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Mum and I sat facing each other in silence. I had gone through the hasty motions of ensuring that she had been well entertained, but it was unnecessary because Tina had taken care of that for me before I arrived. Mum had practically jumped on my shocked form when I entered the sitting room, then she had righted herself, considering my condition, I suppose. But after getting over the sudden rush of excitement I felt at seeing my mother, different emotions set in. curiosity was the first, followed speedily by hurt and anger. I had stayed in the house for several weeks and she had not thought it necessary to visit till now. My pregnancy definitely had some good impacts on my parents’ appearance, I noted when I saw her clothes. I could believe it if it were my father, but my mother? I thought she really loved me.
My mother was silent and I noticed that she fidgeted slightly with the costly Igbo rapper she had on. “This house is massive Amarachi. One can get lost in it”
Oh! Now it is Amarachi! I thought vaguely. I could count on my head, the times that my mother called my full name, and those times were really awkward. “Yes, it is really big” I replied stonily.
She swallowed. “I can imagine. Knowing your husband’s family influence, the size of this house is expected” she said, looking around as though fascinated, without meeting my gaze.
I nodded wordlessly. Unable to hold it any longer, I voiced my thoughts. “What are you doing here mum?”
She shifted uneasily. “So it is ‘mum’ now, no longer ‘mama’?” she asked.
I breathed impatiently. “Tina told me that ‘Mum’ is a more civilized way of calling your mother” I answered. “That is not the point. What are you doing here?”
She looked me straight in the eye. “Don’t I have the right to come and visit my own daughter?” she asked, as though offended.
I forcefully put my anger under control. It seemed that my life has become full of anger ever since I met Alex. Or rather, ever since I got pregnant for him. “You have the right mama; I just wonder why you took so long to recognize your rights. I am pregnant mum. Did you not think that I would need you? I have never been pregnant before, but you have. Many times, I needed motherly advices but you were not there to help me.” I ranted and my hurt became obvious.
She shifted again and her eyes clouded. I averted my gaze instantly, not wanting her emotions to get me off track. “I am sorry my daughter. God knows I wanted to visit you. I never wanted to leave you alone”
“But what mama? Let me guess, papa did not allow you.” I voiced the obvious.
She looked at me quietly for some seconds. “Don’t think I am a fool Amara. I know what you mean, and I feel insulted. I never taught you to be disrespectful, especially to your own mother” she said sternly and instantly, I knew I had gone overboard. I was hurt by my mother’s neglect but I knew without a doubt that she loved me a lot. She always stood up for me but everything changed immediately I got pregnant. She turned to something akin to a jelly fish. I had never seen this side of my mother, and I wondered what happened to her. She had never been much of a talkative and it was obvious that my dad lords it over her but it seemed to have gone terribly worse ever since I got pregnant. A single glance from my father was enough to turn her into an overcooked vegetable. I wondered what caused this but that did not take away the hurt I was feeling. I felt alone.
“I am sorry mum”. Silence reigned again. This was definitely awkward. We seemed more like strangers, instead of the mother and daughter that we were and did not like the feeling at all. She looked at me for some seconds and seemed to grow much more fragile than she already looked.