THIS CHRISTMAS- the present

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“I don’t know what else to do or say to you,
Why can’t you just be normal”!

You just put your face a certain way all day, all year!
At least smile often to your kids, don’t let them grow into thinking you’re heartless. She softened her voice

Angela turned to her mother-in-law who had been ranting all morning.

“I smile to them”

“That forced smile?

“I feed them, take care of them, buy them gifts and put them to bed!”

That doesn’t show any special love, even if they were adopted, you’d do the same.

Angela’s eyes flickered, she turned away quickly but not quickly enough for David’s mother not to notice. She walked away quickly into their bedroom.

ANGELA

“David, when is your mother leaving? I didn’t want to look into his eyes, he’d know that we had an argument again”.

“Why are you asking? Not looking up from the book he had been reading”.

Nothing, just wanted to know.

“I’m not sure, maybe you should ask her”.
He put his book down, looking straight at me. He knew

I looked down.

“There’s no need
The children are ready for school”, I quickly changed the topic.

He stood up from the bed and walked around me, wrapping his hands round my waist.
‘Relax’
I let out my breath

“She doesn’t understand you yet, give her time”.

I shook my head, Even he didn’t understand at times.

I turned to him, forcing a smile
He smiled.
“She wont”.

Taking off his hands, I ushered him towards the door
“The children are going to be late”.
He winked at me and closed the door behind him.

I was finally alone again
I began to search for the pictures, I’ve been so busy, I hadn’t seen their faces in a while.
 As soon as I found the pictures I held them to my chest like they would dissappear.

I didn’t know I sat there for a long time, till I heard David pull in. I quickly hid the pictures and straighten up.

I wonder why David even loved me. He always said he knew I loved him, even though I never said it.

I want to erase those memories, that hold on to my sanity
I want to scream and be normal just for my kids
But the past keeps crawling right back

“Sweetheart, i’m home”.
He opened the door.

“Your food is served. I’m going to the market.
I stood up and made way to the door

David blocked the way
“What’s wrong? Did mama offend you that much”?

He was reading my emotions from the way I moved
I could never hide from him

“No, I’m fine”.
He let down his hand and made his way toward our bed.

“I don’t want scrambled egg, I want porridge and freshly blended fruits.

What? I turned to face him
But you said you wanted scrambled egg and yam this morning

“Well, I changed my mind”.

I knew what he was doing, he didn’t want to let me out of his sight
He had always been afraid  that I’ll commit suicide
If suicide would bring satisfaction, I didn’t have a right to be.

“David…i’ll be back soon.
I’m just going for a walk to the park, that’s all
I promise”.

He looked up and searched my eyes
“Alright, I’ll be waiting for you”.

“You’re not going to work?

He raised his eyebrow
“No, I’m working from home”.

“Fine, bye”.

Strolling the park was worse than being home
Christmas period brings back painful memories…
Every laugh, every sound.
I could literally see the Joy around me, but I could not feel it.
Ten years,  it’s been ten years and it seems like it happened yesterday.

Would I ever heal?
They say time heals. But without closure there is no assurance of that
I swallow the large lump of tears in my throat

I had mastered the art of restraining my tears
Or else I’d fall apart. I can’t put my children through that
They endured enough already

I decided to sit on a chair under the tree, there was a bag on it
I hope the owner wasn’t coming soon.

I have to help myself. I’m affecting my children, I can’t even love them properly and David, how long will he endure my indifference to life.

“Hello miss”.
I looked up to see an old woman smiling brightly at me.
She must be the owner of the bag

I nodded and moved a bit.
Not wanting to have a conversation of any sort.

“Why the sad face”?

Just what I needed.
I decided to ignore her
What sad face anyway, my face had no expression, I made sure of that.

“What sad face? I blurted out before I could take it back.

It’s obvious from the way you’ve been nodding your head since you got here

I scoffed
“It’s none of your business”.

She smiled and kept quiet

Satisfied, I looked away.
I had no idea I was nodding

One little girl had been staring at me for some time now
Like I was some strange person
I was looking at her straight back, there’s nothing strange about me

Before I knew it she stood up from the grass and headed my way
This cannot be good
I turned my face to meet the smiling face of the old woman

I closed my eyes, there was no peace anywhere

“Merry Christmas” a tiny voice said
I opened my eyes, to see the girl with a little flower in her hand

Behind her I could see her mother smiling at me
I collected the flower
And managed to smile at the little girl.

She had very black hair like my little Danielle
Danielle… and Anthony

If only father had been compassionate
If he didn’t drink so much
My twin babies would be alive today.

I blinked back another tear

The old woman placed her hand on mine.

“God loves you”.
I removed my hand
How many times have I heard that

David tells me everyday
I don’t need more people to tell me

I decided that i’ll vent my anger today
Maybe that’ll make me feel better.
I have to help my self somehow

I turned to her, since she wanted a coversation, I’ll give her one
She won’t mind her business, I’ll gladly let her manage mine.
“If God loves me, Why did he allow my children to die?!

The old woman gave a sad smile…

“Why are you looking at me like that?
Answer my question!

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