‘Muuuuuuummmy! Mummmmy!! Mummmmmmmmy!!!’
I’m screaming with all my might. My throat hurts but I can’t stop. What else can I do? How else can I wake mummy up? So long as I keep calling her, so long as I keep screaming her name and pushing her, I’m sure she’ll wake up. She just has to.
Mummy’s body feels cold against mine. I need to warm her up. Mummy always hugs me to herself whenever I feel cold and it always makes me feel all warm and fuzzy while my body is against hers. I’m sure it’ll work. I’m sure… but it doesn’t. Her body isn’t warming up and her eyes are still not blinking.
‘Daddy! Daddy! Please help me! Please help mummy. Come and help me help warm up mummy. She feels so cold.’
I’m barely able to see. My tears are flowing freely. I don’t care how much daddy has hurt me and mummy. I just want mummy to be ok. For mummy to look at me like she usually does and not like this. Not like she’s looking at me but not looking at me.
‘Daddy please! I’m begging you! Please help us!’
He doesn’t say anything. He just gets up from his bed and walks right out of the room. I’m confused. What am I supposed to do? That’s when I feel it. This warm liquid on my hand. It’s coming out of mummy’s chest. I didn’t notice before but now I do. It’s thick. Just like the time daddy threw me against the wall and I hit my head. If that’s it then mummy will be fine. I’m sure there will be a small puff puff there and she’ll be all better.
I don’t know how long I waited beside mummy for her to wake up but I suddenly feel something hard hit my side.
I’m staring at daddy’s face. He doesn’t look mad at me.
‘Daddy! You came back. We can warm mummy…’
Her body feels so stiff and strong.
‘Muh…mummy? Daddy what’s wrong with mummy? Why does she feel so…’
He pushes me away without a word. I watch daddy as he walks towards mummy and lifts her up from the floor.
‘Daddy! Daddy! Where are you taking mummy to? Why does she feel so cold?! Why is she so…’
Dead? What does he mean? What does being dead mean? Is it a type of sickness? Does that mean all she needs is medicine? I don’t understand.
‘Mummy is dead. You’ll never see her again. After tonight, the mummy you know will be gone forever.’
I watch daddy again as he walks out of the room for the second time this night.
Mummy is gone. Forever. I won’t see her again. She’s not going to disappear for a while and then come back days later like daddy usually does. She’s gone.
My chest feels tight like I’m in my room and there’s no candlelight for me to see with.
My tummy feels like it’s being squeezed from the inside. I bend over, clutching my tummy. My nose feels blocked just like when I had a cold and couldn’t breathe through it.
What am I going to do? Mummy is gone.
It’s been three days since I saw daddy carry mummy away. I don’t know where he kept her and I haven’t seen daddy since he walked out the door. I’ve been able to find little bits and pieces around the house to eat since mummy isn’t here to cook. The thought of mummy not being around anymore makes me cry. There are times where I find places to hide, like now. I imagine mummy in my arms, my fingers on her spine counting each one by one. My tummy rumbles.
‘Shhhh tummy. We have to be quiet if not daddy will find us.’
I hear the door open and hug my legs to myself. Daddy must not find me. I need to hide. Mummy would want me to continue our game. I hear footsteps moving away from the kitchen and after a while they come back.
‘Lola?! Lola?! Damn it! Where are you?’
I’m scared. I’m very scared. Playing this game without mummy is scary. I’m hungry. Very hungry. I don’t know how long I can remain hidden. Daddy doesn’t leave me with much time to think, he opens the door of the cupboard and pulls me out. Is this how mummy felt the day daddy pulled her out by her hair? I’m too hungry to fight him.
‘You can’t keep eating without doing anything. This is my house. Your mummy isn’t here to beg. From now on, you have be of use to me and work hard if you want to continue living here.’