Ayoma finally says good-bye to Mama  and Dad   

   Its  7 o’clock in the morning. The heavy downpour has finally receded. This time, there is no flooding. I can see the radiant sun in the horizon. Already, the weather is getting hot. The fine red dust in the city of Accra, Ghana’s capital, that painted almost every car and building, has now given way to thick squelching mud. I can hear Mama’s ducks quacking loudly as if they know what is in the cooking pot. Our pigeons that are usually very quiescent are now also agitated. I step into the living room with my suitcase to say good-bye to Mama and Dad. Mama is looking gloomy and mournful.

   The last of her three children is also leaving her. Unlike my other half-sisters who left with their foreign fathers,  I’m about to leave all by myself unaccompanied. Dad has no place to take me to. If given the chance, he’d rather put up with Mama than go back to where he came from. It’s already six months since Patricia and Cecelia left with their fathers. Nothing has been heard from either of them since. Patricia is now in England, and Cecelia, in Taiwan!

   Mama and Dad are both crying as I bid farewell to them. But I know for sure that their pain isn’t the same. Coming from two different directions. Mama is crying because the youngest of her three children is about to leave her and travel far away. Dad is crying because he’s unsure where he’d be spending the night. He’s broke. With no pension or medical insurance, he’s bound to be haunted by fears about the future. What Dad is most afraid of now is getting sick. When he was young and energetic, he failed to get his house in order. While his age-mates worked hard to prepare for their old age, Dad basked in the glory of what he thought was a never-ending youth. He must now face the real world – that in his opinion is unfair and unkind. As I move out of the main gate, I hear Mama say to Dad:

   “I want you out of here before this day is over. If you refuse, I’ll call the police.”

“Where am I supposed to go?”

   “I don’t know,” Mama replies.

   I stand still for a moment. Turn around and walk back straight into the living room where Dad and Mama are seated. I can see Dad is still crying. Mama is still maintaining her unchristian attitude. She cries out.

“Ayoma, have you forgotten something?”

   “No, Mama.”

   “So, what’s the matter?”

   “Please Mama forgive Dad.” I say.

   “Why should I forgive him?” Mama asks angrily.

   “Because he’s my Dad.”

   “Your Dad.” Are you sure he is?”

   “Mama is he not my Dad?”

      To be continued…

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