The soft hum of the funeral song breaks you into a thousand pieces. The wails from Aunt Monica propel you into a trance. It scatters the pieces like wind does dust. And you bow into silent sobs. Mucus flow. Soft shrieks of a wounded mother. Pain.
Through the thin film, you stare at the little coffins. Shimmering wood reflecting back your loss. You think of the people inside them. Peaceful in their eternal slumber. Ugly skins from the scalds do nothing to remind them of your agony. Patches of dark skin. Dark as night devoid of constellation. And then the original tender skin.
Suddenly you are thrown into a fit. You wail. You drop from your plastic chair and kick in the air like a dying horse. You are choking. Your throat is dry and creaking from the bitterness surging in you. The wig flies off your head revealing smuts of hair knitted in small knots. Women rush to carry you away before you lose your dress as well.
The women, all your friends, stoop by you all wearing weary looks on their faces. They can all feel the torment in you. They are worried as much as they are sorry. While you pant like a racing dog under the huge barren Avocado tree, tears roll down your cheeks ceaselessly.
In the darkness of the moment, fragments of the events leading to the current predicament torture your very existence. Hatred for that night shift surge in your heart. A neighbor had promised to keep an ear on them. To call you on the event of any crooked occurrence. And this you had said without holding much thought about it.
As much as you are whipping yourself, you are fully aware that the world will add threefold on it. All will know you as a mother whose heart is more inclined towards the money than the safety of her children. That you had the misfortune to fail them as a mother more than once is no secret. None will look at it from the perspective that you have been before the fateful night. Their fathers will always associate you with monsters and beasts.
The singing goes on, melancholy. Women use the helms of their lesos with Swahili sayings, uchungu wa mwana aujuae ni mzazi, to wipe their wet eyes. As much as they are in agony like any other mother, they want to look put together for you. Men are grim and darker. Children are confused.
Strength fails you. It is beyond you to walk back to the tent and perhaps pay your last respect to the people who are taking with them a portion of your heart forever. Your bones are brittle. Your vision is hazy. And your heart is too heavy to bear.
How do you bury your two boys in one day? You didn’t even give birth to them in one day. Who will you love now that a part of your heart is crumbled? As you lose them, you fear that you might lose yourself as well. The mournful murmurs of the women drift away as if happening in a dream. The heat of the sun fades away. And in one stock you pass out. Never to come to again.