I was five when mother went to the hospital but did not return home.
She had picked my sisters and I from school earlier on that fateful day. I remember the pink flowery dress that proudly showed her bulging belly.
Mother was tall, slim and fair with lovely grey eyes accentuated by her porcelain skin. She was the kind of woman a man showed off to his friends like a prized possession. Dad loved mother so much he called her ”the queen that owns my heart.”
”Didi, what will you have for lunch?” mom asked, displaying her well set teeth. I was a choosy eater in those days. Mom was trying to catch up with my numerous food choices.
”Fried potatoes and egg with zobo,” I replied sheepishly while I played quietly with my toys. Mimi and Zizi were playing loudly in their room. I was the baby of the house, a position I was soon to relinquish.
When mom came to put the plate of savoury meal on the dining table, I noticed that her dress was stained with zobo. Mom was a scatterbrain, so I was not surprised. She often joked about how frequently she replaced her China plates.
The zobo stains seemed to be more when she came to check if I had finished eating. ”Mommy, the back of your dress is soaked in zobo” I giggled.
She looked alarmed. I did not understand why. Then I noticed that her eyes were white like the angels I saw in my picture stories.
She immediately sent me to fetch her phone. My sisters and I cried while mom continued to ‘urinate zobo’ but Zizi said it was blood, not zobo. She became weaker as the ‘blood-zobo’ spread on the floor.
It took dad about two hours to get home. I have never seen daddy look more helpless. He carried mom immediately to the car and zoomed off like a mad man to the hospital. With frantic cries, we waited for dad to return home with mom.
Daddy came back the next morning with a grave look on his face. Then, I realised something very bad had happened.