Without words, she was gone. What I reminisce and know that farewell was never made, much more, being properly bade. She had followed this track behind our home, I was reluctantly pointing. It was the track that flowed from our garden that I walked with Ayo several miles to hurl sticks on one elegantly built canopy of an apple tree. It would seize most of my sticks, in return for green leaves that would rain in their numbers. It took many flings that my arm ached before a terribly wounded plum would come crashing to the ground. Until I picked it, I would know it wasn’t well ripe in the first place that it had proved stubborn all the while. She had left me with memories. Memories of her wavy hair collection; white eyes that dazzled as if to pulp from their sockets that I saw elaborate. Ayo was a friend about my age; in his frequent visits he continued to say those eyes of hers were seductive. Speaking about seduction, I wonder why on earth he would bring up a subject of our amateur discussions on flirting into this family closeness. Whenever he made this utterance, I was caught up between reprimanding him and a feeling of being glad. But how soon I would fall for being glad because I saw it no less a compliment on how graceful she was; other than a wayward talk. In all she deserved her adorn, I would tilt inside of me. Moreover, this woman was my mother.
On this track she followed, scent leaves had drove her to it. I tried to form the sound of the sun baked crispy dry leaves that churned under the foot that floored this path. And she would never return to her cooking aluminium pot with porridge hurrying to done. It would be tipped over by me at about time loss toyed with my emotion. Next, it was the moment a search party head called my sister and me away from our body-knit sympathisers. Almost this same track, I was looking over in dismay and now withdrawn my pointing that he said sorry. A sorry that seemed too clammy. It stiffened halfway like a chorus, and I was bone weak. Sister looked on with these miry pupils while I chewed and regurgitate this boldness that got rid of me to face facts the moment I was in the house alone. That had been when I lost this perfect column of a woman, her heart as well. She used to exhume this graciousness.
It was like a rewind of those bygone events but extant in memory, I didn’t know if, were recurring. Today, they were gathered overlooking this pathway with me, shrivelled that this continued as though a handed spell. The first and second search batches had returned and were scheming on splitting again. I hoped the third would bring some good news when they returned. On this day alone, I had created a million images of my sister coming home to me through this path with this smile she borrowed from mother. A smile that effaced my face oddities, as I could muster some smile in return. This was mother’s gift that had begun a torment whenever I realised she was gone. The situation on hand started to make people browse history. They would say a long line of my mothers before had walked away in the distant past, though not always this pathway. It was happening as though each had her destined pathway to walk away from and alone too, into nowhere really. They were comfortable to have reeled out names I didn’t know existed in my family line, names nobody had ever told me about. For many nights I thundered wishes that seemed promises- I would be better if she ever returned. The loss was immense. I would dig profoundly to blame myself as if I had pushed her away to forever. But, I wasn’t always there to see the backs of my other mothers, came the consolation. It grew into an unsatisfying succour now that a second already was showing me her back.
Then the choruses wailing from a distance sounded amorphous, my head amplified. It was the kind of chorus that signalled repression and sticky like the sorry we were told on the day we looked but wouldn’t see mother around. The third batch came back with her dampened in body, and spirit killed in a way I have never seen her. Moreover, it hadn’t been present, nor did it feature even in a bit of flash in my long list of conditions I had hoped to meet her return. Though glad she had sunk dead in my wide arms, never to lose again… such was the power of having a loss.