Chiamaka Ajunwa 9 months ago
@theuntamedwrit... 4 min read View comments 2 #poem-poetry

Gone Too Soon

"You see how time flies?" Father Mezie asks the congregation during the homily;

"You see how time flies?" Father Mezie asks the congregation during the homily.
Just last month, I sat with Ogechi, discussing how we would start preparing things and creating beautiful futures for ourselves...
You see, one evening, during our Christmas visit to the village, we sat together beside the fire mother was using to prepare dinner.

Although Ogechi was sick, but we didn't think a simple headache could end her precious life too soon.
Ogechi was a fighter and a Victor.
Those times she always promised us that she'd make her family so proud to the moon.
Our priests believed it.

We believed it.
Everyone believed it.
I believed it.
But it's so sad that I'm standing by her grave this minute, saying my very last prayers to her.
I tell people around me that she's still sleeping, but she hasn't moved a muscle since I prepared her favorite food of beans and plantain.

Am I odd?
Because everyone around me seems to have a bank of tears in their eyes.
And I haven't even shed one tear since I saw her skin turn pale purple.
Our Umunna says incoherent things about burial rites and rituals. It's all odd to hear, especially when they haven't for once paid her a visit when one of her epilepsy attacks had surfaced.

I feel like smacking them all.
Wines. Drinks. More food.
"Nnem, it is well," they say after each fills his belly.
The once vibrant mother of Ogechi hasn't spoken to her remaining three children for the past seven days.
We worry she might lose her sense of speech.

My big sister and brother have traveled back to Lagos to stay with their families, and I'm back to the room I once shared with Ogechi.
It's void of emotions. Cold & empty.
I miss the fights and friendship.
I remember when we were so excited about traveling for Christmas as we arranged our room to perfection.
But now,

Ogechi is gone. Forever.
They say you'll see your loved ones in heaven. But I don't know if I'll make it over there.
Because why would I believe a God who tells me that "you shall not die but live?"
And what happened to "coming to our grave in old age?"
Pfft.

Tomorrow I'll live like Ogechi never existed.
And it breaks my heart that she wouldn't be wearing the head warmer I have knitted for her 30th birthday coming up in the next three months.
I'm lying down in bed.
I keep my eyes open to see if I can just catch a glimpse of her silky face once more.

But...
"Amanda, can you hear me?!" A strong hand suddenly nudges me out of my reverie.
"Hmm?" I say, turning to face my sister.
"I said when are we traveling for Christmas?"
"Christmas?" I managed to voice out.
"Yes, Christmas"
Ogechi is all smiles now.
But how do I make her smile last forever?
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