When Serumun finally made it overseas, we all thought Aunty Kaver’s problems would evanesce. Weeks went by and spawned months. Months passed and begot years, Serumun never returned.
Aunty Kaver became a frequent visitor to Aja post office and everyday was the same: “Madam, there are no letters for you from Europe o,” and Aunty Kaver would cry her voice mute: “You must have mixed it up, Serumun would never abandon his mother.”
There was a time we all thought Aunty Kaver had become mad. She talked alone in the streets and never washed her clothes and never took a bath. She smoked shinsha with young expatriates at the city slums and drown her belly with local gin at Madam Ekot beer parlour, even on sundays.
One sunday — a communion sunday, Aunty Kaver staggered into church with a bottle of gin wrapped under her garment. She danced senselessly, out of beat, during hymnal rendition and the saints reading.
She flung into the sonorous air, the tray of holy communion and the blood of Christ spewing over Father Terwase’s white garb. Able men manned her and hurled her down the stairway of Christ and the brethren of Christ cheered sardonically.
And the time came when she was penitent and absent minded and taciturn; she lived the ember months isolated from the rest of the world and the festivities of the season.
In the new year, I visited Aunty Kaver, her living room was a shadow of itself — the white washed walls stared at me painfully, the window louvers appeared like the harmattan rain could send them flying into gloom within nanoseconds. A wooden box TV seated on a skeletal frame, presumably one of her last furniture, gawked at me blindly.
Aunty Kaver leaped out of her room, looking like a walking corpse from a horror film. Tears rolled down my cheeks unbidden and I embraced her and her eyes soaked ankara.
The day Aunty Kaver died, no one knew until the following day when the stench of her decomposed body pulled every one out of their homes. She was buried without a coffin at Iki forest with a few people surrounding her shallow grave.
A year later, Serumun returned and adorned her grave and threw a lavish party as a second burial. Serumun was stinking rich, we heard he was a star player for an English club. He had houses in Europe and North America. He was married to a caucasian blondie and they’d a caucasian hybrid son. He flew back overseas after the ceremony and never returned.
Aunty Kaver would be remembered as a mother that gave all she had for her son to succeed but I don’t think Serumun remember her.