"When the sun is setting and the best of my days are passing away in agony, and I am not more than a single lightyear from where I was born. I always concentrated and just assumed I will survive somehow and the faster I thought, the more stagnant I became. And my life, my dreams and aspirations and hallucinations, I never wondered who put all of them together. For in the garden of my mind, I locked the door and the scent of the flowers, rain and an imaginary green earth always took me back to reality. But I am falling away so quickly now Laura, finally I think I am dying. Your father beckons with open arms ready to welcome me to the other side".
The yellow light of the kerosene lamp flickered off, and darkness enveloped the entirety of the room. Laura held onto the hand of her mother, curled up on a raffia mat and tears formed a cold crystal clear map to the heart in her chest. Like raindrops dancing upon a river in June"Don't die" she wanted to say but the lump in her throat wouldn't let her. "Oh earth please stand still" she needed to speak but the speed of her beating heart didn't care either. As the moon's reflection played in through the broken window, it was becoming clearer and clearer her mother just left her all alone, to a distant future in a lost world far-away.
Of comfort and peace, it was true she had never known any all of her life. But this was way too much, she had lost her mother, her only friend in the world. Laura stared into the gloom of the night in disbelief, trying to comprehend what was happening. "Oh my God" she cried out unable to control her mind, her thoughts. Then her sobbing had no rhythm, and no source, no effect on her body as the veins in her hands stood out to embrace her. Thomas and his wife and three other men stood at the doorway with a lit candle in hand. They knew what had happened, they had heard her cough increasing all through the evening.
Laura could not really decide what it was, but it felt like the rest of the world continued to rotate while she was being forgotten behind. Her hands trembled and she forgot about the plenty eyes watching. "Oh mama! Oh mama" she wailed out even louder. Her knees knocked together and the ground seemed so dirty and distant. And suddenly she fell down broken on the ground like a brand new ceramic plate upon stone, as a thick darkness descended upon the land, she heard whispers and screams and a cold sensation run through her spinal column, and then a minute became eternity, and eternity became twenty four hours. And then every single thing became still and silent, far into gray.
Her father passed away when she was in primary six, and her uncle Thomas had taken over all of the properties, and still her mother struggled selling fruits and vegetables in the local market so she could finish her secondary education. Laura was sixteen years old now and the dark deep demon in men had started to awake. One day while she was hawking upon a forest path to another village, she would have been raped if not for a kind-hearted palm wine tapper that chased the perpetrators away and rescued her. She wrote her senior secondary school matriculation examinations last year. And the future looked brighter but now her mother had left her alone to the troubles of this wicked world.
Laura opened her eyes and it was the night of the following day, nine thirty PM. She had blacked out for a long time. Maybe the hunger of the night before contributed she thought. And then she remembered her mother, and the sea of anguish embraced the ocean of tears. But she did not have much strength to cry and she needed to leave the house of her uncle Thomas as quickly as possible. She got up from the bed and discovered nobody else was in the house, then Laura headed straight for the waterside, as the wind whispered secrets to her empty soul amidst pouring rain. She sat by the river for a little while, building up her sight by the stars of the night and with her finger she connected them together and they spelt out a word, hope.