I love to watch the sun sink itself deep in pockets of clouds. It is such a beautiful sight to behold. Photographs of my childhood rush into my eyes; I remember the little songs I made and the friends that beat the sands with me. My mummy told me I went to play one evening and returned with a bean in my nose. The next time, it was two grains of maize tucked well inside my left ear. I hate to admit that I was always wanting to return, as she would say, I was always wanting to leave in tears and dissolve.
The first time I became conscious of myself, I had a bandage around my left hand. Fingers well wrapped like the near-empty gift-boxes at Christmas. There was a wooden ruler at the center, kept to align my fingers. I didn’t care, or rather didn’t know what pain was, I pulled it out. It was the beginning of my childhood. It is what I remember each time I see the sun drifting into oblivion – pain, the sharp prickling in my hand, the blood soaked bandage. I was electrocuted when I was seven months old.
Mummy told me I was operated upon at the age of five and was unconscious for two days. She thought I had finally left. I have always wondered, foolishly, why we needed the sun if the day was already a bright city. It didn’t occur to me that I was my mother’s hope. A prophet swore to her that I would be all she hoped for.
In Primary five, Taofeek, the one whom I shared my first crush with, the evening rubber-ball and table soccer games with, half my dinner with, returned home one evening. The next morning, he didn’t resume at school. The following day, he didn’t resume. And the next, and next and next. A new girl assumed his seat. I did not talk to her. I never did.
His sun sank and never rose again. My mother feared that it would be mine.
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