I was quiet in the cab as we rode home, silently seething. Toju could tell he was the cause.
“Why are you so mad?”
I ignored him and turned even more, looking outside the window.
“You didn’t want to see her? At all?”
“You should have warned me!”
“Warn y- she’s our mom. Why on earth should I give you a warning to see her? The sentence doesn’t even make sense in my head.”
I pressed my lips together and turned away again. He obviously didn’t get it. I replayed the conversation we’d just not had in my mind. I hated the way I’d responded to her. I didn’t want to be so cold – I thought becoming Christian would automatically deal with my anger but apparently I yet had a lot of learning to do about how the whole faith thing works.
Sighing, frustrated with my slow progress and aching heart, I rested my head on the window. “You should have warned me Toju.”
He was silent for a moment. “Would it have made you a little less acidic?”
“Oh.” He sounded like he understood at that point. “I’m really sorry then. I was still trying to get her to stop and talk for a bit; it didn’t occur to me that it would be so hard on you.” He reached over and ruffled my hair. “I’m sorry babe.”
I nodded. I forgave him but regret still flooded me. I see her for the first time in almost six years, with the dream fresh in my mind and all my limbs itching to gravitate towards her in an uninhibited hug, and what do I go on and do? Listen to my bitter heart and go;
“I have no mother.”
The unexpected pain in her eyes as I said it didn’t hurt as much as the realization that I, more than anything, wanted that one statement to be false.
It took me a full week to get over the shock of seeing my mother after so long and wasting the opportunity so foolishly. But with grandma’s faith, encouragement and daily bible study sessions, I got out of that rut, trusting I’d get another opportunity to tell her that I wouldn’t mind being patient again – because I loved her and wanted her to be happy with me.
“…good things come to those who love…”
School resumed and life got hectic again. Because of how restless I’d been emotionally and spiritually in year one, I had a lot of carry-overs waiting to greet me at the start of my second year in the university but I was determined to clear them all this time. I had new energy. Plus I was…happy. Dad and I spent more time together and he began making a conscious effort to compartmentalize his work so at home he was at home and focused on us. Christopher was on probation – father-probation – so he steered clear of us for a while but started trying to get friendly and flirtatious after a few weeks. Initially, I just told him nicely to go to hell. Then I got convicted so I suggested heaven as well, mentally vowing not to let him visit even if we were neighbors up there. We found a nice little family church near the house and visited a few times before deciding to commit. It was awkward for Toju and I at the start because we’d never been to church except for weddings and burials but dad and grandma were into the groove of it before they’d crossed the threshold. From the first day though, I did enjoy the way the preacher did his thing; his sense of humor matched Toju’s and he didn’t once make us feel like he always had it together and was doing us a favor letting us into his zone and allowing us bask in his awesomeness. He was just a regular – good looking might I add – guy who made me want to fall deeper in love with the God I’d just gotten into a relationship with.
And I thought that was awesomeness.
Everything was good for about a full month. My life no longer seemed like this massive sticky blob of worthless nothingness. I still had my mood swings and days when I wished everything would just blow up and that would be the end of it but those feelings never lasted more than a few hours anymore, which was tremendous improvement compared to the weeks they spanned in the past. I woke up each morning curious about what I’d learn in the day – about God, about my abilities and mind, or about my family. I still thought about mom, more often than before even, but I was learning the thing of praying when you’re worried so that helped a bit too. Life in general, was really looking good.
But then, I should’ve prepared myself to have a ‘too’ preceding that goodness and a ‘to be true’ following behind.
Sadly, I didn’t.
To be continued…