Edge Of Seventeen Chapter Three : Tears Of Agony - Written By Rihanne Maya



Tears Of Agony

My seventeen years old mother walked slowly towards the stream entrance with me on her back and an empty gallon in her left hand, while dragging a wooden stick on the ground in front of her. She then stopped and lowered the gallon into the clear calm serene water. It wasn't easy for her but she fetched the water and returned back home, which took her half an hour. 

Grandma got home from the church before my mum. She noticed that my mum and I was not in the house. 

"Sarah! Sarah!!" She called," Where's this girl? Where has she gone to at this time of the day with my grandson?" She thought to herself. "The day is getting dark. I need to prepare dinner. "She walked into the house and brought out two clean empty pots. She had visited our local community market for some groceries on her way from the church. 

She then set the firewoods and lit them up. Then she started preparing dinner which was what required the use of red palm oil. It was a bad idea, considering the fact that grandma had an acute asthma,which could be triggered by pollutants such as bleached or over heated oils in her surroundings. 

Do you know what happened when grandma started frying the potatoes?

Grandma stopped abruptly. She had heard the tell tale musical sound from her lungs that told her an asthma attack was coming.

Already she couldn't draw in her usual lung-full, as if concrete had been poured into her airways. She patted her pocket for her inhaler, it was flat. She patted her other pockets also empty and then reached for her knotted helm of wrapper, still flat. The panic and lack of air drove her to start gasping, breathing as if the oxygen had been sucked from the air around her.

Grandma doubled over and then fell to her knees, one hand on the ground to support her weight. He glanced around, someone had to come, someone just had to. She tried to call out but without breath she had no way to alert anyone.

Already her thoughts were becoming jumbled, like she was in a nightmare rather than a dark alley. Without uttering another sound her face met the frigid pavement of the kitchen and her eyes closed.

A moment after grandma had died,my mum lurked into the compound with me on her back,a gallon of water on her head and her stretched walking stick. She walked down the kitchen until she stumbled in something on the ground. That was grandma's lifeless body. 

"Who's there? Papa are you there?" There was no answer when she called," Mama are you back from the church?" She then lowered the gallon of water down and stretched a hand to the ground. That was how she felt grandma's lifeless body. "Mama are you sleeping here? Why don't you go inside to relax properly?" She said but there was no response from her. 

She lowered herself more and tried identifying who it was,lo and behold it was grandma. "Mama! Mama!! Mama!!!" She wailed fearfully and loudly. "Papa! Papa!! Mama what have you done? Were you trying to cook? Haaa!!! Mama,you couldn't have done that because of your health deterioration. " She wailed profusely until grandpa suddenly walked in. 

"What's going on here?! Sarah why is your mother lying on the ground?" Grandpa rushed at her. 

"At the point I got here from the stream,I found her lying on the ground without saying anything. "She said when suddenly, plumes of smoke rose from the kitchen, floating in front of them, like the red-crowned crane, flying up and disappeared gradually in the sky, leaving nothing. 

"Was she cooking?!" Grandpa thundered. Grandpa quickly rushed into the kitchen to get the burning pot off of the fire. 

"Sarah,where were you when your mother entered the kitchen to start cooking?" Grandpa attacked my mother with a thunderous slap across her face. She fell to the ground with me on her back. "You have killed my wife! Sarah you killed my wife!" Grandpa fumed in anger.

"But papa you were the same person that sent me to go fetch some water from the stream in my condition. "She cried out. 

"Dont... you dare! I am not your father,don't you dare call me your father ever again. Your father,my elder brother is dead and gone,and I'm sure that you were the same person that killed him,just as you killed your mother. Witch!" He thundered. 

This was where I actually knew that my supposed grandpa Frank wasn't my direct grandpa. He was my grand uncle(my grand father's younger brother). My granduncle married my grandma when her husband(grandpa) died. This is according to our tradition anyway. But everyone knew him as my grandpa.  

Well,for the part where my supposed grandpa (my grand uncle) started hating on my mom,was when he was accused of serially abusing my mum. 


Now I can say that I had never understood others suffering from a bad loss of a dear person. I would hate to hear that anybody died. When this happened to my mum, when my dear grandma died, I started to understand all those people who lost someone they loved. 

A few moments later,people gathered round our compound,wailing from every angle on top of their voices. 

It was not long,my grandaunt(grandma's sister) arrived from Lagos. 

They carried out grandma's burial ceremony in few weeks. After the funeral, grandaunt Annabel took my mother and I with her to Lagos,to live with her. 

... To Be Continued.

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Credit  © Rihanne Maya

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