Serwaa recounted the sales for the day from her provision shop. She was beyond certain that the sales girl she hired has taken some of the money. Her heart was hurting with anger- all this won’t happen if Joseph was not so- Joseph…the name startled her. She had forbidden herself from mentioning that cursed name. She did not even call Kweku, her son, as ‘Junior’. She detested the name and would change it if she had the time and that boy wasn’t so stubborn. Her hand was shaking now, she quickly got up to go look for what gave her consolation.
She picked up the key and opened up her secret locker- one that her son knew nothing about and took out a bottle of Alcohol. With this she will drain away all memories and pain- at least enough to make her sleep. She swallowed the liquid so fast ignoring it’s burning sensation because she didn’t want Junior to come and see her. Drunk as she wanted to be- she hid the bottle under her pillow and slept under the fan- knowing that the air will be free of the smell by the time her son came around.
Junior locked the Legacy bar and glanced at his watch- it was half past midnight. He knew his mother will be asleep by now and that was good because it will give him the opportunity to wash out the smell of alcohol from his body and clothes before she woke up. He had enough of her complaints about his very existence. The air was chilly and he took his time to walk home, there were a few groups of boys- mostly homeless who were hanging around. Some of them were drunk and lying on the street, it made him feel a bit guilty as he was the one who served them. Some waved their hands at him in recognition, he smiled back. It was evident that this is what his mother dreaded for him- she didn’t want him to become like those, “useless drunkards” she’d say when she got tired of mentioning his father- the real devil himself.
“I want to give you a future- a bright one” that was what the mother kept saying but this seemed so far from him as all his mother did was to remind him of the darkness all around him and running through his veins.
Junior switched off the light in the hallway when he entered, he realised that the mother didn’t bother to clear the table after eating and she also left the money from the shop on the table. This is what made them get missing sometimes but then she blamed the shopkeeper and him for refusing to handle the shop. He simply picked them up and decided to place it somewhere safe in her room. Upon entering the room he realised that the fan was blowing really high- he quickly turned it off since it was very chilly. He then placed the money in a drawer and went ahead to cover his mother. He watched her sleep- even asleep she looked disturbed. He’d give anything to bring her peace but…. a sigh escaped him and he decided to adjust her head so she slept well. It was there that he caught sight of- a bottle?
Junior’s heart missed a beat- that was definitely an alcoholic bottle and it was empty- there it hit him. He caught a slight smell of the liquid as he drew close to his mother but had thought it was from him. Has she been drinking? He thought as he held the bottle- it felt like the only light he looked up to was not so bright after all.
To be continued…