BY George Kalisa
It’s nine o’clock in the morning. Claudine packs her belongings, to be specific her personal effects. Her parents are looking on. Total silence prevailed in a large sitting room with only one old bench, three stools, a three-legged table and an old mat and there was a lot of mist outside.
In intervals, they gaped at the cracks in the walls with an appearance of a river basin with many tributaries and distributaries.
Claudine sluggishly packed as she waited for a parental pardon. She later said that she was more than ready to accept any punishment but remains at home as a good child mother.
The pardon was not about to happen, after three solid hours defined by long silence.
“Bye Mama, bye Papa,” Claudine said to her parents as tears rolled down her cheeks. She gathered the guts to get out the house after receiving no reply. The parents had been tight-lipped for the last three hours, seated on a bench older than her, and looking opposite sides, back to back, seemingly engrossed by a stream of thoughts.
Many years later, Claudine gives a tear-jerking account of her excommunication from home.
It’s only our rooster that bid me farewell as I set off. It crowed three times. To date, I hear it crowing and the sad memories about the darkest days that befell me after I had left home resurface every time problems strike harder.
Mothering Claude’s baby is a toll on my life and regrets have become irresistible. But, I ask myself. “How would I have escaped Claude’s traps?” I blame my parents for my tales, anyway. I would go to school without a single pence, no transport money for returning home whenever schools closed.
“Education was my right but how I get it is another thing. Horny Claude took advantage of my vulnerability…”. Such thoughts filled my head as I walked on. No idea of the next destination. The baby cried and sucked me all the way, and we were all the focus. God, did I deserve all this!