They always say, "Nothing good or bad lasts forever." And I guess that's true. Because if it weren't, I wouldn't be flying to a place I know no one or like any one for that matter. I would be seated in the shed listening to Sheena's endless stories about her childhood and young adult years.
Unfortunately, that's not how the universe works. It just favours no man. It works on its own timetable against everyone's will.
The only maternal figure I ever knew and my best friend, Sheena,passed on yesterday at 4a.m. It was raining heavily and the smell of chlorine filled my nostrils. The nurses kept running in and out of her ward and I held on thinking she would come out lively as ever but this world ain't anyone's home. She died.
I remember a little bit or nothing about my mother. She gave birth to me when she was just a junior in high school. From Sheena's stories, she gave birth to me and tried raising me on her own till she couldn't. She hired Sheena as my nanny when I was about four years old then she moved on for "further studies". She kept sending a lot of money back home and calling once in a month. The calls stop abruptly but the money kept coming though it stopped too when I was eight. I didn't hear from her ever again till yesterday when Sheena passed on.
I grab my bags and look around for anyone that I may have a slight appearance to. I don't have any pictures of my mom with me and I don't remember Sheena telling me if I look like her or not. And I'm certain she doesn't have a note in front of her written with her names on it.
After what seems like eternity but is just half an hour, I spot a lady standing alone and talking furiously on phone. She has the same black curly hair as mine and my coffee brown eyes, a stranger can mistake her for my elder sister. I immediately know it's her.
I move on to where she is and tap her shoulder twice against my will. Just because there's no any other way for her to look at me, her main focus is on the person on the other line.
"Oh dear! Zara! I mean, Zoey, is that you?" the lady am now sure is my mom asks. Wow, my mom is mistaking my name on our first meeting in sixteen years. Such a good impression.
I nod my head slowly. "Elizabeth Thompson?" I ask even though it's clear as day it's her. She scrunches her nose like she expected to be called "mommy" Well, not today.
"That would be me, love. Look at you all looking glowy and pretty! I'm so sorry about Sharon. She was my great friend!" This lady has a thing for confusing names, that, I'm sure. I don't tell her it's Sheena not Sharon though. I'm still drained by yesterday and today's events. And Elizabeth is acting like everything is normal. Like she last saw me last month or something.
"This way this way, my love. Such an honor to see you again!" She says lifting one of my bags and leading me to her car. Does she expect me to tell her it's an honor too? Because the feeling is mutual.
I slide into her car that smells like expensive perfume. She is chattering non-stop as she enters the car too. And she keeps on asking random questions.
"Zoey, how is your boyfriend doing?" She asks her eyes meeting mine in the mirror as she smiles, exposing two deep dimples in both her cheeks. I didn't even have friends while growing up. Sheena tried making me friends several times with random kids but failed. Elizabeth needn't know that though.
" I don't have one, Elizabeth." I tell her. She replies with an "oh". She keeps asking random questions like what my favorite food and color are. If I have many friends or if am an extrovert. P.S. she gets no answers.
When I was flying, I expected Elizabeth to shed at least a tear after all it's the first time she's seeing me and I'm seeing her in sixteen years. I mean, most mothers would shed a tear or two, right? She hasn't even initiated a hug. I hate hugs or any form of human touching but that would be a good gesture, right?
All I'm getting though are various stories about how I'm gonna enjoy living with her and that she can't wait to show me around. I keep listening till I'm sure my ears are gonna bleed. I slip my earphones on and increase the volume of my music draining Elizabeth's voice and show her my disinterest in her stories.
I'm sure she gets the impression because she keeps quiet for the next three hours till we reach a two storeyed house with a flower garden, a yard and a compound in a white picket fence.
And I'm already uncomfortable.