Today I looked at Mimi’s innocuous face. Her smile is the only thing that feels right. My heart feels hollow with fear, yet her smile chills the wound buried beneath the hollow cold on my face, mixing with hot tears that cannot, and will never ever wash the guilt away.
If only I can run away from my pains, I will run as far as I could without having a glimpse of behind.

She stood right in front of me, piercing my eyes with her horrendous gaze. Does she have an idea? She is only four years old. I probably must be losing my mind. She was only smiling at me. Why do I feel behind her smile is an hatred that will haunt me to death?

I can’t even hold my baby, kiss her, hug her soothingly, and tell her how much I live because of her and her brother. I will climb the worst creepy mountains, swim through ghostly oceans, even pass through nightmarish valleys just to get the most powerful enchantment, to pull down these strong walls bridging my children and I. Nothing is scarier than being under same roof with my children, yet they have no idea I am their mother.

I was forbidden by a woman who knows nothing about childbirth from assuming responsibility as a mother to my children; of course it sounds awkward and weird but that is exactly what Adaku did to me.

The unequivocal trauma I have been facing for years all started when I gave birth to my first child. A cute little beautiful princess, whose eyes were like that of her dad’s. It came as a shock the very first day a resounding slap; that made me partially blind landed on my face because, I told my own child that I love her a lot. Adaku overheard me, and instantly forbade me from calling myself the mother of my biological child. With brutality, a poor helpless girl is forced to be called aunty by her own children, while a woman who knows nothing about the excruciating pains of labour is being called mum.

Every night and day, my ears crave to hear my babies call me mum. They suckled my breast, I bath them, cloth them, feed them, listen to their numerous screams, take them to school, and put them to sleep; yet, at the end of the day, a career woman, whose only job is take them for an outing and scream at them when they hover around her, gets the appraisal of being a good mother. How in God’s name could she be referred to as a mother?

Human life has become a forced army service and a life of hard manual labour, I have become a slave longing for cool shades. Ever since, everything has become dark and gloomy, I am filled with darkness, silhouettes and confusion. Light itself has become darkness.

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Okenwa Stella Ugochi is a graduate of industrial chemistry. She is a lover of books and an addict to writing. She is creative, versatile and witty. She uses writing to motivate and inspire people. She is one of the writers of a food poem tittled; A woman's pot, a man's stomach. Life as a writer to her is a journey, and relentlessly she is going to take the world on a tour with her writing style. 

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