Dust to Dust

by Sambu Wa Wandati


Today is not the right time for us to bid goodbyes; there would never be a right time for me and you, but while you chose to go, we will move on (for now) in the hope for a reunion afterwards when we too are called.

The struggling sun rose slowly, breaking out over the horizon, allowing its golden rays to tenderly massage my upper forehead. I did not move but stood, leaning against the wall of our house, my hands deeply thrust in my pant's pockets. A new day had already dawned; along with fresh disillusions. The air was heavy but the dew on the grass was drying up quickly.

"Mother asks to see you", the voice of my sister made me almost jump. I turned to her direction and when our eyes met, my heart was broken; I wanted to cry. Her eyes had turned red after spending hours, through the previous night, awake and crying as she looked after our sick mother. I was scared.

I felt the pulse in the veins of my temple louder and my heart was throbbing as I slowly walked past my elder sister into the house and, my head sinking low into my raised shoulders, I headed straight to mother's bedroom. Annabel, my sister, followed.

"Give me your hand my boy", mother said to me, her voice hoarse, and she looked at me with a pursed lip smile. I was kneeling at the head of her bed, my hand in hers and our fingers intertwined. I closed my eyes wanting to pray for her but, its strange, I did not know how. All I could manage was to inaudibly mumble to myself "Jesus Christ save her". Annabel was standing in the doorway staring at us and her eyes had turned wet. She sneezed and heaved.

My heartbeat doubled the moment I felt mother's hand slowly get cold. I watched her, in disbelief and struck with shock, as she drew in her last breath. Her chest rose abnormally high and moments later, the same air slowly oozed out along with her precious life. My inner demons took over me and the darkness enveloped my whole being; I was so lost, I wanted to die too.

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