It rained softly that Morning.

Harry was sad, he knew that he wasn’t going to make any sales on the rain. His mother was having difficulties breathing at home, and he could not afford an inhaler.

The rain had drained his body, he became wet. He walked home in the rain. He had so many thoughts on his mind as he walked slowly with the bucket of sachet water on his head; he thought of Atimma, how she was coping alone without him by her side, even when he knew that things had changed between them. 

Selling satchet water called pure water in nigeria

But he missed making love to her and listening to her nag about unnecessary things. He thought about Didi, how she was going to sleep that night without her diapers, because he couldn’t afford them. 

He became tired, and cold on the rain. He sat under a shade. He sat there, helpless while the vision of the people he loved played over and over in his head. Every time it played, he felt again the agonizing terror, the split second of unbearable suffering while he waited for the rain to stop.

The rain seemed unstoppable, he kept walking till he got home.

He wanted to wait on the veranda for a while, until he drained a little bit of water from his wet clothes; but the sound of Didi’s cry could not keep him any longer. He had wondered where his mother was. He clicked the door open, In a brighten white bulb light, he could see Didi’s tears.

His mom had slept too deep that she could not hear Didi cry. He watched her as she was all curled in on herself, sleeping as if her life depend on it. Harry felt it was his fault that she had to sleep so deep, she was tired.

Didi stopped crying as soon as she noticed her father’s presence. He kissed Didi on the forehead, but couldn’t carry her because of his wet clothes.

Then he turned his gaze to his mom for a while just to reassure himself that she was truly alright. Then quietly, slowly, he tried to tickle her, but she didn’t move as usual.

His heart felt as he noticed that she wasn’t breathing. Her body turned almost gray. He pushed his mom and turned her body over, holding her to himself and slapping her hands.

But what awed him, and frightened the wits out of him was that she didn’t move, and then he realized that she had died some moments ago.
His throat ached with emotions, but he swallowed hard and draped his arm over her waist. He began to scream…

“Mama don’t do this to me please I beg you…” Tears streamed out of his eyes like rainfall. He cried uncontrollably.

He gaze at his daughter who was mumbling baby words and sucking her hands. He closed his eyes, comforted by her presence.

He turned tearily to Didi and whispered, “Grandma had died.”

He held his mother to himself and wept even more, he had never wept that bitterly before.
He rushed into the room and came out with a wrapper and bed sheet. He covered his mother with the bedsheets and carried Didi on his back, tightening the wrapper firmly.

He sat on the floor and got confused on what to do.
His face turned red…

He thought of how he was going to bury his mom, he didn’t have a dime.
A flicker of darkness clouded his eyes. Anger, harsh and swift, cut through him, then his knees went weak.

By Vicky Bon

Continue to the next episode of this story, episode 23 here.

You can also read the previous episode 1 here

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LOVE IN TIMES LIKE THIS (EPISODE 22) LOVE IN TIMES LIKE THIS (EPISODE 22) Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on November 30, 2022 Rating: 5

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