Hey guys, this is a really short piece, your comments and corrections are welcome and appreciated. And please share too, thanks.
I pat the hair on my daughter’s head, thick black hair like mine. She looks so much like her father, her small nose and oval face. I run my finger gently across her chubby cheeks and she stirs. In her eyes I see his, glossy still eyeballs peering at me from underneath a thicket of dark lashes. They stare at me with a hardness that makes me uncomfortable.
I avoid her eyes as I lower her into her cradle. The fluffy sheets and tiny pillows surround her like a pink cloud. She looks so peaceful. I run my fingers over her belly and tickle her. When she laughs, it is the sound of a thousand pure bubbles of joy and in that moment, I can imagine that those eyes are not Abu’s, that they are mine, filled with tears of gladness. Her laughter warms my belly and I laugh too.
‘Somi’ I ignore the voice at the door.
‘Somi’ he says again. This time, a heavy hand rests on my shoulder. I turn and see Abu standing behind me. His eyes meet mine.
‘Why are you laughing?’
‘Can’t you see?’ I say, turning back to the cradle, ‘I’m playing with Itseme.’ I tickle her again and she laughs.
‘Itseme is dead.’ He says softly. I can feel his hot breath on my neck.
‘My daughter is not dead.’ I say calmly, ‘Can’t you hear her laughing?’ I take his hand in mine but before I can place it on her forehead, he pulls back. I can feel his entire body shaking.
‘I’m going to feed her’ I say, carrying her out of the cradle.
Abu does not reply me, and as he crumples to the ground before an empty cradle, I wonder why he has lost so much weight.