It’s been a while since I delved into the electric short stories that populate the AFREADA website and it makes me sad because those stories always, without fail, make my day. But not to worry, I managed to carve out 15 minutes to read their latest offering from Nigerian writer, Ope Adedeji.
And how poetic this story is!
Out of the blue, after fourteen years, Bakarat is introduced to her mother and she must live with her, accept her and love her as though the absence never happened. She must get used to her mother who seems crazy – who talks to herself, who dances in the pouring rain and who likes to sniff strangers. And Bakarat isn’t allowed to ask questions.
Then the story turns and The Mother tells us her side of events. How she came to be away for fourteen years. Where she’d been. What she had done that led to her being taken away.
Adedeji is beautiful with her words. They wrench the heart so tenderly that I ended up not knowing where the guilt and blame lie. Who’s wrong and who’s right? Is everything as black and white as we paint it to be?
“This is how it happened” is always subjective, right? “This” may have been what happened – but how would a second party view it?
This is how it happened in this case is the revelation of an event as viewed and told by The Mother. A happening that changed the course of history for a family and how they deal with it as best they can.
Here’s the link to the story: This is how it happened