I’m super excited to host my first guest blogger. I’ve not met Amma yet, but for a long time, I followed her posts keenly. Her lines would usually carry more than the ordinary weight of words, and I wondered…who, was behind that awesome blog I loved getting email notifications from.
So I happen to meet her on twitter and heck, we just had to talk. When she sent me her post, reading became very difficult. I would cringe as the words got sour. It was like painful recollections that anyone could relate to; habits, often not the good ones.
In the little part of my existence, I recall my own mother perhaps twice or a couple of times more, ask me to desist from something before it got too late. And now I wonder, what if it had?
Well, I give you Amma Konadu’s Old Habits…die. I hope this will be the first of many awesome future guest posts. Do leave us a comment on what you think.
I clearly remember my mother seated across from me on the other bed in my room, bent from nerve pain coursing through the back of her neck, down to the tips of the fingers on her left hand.
“You will suffer”
She half-squinted and winced after. It was not the kind of ‘you will suffer’ that came out as an accidental curse when a mother was very upset with their wayward children, she was stating a truth.
“You chose change, and so you will suffer. But don’t give up.”
Now I am standing outside the morgue wondering why it is I am still there on the corridor floor, barely covered, my jaw crushed in, leaving my head in an awkward tilt halfway down. I was a beautiful woman; my friends won’t be able to identify what is left of me on that cold floor. If the gentleman in the stained white coat would just look up, perhaps I can get him to be kind enough to cover my head.
I remember. She left me in that room that Sunday afternoon, alone; with the message she had come to deliver.
“But don’t give up…”
I don’t remember saying I wouldn’t. I may have promised…I may…
There is no way anyone will come claim what I am seeing on that corridor. Is it really me? The other half of my head is so bloated I can’t recognize myself.
Why won’t he cover me up? Or maybe I should step in and do it myself. Salvage some dignity for my lifeless mocked self.
“If you go back to the old habits, the world knows I have a daughter…but I will have a daughter no more. It is good, you chose change, and so you will suffer. But don’t give up.”
I nodded, fighting tears; heavy with shame and guilt and a deep, deep need to unburn broken bridges.
I followed the truck here. The truck they threw me in. What. Is. Man? The wailing was not for me…it was for other lives lost that my gory death had triggered in the minds of those who stood by weeping. I sat perched on one side of the bucket of the truck, my eyes tightly shut. The bleeding hadn’t stopped…the breathing had.
“Did you not think of me? Your father?”
When will the earth finally open and swallow me? It’s been close to 4 hours now and I am still here.
“You have your back to an open grave, right at its mouth. You can’t go back.”
My left thigh is also exposed; bloody. Did the bus that hit me not drag me about 50m before it stopped? My skirt completely off me by then? My genitals aptly exposed at my death? Someone play me a sad tune and send me on my grave way.
“A woman’s love is deepest for her first and last children. The first is where the love of a mother sprung from…it gushed out, teeming. The last? The river bed ends there…love flows down and fills it to the brim, even overflows. Every mother loves her last so much more. Nothing can change that.”
Kindly…sing. A sweet, sad, song.
Where did the bus come from? Or better, where did I come from? Where Mama wouldn’t have me be.
My panties stuffed in my pocket, earphones shoved in my ears. Did the driver honk? Did I watch? I was by the roadside in a second, watching in knowing silence as the bus colored the road with a trail of my flesh and blood. The sound of metal screeching, bones crushing, blood squirting…and the smell of burnt tires and skin…and my genitals, intact, clean-shaven, laid open like an invitation.
Is hell here yet? Is that my mother rolling in the dirt screaming?
You said you wouldn’t care if I died…
I am your last child.
About the Author: Amma Konadu is a young Ghanaian/Nigerian writer, literary enthusiast and an advocate for positive social change, using literature and creative writing both as a window and a part of the solution. Her other loves are music (classical, choral mostly) and gourmet delights! She blogs at ammakonadu.wordpress.com