It was a Sunday afternoon when mom, Monica and I returned from church and dad stayed back because he said the week was busy and he needed some rest which I agreed with because he never came home empty handed the whole week which was rare of him. Mrs Mutale looked like she’d died a thousand deaths because she worshipped her business and her shop being closed really made her sick, Austin returned her keys at her doorstep like he said and I still didn’t know how but the only thing he told me was to report to him if anyone troubled me. We expected Mrs Mutale to fire the whole community with insults but she didn’t and seemed quiet and polite lately.
I had just finished doing all the chores when mom and dad called for me in the living room and I thought they’d learned about the Mrs Mutale issue and I went to the living room where they wore serious faces which freaked me out and i said a prayer as i took my seat then dad cleared his throat
Me: yes dad
***I answered humbly***
Dad: your mom and I are proud of the results you obtained
Me: thank you
***I said as I sighed out of relief***
Dad: we know that you’re dreaming of going to St Marcellin’s and we’d want that to happen too but finances don’t allow so rather than you being late wait for us to raise money for your tuition fees we’ve decided that you go to Masamba school and do your junior secondary from there
***”this isn’t happening,” I said to myself as I exhaled loudly***
Me: there’s no way on earth I’m going to that dirty school
Mom: but Lucy, that means you’ll stay home waiting for us to find money which we probably won’t even be able to raise while your friends will be learning and you’ll be late for the term
Me: you just raise the money, I’ll make it worth it
Dad just shook his head and mom came to my seat and grabbed my hands
Mom: my daughter, you’ll only be there for two years and we’ll find a better senior secondary school for you
Me: I’m not going to Masamba or any other primary school, i didn’t strain myself studying only to find myself at a school like Masamba, every everyone looks down upon that school and you expect me to go there? no way
I said with my voice raised then I stood up attempting to walk away but dad ordered me to seat which I did and they kept talking but I wasn’t listening to anything they said until I was asked to leave then went to the backyard and thought of what I’d do not to go to Masamba, I wasn’t the type of girl who cried when things we’re tough but strived to find a solution so I went to Austin’s house and told him about the issue but he told me the same thing my parents said and that he also was going to another school because his parents couldn’t afford to take him to an expensive school. I knew what I wanted and was not going to back down, we talked about different things then I returned home to get started with supper.
I was seated under the tree on a reed mat on afternoon on our favourite spot as I admired the pupils who returned from school, I was late for the term as I just stayed home waiting for mom and dad to raise money and I hadn’t spoken to them ever since we had that talk. I decided that I had to swallow my pride and accept their offer as frustrating as it was but I was the one losing out and in the end so I talked to them that evening and they said they’d finish with the rest of the preparations.
I wore my white shirt, navy skirt and white socks for the first time and I immediately hated it then dad shouted for me to leave my room so he could take me to report…we got to school and I immediately wore a disgusted face and when we got to the headteacher’s office I looked around with the same look until the headteacher asked if I was fine and I lied saying I had an upset stomach. I was later taken to class were I sat alone and rude to anyone who tried approaching me, I missed Austin and wished we were at the same school…..
I had adapted to the environment and the first term went well as I beat the entire school and we were in the second term, mom still complained of chest pains and this time it also happened while resting during the day and at night ever since she heard that her mother (my grandmother) got worse each and every day. The heaviness, burning and numbness in her chest got worse especially after treatment and I’d miss classes most days just to take care of her, Austin and his parents were found at our house mostly to see mom and he helped me academically because my performance would definitely go down with how I missed classes.
I was at school one day when I had a dull feeling and couldn’t wait to knock off and go home as I kept glancing at my watch frequently, being at school that day was just a share of waste of time because I didn’t get anything that was said as my mind was elsewhere and teachers would catch me starring into space from time to time. The last siren rang and I was the first to get up and leave as my books were already packed, I ran home and ignored moving cars then came to a stop where I felt something strange, I ran short of breath and my heart started beating fast. I rested under a tree for some time then continued moving but I walked this time around because I felt sharp pains in my chest on the left side, I got home and as I was about to open the gate Mrs Mutale called me then I turned and she approached with Monica who was still in her school uniforms
Mrs Mutale: your mother isn’t home, she’s at the hospital
Me: what happened?
Mrs Mutale: I went to check on her and found her lying on the floor holding her chest and complained of pains then I called for help and we took her to the hospital
Me: No, that’s not true
Mrs Mutale: here are your house keys, you can both go in and change then we’ll go and see her
I took the keys from her and Monica followed me behind then I got in the house and it had a feeling of emptiness without her, we quickly got changed and went to Mrs Mutale who took us to the hospital and I kept asking her more questions about what happened with Monica on my back…..we finally got to the hospital and were taken to mom who I found lying on the hospital bed connected to what the doctor called a heart monitor or EKG and that tore my heart into a million pieces, I felt the need to cry but I couldn’t. I got closer to her and her eyes were closed and she looked peaceful then dad was later called by the doctor to his office leaving us in the room
Me: will she be fine?
I felt a huge lump on my throat as I saw mom’s motionless figure lying on the bed and Mrs Mutale took me in her arms
Mrs Mutale: yes she will, we just have to trust in God because be never fails
Me: please God let nothing happen to her because I won’t be able to face it
Mrs Mutale: nothing will happen to her
A nurse came in and asked us to leave the room but I didn’t want to because I wanted to feel close to mom which made me feel better but Mrs Mutale convinced me to leave saying we had to give the nurse chance to attend to her. We went to the waiting area and found Austin and his parents there then I threw myself in his arms as the tears finally fell and everyone tried comforting me until they all shifted their attention to dad who walked to us wearing a long face and I wondered what the doctor had told him. The rest went in to see mom too then we all left when it was late…we got home and I only prepared supper for Monica because dad and I didn’t have any appetite, the house felt gloomy and empty without mom. We all sat in the living room as Monica ate then I decided to ask dad the question I’d been asking myself
Me: what happened to mom?
Dad: she received a call saying your grandmother had passed away then complained of chest pains as they rushed her to the hospital but became unconscious before they could get there.
What dad said was too much for me to stomach so I got up and went to bed because I started feeling dizzy and felt like I was suffocating…….