Nkili stumbled out of an incoherent dream and woke up with a start. Blaring horns, booming music and myriads of voices mingled to produce unbearable noise. As the driver pulled toward the community school, she felt her heart tick like a grandfather clock. Home was only minutes away. She was going to see her mother - after ten long years.
The driver pulled into the family compound. She let herself out of the car slowly. The vast compound filled with red sand was bare. A rich diversity of orange, mango, cashew and Kola nut trees towered above the compound creating a sense of serenity. The gray bungalow where her mother lived still maintained its position in the middle of the compound. Hens scratched and pecked the ground leisurely. Goats helped themselves to crops spread across the ground.
Nkili inched closer to the bungalow. She could perceive the familiar smell of smoke. The same old family photographs, palm wine gourd, and cowhide skin adorned the wall. Her mind began to wander back to the past, before her father died. But her recollections were truncated by a heap of fire wood that came crashing onto the ground. Beside the fire wood stood two feet. They were familiar feet; ones that once walked her to school along the dusty brown path; the hands were the same one that flogged her when she stole a piece of meat from the cooking pot; the shoulder was the one she used to cry on when she bruised her knee or received strokes of the cane from her father; Before her stood the very embodiment of virtue, integrity and strength.
‘Mother,’ Nkili muttered in a choked voice. Her eyes welled up with tears.
Nkili's mother held out her arms. ‘My child.’
That was all Nkili longed for. She couldn’t hold back the tears as they embraced. It was so good to be home.
(Culled from my novel, 'The Desperate Dreamer')