aggressive parenting. She closed her eyes to sleep while the plan to hit town the next morning hits her mind. She planned to also get drunk and forget her problems at that moment. *************************************************************************
Kate opened her eyes to a white small room filled with people dressed in white coats. She turns to her left and found several drips plugged from different machines into her chest. She faintly remembered going to a club the night before, taking drinks from some guys and blacking out afterwards.
Apparently, she was drugged and gang-raped, the drug did major damage to her body parts, her uterus most especially. The doctor said the possibility of her bearing children was 70:30, even if she succeeds in getting pregnant it would be a complicated pregnancy, she either loses the child or dies. Bottom line was, the doctor advised her never to try getting pregnant as it was dangerous.
“Thank you for ruining my life mum! So now you can leave your job to be with me? You should have done this a long time ago” Kate expressed sadly at her mother. If only her mother counselled her that night, if only. Maybe she wouldn’t have taken such an irrational decision. She only wanted to forget her life troubles.
“I am sorry child, I was a fool!” her mother said in a remorse tone never witnessed before by Kate as tears rolled down her cheek.
Kate was a bit surprised but could hide her joy still, she hurriedly embraced her mum “I agree mum, I agree, and I’m sorry too… I’m sorry for keeping my feelings towards you hidden.” Kate paused for a while and continued again as if she had a surge of a reminiscing feeling. “I HATE YOU MUM” She shouted angrily at her Mom, ignoring all the pains she felt with the tubes attached to her chest.”As she tried to gain more comfort on the bed two tubes pulled awayfrom kate, she started shivering immediately while health machines monitoring her health suddenly went haywire, producing different alarming sounds. A doctor and two nurses rushed in and meet Kate gasping for air with her eyes slowly closing.
Kate’s Mother moved close to the doctor and said “Doctor please save my daughter, I will give all I have, please do that for me, please.”
Kate was laid to rest three days after, her mother never stopped blaming herself for Kate’s death. If only she had listened, If only she had been the best mother, if only she didn’t shut her daughter out. The “if’s” and the “only’s” were inexaustable. She no longer had a daughter, she couldn’t boast of a husband to give her another… she never even had a life. What’s life when you can’t guide and protect those under your care anyways?
After months of battling with depression, sniffing Kate’s clothes, sleeping at her grave and moving from therapist to therapist she finally moved from “worse” to “better”. She gave it a few more months before adopting a teenager… she decided she wanted a teenager and not a kid because she wanted to feel what Kate felt before. Funny enough, or rather luckily for her, she adopted a mini Kate. Although she hasn’t healed, she is moving towards the safe zone, far away from depression but never forgetting about Kate.