A young girl loses her mother at a young age but doesn't remember because she still sees her everyday since the day of her death. Her sister and her father are oblivious of this development....
The crimson tint that appears on Fridays — when it is night and mama Funmi’s goat ceases bleating — appears no more. And so, the sky is a clear dark shadow that defies glowing celestial bulbs, it should rain soon.
Ada calls out your name and you hurry to answer, recent consequences have taught you that hesitation can be fatal. She hands you a broom and then you squeeze your face, the way Mama always did when Papa suddenly hit stone, halfway into a meal of beans. The clear outline of her face, her nose and her lip ever slightly dismayed in the squeezing gesture, anticipating papa’s customary reproach.
You hurry, papa would be back soon and the only thing he hates more than work frustration is an untidy house. He walks in briskly before you have placed the last picture in its place but says nothing. Dinner is had silently and you wish inwardly that someone would break the silence. And your prayers are soon answered, for as you turn your fork lazily around your plate, taunting your stomach, Papa’s phone goes off. You rise to get it, Nkem stares expectantly at you. You have momentarily forgotten that Papa never takes calls during meals. You sit back down and he says nothing.
The next day, you wake up early for you had a terrible dream in which Mama was forcefully taken from you and you never saw her again. You cross yourself several times in the darkness of your room but the feeling of need wouldn’t go away. In the morning when you see Papa walk into the living room to begin the morning prayers , you forgot to greet him, again he said nothing. He prayed silently and was inaudible most times, as though speaking to himself, and then you look at Nkem underneath half shut eyes and you find that she is looking at you as well, asking.
Mama doesn’t seem to understand you anymore. You speak to her practically always. Whenever Nkem is not sending you off on one errand or the other or Papa calling you to locate a shoe that he had inadvertently thrown far, far under the bed. What you really can’t understand is why she won’t speak to Papa and Nkem and why she only came when they weren’t there.
When you told Aunt Yetunde at school, Mama was furious and you didn’t see her for many days. It was on the day papa came home overwhelmed with annoyance- the akweshe boys had stolen his car- that Mama came shuffling in, in that languid, sluggish way of hers. She then told you all was well.
That night in your dream, it is Friday and the night is pitch black. Baba Ishee illuminated by the security light, is stabbing mama on the neck with a dagger, over and over again for refusing to sleep with him, Nkem rushes forward to intervene and he slashes her forearm in defense, then Papa runs out with his Grandpa’s Dane gun and shoots. Then the night’s colour changes, little by little, like kaleidoscopic patterns until the night acquires a deep crimson tint, and you, a tear.