living without knowing

FRANCIS IDUMA By FRANCIS IDUMA, 16th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

our past is not really dead as it catches up with us with just time. At times, we live without knowing most things and obviously without knowing that we do not know. The story is all about hidden history made known

living without knowing

I lived in a certain village with a poor widow who was popularly called mama. people were fond of her because of her good gesture and joke cracking. she sells firewood as a means of survival. After school hours, i do meet her at the market square to assist her while she comes home to rest. Meeting my classmates on the way while coming back from the market carrying the remaining firewood on the head was always shameful as as they use to ridicule me. It continued for a while until i learned to live above shames and accepting the things i cannot change.

Growing as a teenage boy, life was so unfair and unkind to me. Had a life of sorrows without comfort. Watching nannies being maltreated, i felt better than them but yet i was not better of, being maltreated by life. Looking through my windows, i saw oppressed widows. No more are their heroes who acted as their mirrors. Now, they have nothing or nobody to look upon. Tears upon tears, wetting their pillows and memories of tributes written with their own pen. when shall it come to an end, i asked myself. My downtrodden life was characterized with the desire to be given but those characterized with the desire to give was no where to be found. I was taught that giving is the secret of receiving. I believed in it but considered it popularly believed but generally not accepted. Many did not see and still do not see any reason to give, some believed that their little is too small to share while others believed that their much is not yet much enough to share with others yet.

Smiles came to my face one day, when our class teacher, mistress Helena told me that she has been transferred to a better school in the city and wishes to go with me so that i can live with her and continued my education. My joys knew no bounds and i quickly rushed home to inform mama. That night was a joyful one as mama told me moonlight stories till day break before we thought of sleep. The following morning after packing my bags, i sat in-front of the house waiting for mistress Helena to come and pick me up. An hour later, she arrived and we both moved waving goodbye to mama. As we where gradually approaching the city, the joys of becoming a city boy was twinkling on my face. It was a journey of six hours and we arrived. Entering into the compound, we where welcomed by a fat woman and the compound was known as teacher's quarter's. The woman took us to our own apartment and it was a three bedroom flat and well decorated.

The next day was Monday and mistress Helena reported to her new school and equally took me along to register me as well. The school was bigger than my formal school and the students were equally friendly. Therefore making new friends were easier for me.

Things went on smoothly and i lived with mistress Helena happily. One day, she called me and told me to sit down by her side and which i did. She told me to narrate the story of how i came to live with Mama and what happened to parents. Breathing heavily, i said: well, Mama told me that some years ago, in a certain town known town as Ramada where she was working as a seamstress, she went to dispose a waste in the nearby bush and heard i cry of a baby. She moved towards the sound and discovered a baby wrapped with a yellow blanket and dropped in the bush. she carried up the baby and a paper fell out from the blanket and it was written I LOVE YOU SON BUT.......... she quickly took the child and rushed to the king of that town and narrated her story. She equally pleaded with the king to permit her to keep the child since at her late 60s, she has no child of her own and her husband is late. The king was pleased and granted her request and that was how i came to live with her. After narrating my story, mistress Helena started crying and told me that we must have to visit the village tomorrow to see Mama.

On reaching the village, we saw Mama washing cassava. She was surprised but very joyful. Mama please come and sit let us talk. Mistress Helena said. "i heard how you picked this boy but he is my biological Son she said, sobbing. what! mama and i shouted at once. Mistress Helena narrated her own own story: I grew up in the motherless babies home. They told that i was kept at their backyard beside the flower. When i finished high school, the home, which was that of a missionary, sent me to Ramada to enroll into teacher's training college. Over there, i got pregnant and i never wanted to abort the baby and at same time never wanted to take the shame to the missionary home. So, i gave birth to the baby and kept in that bush. for that paper, the complete statement is I LOVE YOU SON BUT I CANNOT BEAR THE SHAME. She concluded. Immediately she finished, Mama fell down on the ground and started weeping bitterly. for me, i only stood gazing thinking of what will happen next. still crying, Mama looked at mistress Helena and said, so you are my daughter. On hearing it, i was confused the more and Mistress Helena was equally shocked on hearing the statement. Mama started her own story: When i was at your age, Helena, i was gang raped by some hoodlums. After the incidence, i got pregnant and haven lost my parents at a tender age and not yet married, i was rejected by my uncles and all and sundry. I could not take care of you and at same time never wanted to keep a child of a criminal. So, i took you at night and kept you at that flower. i did it out of pains that my virginity was taken without my consent but since then i have been in guilt growing old without another child. But here you are now. Mama concluded, sobbing. I could not believe such a history and wished i could be woken up from the dreams.

So, for years i lived with my grandmother without knowing and took my own mother as just my school teacher. the joys of the reunion knew no bounds. So, all these years i have been with them, living with them but living without knowing.


Life, Life Experience, Life Lessons, Life Stories, Literature

Meet the author

author avatar FRANCIS IDUMA
born in Nigeria and the 2nd child out of four children. i had my primary and high school education at my country.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
19th May 2015 (#)

Touching story - there is a reason behind every story too and some are so compelling! siva

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