The lone tear

The washed up body of a couple of days old baby by the Lekki Phase 1 bridge. Dumped into the waters by his mother. The currents swept him our way though we could do nothing about him. My wife and I shed a lone tear heading back home. Silently wailing within. 17 years we have been married. With no child to call ours.

 

The call from my elder sister. Our mother had just passed away. At 52, she was barely beginning to enjoy the fruits of her labour. The crowds in the house. All around me. Asking me to take heart. Se bi okunrin (act like a man) they said. Be strong. You know you can’t afford to cry even if your sisters do. Men don’t cry. The first and only son of our mother. I entered my room that night and shed a lone tear. Silently weeping.

 

9 months and all I wanted was to hold my baby in my arms. I never got to. She was a still birth. I willed the tears to pour. Nothing except a lone tear.

 

10 of them. Taking turns. I prayed for tears. For the ground to open up and swallow me. With my mouth gagged, I couldn’t scream. All I could do was shed a lone tear.

 

As Supo dragged his boxes out of the house. 25 years of marriage and I suddenly wasn’t good enough for him. He found a younger girl who could satisfy him. As I wondered what to tell our 3 wonderful children. The lone tear.

 

Facing execution for a murder I didn’t commit. All my appeals falling on deaf ears. Appeal upon appeal. Courts today and tomorrow. Pleading my innocence. A lone tear.

 

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