The Other Side Of Love

a writing by Adeosun Olamide Ayo

Why you disturb ma? Why you make her cry? Why you beat her bleed? Why? Answer’ Papa! I am not dropping gun; I can’t let you bring mama tears again’ sorry papa’ I love mama.
Don’t bother, Pa will come, he’ll come home’ it’s just another moon since he went hunting, perhaps he abandon us, married another, our lives shall go on and we will be fine.
Why always him’ Mama? You cook what he wants not what I want, you share his bed and never care mine’ why mama? I know you love me’ ma, but smile’ he’ll come home.

See what I cooked Ma’ eat, drink. Sit beside’ Ma, touch my hair, stroke my palm. Gently ma’ Ma why you stop to bathe me? Why you hide your breast? Was it not my bowl as child?
I don’t like them’ Ma, they are rough, crude’ I just like to be with you’ Ma, to see your face and make you smile, to play with you and be your friend.

Is that tears? Mama’ why? Don’t hold my hands, seem you don’t want me’ why you want me to play with them, to go out? It will make you happy?

Ma’ don’t cry, god gives and takes, but who’d shoot Pa? Who’d kill Pa? Ma’ don’t curse, don’t curse’ I know he is my father but don’t insult his memory with curse.
Ma’ you cry still? You forgot what he did? How he pushed and smacked you, how he screamed and hurt you? Ma’ you forget? How could you remember only his good, how could you mama? He was wicked to us, to you, mama. Don’t look me that way, no mama, I love him but he is gone’ life should on.
Fa (if) cry forever’ won’t bring him back, Ma eat! One you like, I feed you’ Ma, open lips!

Yes I heard, the door’ I’d get it.

Why mama? Why he want you, what norm? Shall inherit you? No Ma’ won’t let anyone lay hand on you. You lonely? What about me? You love him? Yes, you do Mama! Let me cry mama, No! No! no mama, no norm, no tradition.
Why you love Ma? Why you want her? Why? I am not dropping the gun, no, don’t say sorry, don’t promise. Help greet papa, Goodbye!

I am safe mama, no one would touch you, don’t be scared, I’ll protect you! The gods certainly! the gods will protect me.
So they say, that it was the same spot they found papa, that the shooter is the same, I’ll be safe mama. We’ll be.

Who call you witch? Does witch kill with gun? That old woman sef, yet you pity her? I know two of her sons were killed but she shouldn’t say it was you, perhaps it is true what they say, that you reap your seed in tubers, thorns or fruit. That’s her harvest.

Ma, you speaking to yourself, it is raining ma’ come in to sleep. Sweet dreams ma.

It is me, I am cold, I been having nightmares and the thunders been piercing my nerve, let me slumber by your side, in your gaze, let me’ Ma.
You are shaking, your body is sun, it burns’ shall I pour water? Hold my hands mama’ you’d be fine. I am not crying ma’ I am praying. Please mama be fine, don’t leave me.
Why you touch my Ma like that? Why you put ear to her chest? Why you insist she sleep here and reject food I bring her? She rests at home, she is not sad. I try make her laugh, I really do. That name she utters? Chisom is my brother. Why should I call Chisom? he is not here. She insists on seeing Chisom?

Ma, you fine now that Chisom is here, you don’t call my name, only Chisom, only Chisom. I know ma that you missed him, I know he is my brother; I know you love him more! I am not angry Mama!

Why you let Ma love you than me? Why you stay back? Why Chisom? Don’t hug me, you threatened her in dream right? You gave her the sickness right? So your presence is ransom. What you say, Chisom? You call me evil? I’d send you to Pa, he must be lonely there, greet Pa and uncle Adi for me.

You ask me about Chisom like I am his shadow, like I am his cloud. Ma’ don’t cry, Chisom is fine, he told that he must return for urgent business. Don’t cry ma, don’t I make you happy? Don’t keep quiet, why you never accept the smile I carve for your face? Why you cry on Chisom when you have me? Is there something he gives you that I don’t? Mama, I give love, don’t push me away, don’t run from me. Today, I hear the talk of drunks, the whisper everywhere, they say you need a man in your legs and long absence caused your sickness, I hear it could cause madness and no one would marry you. Mama’ look me’ I do any for you’ to make you happy. Ma’ don’t scream, let me show you, ma, don’t fear for me, don’t fear my curse, I’ll do it so you may be happy.
Why you cry still? Ma’ I do all for you, to see you smile and you cry still? Ma’ speak, speak to me! Don’t you know I’d die if you don’t? I don’t know about Chisom, look my hand mama, does it carry blood, does it carry stain? Only gods take life, I haven’t made self a tool, I haven’t their use!

Ma, you ok? What fever, Ma is pregnant? Nothing shall do Mama, nothing shall happen, when your tummy swell, nothing shall happen.

Why you jest my’ Ma? Why you curse her? Why you say she kill your son? Why you spit in my face? I am your grandson; help greet your sons and Chisom.

Ma, what do? Ma, speak to me! What take? What abomination you vessel? Ma’ our child, the gods give and take, you reject their gift, my gift. Ma don’t get cold, your heartbeat fade mama, don don don don’t leave ma’ Please stay.

Wherever you go Mama’ I shall come.

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