Whenever my mother’s voice ricochets, I suddenly think of the first night I slept with a man. I think of the moments before he poured his sorrow in me – the ecstasy, the minute euphoria of an expectation soon to turn sour. I associate her curses with moans that just make me want to disappear; the instant regret and realization a moment can usher you into.
I remember the moments before I burst into a sob, the painful realization that imagination does not equate to reality. I think of my mother as a sad woman. I think of my mother as a broken girl with so many dreams, still struggling to accept that dreams don’t equate to reality. I remember being overcome with regret and I know her trauma is already brewing inside me. As the man I feel nothing but disgust for stares me point-blank in the eye, with a face so sleazy I want to empty my bowels, I find my mother’s mistakes reoccurring through my existence. I summon a small smile and offer him a kiss. I bury my head into things I know will utterly ruin me. I cloud my mind with hope and unrealistic dreams.
I think of my mother’s voice and I smile because surely I must have made her proud by choosing to stay. Because surely I am certain I can twist my pain into a heritage. Because I have only learned to associate love with pain.
Written by Shalom Chidueme