Emiliene Alemkeng

        Chapter One

           Episode 3

‘I was crossing the road, on my way from the market, my eyes fooled me and, and… She started coughing again which was a painful sight to her family.
‘And I did not see the oncoming car, I tried to dodge but it was too late, it ran me down and the driver drove off’ she finished.
After a moment of pained silence, Mama stretched her hand to touch Charlotte who was weeping copiously by her side, but she was too weak and her hands felled off. She still made an effort to comfort her daughter. Tears ran down her eyes like September rain. She could not help the impuissant feeling that kept pulling her back. Even speaking was problematic to her. She could not fight the cough that kept stopping her. She knew she had less time left so she forced words out of her mouth amidst the coughing with cough to her family.
‘My hus…band I want you to promise me you will take care of the family when am gone. Promise me you will stop drinking’ clearly, speaking was an effort, but Mama was determined to have her say. Chris you are my first child and every day I thank God for you, please promise me you will take care of your brother and sister…She ended in mid-speech as blood gurgled from her mouth as she was arrested by a fit of coughing.
Please take care of Charl…lotte, she is now your daugh…ter’ She finished weakly as another spasm of cough interrupted her once more.
‘Mama, I will, I will take care of you and everybody, and mama please don’t talk like this’ He said in a voice hushed with fear. As a nurse, he knew that his mother was dying but the child in him clung to the hope of a miracle.
‘Yan be a good boy… ‘I love you all, my husband, you have not uttered a word. Please…Promise me…’ Papa could only shed tears, Charlotte had never seen him so vulnerable, and he was holding mama’s hand with his head held down in shame.

It had been so sudden, all the Tazi’s were in denial, this could not be happening, Charlotte was crying and rolling on the floor while the Tazi men were looking around with different expression of befuddlement. The family mourned deeply but their grief brought them closer and made them better. Everyone kept the promise made to mama on her dead bed. Papa did touch a bottle of 33 Export even when his friends were encouraging him to drink his sorrow away after the funeral ceremony. The temptation was higher during Mama’s funeral in the village. Everybody was present, family friends, Mama’s old mother, the buy and sell-am women, Villagers and some people they did not even know. Weeping was heard from different angles of Mr. Ben’s compound in different groups. Some family members were busy consoling him and his kids. Then came the shock from his brother…

To be continued…