On September 17 1993, my mother went out and she never came home. It was a pretty regular day, she’d gone to work, came home early, all the kids were home for summer break and school resumption was a few days away. She’d gone out after work to pick up my brothers shoes ( he had super long feet and his shoes had to be custom made) and to call a water tanker as water supply was irregular. It was just a typical day but she didn’t come home.

My Dad came home in a harried state later that night and asked me where she was. I told him exactly what she’d told us when she left and he yelled at me and stormed out again. That wasn’t anything new, he yelled all the time. I calmly went to bed so no one else could yell at me.

The events of the next morning I can’t ever forget. Daddy came into our room and sat on my bed. He’d never done that before and the kids room was just opposite his room. There I was, looking over his shoulder into his room, looking for my mummy to tell her I didn’t wet the bed today and he opened his mouth and destroyed my life, my innocence and ended my childhood. “There was an accident” he said, “Mummy is dead”. I didn’t hear anything else. My world had ended. The person I loved more than anything or anyone had gone and left me alone.

There was no goodbye. There was no “I’m sorry I took sprint from your bag”. I could feel the tightness in my chest whenever I tried to breathe. I thought about her everyday. I cried everyday. There was a constant stream of people coming to the house. We were shipped off to family friends and relatives house because my dad didn’t want us to see the body. I somehow convinced myself she wasn’t dead. I’d walk down the street and in my mind she was walking with me. I dreamt about her endlessly almost every night. I was just a kid, I shouldn’t have gone through all that.

I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if my mother was alive. I know I’d have been a better person. I know I’d have achieved some pretty amazing things. She was the parent that would always push you to do better and I always wanted to make her proud. I did well in school to see her smile and call me “Akaka”. God I miss her .

I am an incomplete person. I am deeply flawed and forever changed by what happened more than 2 decades ago. I don’t know if I would ever stop crying. Would I ever stop missing her? Can I be a good mum? I look in the mirror and I see her face everyday. I love you Mummy.

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