Short story by Ghost Writer

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"Dare!", I heard someone call my name from the backyard and the voice sounded very familiar,too familiar to me. Whoever it was should've come to the main door instead. I dropped Jane on the couch,wiped her cerelac-addled mouth and gave her her dummy to play with. I walked briskly to thekitchen and turned the knob while asking, "who's there?". "Open the door,it's me", an hoarse feminine voice replied. "Mummy!", I shouted with glee, as the owner of the voice turned out to be my mother. I outstretched the cringe door and hugged her, but I didn't feel her. She was cold and expressionless.I withdrew and stared at her, there was this new air about her, she didn't say "Ôko mí, abúrò e nkó?" as usual. I looked at her face as she entered the kitchen door, a harsh scar ran fiercely across her left eye and stopped just above her nose bridge and blood trail behind her as she walked. I was bewildered,yet something told me she knew. I closed the door and the picture of the gate burned up in my retinas beyond the glassy frame of the door. I noticed the gate padlock was still unopened nor broke as I left it after Dad went out this morning. where then did she pass?.

Mummy left for UCH Ibadan two months ago,after  she was diagnosed of cancer and since then, I'd only heard from her twice. Since then Dad, our little baby, Jane and I were the only occupants in this terrace. Dad was called very earlythis morning and the way he was rambling around,I knew something was wrong. He had said, "I'm going to Ibadan,they said your Mother isn't responding to calls and her pulse has deteriorated.Take care of Jane, I might come home late", that morning.

Mummy came to the sitting room and stared at Jane,while she fumbled with her dummy. Tears dripped from mom's eyes as she stared at her baby. But It didn't seem like Jane saw her,because each time she raised her head, she'll look at me and say "yaye, malayiifi", instead of the "maa!" she always says anytime mom was around. I walked past mom and I carried Jane from the couch,up in my arms. All along, I was tensed and a strange kind of fear enveloped me. She went back inside the house, entered her room and laid on the bed,with her back facing the half opened door. I pushed the door back a bit and pointed inside mom's room, "Jane, see mummy", jane stared inside,stared back at me and rested her head on my shoulders in utter silence.Mummy turned on her bed suddenly and called out to me, "Dare, toju aburo e o". The statement felt strange to me, at least I've been taking care of her and I wouldn't have to again,since she's here. Iwent to the sitting room and dialed Dads number on the land-phone to ask why he didn't enter the house when he dropped mummy. The phone rang for a while before he picked. "Hello daddy, I...","Your Mom's dead!" , he shot back at me amidst tears. The phone dropped from my hand and crashed against the marble floor. I ran to mom's room to get sense out of this whole shit and alas! It was empty,the bed sheet neatly laid,as if no one had slept on it just seconds ago. The blood trails too dried up. I screamed and passed out. Whether I dropped Jane while falling or she slipped from my arms, I couldn't tell.

I woke up in an hospital a week later. I looked around and saw Dad and aunt Ásàké seated at my right,carrying Jane in his arms. He nodded successively at me and smiled. Mummy's last statement rang up in my ears tentatively as I looked at Jane. I closed my heavy eyes and slept, no one would ever believe I'd seen a ghost.

Mother's never leave their children


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