NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 1 - Winter 2018 - Page 58

Once home, the house was unusually quiet for a Sunday evening. Usually, we had visitors; usually, there was someone there or my father would be reciting poetry to my mother and playing some jazz music. I held on tightly to father’s coin, dozing off on the couch. My mother handed the phone to me, taking it off speaker. “My darling, kedu? Have you been a good child?” “Yes, Daddy. When are you coming back?” “Soon, Nne’m. Soon, my mother,” he said. It was August, after the seven-day rain. The gutter on the side of the street overflowed; the potholes in the road going to our house were filled with water. I was wearing my yellow rain boots, jumping off the school bus and waving to my friend, as the school bus departed. Uncle Chikado, Mother’s brother, had just returned from Russia with a degree in architecture. Tall, dark, and with a new addiction of smoking. My mother asked him every day when he would quit, and he would laugh, saying “sister, tomorrow.” He laughed even louder, when my mother sucked her teeth and rolled her eyes. It had been two years now, since father left, and he still had not returned. But, he would call every Saturday, and he sent pictures of him posing, smiling, beside a yellow shiny car in New York. Father told me he drove a taxi in America, but I knew that must be a lie. I told my classmates in the small private school I attended that my father was a lawyer in America. I told them he visits every Christmas, but I did not tell them that the American watch I wear was not given to me by my father, but by family and friends who had returned. I do not tell them my father cannot leave America, that he has overstayed his visitor’s visa so he could work and send money back home. Azubuike was two years old and learning to talk. That afternoon, Mother was away and Auntie Nwakaego was visiting. She was in the living room watching my brother sleep. I got into my parents’ room to use my mother’s red lipstick, paint my face, trying to walk in her heels and pretend that I was older. I did not see it at first, but I turned and it caught my eye. It was a paper on the bed. I looked closer, “Certificate of Divorce”, it said in bold letters. I saw my mother’s na YKH]^H]\&\›[YKHܘXY][[Y][YBZYY\\]]YX[ HZY][Y\XH\H\ܛ '[\]\\]X\YY[[Y\X['B'H[O'HH\Y ^HXB\[K'HYY\\ˈHYY[ݙH\^\[K'B'ݙH\)'HH[H[]^XZZHH\Y\[XXY[B[\ܚX]HZ[K']\HXܚYXH܈[K܈[\[\܈^XZZK'HH^\]HZBHۛ^HX\\XZ[˂'][YKHXZ^H[\]\B\YH^\Hݙ\\H[XY\[\ݙ\HۙK\\XZH[K'B']\\܈H\\[HX[ۛˈ[\[\ۛH[]\X[HX]H\Y\YHYX\H[]ܘHH[Y\X[X[[Y[H\و[[[B[Y\XK'BH[YX[HK[H\\ۈHY H[Y[H]HܝX^H[\&\›XZ]\H^HXK]\HY[[وH\K[H]\YY[]^H܈\YX\ˈH[Y[B\K]\[H[^H[\[HY\[[\Y[ [HۙHXZ]\[HY [H\X\[\\ܚ\[ۈ\\ˈ]\HY\[[HZYYܙX]Y܈\]YKHܛY\Y[[˜[Z[[Yو\ܚˈH\›\[[^H[\ۈHۙBXZ[^]YH^H]\H[[[HH[ݚ[H\XYH\\Y[ۈB]\وYH]ZY]ۂ[YHYˈ^H[HYH]Y^H]\YYH“YY\[[\X[ܙH]Hݙ\Y[[]\[[\ HZY][^H]\YYB\܈^H[\&\[[X\XYKH\][[HۙHYH[[8&&H[YˈH8'XK[YKRKYXK^[x'K\H[[Z[Y\]Y[ۙBYKY][Y\]][œK]HXوH\K]\YHHYH[HۙܜY܂]YH[][[][[[] Y][Y\ZYܜ[Yݙ\H\HوH[] ^B[HZY ^H\[[]\[ݙH[BXYH\\Y[ \˜\\Y[\HH\ܛ\H^B]\[]\XYHH[\[وHXۙ\H [YHݙ\Y[[Y][Y\™[۝]]^Z[[H܂\XX\ܘ[\[Hۈ^B[\܈HX[[YHH\X[ܙH[YHH\HY\[ ^H[H\YYHH\YXBوYYYX] [[\H[\YHܞK[H]\KH\œZ\YHH[^\[ۙH\H]^H\ۙH[^\[]YY[^YX\[^H]\\]\[Y\XKHܝXYH\N^H[\YZ\\[\܈]\HK[H[HX\]^HHX]\˜^H]\&\]ܚ]H\ BXYHYHܝXH܈[]Y[YY[K8'H\]\[ˈH\[[B]\[8'HHX\^H[\^H][YHZYYۈH[\ۙK'^H[[ZY\[H][YK8'BHZY^]YKHYو^H]\&\]\^XZZHYٙ]HZ]Y H[YYH^H]\YܙH[˜XY\ HYYYYH[KHZ]Y܈H\[[ۂH^Y[Z\H\\܂Y[YYZHܙ]\H[&]™ۋHY[ۋ]YH[Z]ZH\ H\YZH^XZZKH^[ܛ[HZ]Y܈\]\ZH\ HH\ Z[[]\XY\Y^XZZH\ '[HۛH[O'H^H^]Y]\ZY '[Hx'H^XZZHZY ]YX[[[KH]Y^H\[\YK\[XY\\ Y[ZBH[]YH[[]H[B[و\[[KH]^H]\[H[H][[[›]HZ\\H] HX\\[›]و[HZHHYY[[[H܈YX\ˈHY]\Y[[Y[X[ܞHZH\ˈ\H\œZ[]\\Y[HYX\š[[Y\XH8%Hۙ[[\BYH\[YX\XYHB[Y\X[8%\H\[\[\›]\K\ۈۈ[[[B[K^H]\&\[\HܘY[[ܛۋ[\K[۝و\\[\HZ[Z[œ\Yو[\HY]^H[\[X]H]\HYZYZXY X\\[ZY8'\H\]Yx'H^Hو[[YHH\[^HYH[HY]X]˂HY]H[]HY[˜\\]ܙZH8'ۛ[ܜ8'H8'؛H\ 8'H['؛HH\8'HZ\ۙXܜš[[ۈHYHوH\X\›Y[Y[Z\\[][ۜYH[[ۈZ\\\Yۘ[H]\]H\[\YYY\[X\ˈH]Y\H]\Y\Y ]ۛHYۂ܈HX[[\ٙH\˂H[\YٙH\\[H]\[ۙX܈[[ܝXB[Y[[\ H\^]YX]H][\ۙB\][ˈ]YY[ZY[۝[H]\Y܈[Y\XK[\Y][\HH]YY^H]\܈YZX]\HH\Z][܈B[\ۙHH^Y ^H]\[H[K]\H\[YBHYX\^H]\&\XK[BHY ^Hܘ[[\\]Y܈]Y8%[۝[B[^H[ZH\Hو\ܘ[[[\]Y\\\KH\HX]Y \[[^H]\'\H[H^XZZH8%&HX\ۙ\&KH[[^\œ[Y[X\X܈[ \YK^XZZB]YZK[\HX\K\H[Y\X[]HYX[[Y\H[H]H^HۈB\\O'H]\[ۙH]YY [[[K^H[\ݙHX›\X[]ۈH]\وYš[HܙX[KXܙY L H]Y[^HYXYYY\ [H[[Z\Xۙ Z[^HY8&\X][Y\XKH[\X[B\[\Y؛[]\X[]\H\][